The word of the Lord to Joshua and the covenant people is my word to our Father’s today! When taking on more responsibility and inheriting the awesome mantle of the great leader and deliverer Moses, Yahweh says to the young servant of the Lord, “have I not commended 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.” (1:9)
For the young leader, Joshua, this was an awesome task. And it is for anyone called to lead God’s people into the land of promise. He stood at the threshold of new unprecedented things, in the same way the fathers of the 21st century stand at a place of social, cultural and spiritual challenge and unexpected demands. But I assure you my dear Brothers, that we have the same support as the effective and successful leader of old did, when he embarked on the journey of inhabiting the promised land. It consisted of the Word of God, the promises of God, the provision of God, the presence of God and the power of God.
Please remember that you are not alone on your quest to be the best Dad you can be, and to really show up for such a time as this in which we now live. The thought in verse 9 of the 1st chapter of Joshua comes with the meaning of a divine imperative, “do not tremble, neither be dismayed,” because you have the assurance of the Lord’s presence that is given to you for every task you are called to complete.
And yet the way of victory with these promises is deeply linked to the closing message of the book of Joshua, which is given at an assembly called at Shechem, related to the important renewal of God’s covenant with God’s people. In the 24th chapter there is a review of salvation history, that is, a narrative of all the miracles God performed on their behalf, with a challenge and an assertion, ‘will you serve yourselves, the gods of your ancestors, the gods of the Amorites in a foreign land and context, or will you serve the living God?’ Joshua draws a line in the sand, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (v.15).
May we respond as God’s people did in the days of Joshua, “for be it for us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!”
Dumas A. Harshaw, Jr., Ph.D, Pastor
Sunday Morning Worship: 8:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. (10:00 a.m. only service for the entire month of July & Friends and Family Day) Sunday School: 9:45 am