Serving the Lord with Gladness: Joshua

In the Old Testament we can read about the record of Moses.  In this teaching we will see who Moses chose to be his successor.   When Moses was growing old, God instructed him to appoint a leader who would step in after he was gone.  Moses knew that Joshua was the man for the Job.

We will look at a brief history of Joshua’s life through the Old Testament—Exodus records how Moses and Joshua fought alongside one another as they battled King Amalek.

God had just gotten done performing a miracle—making water flow from a rock to hydrate the Children of Israel.  Shortly after this, Moses instructs Joshua in verse 9 of Exodus Ch. 17:

Book of Joshua Chapter 22-4 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media)

Exodus 17:9-14
And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

As Moses held up “The Rod of God” Joshua and his men prevailed.  Eventually they had success and defeated the king’s army.  Joshua fought valiantly alongside Moses.

Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 31 and see the transfer of power:

Deuteronomy 31:1-3
And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel. 2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan. 3 The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said.

Verses 7-9
And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. 8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. 9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.

Moses further commands them to read his instructions to the people every 7 years to remind them of his stand on the Word and what God did for His people.  Also it was to be taught to the younger generation so they would appreciate it.

Verse 23-26
And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. 24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee
He gives very specific direction to the people.  This was to remind them to keep following God.

Deuteronomy chapter 34 records Moses’ death

Deuteronomy 34:5:  So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. 8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. 9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. 10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face

Joshua 1 records his first moments as the leader of God’s people and the commandments that he receives.

Joshua 1:1-3
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

Verses 10-11
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Book of Joshua Chapter 2-8 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media)

In Chapter 2, Joshua sends two spies into Jericho to scope it out.  The king finds out about the spies and sends a search party to find them, but they take refuge in the house of Rahab the harlot.
She saves them from the king’s men and in return they promise to save her and everyone in her house when they would come back to conquer the city.

Joshua 3:7-8
And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. 8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.

Verses 15-17
And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) 16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. 17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

God performed another miracle for his Children involving parting water.

Chapter 6 records what is probably the most well known story of Joshua’s life.  The city of Jericho was conquered by following God’s direction.

Joshua 6:1-27
Joshua and his army defeated the city of Jericho.  Only God could have known what would bring down the walls.  As they followed his direction:
1. Walk around the city once every day for 6 days
2. The 7th day, circle the city 7 times
3. At the 7th circle, have 7 priests blow trumpets and all the people shout at the same time.

(The number 7 means “spiritual perfection” according to EW Bullinger’s great research work, Number in Scripture)

In Chapter 8, God promises that they will take the city of Ai.  They send a small battalion and trick the men of the city into thinking that the small group was defeated and running away.  When all of the men of the city pursued the small battalion, the rest of Joshua’s army took the city and burned it. When the pursuers saw the smoke they turned around and were defeated as they rushed back in fear.

In Chapter 9, all the kings from other cities band together to try and defeat Joshua’s army.

Joshua 9:1-2
And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof; 2 That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
There was one group of smart people from a city called Gibeon. They approached Joshua and formed a “league” with him and were spared.

Joshua 10:1-2
Now it came to pass, when Adonizedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; 2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

In Verses 3-10 – The 5 kings went to War against Gibeon because they sided with Joshua.  Joshua’s army met them and began a battle but there was not enough daylight to continue fighting…

Verses 12-15
Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. 15 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

In Verses 16-27 Joshua kills all the 5 kings who banded together and buries them in a cave.

In verse 29, they defeat Libnah
In Verse 31 they defeat Lachish
In Verse 33 they defeat Horam – King of Gezer
In Verse 34 they defeat Eglon
In Verse 36 they defeat Hebron
In Verse 38 they defeat Debir
In Verse 41 they defeated Goshen and Gibeon
In chapter 11, verse 10 they defeat Hazor

Let’s read the summary at the end of chapter 10

Verses 40-43
So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. 41 And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. 42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. 43 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

What a great record illustrating God’s mighty power toward His people.  God was with Joshua in a powerful way just as He is with us in our day and time.  God has not changed and His power is alive today!

Our Legal Rights

Have you ever heard anyone refer to a situation as “hopeless?”  This is a common term heard in the world and people use it often.  But with God, nothing is hopeless and we can trust Him to bring us through anything.

-A recent example was a football game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Central Washington Wildcats. (9/27/2008)

Usually, the Griz start out by scoring a few touchdowns in the first half, and follow that by winning the game by a landslide in the second half.  The first 3 games of the season were much like that.  You just had the feeling they were going to win.  This game was different.  The wildcats were very aggressive and started the game by scoring a touchdown & a field goal right away making the game 7-0 wildcats.

