I have not always been someone who could
(would) take over and just get’er done. I was very shy back in high school and would often feel the great protection of hiding behind friends when faced with a challenge.
I can’t imagine what it would have felt like to be Joshua! He wasn’t just asked to take over the PAC or some social club, he was asked by God himself to take charge. He was given commission to not only take over Moses position after he passed away, but he was asked to take the people of Israel into the promised land. Years and years had passed since the first time they heard that their families would see the promised land and now, Joshua and Caleb are in place to lead them into the promised land at last!
I remember coming home from school one day when I was in grade 11 and my Mom saying how much she was falling in love with the strengths and courage of Joshua. She was studying the book of Joshua and what was often the case, she poured herself in so much that it was as if she had met them. She was duly impressed with Joshua and for weeks I would hear something new about him.
I am going to spend some time over the next while digging around the book of Joshua. I have felt a heavy burden to be strong for our family lately through the time we are in now with Ashley’s health and other challenges at hand. At times I am so, so weary that I can’t sleep. For my roll now I am counting on Christ daily for direction, peace and strength like I never knew before. Today in this journey I was reminded of Joshua.
Take a few minutes and read through Joshua 1:1-9
God didn’t ask Joshua to take over and then leave him to fend for himself. God gave him charge and then said some pretty important things to him, things I think we can apply into our lives as well.
Our task is not to take over from Moses, you know, I can’t even begin to imagine how overwhelming that would have been! Joshua’s love and faith to God must have been amazing for him to be ask to do such a task. It wasn’t that he was “special”, “greater” or “extraordinary”, it was that Joshua’s trust, obedience and faith in God was proven years before.
He knows you, and He knows me too. We are given charge to walk by faith, to face the challenges at hand, to trust in Him fully with our lives. Is it an easy thing to do? Ask Joshua, nope, not easy, always there are places where God’s hand is so clear that we know we can trust Him to lead us through and other times we may feel alone. Even through tears of fear and doubt God will be there. Even when we don’t “feel” Him He is there, sometimes the guide is quiet, but His direction will always be at the right time, He isn’t late… ever!
Here are some of the things that God told Joshua:
- vs 3 – “every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses”
- Pretty cool huh? There would be no place that Joshua could go without his feet, so he had assurance that God would be there and that He had given that place for Joshua to be. He is there for us like that too. He gives us this life and in it we are given the promise He is there.
- vs 5 – the end of this verse ” Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you”
- In my grand imagination I have this picture of Joshua standing on a hillside looking out over the people and hearing God’s voice assuring him… He will be there.. all the way! He isn’t asking him to take this task on and then leave. He is with us like that too. We are not alone, at all… ever. I get goose bumps!
- vs 6 – ” Be strong and courageous , for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them”
- Now God is telling him his part, to be strong and courageous. He is part of the promise that God made to His people years before, even through their grumbling, disobedience and lack of trust in God… it was a promise. They had waited the required time and now it was time to move to the land that was promised and Joshua would be their guide. It meant to face the challenge of this life head on and that is what we are to do. To look over the “valley” we are in and brush off our fear and stand trusting. Giving over to faith.
- vs 7 – “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 to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go”
- Again, be strong and this time “very” courageous. Now we see how God was showing Joshua where to get his strength too… the law… God’s word. It isn’t about making it fit what we feel, or running from it in doubt but to trust His word as a guide. How many times have you found a verse that touched you and helped you? I know I have and often times go back to those very same verses. His word is unchanging.
- vs 8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but “you shall meditate on it day and night…”
- There is more to this verse as well (please be sure to read the whole verse), what I wanted to point directly to is that we are to keep God’s word in our thoughts, not only during the day but at night too. On the nights we can’t sleep, or are troubled, we can rest in His word for direction. Not only read it, but have it penetrate our hearts and minds. To meditate..
- vs 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”.
- I have found such comfort in this verse more times than I can say. He isn’t asking us to be strong and courageous , He commands that of us. In that strength we will find Him to help us in our times of fear and dismay. When we have times of fear and doubt we can know for sure that in all times of challenge and trial we can trust that He is with us, always wherever we go! Even when we disobey He is with us and loves us and forgives us and helps direct us back just like a faithful Father will always do. I love this verse because it is a verse that speaks loudly of the Heavenly Father I count on. I don’t understand why things happen, not at all. My heart has been through a lot lately but I can say that I trust Him and love Him deeply even when the skies feel grey and the oceans feel deep and the tears fall, He is faithfully there. How beautiful!!
As I read through Joshua I hope it is ok if I share my journey through it with you. I want to get to know the man in the old testament that my Mom respects so much and feels she has learned much from.
Take on this New Year with a renewed commitment into reading through God’s word. Maybe read along with me in Joshua… let me know your thoughts on a verse or two. Lets meditate on these thoughts day and night and be equipped to “Be Strong and Courageous”
Love, Hugs n’ Prayers
(I am not a scholar, or a poet, or an author, but I am a follower of Jesus and love Him deeply. I love to write, despite the bad grammar. 🙂 I am sharing these thoughts through my heart as reflections of my journey as a Christian through my time in the Bible. If you want to know more about what it is I believe, drop me a comment and I will get back to you! )