People get excited. By excited I mean like the heated particles you learned about in elementary earth science. Uppity. Fussy. Not settled. For a human, it can also be fear.
Sensationalism excites people. We hear or see something and we get all excited. Uppity. Fussy. Not settled. Fearful.
The book of Joshua in the Bible opens with God talking to Joshua. Moses had just died. For those of you unfamiliar with Moses, he’s a big deal: led the Israelite people out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea, got water out of a rock, interceded on behalf of God’s people…his resume is impressive to say the least. But Joshua had risen up, proving he was a qualified leader and ready to follow the example of his predecessor.
God lays out a plan for Joshua to follow. I wonder if Joshua started feeling overwhelmed…excited. Uppity. Fussy. Not settled. Fearful. as God instructed him on the new mission to lead the people into the promise land. I wonder this because starting in verse 5 God says,”No one will be able to resist you all the days of your life.”
In my mind, not the Bible, mind you, I imagine this conversation going back and forth:
Joshua: Wait what? Lead these millions of people into Canaan…something that Moses couldn’t even do? What if I fail?
God: No one will be able to resist you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
Joshua: What if you leave us?
God: I will not abandon you or leave you alone.
Joshua: Is this for real…I am getting heart palpitations. I can’t breath…can someone hand me a bag? The land of Canaan is HUGE and there are so many big people there…I’ve seen them…You can lead us, but I cannot…this is going to be rough…
God: Be strong and brave! You must lead these people in the conquest of this land that I have solemnly promised their ancestors I would hand over to them.
Joshua: How can I possibly succeed?
God: Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do. This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful.
Joshua: Yes, Lord. But I am so scared. All these people…
God: I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God am with you in all you do.
Admittedly, I project my own fears onto Joshua. There have been innumerable opportunities for me to panic or to get excited about something. But God doesn’t want me to panic. He wants me to be strong and brave. He wants His people to remember what He says. He wants us to trust in Him.
This world and all it’s degradation may seem overwhelming and frightening. We cannot control everything and everyone from making bad choices and doing the wrong thing. But we CAN control ourselves. We can choose to BE STRONG and NOT PANIC. We can choose to obey God. Then, when we obey God, we LOVE God and are better able to love others. Be careful not to get caught up in the high paced energy of panic and cultural sensationalism. If you trust God, you can trust HE has a good and perfect plan of an abundant life in HIS Promised Land.