“Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.””
Deuteronomy 31:7-8 NKJV
There are times when even daring to draw ones next breath requires courage. In the midst of great struggle and travail, one might seek to hold ones breath, fearing what may come next. It is in the waiting form that next thing, or the other shoe to drop, that we find the courage to go on.
This morning I read of the transfer of leadership, as Joshua took over from Moses the mission of leading the children of Israel out of the promised land. One would expect that there would be great encouragement before taking on such a job, but Joshua was given the down and dirty.
“And the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.”
Deuteronomy 31:16 NKJV
I know I would have had second thoughts, and I would have reconsidered the commission. But Joshua, having great faith believed God. He had gone into the promised land as a spy, and seen what the Lord was giving them. He and Caleb knew that their God was powerful and able to deliver.
He knew that God would go before them.
We the new testament followers of Jesus can learn much from our old testament examples, as the God that led them from the bondage, through the wilderness and into the promised land, is the same God that has delivered us from bondage to sin, through the journey of sanctification, and will lead us into His rest in glory.
Brothers and sisters, let us be as Joshua, knowing of the goodness and faithfulness of God. We stand on the cusp of our promised land, as the Lord is preheating the furnace, that will refine us as we enter the times to come. Whereas Joshua looked forward to a future filled with war, uncertainty, and ultimate victory, we too look forward to many battles, individually and corporately.
Let us look to the latter days of Joshua, to the time when he too would step off the stage. In that moment he brought to the minds of the children of Israel all that the Lord had done for them, all the promises fulfilled. He laid before them, like Moses did, a choice.
““Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.””
Joshua 24:14-15 NKJV
May we be counted as those who chose to see the Lord. The coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps years, will prove which we are. I pray that I be faithful.
Be strong, my people. The Lord has shown me time and time again that He is faithful all the time. My life has been a test of the goodness of God, for I have been placed as a sign to you, demonstrating His grace, as all that I hold dear has been stripped away, but I still have Jesus, and He is all I need.
Have a Fabulous Friday!