God encourages Joshua (26-07-21)
Moses led Israel from slavery in Egypt but did not actually lead the people into the Promised Land himself. Moses saw the land from a distance but commissioned Joshua to lead the people into the Promised Land.
Bible Reading: Joshua 1:1-3,5-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
As Joshua picks up the baton from Moses, to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land, he must surely have been aware of the enormous responsibility that now rested on his shoulders.
God was also aware of the responsibility; he was also aware of Joshua and his need for encouragement. Three times God says to Joshua ‘Be strong and courageous’, each time with a different caveat.
‘Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land’. God had faith in Joshua that he would fulfil the task. God too has faith in you. For whatever he has called you to do, he knows that you can do it, so he says to you ‘Be strong and courageous.’
‘Be strong and very courageous, be careful to obey the law, meditate on it day and night’. God knew that Joshua would succeed, but he also knew that he would only succeed if he walked closely with God, meditating on God’s commandments, and obeying them. God has given us guidelines for the way to live; let us meditate on his words, they are there for our good and for our blessing.
‘Be strong and courageous… for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua would lead the people through many difficulties and many victories on their journey into the Promised Land, but God promises to be with him wherever he went. Wherever you go, today and every day, you do not go alone; God promises to be with you.
Are there things that you face where you need to be strong and courageous? Bring them to God now, in prayer.
Father God, thank you that you are with me wherever I go,
and that you give me the strength and the courage to fulfil each task I face.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.