God Commissions Joshua
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 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. 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. 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.”
Joshua Assumes Command
And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’”
And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, until the LORD gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”
Joshua 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
For 40 years the Israelites had wandered throughout the desert. It wasn’t because they were following their leader – far from it. They wandered because of their failing faith as they refused to obey God and conquer the land God had in store for them. So they were stuck. During those years a new generation was born and grew up. They were ready to put the disobedience of their fathers behind them and follow after the leader whom God had chosen, Joshua.
Joshua was not only a strong military leader; he was a man of faith. He had faced challenges in the people’s wanderings and oozed courage. And yet, even the reality of God escalating him toward leadership for this moment was possibly daunting. He knew his people and the stubbornness that had kept them where they were.
He was called to follow after the strong leader of Moses and was challenged to lead over 2 million Jews to finally take possession of the land. These were sandals he possibly was reluctant on some levels to step into. Yet, God had called him to lead and he would. No matter what the difficulty they faced, no matter what the hardship to come, no matter what insecurities he may have had even – he obediently stepped up when God commissioned him.
The Lord knew all the inward workings of Joshua and to combat all the fears he may have had, He called him. He encouraged Him. He cheered him on for the task. But these words were not only a boost to do what he was being asked – they were an outline for what He needed to do in order to succeed as he was the man of the hour.
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
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 success. 9 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 1:6-9
For each of us we face situations where we feel completely unqualified for the task God has given us. We know our inadequacies and insecurities so well and know how we can revert to old ways. But whatever task God has laid before us, He will equip to accomplish. The words given to Joshua resonate deeply to our own calling. Be strong and courageous because the task may not be easy. Obey God’s law. Continually give yourself to study of the Word of God. Move forward in faith as God will be the One to strengthen you.
Joshua 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Joshua was elevated in responsibility and trust based on his faithfulness. In Exodus, he became captain of the host and in Numbers he and Caleb brought back a report of the land of Canaan. Here, in Chapter 1, the torch is passed from Moses.
I can’t help but notice how many times we find the phrase, “Be strong and courageous” in this chapter. I can just picture the scene as Joshua assumes command and speaks boldly to the people with full trust in God’s long-awaited plan. As a leader, Joshua began to make provisions in order to step into God’s promise.
As leaders today, we are commanded to do much of the same. Many people are flashy and inspiring with their words, but lack the proper wisdom and calculated steps to meet the calling. Some leaders rely so much on the sovereignty of God, that they are content to sit and wait, taking no action and justifying it with spiritual “patience.”
Joshua was a strong leader. He began by both inspiring the people, but also taking actions steps to complete the mission. The same is true for us with the grace of Jesus Christ. The promise is a done deal, but there is a responsibility to walk by faith. Faith requires action. With the Holy Spirit, this action is possible each and every day.
I find myself challenged by the words and actions of Joshua. If I am going to be a strong leader, I must not just talk a good game, or sound really inspiring, but also plan, prepare, and utilize the weapons God has given me to complete my mission.