And the Lord heard the sound of your words, and was angry, and took an oath, saying, ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord.’ The Lord was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, ‘Even you shall not go in there. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Deuteronomy 1:34-38
In the above passage, Moses recalled what God told Him before the Israelites were about to enter the Land of Promise. First, the Lord told Moses that the current evil generation was not going to enter the Promised Land due to their unbelief and rebellion. The two who remained courageous from the generation that left Egypt were Caleb and Joshua, and they were the only ones who were going to enter the Promised Land from their generation.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:12
Second, God was not going to allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. God had spoken to Moses commanding him to speak to the rock. However, Moses hit the rock out of his anger and frustration. God told him because He was not hallowed in the eyes of the children of Israel, that Moses lost the privilege and the opportunity to take the children of Israel to the Promised Land. Lastly, the Lord told Moses that Joshua needed to be encouraged since he was going to lead the people into the Promised Land and help them inherit what God promised them.
While this encounter could have caused some disappointment for Moses, he still had to be in a position to encourage Joshua. His job wasn’t finished until he passed on the baton successfully to the next generation.
From everything we know about Joshua, he was a man of courage. However, this did not negate his need for encouragement for the big responsibility that he was going to take on. Joshua was about to take on a new role and fight new enemies that he had not encountered before. He was entering a new season that was full of possibilities and unknown, and he needed the encouragement of his mentor the man who had led the Israelites for forty years.
The above passage tells me that we need to be ready and willing to encourage others even when we may not feel like it. Furthermore, the Lord may ask us to encourage those who seem courageous already and do not appear to need encouragement.
Some of us may be entering a new season in our lives and are not very sure how we should proceed. What has worked in the past may no longer be valid, and we need the Lord’s guidance and the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us step into the unknown.
We all should make ourselves available to the Lord to be sent to someone who needs encouragement. The Lord by His mercy may send to us to those who need encouragement to step into the new season and not allow the unknown to stop them from moving forward. Some of these individuals will look like they are already courageous, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need additional encouragement to step into the unknown. If Joshua needed Moses’ encouragement, then any of us will need encouragement from time-to-time as well.