The Promised Land
Do you see the hand of your God? In chapter 24, Joshua gathers the nation again and through him God speaks recounting the story of His people’s journey to the present and shot through the whole narrative God keeps pointing to Himself and what He did for His people.
Sixteen times God says; “I….” in only 12 verses of chapter 24! God is taking a highlighter as it were and pointing out a myriad of times and ways that it was God Himself who was acting lovingly, protectively, providing, caring, always faithful to His promises to His people. Joshua points out to God’s people;
- How God called Abraham out of God’s own sovereign free will
- How God gave Abraham a miracle promised son to his barren wife
- How God gave that son a line of sons to fulfill God’s covenant promise to Abraham
- How God provided land for those sons
- How God sent Moses to deliver His people from Egypt
- How God delivered His people by dealing with the super power Egypt
- How God miraculously divided the Red Sea for His people’s deliverance
- How God answered the panicked cry of His people when Egypt pursued them
- How God showed who He really was through His powerful dealings with Egypt
- How God brought His people through the Wilderness protecting & providing for them
- How God gave victory to His people over the Amorites
- How God destroyed their enemies before them, God was their protection
- How God delivered them from the hand of Balaam
- How God took His people into the Promised Land & gave them victory over all people
- How God fought their battles for them in miraculous ways (using hornets one time)
- How God gave His people a land they hadn’t laboured for, cities they didn’t build, farms full of produce they didn’t plant or cultivate…
Do you see the hand of your God in your life?
God is good, all the time, God is good. You might not always see it, understand it, feel it, but it is true. God is at work in your life in a myriad of ways, always has been and always will be. God is faithful, even when we are unfaithful, He cannot be unfaithful, its just not possible, it’s not who He is.
Brother, sister; if you don’t recognise how your life is saturated with the activity of God, then you won’t thank God, and you won’t respond to His love for you with love for Him and worship of Him…
Consider daily, thank God daily for small things worship Him and devote yourself again and again to loving Him & serving Him only in all of life.
God renews the covenant with His people in chapter 24, calls them to respond to His goodness towards them, urging them to love Him only and to forsake anything that would seek to rob them of their faith and love for God.
Joshua warns the people of the sinfulness of the human heart to wander away from God, to be unfaithful, and yet declares that for Him and His household they will serve God (Joshua 24:15).
And Israel served God all the days of Joshua (great leader!) and all the days of the other elders of Israel who served alongside Joshua and outlived him and who knew, who remembered all that God had done for His people. Remembering, recognising God’s hand in our lives is so vital to a life that honours God. So, pause, recognise, remember…
After a long time had passed, as Joshua is close to the end of his life he gathers all of Israel and speaks to the leadership of the nation in a way that is very reminiscent of Moses’s Deuteronomy sermon in the last moments of his leadership (see the whole book of Deuteronomy but especially chapters 29-33.
Joshua re-iterates very similar words to those of Moses, as their leader he calls them to remember three things;
- To remember what God has done for them (vs3,9-10, especially vs14)
- To remember what God requires of them (vs6-8, 11-13) to do and not do
- To remember the warning of God’s jealous wrath should they turn away from God in compromise and idolatry (vs15-16)
The call to remember is a repeated refrain in the Old Testament, passage after passage points back to the covenant with Abraham, the actions of God for His people to deliver them from Egypt, the covenant and commandments given to Moses, the sin and unbelief in the wilderness, God’s punishment on that generation, God’s faithfulness to ‘every word’ of His promises to His people in giving them the Promised Land and fighting for them…… As you read on in the OT, the refrain goes on and on, through the prophets and God’s various mouthpieces and even into the NT with books like Hebrews having a definite call to remember in them.
Well we so easily forget. More than this, remembering God’s faithfulness to us in the past (past faith) is the foundation we need to have faith in the present with all its challenges and its the foundation we need to have faith for the future we can not yet see.
Remembering, recounting, telling and re-telling the ‘God-stories’ of our lives, reading the ‘God-stories’ of Scripture are so vital to our faith.
I want to urge you to remember how God has worked in your life (starting with what Jesus did on the cross for you) and spend time thanking God again.
