Joshua Part Three: Dive
JOSHUA GRABS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Let’s continue as we did last week with some grabs from this life-changing book.
Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?
This is the best line in the whole book – when you hear Joshua’s prayer in 7:6-9 its submissive again, he has forgotten he is not the servant, he is a leader “Pardon your servant, Lord” it’s with torn clothes that he is seeking God and God responds “What the heck are you doing on your face!” This is awesome, he is saying this is simple - you don’t need to beg me – Israel sinned, then he tells them exactly what is going on.
God talks simply and plainly to Joshua, all Joshua needed to do was ask God and he answered him. How great is that? At times we make prayer way to complicated, begging as a worm before the Lord, just cry out to God and he will answer you.
No fight was the same
In this book, you are going to read the accounts of the different battles to take the promised land, and no one fight is the same. Each time God gives them a specific strategy to conquer the city – Joshua prays, gets the go ahead and the strategy, and then does it.
In our lives, don’t assume that God will move the same way each time, ask the Lord for guidance in all you do because you may find that the battle plan will change. I love that the battle plan changed but God gave them victory when they asked him 'how'.
Not again: but they did not inquire of the Lord
Again some of the saddest words in the Bible and ones that we should put on our fridge. We find again in the story of The Gibeonite Deception in chapter 9, that as they were being manipulated by the Gibeonites the key to their downfall is in 9:14 – "The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD.” They used their natural means to investigate this rouse but didn’t ask God about it, and so got tricked into making a treaty of peace with a city they should have conquered.
Don’t forget to inquire of the Lord when you need wisdom, don’t just use your natural instinct and natural means to make a decision. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Did that just say the sun stood still?
As you read your Bible you can get into such a rhythm that you end up just reading. As you hit the middle of Joshua you read this incredible heading in Chapter 10. The Sun Stands Still, it says it not in lights, it says it not in anything more than the same font as the other chapters, but this one changes the course of history. These four words mean that God heard the cry of a human and the plight of a people and stopped the universe from turning to make the sun stand still for about a full day!
What can God do in your life if you cry out to him!
NOT ONE OF ALL THE LORDS GOOD PROMISES TO ISRAEL FAILED; EVERY ONE WAS FULFILLED. (21:45)
This one statement in this book takes over 470 years to fulfill.
Abram's entrance into Canaan 2021 BC
Exodus 1591 BC
Joshua' conquest of Jericho 1551 BC
No matter where you are in your journey of God fulfilling your promises hold on and stand on this scripture – "Not one of all the Lord’s promises to Israel failed!" Like the Pantene Shampoo advertising said: “It won’t happen overnight but it will happen!”
It can take a long time to get rest on every side
Joshua 21:43 is a verse that struck me after I finished reading the book. As you read the Bible God will use what you have read days, weeks, months later to help you in your everyday life. This verse came back to me hours later “The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors.” It was a long time since the Israelites had had rest on every side, they had been wandering in the wilderness, moving as the cloud moved, and now they had rest on every side. God takes a long time to bring rest, but when he does enjoy it, take your Sabbath moments.
Did that really say that they were about to go to war on each other?
After the long list of who gets what land, we have this awkward moment that really is a “you’re not serious” moment for me. Did you feel the same?
I’m talking about Chapter 22, the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh are heading home (remember in Numbers 32 they had asked Moses if they could live on the east of the Jordan and not live in the promised land with everyone else). The condition of them living on the east of the Jordan was that they needed to fight alongside the Israelites to gain the promised land and then they could return to their home. And so after fighting alongside the Israelites, they are now returning home.
When they were returning home they decided to build an “imposing altar” at Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, and when the Israelites heard about it they gathered to go to war against them.
When I first read this, I thought these guys are so ‘war crazy’, after all these amazing victories in the promised land, that now they are going to go to war against their own tribes. They are going to start a Civil war over an altar.
What a closing speech
Like the last words of Moses, Joshua gives his final speech in chapter 24 and it covers the whole story of the first five books of the Bible, and then sets a warning for them from here on in – "But as for me and my household we will serve the LORD!"
Some things that I got out of the speech was the way Joshua gives the Israelites an option out of serving God almost sarcastically “24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.”
He is saying you have options now to make the same mistakes as your ancestors or be led astray by the gods of the lands we have just taken. I love this – just because you have options does not mean your heart should be divided.
In the world today we have so many options for things that can take the place of God in our lives, things that can set themselves up as idols in our hearts. And I love how Joshua tells them THIS DAY choose who you will serve. On a daily basis, we need to choose who is first in our lives, on a daily basis we need to choose to serve God.
Today afresh, choose to wholeheartedly serve God! Today say afresh "BUT AS FOR ME AS MY HOUSEHOLD WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!"
I hope you have loved journeying through Joshua with us. Remember be strong and courageous in all you do and know that all the good promises the LORD your God has given you will be fulfilled, not one will fail.