Joshua, Strong and Courageous, Leadership

Jesus in the Old Testament: Joshua 1, A Strong and Courageous, Godly Leader

Today we start on a new adventure. God led Moses from the burning bush to Pharaoh, to the Red Sea, to Mt. Sinai, then finally to Mt. Nebo across the Jordan River from the Promised Land. Unfortunately, Moses would never enter the land of Canaan. Why? Because Moses disobeyed God’s orders once at Meribah where he hit the rock instead of talking to it like God told him to. The other time was at the border of the Promised Land, where God told them to go ahead in, that He would be with them. But, Moses sold out to the people and sent in the 12 spies. They didn’t trust God then, nor when the spies came back and only Joshua and Caleb trusted that God could protect them. Because of that mistrust, the Hebrews spent 40 years wandering in the desert until that mistrusting generation was dead and a new generation got to enter the Land that God promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

map Jericho, Promised Land
Map of the Promised Land, Jericho, the Jordan River and Mt. Nebo in Moab. Image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Now, with Moses dead, the leadership role transfers to Joshua. He was Moses’ right hand man since Mt. Sinai. He was with Moses on the mountain and saw God.

The Book of Joshua is used a lot to teach leadership. It also teaches us to trust God. No matter what we encounter in life, if we trust God, He is bigger than the biggest giant, bigger than the most fortified city, wiser than any politician or king, and more powerful than anything Satan can possible throw at us.

This starts an adventure for the Israelites entering the Promised Land and for us as we witness God’s power and learn to trust Him, and put Him first, in our lives. Let’s dig in…

Joshua 1

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua’s Charge to the Israelites

10 Joshua then commanded the officers of Israel, 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

12 Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He told them, 13 “Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.’ 14 Your wives, children, and livestock may remain here in the land Moses assigned to you on the east side of the Jordan River. But your strong warriors, fully armed, must lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their territory. Stay with them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has given you rest, and until they, too, possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. Only then may you return and settle here on the east side of the Jordan River in the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, assigned to you.”

16 They answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. 17 We will obey you just as we obeyed Moses. And may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!”

Joshua 1 NLT

Leadership in the Kingdom of God is About Servant-hood

God, or life’s circumstances, sometimes puts us in situations that might seem impossible or ridiculous. However, God uses people where they are if they are tuned in to the Holy Spirit.

If He put you there, He had a purpose. It could be to get your attention. It could be that you needed a slap upside the head (like I did), or He needs you there for a special reason — He’s got a job for you to do. Or He wants to teach you something. If He didn’t put you there, He can use you there.

A brother in Christ, Kevin, spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. But, he, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, had no fear whatsoever. He was unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God used Him in prison. He impacted everyone that he met. There are drug dealers, gang leaders and members, thieves, even murders who have their ticket to Heaven because Kevin led them to Jesus’ true salvation.

He impacted the lives of many, many people including the ICU nurse at the Mayo Clinic where he died of COVID-19, 6 days after his 49th birthday.

Kevin felt an urgency to spread the Gospel. Likewise, I feel it, too. Which is why I spend 2-3 hours each evening studying, preparing, writing and recording this blog and podcast. I’ve been doing it for 2 and a half years. Every day. If I’m going to be traveling, I write and record them in advance and schedule them. I have a purpose.

(If you want to learn about Kevin, watch his Celebration of Life service, it is amazing!)

God has a purpose for you, too! How do you find out what it is? By fully committing your life to Him. Jesus can’t change your heart or reform your life until you surrender it to Him.

Be Strong and Courageous

How many times do you have to hear that before you take it to heart? God said…

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NLT

Jesus said…

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 NLT

“Joshua” is “Jesus” in Hebrew!

Messianic Jews call Jesus, “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” — Jesus, the Messiah or Jesus the Christ. “Messiah” in Hebrew and “Christ” in Greek means “anointed one”. That’s Jesus!

Paul wrote….

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

Romans 8:31 NLT

Have you put your complete trust in God? Are you wondering if you’ve really surrendered your whole life to Him?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Joshua 1



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by John Paul Stanley of YoMinistry from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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