We’ve been looking at the life of Joshua the past few weeks and learning from one of the most complex characters in the Bible. He started out as a minor supporting character – Moses’s assistant. During his time in that role, Joshua watched and learned. He communed with God, and his faith grew and grew and grew. Then Moses died, and Joshua was called to take over as the leader of Israel. The command for his life – be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Up to this point in the story Joshua has certainly been brave. He’s been faithful, and obedient. He’s demonstrated strength and courage, just as God asked him to. We’ve come to know him as a calm, easy-going leader. We’re impressed with his willingness to do whatever is asked of him, but not necessarily surprised by it. In fact, up until now, we probably feel like Joshua is fairly known to us. Predictable. Tame. Boy are we about to be stunned as the fierce warrior comes to the forefront!
It’s time! God has taken more than 40 years to prepare Joshua for the job that only one person in all of history would do: lead the people of Israel into the promised land. I often feel like this massive task has sort of disappeared into the pages of history; seemingly forgotten, or at least overshadowed by other stories, but it was a huge job, and Joshua was a beast! After so many years in the shadow of Moses, Joshua now emerges with an unexpected amalgam of character qualities.
I have always loved reading about Joshua in the Bible. For so many reasons, he is a man that intrigues me. One that I believe there is much to learn from. From the very first time he shows up, all the way through his life, and on into the New Testament, (when he makes it into the Hebrews 11 Faith Hall of Fame) Joshua embodies a life of faith, courage, and obedience. And though he has always been special to me, this particular season of my life brought an even greater appreciation for all that the Bible has to teach me through the story of this amazing man of God. The theme of his life, “Be strong and courageous” has become a mantra I repeat to myself again and again, because like Joshua, the Lord my God is with me wherever I go!