Summary: Joshua’ s BELIEF DETERMINED HIS BEHAVIOR.
Key Verse: Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
What is Courage?
Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain without fear.
Other descriptions of Courage?
1. Courage is grace under pressure
2. Courage is fear that has said its prayers – Karl Barth
3. Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are afraid. – Eddie Rickenbacker
But my favorite definition is given by everyone’s favorite hero, JOHN WAYNE….
Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. - John Wayne
If you were here last Sunday evening, and viewed the movie COURAGEOUS, then you would understand the toughest, most enduring, and satisfying job any of us take on, is to be a Christian, godly mom or dad.
Living the Christian life is not for the faint of heart. It is all too easy, as many have to run in fear from the responsibilities and challenges being a godly husband/ wife and parent entails.
In short IT TAKES COURAGE.
For the next few weeks, we will learn from Joshua what it means to be a person of courageous faith.
To fully understand Joshua’s situation, we need to go back in time to the book of Numbers.
Joshua and Caleb had been minority voices when it had come time to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14).
As Israel came to the end of their travels on the Sinai Peninsula, they came to a place called Kadesh-Barnea.
It is at this place that Moses appointed twelve men to spy out the Promised Land.
Joshua was one of these men.
For forty days they traveled and investigated the length and breadth of the land.
When they returned, they all agreed that the land was truly wonderful. It was a land of milk and honey.
But, ten of the spies gave a discouraging report. They said that the enemy cities with their armies were too great. They would be like grasshoppers to these people.
There was no way that the people of Israel would be strong enough to defeat them.
Joshua and Caleb, though, said such a report was a bunch of nonsense. If they trusted God, moved forward, and took the land as they were instructed, they would be victorious.
Guess whom the people listened to? Right…the majority view. So…
For their lack of faith and courage, the people of Israel were left to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
This decision on the part of the people was an act of rebellion in God’s judgment.
God would not have a people that refused to trust Him enter into the Promised Land.
Why do many people choose to run the other way from God’s promises ?
• One reason is that some people are afraid of the changes they perceive marriage and parent hood brings. I hear people say things such as, “We will live together, just to see if we can really get along.” What they are saying is, they are afraid of the perceived changes they will inevitably have to make, and want an easy back out plan.
• Then there is the fear arising from the SIZE of the challenge. Some look at the problems they are facing or the challenge of family itself and conclude it’s just too big a challenge, why bother?
• If the size of the challenge doesn’t scare people off, then the lack of self confidence will. Some people feel that they do not have what it takes to be a godly husband/wife or mom/dad and so don’t even try.
Joshua and Isreal faced all this and more as they faced the challenge to move forward in God’s will.
Joshua had every reason to feel afraid, intimidated, and insecure nevertheless he chose to obediently move forward with great faith and confidence in the Lord.
Now put yourself in Joshua’s sandals.
The only leader Isreal had known for 40 years was Moses.
Moses had led Isreal out of Egypt when Joshua was just a teenager.. Moses had led them through the Red Sea. God had used Moses to provide water, food, clothing, and shelter.
Under Moses’ leadership, the Isrealites had experienced the Pillar of fire by night and cloud by day.
Under Moses leadership, the tabernacle had been constructed and the Ark of the Covenant had been built. Moses had been given the Ten Commandments. He had seen God face to face.,
Now Joshua was expected to fill Moses shoes and take up the mantle of leadership.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
We can only imagine how intimidated Joshua must have felt have to take the helm of leadership from Moses. I know how I would have felt.