“I Will Go Before Thee”

At the end of Moses’ life, he encouraged the children of Israel to move into the promised land with courage and faith: “The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee,” promised Moses (Deuteronomy 31:3). And he reiterated this promise to Joshua, who would lead the Israelites after Moses’ departure: “The Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Many years earlier, the brother of Jared had received a similar reassurance as God guided him and his family to their promised land: “I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth,” He said (Ether 1:42).

And King David also received this promise from the Lord. When he asked whether he should attack the invading Philistine army. God told him not to face them head-on, but rather to circle around behind them near a grove of trees. When you hear a sound in the tops of the trees, He said, “then shalt thou bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines” (2 Samuel 5:24, see also 1 Chronicles 14:15).

It can be frightening to take a step into the darkness, but perhaps it is less frightening when we know that God has gone ahead, that He is our advance party, preparing the way for our success. “I will go before your face,” He said to a group of tired missionaries in 1832 (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88). And the same promise applies to us: As we move forward with faith in Him, we can be assured that He is not only with us, but that He is several steps ahead, ready for us to follow.

Today, I will trust that God is leading me forward. Just as He led the way for the children of Israel, for the Jaredites, and for the armies of King David, I will trust that He will go before me as I step into an uncertain future.

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