5 No one will be able to resist you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not abandon you or leave you alone. 6 Be strong and brave! You must lead these people in the conquest of this land that I solemnly promised their ancestors I would hand over to them. 7 Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do… 9 I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” 10 Joshua instructed the leaders of the people:…16 They told Joshua, “We will do everything you say. We will go wherever you send us.
17 Just as we obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. But may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses!
18 4Any man who rebels against what you say and does not obey all your commands will be executed. But be strong and brave!”
Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), Jos 1:5–18.
The news media thrives on generating fear – It is how they keep viewers glued. Politicians thrive on generating fear- It is how they garner attention and votes. Drug companies thrive on generating fear – It is how they increase sales. Every Activist group thrives on generating fear about some threat, loss or coming woe – It is how they make money and gain power.
Fear is the way of the World. But it is not the way of the Kingdom of Christ.
In this passage, Isreal is in a time of great transition. And so it is a society ripe for fear mongering. What will we eat when the manna stops? Will Joshua lead us like Moses did? How well armed are our enemies? Can we really defeat them all? How long wit it take? Do we have enough soldiers? Do we have the right strategies? The territory is unfamiliar. We are not warring people but a wondering one. What if we fail?
And for Christians facing onslaughts by the World, our own flesh and the Enemy can find us running in fear as well. Will the government persecute us? WIll my sins overtake me? Will Satan deceive me? Will the Culture overwhelm me or make a pariah of me?
And God’s counsel remains the same for us as we seek to conquer the territory of our inward sins as it did for Joshua – “Be strong and brave!”
- Be strong and brave because we are called to lead. We are called by God to demonstrate to the World what it means to follow Christ above everyone and everything else. He has called us to this day – and because He has called us to it, He will equip us for it. But we must guard our hearts and remain brave in the face of whatever opposition – internal or external confronts us. Have confidence in God’s call to make you like Jesus.
- Be strong and be brave in hearing and adhering to God’s Word. When we are single-minded in pursuing the goal of being conformed to the image of Christ, and do not swerve to the right or the left for any other life governing goal in life – He is with us. Be strong and brave in commitment to His Word above all else.
- Be strong and be brave, don’t be afraid and don’t panic: “for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” We are not alone! Fighting indwelling sin is must more frightening than anything the Wolrd can throw at us – but He has promised to be with us every step of the way. And if He be with us, and for us – who or what can be against us?
- Be strong and be brave for the sake of other Believers. One of the most neglected ministries we have toward our fellow Christians is to bolster and increase their faith and courage, and never to undermine it. It does not mean we ignore hard truths. It DOES mean we are required to examine those truths in light of God’s Word, power, love, purposes and promises.
“For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged” ESV 1 Co 14:31.
God is still on His throne, and we are His beloved in Christ.