Hey! I’m Talking to You!

“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.”

Joshua 1:9

Any parent, and any child is probably familiar with the frequent scenario of parent’s voice calling the name of a child, and saying something like, “Hey! Are you listening to me?” or “I’m talking to you, Henry!” or “Have you done what I asked you to do 15 minutes ago?”

God has a lot of problems of this nature with telling His Children something, and then having to repeat the directive because it wasn’t done.

In this passage, God’s amazing leader Moses had died, just on the brink of entering – finally! – the Land He had promised to Moses and all of His People Israel. Joshua was now in his new role of leading this massive nation of desert-travelers into their new Homeland, Israel. Out of Egypt’s bondage, through decades of traveling (in circles at times) together and learning not only who they were as a Nation, but learning Who God Is.

Having now arrived at the brink of their Promised Land, their beloved leader Moses died, and the man who must now fill Moses’ sandals – Joshua – was looking at their Destiny. This was IT. The nation had spent 40 years going in circles in the Desert . . . learning who they were, and Whose they were. It was time to GO IN.

But there were already people there, who had lived in that Promised Land for as long as anyone could remember. They had their own history there. They had their own unique culture and language. They had their own gods.

It’s understandable that there was great hesitation and fear for the former slaves, God’s nation of Israel, to take those first steps into the Land. What awaited them? WHO awaited them? They could see their Destiny, but they did not know what would happen next. Friends or Foes. Most likely foes, as they had been experiencing for centuries as slaves in Egypt.

What were their thoughts as they stood at the brink of their true Homeland?

Fear. Weakness. Discouragement. What awaited the weary nation of former slaves? New leadership. Foreign people who now had lived their own history on those Promised Lands.

What would life be?

Joshua’s first official speech as their new leader was “Be strong and courageous.” Woven through the new leader’s first official address to his Nation were the reminders of God’s plans, how He had led and protected them. They remembered God’s promise to be with them each step of the way. God “has this” and was with them. Promise.

We, the People of God….following His leadership in our lives, need to also be reminded of God’s faithfullness, His Promises, His protection, His Plans for our good as we journey through this life on earth. Look back and remember how He did it before. Look ahead with confidence that He will be in our future. And hold tightly to His Hand as He walks with us through the years He has planned for us here.

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