No Rock Like Our God, Day 2 Today’s reading is drawn from Deuteronomy 31:1-8. Superhero One of the hallmarks of American culture in the 20th century was its fascination with the superhero. From comic-book sales to blockbuster movies to the graphic novel genre, entire industries have played into the attraction we have to individuals who are somehow possessed of powers not enjoyed by mere mortals. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and other fictional characters capture our collective imaginations as they battle the super-villains their creators dream up to fight them. The urge of a boy to wear his underpants on the outside of his pajamas and tear around the house fighting phantom bad guys is an inherited character trait passed down proudly from father to son. So what is it about a superhero that’s so appealing? Bravery. Power. Strength. Ingenuity. The ability to fly. The fact that they usually get the girl. The fact that they can seemingly get out of any jam they find themselves in. Who wouldn’t want that kind of existence? Thinking of that context, reread today’s passage. Joshua is, in effect, getting his superhero’s license from Moses. Now, it’s unlikely that this involved a cape and a mask, but Moses here tells Joshua that, with God’s power behind him, he will be able to deal with adversity and conquer his foes. Moses tells the people that their new leader, Joshua, will take them forward into Canaan. Their old leader, Moses, encourages Joshua in front of the people, “Be strong and courageous . . . The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you . . . Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:6,8). With that reinforcement as a backdrop, Joshua moved forward. Fear couldn’t hold him back. He believed God. If you knew that you couldn’t fail, what would you do differently? Pursue a promotion at work? Further your education? Ask someone to marry you? Risk repairing a broken relationship? The fact is that, when God goes before you, you can’t fail. If you’re living within God’s will you don’t need to be afraid. You may endure a few shots along the way, but with the world’s only real Superpower behind you, you can’t ultimately fail. Take the risk. Live with passion. Listen to his assurance: “Be strong and courageous . . . Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” How has fear kept you from reaching your dreams?

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