Read Joshua 1:1-18
Could it really be? Were the Israelites actually going to enter the land God promised them centuries before? It must have seemed surreal. This generation, not to mention a dozen or so before them, had only heard stories passed down from parents to children. Would they really have the privilege of entering and living there themselves?
Was it really possible? Could someone other than Moses really lead them? It must have seemed virtually impossible. Moses’ leadership was all they had known for the past 40 years. Yes, some of them had memories of Pharaoh’s domineering reign. Could Joshua really pick up the baton and effectively lead in the conquest of the land?
Those were important questions…and ones that Joshua must have been asking himself. If you have ever stood at a crossroads, if you have ever stood on the verge of a new era of your life, if you have ever questioned your own abilities as you headed into a new venture, you know some of what Joshua must have felt. But God’s words were reassuring. Three times He calmed the fears of this new servant by saying, “Be strong and courageous” (vv. 6, 7, 9). Even the people reassured Joshua of their confidence in and loyalty to him (vv. 16-18).
But the key to Joshua’s success was neither his own strength nor his own wisdom. And the key to your own ability to move into the new and sometimes scary circumstances and situations that lie before is no different. Both Joshua and you are dependent upon the practical teaching of the word of God. Joshua’s leadership was dependent upon ongoing attention to, meditation on, and application of the teaching given to Moses in Genesis through Deuteronomy. And your ability to forge your way through the jungles that lie before you is contingent upon your commitment to live out what God asks of you.
But, before we close, let’s say a quick word about the “prosperity” and “success” promised to Joshua. For him, it would mean that God would effectively use him to conquer the land. For you, it is not always measured in bank accounts always on the grow or health that is always good. No, for you the true measure of your success and prosperity is the smile of God. It is knowing that you have done it His way, and that you can one day experience the applause of heaven.