Summary: The name “Joshua” means “Jehovah saved.” And that is exactly what happened again and again over the course of the life of the man we are going to study today. Joshua was Moses protégé so he had a great leadership example right in front of him. After Mo
Today we get to look at Joshua. That’s right, he’s the one who marched around the city of Jericho seven times, gave a shout, and watched the walls come tumbling down. The Book of Joshua is a marvelous recording of numerous miraculous events shaped Israel for a thousand years.
The name “Joshua” means “Jehovah saved.” And that is exactly what happened again and again over the course of the life of the man we are going to study today. Joshua was Moses protégé so he had a great leadership example right in front of him. After Moses death Joshua became the man in charge. The Israelites had been wandering around in the dessert for 40 years and were about to enter into the Promised Land. God had told Moses he would only see it but never step in it; that meant that another leader would have to lead the people into the land that God promised them. Joshua was that man.
But there was a slight problem. Since the land flowing with milk and honey was so nice, it was already occupied. And nobody living in the land wanted to welcome in half a million refugees who were convinced that they were supposed to live there. Joshua had a monumental task before him. He was to be the leader who led these people into the Promised Land and then purge that land of its existing inhabitants who were essentially trespassing on the land that God had promised to the nation of Israel.
Think of today’s message like a buffet. There is way too much food for us to eat in one setting so we get to pick and choose the tastiest food that will fill us up for now. The beginning of the Book really sets the tone for everything else that is to come. Here are just a few verses in the first chapter.
“After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: "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. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 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 NIV
God gave Joshua several specific promises.
*He said that he would give him every piece of land that he stepped foot on.
*He said that no one would be able to stand up against him.
*He said that he would never leave nor forsake him.
After God told him this he encouraged Joshua and said “Be strong and courageous.” God even said it twice because he must have been able to see Joshua’s knees shaking in fear at the tasks he had been given.
After God told Joshua that he would be with him he gave him a few conditions. His promises were not an open invitation to do anything he felt like. This is what messed Samson up. He thought he could do whatever he wanted to and no matter what God would never leave him. He quickly found out he was wrong when the bad guys poked his eyes out and put him to work at the grinding stone.
God told Joshua that he would never leave him if he did what? Verse 8 and 9 tell us what.
“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.” Joshua 1:8-9 NIV