By Mark Shea
Words of Encouragement
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua lived in a period of major transition for Israel. For years upon years, Israel had wandered in the desert under the guidance of Moses. They were a people who had spent centuries in chains under the Egyptians and, when they were rescued from bondage by God, had been forced to learn the hard lesson that you could get Israel out of Egypt bodily much more easily than you could get Egypt out of Israel spiritually. Joshua had watched all of Moses’ struggles to win Israel’s hearts. He had watched the many answers to prayer, the miracles, the deliverances. And he had watched as, again and again, Israel didn’t get it. They rebelled, they tested God, they resisted his will. They failed. Even Moses failed and so was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, but only to see it from afar. So when it came time to enter the Promised Land, Joshua had good reason to feel inadequate to the task and to feel as though there were was no one among the people who would be equal to the task either. Yet God said, “Go!” and promised he would be with Israel and Joshua. If you are feeling like you are standing on a heap of failures from the past, remember Joshua (and especially the one who was with Joshua) today. The point is not the past. The point is that God is with you in this now and all the future nows there will ever be.
This is very appropriate with all of the turmoil going on in the world. It's always good to be reminded that God is always with us and we should "be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."