Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8
This phrase is told to Joshua 8 times by God, even though it seems like 80 times. Whether it is 8 (actually it is 7, the 8th time God said, “Be strong and very courageous”) did Joshua need the Lord to command him to be so? The first time God says that to Joshua, He also says, ”Do not be afraid or terrified because of them.” So maybe Joshua did need it despite his military victories while serving under Moses. Now he was the leader and the burden can be heavy. But, God qualifies His command that first time. It is something that surely Joshua took to heart early and depended on throughout his time leading Israel. It is something all of us can benefit tremendously from, realizing the burdens are not really yours to bear. God tells Joshua that He himself goes forward before you. He will bring the fight to your enemies, and He will never leave you nor forsake you. With that promise leading you, what can’t you do? Just be strong and courageous.