Summary: This message will prepare a Church to conquer new spiritual territory.
Get Ready! Joshua 1:1-11
Pastor Bob Hunter
Springwater Church of the Nazarene
One of the most intriguing individuals in the O.T. was a man named Joshua. A whole book was named after him, a lot of scholars believe the book to be his own personal account of what historically happened with Israel. Joshua’s story is colorful and exciting. So I’m going to try to bring out some of this excitement. But not only is it exciting it’s relevant. The message is fresh and it speaks to us where we live. I believe this material is going to mold us and shape us. So I’m going to read to you the first chapter of this great story and then we’re going to discuss it. (Read Joshua Ch. 1)
This colorful story began in the book of Genesis with Abraham who was the father of Israel. God promised Abraham 3 things, he promised him real estate, he promised him a big family, and finally he promised him wealth. The real estate was in a place called Canaan, the big family was also known as the people of Israel, the wealth God promised took the form of agricultural production-God said, “Flowing with Milk and Honey.” God made a covenant with Israel to deliver on these promises in exchange for loving obedience. Unfortunately, Israel’s love for God lacked generational consistency. When we meet up with them in Joshua Ch. 1. They are at one of their lowest points. Tired and weary, they’ve lived on the back side of a desert for 40 years... wandering. God promised to lead them back into the land of their fathers. But not without loving obedience. They are nicely positioned to embrace this promise, but is there enough faith? The Israelites just can’t seem to muster up the energy or the courage to go over the top. So when we meet up with them in Ch. 1 their just kinda sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. And then drops the bombshell, Moses the appointed leader, the one God used to deliver them from bondage, died. The leader they trusted, loved and revered passed away. Not only were they displaced, but now in grief. If ever there was a group of folks stuck in the mud, it was Israel. They had come so close, but were yet so far away. They were stalled on the road to greatness. Have you ever been there? The road to greatness is sometimes long & lonely. And yes it has it’s share of delays. In what way was Israel responsible for not entering in sooner? What was it that slowed them down to a complete stall? What were their mistakes? They made three mistakes that slowed them down that I want you to be aware of...
1.) They idolized the past. The people of Israel, idolized the leadership of Moses. After all he brought them out from under the hand of Pharoah. God did miraculous things through Moses for Israel. He performed wonders, he parted the red sea, struck the rock, led them through the desert...Moses was a phenomenal leader. They put him up on a peda stool. In their minds, he was irreplacible He was the one and only. In fact, listen to what they were saying about Moses...Duet. 34:10 ff.