Moses’ 40 great years of leadership, no doubt, cast a large shadow over his successor, Joshua. A lot was expected out of a man in this position.
It appears that Joshua struggled with feelings of inadequacy and intimidation. Maybe even insecurity.
See Exodus 3 for the account of Moses’ calling.
Now, 40-plus years later, we see God proving Himself to Israel’s new fearful leader; proving His faithfulness, His trustworthiness, and His strong arm ready to save.
There are at least four steps of progression from the time God’s word of encouragement came to Leader Joshua, until those words became inter-weaved into this man’s mindset. We’ll end this five part series with Joshua’s departing charge.
1. God’s word of encouragement first came to Joshua through his mentor, Moses.
It was just days before their faithful and meek leader was to die. Now he had called them – the entire congregation – together to hear his final address.
Emotions were thick. Throats were tight, even among the noble tribal princes. Moses looked at the solemn faces of his beloved people.
“I am an hundred and twenty years old this day,” he began, “I can no more go out and come in: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
“The Lord thy God, He will go over before thee…and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said…”
Joshua, mingled somewhere in the people, could feel the stares; hear the whispers.
Then Moses called him, jolting his attention from the crowd. He hurried through the people to where the leader was, as everyone watched. Once by Moses’ side, Joshua humbly stood before him and the people. Moses laid his trembling hands on Joshua and spoke.
“Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people…And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
Before Moses and the I Am, the entire company of Israel made a promise to honor Joshua as their new leader and obey him – just as they had Moses.
-This story is found in Deuteronomy 31.
All Scripture quotations are taken from the KJV.
Think about it:
See what Joshua was doing throughout Moses’ leadership -
- Scouting out the land of Canaan – Numbers 14:6
- Grieving over the unbelief of his fellow spies – Numbers 14:6
- Finding favor with God for his faith – Numbers 14:30
- Leading the armies of Israel into battle by Moses’ command – Exodus 17:9-14
- Ministering to the man of God – Exodus 24:13 & 32:17
- Lingering in the presence of God – Exodus 33:11
- Cultivating a heart for the spirit of God to dwell in – Numbers 27:18
- Being chosen by God to succeed Moses – Deuteronomy 1:38
Are you young in your journey of life or as a Christian?
- What might your mentors or persons in authority be advising you? Proverbs 1:23 & 4:13
- Is your heart open to reproof? Proverbs 12:1
- What might the Lord be preparing you for through your current circumstances?
Do you have a position of authority (as a parent, teacher, etc…)?
- Look back over your life. How did God prepare you for the work He now has you in?
- How are you mentoring who those under the shadow of your influence? Titus 2:3-4
- Are you sensitive when the Lord prompts you to speak a word of encouragement to someone? Are you looking for these kinds of opportunities? Isaiah 50:4 & Hebrews 3:13
Stay tuned for Joshua’s Encouragement – Part II – Confirmed by God