Our reading for today is Joshua chapter 1.
It’s fascinating to see where the Bible slows down, laying groundwork, forming transitions, or building suspense. It feels like all three are happening here.
Joshua had been Moses’ trusted commander since that first battle against Amalek, over 40 years ago. He and Caleb stood apart from the other spies who argued that Canaan couldn’t be taken. They alone survived the wilderness that had taken everyone in their generation. His commission as Moses’ successor had been secured months before, the covenant had been renewed, and the people had been primed to march into Canaan.
The LORD’s message to Joshua is direct: “Do not be frightened. Be strong. Be courageous.” Even the commanders of the Transjordan tribes echoed this: “Only be strong and courageous.” The repetition creates its own mystery: was Joshua wavering? Did he doubt either his commission or, even worse, the LORD’s promise? Or, was this present challenge so much bigger, requiring more of him, than any he had faced before?
That’s why I want to read Joshua 1 again!