This Day In History: 0000-01-17

January 17 – Joshua 1: 6-9  

Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to posses all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageousBe careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.  Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  

Joshua is probably my favorite Bible character!  He is such a wonderful example of a regular human man who dedicated himself wholly to the Lord his God.  If you read Exodus through Deuteronomy Joshua is always there, way in the background, soaking up every chance he gets to encounter Jehovah God.  When Moses climbs Mount Sinai, Joshua is there, quietly watching.  When Moses meets with God in the tabernacle, Joshua is there, listening and pondering.  Is it any surprise that when he returns with the spies who scoped out the promised land he is one of the two who felt no fear of the mighty people that occupied the land?  He had spent years watching and learning from the Lord and he trusted Him to fulfill His promises. 

Now the Israelites had come to a new chapter in their story, and who was it that God chose to lead His people?  You guessed it, His faithful servant Joshua.  As the book that bears his name opens, Joshua and the people had just said their goodbyes to Moses.  God came and spoke to Joshua, just as He had to Moses.  What is the message he repeats again and again to Joshua?  Be strong and courageous! Be strong and very courageous! Be strong and courageous!  Joshua would certainly go on to lead a life that could be categorized as nothing short of strong and very courageous!  A mighty military leader, he boldly marches ahead of the Israelite army as they overtake one city after another, wiping out the idolatrous Canaanites who stand in the way, threatening to corrupt God’s holy people with their pagan practices.   

But what does God tell Joshua will be the source of his strength and courage?  What are the practical steps that will lead to a bold life fully dependent on God?
-“Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night …”
-“Be careful to obey all the instructions… do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left.”
-“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Let’s resolve to live bold and courageous lives, just like Joshua! Let’s spend every minute of our lives looking for opportunities to saturate ourselves in the presence of God.  Let’s watch, and listen and ponder His works both in our lives and in the lives of those around us.  Let’s study God’s book of instruction, the Bible, continually.  May His words be the last thing on our minds at night and the first thing we think of as the new day dawns!  Let us be vigilant in our obedience, not allowing the enemy to deceive us into turning from His Word in any direction.  Let us abandon our fears and our doubts because we know who are.  We are His dearly loved daughters and sons and He has promised to be with us wherever we go.  He will never abandon us, He will never fail us.  What enemy needs to be conquered today?  Be bold and courageous my friend!