New seasons, new assignments, new locations, new challenges all require strength and courage. Recently, I started reading the book of Joshua and I was impressed with the four times in the first chapter that Joshua is told to be strong and courageous. Three of these four times, it’s God who is telling Joshua to be strong and courageous. The other time is when the Israelites told him the same thing.
So why, in such a short amount of time, would Joshua hear this repetition? For starters, Joshua was embarking on a new season. Previously, Moses had been the key leader for Israel, and he was highly regarded as their leader. Moses was the dude, full stop! Some of the things he did included:
- confronting Pharoah,
- leading the Israelites out of slavery,
- having an incredible God-encounter on Mount Sinai,
- bringing down the Ten Commandment tablets from the same mountain,
- establishing the tabernacle to facilitate God’s presence among the Israelites,
- looking after Israel for 40 years as they wandered in the wilderness.
To be sure, Moses was highly regarded by the Israelites. But he was dead, and Joshua was the next leader. We know that Joshua was a leader under Moses for a very long time, but Moses’ leadership assignment was to deliver the Israelites from slavery and keep them alive in the wilderness.
In contrast, Joshua had a new assignment that was heaps different than what Moses did. Joshua was responsible to move the Israelites from the wandering phase in the wilderness, to a possession assignment, conquering the promised land and settling the Israelites into their possession. Furthermore, the Israelites would have a new location, moving zip codes from wandering in the wilderness to permanent locales for each tribe.
Along with these new things, Joshua experienced new challenges, as we read about the whole scenario of the Israelites making their first confrontation at Jericho. To prepare for this, Joshua sent two spies to check out this city and they had an encouraging conversation with Rahab, a prostitute who lived on the wall in Jericho. She told the spies that Jericho was well aware of God helping Israel to defeat armies and bring Israel to Jericho. Furthermore, she let the spies know that everyone in her city was scared of the Israelites and she wanted assurance from the spies that her household would be preserved in the upcoming conflict.
When these men returned to Israel and gave their report to Joshua, I can’t help but think that Joshua was encouraged and strengthened by their experience and words.
I think that God’s encouragement to Joshua, to be strong and courageous, can ring true with us as well. Since we are now in the spring season, there can be lots of “newness” in our lives, as we move away from the cold of winter. I’d challenge you to think about what might be “new” in your life – new location, new season, new assignment, etc. Rather than letting what is new in your life be intimidating and maybe overwhelming, be sure to keep your focus on God to help you be strong and courageous and to possess everything that God has for you!
Praise God for His grace, passion, mercy and strength! I greatly appreciate you Sarah and Marilyn. Thank you.
Thank you for this powerful and informative message. This is exactly what I’m experiencing right now.
God Bless you Sarah and Marilyn.
Bless you both as we remember the new covenant in our relationship with God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit… whom cannot be separated whom live in you… as revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord… Love to you both as we Remember…
THANK YOU FOR THAT MESSAGE AND STORY, OF JOSHUA ,COURAGE IS WHAT I NEED FEAR IS TAKING OVER OUR WORLD TODAY, THE SONG SAYS JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO AND THE WALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN,🙏🏾FOR ME IN THIS AREA .GOD BLESS YOU AND MOM MARILYN 🙌🙏🏾💖