Summary: Strength, Courage, Crossing Into New Territory
WORDS FOR LIFE - A Command for Strength & Courage
August 12, 2018
Joshua 1:9 (p. 147)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected four times to be President of the United States of America…He ascended to this place of leadership after fighting the corruption of a “tyranny” system in New York City…and being a Veteran of the Great War…World War 1…He witnessed our country being ravaged by the Great Depression…He watched as Hitler marched through Europe, invaded Poland and became a mass murderer…he was in office when on December 7, 1941 Japan attacked our Naval fleet in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor killing 2,403 people…1,177 of them from the Battleship “The Arizona.”
He began his presidency with this inaugural speech…Here’s the introduction:
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
Joshua ascended to a place of leadership for the Israelites during critical days. FDR followed Herbert Hoover as president and even though Herbert had a vacuum cleaner named after him…he wasn’t a tough act to follow. Joshua followed Moses…the man who spoke to God in a burning bush, rescued his people from slavery, met with God and saw Him passing by, could turn his staff into a snake, or divide the Red Sea with it…following the man who received the 10 commandments and law written by God’s finger is a very tough act.
Moses led the people of God to the Promised Land, but because of His disobedience when he struck a rock in anger instead of speaking to it…a perfect and Holy God told Him he wouldn’t enter into it…he was shown it from a mountaintop…but was not allowed to take His people into it…instead God buries Moses in an unmarked grave when he dies and tells Joshua “You are now Israel’s leader.”
Listen to his ordination:
JOSHUA 1:1-9 (p. 147)
Joshua had been Moses’ aid…His right hand man…He and Caleb had been 2 of the 12 spies sent into Canaan to check it out and report back.
They were the only 2 that said, “Let’s go possess this land that God has given us.” The other 10 spies said, “The inhabitants are too big…we’re grasshoppers compared to them.” And because they didn’t trust God, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until every one of them died…except Joshua and Caleb.
Joshua has never been a coward…he’s fought for God and His people, but now Moses is gone…and He will be on point.
God wants Joshua to know
I. HE STILL KEEPS HIS PROMISES
Moses might be dead, but God wants Joshua to know His promises aren’t!
3 times God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.”
Let me ask you a question…Don’t you think it was easier, to be strong and courageous when he had God and Moses? Because I sure do.
Adrian Rodgers tells one of my favorite stories…About a man who bragged that he’d cut off the tail of a man eating lion with just his pocket knife. Someone asked him, “Why didn’t you cut off the lion’s head?” And he replied, “Somebody had already done that!”
It’s a lot easier to be brave if someone’s gone in front of you and cut off the lion’s head…but when you’re the guy that has to face the lion first…it’s harder.
God promises Joshua…“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you!” Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I promised to give their ancestors.”
That’s an amazing promise…The same God that led the people under Moses will lead them under you.
Joshua wasn’t expected to be the same man as Moses, but he was expected to follow the same God…He was expected to obey His Word.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you, do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written it it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”