Are you a person that needs frequent reminders or are you the one giving the constant friendly reminders? As I study the Old Testament, God continues to give lots of loving suggestions, to the Israelites to not be afraid to follow where he is leading them. At the beginning of the book of Joshua God himself is speaking to Joshua after Moses has died. He is telling Joshua it is your turn now, you are going to lead this new generation of Israelites into the promised land. Be strong and courageous, I am going to be with you every step of the way kid; do not be afraid. God also tells Joshua a few more things like, if I haven’t already told you this, be strong and courageous, make sure you follow the law and do not turn any direction from it. (Joshua 1:7). Then we get to our verse today, where God asks Joshua the question,”Have I not commanded you?” There it is again, that loving reminder, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Are you getting the hint here that God really wanted Joshua to Be Strong and Courageous and not be afraid? I’m just thinking that maybe, just maybe God was getting a little tired of His chosen people not listening to his directions, and as any loving Father, or mother, would naturally do, God was just going to put the message, I am with you, in Joshua’s ear one more time,. Oh, wait a minute, back up to Joshua 1:3, God divulges to Joshua “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses”. God had always been with them and he isn’t stopping now.
Spoiler alert: Joshua is a good kid, he did as God commands by rounding up the troops and filling them in on the big plans. Amazingly their answer is, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. Whoever rebels again your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:16-18)
God’s reminder to Joshua so many years ago to be strong and courageous and do not be afraid is just as relevant to you and me today as it was then. No matter where he calls us to go we have the promise, “The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Where are you going today? Have you given all your thoughts, fears, and worries to your loving Heavenly Father? Do you need several reminders that He is always with you and there is no need to be afraid? If I am being totally honest, I need those reminders from time to time. Today I am grateful for those reminders and the promise I have that the God that was with Joshua is with us now because “he is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Romans 13:8).