Summary: Message 3 in our journey with Joshua into the Promised Land. This message continues our exploration of the secret to Joshua's success.
Joshua Series #3
The Amazing Race
“Secret to Success Part Two”
Review / Introduction
The events of the book of Joshua are an obvious continuation of a long journey, an amazing race to the Promised Land. It was a journey filled with testing, trials, difficulties and opportunities to trust God to make good on His promise to bring Abraham’s multiplied descendants in to a rich land of rest and blessing. It was a journey also filled with spectacular displays for God’s sovereign power and specific guidance. (Cloud, fire, manna, water)
Now they stand for a second time on the verge of entering into the Land God. The previous generation forfeited their rest due to unbelief. The current generation is offered the opportunity again. The book of Joshua can be organized in two sections.
I. Purging the land
II. Possessing the land
Every person has an opportunity to join this continuing journey to rest in God and will encounter many of the same experiences they faced along the way. All the descendants of Adam were born into slavery. By a will act of rebellion against the Creator, Adam abdicated his privileged ruling position over the earth and all it contains to Satan. Only through the Second Adam will the human race be restored to that position. That restoration came at great cost flowing out of even greater love. The salvation story is vividly pictured in God’s dealings with Israel from their deliverance from Egypt to their entry into the promises Land. This all pictures not only our salvation and deliverance from the kingdom of darkness but our journey to an intimate relationship and walk with God. It is a journey to a life of complete trust in the promises of God on our way to ultimate rest and peace at the return of Jesus.
Joshua provides great insight regarding a life of peace and rest today. It is a guide to the walk of faith. There were cycles of peace throughout Israel’s history where God gave them rest through trusting Him. There are periods of rest when we trust Him today. True rest will only be realized when Jesus returns and restores all things. That will be the ultimate everlasting Sabbath rest.
God called Israel to celebrate a weekly Sabbath to illustrate the concept of a period where God is the prime focus and we rest from the kind of labor resulting from the rebellion. We live in a culture that fails to experience peace and rest because they fail to give priority to God. What is the secret to living in the heavenlies and possessing the blessing promised not just to Abraham but to every born again believer? Paul urged the Ephesians to bless God who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.
Very few Christians possess what Christ provided. Joshua teaches us how to possess what God promises. Joshua teaches us how to enter into a rest promised to every believer here and now.
Unfortunately, like the older generation of Jews, many have adapted to a wilderness life. It is the difference between making due camping and enjoying a stable settled life at home. A great many people adapt to a far a reduced experience than what God intended. We, like they, just wander around with an ungrateful, unexpectant, unbelieving complaining heart. We blame God for not making our life comfortable. We harbor bitterness because God didn't fix it.
We ignore God's directions and still expect his blessings. We name and claim God's promises while ignoring God's principles.
God recorded the elements to victory that he shared with a reluctant leader as commander and chief of the nation of Israel con the brink of claiming her God-given inheritance.
Those principles are still the elements to every believer's fulfillment as a servant of God.
I. Purge the Land 1-12
A. God Prepared Joshua for leadership 1
1. The Lord personally commissioned Joshua 1:1-9
a. A Glaring Reality check – Moses is dead
“Moses My servant is dead.”
We observed that is not the instrument, but the one who wields the instrument that counts.
Leaders may change but God doesn't. God’s plan uses but is not dependent upon specific leaders.
b. An Impossible Assignment
Now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.
God sometimes asks the humanly impossible in order to demonstrate the divinely powerful.
Joshua is all of a sudden responsible to lead several million complaining, stiff-necked people against a raging river and formidable warriors.
What has God called you to do? God calls people to participate in the carrying out of His plan.
Moses appointed Joshua earlier in the “Tent of Meeting” under God’s direction. This was kind of a refresher, a reminder now that Moses was no longer in the picture. It is up to you Joshua to take the nation into the Promised Land.