1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success [act wisely] wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
10 And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”
12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! 18 Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”
Ultimately, the important thing is never one individual in the ministry; it's the divine Master who controls and guides and directs.
"God buries His workmen, but His work goes on." Monument of John Wesley and Charles Wesley in Westminster Abbey and a representation of John Wesley preaching on his father’s tombstone in Epworth churchyard .
1. How well did God explain?
2. What 3 things did God commission Joshua to do? What were the 3 promises?
3. Why is Moses mentioned 57 times in the book of Joshua?
4. What 4 ways does God encourage Joshua in this passage?
5. How is Joshua, personally, to live it?
God commissioned Joshua to do three things: to lead the people into the land; to defeat the enemies they would face in all the fortified cities, all the Canaanite tribes in the land; and to claim the inheritance of the land. God could have chosen some supernatural means to accomplish these things, such as sending an angel. But he chose a person just like us, and he promised to give that person the power he would need to get the job done.
Deuteronomy 31 talks about Moses' completing the book and of his committing it to the care of the priests, but it wasn't enough that the priests carried it around and protected it. No, Joshua had to take the time to read it every single day, to make it a part of his inner person by meditating on it. I love the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary when he appeared to her and told her about how God wanted her to give birth to the Savior of the world, and she asked the very logical question, "How can an unwed teenage girl get pregnant?" Gabriel's response was this (American Standard Version, 1901): "For no word from God shall be void of power." The very word that God speaks has in it the power of fulfillment. Our call is to trust God's word and walk in obedience to it.
Wise leadership does not abandon the past. You work at maintaining continuity, building on the past while moving into the future. I said in the last message that Moses is mentioned fifty-seven times in the book of Joshua. That is evidence of Joshua's deep respect for Moses and his gratitude for what Moses had done for Israel. Joshua worshiped the same God that Moses worshiped and obeyed the same word of God that Moses had given to the nation. But that doesn't mean that there has to be personal conformity from one leader to the next, because every leader is different in gifts, temperament, style, and personality; and we really are free to maintain our individuality as men and women of God.
In this message we're going to identify with Joshua in the opening section of this book as he is called to step into Moses' sandals. The word courage, which is the root of the word encouragement, is found three times in this section and is the heart of the passage. In Joshua 1:6, God says to Joshua, "Be strong and of good courage...." In the next verse as well he says, "Only be strong and very courageous...." And then in verse 9 he says, "... Be strong and of good courage...." What a new leader needs is not advice from the old-timers but encouragement more than anything else. The New Testament verb to encourage literally means "to put heart into," or to help put courage into someone's heart so that they'll have a brave, strong, fearless heart.
The 4 encouraging steps of God are: First, in 1:1,2 God encourages Joshua in his personal calling or commissioning. Second, in 1:3-6 he encourages Joshua in his promises for the future, which are absolute guarantees of how things will turn out. Third, in 1:7,8 he encourages Joshua with his written word that he gave to Moses. And fourth, in 1:9 he encourages Joshua, strangely enough, through a direct command.
A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW
Joshua - The Adventure and Victory of Faith
by Doug Goins
There is an important lesson for us today in all of this. God has given us all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus (see Ephesians 1), and we must step out by faith to claim those blessings. The apostle John was writing to the first-century Christians in the city of Philadelphia in Turkey about stepping out, about walking into the land: "I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door [a door of opportunity to walk through], a door which no one can shut. You have little power, but you have kept my word, you have not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). Jesus, speaking through John, is saying, "I know you're not that great. You can't smash doors open and force your way in anywhere. And you shouldn't. But when God opens doors before you, choose to walk through them."
Best of all, God has made the identical promise to us as his people today. Remember, the gospel of Matthew opens with the promise of Emmanuel, "God with us." And it concludes with the Lord Jesus' saying to us, "...Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Hebrews 13:5, as we saw in the last message, quotes this verse in Joshua; that New Testament writer applies this truth to us as Christians today in very practical areas of our lives. What all of this means for us as God's people is that we can keep moving forward into God's will. We can be absolutely assured of God's presence and power. We can claim the great news of Romans 8:31: "If God is for us, who is against us?" There is no opposition that God can't or won't take us through.