Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt and led them for forty years in the wilderness, had died before reaching Canaan, the promised land.  Because this work was vital and was not yet completed, the Lord picked Joshua to complete this work.  We read in Joshua 1:1-2, “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”  This happens so often.  The servant is gone, but the work goes on. 

The Lord knew how monumental this task would be for Joshua, so He encourages him in verses 6-7, “BE STRONG AND OF A GOOD COURAGE: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only BE THOU STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”

In verse 9, the Lord’s words to Joshua become firmer.  He says, “HAVE I NOT COMMANDED THEE? BE STRONG AND OF A GOOD COURAGE; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

How can the Lord demand that Joshua be strong and have courage?  How can the Lord expect you to be like that while you are going through hard times?  How can the Lord expect any of us to be strong and courageous when we are going through times that try our souls?  Quite simply, the Lord can expect this of us because He will be our strength and courage!

  • Moses said in Exodus 15:2, “THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH AND SONG, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
  • David said in 2 Samuel 22:33, “GOD IS MY STRENGTH AND POWER: and he maketh my way perfect.”
  • Isaiah said in Isaiah 49:5, “And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and MY GOD SHALL BE MY STRENGTH.”

We can be strong because when we walk in the will of the Lord, He is our strength.  He is our salvation.  He is our power.  He continues to be our strength.

  • The Lord said to Abram in Genesis 15:1, “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, FEAR NOT, ABRAM; I AM THY SHIELD, and thy exceeding great reward.”
  • The Lord said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:8, “BE NOT AFRAID OF THEIR FACES: FOR I AM WITH THEE to deliver thee, saith the LORD.”
  • The Lord said to Isaiah in Isaiah 41:10, “FEAR THOU NOT; FOR I AM WITH THEE: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

We can be courageous because the Lord goes before us to drive out fear from our hearts.  He is our shield.  He is always with us.  He is our help.

We have the words of David in Psalm 27:1, “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

It doesn’t matter what it is you are going through, if you are a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, God will be your strength and courage.  There is no reason for us to fear any man or any situation.  Rely upon the Lord to meet your needs of strength and courage…even as He did with Joshua.  (CC)  (506.4)