The moment is full of drama. God’s judgment on Moses for “melting down” in frustration over the disobedience of God children was absolute – Moses would be prevented from crossing the Jordan with the people he had led for so long.
As Joshua takes charge, will he stand true to God’s every word and command? Will the people obey him and follow him or rebel as before?
As God speaks directly to Joshua for the first time, there can be no doubt, regardless of how the people behave from this point forward, as to what God expects, because he lays it all out, not in five long books from Genesis through Deuteronomy, but in just a few paragraphs. Joshua Chapter 1 stands as a monument to godly leadership through the ages, as much as the twelve stones set up by Joshua in Chapter 4 following the crossing of the Jordan stood as a memorial for Israel.
First God “coaches” Joshua, and you and me, as we face our own turbulent times:
“Now therefore arise!” (1:2) Greatness requires action.
“Just as I was with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you nor forsake you.” (1:5) Greatness requires faith.
“Be strong and courageous.” (1:6) Greatness requires bravery.
“Be strong and very courageous; do all which Moses commanded you; do not turn right or left, so that you may have success.” (1:7) Greatness requires unwavering focus on the problem at hand.
“The [Word of God] shall not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may have success.” (1:8) Greatness requires absolute focus on the Bible as the only means of success.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (1:9) Greatness requires obedience to the commands of God, be that God the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit!
Now you and I will not likely lead a nation and an army. But we are chosen by God every bit as much as Joshua was, through faith in Jesus and his sacrifice for our salvation, to achieve greatness as a member in perfect unity with his family.
Whether we face a mob of hatred or persecution alone in a cell, we are equipped for greatness. Joshua obeyed and saw greatness and success. We will see that the children of Israel did not, repeating the Cycle by their own choices.
The qualities of greatness emerging here are not to be wished for. They are given by God to his children! Why?
“…that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that [we] may fear the Lord forever.” (4:24)
Will we be the ones to break the Cycle and become truly great for God?