After the death of Moses, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel” (Joshua 1:1-2).
Moses died. But the work of God moves on. In a very direct and no nonsense way, the Lord tells Joshua that he must take over for Moses and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. However, this was not going to be some picnic or walk in the park. Joshua was about to embark on a new role with far greater responsibilities and burdens than he had ever known before. Crossing The Jordan was one thing, but much more beyond the Jordan was to be encountered. Joshua 12 tells us that Joshua defeated 31 kings….31 kings!
Joshua was never a prophet, priest, or king, but he was consecrated to serve as Israel’s leader by Moses and more importantly, the Lord Himself.
That was a tremendous task requiring great courage. You can understand why God would come to Joshua and say to him three times, “Be strong, Joshua, be courageous.” After all, he was taking over for Moses. God said about Moses in Deuteronomy 34:10-12 “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”
Accepting such an assignment and filling those shoes required leadership. Joshua showed great obedience to the Lord (as we will cover in the next sermon), but he also showed faithfulness, humility, a desire for unity, and yes, courage. All this put together was not to make Joshua rich and famous, but simply a servant of the Lord.
What are we doing right now? Are we serving God, or ourselves? Are we serving in areas that are assigned to us, or are we falling into excuses. What is holding us back from accepting our assignment?
That is the challenge for us. As we bring our lives before the word of God, as we bring the word of God to bear in our lives, we will have to admit we are not where we should be.
Is it lack of courage? Obedience? Leadership? Humility?
Yes, God promised Joshua that no man would be able to stand before him, However, we must also remember God’s promises to us. He says in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Furthermore, we must also remember that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. God doesn’t renege on his Promises. Trust in the promises of eternal life and salvation!