In Joshua 1:2, God continued to speak to Joshua, saying, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”
I want you to especially notice that God said, “...unto the land which I do give to them....” The Promised Land was just beyond the Jordan River, and the Israelites were nearly there! For many years, they had heard about the Promised Land, continually hoping and praying that one day they would finally see it.
On their long, arduous journey to the land God had prepared for them, the children of Israel had endured all kinds of hardship. They had dealt with rebellions, famines, the scorching heat of the desert, poisonous snakes, and long years of wandering back and forth on the same trails. To top it all off, their beloved leader had died before they ever made it to the Promised Land, even though he was originally supposed to lead them there. What an intense journey they had endured!
However, through all of the trials and temptations this younger generation of Israelites had faced, many of them had held fast to the vision God had given them for a better life in a new land, just as Joshua had. They held personal dreams in their hearts that they wanted to fulfill in the new land — and dreams have power. Dreams sustain the fire for the larger vision, which people need in order to keep going when times become difficult.
The older generation always remembered the provision of Egypt, which is why they kept looking back again and again. But the younger generation had been born and raised in the desert and had never known life outside of that dusty, barren place. The idea of a clean, beautiful green land that flowed with milk and honey must have been an incredible dream for these young Israelites! Now as they stood on the banks of the Jordan, they could look across and see the land they had dreamed about their entire lives.
As younger Israelites stood there on the banks of the Jordan, God commanded Joshua to “...arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel” (Joshua 1:2). Imagine how exciting that exciting that prophetic word must have been to those who had been waiting their whole lives for this moment! The dream was happening! The vision their parents had imparted to them was unfolding right before their eyes!