5 No one will be able to stand up against you during your lifetime. I will be with you in the same way I was with Moses. I won’t desert you or leave you. 6 Be brave and strong, because you are the one who will help this people take possession of the land, which I pledged to give to their ancestors.
7 “Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all of the Instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t deviate even a bit from it, either to the right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go. 8 Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed.
Many times, when we get “brave”, it’s because we know we’re going to get support. Perhaps we’re not brave enough to talk to someone one-on-one about a problem because there’s no one to join our side but in a group where we know others might rally with us – then we might be able to speak our mind.
In today’s text, God is telling Joshua to be brave, but not just that. God is also making a promise to not leave Joshua no matter how tough things get, just as God never left Moses. We know, and Joshua knows, that things got super rough for Moses – people disobeyed his leadership and he never got to see the fruit of all the work he put in. Yet in all that, and in everything Joshua is going to face as the new leader, God promises to rally with him. God promises to be a support for Joshua. That’s very much where Joshua’s bravery comes from: knowing that whatever he does, God is there with him, giving him the support he longs for. That doesn’t mean that everything we do, everything Joshua does, is of God or is the “right” decision, but what it does mean is that God wants to cheer us on, God wants us to be courageous, God wants us to know that God never leaves us.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you ever taken a leadership role? Maybe it was church related, work related, personal, whatever it may be. How did your faith play into that? What does it mean that God is with us and can give us bravery and strength even when we want to be scared?
Prayer: Holy Lord, we give thanks that you are always with us. Help guide us so that our bravery and our choices may stem from your goodness. Amen.