Joshua 8 opens with some of the most reassuring words found in the Bible, do not be afraid nor be dismayed.
This is the first of four uses of this phrase in the book of Joshua (cf. 10:8,25; 11:6).
Literally, these words are commands issued by the Lord to Joshua, the covenant leader of conquest prior to the defeat of Ai.
In a grammatical sense, God is imposing His will upon the will of Joshua as the commander of the Promised Land conquest.
This command not to fear is particularly reassuring after the failed attempt to defeat Ai in Joshua 7, as well as the disturbing events associated with Achan and his sin.
What is it that puts fear and dismay to rest? How do you just stop being afraid? How do you just stop shuttering with dismay?
The prescription is the Word of God and the promises of God. Only these things can quiet the restless and fearful soul.
When God commanded Joshua not to be afraid or be dismayed He followed the command with a word of promise.
In Joshua 8:1, the Lord said, “See, I have given into your hand, the King of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.”
The response of Joshua is detailed in verse 3, “Joshua arose, and all the people of war to go up against Ai.”
In the following verses, he commanded the troops what to do and most importantly, repeated God’s word of promise to them (8:7).
Are you afraid? Are you anxious about a situation in your life?
I trust that you will find your rest in the Word of our eternal God and that you will have the courage to do what He says.