Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Be Strong and Courageous

Moses is dead. The Promised Land is in front of them. The time for mourning has passed, and the time for action has come.

Add caption
God comes to Joshua to call him into action. He begins by reminding Joshua of the promise – He carefully draws out a map for him of what will become the land of Israel. What they've all been waiting for so long. 

He promises that just as He has been with Moses, He will also be with Joshua. “I will never fail you or forsake you.”

And then comes the words God apparently knows Joshua really needs to hear. “Be strong and courageous.”

Be strong and courageous.

God tells him this three times. He really wants Joshua to get the point. It seems to me that God knew there were some difficult times ahead. Times that might make Joshua feel weak and insignificant. Maybe even wonder if God was really still with him. He was facing a huge task of leading God's people into the promise God had made them a long time before.

Be strong and courageous.

After Joshua reminds the tribe leaders of their responsibilities in what's to come, they come back at him with the same words. We'll help you just as we promised; only be strong and courageous.

And how is he to be strong and courageous? God has reminded him of His promise. He says, Look, Buddy, there it is. Everything I have told you and yours I would do, I am about to do it. Right now. I've been saying this would happen, and here it is. Remember.

He reminds Joshua of how all this time He has been with Moses. And just as He was with Moses, so He would also be with Joshua.

But, maybe most importantly, he urges Joshua to be careful to follow the law of Moses, the first covenant. He reminds Joshua not to turn from it at all, not to the right or to the left. He should meditate on it, day and night. And what happens if Joshua does this? He will be prosperous, wise, and successful. God has given him all he needs to know here. A promise, a reminder, and an assurance.

What does Joshua have to do? Be strong and courageous. Keep his eyes focused on the One who has made the promise, the one who will carry him through what's to come.

Hearing that admonition repeatedly makes me gulp. Sometimes I hear God whispering those very same words to me. Can I be strong and courageous in what God is calling me to do today? Can I keep my eyes focused on Him and what He is asking of me?

Maybe God's not calling us to lead thousands into battle. Not today, maybe. But He is still calling us to be strong and courageous. Maybe about starting a blog. Starting a family. Starting a new stage of life. Maybe about sharing the Word with a nonbelieving friend. Sharing truth with someone who needs to hear it today. Walking through a difficult situation, whether our own or with a loved one. God is calling each of us to something today. Can we be strong and courageous to hear that call and follow Him through it? We can. He will not fail us or forsake us.

No comments:

Post a Comment