Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Be Strong and Courageous

I just finished reading Joshua. What an exciting life he led! Born into slavery in Egypt, brought out through the miracles and plagues, assistant to Moses, spy into the Promised Land, wandering in the desert for 40 years, general in the army, successor to Moses and Commander of the army that crossed the Jordan and took the Promised Land. Think about what he saw in his lifetime, what he experienced and what he felt.

There is a great phrase that I equate with Joshua, and that I have told myself many times over the last few years. Moses said it to Joshua, God said it to Joshua, and Joshua said it to the people.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This is said at least 7 times… I think God was trying to tell Joshua something! Joshua probably was afraid; can you imagine trying to follow Moses as the next leader of Israel? But God doesn’t tell him, “Don’t be afraid, you spineless wimp.” He encourages Joshua with the truth, with the reason that he doesn’t have to fear. God was commanding Joshua, and God would be with him the whole way. And it’s not just about fear, it’s about discouragement too. Don’t be afraid and want to quit, but also don’t get tired and run down and want to quit.

We, like Joshua, can be strong and courageous, but not because we are naturally that way. No, we, like Joshua, are to be strong and courageous because God is commanding us, and He will be with us wherever we go.
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