They Watch the Faith of the Elders and Grow
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites 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. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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 courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Isn’t it wild how much the name Moses shows up in the first verses of the book of Joshua? It’s because the book of Joshua isn’t just about Joshua. It is a continuation of the story of God’s people after the Exodus and the wilderness. Joshua was trained and taught by Moses, so when God makes a promise and says “Just like with Moses,” Joshua knows exactly what that means.
As we tell our kids stories and share Christ’s victories with other people, they start to grow in their faith. They can be in a circumstance and suddenly realize that God is doing something “Just like He did with Tim!” As we younger folks watch you older folks, we are looking for footprints and paths to imitate. I have a friend that is showing me how to be a faithful but lonely 80 something, and another friend showing me how to be the father of multiple adults.
Joshua spent as much time around God as He could, watching God and Moses interact. When the time came, Moses’ friend became the faithful friend of Joshua, and led him through the next significant state of his life. To pass along faithful friend to the next generation is to pass on our faith, and to grow it in the new environment of the mid 21st century.