In the opening verses of Joshua, Moses has died and the leadership of the children of Israel is placed in the hands of Joshua. That 2nd verse of Joshua 1 has a sense of alarm attached to it: “Moses my servant is dead”.
This great leader, upon whom the entire Israelite nation depended to lead them into the Promised Land is dead. Forty years of wandering and wondering and that moment of promise is placed in the hands of an untested individual, Joshua. Untested? In a certain sense he was just that, but in another sense his tutelage has been mirrored in close association with Moses and his appointment is of God.
God speaks with authority: “Now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all these people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.”(v2) This is the same man who had come back from spying out the Land and had his advice nullified by others. Personally, I cannot envision being placed in that position, but like Moses, he sought only what God wanted.
Moses was dead, but not God! When you read the context of Scripture you can hear the Lord speaking and that is sufficient! Although this hard headed people would not realize God’s undertaking, the promise had been made and the people gradually followed in obedience.