The Griz scored, tying the game, and then the wildcats answered making the game 14-7 wildcats.  Then they scored again making it 21-7 wildcats.  Down by 2 touchdowns, the situation appeared “hopeless”

The score was 24-21 at the half, the Grizzlies still losing and giving up 5 turnovers throughout the game.

The 3rd and 4th quarters were much of the same until it came down to the 4th quarter with 2:47 left….the teams were tied at 35 points each.

The Grizzlies drove down the field until they were 42 yards away from their own goal line with seconds left on the clock.  It was now up to the kicker, Brody McKnight to make a 42 yard field goal or the game would go into overtime.

With seconds left, Brody kicked the ball and made the field goal, and preventing an overtime situation.  He came through with 1 second left and won the game.

Just like this football game, God is never late.  You may have to play all 4 quarters, but God will bring deliverance even if it is with “seconds left on the clock” and His Word promises us many great things.legal-rights

We have certain legal rights that we are assigned by God.  They are ours, but we need to know they exist, and claim them.

All of these promises we will cover are yours…..and you should never accept when the adversary tries to cheat you out of them.

  1. Eternal Life

    At the moment we are born again we gain eternal life. We have victory over death.Titus 1:2 – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

    God promised his children eternal life.  Where God promises, he will fulfill.
     

  2. New Body

    At the time of the return of Christ we will receive new bodies.

    1 John 3:2
    – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
     
  3. Freedom from Wrath

    Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

    After the return of Christ, Satan will be destroyed and there will be no more death, sickness, or sadness.  We will be spared from the wrath and destruction of the enemy. (Revelation 20:14-15)

  4. Rewards

    Philippians 3:14 – I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    In the grace administration in which we live, we aren’t punished for our sins unlike in the Old Testament times.  Instead we ask God to forgive them and we are cleansed from sin.  In addition to that, our stand for God will earn rewards both now and in the future. (Heb 11:6)

  5. Crowns

    II Timothy 4:8 – Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

    James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

    I Peter 5:4 – And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

    God will crown us with rewards for our faithfulness and love.  The Crown of Righteousness, the Crown of life, and the Crown of Glory are among these noted in the Bible.

    I Corinthians 9:25 – And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

No Situation is ever hopeless. God promises to reward us for believing His Word and acting accordingly.  He has promised us Crowns (rewards) as well as the return of Jesus Christ and our absolute eternal life.

The adversary would like to make things appear hopeless at times, but we know better.

These are 5 legal rights that are ours when we were born again:

  1. Eternal Life
  2. New Body
  3. Freedom from Wrath
  4. Rewards
  5. Crowns

This life we live is temporary, and so are its rewards.

But God promises salvation to anyone who believes His Word.  We have the great hope of Christ’s return as we enjoy our legal rights for eternity!

God Bless You!

From an October 2008 Teaching
All scriptures KJV unless noted otherwise
Images Creative Commons

 

Finish the Race

One of the key elements to success in any endeavor is be determined and CONSISTENT with our efforts.  We will review practical keys, as well as examples from the Bible on how to do this.

There are 3 elements to accomplishing a goal:

Step 1 is to  write down what you want to accomplish
Step 2 is to  start
Step 3 is to  remain consistent

Think of something that you are trying to accomplish.  Perhaps you have a goal or a dream?

It may be something you are already working on, or something you want to accomplish someday.

Step Number 1:  Write Down Your Goals

Habakkuk 2:2 – And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it

God instructs us to write the vision and make it plain.  This is the most fundamental step in solidifying the vision we have for our lives.

“Many times, we set out on a self-improvement course of action with literally no idea of how to proceed, with only a loose idea of what we really want to accomplish. Basically, at this point, it’s just a dream of a better day. This is actually not what you want; after all, you expect success. You must believe success is possible and probable. Be expectant. Be confident.

Before you begin, sit down and write out your plan of action. Clearly write your goal, your time frame, identify the specific steps to accomplish during the journey and the obstacles that you expect to encounter along the way. Yes, write this all down. Review it each evening before bed and again when you awaken in the morning. Keep your plan with you at all times and read it aloud to yourself several times during the day. This will embed it deeply into your subconscious mind where it will steer you in the direction of your goal.” (source)

Some key points from that article are:
1. Be specific about what you want
2. Expect Success (Believe that God will bring it to pass)
3. Write down your plan of action
4. Set a time frame on when you will be finished
5. Review it often to keep it in your mind

Step Number 1 is to write down your goals!