Remember things you can and have thanked God for and let the memory of those God-stories fuel your faith again for the present and the future.
Lastly, remember that warnings are no good to us unless we are warned by them. God promises to deal with the compromise and sin of Israel, the breaking of covenant (vs15-16). We live under a new covenant of grace but sin is still an offence to our Holy Father. We will never be punished for our sin because Jesus was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:4-6) but we can miss the life and the nearness and blessing of God that He wanted us to experience.
Is there any ongoing sin in your life that you know you need to repent of?
I urge you to repent & to turn from it, to seek out help if you need help.
Way back in Deuteronomy 3 it’s recorded that Moses gave the Reubenites, Gadites & the half-tribe of Manasseh the inheritance they had asked for East of the Jordan river on condition that they would help the other tribes to take possession of the Promised Land.
Now in Joshua 22, these tribes go to Joshua and request that since they have upheld their part of the agreement, they ask Joshua to allow them to go and take possession the land allotted to them East of the Jordan river.
In vs10 of chapter 22 we learn that on returning to this land God had given them, they built a large altar. This action enraged all the other tribes and caused them to gather the whole army of Israel to make war against them. They felt that this was idolatry, worshipping in a wrong way, worshipping false God’s even and so jumped into action to stop them!
The crux of the matter is expressed in vs16-18. The rest of Israel felt this was a breach of the covenant with God (vs16), a turning away from God (vs18) and a rebellion that would cause God’s wrath to burn against the whole people of Israel (vs18).
In vs21 the 2.5 Eastern tribes speak and essentially say; “No, no. no….that’s not it, you’ve not understood our motives!” I paraphrase but they go on essentially saying; “We serve God alone, there is no rebellion here, we did this so that our children would know our heritage, know that although this river divides us we are one people, God’s people!”
Phineas the priest and the leadership of Israel are appeased, they saw their motive and believed the what they had heard and the crisis was averted.
One moment they were sure this was blasphemy and ready to strike them down, the next they now see these actions as worship and there is peace and harmony.
It is all too easy to see someone else’s actions and assume their heart motives.
It is almost impossible to turn off as we are all “meaning makers” but it can get us to totally misread a situation, a person or a group thinking if we assume we know what the heart motives are/have been.
Praise God that in Joshua 22 they spoke before they fought in battle! Otherwise the outcome might have been so different. Let’s learn from this and be slow to attribute to others what we assume their motives are when we see something perplexing, let’s rather ask, let’s invest in our relationships to check what the motives are and let’s believe one another when we share our intentions/motives.
Caleb’s request to allow him to go and take possession of the land (Joshua 14) allotted to him sets off a succession whereby all of the tribes enter into their God-apportioned inheritance over an extended period of time (this is covered in Joshua 15-21).
The summary statement at the end of this section reads as follows;
Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. 44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:43-45)
God was faithful to every word, to every promise He had made, everyone of them came to pass. These people entered into the land God promised, God did fight for them, protect them and now provided for them with this good land. Scripture says, ‘God gave them rest on every side’ (vs44).
God’s word is clear, God is faithful, God can be trusted, God will do what God has promised to do. When God utters promises/commands – the words God speaks will accomplish what God intended for them to do (see Isaiah 55:10-11).
What can you and I learn from this summary about how God treated Israel?
What significance can this have on your life?
Is there anything you know God has promised to you personally?
Are you still trusting God?
God is worthy of our trust.
Caleb is one of the true heroes of the faith. His story is recorded mostly in Numbers 13-14, the moment in Israel’s history where God promised to give them the Promised Land and Moses sent 12 spies into the land to survey it and 10 came back with a bad report, a fear-filled report that made the ‘heart of the people melt’ in faith eroding fear. On that day two of the spies had a different spirit, they believed God at His word and were willing to follow God fully (Numbers 14:24 & 32:12). Their names were Joshua & Caleb.
Because of their faith, God promised that they would be the only two of that whole generation who would actually enter the Promised Land and that they would receive the inheritance God had always planned to bless them with. Here now in Joshua 14, Caleb approaches Joshua and asks that he be given his inheritance that God promised to him.
