LET’S GO FOR IT!
My Lord, I praise You that in Christ all Your promises are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Read Joshua 1:10–18
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”
ReflectThink about something you looked forward to for a long time. What kept you going during the waiting time?
Joshua’s first act as leader was to organize everyone to be ready to cross the Jordan. He used the existing structure of leadership to do this (10, 11). What do you think was going through people’s minds as they prepared?
Some of God’s people – the Reubenites, the Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh (12) – had been promised the land east of the river Jordan. Look at the oath that the warriors from these tribes made to Joshua (16–18). The consequence of keeping this oath was that God’s promise of rest would be fulfilled (13). No doubt they had been looking forward to that day. How does verse 18 describe the consequence of breaking the oath?
Joshua knew that those who had been promised land to the west of the Jordan needed the help of the others to claim that land (Numbers 32). He needed everyone on his side, regardless of their final destination, hence the oath. Only when the land to the west of the Jordan was taken would God’s people be able to rest, whether they lived to the west or the east of the Jordan.
The promise of rest was vital in helping everyone to work together during the time of preparation.
When have God’s promises sustained you? Give thanks for this! Now think of a promise you can hold onto today. Can you share it with someone else who may be struggling?
God, I pray for those who struggle to hold onto Your promises. Give them strength and hope.