JOSHUA 1: 5 “… as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you” (NKJV)
JOSHUA 1: 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NKJV)
The great leader Moses is no more and the Israelites after 40 years of wandering in the desert are at the door step of the Promised Land with a new leader in charge, Joshua. Now, it’s up to Joshua to lead the conquest and the settlement of the Israelites in the Promised Land. Faced with a humungous task ahead, God gives this beautiful commandment as well as a promise to this new leader Joshua.
All this while Joshua was working under the shadows of his great leader Moses, but now, not only is Moses no more but Joshua has to step into the shoes of Moses. That was a great task to succeed a leader like Moses, one who God used to lead His people out of Egypt through various miracles, through the parting of the Red Sea, through manna and quail from the skies, through water from the rock and many many more great wonders. Many questions must have raced through Joshua’s mind – Can I ever be a great leader like Moses? Can I perform signs and wonders like Moses? Will the people follow me like they followed Moses? Will God be with me like He was with Moses? Will I succeed like Moses? …etc.
God here assures Joshua that He will be with Joshua the way He was with Moses which is an affirmation that all the great things that Moses did was not because Moses was capable of doing but it was because God was doing it through Moses. So, if He can do it through Moses, then, He can do it through Joshua too.
Many a times we too feel like Joshua and ask the question – Can God work wonders through me? Oh yes! He can. He can use us mightily because He is with us. He might not use us in the manner He uses another person but He is always with us and will use us in different ways for His glory. God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, to give them the law and to lead them in the wanderings and He used Joshua for a different task i.e. to conquer and settle in the land, but both Moses and Joshua were able to do what they did because God was with them and working through them.
If God is was with Moses, if God was with Joshua, He is with us also and He will accomplish all what He has planned through us. And remember it’s not just a promise that God is with us but also a commandment to be strong and courageous because HE IS WITH US.