Joshua is facing a new beginning now that his predecessor Moses is gone. He faces a future full of uncertainties perhaps, but rather than dwell on this he is exhorted by God to look back and reflect. The same is true for us as we look forwards to 2018 with all it's uncertainties and potential problems and challenges for us as Christians, but we do well to reflect on God's goodness to us and be encouraged as we go forwards with Him!
Joshua could look back on a history of God's tremendous goodness. In fact God had reminded them previously "Ye have lacked nothing" (Deut 2:7).
Yes the way had been hard at times, but the Lord had always been there for his people - "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee" - Note that neither his ability nor his presence are in doubt here!
There are TWO exhortations from the LORD for Joshua:
- Be Strong and Courageous - this is repeated several times in these verses. God reminds us that the Christian pathway is not a cake-walk but requires us to respond to the challenge and be strong and of good courage! Paul offers similar words to Timothy to embolden him and encourage him to stand fast and be ready for the challenges and responsibilities ahead. As we enter a new year we need similar exhortation, God asks us to be strong and courageous in 2018!
- Love and Live God's Word - The encouragement is to meditate upon it night and day, to depart not from it... that God's Word should be upon our minds and our mouths continually! If we do this in 2018 we are assured of "good success wherever you go". We are reminded of the similar words of Psalm 1 -
Surely as we look towards 2018, we can be encouraged by remembering and recalling God's goodness previously and rise to the challenge of a new year by being strong and courageous in our Christian lives, and loving and living God's Word.
I can't think of a better mindset with which to embark on another year! :0)