Be strong & courageous.

The Jordan River
Image via Wikipedia

Scripture classes are intimidating. This year, I’ve got the challenge and blessing of being a part of teaching five different classes, ranging from innocent Kindergarten kids, to the ever cynical year 9. When I found out that this was something I’d be doing this year, I felt as if I’d been told that I had to swim across the River Jordan. I felt scared. I felt intimidated. I felt weak.

There’s someone who felt that way long before me, though.

Check this out:

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.

Moses is a spiritual giant. Most people know a little bit about him, and Joshua was his aide. Joshua is much less known. To be honest, the only thing I really remembered about the book of Joshua until today was that Rahab was part of it. Today, though, I realised that Joshua was faced with this massive challenge of stepping into Moses’ shoes and doing exactly what Moses had failed to do – get the people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. It seems like my Scripture dilemma is nothing compared to this. Nothing at all.

There’s an echo in this passage, though. God says something twice, and the Israelites say the exact same thing to Joshua.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Be strong and courageous. I don’t think Joshua would have felt too strong or courageous at this point! But you know the rest of the story and you know what happened. You know that he went. You know that the priests stood in the middle of the Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant while the nation of Israel crossed it safely. You know that God was with Joshua where ever he went.

Back then, God sent his Spirit to be with leaders. They relied heavily upon those leaders because the leaders had a direct line to God and the people didn’t, but today? Well, it’s a different story. In John’s Gospel, he quoted Jesus as saying “I will not leave you as orphans.” and he didn’t. Believers today have the Holy Spirit with them so that we don’t need priests to stand in the middle of the Jordan while we cross over. We don’t need to fear.

We can be strong and courageous.

God’s word’s to Joshua can be echoed to us, just as Israel echoed them back to Joshua.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

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