I’m sure there were plenty of time when Joshua wondered, “what would Moses do? We can’t forget that God had already directed Moses on the land distribution plan for the tribes. When we remember what those who have gone before us have done, it can help us in finding our own way. In this case, however, God is the one in control. Joshua has clearly kept that in mind as he has waited for this moment. Now we’re starting with what we know. We know what Moses had already done.
There are really no surprises here. In the closing chapters of Deuteronomy, Moses received these messages from God. They are now being fulfilled. Of all the descendants, I often wonder what the Levites thought about not getting their own portion. But then my mind quickly shifts to the fact that God has chosen them for another, very important role—to be priests. I know from experience that priests and pastors live a little more humbly than others. There’s Biblical history for why that happens, along with the promise of other provisions, and to me that is comforting.
Joshua looked to Moses. We look to Jesus. I know I have asked plenty of times, “What would Jesus do?” I can remember when WWJD was everywhere, on bracelets, Bible covers, bumper stickers, and the like. For us today, thinking like Jesus is what we strive for. Ephesians 5:1-2 tells us, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
We can do our best to imitate Jesus, but we must also be realistic and know we will fall desperately short. Our efforts will not go unnoticed. I’m fearful that I haven’t been doing as good a job as I should be lately and drum up all sorts of excuses. Of course, the most obvious one is the COVID pandemic we’re living through as I write this.
It’s harder to outreach to our neighbors. We’ve had to make some hard decisions to distance ourselves. It’s been nearly a year since we gathered in worship in person. Thankfully we have a virtual church and can gather internationally with many dear friends who are not here lakeside with us.
When I think of what Jesus would do in the midst of this pandemic, I can’t imagine anything else than he would raise his hand and the people would be healed and virus be gone. I’m quite confident that while I would love to do that, I doubt my power. I don’t doubt God’s, but I know I am not God. I have prayed earnestly for him to remove the virus from the world, and his answer has been “not yet.”
Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we need to be seeking Jesus. In times of plenty and in times of want our eyes should be focused on Jesus. What would Jesus do? He would love. He would be present. He would comfort. I can do all of those things…in Christ.
As this passage remembers what Moses already did, take time today to remember what Jesus already did for you. How are you going to respond?
Let’s pray … Lord, I know that you are in control of all things. There are so many moving pieces to every life, every community, every environment. You are an amazing God to keep it all in motion. I pray for the peace and confidence I need to move forward in my attempts to be more Christ-like. Reveal to me your heart and show me how you want me to serve. In Jesus’ name. Amen.