So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Moses is passing the mantle of leadership over Israel to Joshua. Moses is now 120 years old and God isn’t allowing him to enter the land promised to Abraham. Joshua is the one who is to take Israel into Canaan and God wants to remind them (and us) that He’s with them and He wants them (and us) to be strong and courageous. I love how the New Living Translation says “Do not panic.” One of my favorite books is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the guide in the book has the words “Don’t Panic” on the outside of it. Lot’s of things make us panic. The definition of panic is particularly interesting: “a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior.” When we give in to fear it causes us to make bad choices. That’s why God says to be strong and courageous. When we are strong and when we are courageous we don’t give into fear. Fear then isn’t able to “produce hysterical or irrational behavior.” How do we be strong and courageous? Remember that God is with you. When my kids get scared where do they go? They go running for a parent, someone who can help them. Let’s keep this in mind. Run to someone who can help you. Be strong and courageous and do not panic.