Todays Reading Joshua 1; Proverbs 1
It is a pleasure and privilege to introduce the New Year to you. I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to start the biblejournal with you. We are starting a new journey this year beginning with the book of Joshua. In this first chapter of Joshua the main theme that resonated with me was “Be Courageous”. The journey that comes with each New Year is one that is filled with excitement, anticipation, hesitation, and some anxiety. As we work our way into Joshua we are presented with a new journey that is filled with the same trepidations and hopes.
The message of hope comes in the first verses of Joshua. Joshua 1: 6-9
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The first chapter Joshua, we are presented with “Be strong and courageous” four times in the introduction of the chapter. This makes me want to dig deeper into the true definition of courage. Courage is defined as by Webster as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. I have often used courage when speaking with others as being brave, but the portion that I have not experienced is the true definition in the face of danger, fear and difficulty.
The people of Israel are faced with true fear and danger as they are going into the Promised Land a glimpse of the magnitude of this is in Numbers 13. Moses sent spies into the region close to the Promise Land before they went in.
Number 13: 17-20; 23-24
17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country, 18 and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many,19 and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds, 20 and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
23 And they came to the Valley of Eshcol and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them; they also brought some pomegranates and figs.24 That place was called the Valley of Eshcol,[a] because of the cluster that the people of Israel cut down from there.
The people of Israel are going into the land of plenty and they are somewhat fearful, but God is speaking to the people to be encouraged. The message for us today is prepare and be encouraged for the journey of the New Year. We have experienced many difficulties, hardships, and trials this past year, but we have to be encouraged and believe that there are things that are waiting for us are so amazing that we would not be able to explain, like a single cluster of grapes that takes two men to carry. Let us face this New Year with courage and boldness and allow God the Spirit to take us over this Jordan to the land of plenty.
Happy New Year