Ever had something get transitioned to you? Ever been given a new responsibility when someone leaves or moves on? Ever been given a new responsibility that was big and important? Ever been given a new role or title? Now it’s in your hands! How will handle it? What will you do? Be strong and courageous! Do not be overwhelmed! Do not fear! Put your hope and trust in God! Pursue after Him and follow His direction! Obey His instruction and don’t assume, but rather check with Him and build up your relationship with Him!
Today’s reading speaks into just such a situation where Joshua needs to pick up what has been given to him…
Chazak! Be strong!
1Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of Adonai that Adonai spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide saying: 2“My servant Moses is dead. So now, arise, you and all these people, cross over this Jordan to the land that I am giving to them—to Bnei-Yisrael. 3Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I am giving to you, as I spoke to Moses. 4From the wilderness and this Lebanon to the great river, the Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites— to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5No one will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you or forsake you. 6Chazak! Be strong! For you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers to give them. 7Only be very strong, and resolute to observe diligently the Torah which Moses, My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so you may be successful wherever you go. 8This book of the Torah should not depart from your mouth—you are to meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will be successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Chazak! Be strong! Do not be terrified or dismayed, for Adonai your God is with you wherever you go.” 10Then Joshua commanded the officials of the people saying: 11“Go through the camp and charge the people saying: ‘Prepare provisions, for within three days you will be crossing over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which Adonai your God is giving you to possess it.’” 12Then Joshua spoke to the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh saying: 13“Remember the word that Moses the servant of Adonai commanded you saying: ‘Adonai your God has given you rest, and has assigned to you this land.’ 14Your wives, your little ones and your cattle will remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you will cross over before your brothers armed, all the mighty men of valor, and will help them 15until Adonai gives your brothers rest, as He has given you, and they also possess the land that Adonai your God is giving them. Then you will return to the land of your inheritance, and possess what Moses the servant of Adonai gave you, beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” 16Then they answered Joshua saying: “All that you have commanded us, we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may Adonai your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18Whoever rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, he will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”
–from Joshua 1
God will put words of encouragement into others to encourage you to complete the work He has given you to do! He will provide words of wisdom to help you through the tough and rough times! Don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith! Put your trust in God and allow Him to guide your steps! Be good to your word! Allow God’s will to build you up with boldness, courage, and integrity to do what is right in His eyes.
1Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent out two spies from Shittim saying: “Go, explore the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came to the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. 2The king of Jericho was told, “Some men from Bnei-Yisrael have just come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3So the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab saying: “Bring out the men who came to you, who entered your house—for they have come to spy out all the land.” 4But the woman took the two men and hid them, and said: “Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from. 5So when it was time to shut the gate at dark, the men went out, and I don’t know where they went. Pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” 6But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax that she had spread out on the roof. 7So the men pursued them on the road to the fords of the Jordan. As soon as the pursuers had gone out, they shut the gate. 8Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9and she said to the men: “I know that Adonai has given you the land—dread of you has fallen on us and all the inhabitants of the land are melting in fear before you. 10For we have heard how Adonai dried up the water of the Sea of Reeds before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11When we heard about it, our hearts melted, and no spirit remained any more in anyone because of you. For Adonai your God, He is God, in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12So now, please swear to me by Adonai, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s house. Give me a true sign 13that you will spare the lives of my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters and all who belong to them, and save our lives from death.” 14The men said to her: “Our life for yours, if you don’t report this business of ours. Then it will be when Adonai gives us the land that we will deal kindly and loyally with you.” 15So she lowered them down by a rope through the window—for her house was in the wall; she was living in the wall. 16Then she said to them: “Go to the hill country, lest the pursuers meet you, and hide yourselves there for three days, until the pursuers return. Afterward, you may go your way.” 17Then the men said to her: “We will be released from this oath that you have made us swear, 18unless when we come into the land, you tie this line of scarlet thread in the window through which you lowered us down, and gather to yourself in the house your father, your mother, your brothers and all your father’s household— 19whoever goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head and we will be innocent, but whoever is with you in the house, his blood will be on our head if any hand is laid on him. 20But if you divulge this business of ours, then we will be released from your oath you have made us swear.” 21So she said: “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away. After they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord to the window. 22Then they departed and came to the hill country. They stayed there for three days until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had looked for them all along the road, but had not found them. 23Then the two men returned, came down from the hill country, crossed over and came to Joshua son of Nun. They reported to him all that had befallen them. 24“Surely Adonai has given all the land into our hands,” they said to Joshua. “Indeed, all the inhabitants of the land have melted in fear before us.”
–from Joshua 2
It’s always amazing what a good report can do for the spirit of the people! It’s amazing how when people are trusting in God how the perspective is clearer too! So don’t lose hope! Consider the positive side of where you are at! Yes it’s new! Yes it’s bigger than you! That’s why you need God and why He will help you through it all! So let’s call the people up! Let’s get them prepared for what God is about to do! And then let’s do what God is calling us to do!
