Summary: Message 5 in our journey with Joshua into the Promised Land. This message continues the exploration of faith.
Joshua Series #5
The Amazing Race to Rest & Reward
“The Faith that Works”
Review / Introduction
Joshua is the culmination of a very long journey. Actually forty years longer than it needed to be. Disobedience always delays blessing. The book can be divided into two basic movements.
I. Purging the Land
II. Possessing the Land
Why should we take the time to even study this ancient page out of Israel’s history?
There are some similarities from God’s interaction with Israel back THEN and God’s interactions with us NOW. Spiritual truths declared in the New Testament were pictured or illustrated in Old Testament through actual events.
Deliverance from bondage in Egypt by trust in God and a sacrificial lamb
Testing and training in the wilderness
Trust God to deal with difficult circumstances
Trust God to deliverance us from fierce opposition
Offered blessing and rest through faith and obedience
Some pressed on into greater blessing
Some took the easy out and stayed in the wilderness.
Egypt represents salvation through trust in God and the blood of the Lamb.
The wilderness represents a period of testing and training after salvation.
Canaan represents the life of full blessing which awaits us all here and now through faith and obedience. And the ultimate rest hereafter.
Just as God didn’t just bring them out of Egypt but brought them into the Promises Land so God doesn’t just deliver us out of the kingdom of darkness but transfers us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.
There are some who persevere and continue to engage the enemy and face difficult circumstances through trust in God. There are others content to live a wilderness life on the other side of full blessing. Saved but living less than God intended. Like the eastern tribes, they become more vulnerable to attack.
Joshua teaches us numerous principles as to what it takes to live victoriously in the spiritual realm through daily trust.
The book begins with Joshua’s commissioning by God after Moses death.
I. Purge the Land 1-12
A. God Prepared Joshua for leadership 1
1. The Lord personally commissioned Joshua 1:1-9
God reminded Joshua that Moses was now out of the picture. He assigned a humanly impossible task. He affirmed His full participation in carrying out the task. He charged Joshua to:
Be strong and courageous
Meditate on His word day in night in order to learn about and do God’s will.
If he would do that, God assured him of success in whatever he set out to do.
2. Joshua assumed command 1:10-15
3. The people committed to follow Joshua as they did Moses
B. Joshua prepared the people to possess the land 2
1. Joshua commissioned spies to gather intelligence 2
This part of the account finds the Israelites camped in Shittim, a city on the east side of the Jordan River not too far from Jericho a walled city strategic to the capture of occupied territory. Jericho was inhabited by Canaanites. In spite of intellectual and societal advancement, the people were morally and spiritually depraved due to their worship of the fertility gods. In order to connect with these gods and enjoy prosperity they would regularly engage in sexual connection with temple prostitutes considered the god’s emissaries.
Moses previously warned the Israelites not to associate with the people or their practices.
but you shall devote them to complete destruction…that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God. Deut 20:17-18
Joshua instructed the people to get ready to move forward in three days. Why the delay? God postpones the judgment on Jericho. The spies thought they were doing reconnaissance.
God was accomplishing redemption. Sometimes our delays are other people’s deliverance.
The Bible includes other examples of delayed judgment. He held off judgment on the earth until every man’s heart was evil continually. He was willing to withhold judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah if only ten righteous could be found. When they couldn’t he rescued those few who were. Jesus delayed His agenda for the sake of those who need His touch. Sometimes delays or side trips ARE the point. Technically we are currently in a “delay” in the divine chronology called the “church age” or the “are of the Gentiles. The 70 weeks predicted in Daniel got up to the 69th week and have stopped there is still on week of years (7year) period before the culmination of all prophesy.
In this case the delay is in response to one out of thousands of people who exercised faith.
The delay was to make arrangements to rescue a specific woman from the judgment to come.
What a demonstration of the great mercy of God and perfect illustration of the New Testament truth that…