“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut 31:7-8
In the late 80’s our choir at Faith Baptist Church, Wichita Falls, Texas, learned a new choir anthem called, “Be Strong and Take Courage.” While it is based on Joshua 1:9, the words, “be strong and courageous” are also found in Deuteronomy as well. Each time I read these words, my mind goes to the song I learned more than 30 years ago. Take a listen here.
Moses had led the people out of Egypt, they had spent 40 years wondering in the wilderness. God was preparing to lead them into the promised land, yet, Moses was not going to be the one to lead them. By the time these words in Deuteronomy were written in chapters 30 and 31, it appears that Moses has come to terms with God’s decision. It would be Joshua who would lead the Israelites and now Moses gathered the people to share with them these words from verses 7-8.
Joshua had been Moses’ assistant for some time. He had witnessed Moses’ leadership. Moses had be mentoring Joshua. He knew that Moses was a strong man. Now, Moses was preparing Joshua to take the leadership role.
There are some great principles that we can learn throughout Moses life and can apply them to our own situations. Because of the stage of life I am in, I know now, more than ever, how important it is for me to invest in the lives of young men.
What does the Lord mean, though, when He had Moses write the words, “Be strong and courageous”? John Piper states here, “Joshua’s puny strength is not going to be enough. God will win these battles for them. The command to be strong, in view of the ground for I am with you means: Trust in the strength of God to meet your needs as you go to battle against the enemy.”
So I am to be strong and courageous. And it comes with a promise: God will be with me. I have read this promise throughout the Old and New Testaments. Last night, I even preached about this promise.
No matter the circumstance I may find myself in, God is with me.
And knowing that God is with me, allows me to be strong and courageous.