Summary: God will keep His promises to you.
Living by the Promises of God
Let me ask you a question.
What keeps you going? What is your motivation to keep doing what you are doing?
For Joshua, his motivation was to know that God was going to keep His promises.
You see, Joshua followed in Moses’ footsteps. He followed Moses as God’s servant. Can you imagine how that felt?
Moses was there when God delivered the plagues.
Moses was there when God parted the Red Sea.
Moses spoke to a rock and water came out.
But the people rejected Moses and God’s leadership. So God said “I am going to start over.” Joshua and Caleb were the only two to see the promises of God. The other 10 spies never could. So God sent 2 million people in the desert on the world’s longest funeral march in history. Forty years, they marched and each one of the 2 million adults died. Everyone who were in Moses’ generation died.
So the people die and Moses dies and God taps Joshua as the new leader.
So once a week, Joshua and Caleb would meet for morning coffee. They would ask each other, “How many did you bury last week?” Eventually, everyone from the Moses generation died out.
What kept Joshua going after the death of Moses? God’s promises.
Look with me in Joshua:
Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
(Joshua 1:3 NKJV)
God fulfills His promise to the people in Joshua 21.
So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
(Joshua 21:43-45 NKJV)
In Joshua’s farewell address, Joshua acknowledged that God kept His promise.
"Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
(Joshua 23:14 NKJV)
You know what kept Joshua going? The promises that God gave him back when Joshua was chosen to lead.
Let me share an important truth:
The world tends to live on explanations. For example: Why does this happen? What should I do about this?
The Christian lives on the promises of God. If you are going to serve God, you need to learn to trust God and His promises for you.
But because we live in this world, we tend to run into some dangers that can prevent us from living by the promises of God.
THE DANGER OF LOOKING BACK (1:2)
"Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them--the children of Israel.
(Joshua 1:2 NKJV)
Moses is mentioned 6x in Joshua 1:1-9. Moses is also mentioned 57x in the book of Joshua. It is very easy to look at what God has done in the past and think: I don’t think I can move forward.
Lot’s wife made that mistake. Why did she look back anyway? I don’t it was because she lived Sodom. Jesus refers to this event in Luke:
Remember Lot’s wife.
(Luke 17:32 NKJV)
Jesus is comparing the time of Lot to the time of the end of the world. Of course everything is familiar. People eat, drink, meet, and marry. They have children and work. Normal stuff. But God is a moving God. He is always moving. He is always doing more. He is moving forward into the future.
The danger that we can run into is that we look back. Instead of looking forward to see what God is doing, we want to look back at what we find familiar. In the beginning of Joshua, Moses was familiar. Moses the only leader the people of Israel ever had – for forty years. Now, there is a new leader. What are the people going to do about that? What is Joshua going to do about that? Does he just do the same things as Moses. Actually, Joshua will lead in a completely different way. The people of God are going to move forward. The constant thing are the promises, not the explanations.
What should I do about this? Should I do it like Moses? God says: I gave you a promise – follow Me.