According to God's Word Series
Read Time: 6 Minutes
In times of adversity we hear about people with great courage. We may also be faced with situations in which we must be courageous. A phrase in God's Word comes to mind, "be strong of a good courage." Moses, the man of God, first told that to the Children of Israel and then specifically to Joshua when he announced that he would not pass over Jordan into the promised land but that Joshua would. How can he be strong of a good courage? It wouldn't be by his own strength, natural ability or the strength of Israel.
:1 And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.
:2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
:3 The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said.
:4 And the LORD shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed.
:5 And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you.
:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
:7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
God told them five times that He was going to go with them and He was going to cause them to take back the land that He had given to Abraham.
Joshua has some BIG shoes to fill; God chose him to lead this people against some intimidating foes. Joshua was one of the 12 that was selected to spy out the promised land. When Joshua returned to report on the land he was strong in his conviction that God would help them take back the land (Numbers 14). Joshua also served as a strong and capable leader in battle; God told Moses and Joshua to go up against the Amalekites and they (God and the Isrealites) defeated them (written in Exodus 17 as a reminder to Joshua). He was Moses minister (Exodus 24). Joshua chose to pursue leadership qualities, he was allowed into the tabernacle with Moses (Exodus 33:11). He was by Moses side for the great majority of the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness.
Consider Israel's situation. God had given Israel a great man and prophet to lead them out of bondage. He was always there for them for 40 years; a great leader. He interceded for them with their Almighty God and lead them through some very extreme circumstances, gave them the commandments from God, he taught the people and, by God, stayed the adversary from destroying them all. These children have grown up knowing only Moses as their leader. Now Moses is dead. This was a tremendous shock and their grieving was great.
Israel needs to get over their mourning and move on. They must believe to receive and they need to believe their leader can handle it. God had Joshua picked out along time ago and the mantel was transferred to him before Moses' death. This is not something new to Joshua, he knew it was coming and accepted the responsibility.
Joshua 1 [emphasis is mine]
:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
:2 Moses my servant is dead; [hardest radical in Aramaic... scream it out with all the emotion indicative of the situation] now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
What an exhortation to walk with God. Five senses wise it doesn't seem feasible. The children of Israel have to go in and take back a land they haven't been in for 400 years. They needed to rise up to the level of the Word. As long as they do the Word of God, it works. This same promise that God had made to every generation He makes to Joshua. If people walk faithfully God will prosper them. God is still refreshing this promise in Joshua's ears.
:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the
river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of they life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
Only be thou strong and very courageous. Joshua really needed to hear these words. There is a lot of logistics and administering etc., but God says do His Word.
:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
We can learn from Joshua. His personal experiences are different than ours will ever be but he is an example of a man who took God at His Word and trusted Him. What about our day and time?
God will never allow us to have anything that we cannot overcome.
I Corinthians 10
:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [regarding the Children of Israel wandering in the wilderness until the idolatrous and unbelieving generation was gone]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
How? Because greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.
I John 4
:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
God never leaves us (Hebrews 13:5). He is our strength (Philippians 4:13). With God, all things are possible.
:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
God told Joshua to meditate on the Word. It is our exhortation as well. That is how you are going to have confidence, courage, and strength that only God can provide.
II Timothy 1
:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou has heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
:9 Those things, which yea have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
As we hold fast the Word of God in our hearts God works in our lives to strengthen and encourage us. The more you put on the mind of Christ, hold fast the faithful Word the more confidence you have in God's willingness and ability to take care of you.
How can we be strong of a good courage? We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might!
:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and the power of his might.