Caleb has waited patiently for 45yrs for this moment! Caleb, held on to to his faith, remained steadfast in his belief in God even when circumstances must have caused him to wonder and doubt. His whole generation passed away in the Wilderness – they never entered into all that God has planned to give them. But Caleb remained full of faith and he says to Joshua in this moment as an 85yr old man;
“And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:10-12)
What an inspiring burst of faith and confidence in God. The book of Hebrews urges us to imitate people like Caleb;
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11)
Is there something God has promised to you which is seemingly not happening, seems delayed, you know God said it, but you don’t see any evidence of it on the horizon?
Friend, I assure you, if God truly said it to you, promised it in His word, you might have to wait half your life, but God is faithful, never doubt that. Psalm 22:4-5 in the NIV translation says this of David’s ancestors;
In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
God will not change, God cannot be unfaithful (2 Timothy 2:13), let’s be like Caleb, let’s patiently wait trusting in God because we believe that He is faithful to His promises.
Looking back, Hebrews 6:12 says that we are to imitate those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. God often promises things to us, God has good things to do through us and in us, God wants to bless us in our marriages, families, businesses, friendships, church…
However, often there are battles to fiight between our present reality and that which God intends for us. Israel had been give this Promised Land by God and yet reading chapters like Joshua 10&11, you realise they really had to overcome numerous and very real enemies first.
Overcoming wasn’t easy, it didn’t happen overnight, it required faith in who God is and what He had promised to do, it required a continual reliance on God who was faithful to keep speaking and guiding, and it also required patience at times.
Then Joshua 11:23 says;
“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.”
Joshua successfully lead God’s people into the promises God had made to them. They took possession of the whole land God gave them and then God gave them rest from war.
But it didn’t come easily; rather it came on the back of God speaking and Israel in most of these moments, responding to God’s word with obedience.
What battles are before you to fight now?
Don’t lack courage, but respond to challenge with faith & obedience.
Not even one chapter after the Israelites made the mistake of making peace with the Gibeonites and they are calling out for military help (vs6)! I can imagine Joshua sighing but to his credit he makes good on his promise and rushes to their aid against the five Amorite kings who have rallied against them and Israel.
Joshua isn’t making any mistakes this time and it’s recorded that he heard God speaking/guiding him (vs8) “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands”.
Joshua and his men are winning the battle as God intervenes and throws the foreign armies into panic (vs10) and rained down large hailstones on them (vs11) that killed more men than the Israelites did by the sword.
God is faithful, He does what He says He will do, He can be trusted!
Then Joshua speaks to God, and then speaks to the sun and moon telling them to stop in their places (vs12-13). What incredible boldness, and more incredibly God honours His leader’s faith and the sun and moon do stop in the sky with Scripture recording; “there has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.” (vs14)
God is all powerful, and God loves it when we put our faith in Him.
“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” W.Cowper
“Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence.” W. S. Bowd
The rest of the chapter records the various victories summarised in vs40;
“So Joshua struck the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings. He left none remaining, but devoted to destruction all that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel commanded.”
How is this ok? Why is there wholesale slaughter of the various indigenous Canaanite population in order to allow the people of Israel to occupy their land and God through Scripture seems to be ok with it?
What follows is an attempt to make sense of these questions:
- God gave a unique command to His people through Moses as they inhabited the Promised Land. They were to devote the people to Canaan to complete destruction. God set out laws for warfare through Moses, in which God distinguished between battles fought against cities outside the Promised Land (Deut. 20:10–15) and those fought against cities inside the land (Deut. 20:16–18). It is only the latter case that requires Israel to spare no one.
- God is judging the Canaanite people through Israel, God’s agent. Since all people are sinners, all are rightly subject to God’s judgment. The Scriptures give a moral rationale for the removal of the Canaanites, seeing it as divine judgment for their iniquities (Deuteronomy 9:5).
- God’s judgements through Israel, announce the moral nature of God to the whole world for their instruction. In ways that are not entirely clear, the faithful will participate with God in carrying out the final judgment on the earth (1 Cor. 6:2; cf. Ps. 149:6–7), and Israel’s bringing of judgment on the Canaanites foreshadows that great responsibility.
