Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Joshua 1:1-5 (NIV)
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “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—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand 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.
Joshua 1:1-5 (MSG)
After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on – just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River – all the Hittite country – and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you.
“Now it happened after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant (attendant), saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise [to take his place], cross over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. I have given you every place on which the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness [of Arabia in the south] and this Lebanon [in the north], even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates [in the east], all the land of the Hittites (Canaan), and as far as the Great [Mediterranean] Sea toward the west shall be your territory. No man will [be able to] stand before you [to oppose you] as long as you live. Just as I was [present] with Moses, so will I be with you; I will not fail you or abandon you.” -AMPLIFIED
We begin the book of Joshua with God, Almighty, speaking to Joshua the newest leader of the children of Israel. Moses has died and has been buried by God. God, Himself, had handpicked Joshua as Moses replacement. The passing of the role of leadership is now taking place.
God speaks to Joshua, “Since My servant Moses is now dead, you and the Israelites must prepare to cross over the Jordan River to enter the land I have given you. I will give you every place you walk, wherever your feet touch, just as I promised Moses. From the southern deserts to the northern mountains in Lebanon, from the great Euphrates River in the east—including all the land of the Hittites—to the great Mediterranean Sea in the west, all of it is yours. No one will be able to oppose you for as long as you live. I will be with you just as I was with Moses, and I will never fail or abandon you.” -(VOICE)
The Voice Translation gives this footnote that will help us understand a few things that we will be looking at over the coming days. “Joshua is following in the footsteps of the famous prophet, Moses, who led the people of Israel out of Egypt. It is a journey that will lead them where God wants them—in the lands He has long ago promised to the descendants of the patriarch Abraham. Although mighty people occupy the lands, God tells the Israelites that the land will be theirs, if they only believe. Joshua is reminded often enough of the wanderings in the desert following Moses. It’s an intimidating thing to follow a legend, but the charge God gives Joshua also gives him what he needs to succeed: Be strong and courageous, and keep the words of God always in front of you. If you do those things, then you can’t go wrong. And if you do those things, God says He will be with you.”
Joshua has some very large shoes to fill, but God has told him that He will fulfill His promise to the people through him. “I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on – just as I promised Moses.” Something that really stands out in this passage is the promise that God made to Joshua personally, “Just as I was [present] with Moses, so will I be with you; I will not fail you or abandon you.”
Do you remember Moses calling Joshua forward and commissioned him before the people? Moses gave to Joshua a promise from the Lord God. It was this, “Then Moses summoned Joshua. He said to him with all Israel watching, “Be strong. Take courage. You will enter the land with this people, this land that God promised their ancestors that he’d give them. You will make them the proud possessors of it. God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.” -Deuteronomy 31:7-8 (MSG)
This same promise has also been made to every follower of Jesus Christ. Hebrews tells us, “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have because He has said, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.” Because of this promise, we may boldly say, The Lord is my help—I won’t be afraid of anything. How can anyone harm me?” -Hebrews 13:5-6 (VOICE)
The Psalmist also reminds us of this fact. “When trouble surrounded me, I cried out to the Eternal; He answered me and brought me to a wide, open space. The Eternal is with me, so I will not be afraid of anything. If God is on my side, how can anyone hurt me? The Eternal is on my side, a champion for my cause; so when I look at those who hate me, victory will be in sight. It is better to put your faith in the Eternal for your security than to trust in people. It is better to put your faith in Him for your security than to trust in princes.” -Psalm 118:5-9 (VOICE)
God has called each of us to do great things for Him. Do not let fear keep you from obediently doing His will. He will never leave you. He will always be by your side. Trust Him!
Lord God, you have promised to stay by my side. In fact, you go before me; so I have nothing to fear. You are my champion. You will bring the victory. Help me not to be afraid of any challenge that comes my way; instead help me to trust you in every situation. Fill me with your strength, power and courage. When I am not able; you Lord are always able. I choose to trust you, Lord.