1Moses, the Lord's servant, was dead. So the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had been the assistant of Moses. The Lord said:
2My servant Moses is dead. Now you must lead Israel across the Jordan River into the land I'm giving to all of you. 3 Wherever you go, I'll give you that land, as I promised Moses. 4It will reach from the Southern Desert to the Lebanon Mountains in the north, and to the northeast as far as the great Euphrates River. It will include the land of the Hittites, and the land from here at the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. 5 Joshua, I will always be with you and help you as I helped Moses, and no one will ever be able to defeat you.
6-8 Long ago I promised the ancestors of Israel that I would give this land to their descendants. So be strong and brave! Be careful to do everything my servant Moses taught you. Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says. If you obey it completely, you and Israel will be able to take this land.
9I've commanded you to be strong and brave. Don't ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.
Joshua has watched Moses lead for 40 years. He has been an eyewitness to how Moses would meet with God. He has been an eyewitness to how Moses would seek God and trust in God. He has seen how the Lord provides. Now it is his turn to lead the people.
These short instructions say so much. Like Matthew 28:19 and 20, God gives Joshua the same promise he gives us – “I will not leave you or forsake you.” Therefore, go in confidence and do not fear.
This is the human struggle. Will we believe that God is with us in everything? Will we embrace God as someone who we can trust? Will we look to him and meditate on him? Will we see him as great and good? Will we place our trust in him?
This is not a call to be strong and courageous in ourselves; this is a call to be strong and courageous in the Lord. The call is to take God at his word, and with courage and strength to do what we know he wants us to do.
The Word of God was to be an enabler for this call. Joshua was to know it and meditate on it. It was to become his strength.
Father, I want to trust you. I want to be strong and courageous for you. Help me to embrace the fact that you are near. Help me through Christ to trust you! Lord, nourish my soul with your Word.