Summary: Joshua, Pt. 1
JOSHUA: BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
The names and the lives of Joshua and Moses were inseparable, but Joshua’s rise was not predicated on Moses’ fall. Joshua’s rise was not spectacular or sensational. His star was continually on the rise, and Moses’ fall only propelled him to the limelight and frontline, not make him an overnight sensation or a newfound success. Joshua had been Moses’ aide since youth (Num 11:28). Three times, the departing Moses encouraged the incoming Joshua to take up the mantle of leadership (Deut 3:21, 31:7, 32:44).
Joshua had ample mentoring and was in good hands from the start. Moses summoned Joshua to lead Israel’s first battle against the Amalekites upon leaving Egypt (Ex 17:9). The young Joshua, in return, faithfully accompanied (Ex 33:11), guarded and supported Moses, God’s servant. He was one of the twelve explorers who dissented with the majority opinion (Num 14:6) and whose wholehearted trust in God (Num 32:12) was rewarded with entrance into the new land (Num 14:30). Not only was he granted entrance into Canaan, he was also to direct the Israelites across Jordan River and cause them to inherit the land (Deut 3:28), driving out the seven nations in Canaan
(Deut 7:1, Acts 13:19)
Joshua was a loyal, trusted, and proven leader, to the point of jealousy protecting Moses (Num 11:29) even at the danger of martyrdom. After all, Moses was responsible for changing Joshua’s name from Hoshea to the famous biblical name (Num 13:16).
The similarities between Moses and Joshua are striking. The LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and the Israelites revered him all the 110 years of his life (Josh 24:29), just as they had revered Moses (Josh 4:14). Like Moses (Deut 34:5), Joshua received the designation “Servant of the Lord” at the end of his outstanding service to the Lord (Josh 24:29).
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT (JOSH. 1:1-11)
Two hunters got a pilot to fly them into the far north for elk hunting. They were quite successful in their venture and bagged six bucks. The pilot came back, as arranged, to pick them up. They started loading their gear into the plane, including the six elk. But the pilot objected and said, “The plane can only take four of your elk; you will have to leave two behind.” They argued with him; the year before they had shot six and the pilot had allowed them to put all aboard. The plane was the same model and capacity.
Reluctantly, the pilot finally permitted to put all six aboard. But when he attempted to take off and leave the valley, the little plane could not make it and they crashed into the wilderness. Climbing out of the wreckage, one hunter said to the other, “Do you know where we are?” “I think so,” the other hunter groaned. “I think this is about the same place where we crashed last year.”
Someone once asked this question: “What is the largest room in the world?” The answer is, “room for improvement.” The Chinese have a saying to that effect: “There is room to add on a 100-foot pole.”
Moses and Joshua had a good and dream working relationship. The transition from Moses to Joshua was smooth, natural, and perfect. Unlike many troubled succession plans, the two men did not have the headache of passing the torch, catching the baton, co-existing at once, bearing one another, or serving side-by-side. After Moses’ death, Joshua was the appointed successor and the rightful leader, the man of the hour and the man at the forefront, the mover and shaper of the post-Moses era.
How does one follow a legend and lead with confidence? Joshua had to follow in Moses’ giant footsteps, but he charted his own course. They were two different persons having different roles but marching to the same drumbeat and listening to God’s constant guidance.
HAVE CONTINUANCE, WILL TRAVEL AND TRIUMPH
1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them-to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates-all the Hittite country-to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
When Thomas Jefferson served as the ambassador of America to France, he had an extremely difficult and tricky task. His predecessor, Benjamin Franklin, who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, was recognized as America’s ablest diplomat. Franklin was also a household name in France, for he had been inducted to the French Academy of Sciences for his scientific work. Even Thomas Jefferson himself called Benjamin Franklin “the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived.”