Joshua has always been the default leader, the vice president to me. Moses couldn’t go into the Promised Land, his time was up, so he looked to Joshua, “You take them on in.” Sounds like a cowboy on his last cattle run. Sure sounded like easy enough task. The Promised Land was flowing with milk and honey, the land that the Creator God has set aside for His People. After 400 years of slavery and 40 years of desert living, it’s the second Garden of Eden right?
NOT ALONE, BUT WITH
Standing on the side of the Jordan, God commissioned Joshua, telling him “every place the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you…I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” What a beautiful image of God walking alongside us almost as a docent revealing all the treasures and beauty of this new land. But God continues…“Be strong and courageous.” Wait, why? “For you shall cause this people to inherit the land.”
Not once but three times in succession God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. The second time he adds, “Only be strong and courageous,” followed by “be careful to do according to all the law” (v. 7). He was not to turn from the Book of Law, not letting it leave from his mouth, meditating on it day and night. And again, be strong and courageous…followed by encouragement to not be afraid or dismayed as God is with him wherever he goes.
STRONG & COURAGEOUS
Strong and courageous seems very fitting advice for a man as we think of physical strength, labor, taking on the unknown or unfamiliar. But what about the quiet strength of those battling cancer, the parents now homeschooling, the health care workers in a pandemic, the essential workers/stockers/cooks “keeping the lights on,” the missionaries in uncharted territories…or maybe you’re reading a blog needing strength today, courage to formulate the plan and execute it.
What’s important to look at in God’s beautiful monologue to Joshua is what he says around the strong and courageous.
I️ WILL BE WITH YOU
First and foremost, God is with you. From beginning to end and all the way through! Remember your actions have a ripple effect that reaches the Kingdom of God. We cannot begin to fathom our fellow heirs in Heaven simply from the people you have touched.
But right in the middle is God’s Law, His Love Letter to us! Know and meditate on His Word, let them flow from our hearts, soak into our souls. Fear is indeed real and dismay can be crushing. But for Joshua to take possession of the land with his fellow Israelites, they had to fight and destroy the enemies of God, and they were afraid. But we need to follow their lead in allowing God to penetrate our innermost being, to be our Comforter and Protector.
Only be strong and courageous. Is this difficult for you to believe?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I️ am struggling with fear and doubt during my current circumstances. Thank you for your promise to be with me. I️ will meditate on your Word. I️ will put my trust in You. Help me be strong and courageous, not in my strength, but Yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.