There is not a leader in the Bible who succeeded without the courage to risk what is unknown or dangerous. Every leader in life – whether on the battlefield, in the courtroom or in the boardroom – needs to overcome timidity and take courage in the face of conflict.
Look at this short introductory video where De Waal Esterhuizen shares on courage in leadership (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L9K0f4b1ds )
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them–the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Observation and reflection questions
Context: After leading Israel through the wilderness for 40 years Moses died and the Lord called Joshua to lead the Hebrews across the Jordan River to take possession of the Promised Land. Joshua was one of the ten spies that scouted the land, so he knew exactly what they would face.
- What do you suspect was Joshua’s emotional response to the realization that Moses died and he had to lead the people? Why did the Lord reportedly tell him to take courage?
- What is the reason why Joshua had to take courage? [hint: what was his mandate form the Lord?]
- What does “The Law [of] Moses” or “The Book of the Law” refer to? (verses 7-8)
- What is type of writings are contained in This “Book” or “Law” which Joshua had? [hint: look in the first five books of your Bible]
- How would “The Book of the Law” help Joshua to be courageous? [Hint: considering your answer to the above]
- Apart from “The Book of the Law”, what else does the Lord assure Joshua with to help him be courageous? (verses 5 and 9)
- Regarding the nature of courage: what is implied in the repeated command to “Be strong and courageous!”
Personal reflection and application questions
Joshua knew exactly what they would face when they would cross the Jordan and face the inhabitants of the land, yet the Lord called him to not give in to fear but to be courageous to fulfill his mandate. He would find courage as he looked into the mighty acts and commands of God which Moses recorded (Genesis through Deuteronomy), but mostly in the comforting knowledge of the presence of the Lord. But in the end, Joshua had to choose to be courageous.
- Can you recall an instance in your life when you had to choose between succumbing to fear or being courageous? What was the circumstance and why did you respond that way?
- In which aspects of your life are you prone to being courageous? Why?
- In which aspects of your life are you prone to being timid? Why?
- Consider your current situation. For what cause must you show courage? How will you do it?
Thank God for his faithfulness, for all the times he has preserved and delivered you in the past. Pray that you may know God and the power of his resurrection, that your heart may be strong.