By Shelly Burke
After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua…”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1, 9
Courage is a requirement for life today, just as it was approximately 3400 years ago when these words were written.
In these verses the Lord was talking to Joshua. Moses, the great leader, had just died, after leading the Israelites out of Egypt and in the wilderness for 40 years. Now Joshua was tasked with not only leading the Israelites into the promised land but also conquering the people who were already there. The task was daunting, to say the least.
What are you facing today, that demands your courage? Troubles with a child? The break-up of a marriage? Single parenting? Illness of a friend or family member—or perhaps yourself? End-of-life decisions? Unexpected or sudden life changes? Financial challenges?
God gave Joshua a huge task, but He also gave him directions.
*”Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or the left…you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” .
*”Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed…”
We can follow the same directions God gave Joshua—following His word. Meditating on it day and night. Being careful to do what we read in His word. (Thankfully the death and resurrection of Jesus released us from having to follow all of the laws of the OT, but the principles of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament still apply today.)
He also gave Joshua and the Israelites promises:
*”Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5b
*”…the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9b
And we can also claim these promises as well. We know that through whatever we face, God will be with us, wherever we go. He will never leave us or forsake us. We can take courage in knowing that through the Lord, through His Word, and His promises, we can face our future with courage because we will never be alone.
Lord, I thank you for your guidance, and for your promises. With them I need never fear, as I know that You will guide me and that I will never be alone. Amen.