Today’s readings.. Joshua 1, Isaiah 7, 1 Thessalonians 1&2
Today we began reading the book of Joshua: also Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Both recount the need for boldness and the need to be courageous – comparable in some ways to the thought that has been expressed in recent generations, ‘the power of positive thinking,’ but which lacks the ‘God-fearing’ ingredient.
Attitudes of thinking in the minds of those with a true faith in God, minds that are ‘fed’ by daily ‘feeding’ on God’s word, grow stronger and stronger. Paul told the Thessalonians how he, with Silvanus and Timothy, were “constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 v.2,3]
They had “received the word in much affliction” [v.6] and had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven … who delivers us from the wrath to come.” [v.9,10] There are increasing indications that the final period of God’s wrath must be very near on a world that has become almost totally godless, therefore we need, more than ever “steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” [v.3] and “boldness in our God to declare … the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.” [2 v.3]
We compare this situation with the boldness of Joshua who had been thrust into the leadership after the death of Moses. God says to him, “Just as I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous” [1 v.5] God then repeats this and adds, “The book of the Law … meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success …. Be strong and courageous … for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. “ [v.8,9]
What words of encouragement – and what an example in Moses he had to follow (just as Christians have Christ and the apostles) – and we have just been reading Moses’ final messages in the book of Deuteronomy, words which Joshua would have very much in mind.
But today we have the whole Bible! Let us develop a spirit of dedication, being committed to read his word and develop “boldness in our God.”