Summary: Mature Christians must step forward and not remain silent in the face of evil intent on the part of non-Christians whose attacks on the Christian Faith have gone viral in these times of massive media complicity.
WHAT GOD DID FOR JOSHUA, HE DOES FOR YOU
“Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” but God made him fit for the battle. This mighty commander, appointed by Moses after the Exodus, earned his stripes but, more importantly, having been born in bondage, he became God’s foreshadowing of the Messiah; therefore, his name was changed to mean “Jehovah is salvation”.
Joshua’s time to step forward came when the Children of Israel received an announcement they hated to hear: “Moses is dead!”
Unimaginable must have been the disappointment that swept over that throng of a million Israelites who were bound for the Promised Land. There they were, after forty years of wandering, camped near the Jordan where they would cross over, and they receive the bad news that their great leader is dead. However:
Never fear! God’s chosen successor, in this case, Joshua, will appear – always the case when God is in charge – and he will be prepared to lead God’s people onward, in this case, to the Promised Land.
God’s people had been set free from bondage, and they had endured the disciplinary measures necessary for getting them ready to conquer the evils that would befall them – not a good time to lose a great leader! But, from victory unto victory, Joshua would lead them to establish a nation that would love, honor, respect, and obey the Lord their God! Now:
The drama that God’s people went through in their long history of ups and downs probably sounds a lot like your life history as it does mine! But one thing we have learned is the reassuring truth that:
God works in and through His people today like He did then – rescuing the perishing, redeeming the lost, sanctifying the saved, and setting the sights of His children on things above, not on things below.
He does so for bringing to pass that special relationship which He purposed in His creation of humanity. The constant in God’s story has always been God. In the beginning God, in the present God, in the future God. He will still be at work when all has been said and done by each and every generation. Generations come and go but God is always there.
We all have a birth date and a death date. In one of his dramas on the episodic nature of life, Shakespeare spoke of life on earth as the stage upon which we strut for a while and then depart. Moses had done all that the Lord intended him to do, so the time had come for him to depart and pass the torch – Joshua 1:1-9 . . .
Who else but the oldest man in Israel to become God’s new leader! Joshua even outdid Moses as to his age when he took over; Moses was 80 at the time he was given the greatest responsibility of his life, but Joshua was in his 90s!
If you were to do a life review of Joshua, and compare it to your own, you would discover that over Joshua’s life span of ninety plus years, what God did for Joshua, He does for you and me! Think of what God granted to Joshua as peas in a pod of faithfulness to God. There were seven of them. God granted Joshua, and He grants us:
Patience. After years as second in command . . . second fiddle . . . faithfulness on his part, Joshua was assured of God’s faithfulness to him - in all his ways. Patience has its reward! “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my prayer.” (Psalm 40:1).“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31).
Privilege. What greater privilege could there have been for Joshua than to serve God by walking in the steps of Moses the Deliverer of God’s people - and to be the one who would guide a nation through valleys of the shadow of death . . . troubled waters . . . battles of the worst kind! Likewise, God gives you and me the privilege of walking in the steps of Jesus – and, walking in His steps, we are able to do battle against enemies such as discouragement and despair!
Promise. God had made a promise to Joshua’s forebears that descendants of theirs would inherit the land of Canaan; and when the time came, God tells Joshua to arise and cross over Jordan to the land of promise. Like Israel, we too are on a journey that will lead us to the fullness of God’s promised inheritance. What’s more, God has promised that He will see us through - all the way Home!
Presence. Israel knew that God was with Moses because His face literally shone with the glory that came from being in the very presence of God. Joshua had had a heavy responsibility laid on his shoulders, but he would carry on and keep Moses’ legacy alive. Far more importantly, though, he would keep the people focused on God at work in their journey of faith.