by Heather Tietz
“Be strong and courageous; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
Finally, after forty years of wandering the Sinai desert, God’s people were at the doorsteps of home. They stood on the shores of the Jordan River, on the edge of Canaan. Joshua would lead them in.
Canaan was not an empty land however. It was occupied, and the residents within were giantess people protected by fortified walls. Fear had caused Joshua’s generation to retreat back into the desert forty years before. But this day, this great city was no monster to Joshua. God never points out the seemingly precarious circumstance the Israelites are on the verge of. Giants, mere ants to Him, strong walls, just pebbles beneath His fingers.
The great challenge wasn’t the circumstance, it was Joshua’s heart, his ability to stay steadfast, to follow God’s laws in spite of wayward Israelites or tempting godless neighbors.
God Himself speaks encouragement over Jacob, “Lead My people to follow My laws. Don’t spoil them and bend the rules. Don’t make exceptions. Be strong to do what’s right. Have the courage to stop My children when they wander off in sin. Lead them well. Then, I will win your battles. I will bless your crops. I will fill your wombs. I will give you success wherever you go.”
Who are you leading?