Intro: Because of sin, this world is a very difficult place to live—creation needs the redeeming grace of Almighty God. There are two spiritual leaders active in the world looking for followers: Jesus the Holy One and satan the evil one. Based on the spiritual leader chosen, human flesh will respond to this unholy or debaucherous environment in one of two ways: 1) Submit to God and resist evil’s temptation, or 2) Submit to evil and reject God. There are really only two options and it becomes more and more clear every day. Faith works through a God-centered love and submission to the Holy Spirit. Fear works through a self-centered love and submission to evil desires hiding in the flesh. We are commanded to walk by faith and not by fear, so we can receive God’s strength and power for our weaknesses (Joshua 1:9).
In our passage today, by God’s decree, Joshua [Yehoshua] has become Moses’ successor and will begin to lead Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land of Canaan. Although Joshua has faithfully been in the service of God, he has a new role as “the leader.” To be successful in this new responsibility, Joshua must think, speak, and live the Word of God. The Word has been given to instruct and help people understand who God is and who we are to become.
God knows all things, so He is aware of the satanic fear that will try to dissuade Joshua and the people. Remember, it was fear that stopped Israel from crossing over into the Promised Land forty years earlier. God wanted to lavish is love and provision upon Israel, but they were too afraid to do what it would take to receive it. So, three times in our passage God reminds Joshua he must be strong and courageous as an example for the people.
The land of Canaan is symbolic of everything we have received in Jesus [Yeshua] our Leader. We must be strong and courageous in Jesus as we fight our many battles to live in the blessing of God—a life of victory as believers. God has blessings for us every single day, but we must be willing to do what it takes—be strong and courageous—and overcome evil with good as we place our faith in “the Leader.” Do not allow yourself to become discouraged or afraid. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and he will establish you in his blessing and care (Pro 3:5-6).
Joshua 1:6-11 NLT The Lord’s Charge to Joshua
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua’s Charge to the Israelites
10 Joshua then commanded the officers of Israel, 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Prayer: Lord, life is filled with an unholy and oppressive pressure that can lead us to a place of fear rather than faith and trust. So, today, please guide us into the truth of your provision and help us to rest in what you have promised. Give us your strength and help us to submit ourselves to your care in Jesus’ name. Amen.