“Moses said to [all Israel], ‘I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The Lord has said to me, “You shall not go over this Jordan.” The Lord your God himself will go over before you. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.’ Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land… It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.'” Deuteronomy 31:1-3,6-8
Moses gave the best encouragement: truth that didn’t focus on him, but on the able, faithful God Who would lead the Israelites into their promised land. ‘Don’t weep for me; be strong, count on our great God! He will do everything He said He would!’ He told them all, then he told Joshua personally in front of them, displaying a great vote of confidence for the LORD and His assigned successor-leader. How encouraging to Joshua this must have been, a blessing rooted in the very word of God!
‘En-couragement.’ ‘Put courage in.’ We do this for others by reminding them of the truthworthiness of Scriptures, what is unshakeable and true about Who Almighty God is, how He works, and what He has promised He will do. Am I taking every opportunity to speak courage into those I love and come into contact with, those who confide about struggles and heartache and need? Am I familiar enough with the scriptures that I have a ready word? Does my life show how I am trusting Him in my dark places, that God’s word has proven true for me?
Even though Joshua had been prepared, after the death of Moses his mentor, reality of his absence sank in. The LORD, to illustrate He would indeed be with him, appeared and spoke His encouragement again, one-on-one. “[He] said to Joshua, Moses’ assistant, ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them…Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses… Be strong and courageous…Be strong and very courageous… This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’” (Joshua 1:1-3,5-9)
And God does the same for us today. Through His divine word, He washes His encouragement over and into us, reminding us that He is ever with us, is for us, and will never fail us. (Romans 8:31,38-39; Hebrews 13:5)
Lord, You continually encourage me with Your true word. Keep me faithful to do the same for others. (Psalm 19:9)