Deuteronomy 3:21 And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.
22 Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.
23 And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,
24 O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?
25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.
26 But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.
27 Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.
29 So we abode in the valley over against Bethpeor.
In Deuteronomy, Moses rehearsed the events that led up to God’s denying him entry into the promised land though he was Israel’s leader at the time. The Lord instructed Moses, as he stood upon Mt. Pisgah, to encourage and strengthen Joshua. Moses could have offered numerous excuses for not wanting to encourage Joshua. Instead, Moses determined to obey God by strengthening and encouraging his successor. He knew that Joshua as Moses’ replacement was about to face some of the greatest trials of his life. There would be times of fear along with battles and obstacles, small and great. The Lord knew Joshua desperately needed courage to make it through these trials. He, therefore, enlisted Moses and instructed His children to encourage the new leader during this difficult transition (Deuteronomy 1:38).
- (For children): Has someone you know been hurt or fallen sick? What could you do to help make them feel better (pray, send a card or visit)?
- (For everyone): Joshua needed encouragement because he was going to face some difficult times. Can you think of anyone who might be going through some difficult circumstances? What have you done to encourage them? Have you spoken encouraging words to them?
- The Lord expected Moses and the people to encourage Joshua. Moses could have responded, “I can’t because I’m about to die.” The people could have said, “We can’t because we too are afraid.” Yet, God expected obedience. Do you ever make excuses for not encouraging others? Do your excuses satisfy the Lord’s expectations of you?
- Ask God to help you see others who need encouragement.
- Ask the Lord to show you when your actions or words begin to discourage others.