Our War Cry
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6-8 NLT
We jump back to the beginning of Joshua’s leadership journey to remind ourselves of his commission from Moses. Moses is over 100 years old and knows it is time to step aside. He is about to die and knows that God has chosen Joshua to be the next leader. Moses commissions Joshua to “be strong and courageous.”
As we travel to Joshua, chapter one, we find God telling Joshua the same words as God commissions him to lead. In fact, three times in chapter one of Joshua, God tells him to be strong and courageous.
This commission seems to become the war cry of Joshua’s life. It is a combination of three Hebrew words—Rak, Chazak, and Amats. They are translated: Rak – only do what follows. Chazak – be strong, act like a man. Amats – take courage, make secure, be obstinate.
When Israel conquerors the five kings of the south, Joshua tells his leaders these same words in Joshua 10:25. The same phrase shows up in Psalm 31:24. Similar words show up in 1 Corinthians 16:13 and Ephesians 6:10.
As followers of Christ, this can be—and should be—our war cry, a declaration that we will be strong and courageous. We may not fully know what is ahead, but we can be strong and courageous. We can choose to march forward with confidence that God is marching with us and before us. He is preparing the way and preparing us.
Today, we can declare, “I will be strong and courageous.”
Holy Spirit, please help me to be strong and courageous today. Help me to face whatever comes with the confidence that You are in charge of my life.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.