Even before the Israelites set out to conquer the Promised Land, the Lord knew everything they would experience—including the unconventional victory at Jericho, the defeat at Ai, and the Gibeonites’ deception (Josh. 6–9). And so He gave a command and a promise to Joshua, His chosen leader of the people. God knows what lies ahead for today’s believers as well, and His words still apply to all who walk with Him.
• The Command: “Be strong and courageous!” (1:6, 7, 9). So many things in this life threaten to overshadow godly hearts and minds. Adversaries assail us in the workplace, our neighborhoods, and sometimes even in our homes. We often have occasion to wonder if we are making a good decision or following the wisest course. Like the Israelites, we face battles, enemies, and trials. And yet God tells us to have courage and strength as we confront what comes.
• The Promise: “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” (v. 5). The Lord’s command would be impossible to obey without His promise. We stand not on our own strength and resolve but on the unwavering power of God. The guarantee of His presence and guidance is ours to claim.
The writer of Psalm 118 trusted in God’s command and promise from Joshua 1. He penned, “The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (v. 6). No one can remove God’s love from us, take our salvation, or make us forfeit our right to faithfully abide with Him forever.