Summary: Following the death of Moses and facing the task of conquering a land of fortified cities, Israel experienced a sense of hopelessness. Trust and confidence in God will restore hope in our life.
WHEN ALL SEEMS HOPELESS
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke unto Joshua saying: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, the children of Israel.” Joshua 1: 1-2.
I. THE DEATH OF MOSES RESULTED IN A FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
“And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended.” Deuteronomy 34: 8
Further evidence is found in Joshua 1:9 when God tells the bravest man among the Israelites to “Be strong.... be of good courage… be not afraid… be not dismayed…” God would not have so commanded Joshua if it had not been relevant to his situation at that juncture in his life.
II. THE CHALLENGES THAT FACED THE ISRAELITES.
The greatest challenge for Joshua was having to fill Moses’ position. As it was true for Joshua then, so it is true with us today that we must not measure ourselves by, or try to imitate, any other man. We are to imitate no one but Christ!
The greatest challenge for the children of Israel was the conquest of the land of Canaan, a strange land and an unknown enemy.
III. THE DIFFICULTIES TO BE ENCOUNTERED.
The land of Canaan was a land of “giants”… mighty men of valor.
"And they the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying,
’The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours it inhabitants, and
all the people that we saw in the land were men of great stature. There we saw the
giants, (the descendants of Anak came from the giants): and we were in our own sight
as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13: 32-33.
The land of Canaan was a land of fortified cities:
"…the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large…” Numbers 13:28
IV. THE CURE FOR HOPELESSNESS.
To live one’s life in their own strength and confront daily the problems, difficulties and disappointments we all encounter will result in a feeling of hopelessness.
It is when we put our trust and confidence in the Lord and anchor ourselves firmly on the "Rock of Ages" that hope is restored and we can go on and fight the good fight of faith. Consider:
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you: He will be with you: He will not fail you: He will not forsake you, fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8