Summary: Just as God called Joshua to lead the nation of Israel into battle, Christians are called into a spiritual battle, not against the people of the world, but the spiritual forces of evil which control the world. Cf. Eph. 6
Children sing—“I’m in the Lord’s Army!”
Our children keep things exciting around here! We’re continuing what I hope is an exciting Bible study series, “The Great Adventure!” The Christian life ought to be a great adventure!
• If you’re bored in your Christian walk… its NOT God’s fault! I believe that he intends the Christian life to be fun, exciting… sometimes surprising and always challenging!
• He has always called his people to great adventures…
o Abraham, he told to “Saddle up your horses, you’ve got a trail to blaze!”
o Noah, was called to “Stand against the tide” of evil & decadence in his day…
o Moses, born into a life of slavery, raised in a life luxury, then lived the life of a fugitive… is called to “Step up to the plate” for God and to rescue his people from the oppressive Egyptian king…
o Today we’re going to take a look at Joshua… God calls him to “Sound the Battle Cry!” and recruits him for the Lord’s army (just like we just sang about.)
You remember where we left off last week with Moses… after God had rescued the children of Israel out of their Egyptian bondage… after an incredible adventure that included plagues, pursuits; & miracles… they found themselves questioning the wisdom of Moses leading them out into the wilderness to die.
• Because of their unfaithfulness… they find themselves wandering in the wilderness of Sinai for 40 years.
• The time isn’t a complete waste of time, however. Moses uses that time to raise up a successor… someone who will take his mantle of leadership for the next generation.
• It is the wise leader, by the way, who works himself out of a job by raising up others to replace him and even multiply him… people ready to take the baton and run with it.
• Joshua, son of Nun, is that man!
Joshua just sort of pops onto the scene suddenly in Ex. 17 with little introduction… almost as if he’s been there all along. Exodus 17:8-13
• Israel is about to square off against the Amalekites in battle… and Moses tells Joshua to choose some men and head off to battle! Moses stood with his hands held high in the air… and as long as he did, they were winning. But when Moses would drop his hands, the Amalekites would start winning. So, they took a rock and put it under Moses so he could sit and Aaron helped him keep his hands in the air… and eventually Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
• He and Moses were a wonderful team … a “dynamic duo”; in fact he’s referred to a number of times as Moses’ young “aid” and in Numbers 11:28 we find out he’s been Joshua’s right hand man “since youth.”
• In Deut. 31:1-8 he’s officially commissioned by Moses. Moses knew that the end was near from him… at 120 he probably figured he had more days behind him than ahead… but he seems content to pass the baton of leadership on to his young, protégé, Joshua. He’s happy that the leadership of Israel is in good hands.
• Though, I’m sure it had to have been hard on him… after all he had done for the people; stepping up to the plate to lead them when they desperately needed a leader. He had shepherded them through the wilderness and it certainly hadn’t been easy… especially in those uncertain, early days just out of Egypt! He had overseen the construction of the tabernacle, served as peacemaker, judge, friend, and counselor to the people. All this time they looked forward to the day when they would finally get to enter in to the land of promise… to NOT be the one to finally get to lead them across the Jordan and into the land… had to have been heartbreaking for Moses.
But that would be Joshua’s calling… that would be his great adventure! I love how God gives him his marching orders in the text I want us to focus on this morning… Joshua 1:1-11
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.