After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
There is a big difference between being strong and courageous, and being cowardly and unbelieving.
When Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they were headed for the promised land. But, along the way, they had a lot of lessons to learn about believing and trusting God, about being victorious and courageous. Many failed the test, and the punishment was they did not enter the promised land. Instead they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.
When Moses sent out spies to give a report of the land they were promised, it was found that the land was filled with milk and honey. The fruit was spectacular, grapes, pomegranates, and figs were carried back to Moses. However, giants were found in the land. It seemed there was a mighty group of men there.
Twelve spies were sent into Canaan, the promised land, and only two, Joshua and Caleb, gave a good report to Moses about conquering the land.
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
Because of the report of the unbelieving, cowardly spies, the people lost heart, and blamed Moses, thinking they should have stayed in Egypt. They were even going to stone Moses.
Then God had His say:
10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”
20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth,22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
After Moses died, Joshua was able to take his courageous group of men, and conquer the land, with God’s help.
There are amazing things that happen, and God does as He promised. Caleb and Joshua, because they had the spirit to follow God wholeheartedly, inherited the promised land.
In Revelation, we see that the victorious will inherit the kingdom of heaven, but the cowardly, the unbelieving, …..will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
:6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Be courageous, victorious, encouraged, and encourage others to go forward in belief, and enter the promised land!
Don’t miss out on account of your unbelief!
Thank You, God, for this important message. Even though this was a story of long ago, it is relative to today. You desire for us to be courageous, and to trust wholeheartedly in You. Help us not to waver in our faith. Make us strong and courageous. You win the battles we face. We do not have to fear or be discouraged. Our time is in Your hands. Your hands are capable and strong. You are a strong refuge, and a mighty protector. I put myself in Your hands. Please give me that spirit of wholehearted belief in You! Amen.