Picture yourself as Joshua standing on the banks of the Jordan River one sunny morning. An Israelite army is behind your back ready to invade the land before you. Oh, by the way, your leader, Moses, just died. In your hands God gave the responsibility to lead a ragtag nation of stubborn, whining and grumbling people. Enjoy!
But that is not what you feel don’t you? You feel edgy. Your hands and feet are clammy and sweaty. Your stomach might be rocking and rolling. You think about the vast army that might be standing in ambush when you cross the river. Reality is now staring at your face.
Don’t worry, all leaders feel that way. Remember Moses? He had to argue with God just to go back to Egypt. He did not feel worthy or capable of leading a nation. Going back to Joshua, he was always overshadowed by the amazing acts of supernatural power that Moses was able to perform in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, his ancestors. In fact, in the New Living Translation, in Joshua 1:1, he was called with the oh so glamorous title of Moses’s assistant. Great.
That is why immediately at the start of the book of Joshua, God spoke to Joshua, like He did to Moses. God told Joshua in in the third verse, that He is now giving him the promise that He gave Moses concerning the Promised Land.
Here comes the best part, in Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.” Imagine that? God Himself told Joshua that He will not fail him or abandon him. It was straight from the mouth of God!
Now, would you believe it? You should! God spoke. What would be the reason not to? I think the answer is reality. This is where a lot of people fail. Believing God’s word in the face of “our” reality. We have a lot of difficulty believing God’s reality for us.
Moses, for example, had to have a personal demonstration of God’s power during the burning bush event. Jesus’s disciple, Thomas, had to see with his own eyes Jesus’s nail-pieced hands. Jonah ran away from God because he did not see God’s purpose in the instructions. Just the reality at Nineveh was wicked and was not worthy of redemption.
Now here is Joshua, with his own reality. God spoke to him directly and gave an assurance and had to repeatedly tell him to be strong and courageous. Why should God tell him that. In the face of reality, Joshua had to be strong, brave and courageous to stand on the Word of God, to have faith in the word given to him.
God told Joshua in His own words and from His own mouth that He will not fail or abandon him.joshua had to choice to believe, which he did. You also have that choice. Choose to believe!
Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net