Summary: Joshua was one of the greatest heroes in the Old Testament. This message examines the qualities that he had in his life
A Hero’s Heart
Essential 100 Series
February 3, 2008
Have any of you heard of Alvin York? Sadly this amazing man has been all but forgotten by most Americans. Alvin York was a hero’s hero. On October 8, 1918 York was serving as a Sergeant in the US Army and single handedly captured 132 German soldiers. York earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. York was an example of courage and selflessness.
Even more importantly than the heroics on the battlefield York was a hero in his personal conduct. Let me show you what I mean listen to this quote from his diary
On July 1st, 1918 he wrote:
I carried a Testament with me. I have the Testament I carried with me
during all my fighting at home now. I read it through five times during my stay in the army. I read it everywhere. I read it in dugouts, in fox holes, and on the front line. It was my rock to cling to. It and my diary. I didn’t do any cursing, no, not even in the front line. I cut all of that out long ago, at the time I was saved.
A hero is someone who does much more than just an amazing thing. A hero is someone who reflects heroism in his life. A hero is someone who does heroic things because his character demands it.
Adapted from Portrait of a Hero by Keith Andrews
Biblical Examples of Heroism
David faced Goliath when no one else would
Daniel stood for his faith and ended up in the lion’s den
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown in the furnace
Esther risked her life going before the king
Stephen when he stood before the Sanhedrin
Ananias when he went to Saul following his conversion
After the death of Moses, Israel needed a hero and God delivered. God raised up a man named Joshua. I firmly believe that Joshua is one of the greatest unsung heroes of the Bible. So let’s take a moment to look at the situation Israel was in.
The Background for Israel
Israel was going through a state of change and transition. There were a number of things that would affect the entire history of Israel during this period of time.
A new beginning
The current position of Israel would mark a new beginning. The people were camped on the outskirts of the Promised Land and were preparing to enter Canaan. Israel was completing 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The entire generation who refused to enter the land under Moses was now dead with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. Now Israel was back at the Promised Land waiting to conquer it.
A change in leadership
The Bible marks changes in leadership often as the beginning of new eras or times in Israel’s history. Moses was the greatest leader in the history of Israel and he would have been difficult to follow. Moses had just died and Joshua has assumed command of Israel.
A coming conflict
War was on the horizon for Israel and there was no way around it. God was giving them the Promised Land but they needed to conquer it. Israel already knew what to expect because they had been here before. They knew that the enemies were strong but they also knew that God was with them.
This was the atmosphere that Joshua was entering as leader of the people of Israel. What do we know about Joshua at this point?
5 No one will be able to stand up 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 forefathers 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 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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 terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:5-9
Joshua was indeed a hero’s hero. What does it take to have the heart of a hero?
A True Hero Lives with Courage (5-6)
5 No one will be able to stand up 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 forefathers to give them.