“And they answered Joshua, ‘All that you have commanded us we will do…Only may the LORD your God be with you, as he was with Moses!…Only be strong and courageous.’” Joshua 1:16-18
God knows the assurances we need as we prepare to step out in faith. He knows the encouragement we will need along the way. As we face battles against seemingly impossible odds, as obstacles arise that appear insurmountable, as fear creeps into our heart and we don’t know how to fight it, our God knows the truth that will enable us to stand. And He knows we will need to hear that truth repeated over and over again. That’s why we see so many repetitive themes and statements in Scripture. Hearing something once will rarely suffice. Facing difficulty and disappointment, we need continual reminders of His grace, strength, faithfulness, omnipotence, perfect love and surpassing wisdom.
These verses reminded me of that reality. This is a pledge of loyalty as the Israelites commit to following Joshua’s leadership. In their statement, we see reflections of what God told Joshua just a few verses before: “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5, 9).
It has me thinking on God’s grace toward us and His understanding of our need for assurance and encouragement. I’m wondering if God put those words in their mouths to re-emphasize truth to Joshua and make it hit home. The truth that the Lord is with him, just as He was with Moses through all those years. The truth that Joshua will need to be strong and courageous, not allowing discouragement or fear to take root as they embark on this journey.
How compassionate our God is, that He would place reminders in the midst of our days. Reflections of His truth to strengthen faith and encourage the weary heart. Woven into conversations. In books or articles we read. He’s used a simple line in a movie for me. Our God has the universe at His disposal, and He loves us enough to use that power to remind us of who He is and that He is with us, faithfully working in our lives.
Lord, may we listen for You today. I pray that we would strive to know Your Word and meditate on Your truth, so that we recognize it when You bring those reminders into our path. Send out Your light and Your truth, Lord, and let them lead us to Your dwelling. Strengthen our heart to believe You, to believe in Your goodness and love even when we struggle to see the evidence in our circumstances. We want to see You, to see truth always. Let this be characteristic of our days, determining our perspective and sparking renewed joy in our heart.