Summary: Change can be a force for power and progress … or, if not handled well can also be a force for stagnation and regression.
God Does Not Change
TEXTS: Joshua 1:1-18
When changes come in life we often find it disturbing!
Change can be a force for power and progress … or, if not handled well can also be a force for stagnation and regression. The Bible is a book about changes, those handled well resulted in great gains, and those handled poorly resulted in great losses.
The right way to handle change is found in Scripture.
(1. God NEVER changes … this is the bedrock of our peace, security, and confidence when facing the past, present, and future! This is the anchor for dealing with all changes because He is the one thing that can be counted on to NOT change!
(2. God always has someone at the ready to move His plans forward, His plans are never conditioned on just a single person.
(3. God’s mission must continue on! We are invited to participate in the fulfillment of His calling; our commitment is first to the mission.
God will always be there ready to continue the progress of what He has raised up.
CHANGE in the hand of the CHANGELESS God is safe and positive, and will yield good fruit.
The Bible teaches us that change is a useful part of God’s plan to accomplish His purposes on earth, and when change comes our way we need to embrace it with confidence and assurance that He has good in store for those who lean on Him.
I. PERSONNEL CHANGES, PROMISES CONSTANT! 1:1-5
1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
2 Moses my servant is dead;
The book of Joshua begins with a matter of fact statement of a big change for Israel: Moses is acknowledged as God’s servant … but without an excessive attachment to the past.
It wasn’t that God or Israel simply “moved on” without any sense of the past, they had mourned Moses’ death for 30 days. (Deut. 34:8)
It can be appropriate to have emotions over changes, but it is not appropriate to quit moving forward or simply stay in mourning.
It is good to recognize the past, appreciate it, celebrate it, but then to continue to move forward!
But change is a part of life, and God’s plan!
now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
While some things changed, the mission had not, God had not, and the goal had not changed!
They can’t live in the past; they must embrace the future with new leadership and unchanging God!
God will never change, His Word will never change, His commands and laws will never change … God and His Word are the constants that can be counted on, even in a changing world!
God restates the same promises to Israel under Joshua as was promised under Moses, as was promised under Abraham.
The leadership changed, the promises of God did not!
The leadership changed, the goals stayed the same.
The leadership changed, but God’s power and strength to accomplish the mission stayed the same!
God says simply, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (God had promised the same to Abraham and others)
It is the CHANGELESS God that enables us to confront a changing world and move forward!
It may be the end of one leader’s responsibilities, but it is not the end of the mission.
II. PROMOTE CHARACTER, PROSPERITY CONTINUES!
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
Change must be approached correctly and there are guidelines that should be followed in making change.