Joshua 1:1–3:17; 2 Corinthians 9:1–5; Psalm 47:1–9
“My servant Moses is dead” (Josh 1:2).
Imagine the shock of this moment for Joshua, Moses’ right-hand man. He probably already knew about Moses’ death before God told him (Deut 34:1–8), but it’s in this moment that he really feels the tragedy.
If you’ve experienced death, you know this feeling—the moment when someone looks you in the eyes and says, “They’re gone.” You can’t prepare for it. It’s death; there’s nothing you can do to change it or handle it.
This was also the moment when Joshua was confronted with the great leadership burden that he would now carry as a result of Moses’ passing—equivalent to the emotional burden a vice president carries as he’s being sworn into office after the president has died.
Yahweh tells Joshua, “Get up and cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. Every place that the soles of your feet will tread, I have given it to you, as I promised to Moses” (Josh 1:2–3). There isn’t a moment to spare; it’s time to move. So Joshua leads. Of all the incredible moments in his life—the battles he won and bravery he showed in the face of danger—this moment is probably the most impressive because he simply does it (Josh 2:1).
And Joshua does so in the face of the great fear of foreign warriors: “From the wilderness and the Lebanon, up to the great river, the river Euphrates, all of the land of the Hittites, and up to the great sea in the west, will be your territory” (Josh 1:4). He will face these warriors while still overcoming grief.
We all experience moments like these that will shape who we become. We’ll experience grief, pain, and difficult decisions. We may be called to lead people. What we do in these moments is what defines us; it determines what kind of Christ followers we will be.
Joshua experienced the great comfort of God’s Spirit and guidance, and Christians have the opportunity to do the same (Deut 34:9–12; John 17). That’s something that no one can take away from us and no circumstance can overcome.
How are you handling grief or pain in your life? What important moments and decisions are in front of you? How can you incorporate the Spirit into everything you do at this moment?
John D. Barry
 Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.