READING Joshua 1:1-9
The Israelites had been wandering the desert, homeless, for forty years. They received the Ten Commandments and God’s promise to give them the Promised Land – but their fear was too overwhelming. They forgot how God had led them out of slavery and let fear become their master. It’s no coincidence, then, that when the time finally came for the Israelites to take possession of the land God had promised them four decades earlier, He reminded them not once, not twice, but three times to ‘be strong and courageous.’ It’s a good reminder to us, as well – even when the stakes are high and the enemy seems to frightening to face, just the mere fact that God is always at our side should be enough to instill us with strength and courage. What a gift to the Israelites – and to us – that the God of the universe has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
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.