1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: 2 ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates – all the Hittite country – to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 ‘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. 8 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 in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:1-9
Born in Egypt, Joshua was Moses’ apprentice and successor. Moses only got to see the land promised to the people of Israel, Joshua would take them home. The Kingdom of God would advance and remove those who opposed God as King. This is the story of how, “a second generation of former slaves succeeded in invading and possessing Canaan, thus inheriting the land God had promised Abraham…” -Fee & Stuart
Our modern western minds struggle with this part of the history of Israel. We hate the idea of ‘Holy War’ and forget that the people that were to be evicted had been warned. (Genesis 15:16-21, Joshua 2:8-13). Krish Kandiah in his excellent book Paradoxology, helpfully comments that, “The Canaanite conquest was uniquely God’s judgement on Canaan and God’s gift to Israel of a homeland. It is not appropriate for any nation to take these texts and use them as a model or a mandate for military conquest, and when these events have been used this way to justify war, it is an abuse of Scripture.” (See also this article)
What is God calling you to? Where do you need to be strong and very courageous?
Where can you find answers to the tough questions you have about the Bible?
You will be held accountable for all that you do and do not do. How will you make the most of your day, today?