Wednesday, May 23, 2018

EmmDev 2018-05-23 [Faith among grasshopper hearts] Strong and Courageous - Overview

Strong and Courageous - Overview

The first nine verses of the book bearing Joshua's name are well beloved. We read them to our young people at baptisms and confirmations, we reflect on them at the start of new endeavours and we turn to them for encouragement when the going gets tough.

Over the next few days we'll pore over these wonderful truths.
But here are a few thoughts as an overview...

We've already noted that Moses was a tough act to follow and that there would be many who felt that Joshua had been too sheltered and lacked the necessary experience to be a good leader. The Promised Land offered great bounty, but also some imposing enemies and serious threats...

Before we read the passage, there are four things to note:

  1. God is clear on what Joshua must do: Many times we fail to start well because we are not clear on exactly what it is that we must do
  2. He promises His supportive presence: We fail when we become discouraged by the size of the task and the effort we think it will take. God has promised His presence!
  3. He calls Joshua to be courageous and strong. Big challenges will stretch and shape us. Nothing worthwhile is done without effort and courage. God is more concerned with our character than our comfort!
  4. Joshua must be careful to do things according to God's guidelines. If we allow our insecurities to push us into taking moral and spiritual "shortcuts" we doom our endeavours to failure. When we courageously do things God's way, He blesses us!

We'll zoom into each of these areas over the next few days, but for today, just read through this beloved passage.

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them... 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.      (Joshua1:1-10)

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