- God’s judgment allows no double standard: he did not base his choice of Israel on any merit of theirs (Deuteronomy 7:6–9), and God calls them to embrace his love faithfully. Unfaithfulness will lead to judgment upon Israel itself, whether at the level of the individual (Ex. 22:20) or the whole people (Josh. 7:11–12; Mal. 4:6; cf. Lev. 18:28). This cannot be called “ethnic cleansing,” since the treatment is just, regardless of ethnicity.
- God’s people are called to be a set-apart for Him, a holy people. Deuteronomy 7:3-11 makes it clear that God wants His people to be holy, to not be lead astray by those around them but that God will destroy those who hate Him (vs10).
- Finally, even though the laws about destroying the Canaanites are stated in an uncompromising and unconditional way the way Israel applied those laws apparently made room for some of the Canaanites to surrender and survive, particularly if they professed faith in the one true God (Rahab and her whole family; the Gibeonites are examples of this). This means that the appearance of implacability in these laws is just that, an appearance, and there is an implied allowance for exceptions. This is another point showing that, strictly speaking, the command given to Israel is nothing like “ethnic cleansing,” since ethnicity itself is not the reason for the action but lack or rejection of faith in the God of Israel is the issue.
This was a unique time, a unique command, Scripture doesn’t endorse genocide and ethnic cleansing which are indeed evil. This unique part of Israel’s mission is not repeated and no people today have any right to use them as a warrant to support injustice and evil.
(This post is based loosely on the ESV Study Bible’s notes covering this topic.)
Crossing the Jordan was in response to God’s leading, Jericho was a unique one-off God-given strategy, The battle for Ai (round 1) was a mistake made because of not seeking God’s guidance, round two of the battle for Ai – repentance and obedience resulting in victory! Then, Gibeonite deception (Chapter 9)…
These Gibeonite guys were crafty! They heard of the victories at Jericho and Ai and God’s mighty deeds ( in delivering them from Egypt) and quickly summed up the situation and realized; ‘we need to make a covenant!’
Just like these Gibeonite guys, our enemy the devil is crafty, he is the accuser and the deceiver and so we need to enquire of God to avoid being deceived by him.
Scripture says that we must not be unaware of the Devil’s schemes, we must not allow him to outwit us (2 Corinthians 5:11)!
How were they outwitted?
Vs14 says that they; “did not ask counsel from the Lord.”
Folly starts with a head/heart attitude that says; ‘I’ve got this…’ The Israelites got themselves duped because they didn’t enquire of God.
May we, may you take the time each day to enquire after God for all sorts of things in your everyday life.
After the successful defeat of Ai (Joshua 8:1-29), Joshua renews the special covenant between God and His people publicly reading out the Law to the whole nation. Joshua’s renewal results in Joshua doing all that God had commanded through Moses (see Deuteronomy 27-30) on Mt Ebal.
In Deuteronomy 27-30 God warns and urges Israel to choose life, to choose to love God by obeying all His commandments, and in return God promises to bless them and cause them to inherit all that He had promised to them.
Jericho – God’s guidance, obedience & victory
Ai (round 1) – Self-reliance & disobedience – defeat
Achan’s sin – Sin in the camp, consequences to personal sin
Ai (round 2) – God’s guidance , obedience & victory
Mt Ebal – covenant renewed, worship/thanks & a recommitment to God’s word
The reading of the Law, God’s Word was central to this renewal (as it is in other renewals in Scripture like Ezra’s reading of God’s word recorded in Nehemiah 8).
Friend, nothing will have a more profound effect on our lives than honouring God’s word by reading it, meditating on it & obeying it.
So, decide today to commit yourself to growing in your love for God’s word.
Commit yourself to knowing God’s will (revealed in Scripture) and obeying it.
Choose today to revere God’s words too you even when they ruffle you.
Over my years of pastoral ministry, one of the things that people often battle with is hearing God. As we read these accounts of God’s people moving into the Promised Land, into their promised inheritance its all too easy to pass over some profound little phrases…
“The Lord said to…” (Joshua 1:1, 3:7, 4:1, 4:15, 5:2, 5:9 &6:2…)
That phrase makes one want to say; “Wait, how? More information please!” In my personal experience, despite an absolute rock solid conviction that God does speak, that God wants to speak and wants me to hear Him speak to me/us, despite this, hearing God is not always easy.