Crossing the Jordan
1Then Joshua rose up early in the morning, and he and all Bnei-Yisrael set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan. They lodged there before crossing over. 2Now it came about after three days that the officials went through the camp 3and they charged the people saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of Adonai your God and the Levitical kohanim carrying it, then you must set out from your place and follow it. 4Yet keep a distance between you and it of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Don’t come near it, so you may know the way by which you should go, for you haven’t travelled this way before.” 5Then Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow Adonai will do wonders in your midst.” 6Joshua spoke to the kohanim saying: “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people. 7Now Adonai said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8You are to command the kohanim who are carrying the ark of the covenant saying: ‘When you reach the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you are to stand still in the Jordan.’” 9So Joshua said to Bnei-Yisrael, “Come here, and listen to the words of Adonai your God.” 10Joshua said, “By this you will know that the living God is among you, and that He will certainly drive out from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite and the Jebusite. 11Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Sovereign of all the earth is advancing before you into the Jordan. 12So now, take for yourselves twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. 13It will come to pass when the soles of the feet of the kohanim who are carrying the ark of Adonai, Sovereign of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the Jordan’s waters will be cut off. The waters coming downstream will stand up in one heap.” 14So it came to pass. When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the kohanim were carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of the people. 15Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as those who were carrying the ark came into the Jordan and the feet of the kohanim carrying the ark dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the town next to Zarethan. What was flowing down to the sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17Yet the kohanim carrying the ark of the covenant of Adonai stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan.
–from Joshua 3
When we go with God, we have nothing to fear! When we trust in Him, we have nothing to doubt! When we go it His way, we know where we are going – even when we don’t know the final destination! His plans are good! His plans are to give us a hope and a future! Fear Not, Just Believe!
He Will Not Abandon His People
1God of vengeance, Adonai, God of vengeance, shine forth! 2Rise up, O Judge of the earth! Pay back to the proud what they deserve. 3How long will the wicked, Adonai, how long will the wicked gloat? 4They gush out, they speak arrogance— all the evildoers keep boasting. 5They crush Your people, Adonai, and afflict Your heritage. 6They slay the widow and the outsider, and murder the fatherless. 7So they say: “Adonai does not see— the God of Jacob pays no attention.” 8Pay attention, stupid among the people! Fools, when will you comprehend?9He who planted the ear, does He not hear? He who formed the eye, does He not see? 10He who chastens nations, will He not rebuke— One who teaches humanity knowledge? 11Adonai knows human thoughts— they are but a breath. 12Blessed is the one You discipline, Adonai, and teach him from Your Torah, 13to give him rest from days of trouble —until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14For Adonai will not forsake His people. He will never abandon His inheritance. 15For rightness will be restored to justice, and all the upright in heart will follow it. 16Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? 17Unless Adonai had been my help, my soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. 18If I say: “My foot has slipped,” Your mercy, Adonai, will hold me up. 19When my troubling thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations comfort my soul. 20Can a throne of corruption be aligned with You—planning distress by decree? 21They band together against the life of the righteous, and condemn innocent blood. 22But Adonai has been my fortress and my God the rock of my refuge. 23He will repay them for their wickedness, and will annihilate them in their evil. Adonai our God will annihilate them.
–from Psalms 94
His grace is enough! His love is enough! His word is enough! His forgiveness is enough! His plan is enough! His purpose is enough! His salvation is enough! His power is enough! His name is enough!
1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by God’s will, To the kedoshim in Ephesus—those trusting in Messiah Yeshua: 2Grace and shalom to you, from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
God’s Glorious Grace
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah. 4He chose us in the Messiah before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love. 5He predestined us for adoption as sons through Messiah Yeshua, in keeping with the good pleasure of His will— 6to the glorious praise of His grace, with which He favored us through the One He loves! 7In Him we have redemption through His blood—the removal of trespasses—in keeping with the richness of His grace 8that He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight, 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, in keeping with His good pleasure that He planned in Messiah. 10The plan of the fullness of times is to bring all things together in the Messiah—both things in heaven and things on earth, all in Him. 11In Him we also were chosen, predestined according to His plan. He keeps working out all things according to the purpose of His will— 12so that we, who were first to put our hope in Messiah, might be for His glorious praise. 13After you heard the message of truth—the Good News of your salvation—and when you put your trust in Him, you were sealed with the promised Ruach ha-Kodesh. 14He is the guarantee of our inheritance, until the redemption of His possession—to His glorious praise!
God’s Glorious Power Working in Us
15Therefore, ever since I heard of your trust in the Lord Yeshua and of your love for all the kedoshim, 16I never stop giving thanks for you as I mention you in my prayers— 17that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, our glorious Father, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in knowing Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what is the richness of His glorious inheritance in the kedoshim, 19and what is His exceedingly great power toward us who keep trusting Him—in keeping with the working of His mighty strength. 20This power He exercised in Messiah when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heaven. 21He is far above any ruler, authority, power, leader, and every name that is named—not only in the olam ha-zeh but also in the olam ha-ba . 22God placed all things under Messiah’s feet and appointed Him as head over all things for His community— 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
–from Ephesians 1