Friday, July 13, 2012

be strong and courageous

Good evening friends,
Since I'll be on the church camping trip this weekend, I figured I'd send tomorrow's reading early and Sunday's late. I'll be out of email touch the next couple of days, but sporadically reachable by phone. As I hope I mentioned, Deuteronomy is sort of Moses' long good bye to Israel. He is saying final things to get them ready for life in the Promised Land without him. In our reading for today, Moses is dead and the torch of leadership has been passed to Joshua. 

It would be easy for Israel to feel really stuck now since they had gotten used to following Moses. It's always easy to look back on the past and think how much better it was. Instead, the leaders of Israel consistently encourage Joshua as he steps up to lead. Over and over they promise to follow and support him as long as he is "strong and courageous" as he follows God and leads Israel. Maybe that's a good mantra for all of us as we face the future. There will be challenges, but we are not alone. So trust in God, and be strong and courageous.

God bless,


Joshua 1:1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, 2“My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. 3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. 4From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. 5No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them.

7Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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