A Pep Talk from the Master … by Sara Scates

Today’s Passage – Joshua 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Thessalonians 1 – 5Proverbs 12Psalms 56 – 60)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10

Read the “0312 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Where are the Strong and Courageous Men?”

“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, Moses my servant is dead; 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. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 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. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 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. 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. 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. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:1-9)

In these first verses of Joshua, we see Joshua is faced with a very challenging task.  After serving as Moses’ assistant throughout his ministry, it is now up to him to finish the job that Moses started now that he has passed.  It is now up to Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land.  This was a daunting task for sure, especially given the fact that the people were known to be rebellious and difficult to lead.  However, as we see in these verses, God does not assign this mission to Joshua and “throw him to the wolves,” He gives him a little pep talk and reminds him of His promises.  Just as we read here the encouragement and advice God offers to Joshua, we can apply these same truths to our lives and the challenges we face.

First, we see that God was preparing Joshua for this difficult job for years in advance.  Joshua faithfully served Moses for the forty years of his ministry, working beside him and learning from one of the greatest leaders there ever was.  God gives us experiences and examples to prepare us for what lies ahead.  Sometimes these experiences can be uncomfortable and sometimes it may seem that these experiences last forever, but we know, “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Next, God offers Joshua the encouragement that He will be with him and that men will not be able to stand in the way of what He has for him.

            There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5

Just as God promised Joshua, he has offered us the same promise.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

In verse 6 of Joshua 1, God tells Joshua for the first time to “Be strong and of a good courage…”. In verse 7, he repeats again, “only be thou strong and very courageous”.  Again, in verse 9 He expands on this and tells Joshua: 

Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

God was planning to use Joshua for a very special and difficult job, one that would surely be wrought with challenges and obstacles far beyond what he would be capable of conquering in his own strength.  Joshua, in his own strength, would surely fail but God reminds him that, “the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”.  He tells us too that we are never alone when doing His work in Matthew 28:20.

            “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20)

Lastly, we see in God’s pep talk to Joshua the importance of keeping His word and precepts at the forefront of our hearts, mouths, and lives.

“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.” (Joshua 1:8)

God reminds Joshua that only when he keeps the Word central in his life and obeys it, will he be successful in his endeavors.  We are not promised that what He calls us to do will be easy, but God does promise that being daily in the Word and obeying His precepts will help us to be successful and even prosperous.

Sara, Lexi, and Jeremiah


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