He had seen the LORD with his own eyes as He met with Moses in the Tent of Meeting, an intimacy so intense he simply couldn’t leave. As Moses’ assistant even as a young boy, Joshua witnessed miracle after miracle, God’s glory and grace blazing in a barren wilderness. All his life he had known God, it seemed. But his knowledge had to take wing. After Moses’ death, he was God’s choice—the one to lead His army of people into the Promised Land.
Without his mentor, who told Joshua to go? The LORD Himself. Just as He had met with Moses, God spoke strength straight into His servant Joshua’s heart. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you, God reminded. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Armed with the knowledge of God’s powerful presence, Joshua’s fear dissolved in God’s faithfulness. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them, God exhorted. And Joshua believed.
In fact, it had been Joshua’s faith that found him and Caleb’s favor over all the other Israelites who doubted God and were barred from the land. That same faith forged war campaigns initiated and executed by God’s Spirit, yielding incredible victories credited only to God’s miraculous deliverance. But he experienced failures, too, when one of his own men stole and hid idols after an attack. Or when he forgot to consult God before making a covenant treaty with deceitful Gibeonites. Joshua was, after all, just a man. But surrendered to God, he became a mighty force in establishing Israel and a magnificent leader pointing the people to their God, the One who always fought for His people and won.
Though we may never wage war in foreign lands like Joshua, life itself is filled with battles bigger than we alone can handle. Joshua reminds us that as God’s people, we are never alone. We can face the mightiest foe because God fights for us. Empowered and led by His Spirit, we can watch God deliver us through the most unconventional means possible—so all praise and glory goes to the One who deserves it. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God is with you!