Summary: We are destined to win through Christ’s cross, through Christ’s power, and through our death (Seedthoughts from Bible Hub at: http://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/adeney/victory_and_rest.htm)
At the 2002 Winter Olympics, there were five finalist for the Men’s 1000 Meter Speed Skating Race. During the final lap, the American and Chinese were out front with the Canadian and Korean skaters hot on their heels. The Australia trailed behind for last place. They came around the last curve for the final straightaway stretch. The winner would receive the Olympic Gold medal. Suddenly, the Chinese skater slightly bumped the American and sent both of them careening into the wall as they spun out of control. With no time or space to get out of the way, the tangled mess caused the Canadian and Korean skaters to also spin out of control and join them in a tangled heap of arms and legs. The Australian skater pushed by the heap and shouted to the top of his lungs as he crossed the finish line, “Gold! I won the Gold!” He won the Gold for no other reason than he crossed the finish line! He finished the race! He was not the fastest. He did not set any records. He just simply didn’t quit or get tangled up in the mess around him. “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.
God made the world and everything in it. God placed the man and the woman in the best place, the Garden of Eden. The serpent, Satan, came and tempted Eve to break the only command of the Lord God. Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and she gave some to Adam and he ate. From that point on, there has been war over the souls of mankind. God let’s us know that one day he is going to do something about this when he spoke this to the serpent: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”” Genesis 3:15, NIV.
Before that day, God began by making a people, a nation, exclusively for himself. God called Abraham to leave the land that he knew and go to a new place, the land of Canaan. In faith Abraham obeyed, and we find God giving him this promise: “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring for ever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”” Genesis 13:14-17, NIV.
Abraham’s descendants went to live in Egypt for a time. While there they increased in number as promised but the Egyptians enslaved them. God sent Moses and through God’s power the Israelites were freed and left Egypt. While on the way to the Promised Land, the Israelites disobeyed God’s will and commands time and time again. They lacked the faith to go into the Promised Land under Moses and so the Lord caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation died out. At the end of those 40 years, Moses died. Joshua, Moses’ aide, was chosen by God to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua was about 40 years old when he was freed and went with his people out into the wilderness. Joshua is about 80 years old when he leads the Israelites into the Promised Land. He and Caleb are the only ones from that generation that lived to claim their inheritance in the Promised Land. No one could replace Moses, so Joshua needs some encouragement. We find at the beginning of this book: “After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: “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. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses... 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. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 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. 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. 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 1:1-9.