“Have I not commanded you? 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, NIV 1984).
My Musings – This is a charge given specifically to Joshua. What could he possibly have to fear?
- He Succeeded Moses, the only person that God spoke with face-to-face. Talk about a tough act to follow.
- But because Moses messed up, God did not allow Moses to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Something that Moses had been anticipating for over forty years. Better not mess up, Joshua.
- And now Joshua was being told to cross over the Jordan to lead these “obstinate, stiff-necked” people to battle multiple kingdoms (Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites), drive them out, and take possession of the land. No small task for a group of wandering nomads.
Yet Joshua “saddled up anyway.” Why wouldn’t he have wanted to run the other way? Not because of the subject of his faith (capability of accomplishing the task at hand), but because of the object of his faith (capability of the One commissioning him for the task at hand). “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Do you have a tough act to follow? Are you afraid of messing up? Do you feel inadequate for the task you face? I know this charge was given specifically to Joshua, but I believe we can appropriate it for ourselves. “Have I not commanded you?” If God calls you to it, He will see you through it. So, “be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged.” Because “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV 1984). If God has indeed called you to it, you don’t have to scared to death. Saddle up. Ride to victory, not retreat. He “will never leave you nor forsake you.“