Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An encouraging word

The first several verses of the book of Joshua show us the Lord encouraging Joshua in the task that was before him.

Jos 1:1-6  Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.  From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.   Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 

Joshua now had a tremendous responsibility.  He was to lead the people of Israel as they conquered the land of Canaan.  He did not have to do it alone though, the Lord promised to be with him all the days of his life.  The Lord promised Joshua with He would not fail him or forsake him.  The Lord then told Joshua to be strong and of a good courage, because the Lord was going to keep His word.

Jos 1:7-8  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Then the Lord repeats himself; He again tells Joshua to be strong and very courageous. This time the Lord tells Joshua to obey all the commandments that Moses had given him.  Joshua was to mediate on the commandments day and night; the reason was so that he would be able to do the commandments.  If Joshua followed the commandments, then he would prosper in the task that he had been given.

Jos 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

Once more we see the Lord repeating himself.  He tells Joshua to be strong and of a good courage and to not be afraid; the reason was because the Lord was with Joshua where ever he went.

This story brings to mind the phrase I heard often in my education classes in college, "Repetition is the key to learning."  The Lord as the master teacher, three times instructs Joshua to be strong and courageous.  To Joshua these words must have been a great encouragement considering the great task that he was facing.

How about us as parents?  The tasks our children face to us may seem rather small and insignificant, but to them it may seem as big a task as Joshua was facing.  Let's take the opportunity to encourage our children, but not just once, let's do it often!  We obviously cannot hold their hands and be with them every were that they go, but the Lord can.  Let's encourage them to trust the Lord to help them through those difficult tasks that they may be facing.  A simple word of encouragement to our children can go along way!

Pro 15:23  A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! 

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