小朋友们，你有没有玩过“跟我学" 这个游戏？就是一个人做领袖, 而其他的 小朋友排成一对，跟在他后面，学他的样子。如果他跳一下，其他的人也学他跳一 下，如果他转个身，其他的人也和他一样转个身。 也就是说：领袖做什么，其他的 人也跟着做什么。那你愿意做一个跟着的人，还是愿意作领袖呢？当然是作领袖， 对不对。玩游戏的时候当然会很有意思，但是，在我们的生活里，要当领袖可不是 一件容易的事。 我们今天圣经故事里的这个领袖要面对的就是一些很难对付的问题。
我们故事里的第一个领袖是摩西。神让他带领以色列人从埃及为奴之地出来。让我 们回到出埃及记第3章10-12节，看看神怎样呼召了摩西。神说：“我要打发你去见 法老，使你可以将我的百姓以色列人从埃及领出来。”摩西对神说：“我是什么人， 竟能去见法老，将以色列人从埃及领出来呢？”神说：“我必与你同在。”神实现 他的应许！他与摩西同在，带领以色列人出了埃及。后来，神给摩西一个敬虔的年 轻人做他的帮手，他的名字叫约书亚。
摩西曾经派约书亚去攻打他们的敌人 - 亚玛力人。 当摩西上西乃山，从神那里接 受刻有十条诫命的法板的时候，约书亚也被摩西带到山上。摩西还派约书亚与其他 11个探子去窥探迦南地。正是约书亚和迦勒，虽然看到了迦南地高大的住民，他们 也没有丧失信心。所以，只有约书亚和迦勒能够活着进神的应许之地，所有与约书 亚同一代的人都因不相信神而背叛了神。因着他们的不信，神让他们在旷野飘流了 40年，除了约书亚和迦勒，其他与约书亚同一代的人都要在这40年中死去。
不相信神是一个非常严重的罪，它给以色列人带来厉害的惩罚。它使与约书亚和迦 勒同一代的人不能进入神的应许之地。他们在旷野飘流了40年，直到他们都死去了。 现在，40年已经过去了。年轻的一代已经长大，神又一次带他们来到应许之地-迦南 地的边缘。泥黄色的约但河就在他们前面。这时的摩西已经120岁了，但圣经告诉我 们，他眼目没有昏花，精神没有衰败。摩西知道他不能领以色列人过约但河进入他 们的新家，因为神即将带摩西回到永远的天家。神对摩西说：“带约书亚来， 在 百姓面前按手在他身上， 他将成为以色列人的领袖。 ”摩西按照神所说的做了， 并告诉约书亚， “你当刚强壮胆。” 这句话约书亚以后常常听到。 摩西接着说：“你要和这百姓一同进入神的应许之地，神必在你前面行，神必与你同在，必不撇 下你，也不丢弃你。不要惧怕，也不要惊惶。”作为一个新领袖， 约书亚真的很需 要听到这些鼓励的话。 过了不久， 摩西死了。神对约书亚说：“我的仆人摩西死 了。现在你要起来，和众百姓过这约但河，往我所要赐给以色列人的地去。”神应 许约书亚凡他脚掌所踏之地都赐给他，没有一个人能在他面前站立得住。摩西曾经 鼓励过约书亚，现在神亲自来鼓励他。作为一个新领袖， 约书亚真的很需要听到这 些鼓励的话。约书亚不但要领导这200万人， 他还要带他们过约旦河。约书亚知道 知道约旦河的另一边住着许多的敌人， 其中甚至有巨人。
这些都是很难的问题， 约书亚知道知道他没有办法解决这些问题。 但是他知道神与他同在， 不论多大的问题都掌管在这一位神手中。约书亚知道知道这位天地的主与他同在。
神继续对约书亚说：“我怎样与摩西同在，也必照样与你同在。 只要刚强，大大 壮胆，谨守遵行我仆人摩西所吩咐你的一切律法，不可偏离左右。这律法书不可离 开你的口，要昼夜思想，好使你谨守遵行这书上所写的一切话。这样，你的道路就 可以亨通，凡事顺利。” 这就是我们今天要学的圣经经节。 请站起来和我一起说， 约书亚记一章九节 ：“ 你当刚强壮胆！不要惧怕，也不要惊惶，因为你无论往哪 里去，耶和华你的神必与你同在。”
你知道吗？如果你相信主耶稣，这些鼓励的话也是对你说的。要记住，主与你同在。 不论你面临什么样的问题，神应许他与你同在，并帮助你。在耶利米书 32：7，神 说“我是耶和华，是凡有血气者的神，岂有我难成的事吗？”得胜的秘诀就是象约 书亚那样：要听，读，默想，背诵，并顺服神的话。让我们用五个手指来代表这五 个词，从最小的手指开始。记住这五个词，当你觉得泄气的时候，你可以把它们变 成你的祷告。你要牢记神的真理，并求他来帮助你。神大过你所有的问题，如果你 认识主耶稣，他就与你同在，并帮助你。 约书亚在他的一生里看到神的作为，但他 仍然需要神话语的鼓励。
凭着对神的信心，约书亚为下一步做好了准备。他下令给以色列人的官长说：“你 们要走遍营中，让百姓准备好，三日之内，我们要过约但河，进去得神赐给你们的 应许之地。”小朋友们，以色列百姓听到这个消息。别提有多兴奋了。经过这么多 年，他们终于要进入神的应许之地了。于是，母亲们开始准备食物，也许小孩子们 在帮忙挤牛奶，羊奶，采草梅。也许父亲们在磨刀枪。有些人对约书亚说：“你所 吩咐我们行的，我们都必行；你所差遣我们去的，我们都必去。我们从前在一切事 上怎样听从摩西，现在也必照样听从你；惟愿耶和华你的神与你同在，像与摩西同 在一样。”然后他们提到我们今天所的圣经经节，让咱们一起说：“你要刚强壮胆”。
Have you ever played “Follow the Leader？” It’s a game where one child is the leader and the other boys and girls have to follow him in a line and jump if he jumps, and turn around if he turns around, etc. Whatever they see the leader do, the followers must do. Would you rather be the follower or the leader？The leader, of course! Now that can be a lot of fun in a game, but in real life, it’s not always easy to be a leader. The leaders in our Bible lesson today faced some BIG problems.
