Friday, April 4, 2014

The Rest Will Take Care of Itself

At the beginning of the book of Joshua, he has been commissioned by God to do THE BIGGEST THING he could ever imagine. Moses, the leader, has died. And Joshua, Moses’ assistant, will now put on the leader hat and deliver to these people the one thing they’ve been searching for – for most or ALL of their lifetimes: the homeland that God has promised them. 

But Joshua knows that the final scenes of this very dramatic story have the potential to be the most daunting. It’s not as if it’s just open and unoccupied land. It’s not as if it’s just there for the taking – first come, first serve. They will have to take the place away from those who currently consider it their home. And he’s guessing that these people are not just going to move out without a fight. I mean, it’s not like it’s a saved seat. There will be no: Excuse me. Umm, this land is actually ours. God was saving it for us. So I’m actually going to need you to find another place to live. (In fact, that tactic doesn’t even go over well when it is just a saved seat you’re squabbling over.) And the response will be something stronger than a sassy: Oh. Well. I didn’t see your name on it.   

So, Joshua is probably a little scared. Out of his MIND! So, the Lord tells him to be strong and courageous. He actually says it three times in the first nine verses. 

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them (Vs 6).

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go (Vs. 7).

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Vs. 9).

God really wants Joshua to be strong and courageous. 

But how can he be? He needs a plan. He needs to know how to attack. He needs to know what type of enemy he is facing. 

No he doesn't. At least not yet. That will come. He really just needs God’s Word. It will provide all the direction he needs. And he needs to trust God on this.  

While the Lord encourages him to be strong and courageous three times in verses 6, 7 and 9, the real practical key to success provided in this passage is in vs. 8: 

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.

I’m going to guess that Joshua has read this Book of the Law before and never really saw it as a manual for a hostile takeover or an all-out war. It never really struck him as that kind of book before. But it is. Or it can be. If you meditate on it. God’s Word is meant to strengthen and empower us to face every scary thing we can imagine. He’s given it to us to grow our strength and courage. The rules are there to guide us, to keep us within the lines – on the path to success.

And although, through Christ’s death and resurrection, we aren’t condemned by the law anymore, we are still to be bolstered by God’s Word. If we make it a regular part of our day, of our lives – meditating on it all the time, our lives will be better for it. While he certainly doesn’t promise that we’ll never have tough times, he does guarantee that his ever-present love and his Word will get us through it all. 

So, be strong and be courageous. The manual for getting through the tough and messy – the Bible – is readily available to guide us. If we’ll only meditate on it – allowing it to soak in, the rest will take care of itself.

1 comment:

  1. I love what you said about Joshua not having all the information, "No he doesn't. At least not yet. That will come. He really just needs God’s Word. It will provide all the direction he needs"

    What a beautiful picture for us! God does this all the time. He gives us small pieces of information and asks us to trust. He has always proven Himself faithful so it should be easy. But we want more, we want to know how its going to end. WE ALREADY DO! God will again be faithful. That alone should spur us on to complete the work.

    Thanks for sharing Friend!