And yet all through Scripture, it is assumed as normal for God’s people that we will hear God speaking to us, guiding us, encouraging us, exhorting us…
In our passage today, Joshua calls God’s people to embark on a military strategy that had never been tried before to overtake a city, and has never been tried again successdully either. The only reason God’s people took this action was that; “The Lord said to Joshua…”
When our personal experience doesn’t match up to the clear testimony of Scripture we are faced with two choices:
- Either we adjust our interpretation of Scripture based on our experience of lack thereof (never a good idea)
- We call on God, asking Him to align our experience with what we see revealed in Scripture (go for this option!)
Jesus promised that we will hear His voice, we will recognise it as His and so we will be able to follow His leading and guiding (John 10:27). Sometimes I think the problem is we only start asking God for His help, His voice of guidance when we face a Jericho moment, a large challenge or decision.
But Joshua has been practicing listening to God for years and years prior to this moment. It was his practice to follow Moses into the Tent of Meeting, to witness God speaking to Moses, and even after Moses left Joshua used to remain the in tent with God (Exodus 33:7-11). Joshua knew God’s voice by the time he stood before this great first challenge of Jericho as he lead God’s people into their inheritance.
We need to develop a habit of listening to God, waiting on Him in our private lives. We need to learn this habit in peacetime, when there isn’t an apparent urgent need SO THAT we will be able to hear God when there is…
Why not make Jesus’ promise (John 10:27) your own?
Ask God to speak to you, trust that He will, and obey Him when He does.
And when God speaks, even if it means doing things differently to the way they have always been done, or the way others think you should, decide to obey Him and watch what He will do through your obedience.
When God made His amazing covenant promises to Abraham & his offspring (Genesis 17) God gave them a physical sign of the covenant, from that day ‘every male among you shall be circumcised’ (Genesis 17:10).
God saved His people out of Egypt, lead, loved and provided miraculously for them in the Wilderness but they rebelled, walked away from God, grumbled and didn’t believe God over and over again. Here in Joshua 5 we see the affects of the breakdown in that ‘Wilderness generation’s” faith in God…
Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised. (Joshua 5:5)
Their faith and followership of God had grown lukewarm, was compromised and so things that God had required, signs of the covenant had fallen by the wayside it seems during those wilderness years.
“No matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around.” – Nicky Gumbel
The good news is that God is gracious, God gives us fresh starts! And this is what we read of in Joshua 5, a fresh start for God’s people. Note how it is God who takes the intiative, God speaks to Joshua instructing him to have the men circumcised, to re-establish the symbol of the covenant between God and His people.
In our era of redemptive history we no longer need to be physically circumcised as is clear from a reading of the New Testament, but this passage can still speak to us today…
Circumcision was a sign, a symbol of the fact that these were God’s special people, His chosen, set-apart ones.
In what ways does God call us to make it evident that we are His people?
Are there any things we are called to do, not do to make it plain for ourselves and for others that we are His?
How are YOU doing with your followership of God? If the people in the Wilderness could grow cold in their faith, then it CAN happen to us too.
So, let’s continually stoke our love for God, keep the fire of worship strong and vital in our hearts and lives, and let’s as a result live lives that clearly reflect who’s we are – His alone.
Memorial: “Something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event.”
Not all days in our lives are of equal significance. Some days are not that memorable, others are worthy of reflection. On the day God’s people finally cross over the Jordan river to enter the Promised Land, with a miraculous show of God’s sovereign power over nature, God instructs them to make a memorial of stones (vs5-7) for their own sake and for the sake of passing on their faith to future generations.
We learn about God, grow in our knowledge and relationship with God experientially. So, the Psalmist urges us to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).
This is what God is urging His people to do, to “bank” what they learnt about God in this moment, and to remember it when they face other challenges, when they doubt to remember who God is and what He did for them on this day.
