VERSE OF THE DAY
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The lord speaks saying this is my law- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or intimidated do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you everywhere and in everything you do. He will never turn from you.
What Does Joshua 1:9 Mean? ►
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
The commands of the Lord are not difficult or tedious to those that trust in the Word of the Lord. The instructions from God are not impossible or unrealistic to those that are called by His name. Joshua was here commanded to be strong and courageous. He was to draw his strength from the Lord God and was not to be dependent on his own brawn or brains. Had Joshua or the people of Israel sought to conquer the promised land by means of their own courage and strength they would fail – they were to place their trust in the Lord their God, Who had promised to be with them wherever they went.
Joshua was given this promise after Moses the servant of the Lord had died. He was about to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. But Joshua was to be careful to heed all the instructions given to Israel through Moses – he was told: this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
THEN Joshua was reminded, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua was to saturate himself in the word of God; to meditate on the promises of God; to trust in the truth of God’s Word and follow the demands of God that had been given to Israel – in the knowledge that God was with Him and the Lord was his strength.
We too are to immerse ourselves in the word of God; to meditate on the promises of God; to trust in the truth of God’s Word – to follow the demands of God, that have been given to the Church – in the knowledge that Christ is with us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
The promise that the all-powerful God is our only strength and stay, is no less true today than it was in the days of Joshua. God has promised to be with us in every difficulty we face and every problem that comes our way, just as He was Joshua, when He commanded him… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua simply had to trust the Word of the Lord and act upon it. And we too are to know the truth of God’s Word and to meditate on the promises of God; to trust in the truth of God’s Word and to follow the instructions that have been laid out in Scripture – we are to trust the Lord; believe on His word and stand firm in the faith that was once given to the saints – so that we too can be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power … for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go – and His grace IS sufficient.
Does God’s promise to Joshua and Israel in Joshua 1:9 apply to us?
In Joshua 1:9, God commanded Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Does this promise apply to Christians today?
In one sense, the promise in this passage was specific to Joshua’s role as leader of the Israelites as he took them into the Promised Land. Joshua had a tremendous task to fulfill after the death of Moses—the responsibility of leading an entire nation into a new land. God’s words of boldness and encouragement served as an important message to strengthen Joshua as the leader of God’s people.
While the promise that God would be with Joshua was specific to Joshua, the principle extends to us today. First, God expects His followers to live strong and courageous lives. In the New Testament, we find the apostle Paul telling Timothy, “The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His followers, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In addition to living bold and courageous lives as Christians, we are called to live without fear. Jesus taught, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28). When Paul was imprisoned, he wrote, “Because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear” (Philippians 1:14). While there is a sense in which we are called to fear God, meaning to live in respect and reverence of Him, Scripture is clear that we are to live with confidence in God’s promises and power.
Third, the reason we can live courageously and without fear is that God is with us wherever we go. What God commanded Joshua is also seen in the Great Commission: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Also, we have the promise of Hebrews 13:5: “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
In summary, while the promise of Joshua 1:9 was specific to Joshua, the principle is affirmed elsewhere in Scripture as applicable to all believers today. God calls us to live courageously, without fear, knowing that God is with us at all times.
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