After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River 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.
For the people of God they are going through a change of leadership. Moses has passed away before entering the promise land. Joshua has been given leadership and God has promised to fulfil all the promises he made to Moses to God’s people.
God makes a promise of allegiance with Moses. That he will be with him and never forsake him. This is the promise of the blessing of the presence of God and extension of the promise that he will be their God and they will be his people.
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.”
Unchanging walk with God
The nature by which the people of God are to go into the land is in dependence on God. They do not need to be afraid, nor turn from his commands, nor be discouraged because the Lord is with them. What they need to do is meditate on the law of God so they know the kind of people God is shaping them to be. Here we see the Lord’s emphasis on the kind of people he is making even more than what he is going to ask them to do. They are to be followers of the Lord’s word, keeping it on their lips and that will lead to their blessing.
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives,your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lordyour God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”
Joshua moves from his alone time with God to leading the people. He shares with them everything God has commanded them. He continues proclaiming the promises that God made to Moses. He calls them to obey his commands, mediate on the Law of God, rely on the Lord for rest, and to be strong and courageous for the Lord is with them.
Whatever situation we find ourselves in life under the Lord is very similar. Regardless of circumstance we meditate on the word of God day and night praying the Holy Spirit would bury it in our hearts, we seek to obey the Lord as he has commanded us to live not to earn his favour but as a result of his favour to us, we rest when the Lord gives us rest, and we are strong and courageous for the Lord is with us in all circumstances by his Spirit indwelling us. The promises of Moses are passed to Joshua and then through Jesus they are passed to us.
So be strong and courageous for the Lord is with you.