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February 20, 2023 - Joshua 1

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

I have often noted that Joshua is one of my favorite OT books. After all the wandering around in the wilderness and all, events really start moving ahead. To Joshua and the people, the Lord commands, “Arise, go. . .” (1:2). And, then: “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses” (1:3). Their feet have not yet trod upon those places, but God has already given those places to Israel! Now, that’s something to ponder.

And what must Israel do? “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you” (1:7). (Rob Waller, Ph.D. candidate and powerlifter – weights – always signs off on his emails with this, i.e., “Be strong and courageous.”) Easier said than done, but very do-able, if only Israel will do it. And what must Israel not do? “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (1:10). Again, easier said than done, especially when the battle turns. But all they have to do is remember all the other times that God has gone with them and given them the victory. Even if their situations and physical locations have changed, God has not changed! In all of life and even when death knocks at our doors, we can sing:

O’er me has sorrow’s storm oft swept,

Safe from the danger me he’s kept;

If still I trust this friend so dear,

Old Jordan’s waves I need not fear.

So when at death’s cold brink I stand,

My hand clasp’d in my Saviour’s hand;

I too, shall shout in tones so clear,

Old Jordan’s waves I do not fear. --Charles J. Butler (1890)

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