After settling in the Promised Land, Joshua and the elders of Israel were left with the onerous task of dividing the land for the tribes. The people of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) had their allotment among the Canaanites who dwelt in the plain of Beth Shan and the Valley of Jezreel. These were highly sophisticated people with iron chariots for battle. Naturally, they were afraid but Joshua encouraged them, “…though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out” (v 18b). The good news is that they did!

“Encouragement is oxygen to the soul,” an unknown source has said, yet it is probably the most reserved of all resources. As humans, we are quick to criticize, lambast, and punish yet when it comes to encouragement, we refrain. However, if bad must be punished, then good must be praised.

Many more people could have made it in Africa but for the condemnation, jealousy, rivalry, and pull him down attitude that characterizes us. We must be Africa’s hope, encouraging her sons/daughters to rise to the top.

The story is told of a white man whose son made 6 ‘Fs’ and 1 ‘E’ in a seven-subject examination. When the lad brought his results home, his daddy after scrutinizing the results remarked, “Well son, it’s clear you gave more attention to this one course than the other six.” This was the beginning of transformation in the academic life of the boy.