Week 1 - Joshua 1:9

Week 1 – Joshua 1:9:  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.”

The context of the opening chapter of Joshua offers us a different Israel than we have seen since the Exodus. Moses is no longer the prophet, leader, or mediator between the people and Yahweh. His assistant Joshua is now told to assume command and lead the people into the promised land. Joshua has witnessed the Lord’s presence and power in the midst of the people during their sojourn in the wilderness. You would think that is all one would need to lead Yahweh’s people wherever and however he is called to. However, Yahweh takes special care to remind Joshua that as he leads a military campaign to drive out the inhabitants of their promised land, he must be strong and courageous. The Hebrew words for “strong” and “courageous” signal that Joshua is to be powerful beyond average or what is natural, and to face danger without fear or flinching. In short, he is commanded to have or exercise supernatural strength and bravery regardless of circumstance. How can a natural man obtain these supernatural qualities? Answer: He cannot. The only way this is possible is by the Lord’s presence, something Joshua is already aware of. Yahweh has proven to the Israelites that He alone is their deliverer, and He alone gives them victory. Moses spoke, as from the Lord, in Deuteronomy chapters 6-11 about how they will come to receive the promised land. It is undoubtedly because He is giving it to them. Listen well to Deuteronomy 8:17-18:

17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’
18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Now back to Joshua chapter 1. What other commandments is Joshua given in this commission? He is to meditate on the Law of the Lord day and night (v.8), so that he is careful to do it. Assuming the Law of the Lord is synonymous with the Word of the Lord, we know that Joshua is being told, by God Himself, to focus on what He has said. This will cause Joshua to rightly fear, trust, and place all his confidence in the God of Israel versus falling prey to his own human emotions that may displace trust in God and cause him to succumb to circumstance.

The consistent testimony from Scripture is that wherever God leads His people, He has already provided all they need to rely on Him to see them through. He will make good on all His promises. Be encouraged by how this was modeled for you by your Lord Jesus, all the way to the end.

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