Here at Midtown Church we are committed to being a Biblical Community. It is the source of truth, standards, and values we live our lives based on. So we are committed to the lifelong study and application of the Bible, all of it!
This Bible, what protestant Christianity considers ‘The Scriptures’ / Holy Writings, is God’s autobiographical story of His dealings with our world through people, culminating in Him condescending to be a human in the process of redeeming the pinnacle of His creation: people!
The beginning of this story, The Pentateuch, sets the stage for the remaining Scriptures. Through stories and commands God reveals the big picture of who He is and what He cares about by the time Deuteronomy ends. Last week we heard an excellent overview of God setting apart an ethnicity that He will use to birth the savior of all ethnicities.
We need to be grounded in the O.T. equally with the N.T. Too much focus on the N.T. leads to a lack of accountability to a Holy God. Just as we need to balance Grace and Truth we need to balance int influence of both testaments so we get a well rounded, ultimately ‘Biblical’ view of God.
So we are going to Journey thru the book of Joshua! Possessing Spiritual Ground is the series title.
BIG Themes of the Book of Joshua:
- Our obedience can fuel the miraculous
- We are to take possession of what God promises us
- Trusting God’s sovereignty enables us to be strong and courageous
- The exercise of true faith requires us to act
- Our disobedience can lead to disaster
- Leadership matters to all of us
- God always fulfills His Promises
JOSHUA THE MAN
- His name was Hoshea, but Moses changed it to Joshua (Num. 13)
- Joshua was a soldier under Moses’ command (Ex. 17)
- He was an assistant to Moses (Ex. 24 & 33, num. 11)
- He was one of the spies sent by Moses into the Promised Land (Num. 13 & 14)
- He was authorized to apportion the Promised Land to the tribes (Num. 34)
- He was fully equipped by the Holy Spirit to lead (Deut. 34)
- He was commissioned by God to posses The Promised Land (Deut. 31)
- He was known as the “servant of the LORD” (Josh 24 & Judges 2)
We will be on the lookout for foreshadowing of Christ as well as for when Joshua is acting as a ‘type’ of Christ. Today we start with Joshua being ‘on-boarded’ by God into His new position!
Joshua 1:1-9: Passing The Torch
1 After the death of Moses theLord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.”
- God had hand picked Joshua
- One of only two people who got to enter the promised land who left Egypt
- This was the 1st time God spoke directly to Joshua.
- God officially passes the torch
- Moses’ death was between God & Moses
- Joshua will lead God’s people to where He establishes them as a nation
- HE gives the place
3 “I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you…”
- As God’s leader of the Israelites Joshua has the same ‘deal’ Moses did
- Key principal: Joshua can lead with absolute confidence that God has his back
- God knew everywhere Joshua would go, literally, every place he would set foot
- God’s promises are consistent with all of us
4 “from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’”
- This is the entirety of the ‘Promised Land’ initially promised
- Modern day boarders: Turkey north, Egypt south, Mediterranean west, Iraq, Syria & Saudi Arabia to the east
- Some dispute of exactly what is the total promised land…
- Bottom line the Nation of Israel never occupied all the promised land…
5 “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.”
- What an incredible promise!
- As long as he lives…He has established his obedience
- No matter what I can count on God…
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.”
- This command to be strong & courageous is tried to his role as military leader
- Application for us can be as an organizational leader of various kinds
- God has promised those who believe in Him spiritual possessions
- The ‘land’ is the ultimate metaphor for ‘Spiritual Ground’ God covers with us
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.”
- This command to be strong & courageous is tried to his role as spiritual leader
- The instructions Moses gave him is The Pentateuch!
- The 1st 5 books contain a mountain of specific things God is very clear about
- Obeying Gen. – Duet. without deviation takes God given strength & courage !!
- Success is the result of obedience…success by God’s standards, not our world
8 “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
- This guy was right there for everything that happened, at Moses’ side
- He was involved in the recording of the Torah as Moses’ right hand man…
- ‘Study Continually’ is the command… Didn’t Joshua know it well enough?
- Meditate on it ALL THE TIME… That is the only way you have a SHOT!
- Only through focused study & 24/7 consideration / meditation, would he be sure
9 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- 3 times, seriously? What does this remind you of?
- This one is tied to Joshua being a relational / emotional leader.
- God gives His people leaders who do not lead from fear or discouragement
- Are we to fear death as follower’s of Christ?
- The Bible teaches: God determines exactly how long EVERYONE live (Job 14) Luke 12:25 / Matthew 6:27 Jesus says no one can add a minute to their life
Summary of Joshua The Book:
Obedience fuels the miraculous / Possess what God promises / Trusting God grows strength & courage / Faith is action / Disobedience is disaster / Leadership matters /
God keeps His Promises
The central themes of the book of Joshua contain essential beliefs of a life surrendered to God. These are part of how God enables us to enter His eternal ‘Promised Land’, how He gives the ultimate ‘Rest’ to His children; the experience of the complete Shalom of God!
The book of Joshua is a record of God’s faithfulness to His covenant people. It underscores the need of the believer to be obedient if he would appropriate all that God has designed for him. It is throughout, a testimony to the might and grace of a sovereign and holy God. ~ Thomas Nelson Publishing
Summary of Chap. 1:1-9
God continues to lead the people of Israel through a man He speaks directly to. This is the next stage in the ongoing processing of setting apart HIS people; taking possession of the land of Canaan.
Joshua is commissioned and empowered by God to be a military (operational), spiritual and relational leader of GOD’S people.
Joshua is given the written word of God to direct his every action, and he is told exactly how to use it.
God makes promises to Joshua regarding the possession of the promised land that demonstrate God’s unchanging character.
Challenge: Read the book of Joshua as if it was the owner’s manual for how to take possession of the spiritual life God has promised you as a Biblical follower of Jesus.
How is God equipping and empowering you to lead his people? Operationally? Relationally? Spiritually?
Why should the first five books of the Scriptures be as important to you as it was to Joshua?
How are the promises God has made to you as a follower of Jesus Christ similar to the promises He made to Joshua?