Never Afraid (06-02-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 104:33-34
I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
Bible Reading: Joshua 1:1,6-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 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."
Imagine the scene. Moses has led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and has now died. The Israelites have spent forty years in the wilderness and now they are on the brink of crossing over into the Promised Land. There will be many battles to fight before they become a settled nation and Joshua, who was Moses’s right hand man, has been chosen by God to lead them.
I wonder how you would feel if you were in Joshua’s shoes.
Fear of the unknown can be quite debilitating. But Joshua knew what he was facing; he had spied out the land forty years previously and knew the magnitude of the task. And he had lived in the wilderness with these people and knew they were prone to grumbling and to rebellion. But he also knew his God and what his God could do.
In life we are often faced with challenges that cause us to be afraid and to feel discouraged. But courage is not the opposite of fear. John Wayne is quoted as saying, ‘Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.’ Courage is shown when we carry on in spite of the fear.
God knew the task that faced Joshua and he knew he was up to the task, just as he knows that you are up to the task that is before you.
To each of us, as to Joshua, God says, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
At the heart of Joshua’s courage was his relationship with God and, in the midst of his commissioning to lead the Israelites, God reminds him to obey the scriptures and to meditate on them day and night. Let us be like Joshua, facing problems with the courage that comes from faith in God and a life that is rooted in the teachings of Moses and of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, give me the courage to face each day with faith in you strength and in your presence.
Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you