Beginnings

Beginnings

Beginnings can be scary. After all, the future is largely out of our control. So I want to spend some time talking about Joshua 1, and specifically looking at what the Lord said to Joshua at the beginning of his leadership of Israel.
A little background info for those of you who need a refresher on what is happening at this point in the Old Testament…
The Jews, God’s chosen people, were enslaved by the Egyptians. Through some very cool, yet bizarre, means God gets his people out of the control of the pharaoh (see Exodus 1-14 for that epic tale). They then traveled to the Promised Land that God had prepared for them. When they got there they were overtaken by fear and did not trust God to help them conquer the land, so they had to spend the next 40 years wandering in the desert before they could go into the Promised Land. We are joining the story at the end of the 40 years, when Moses (the God appointed leader of the people) dies and is replaced by Joshua. God tells Joshua that he is now to lead the people into the Promised Land and then tells him

[Beginnings]
“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left hand, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:5b-9
You will notice how repetitively God commands Joshua to “Be strong and courageous”. At the beginning of his leadership and the beginning of their entering into the promise land the thing that God tells Joshua over and over is “be strong and courageous”. Not only does he command Joshua to be strong and courageous, but he also tells Joshua where he can get that strength and courage from. He can draw strength from
the knowledge that god will fulfill his promises—“Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them” Joshua 1:6
God’s Word—“be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left hand, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Joshua 1:7-8
The knowledge that God is with us—“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
So weather you are at the beginning of something completely new and huge like Joshua was (maybe you are starting a new job, building a new friendship, or moving to a new place) or if you are just at the beginning of a new day, God commands you to go forward with strength and courage; drawing that strength from the meditation of his Word and the knowledge that he is with us and will fulfill his promises.

With love,

[8-19-15 Multitasking]

“Courage is knowing the worst—and discovering that, in God’s world, the very worst can’t really hurt you” ~Unknown