Step Number 2:  Start!

In order to finish, you need to start!  Go ahead and begin working on your vision.  Do it now!  Start today!  Don’t wait!

Procrastination is the biggest killer of accomplishment.  I am somewhat of a procrastinator, but when “what you want” is more important than the TV, it’s easy to turn it off. (No offense to TV, but is is a great example of a time waster)

Step Number 2 is to Start!

runner, athlete, olympics

In order to reach your goals, you must begin.  Now.

Step Number 3:  Remain Consistent

Acts 2:42 – And they [the Disciples] continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

How did they move the Word?  By continuing steadfastly!
How do we get stuff done?  By continuing steadfastly!

Acts 6:4 – But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

They “gave themselves” to prayer and to the ministry.  They were “sold out” to God and his Word.  That’s why they are mentioned!  The result was that the entire region where they lived had the opportunity to know God.

There is a book written by Jeff Olsen called “The Slight Edge”

It is a simple concept that is easy to understand, easy to do, and will bring success in any endeavor.

First, let’s look at what the Slight Edge is “NOT”
In this fast-paced world, our culture idolizes microwave success.
Everyone wants to win the lottery, to win in the stock market, to win in Vegas, to become a movie star or a hit music artist, to become a millionaire on the internet, etc.  Debt is at an all time high because everyone wants it right now.  This is not Godly, nor is it reality.  In the real world; anything worthwhile takes time and effort.

Now let’s look at what the Slight Edge “IS”
The slight edge is referring to those small, insignificant decisions that we all make every day.  They can be regarding what food we eat, whether or not we exercise, what we do with our free time, who we talk to, and the list goes on… These decisions are either working FOR us or AGAINST us.

The author gives an example of an Olympic athlete:

“WINNING IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF SLIGHT EDGE. Who can forget that moving moment of triumph in the ’94 Olympics when American speed-skater Dan Jansen at last overcame years of discouragement, disappointment, and frustration to finally win the gold medal in the 1000 meters, setting a world record of one minute, 12.43 seconds?

Do you know by how much of a margin Jansen won?  Do you know what the difference was between the winning world record gold medal and the virtual oblivion of second place?
Twenty-nine hundredths of a second! That’s a very Slight Edge!
No matter where you look, no matter in what area of accomplishment, life, work, or play — the difference between winning and losing, between going down in the record books as first and best…or not at all — the gap that separates success and failure is always measured as … THE SLIGHT EDGE.”

This is very timely with the 2008 Olympic games.  Michael Phelps has (at the time this article was written) won 8 gold medals in these Olympics and 18 total over his career.  That is more than any other Olympian ever!  Many of his medals and world records came down to milliseconds.  He literally won by hundredths of a second.  That is a slight edge.

“With THE SLIGHT EDGE, time is on your side. What if you gave yourself five years to become twice the person you are today: to earn twice the income, have twice the personal relationships and contacts, make twice the impact on the world, and enjoy twice the quality of life? Could you do it? How would you do it?! Ask yourself honestly, “If I doubled my efforts …if I had twice as much time…if I became twice as smart… If I worked twice as hard as I do today …could I really become twice as productive as I am right now? No, you couldn’t, and you know it. But wait! There is a way to become two, three, four, and more times as productive as you are today…
IF YOU WERE TO IMPROVE just .03% each day —  that’s only 3/10 of one percent, a very Slight Edge-and you kept that up for the next five years, here’s what would happen to you:

The first year, you would improve 100 percent (you would already be twice what you are today.  The second, you would improve 200 percent.  The third year, 400 percent.  And the fourth, 800 percent.  And by the end of year five-by simply improving 3/10 of one percent each day-you will have magnified your value, your skills, and the results you accomplished 1,600 percent. That’s 22 times more than you are today.”  (source)

This concept of daily habits, performed over and over each day has real power in accomplishing your goals.

Rarely is anything great accomplished in one sitting.  It is done by consistently making the right small decisions over a period of time.

This concept implies consistency.

How did Noah build an Ark?  — One day at a time for 120 years!
It’s like the old saying goes; “how do you eat an elephant?  …One bite at a time”

To recap what we discussed:

Step 1 is to  write down what you want to accomplish
Step 2 is to  start
Step 3 is to  remain consistent

Operating these principles will ensure that you are in a constant state of growth and you will certainly see the results!

God Bless You!

From an Aug 21, 2008 Teaching
[brackets indicate my comments]
All scriptures from KJV Bible unless otherwise noted
Image: Creative Commons

Teachings from the Word of God