Promise of God’s Presence
WEEK 3: THE PROMISES OF GOD
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 20, 2021
I will never leave you or forsake you I will be with you always even until the end of the age. (St. Matthew 28:20)
I promise to love and to cherish in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Does these words sound familiar? I know they do; this a phrase from the vow that couples make to each other on their wedding day. They are such comforting words. I remembered saying these words on my wedding day over three decades ago. At the time of saying those words to my husband I felt a sense of assurance that I would enjoy the presence and company of a person who loved me until the day I die; through good times as well as through challenging times.
When I became a believer and started reading the Bible I learned that there many promises that God made to His Chosen People, the Israelites. There were promises for every experience they will go through. Promises for protection, healing, provision, blessings and the list goes on. One particular of God’s assurance to Israel was the Promise of His Presence. During their journey in the wilderness God’s presence was evident in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22). Moses had faithfully led Israel from Egypt to the Wilderness; he gave Israel the Commandments as God had instructed (Exodus 20), and shared the Promises of God’s Blessings (Deuteronomy 28). At one point. Moses disappointed God when he didn’t follow His specific instructions because the People of Israel angered him. (Numbers 20).
Soon, Moses’s leadership term would come to an end; he would be succeeded by a young warrior, who he had trained. Joshua had led many expeditions under Moses’s leadership, but now he would be the chief leader. Can you imagine how he must have felt to know that he would have the great responsibility of leading a nation? Fear, terror, nervousness are some words I can think of. What other words would you use to describe how Joshua may have felt?
Despite how Joshua felt, the reality was that he was about to be a leader of this great nation. God’s presence had been with Moses during his tenure; and for sure, He would be with Joshua too. This is what the Lord said to Joshua:
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.Joshua 1:5
This must have been reassuring for Joshua to hear; much like how a wife and husband’ vows gives them assurance of having company on their life journey. So it was that God’s presence was with Joshua and all Israel, so much so that they entered the Promised Land with Joshua as their chief leader. God was faithful to Israel; even in their disobedience and rebellion, He sought to redeem them through the guidance of Judges and Prophets.
After many years of Israel living in The Promised Land, and Jesus is born and begins His ministry, God’s promised presence was still available to His People. After teaching and preparing His Disciples to go out and spread the Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Jesus said to them:
I will never leave you or forsake you, I will be with you always even until the end of the age.St. Matthew 28:20
Today, you still have access to the Presence of God. As you exercise faith in God, and follow Jesus, you will enjoy God’s presence like the Nation of Israel, and the Disciples of Christ. As you go through your life, know and believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that God’s presence is always with you. As you pray, read your Bible, and draw closer and closer to God, you will sense God’s presence all around you- bask in it, entertain His Holy Spirit and live as blessed as God intends.
LET US PRAY
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the many promises you have given through Your Word which tells me that You magnify Your Word above Your Name (Psalm 138:2). In Your presence there is fullness of Joy (Psalm 16:11). I am grateful for the Promise of Your Presence so I can have JOY. It is an assurance that You are always with me, and a present help me at all times.
You promise to be with me when I pass through the waters; they shall not overflow. When I walk through the fire I shall not be burned, nor shall the flames scorch me. (Isaiah 43:2)
I Thank You that as I live this life in the flesh I will have the gift of Your presence wherever I go. When You are with me, all is well.
I pray in Jesus’s Name. Amen