Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise. Joshua 1:2
Ever get depressed when a loved one dies? It is especially difficult when one dies who is close to us and one on whom we depend for so much. When a great friend or comrade falls we feel as if the future is dark and the nights of depression can easily set in.
What if a leader on whom a whole nation had depended for forty years is suddenly gone and the wilderness looks so foreboding and dangerous? What if the one to whom your God had spoken face to face was suddenly gone and fear was prevalent in the hearts of thousands?
How would you feel? Alone? Forsaken? Lost?
Think about how Joshua might have felt when his long time friend Moses was gone. For forty years Joshua and Moses had been constant companions. They had come through the plagues of Egypt together – Joshua was a first born. They had led the people of Israel through forty years of wanderings. They had witnessed the almighty power of God in miracle after miracle. These were all done at the hand of Moses. Now he is gone.
There is little wonder that God needed to say to Joshua and his people Be strong and of a good courage. They are going to need all they can muster. The wilderness is behind them, the river is before them and enemies are on every hill. The story could have ended here for Israel. It will not end because God says “it’s not over. And Joshua is my man for the task before you.”
Though he literally trembled when he was called to succeed his great mentor, he grabbed hold of God’s hand and God’s promises and led Israel to the Promised Land. He understands that God knows our weaknesses and will be there for him.
Today we begin a study of this great character of the Old Testament. Be in class each Sunday morning at 9:00 for this challenging study.