Moses had just died leaving a great task undone. The Israelites were supposed to cross the Jordan River and claim the Promised Land for themselves. Without Moses, who will take the lead?
The Lord speaks to Moses’ aide, Joshua.
In this chapter, God commands Joshua to get everyone ready to cross the river and battle it out with the residents there. I can imagine the weight of this burden falling on Joshua’s shoulders. After all, Moses was the best leader of their time and he still failed.
But God doesn’t just command people to go without empowering them to be able to do what He asked of them. Joshua was told to “Be strong and courageous” four times in this chapter because:
- Doing God’s Will requires strength and courage.
In verse 6: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.“
- Obeying the Law requires strength and courage.
In verse 7: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you […] meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written on it.”
- Fighting Fear and Discouragement requires strength and courage.
In verse 9: “[…] Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- Leading People requires strength and courage. This time, the people of Israel demand just one thing from Joshua to gain their full support.
In verse 16-18: “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses , so we obey you […] Only be strong and courageous!“
Doing God’s will, obeying the law, fighting fear and discouragement, and leading people requires a person to be strong and courageous. Doing what’s right for your own sake, or for the sake of others is never easy. But as God promised Joshua that He will be with him all the time, God will also be with us as we do His will.
We can’t win battles across the river if we are not confident in the fact that God is on our side. So,
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!
And that’s my two cents on that.