Tag: Old Testament

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 10)

Concerned about the Future

When King Hezekiah was told that the Kingdom of Judah would eventually go into Captivity in Babylon, his response was: “At least there will be peace and truth in my days” (Isaiah 39:8, NIV). This statement seems to reek of selfishness. Hezekiah should have been concerned for the People who are going into Captivity, the loss and suffering of his People beyond “his days.” Joshua’s two farewell speeches (Joshua chapters 23 to 24) as he was about to go “the way of all the earth” (Joshua 23:14), given ample evidence that he (Joshua) is the Caring Leader, burdened for the Future of his People and his Nation. But at the end of the long and full life, Joshua’s greatest concern was not himself. His greatest concern was God’s People and their relationship with the LORD. Joshua does not want to leave until he has challenged them once again to love the LORD and keep God’s Commandments. His life’s work and battles would be in vain if the Children of Israel failed to keep God’s Covenant and enjoy the Blessing of the Promised Land:

  • The Leaders – Joshua first called a meeting with the Leaders of the Nation – Joshua 23:2 “And Joshua called for all Israel and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them. I am old and stricken in age.” Joshua warned the Leaders of Israel what would happen if they deserted the LORD (Joshua 23:3-16).
  • The People – Joshua gathered “all the Tribes of Israel at Shechem” (Joshua 24:1) and gave them a farewell address which reviewed the history of Israel, starting with Abraham, and challenged the People to love the LORD and serve Him alone.

In these two addresses to the Leaders and the People, Joshua emphasized three important matters:Israel’s Future Dangers (Joshua 23:1-6)

1. Israel’s Future Dangers (Joshua 23:1-16)

Having assembled the Leaders and the People of the Nation of Israel, Joshua presented them with two Scenarios:

  • Obey the LORD, and He will bless the Children of Israel and keep them in the Promised Land, in their Inheritance.
  • Disobey the LORD, and He will judge the Children of Israel and remove them from the Promised Land, their Inheritance.

These where the “terms” of the Covenant God had made with Israel at Mount Sinai, which Moses had repeated on the Plains of Moab, and which Israel had reaffirmed at Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. Joshua’s emphasis was on possessing the Land (Joshua 23:5) and enjoying the blessings (Joshua 23:13-16). While Israel had gained control of much of Canaan Land (the Promised Land), there remained territory to possess and pockets of resistance to overcome (Joshua 13:1-13; 15:63; 16:10; 17:12-13; 18:3; Judges 1-2). The task of the Tribes was not finished. The great danger, of course, was that the People of Israel would gradually change their attitudes toward the heathen Nations living within the Canaan Land (the Promised Land) and start accepting their ways and imitating them. Joshua wanted to be sure that the People knew the LORD and wanted to serve Him with their whole heart.

People who think only of what they can get today are only Opportunists and not true Leaders (“hirelings” – John 10:12-13). The Leader plants the “right seeds” that will bear fruit in years to come for the benefit of others, and Joshua did that.

2. Israel’s Past Blessings (Joshua 24:1-13)

The Nation and Land were the key words in Joshua’s first address (Joshua 23), then the LORD is the major focus in this Second Address, for Joshua refers to the LORD twenty-one times. In fact, in Joshua 24:2-13, it is the LORD who speaks as Joshua reviews the History of the Nation of Israel. Another key word is “serve,” used fifteen times in this address. Jehovah gave them Israel the Land and would bless them in their Land if they loved Him and served Him:

  • God chose Israel (Joshua 24:1-4), from the time of Abraham.
  • God delivered Israel (Joshua 24:5-7), from the Egyptian Bondage.
  • God guided Israel (Joshua 24:8-10), in the Wilderness Journey.
  • God gave Israel the Promised Land (Joshua 24:11-13).

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 9)


Leaders Don’t Allow Compromise to Dilute the Cause (Joshua 7:1-8:29) – Ai, a little City with a short Name, caused huge problems for the Israelites. Spies sent out to check out the village of Ai considered it an easy target; its defeat would not even require the Whole Army, they said. How wrong they were! The contingent dispatched against Ai quickly retreated after suffering frightening losses. What could have happened? Joshua soon discovered that sin in his camp had caused the debacle (disaster). One of his soldiers, Achan, had kept for himself some of the spoils against God’s warning in Joshua 6:17-19 – Joshua 7:21 “When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylon, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath,” despite God’s prohibition against doing so – Joshua 6:19 “But all the silver, and gold and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.” After a short time of confusion, Joshua dealt decisively with Achan of the Tribe of Judah, executing him at the Command of God (Joshua 8:16-26). Joshua would not and could not allow compromise to derail the destiny of his People. Due to his courage and convictions, the next time Israel launched an attack on Ai, the tiny City with the short Name presented little problem (Joshua 8:1-29).

