Summary: Joshua Commission. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Joshua chapter 1 verses 1-16.


George was 28 years old, single, and still living with his parents.

• One Sunday morning, George told his mother he wasn’t going to church.

• "First," he said, "I’m tired. Second, the people there don’t like me.

• And third, the sermons are dull."

But George’s mother wouldn’t take no for an answer. "George," she said, "you have to go.:

• First, we always worship on Sunday.

• Second, it doesn’t matter whether they like us or not.

• And third, you are the pastor!"

• God has always had some rather reluctant leaders.

• And the man who we are looking at tonight was no exception!

(1). Background:

• From Exodus 3 to Deuteronomy 34,

• The Bible focuses attention on the leadership of one man called Moses.

• Moses started out as a failed leader (Exodus chapters 2);

• God’s will his way ill: Cat & fireman – ended up killing an Egyptian.

• Moses became a reluctant leader (Exodus chapters 3)

• List of excuses why he could not lead the Hebrews (C.O.I.).

• Yet God took Moses and turned him into one of the greatest leaders;

• Not just of Israel but of all time.

But now the great Moses was dead:

• Dead but not be forgotten;

• Ill: He's named over fifty times in the Book of Joshua.


“God buries His workers, but His work goes on."

• God’s replacement for Moses was Joshua,

• Only Joshua does not feel up to the task.


• A man went to a psychiatrist and complained about an inferiority complex.

• The doctor listened to him for a while, then gave him a good news/bad news diagnosis:

• “The good news,” said the doctor, “Is that you don’t have a complex.

• The bad news is—you are inferior!”

Joshua had three reasons to be fearful:

(1). He is following a great leader.

Joshua is now in the un-envious position of having to fill the shoes of Moses!

• He is being asked to take the place of a man;

• Who spoke once to God ‘face to face’.

• And on one occasion he actually radiated God’s glory on his face.

• He was a man who performed miracle after miracle after miracle, after miracle.

• We would say; ‘Moses was a hard act to follow’.

• In comparison Joshua must have felt weak and insignificant.


• When God called Joshua to his new role as leader;

• Please do not think this calling was a ‘bolt out of the blue’.

• Joshua had been in leadership training for a number of years;

• In fact the book of Numbers chapter 11 verse 28:

• Joshua is referred to as Moses' ‘assistant from youth’,

• Which indicates that Joshua was an official aide to the leader of Israel.

• He would therefore had accompanied Moses;

• In a whole load of positive and negative situations.

• Joshua was up close and able to learn first hand many valuable lessons;

• From this great leader of God.

• He might not have realised it at the time;

• But I believe he was serving his apprentership preparing him for this type of occasion.

Quote: How we learn:

• 1% through taste

• 1.5% through touch

• 3.5% through smell

• 11% through hearing

• 83% through sight


• A Chinese boy who wanted to learn about jade went to study with a talented old teacher.

• This gentleman put a piece of the stone into the youth’s hand and told him to hold it tight.

• Then he began to talk of philosophy, men, women, the sun,

• And almost everything under it.

• After an hour he took back the stone and sent the boy home.

• The procedure was repeated for weeks.

• The boy became frustrated—when would he be told about jade?

• But he was too polite to interrupt his venerable teacher.

• Then one day when the old man put a stone into his hands,

• The boy cried out instantly, “That’s not jade!”

Joshua was learning lessons that could not be taught in a classroom:

• He was learning them first hand from Israel’s greatest teacher – Moses.

• Lessons that he himself in a different context would one day have to put into practice.

(2). He is leading a grumbling people.

• Joshua now finds himself the leader of a group of people;

• Who are known for murmuring, complaining;

• The Hebrews have been constantly moaning and wishing;

• That they were back in Egypt!


There is a small wooden toy bird called the “Floogie Bird.”

• Around the Floogie Bird’s neck is a label reading,

• “I fly backwards, I don’t care where I’m going. I just want to see where I’ve been.

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