Joshua was God’s chosen servant to lead the people of Israel into the promised land after Moses’ death.
This story can be found in Joshua 1:1-9.
Joshua was the son of Nun born as Hosea into the tribe of Ephraim. Hosea means ‘salvation’. It was Moses who later gives him the name Joshua (Num 13:16), which means ‘The Lord Saves’.
The Israelites have been in the desert for 40 years. Moses was their leader. Joshua journeyed with Moses, learned from Moses and was mentored by Him.
Called into a new season of life
In Joshua chapter 1:1-2, we read that at this point after Moses death, he was called by God to a new season of his life. He was called to step up and be the Israelite’s leader. I can only imagine how overwhelmed he probably felt at the time. His mentor and leader was no more, the person he probably would go to for advice, direction and counsel was not with him. He finds that it is now time for him to lead. But we see that God has been preparing Him for it.
How was Joshua prepared? – by faithful service in smaller things while he was Moses aide.
We all have a call from God. What God is doing or wants to do through you may require a step up, a yes, an act of obedience on our part. He calls you to bigger things by preparing you with the smaller things.
It may seem daunting, we may feel ill equipped but just like God assures Joshua in v 5, he will always be with us and never leave us or forsake us. There is the promise of His presence always.
While a believer’s life does involve being obedient to the father and his word, it is a life to be lived by faith in the power of God. God calls Joshua to a daunting and challenging task of leading the Israelites to the promised land, which included claiming the land from the current inhabitants, fighting battles and being a spiritual leader to them all. But he does not expect Joshua to do it in his own might.
God does not smooth the path out for him either, neither removing the chance of the battles or getting rid of the inhabitants prior to them crossing the Jordan. The only thing the Lord assures them of is that the land will be given to them and that HE will be with Joshua every step of the way.
For us: As parents, we do not think it wise to fight all our children’s battles, because we know that they learn nothing if they lead life that way. But neither does it mean that we are not there with them supporting them in every way possible. Similarly, God wants us to fight our battles and HE is right there with us guiding us, lending us His strength and carrying us through those times. Because only then do we learn and grow in Spirit.
We all face our share of challenges; we are promised in His word that HE is always with us and that HE will never leave or forsake us. Not only in moments when you can feel or see God do something tangible that HE is right there with you but even in those moments when You feel God is silent and you find it difficult to hear God’s word or see His works in our lives, HE is right there with us.
We are called to trust in Him even when we cannot see it happening or do not comprehend what is happening.
In Verses 6-9, three times God tells Joshua to “Be strong and Courageous’.
God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous in the face of an enemy that would have made Joshua tremble with weakness and fear if it had not been for God’s powerful reminder of His presence and power.
God reminded Joshua that their strength did not rely on their numbers, their skill in battle or the weakness of the enemy, their strength came from God.
Maybe we need a reminder today that God is our strength. No matter what we are facing today, how impossible or miserable your situation may seem, how small or weak you feel, God is your rock, your strength, he goes before you and will be with you.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Being brave and courageous does not mean we are not afraid, for us believers being brave and courageous means trusting in God and acting out in faith even when we are afraid. If we trust our heavenly Father and know that He is working out all things for our good then it does not really matter if we do not have all the answer laid out before us, it is ok to not understand everything before we take the next step.
While God tells Joshua to be brave and courageous, he also tells him to do the following
- The law was to not depart from his mouth
- He was to meditate on it day and night
He was to be careful to obey and do everything in it.
These three points would be a way to not let fear creep in and take root, to stay focused on God, His word, to be encouraged, to be reminded on whom he is depending on and in whose strength, they are going to be marching forward.
God then tells Joshua that only then will he be prosperous and successful (v8).
A believer’s success is not necessarily measured the same way the world views success. It does not mean the Lord does not bless us with good things but that is not the scale by which we measure our successes against.
As children of God we are to live a life where God is the centre point, where His word is always on our minds and on our lips, a life in which we meditate on His word and focus on Him and His word.
It does not mean a life without trials, but it ensures us that when we live that way we will be attuned to God, His voice, His will and His ways even in the middle of a storm.
As we face the challenges or opportunities or the call to step up, let us remember that;
We are to be brave and courageous in HIM-Trusting and stepping out in Faith.
Remember what is required of us – meditate, speak and obey His word.
Remember That God is always with us and that He will never forsake us so that we can confidently say “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me (Heb13:5-6).