Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid of them and don’t be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you.” NCV
For forty years Moses had been their faithful leader and had taken care of them during their many times of trouble. But now Moses was about to die and Joshua would soon become his successor. Though they were familiar with the man called Joshua, no doubt there was still some uncertainty in many of their minds. Would this new leader be to handle the challenges before him? What if Joshua could do what Moses had done?
In addition to the uncertainty about their leadership, there was also the uncertainty of what might be before them in this strange new land. It had often been described as a country ‘flowing with milk and honey’ (Ex 3:8; 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev 20:24; …etc); yet it was also known to be a place filled with many obstacles. Most significant were the giants who lived there in well-fortified cities. (Num 13:33) It was a time filled with excitement and expectation; yet it was also a time filled with fear and anxiety.
No doubt the reason Moses sought to encourage them was because forty years prior to this, they had been at the door of the Promised Land, yet failed to enter in. Fear and unbelief had gotten the best of them and thus caused them to wander for many years in the wilderness. Now the opportunity was before them once again and the LORD wanted them to be strong and brave. “Don’t be afraid of the enemies that might oppose you. Don’t let them frighten you and cause you to act foolishly. Your God is with you and He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
I don’t know about you, but I need to hear those words of encouragement quite often; for I too have enemies who try to oppose me and keep me from enjoying the riches of God’s grace. Sometimes they awake me in the middle of the night and fill my heart with fear. Sometimes they bring up thoughts of ‘what if’ in my mind and thus cause me to doubt the goodness of God. Sometimes they come against me so strongly that if I am not very careful, they can begin to control me.
But I must never allow my enemies to control me and neither should you. We read from God’s Word: “For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) The reason we as God’s people can always be strong and brave is because our God has promised to always be with us. He has given us His word that He will never abandon us nor leave us alone.
In closing, consider carefully this encouraging passage of scripture:
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Every time the enemy tries to fill our hearts with fear or worry, we should pause and focus upon the cross. If God was willing to provide for us the greatest thing from heaven, will He not also provide for us the least things here on earth? My brethren, if our God is for us, what enemy is there that can come against us?