JOSHUA 1: 1-9; 3: 1-8, 14-17
FEBRUARY 18, 2001
INTRODUCTION: Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful Phrase. Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata! From the movie “The Lion King.”
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today speaks of a would be king/ leader who was having a similar struggle as was young Simba. How do you replace the greatest leader in all the history of your nation? How do you follow up delivering all of God’s people from Egypt, the Ten Commandments, and the crossing of the Red Sea? It seemed awful intimidating to Joshua. So, what is the secret of “moving on in High Water?” Is it Hakuna Matata? I don’t rightly know, but I believe God’s word has some advice for us concerning how to move forward when the obstacles of life seem insurmountable!
THESIS SENTENCE: God always makes a way for HIS people!
BUT, HOW WILL GOD DO IT IN OUR LIVES?
I. THERE IS A PROMISE TO RECEIVE (VV. 1-6)
JUST WHAT DOES THE PROMISE LOOK LIKE?
A. EVERY PLACE! (Verse 3)
“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.”
1. In the movie the Lion King, Mufasa takes his son to the top of Pride Rock and tells him, “The circle of Life never stops turning. One day the sun will set on my time as ruler and rise with you as King. Then everything the light touches will be yours.”
2. It’s just a movie, right? Can you imagine that kind of responsibility?!
3. Can you imagine the power? Joshua was overwhelmed and God knew it!
1. Verse 5, “No one will be able to stand against up against you all the days of your life.”
2. The power to stand! The power to stand against all foes!! Can you imagine the Power? Can you Imagine the Responsibility?
3. Remember the movie I mentioned last week, “Unbreakable,” with Bruce Willis? Can you imagine what it would be like if God told you that no one could harm you?
C. SMOTHERED WITH GOD!
1. Verse 5b, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
2. Can you imagine the power? Can you imagine the responsibility?
ILLUSTRATION: Young Simba finds himself in trouble. He and his childhood playmate venture off to see the dark side beyond “The Pride Lands.” Mufasa saves the two and decides that this is definitely a teachable moment. “Aw, Dad. I was just trying to be brave like you,” Simba explained. Mufasa sighed. “Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble, Simba. A good king is wise as well as brave.” Simba suddenly felt very small. “We’ll always be together. Right, Dad?”
Mufasa looked up at the starry sky and said, “The great Kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you… and so will I.” Bad theology I grant you, concerning the great kings of the past, but Great Theology concerning the reality that GOD himself, the Great Lion King, Looks on us always to guide and to Comfort!
NOT ONLY IS THERE A PROMISE TO RECEIVE, BUT…
II. THERE IS A RESPONSE EXPECTED (VV. 6-8)
BECAUSE GOD IS WHO HE IS, HE EXPECTS US TO ACT LIKE WE KNOW IT! OUR RESPONSES ARE IN RECOGNITION OF HIS PROMISE BELIEVED!
1. Verse 6 says, “BE STRONG!”
2. If God says it, we better do it!
3. Three times God commands it (v. 6, 7, and 9)! It is a command.
4. But why does God command it? Verse 6, “Because you are to lead.” Do you believe God is calling you to lead? Maybe not a nation, but as an example of what it is to know Him and to have received all He has for you. I believe God has called you to lead!!
1. Three times God commands it (v. 6, 7, and 9)! It is a command and if God says it, we better do it!
2. But why does God command it? “So that you may be able to obey ALL the law. That you will be able to stayed focused and not turn from the law to the right or to the left of it, so that you may be successful where ever you go.”(Verse 7)
3. But How can you be Courageous as well as Strong? Verse 8! “Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
4. Did you catch that? Two verses back to back state that if you go God’s way you will be Successful and prosperous. That might call for some looking into!
C. DON’T LET LIFE GET YOU DOWN! (verse 9)
TWO MORE COMMANDS ARE GIVEN!
1. Do not be terrified! I like that one!
2. Do not be discouraged!
3. What are Satan’s greatest weapons?!? God commands us to not play that Game with Satan!
4. So how do we overcome feeling of terror or discouragement? God promises to be with us, WHEREEVER WE GO!
5. Can you imagine the POWER? Can you imagine the COMFORT and the PEACE?
NOW YOU SAY, I HAVE RECEIVED THE PROMISE, I HAVE RESPONDED AS EXPECTED, SO NOW WHAT IS LEFT? GOD SAYS, …
III. THERE IS A PROVIDED PROVISION (VV. 3:1-8, 14-17)
A. AMAZING THINGS WILL HAPPEN! (VV. 1-5)
1. Joshua gives orders to the people, watch for the “ark of the covenant of the Lord your God” to move and when it does, fall in line! Bottom line theory here, SOMETIMES YOU HAVE GOT TO BE READY TO MOVE!
2. Next the people are told to consecrate themselves. BOTTOM LINE THEORY, WHEN YOU MOVE WITH GOD, YOU BETTER BE RIGHT WITH GOD!
3. Because God is Who HE IS, Amazing things happen when God is on the Scene and He has promised to be there! God is at work and you can go with him or remain forever in HIS dust. God is at work and it is AMAZING!
B. EXALTATION OCCURS! (VV. 7)
1. And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.”
2. As we receive God’s Promises and Respond as Expected, God will Exalt us to allow others to know that We Belong To him.
ILLUSTRATION: James writes, “But HE (GOD) gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (4: 6-10).” I Peter 5: 6 echoes the same thought, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
C. OBEDIENCE BRINGS A DAM! (VV. 14-17)
1. As the Priest entered the “Flood Stage Jordan River,” the water was Heaped up. (v. 16)
2. All the people were able to cross the Jordan.
3. NOBODIES FEET GOT MUDDY!
CONCLUSION: Back to our Illustration with “The Lion King.” In the end, young Simba becomes a lion, no longer a cup. Uncle Scar has become the “lion king,” the hyenas are ruling with him and the Pride lands have become desolate! Young Simba finally excepts his call to greatness and goes after Ole Uncle Scar. Simba learns the TRUTH that Scar had killed Mufasa and that it was not his fault. He soon after defeats Scar and runs off all the hyenas. The Story ends with the roar of Simba being heard over the Pride Lands and the plains becoming lush and green again. The animals returned, and the hunting was good once more.
The Point? When we RECEIVED GOD’S PROMISE AND RESPOND AS EXPECTED THEN WE WILL ENJOY THE PROVISIONS PROVIDED. CHAOS IS REPLACED BY GOD’S NATURAL ORDER! ARE YOU WILLING TO BE A SIMBA? ARE YOU WILLING TO BE A JOSHUA? LIFE IS HARD, BUT GOD IS GOOD! LET HIM BE GOOD IN YOUR LIFE!