Summary: A sermon for new beginnings.
Joshua You have Not Passed this way before.
“for ye have not passed this way heretofore." Joshua 3:1-5
Intro: In a way we are all like Joshua. We are continually entering upon new pathways.
1. This morning started a new day
2. Tomorrow we start a new year.
But after a while many of these new pathways…, turn-out to be..., just the same old pathways...not new ones.
We end up going down the same road…, doing the same things we have always done over and over again.
Often without…, the results that God wants in our lives.
We can learn this valuable lesson from the People of Israel.
I. The people of Israel had also been down this same pathway.
A. Not too many years prior to this time…, they had traveled down through this very same dessert land.
1. They had been abruptly turned back to Sinai.
2. [They were driven back.]
3. BECAUSE they refused to be obedient to God!
4. They did not completely trust in God.
"Go on! Take this land that is before you! Possess it! Own it! Claim it for Israel!"
God had said...,
"Every place where the sole of your foot shall tread upon I will give it to you."
C. But the children of Israel were scared to death...
1. The bible says…, there were giants in that Land.
The sons of Anak the GIANT lived there.
The Anakims were tall…, longed neck…, warlike people. Their name meant “Ridge” or “Mountain”
Most bible scholars agreed these were the ancestors of the Giant Goliath.
2. These were strong people.
3. There city had great walls of stone built around it.
And even though the people of Israel…, knew the promise which God had given them...
...even though the people knew that God had promised to do wonders among them…,
and to bless them with great blessings....
(1) They were afraid and not willing to go forward against these mighty men of Great Stature.
(2) It seemed to them that this was something which they could not overcome.
And so it was...
Israel abruptly turned back...
Only a few short miles from the promised land of milk and honey…
And they wandered with Miriam, and Aaron, and Moses, in the wilderness for the next 40 years….
Now after the death of Moses…
Joshua was selected by God to be the new leader of Israel.
Joshua was born in Egypt during the time of slavery.
He was of the member from the Tribe of Eprhaim which later forms the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Joshua was a military leader, he was a political leader, but most of all he was a spiritual leader.
Romans 7:15-20a (CEB) the Apostle Paul said,
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.
Instead, I do what I hate…,
it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
it is sin living in me that does it.
It sounds like the Apostle Paul had difficulty going down the same old pathways over and over again.
Have you ever felt like you were taking two steps forward and one step back?
Paul is teaching us that struggling in one’s own strength is not the answer.
Have you ever said, I am doing my best?
You keep trying your hardest not to sin.
But you find yourself doing the same old things over and over again?
Paul says you can’t change from your own strength.
That kind of victory comes only from a relationship with God.
We must never underestimate the allure and attractions of sin.
It is not willpower but God power that changes us.
And the less God power you have in your life the less peace, contentment, and hope you will have.
Don’t go around living defeated.
Trapped by sin and worry.
No, worship is praise and joy!!!
Lift up holy hands unto the Lord.
Clap with sounds of drums unto God.
Shout with thankfulness for you salvation and the blessings God has given you.
II. NOW...Joshua is at the edge…, of this same pathway.
That Israel had been many years ago.
A. God has said to Joshua...,
"As I was with Moses…, so will I be with you!
I'll not fail you!
I’ll not let you down!
I’ll not desert you!
I'll not forsaken you!
I will show you that I am your God!
Lead my people!
Go and possess the promised Land of Canaan!"