Moses continues to instruct Israel and to remind them that to obey God is to enjoy his blessings but to disobey is to face his wrath. They were to obey the Lord and he, in turn, would bless them and give them all they needed. A pretty good deal if you ask me. Two paths. Two options. Two ways. The way of obedience and blessing or the way of disobedience and curse. The same for us.
Moses is replaced by Joshua. Leaders pass away or leave for other reasons. Has there ever been a greater leader than Moses? How will Israel continue without their great prophet and leader? Moses answered that question: “The Lord your God himself will go over before you. . . . and Joshua will go over at your head, as the Lord has spoken” (31:3). He adds: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (31:6).
It’s not that human leaders are unimportant or unnecessary. But they certainly are replaceable, even the greatest of them. The one who is necessary for our welfare and good is the Lord. The Lord himself will bring “them into the land flowing with milk and honey” (31:20), which he swore to give them. In her hymn, Anna Waring expressed so wonderfully the testimony of the child of God who rests in him.
In heavenly love abiding,
no change my heart shall fear;
and safe is such confiding,
for nothing changes here:
the storm may roar without me,
my heart may low be laid;
but God is round about me,
and can I be dismayed? --Anna Letitia Waring (1850)