The first leader in our lesson was Moses. God called him to lead the nation of Israel out of slavery from Egypt. Let’s go back to Exodus 3：10-12 and remember how God called Moses：Come now, …and I will send you unto Pharaoh, that you may bring my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, “Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt？”
And he (God) said, “Certainly I will be with you; …” And God kept His Word! He WAS with Moses and He DID lead the people out of slavery. God gave Moses a godly young man as his minister, or closest helper. His name was Joshua.
And it was Joshua whom Moses sent to lead the battle against Amalek, their enemies. It was Joshua whom Moses took with him up into Mt. Sinai when Moses received the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. It was Joshua Moses chose to go with 11 other spies into the land of Canaan. And it was Joshua along with Caleb who stood strong in their faith even after seeing giants in the land of Canaan. And it was only Joshua and Caleb whom God granted the privilege of living to see the land of Canaan. All the rest of Joshua’s generation had rebelled against the Lord in not believing Him. Because of their unbelief, God made the people wander around in the wilderness for 40 more years, until all of them died…except Joshua and Caleb.
Not believing our God is a serious sin, and brought serious punishment on the people of Israel. It caused the people who were Joshua and Caleb’s age to miss going into the Promised Land. Instead they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years, until all of them died. But now, the 40 years have passed, the younger people are all grown up, and God has once again brought them to the border of Canaan, the Promised Land! The muddy brown Jordan River was all that stood between them! Moses was about 120 years old now, but still bright eyed and energetic, the Bible tells us. Yet Moses knew it would not be his job to lead the people across the Jordan into their new home. God was about to take Moses to his forever home in Heaven. God said to Moses, “Take Joshua and lay your hand on him in the sight of all the people. He will be the leader for all the children of Israel.” Moses obeyed the Lord, and told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage, ” he said. Joshua was going to hear those same words over and over! And that’s part of our memory verse today, isn’t it! Moses continued, “You must go with this people to the land God promised them, and the Lord, He is the one who goes before you; He will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear nor be dismayed.” As a new leader, Joshua needed to hear those encouraging words!
Then not long after that, Moses died. God told Joshua, “Moses My servant is dead. Now arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people to the land I have given to the people of Israel.”
God promised Joshua that every piece of ground his foot touched was going to be given to him, and that no man would be able to stand against him. Moses had encouraged him, now God was cheering Joshua on! As a new leader, Joshua surely needed to hear those words! Not only was Joshua going to be leading about two million people, but they were going to depend on him to get them across that Jordan River, and Joshua knew across that river lived many enemies, some of which were giants.
These were big problems, and Joshua knew he was not able to solve them! But Joshua also knew the Lord God was with him, and his God was bigger than ANY problem! He knew the LORD was with him!
God continued to instruct Joshua：As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. Only be strong and very courageous, and keep My laws. Don’t turn from my law to the right or to the left.
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so you will remember to do all that is written there. This will be the secret of your success.
Then God spoke the words of our Bible verse for today. Won’t you stand right now and say it with me？Joshua 1：9 Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Did you know those same encouraging words are also for you, if you have believed on the Lord Jesus' Remember, the Lord is with you! No matter what problem or project you are facing, God has promised He is with you to help you. In Jeremiah 32：7 God asks a question that needs no answer：“Is there anything too hard for Me？” The secret of success for you is the same as for Joshua：that you hear, read, meditate, memorize and OBEY the words of your God! Let’s say one word for each finger on our hand, starting with the smallest finger. When you memorize these encouraging words, then you can turn them into a prayer when you are feeling discouraged. You can remember His truth and ask Him for His help! God is bigger than any problem, and if you know the Lord Jesus, HE IS WITH YOU and will help you. Joshua had seen that all of his life, but still he needed those encouraging words from the Lord!
Then with confidence in the Lord, Joshua was ready to take the next step. He commanded the officers of the people：Go through the camp and tell everyone to prepare food and get things ready, for in 3 days we will pass over the Jordan River to go and take the land God has given us!
Boys and girls, don’t you know the people were excited!! After all these years, FINALLY, they were going into the Promised Land! The mothers began to prepare food, maybe the children and teens were milking cows and goats, and picking berries. Perhaps the fathers were sharpening knives and spears. Some of the people responded to Joshua, All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. May the Lord be with you as He was with Moses. And then they added the words from our Bible verse!
Can you say them with me？Be strong and of a good courage!
Conclusion：First from Moses, then from the Lord, now from the people Joshua was being encouraged with those words! And with God’s help, Joshua knew they would go into the land of Canaan!