After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We live in a time and place such that courage is seldom really necessary. We have learned how to blend in. We have learned not to put ourselves in harm’s way. We seldom dear to do dangerous things for God. We like our comfort zones.
Such was not the case for Joshua. The opening paragraphs of Joshua (chapter 7 of THE STORY), the exhortation, “be strong and courageous,” is urged no less than three times. There is good reason for this.
Moses is dead. He who was the greatest deliverer and leader of God’s people is no more at the helm. No more will Israel have his wisdom, dedication, and direct connection to God. No more will he stand in the gap in their behalf. Joshua is now the man, and all the burden of leading the people of God is on him. This will require courage and strength of character.
There is great territory and land to be taken and occupied. This was no little exploration project. There is land to be occupied, as is delineated by God to Joshua. New territory was to be conquered, settled, and occupied. This would require strength and courage.
He is charged with impressing the Law of God on the hearts of the people. He is to keep it on his lips and in his own heart. That may not seem to require strength and courage, but it actually would require the courage to remain true to God in the face of temptation and pressure from those around them.
Is God calling you to be strong and courageous for some special pursuit? Is God urging you out of your comfort zone for the sake of his kingdom?