Joshua Assumes Command
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, to possess it.’”
12 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua [f]said, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to [g]your own land, and possess [h]that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses.18 Anyone who rebels against your [i]command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”
The last section is a bit interesting, and echoes earlier passages. The tribes who had claimed land east of the Jordan told Joshua they would obey him just like they did Moses, but only if God was with him (like He was with Moses). With God on his side, they even took it a step further and said they would defend his leadership to the penalty of death. Then they reminded Joshua, “be strong and courageous.”
But there is a different take that we will see soon. And that is, God is not on anyone’s side, but He IS with those who choose to follow where He leads and obey His commands. We cannot really say, “God is on our side, because we are Christians.” But rather, we say, “We are on God’s side, which means we are Christians.” When you say it that way, anyone who would oppose you is actually opposing God, and… good luck with that.
Not to say it will all be clear sailing, for we mess up, and we live in a fallen world (both the people and the earth we live in are broken). But when we follow God, we have the assurance that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God…”
Which means we trust Him, because He IS good, and even when we go through storms, it is because they are necessary for His plan.