“May 23–29. Joshua 1–8; 23–24: ‘Be Strong and of a Good Courage,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“May 23–29. Joshua 1–8; 23–24,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
Joshua 1–8; 23–24
“Be Strong and of a Good Courage”
As you study the book of Joshua, consider how the things you learn about the Israelites can increase your faith in Jesus Christ.
Record Your Impressions
It had taken several generations, but the Lord’s promise was about to be fulfilled: the children of Israel were on the verge of inheriting the promised land. But in their way stood the Jordan River, the walls of Jericho, and a wicked but mighty people who had rejected the Lord (see 1 Nephi 17:35). On top of that, their beloved leader Moses was gone. The situation may have made some Israelites feel weak and fearful, but the Lord said, “Be strong and of a good courage.” Why should they feel this way? Not because of their own strength—or even Moses’s or Joshua’s—but because “the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). When we have our own rivers to cross and walls to bring down, wonderful things can happen in our lives, because it is “the Lord [who] will do wonders among [us]” (Joshua 3:5).
For an overview of the book of Joshua, see “Joshua, book of” in the Bible Dictionary.
Ideas for Personal Scripture Study
God will be with me if I am faithful to Him.
Imagine what it might have been like for Joshua to be called to replace Moses. Notice what the Lord said in Joshua 1:1–9 to encourage him. Think about the difficult challenges you face; what in these verses gives you courage?
It may be interesting to note that the name Joshua (Yehoshua or Yeshua in Hebrew) means “Jehovah saves.” And the name Jesus comes from Yeshua. So as you read about Joshua, consider how his mission to lead the children of Israel into the promised land reminds you of the Savior’s mission.
See also Ann M. Dibb, “Be of a Good Courage,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 114–16.
Both faith and works are necessary for salvation.
Early Christians saw Rahab as an example of the power of both faith and works (see Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). As you read Joshua 2, consider the role of Rahab’s faith and works in saving herself, her family, and the Israelite scouts. What does this teach you about how your faith in Christ and your works can influence yourself and others?
You may be interested to know that Rahab was the ancestor of both King David and Jesus Christ (see Matthew 1:5). What possible lessons can we learn from this?
I can experience God’s “wonders” if I have faith in Jesus Christ.
The Lord desires that “all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty” (Joshua 4:24). As you read Joshua 3–4, ponder how you know the hand of the Lord is mighty. How has the Lord done “wonders” in your life? (Joshua 3:5). How can you experience—or recognize—those wonders more often? (for example, see Joshua 3:17).
Why do you think the Israelites needed to sanctify themselves before they crossed the Jordan River? What significance do you find in the fact that the river parted only after “the feet of the priests … were dipped in the brim of the water”? (Joshua 3:13, 15).
For other significant events that happened at the Jordan River, see 2 Kings 2:6–15; 5:1–14; and Mark 1:9–11. As you ponder these scriptures, what connections do you see between these events?
See also Gérald Caussé, “Is It Still Wonderful to You?” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 98–100; “Exercise Faith in Christ” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Obedience brings God’s power into my life.
These chapters deal with battles over the lands of Jericho and Ai. As you read them, consider how you battle temptation in your own life (for example, see Joshua 7:10–13). What do you learn about how God can help you and what you need to do to access His power? For example, what impresses you about the Lord’s instructions for taking Jericho? (see Joshua 6:1–5). Perhaps the account in Joshua 7 will inspire you to determine if “there is an accursed thing” in your life that you need to remove (Joshua 7:13).
“Cleave unto the Lord your God.”
After dividing the promised land among the twelve tribes of Israel (see Joshua 13–21), Joshua gave them his final teachings. As you read these teachings in Joshua 23–24, you might keep a list of the warnings, counsel, and promised blessings you find. Considering everything the Israelites had been through, why do you think Joshua chose to tell them these things at the end of his life? What do you find that inspires you to “cleave unto the Lord”? (Joshua 23:8).
Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening
What does this verse suggest about how we should approach our scripture study, both individually and as a family? How have the scriptures made our “way prosperous” and brought us “good success”?
Joshua 4:3, 6–9.
After reading what the Lord wanted the Israelites to do with stones from the Jordan River, your family could talk about some of the great things the Lord has done for you. Then you could give each family member a stone and invite them to write or draw on it something the Lord has done for them.
Your family might have fun acting out the instructions the Lord gave to the Israelites in order to conquer Jericho. What might the Lord want us to learn from this story?
After reading this verse, family members could share experiences in which they chose to serve the Lord even though it was difficult. Why is it important to make the choice to serve Him “this day” instead of waiting to decide until a situation arises? How can we support members of our “house” as we strive to “serve the Lord”?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Choose the Right,” Hymns, no. 239.