Summary: Message 8 in our journey with Joshua into the Promised Land. This message explores the preparation to conquer the Canaanites provided by Moses in Deuteronomy.
Joshua Series #8
The Amazing Race to Rest & Reward
Review / Introduction
The book of Joshua is all about the fulfillment of a promise made to Abraham hundreds of years before. God chose to bless Abraham who was living near Babylon. He promised to build from him a great nation, give them a special land and bless him. Abraham believed God and God made a covenant with Abraham to bring it about. The book of Genesis is about the unfolding of that promise. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are about the development of that promised people and their journey to the special land promised by God.
The book of Joshua is about the entrance into that Promised Land.
I. Purge the Land 1-12
A. God Prepared Joshua for leadership 1
Listen, trust, obey
B. Joshua prepared the people to possess the land 2
1. Joshua commissioned spies and God saved Rahab 2
2. Joshua led the people through the Jordan 3-4
3. Joshua reinforced the people’s connection to Yahweh 5
a. Through circumcision
b. Through Passover
As we have previously taught, the events associated with their journey parallel events connected to aspects of the Christian journey toward peace and the faith walk. The defeat of Egypt and the humiliation of the demonic powers they worshipped by the power of God parallel the defeat of the devil and his sorry soldiers by the work of Christ on the cross.
The journey to the Promised Land with all of its twists and turns parallels the kinds of things a new Christian might encounter as they learn to trust God in a broken world driven by the devil.
The encounter of the raging Jordan River resembles the kinds of things we encounter in the world that keep us from experiencing His promised peace. They broke through that formidable barrier by listening, trusting and obeying God’s word. It is the same secret of breaking through the things that block our peace.
Once they had confronted the world’s obstacles and put their feet on the land there was another obstacle they needed to confront; battles. The encounter with the evil people occupying their land is similar to our continual battle with Satan’s attempt to rob us of our rest and peace. He goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. There are many things to learn from their experience that can be applied to ours. However, before we can effectively purge the influence of the enemy from our lives; two things must be clear.
First, we must be clear about our identity. James tells us to submit to God and then resist the devil and then draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. We must be clear as to who we are.
Second, we must be clear that the Christian life is primarily spiritual. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Before Christ, a fleshly earth focus is all that was possible. Since we have been raised up with Him we are to focus on the eternal. For Israel this reality was symbolized by the rite of circumcision.
Circumcision symbolized their covenant connection to God.
Circumcision symbolized a spiritual relationship.
Circumcision symbolized purity.
There are three battles every Christian must wage.
Battle with the devil-directed world system
Battle with an inherited fleshly bent that resists the new longings of new heart
Battle with the devil and his fellow fallen angels
We battle the world by continually renewing our thinking with the truth. We battle the flesh by living by the direction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We battle the devil by resisting in the strength the Lord. A parallel ceremony to circumcision for the Christian to publicly express their full commitment to Christ would be water baptism. Besides circumcision, the Israelites celebrate Passover for the first time since the original one.
While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year. Joshua 5:10-12
Passover was supposed to be an annual remembrance of their salvation from Egypt. As far as we know, they failed to celebrate this most important remembrance all through the wilderness journey. No wonder they lost the significance of the great deliverance. Moses told them never to forget. It was to be the basis of their faith that the same God who defeated Egypt and its gods and parted the Red Sea and dammed up the Jordan would certainly defeat those occupying their inheritance.