Summary: We can go in and take the land because of God’s promise.
Time to Take the Land
Text: Joshua 1:1-9
1. Illustration: A hurricane had struck. People were huddled together. A preacher was praying with great oratorical effects in the midst of this violent storm, crying out "Send us the spirit of the children of Israel, the children of Moses, the children of the Promised land." At this, an old man with less oratory but more directness prayed, "Lord, don’t send nobody. Come yourself. This ain’t no time for children.
2. The vision that God has given me for New Life Church is that we are like the Children of Israel under Joshua. We have been living in tents too long, and it’s time to go in and take the land.
3. I believe that we can take the land because of:
a. God’s Promise
b. God’s Challenge
c. God’s Command
4. Read Joshua 1:1-9
Proposition: We can go in and take the land because of God’s promise.
Transition: First, we must stand on...
I. God’s Promise (1-5)
A. Get Ready to Cross
1. Let’s set the scene: The Israelites were on the precipice of the Promised Land, but Moses their leader was dead.
a. They have been in the wilderness for forty years, and they are now so close to the Promised Land that they can taste it.
b. However, Moses was dead. So what’s next? Where do we go from here?
2. It was at this time that the Lord came to Joshua and said "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River..."
a. First Joshua has to follow in Moses foot steps.
b. He is referred to by the Lord himself as "Moses my servant."
c. There were only two other people in the OT who carried that title: Abraham and David (Woudstra, NICOT: Joshua, 57).
d. To Joshua, Moses was a hard act to follow.
3. However, he was also given the tremendous task of leading the people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land.
a. This was indeed a daunting task.
b. The Jordan formed a barrier that was indeed formidable.
c. It runs through a deep jorge which may be called the earth’s deepest valley (Woudstra, 58).
d. It’s slopes are steep and sudden.
4. Joshua must have felt ill prepared for what God was calling him to do.
• In many ways, I know exactly how Joshua must have felt.
• Pastor Eric is a hard act to follow.
• The task that God has given me is also a difficult one.
5. Yet look at what God says next, "into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses."
a. The book of Joshua announces to everyone that reads it that God kept his promise to Abraham and his descendants.
b. It had nothing to do with Moses or Joshua; it was the Lord who gave the land to them.
c. To show that when the Lord makes a promise it is as if it has already happened, the verb at the beginning of verse 3 should actually be translated "have given to you" (Barnes, CBL: Joshua-Ruth, 15).
d. When God makes a promise it is that sure; as if it has already happened.
6. He goes on to tell Joshua "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."
a. The Lord’s words imply that Joshua would face opposition, but that this opposition would come to nothing (Woudstra, 61).
b. The Lord would be with him every step of the way and no one would be able to stand up against him.
c. The Lord would always be with him to overcome every enemy, every obstacle, and every difficulty.
B. Standing on the Promises
1. Illustration: William Carey said, "The future is as bright as the promises of God."
2. Num. 13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."
3. We don’t need to be like the spies who came back and said "Didn’t you see the size of those giants," but we need to be like Caleb and Joshua who said, "Don’t you see the size of these grapes!"
4. I don’t know about you this morning, but I believe God is saying to us it’s time to take the land!
a. It’s time to stop worrying about our obstacles.
b. It’s time to stop worrying about our limitations.
c. It’s time to stop worrying about our problems.