BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
Change Is Hard
Joshua had served as Moses' assistant for years, but now it was time for the apprentice to assume the place of leader and teacher. It must have been difficult for Joshua to watch his leader and his friend make that journey up the mountain never to return again. Did Joshua experience a sense of loss and loneliness? Knowing the moment is coming is not the same as experiencing it firsthand. The Lord confirms Moses' death and tells Joshua that the time has come for him to lead the people of Israel over the Jordan and into the land that had been promised to the patriarchs. The Lord would be with Joshua just as he had been with Moses. The land of Canaan was God's gift to his people, and the Lord outlined the territory for Joshua so that there would be no doubt. Israel would face resistance, but Israel would be victorious, and no one would be able to stand before Joshua because the Lord would be with him. Joshua was commanded to be strong and courageous three times meaning a fearless confidence in God's ability and faithfulness to accomplish all that he had promised. Joshua and the people were to obey the law, and God linked success to obedience. Joshua need not fear or be dismayed for the Lord would be with him wherever he went.
Joshua Takes Charge
Joshua obeys just as the Lord commanded and begins to exercise his authority. Joshua directs the officers to go throughout the camp and have the people make provisions, for in three days they would be passing over the Jordan to take possession of the land. Joshua called the men of the two and a half tribes who settled east of the Jordan to remember that permission was granted under the condition that they fight with the army of Israel until the land was conquered. The leaders of these eastern tribes recognized Joshua's authority and their obligations under the agreement that was reached through Moses. They submitted to Joshua's authority and pledged their allegiance to him as they had with Moses. This was cheerful obedience and any who disregarded this command would be put to death. These leaders prayed that Joshua would be strong, courageous, and experience God's presence just as Moses did. Joshua has established his leadership and the people would soon take possession of the Promised Land.
Things To Consider:
- Do you think it was difficult for Joshua to mourn and then step into Moses' position? Why?
- Why is it important to remember that the success Joshua would enjoy belonged to God?
- How do we struggle with fear and doubt?
- Why is obedience success for a Christian?
- Are you walking in obedience currently? Why?
- Are you meditating on the scriptures day and night? Why?
- Do you recognize God's intimate presence because of your union with Christ?
- How does this affect your daily activities?
- Have you made any promises to God that you need to be reminded of?
- Are you walking in submission before your spiritual leaders? Why or why not?
- Why should we obey our leaders?
- How do you pray for your leaders?
- Pray for your spiritual leaders and commit yourself to obey them?