As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

Joshua 1:5

For all things, God is the great Antecedent!

Because He is, we are and everything else is.

We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as always being there—and being there first!

Joshua had this to learn. He had been so long the servant of God’s servant Moses, and had with such assurance received God’s word at his mouth, that Moses and the God of Moses had become blended in his thinking, so blended that he could hardly separate the two thoughts. By association they always appeared together in his mind.

Now Moses is dead and lest the young Joshua be struck down with despair, God spoke to assure him: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee!”

Moses was dead, but the God of Moses still lived! Nothing had changed and nothing had been lost, for nothing of God dies when a man of God dies.

“As I was—so I will be.” Only the Eternal God could say this!


Almighty God, I pray today for Christian leaders and pastors in foreign lands who need to be reminded that You are the Eternal God who faithfully stands with them in all their challenges.[1]

1:5 The promise of divine power for Joshua’s task.[2]

1:5 will I be with you; I will not fail See Josh 1:17; compare Exod 3:12.[3]

1:5 God’s great promise to Moses I will be with you (Ex. 3:12) is now given to Joshua (1:9; 3:7). Of special comfort to Joshua would have been the fact that God would be with him in the same way He had been with Moses. Joshua had been present during the many demonstrations of God’s presence in Moses’ life and would have known how significant this promise was.[4]

1:5. As Joshua faced the tremendous task of conquering Canaan, he needed a fresh word of encouragement. From personal observation Joshua knew that the Canaanites and others were vigorous people who lived in strongly fortified cities (cf. Num. 13:28–29). Frequent battles kept their warriors in trim fighting condition. And for the most part the land was mountainous, a fact that would make war maneuvers most difficult. But when God gives a command He often accompanies it with a promise, so He assured Joshua a lifetime of continuous victory over his enemies, based on His unfailing presence and help. The words I will never leave you (cf. Josh. 1:9) may be rendered, “I will not drop or abandon you.” God never walks out on His promises.[5]

[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Jos 1:5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Jos 1:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 274). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Campbell, D. K. (1985). Joshua. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 328). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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