We are studying the book of Joshua and learning more about the character of our true God. God does not change and is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is comforting to see His hand and watch His Sovereignty work in history. It is refreshing to know He still works in our daily lives. He is the same God today who allowed the Israelites, under Joshua’s leadership, to cross into the Jordan and enter the promised land.
This promised land was far more than just a piece of property. This land was representing the covenant promise to Abraham. We read about four promises God made to Abraham through His covenant. 1. A promise for a son. 2. A promise for a nation. 3. A promise for land. 4. A promise for a blessing. This part of the story is about the promise of the land.
To follow through the story we read about the Israelites spending forty years in the desert. Many of them never were allowed to enter in because they grumbled against God, lacked faith, and were disobedient. We also read how Moses struck the rock after God told him to just speak to it. He sinned. This caused Moses to lose his chance to enter into the promised land. We see how important complete obedience is to God. Even when we think it may have been a little thing we see that Moses’ anger cost him greatly. As a friend shared; Moses was the chosen leader who had stood between God’s anger and the Israelites more than once yet still was forbidden from entering. Some commentaries state Moses was wanting all the glory or for everyone to think that he was powerful. We don’t know what his exact thoughts, or heart, were just that he was disobedient and didn’t honor God. God, therefore, disciplined Moses and he never entered the promised land.
Now, it is Joshua who will lead His people into the promised land. How? We’ve learned by reading the book of Joshua that it was by faith. By faith and obedience Joshua led. It wasn’t human efforts but with the strength and power of God. His faith allowed Joshua to be bold and courageous. This was a command God had given to Joshua in chapter one. Joshua was faithfully obedient.
Faith in the Websters 1828 dictionary is trusting and being obedient without having evidence. Joshua knew God and His character. He trusted God at His word. Joshua relied on God’s promise. Joshua did not operate in a spirit of fear of any man or army. His fear was of The Lord, alone.
Joshua also had learned to follow Moses, fully, before he became a leader. We read how Joshua was trained in a mighty way under Moses. Joshua witnessed the power of God through Moses leadership. It has been said that the greatest leaders are ones who first learn to follow. This statement was proven true in this story of Joshua.
We can only imagine the great anticipation these Israelites must have been experiencing as they stood on the edge of the river seeing the promised land. Now was the time! Here they go! It took faith as waiting for them was a river at flood stage, a mighty army across the river, and a huge fortified city that would take a skilled army months to conquer. Their leader did not doubt but led them boldly and courageously forward in faith. This was what Joshua’s God did for them as they stepped forward in faith and obedience. This showed them who their true God was and this is who our God still is today.
May we be able to remember God is strong and faithful in difficult situations. God shows us who He is through reading His stories. They allow us to see God’s hand in mighty acts but also in our salvation. This story teaches us how God delivers so we are able to know Him and fear The Lord forever. Fear the Lord and not any man.
It is humbling to learn about God’s character every day. It is equally humbling to witnesss the hunger and thirst of women newly learning the character qualities of our God. It is exciting to hear seasoned believers clinging to and walking in His truths. It is even moving to hear some questioning His attributes as you know His Spirit is the only one able to reveal these truths to them. To read His Word, to trust His character, and to rely on Christ and His Holy Spirit…this all takes Faith.
Keep praying as His Word is read, studied, and lived out in the lives of those who hunger and thirst for His Righteousness for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6
To God Be All The Glory!
He is Faithful.