Moses died at age 150, but before he died, he climbed Mt. Nebo and God showed him a view of the Promised Land. Obviously, the people wept and mourned the passing of their great leader, but he had left them in good hands.
Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. Deuteronomy 34:9
At this point, the people have made their way around the Dead Sea and are near the shore of the Jordan River across from the city of Jericho. Immediately, the Lord gives instructions.
“Now, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:2-3
Now this was no easy task. It wasn’t like the land was empty and Joshua and his people could just march in and set up their flag. No, tribes of people had come into this land and lived there during the 400 years that Jacob and his descendants had been in Egypt. These tribes of Canaan had formed their cities and their armies along with their many gods.
Just as Jesus told his disciples, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20) so God tells Joshua,
“I will be with you: I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
Then three times, the Lord gives the command, “Be strong and courageous!”
“… because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.” Joshua 1:6
The land had been promised to Abraham centuries before.
The second “Be strong and courageous” warns Joshua to be careful to obey the law God had given to Moses.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Joshua 1:8
The very reason the pagan people of this land must go is because they have been worshiping idols and other gods. It must not be so with God’s people.
The third time, God emphasizes again to Joshua—
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
God has plans for your life and mine, no matter our age or circumstances. He warns us to study His word, meditate on it, obey it, and remember that He will be with us at all times. Then He says even to us, “Be strong and courageous!”
When we are weak, He is our strength. He will bring a song of joy! I love that reminder on one of my tea cups.
Perhaps the battle for control of your mind and years of worry have made you vulnerable to the enemy. Be strong and courageous!
~ Joyce ~