Summary: Sermon #1 in a series from the Book of Joshua: Following God’s Lead.
Text: Joshua 1:1-18
Title: “God’s Marching Orders”
Theme of Joshua: Possession
• They were to go and take what God had set before them.
I. Guided by God’s Presence (1-7a)
• Joshua begins with a transition in leadership, Joshua had already been appointed Moses’ successor (Deut. 31:23), but now it was time for Joshua to assume this role.
o Joshua was to deliver the people into the land promised by God (foreshadowing of Christ).
o The truth we learn is that God’s plan and purpose for His people do not rise and fall with a person, but they are continually carried out.
• God outlines the land area He has set aside for them to possess, but they still had to trust God and go out and take it.
• However their success in moving forward was not because Joshua was a great leader or an experienced military commander; no their success was based on the fact that the presence of God was with them.
o “so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
o As we move forward your trust should not be in what I can do, but in what God is going to do through us.
Philippians 4:13 -- 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Ephesians 6:10-11 -- 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
• Vs. 6 “Be strong and of good courage…” vs. 7 “only be thou strong and very courageous.”
o Even though God was with them they were stilled called on to be strong and brave because they would still face opposition and hard times.
2 Timothy 2:1, 3 -- You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
II. Guided by God’s Word (7b-9)
• Obedience to God’s word would result in blessings.
o This goes back to Deuteronomy 27 & 28 where God had the people declare the curses on Mt. Ebal and the blessings on Mt. Gerizim.
• The only way this would be possible was for them to keep God’s word close to their heart.
• They were to talk about it, study it, and then carry it out.
o This is the key to success in being able to live a life that turns neither to the right or the left.
Psalm 119:9-11 -- 9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
James 1:22-25 -- 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
• Again a reminder that the presence of God was ever with them
o I also believe this is an aide to help keep us in obedience to the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 6:17-20 -- 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
III. Guided by God’s Man (10-18)
• Joshua begins to prepare the people to move into the land of promise.
o First order of business was to make sure the people were well equipped to move forward.
o The second order of business was to make sure everyone understood their responsibilities and were on board with the plan.
• The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh had already received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River, but were still required to come and fight with their brothers.