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Summary: A sermon which focuses on the comparative study of the Book of Joshua and Acts...in the Post-Pentecostal weeks before the Father’s day.

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LIGHTS’…CAMERA…ACTION!!!

No, not your run-of-the mill Hollywood flick, coming your way, but something infinitely better. Hang on, I would come to the point but firstly…amazing thing about the Bible, is that several things which occurred in the New dispensation of grace were either prophesied directly or portrayed through symbolic events in the OT times. Take the prophecy of “Redeemer” Moses (used of God to redeem the Jews from the Egyptian bondage) for instance who prophesied that the Almighty would raise up a similar Prophet like him (Deuteronomy 18:15-18). We see Jesus not applying that Prophecy to himself (John 5:45-46) but also by His action of offering Himself as a vicarious sacrifice on the Cross, He paved the way for redemption of not just one nation but for that of entire fallen mankind.

Boy, there are some more similarities between Moses and Jesus. At their birth there was a slaughter of innocent babies (the Almighty who said vengeance is mine-Romans 12:19- avenged it by killing of Egyptian male children on the Passover night –Exodus 12:29-and by bringing about an excruciating death of King Herod due to bowel disease, a historical fact validated by writings of Jewish historians like Josephus). Continuing with the similarities… both Moses and Jesus were rejected by Jews in their “First coming” (Exodus 2:13-15/John 1:11), and both their lives are covered in precisely 4 Books…if Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy cover the life and Ministry of Moses, then the four Gospels penned by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John cover that of Jesus.

Now in the Post-Pentecostal week, during which we focus usually on the Book of Acts, do we see a similar Book-full of action- in the OT Dispensation, which symbolizes it. Oh yes we do. Book of Joshua perfectly fits the bill!!! Welcome to the comparative study of Books of Joshua and Acts (virtually Siamese twins of OT and NT times). In the initial part of my message, I would be training the spotlight on the lessons from the positive events, we can derive from this comparative study and in the latter part, I would reflect on the lessons from the both negative and positive events described in these two wonderful “action-packed” Books, which are not a result of some fertile imagination but Divine inspiration, bearing not fiction but FACTS.

So let’s fasten our seat-belts for the Flight of ethereal edification. Take over Captain Holy Spirit...

LOCATION…

The Books of Joshua and Acts begin exactly where the earthly Ministries of two great Redeemers (Moses and Jesus) end. In the Canon, we see the Book of Joshua placed immediately after Deuteronomy where we see Moses finishing His Ministry (Deuteronomy 34:7-12) and Acts begins immediately after John’s Gospel (the only Gospel, which records the triumphant cry of Jesus on completing the Redemption plan on the Cross…IT IS FINISHED…John 19:30).

PREPARATION…

If the main protagonist-Joshua- in the Book of Joshua (the Book bears his name) was trained by Moses for good 40 years , then the Apostles of Christ –the heroes’ of faith – in the Book of Acts were intensely trained by Jesus for three and half years. Oh how wonderful it is to be mentored by a faithful, God-fearing leader …for we have an opportunity of seeing first-hand and inculcating the God-honoring virtues conspicuous in them, which would stand us in good stead , when we launch into our own Ministries at the time the Almighty says “GO”.

Broadly speaking, is not any God-honoring Ministry, more of a relay race than an individual race run for self-glory. Throughout Scripture, many a time we see God wanting the leaders’ of a generation to pass on the baton to those younger ones’ whom, they had carefully nurtured. Elsewhere in Scripture too, do not we see this wonderful pattern emerging in the case of Elijah-Elisha…Paul-Timothy…

Animated cartoon of a relay race...

QUALIFICATION...

It is said that God doesn’t call the qualified but qualifies the called. Joshua who succeeded Moses was not that great leader’s biological son but rather was hand-picked by the Almighty out of His grace alone to replace Moses (Numbers 27:12-23). Cannot the same be said of the Jesus’ disciples? They had no scholarly achievements in their CV nor did they have any great power in themselves but the good Lord out of His grace alone hand-picked them (Matt 4:18-22/I Cor 15:9-10), in the same way He out of His Grace cured Naaman the Syrian leper at a time other Jewish lepers needing help were there (Luke 4:27) or for that matter the way he cured a paralytic at a time other sick people were there by the Bethesda pool (John 5:1-9). So all the “successful” servants of God would be well-served to divert the public attention to the ONE who has given them success in the first place out of His grace alone!!!

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