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August 2 – Divine assurances

“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.” – Joshua 1:9

Scripture reading: Joshua 1:1-9

Yesterday we were confronted with the sinfulness of sin. Today we are comforted with Divine assurances from our loving God. There are three assurances in our passage.

First is God’s Divine Presence. In verses 2 through 4, God commands Joshua to cross over the Jordan River to take possession of the Promised Land. Israel knew there were hordes of pagans there, some of them giants, all of them living in fortified cities. How could they possibly take this land? Only by trusting in the promise God makes in verse 5, “No man shall be able to stand before you … I will be with you.” With God’s presence this is possible. Without Him there is only failure.

Second is God’s Divine Courage. Twice in verses 6 and 7 God commands Joshua “Be strong and of good courage.” Joshua can be this – not by drawing on some inner pool of strength – but because God’s presence is with Joshua and so he has God’s strength and courage! Relying on self will only bring disaster, but relying on the LORD will bring blessing.

Third is God’s Divine Success. In verse 8, God promises that by observing “The Book of the Law” there will be “good success.” God gives us His presence and makes us strong and courageous so that we will be people of the Word, doing His will and not our own, as a testimony to the world. Jesus Christ is the fullness of these Divine assurances. Rest in Him today.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to teach you more of Himself. Ask Him to wean you more from yourself. Ask Him to make you “strong and courageous” through faith in Jesus Christ.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ed Marcusse is the pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church of Lansing, Illinois.

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