Focal passage: Joshua 1:1-9
Commissioned. Co-Missioned. Joshua had been Moses’ right hand man for decades. He had seen Moses at his best, and he had seen Moses at his worst. Now Moses was dead, and Joshua had been appointed by Moses and God to finish the Exodus journey.
According to Deuteronomy 34:9, “Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him.” Joshua had been commissioned. He was prepared. The mission would take a team effort. Joshua had been a military commander. He understood giving and following orders. But Joshua was also a spiritual man. Numbers 27:18-22 tells us Joshua had the Spirit in him, and as an essential part of God’s commissioning and ordination, Moses’ authority was conferred upon Joshua. Joshua was ready to serve and lead in God’s power.
In our text are some significant words and phrases. There is the word “promise.” Just as God had promised Moses, God promised Joshua that He had ordained this mission – the land was theirs (vv. 2-3). God was specific about the territory. It would be a massive promise.
The second is the phrase “strong and courageous.” It is used three times (vv. 6, 7, 9). God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous no matter the circumstances. The third relates to scripture, the Law, the “book of instruction,” (v. 8) that Joshua was to recite, to memorize, to meditate upon constantly. Obedience to God’s Word would lead to prosperity and success.
One of the most watched classic movies is “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy and Toto were on a mission. Along their journey they added some flawed partners, the most obvious being the cowardly lion. What did he lack? Courage. Dorothy commissioned him to be a leader. When tested he became valuable. Joshua’s commissioning was divine and human. It was also a calling. It changed history.