We also can learn about God from the testimony of others. God tells them to establish this memorial and then when their children ask; “What do these stones mean to you?” (vs6&21) then tell them what God did, what you learnt about God and faith…
The bible as a whole is like a memorial of the testimony of others to us of who God is, what He is like and what He has done for us. So when we read it, we are like those children asking their parents; “what do these stones mean to you?” as we learn about God from the testimony of others.
God wants to be known, wants us to learn from the testimonies of others and wants us to pass on what we have learnt experientally in our own lives to others. I encourage you to make memorials of faith, to pause so as to reflect so that you can “bank” what you’ve learnt through various life experiences about God. A great set of questions to ask is this:
What did I learn about God, myself & others?
Lastly, I urge you to not keep quiet when you have your own little or large Jordan river moments. I urge you to share with others what you’ve learnt about God, yourself & others regarding faith – so that they can grow in their faith and be encouraged by your experience of God, just as God wanted the next generation to learn from those who passed over into the Promised Land on dry ground because of a miracle of God.
Faith is believing God. Implicitly, faith is believing when you can’t see or when you haven’t yet seen God’s answer or intervention. For this reason, faith is not easy, it is totally rational if God is who the Scriptures say He is, but at times faith is a real challenge.
We know from Scripture that God wants us to believe, to trust Him, our Father loves it when we believe in all that He has revealed to us about Himself. We should be able to believe because of what’s revealed to us in Scripture, we should be able to believe in the basis of the testimony of others in Scripture and in life because we know that God does not, can not change (Malachi
But in my experience sometimes I need to see God do something that I can experience and testify to to help me with my faith, as a handle for my faith…
Here in Joshua 3 I see God graciously giving His people a ‘faith handle’. As they looked ahead at the Promised Land and all the challenges that were to face them, you could say they should have had faith because of all the things God had said and done leading up to this point. God’s faithfulness in providing for 1million people in a desert, God’s words & miracles through Moses…
But God knows our fickleness. And so God says through Joshua;
“Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you….when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” (Joshua 3:10-13)
God is so gracious to us, we should believe without seeing but God knows that sometimes we need handles as it were to grip onto for our faith. God’s people needed to trust God going forward for all that lied ahead, God graciously gives them a visible tangible handle for the faith He wants them to have in Him.
How’s your faith right now? Full or flagging?
Why don’t you ask God for something tangible even something small to help you trust Him for the BIG things like salvation…?
God is so gracious, so forbearing with us. Ask Him.
Rahab is a known prostitute from Jericho. But she expresses belief in what God is about to do for His people (vs9-11) and so she acts kindly towards the spies.
Looking back at this moment in the story of redemption Hebrews 11:31 says that as a result of her faith, God included her in His big story of the redemption.
As we read on, Rahab is not only going to be saved from the coming destruction of Jericho, but God redeems her life by giving her a son Boaz, and both Boaz and Rahab receive the honour of being included ultimately the in line of Jesus’ ancestors and Rahab included in the list of the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11!
All through the Scriptures there are unlikely characters like Rahab, people others would write-off, who believe God and so God redeems them and includes them in His plans and purposes.
Do you feel like an unlikely person?
Someone God wouldn’t use, someone others would overlook?
What matters is faith in God, believing God for who He is, for what He has done and has promised to do. God loves faith and God is so ready to include you in His big story of redemption that’s still being written.
So believe God, trust Him and act accordingly.
The pattern in verses 1-9 of this chapter is that God makes promises to Joshua and God exhorts Joshua to faith-filled action in response to these promises that have been given.
Read through verses 1-9 again and list all the promises God gives to Joshua.
Read again through verses 1-9 and list all the exhortations for Joshua to respond to these promises with faith-filled action.
Theses were promises made to Joshua, promises made to God’s people in that day at that time and yet God’s word is living and active and through His Word, God wants to speak to you today.
Ask God to speak to you now for your life.
Ask God to assure you of things, and ask God what He wants you to do in response with faith-filled action.
In verses 10-18 Joshua does as God told him, and commands the people of God to prepare by reminding them of what God has said in the past and what God has promised to do for them. And the people respond and promise to follow Joshua their God-given leader.