Monday, February 19, 2018
Read : Joshua 1
Thoughts from: Jeff Bonds
“The king is dead. Long live the king!” These words have been proclaimed countless times in various nations throughout history. The phrase served as both a reminder and an encouragement to the people that though their king had died, there was a new king and that leadership and stability would remain for the people and country.
In Joshua chapter one, we see a similar scene. Moses had died. The man who had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through forty years of wilderness wandering was gone. The one by whose hand wonders and miracles had been wrought and who even spoke to God face to face was no longer leading the people into the promised land. Moses, the servant of God, was dead.
Throughout this first chapter we read of God commissioning Joshua to take the place of Moses and lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan. Joshua had been Moses’ assistant and had seen all the trials and struggles that had happened since the exodus. He could easily feel overwhelmed at the size of the task and the responsibility that lay before him. So four times throughout the chapter we see Joshua being reminded to be strong and courageous.
Where was Joshua to find the strength and courage to complete the task? Did he have some inner, untapped reservoir overflowing with these qualities just waiting to be brought forth into the light of day and given a chance to shine? Maybe, but I doubt it. Joshua was to find his strength and his courage in one place.
Eight times in the first nine verses of this chapter we read one word, “I”. God is reminding Joshua of something. Joshua was to be strong and courageous not because he was counting on his own knowledge, skills and abilities, but because he was trusting in the promises of God! Joshua, just like you and I, could stand firm in the knowledge that what God has promised, God will accomplish. There was no force in existence that could keep God from delivering on what He had said He would do.
When we come to the word of God, we can be certain that what God has promised us, he will deliver. We don’t have to rely on ourselves! We have a God who is all powerful, all knowing and in all places, actively working to bring about His plans and purposes. There is strength and courage abounding when we trust in Him!