Summary: Joshua #1
“ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!”
Thank you… Excited…Rarin’ to go…
work to be done, tremendous responsibility and opportunity
Change of leadership now, new leadership…
Questions, unsure about future,
Perhaps fearful of what might happen next at church,
State of uncertainty…
Any guidelines from God?
I wonder if God were to talk to us this morning in this new relationship, what would He say?
Well, anyone in the past been in a similar situation?
If so, what did God say to them?
Yes, there is recorded in Scripture a very similar situation to the situation we find ourselves in this morning.
Turn with me to Joshua 1…
(Context and historical setting)
40 yrs of wandering in the wilderness, Moses takes the people to the east side of the Jordan River, but cannot enter the Promised Land. He delivers 3 sermons, and then dies (Deuteronomy). Reins are handed over to Joshua.
Now, we are separated from this historical event by over 3,000 yrs. Yet, are there any similarities to us here this morning?
Without stretching it too much, I think that there is. From what I have observed in my time here so far, I believe that this congregation is on the brink of some great things. I believe that great things are in store for us!
Now the Lord has brought new leadership to this His church. And I do believe that God Himself is the One who has brought us together, don’t you? It has definitely been a “God thing”
Don’t misunderstand me here. I don’t want to come across as THE one who will lead us into the Promised Land. But, as the Lord has brought me to this place of leadership and responsibility, I will be preaching and teaching God’s Word to you week in and week out.
And as we, together, get to know God better as He reveals Himself and His will for us, we will respond to God’s Word.
The question for us this morning is: “What will our response be to God? How are we going to God and His Word to us?”
As we will see this morning from God’s Word,
“TO BE SUCCESSFUL, OBEY GOD!”
So, I do think there are some similarities without stretching it too much. In the passage before us, I obviously identify mostly with Joshua. God’s commands to Joshua I take as commands to me as an undershepherd and a leader in this congregation. Let’s together try to identify with Joshua and see the priorities God has for those He chooses as leaders… (Read vv. 1-9)
I. GOD’S COMMANDS TO JOSHUA (vv. 1-9)
“The LORD saves” or “The LORD gives victory”
Guess what the Greek form of Joshua is? JESUS! (Matthew 1:21)
So here Joshua is with the huge task of leading God’s people into the Promised Land. He was facing one of the biggest challenges of his life after the death of Moses. Now Joshua was the leader. First of all Joshua had to lead the people across the Jordan River, no small order. As we’ll find out later in this book in chapter 3, the Jordan River was now in flood stage, approximately 100 feet wide. The river had swollen and made it virtually impossible to cross.
Next, Joshua had the monumental military assignment of conquering the seven nations which occupied the Promised Land. Then he had to divide it fairly among the people. On top of all that, he had the even more challenging job of setting them on the right course spiritually. One commentator has this to say…
“To conquer the country required but the talent of a military commander; to divide the country was pretty much an affair of trigonometry; but to settle them in a higher sense, to create a moral affinity between them and their God, to turn their hearts to the covenant of their fathers, to wean them from their old idolatries and establish them in such habits of obedience and trust that the doing of God’s will would become to them a second nature---
Here was the difficulty of Joshua.”
It was a huge task. Think of the pressure Joshua was under. I’m sure it probably affected not only all his waking moments, but more than likely his sleep. Maybe he felt under the kind of pressure this one pastor was under… As this pastor’s wife tells it, she awoke one night to find her husband asleep on his elbows and knees at the foot of the bed. His arms were cupped as if he were holding something and he was muttering. She said, “What on earth are you doing?’ Still asleep, he replied, “Shhh, I’m holding a pyramid of marbles together, and if I move, they are all going to fall down!” That, my friends, is a classic pastor’s dream!