Read: Joshua 1-24
Review: I did a little hunting around about the book of Joshua. I loved this sermon! I was hunting around for some firm dates on Joshua’s time as the leader of the Israelites. THIS LINK shows the conquest of Canaan through the death of Joshua. The entire book of Joshua covers just under 39 years. Joshua was 110 years old when he died meaning his leadership didn’t begin until he was over 70 years old.
“There are three things that the people of Israel had to do before they could destroy the enemy in the land. First, they had to be circumcised. The second thing they needed to do was to celebrate the Passover for the first time since they had come out of the wilderness. Finally, before their conquest began, Joshua had to plan the strategy for taking the city of Jericho. He must have been a perplexed and bewildered man. How could he take this huge, walled city with this “army” of people, untrained in battle. As he looked out in the moonlight over the city, he saw a man standing there with a drawn sword, and said to him, “Are you on our side or on the side of the enemy? “The man said, “No; but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.'” (Josh. 5:14) That is, “I haven’t come to take sides but I have come to take over. It isn’t your job to plan the strategy of battle. That is my job. I have given the city of Jericho into your hands.” Then the man told Joshua the most remarkable battle plan that has ever been arranged. He was to have the people simply march around the city once a day for six days and on the seventh day, seven times; and then to blow a long blast on the trumpets and the walls would fall down. That was all there was to it.” Ray C. Stedman
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We learned in the last chapter of Deuteronomy that Moses was buried by God. Then Joshua has a conversation with God. The promises here in this first conversation are the foundation of how Joshua would lead the Israelites.
Record: Why was Joshua so confident moving forward with leading?
Does Moses seem like a good mentor to you?
How would you move forward if you heard words like this from God?
Reflect: Joshua was one of the only Israelites to live through the Exodus and the Conquering of Canaan. He was set apart when his unwavering faith in God was shown as Moses sent the spies to see Canaan the first time. Joshua saw Canaan 40 years apart, both with the understanding that the land was a gift from God to his people.
Joshua was Moses assistant and he served him consistently. This not only allowed for Joshua to learn the role he would step into, but it reinforced his faith as he watched God keep his promises for 40 years and continually extend grace to the Israelites.
I love the story of Joshua. To me, it reveals that God prepares us in the wilderness for the next steps in our lives. It is the place of learning, reinforcing, revealing and growth.