Hundreds of years before Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem, before Jerusalem had even been established as Israel’s spiritual capital, another man overcame many obstacles for Israel.
Joshua is first introduced in the Scriptures as Moses’s young servant and apprentice. After Moses died, who could possibly step into Moses’s role and lead Israel across the Jordan River and into the promised land?
In Deuteronomy 34, Moses passes away, and God calls Joshua to enter the race.
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s aide … “Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them. … As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:1–2, 5–6)
Notice that God’s first words to Joshua are “I will be with you.” Before God calls Joshua with “Be strong and courageous,” he first builds him up with “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Do you see the pattern? God only calls us to enter the race once he has promised to lead us through to the end. Some of you need to hear the battle cry, “Be strong and courageous!” And yet others of us will be tempted to be strong in ourselves and find courage in our own abilities. To us, God reminds, “I will be with you.”
In Joshua 5–6, God appeared to Joshua in a vision, telling him, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands” (6:2). In the most unusual way, God provided for His people. They didn’t even have to fight. Instead, God told Joshua and the people to march around the city and shout—that’s all.
All Joshua had to do was walk in. On the seventh day, on the seventh lap, at the sound of the trumpet, the Israelites shouted in victory. Immediately, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and Joshua and the men of Israel simply walked in and took over the city. Hebrews 11 tells the story succinctly: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days” (verse 30).
Sometimes the obstacles seem so big and the walls appear so tall. But God reminds us that He is with us. Therefore, we can be strong and courageous. Sometimes all we have to do is walk in faith.
What obstacles are in your way? What mission has God called you to embrace?
If you are enjoying this reading plan, you’ll love the free 7-Day Don’t Give Up Devotional – www.cityonahillstudio.com/dgudevo/