Joshua 1: 1 – 3 —–After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
When Moses realized he would need a successor, he asked God to provide one. God directed him to Joshua, whom God had already prepared for the task. Moses did not choose his own successor, nor was he chosen by popular vote. Joshua was God’s choice.
Joshua had a tremendous task to fulfil after the death of Moses —the responsibility of leading a rebellious and doubtful nation into the Promised land.
Joshua gave much thought to this task of taking over the leadership of Israel after the death of Moses. Moses had established himself in Israel as a man of legendary stature with the LORD and with the nation. How could any man “fill the shoes” of Moses?
Joshua was a very typical person who faced life’s issues with the same array of concerns that would be prudent and reasonable to anyone. Joshua needed encouragement for the tasks before him. He was about to take the nation across the Jordan River into unknown territory.
Joshua 1:4-6 —- From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
God gives an assurance to Joshua that He will never leave him nor forsake him. But Joshua needs to do what God asks him to: (1) be strong, and to (2) be of good courage.
When a significant task needs to be done it is tempting for us to search for the strongest and most courageous person we can find. Without God we only have our own strength and courage to rely on. However, when one is a child of God, human reason must take a “back seat” to God’s wisdom and work.
God’s message to Joshua reveals to him and to us that when the LORD is calling us to the task He has prepared us for it. When we take that preparation and combine it with God’s promises we can approach the task with a strength and courage that comes only from our relationship with God.
Knowing that God is with us, will protect us, and will provide us with the resources to complete the task give us the courage to move forward.
The message for Joshua, and for us, is firm: when God calls us to a task, we are to place our dependence upon Him, stay grounded in the Word of God, and we are to BE strong, and to BE courageous when armed with His presence.
Being strong and courageous is not a feeling, and it is not an option. It is a command. As inadequate as we might feel on our own, we are not to allow those feelings of inadequacy to turn us from God’s purpose.
Our strength does not come from our abilities, but rather from God’s promises. Our courage does not come from our own pride, but rather from God’s presence. Therefore, when faced with circumstances that would seemingly be too great for us, when we approach those events with the promises and the presence of God we are commanded to put our own feelings aside, and approach them with strength and courage.
The Bible never once says “FIGURE IT OUT”, but over and over it says “TRUST GOD”. He’s already got it all figured out.