Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Joshua 1:7-9 - The Secret of Joshua's Success

Pray and Read: Joshua 1:7-9; Exodus 33:11

Contextual Notes:

Joshua (Yeshua) means “YHWH is Salvation.” (Greek form: Jesus (Hebrews 4:8). The Lord spent many years preparing Joshua (1462 - 1372 BC) for leadership. He was born a slave in Egypt, the son of Nun (means “prosperity, durable”) of the tribe of Ephraim. At age 40, he joined the Exodus and became an assistant for Moses (Exodus 24:13; 33:11; Numbers 11:28; Joshua 1:1).

Moses changed his name from Hoshea, meaning simply “salvation” to Joshua (Numbers 13:8, 16; Deuteronomy 32:44). Joshua preferred to stay in God’s Presence more than anything else as a young man (Exodus 33:11).

At Kadesh-barnea under Moses, Joshua was selected as one of the spies to scout out the Promised Land for invasion. He and Caleb were almost stoned to death for believing God and encouraging Israel to advance into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:6-10). As a result, God punished that generation by causing them to die in the Wilderness. Only Joshua and Caleb of the Exodus generation lived to enter the Promised Land.

At age 80, Joshua was commissioned as the successor to Moses (Deuteronomy 31:23; 34:9). By the time he led the Israelites into the Promised Land, he had already become a great general (Exodus 17:9-16). Israel had a new generation of warriors, and a new commander. While mentored by Moses who spoke as a friend with YHWH (Exodus 33:11), Joshua was responsible for all military operations for Israel – a two million member horde of Oriental barbarians who believed their God lived with them in a box in His own tent.

Joshua was a professional soldier who knew how to fight, but he submitted to the Lord's direction. As the supreme commander of Israel, he was pre-eminent as a strategist, using campaign planning, military discipline, covert intelligence, but above all prayer and trust in the Captain of the Lord of Hosts (Joshua 5:13-15).

That great Virginian, Lieutenant General Stonewall Jackson was one of the most brilliant and bold battlefield commanders of all military history. Jackson closely studied the book of Joshua for its battle strategies. Jackson modeled his military prowess on that greatest of Israeli generals, Joshua son of Nun.

Joshua was a man of prayer, courage, dependence upon God, faith, leadership, enthusiasm, and fidelity. Joshua, as one of the great generals of all Israeli history, is a type of Christ foreshadowing the One who will bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).

Sermon Points:
1. Obey the Lord (Joshua 1:7)
2. Meditate on the Word (Joshua 1:8)
3. Crave His Presence (Exodus 33:11)

Moses represents the Law. Joshua represents Christ. Moses (the law) must be superseded by Joshua (Jesus) to lead us into inheritance. The list of conquered kings in Joshua 12 show how Joshua superseded Moses. Moses conquered two kings, Sihon and Og, while Joshua conquered 31 kings (12:24). Moses, who received the Law, could not command the obedience of the people. Joshua, who was a man of faith, easily commanded the obedience of the people. What the Law was powerless to do, Christ did (Romans 8:3; 7:7-13). The Law instructs us on God’s standards and promises and demonstrates to us our sinfulness. It takes both Moses and Joshua together to show us by types the finished work of Christ.

Christ alone can lead us into the inheritance that is ours. “Not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:9). Christ longs to lead us into all that He purchased for us on the cross. If only we would fully follow Him!