Be courageous and strong
Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.’...They answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. We will obey you just as we obeyed Moses. And may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous! Joshua 1:13-18 NLT
As soon as Joshua received his orders from God, he turned to the people and provided them instructions. Though God promised that He will be with them, the people are to keep their unity so they can achieve the victory. The people made their commitment. Deviation from the commitment will result to severe punishment. Each member of the two and a half tribes has to fight for and with one another and failing to do so would mean sinning against God. Moses gave similar directions in the past. “But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). The battle the Israelites will face is not easy but God assured them of His presence. Such assurance should be enough for God’s people to proceed. When we are faced with a challenge too big for us to tackle, God does not want us to panic. He wants us to “be strong and courageous” for His presence is always with us. We discover that God is big enough to accomplish in and through us that to which He is calling us. Our life and our service should always be centered in Him. We place our faith to the all-sufficient Lord. “For in him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28). We can easily become disheartened and frustrated when exhausted and strained by what seemed to be overwhelming challenge. Once again, we have to remind ourselves of His presence for it is He who will provide the resources we need. God wants us to be strong in facing the challenges of life so let us draw from Him the strength we need. He is with us to encourage us, to guide us, to instruct us, and to discipline us. God’s promise of His presence provides comfort to us but it should also convict us. God can see all our actions and behavior, He can see the extent we put our hearts in the task before us. Always be aware that your life “will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better” (Colossians 1:10).