Campfire Scripture: A dose of man-Bible every weekday, great for strength of mind and body in Christ.
Book Author and Date:
Moses is the author of Deuteronomy, besides a small passage at the end detailing his death and burial. Given that the book contains well wishes for the Israelites just before they moved to enter the Promised land, Deuteronomy would’ve been written right at the very end of Moses life at the ripe old age of 120. So the book would’ve been written around 1405 A.D.
Deuteronomy is Moses final exhortation to the people of Israel before they head into the Promised land. By this stage Moses knows full well that as punishment for his disobedience he will not be joining them. So it is bitter sweet. Like a father watching his son leave home for college for the first time (because that’s how Americans do it).
Moses is exhorting Joshua specifically in this passage, ‘in the sight of all Israel’. Moses wanted all Israel to know that Joshua was anointed by God to lead Israel into the Promised land. He was encouraging Joshua to be faithful and know that God would be with them no matter what and that everything would pass according to his will. They would inherit the land of Israel, because the Lord said they would.
What I Reckon:
A classic verse demonstrating the high regard that the Lord holds for the virtues of strength and courage. Not just arbitrary ‘strength’ but real physical strength and strength of character and resolve. All of these things would be necessary to lead Israel against its enemies and capture their inheritance.
Moses was making it clear that Joshua was their new leader, that this was God’s will and blessing, and that Joshua was being held accountable in the sight of Israel to stay strong and true to the Lord. Which is exactly what Joshua did. The book of Joshua contains no references to sin on Joshua’s part. That doesn’t mean he never sinned, only that there were no glaring examples worthy of note. He was faithful and trusted in the Lord all his days and led the Israelites into the promised land with courage and strength, just as he was told to.
While Moses was talking specifically to Joshua, we can be certain that courage and strength are held in high regard generally for all believers today too. I’m not talking about the ‘courage’ to post a Jesus’y meme on FaceBook either. I’m talking about real actual courage. The courage to participate in a pro-life rally and to stand up to bullies. And strength, the strength to perform a low bar squat, or do a set of body weight pull ups. The Lord values these qualities.
All Campfire Scripture passages are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise stated.
John MacArthur, 2006, The MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (1995 edition).