Earned Respect

A true Leader does not demand respect; he commands it by earning it. Joshua had authority; but it takes more than authority to lead others. It also takes stature, the kind of character and achievement that will make People look up to him and listen to him (Joshua 1:11-18). In this day of “media magic,” a Public Relations firm can “hype” a nobody into becoming an International Celebrity; but the Public Relations firm cannot give that Celebrity the kind of stature that can come only from proven work with sacrifice and service. The Church does not need Celebrity, but it needs the Person with “the Servant’s” heart – Matthew 23:11 “But he that is greatest among you shall be your Servant” (KJV):

  • The Leader does not use People to build his authority; he uses his authority to build People. Many of the Soldiers in the Jewish Army became the heroes because Joshua was in command. The Leader is the Person who leaves behind People who have achieved far more than they would have achieved had they not followed his Leadership.
  • The Leader does not make use of People for his own ends or manipulate People for his own gain. He lays down his life for the People and thus invokes such respect that they want to follow him – 1John 3:16 “This is how we know what love of God is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our life for our brothers” (NIV).

Glorifies God

There was a time in Joshua’s life when he was jealous for the honour of his master, Moses (Numbers 11:24-30); but he learned that the most important thing is to give God the Glory:

  • When the Nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River, it was God who received the Glory: “By this you shall know that the living God is among you!” (Joshua 3:10, NKJV), Joshua told his People.
  • When that miracle march was over, Joshua put up a monument so that Israel and “all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty” (Joshua 4:24, NKJV). A lesser man would have put up a monument glorifying himself, as King Saul did – 1Samuel 15:12b (NKJV) “Saul went to Carmel and indeed, he set up a monument for himself.”
  • King Saul self-exaltation – built a monument for himself (1Samuel 15:12), thus, not giving God the Glory – Also, King Saul was never associated in building God’s Altar for Worship, except once, in desperation (1Samuel 14:35). Abraham is associated with building Altar unto The LORD (Genesis 12:7, 8, Genesis 13:18; Genesis 22:1-18).

As we study the Book of Joshua, we see that he repeatedly gave God the Glory for all that happened (Joshua 6:18; 8:1; 10:14; 11:6-8; 13:6; 18:3; 21:43-45). It was the LORD who conquered the Enemies and gave the Land to the Israelites. It was the Name of the LORD that was to be magnified in all the earth. It has been said that the Leader is somebody who takes twice as much blames and half as much credit, and Joshua would qualify on both counts.

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 8)

Joshua Balances Faith and Planning

(Joshua 8:1-29) – (The Conquest of Ai after the sin of Achan) – When does human planning get in the way of trusting God for results? Or conversely, when does faith become presumption, expecting God to do for us that we must do for ourselves?

All Christian Leaders must learn the proper balance between Divine Faith and Human preparation and responsibility. Joshua demonstrates the beautiful balance as he prepares a second attack on the city of Ai. He began by asking the LORD whether his Army should attack, and if so, when.

1st Example – Conquest of Ai

God ordered the attack, and instructed Joshua to set an ambush, but gave no further details. Joshua planned the campaign, each step under the inspirations of the Holy Spirit – he divided his troops into two divisions and told one to stage an attack on the City.  The other group was to wait in ambush until the men of Ai came out.  As the men of Ai chased their Attackers, the ambush could close in and allow the Israelites to set the City afire. 

The plan worked perfectly.  When the men of Ai saw the smoke rising above their homes, they lost heart and quickly fell in battle to Israel. There is the synthesis of Divine Guidance and human strategies.  Joshua places his Faith in God for the results but did not hesitate to lay wise plans and execute them.

2nd Example – Conquest of Canaan

(Joshua 5-21) – (Conquest and Distribution of the Land) – Joshua had a plan and goal to follow. The Conquest of Canaan was not a haphazard affair; it was carefully planned and skilfully executed:

  • First, Joshua cut straight across the Land and isolated the North from the South.
  • Second, he conquered the Cities in the South, followed by the invasion of the North.

Joshua moved quickly to subdue the Population Centres and take control of the Whole Land. More than once, Joshua led his men on an all-night march to catch the Enemy by surprise. It takes planning and strategy to do the work of the LORD successfully. The Leader who drifts with the tide and changes direction with every new wind is not the Leader at all. A Roman Proverb says: “When the pilot doesn’t know what port he is heading for, no wind is the right wind.” If the Leader knows where he is going, he can adjust the sails when the storm starts to blow and still arrive at the right port.

Making Mistakes

The Successful Leader is not the Person who is always right, because no such Person exists on the face of the earth! The Successful Leader is the Person who make the “best” decision he can and keep on going when he makes mistakes, but he learned from mistakes and knows how to snatch victory out of defeat:

  • When he was defeated at Ai, Joshua admitted failure, sought the face of the LORD, went back, and won the battle (Joshua 7 – 8:29).
  • When he (Joshua) foolishly made a league with the Gibeonites, he admitted his mistake and put the “mistake” to work for him (Joshua 9).

The American Humourist Elbert Hubbard said: “Experience is the name everyone gives his mistakes.” Someone has said that experience is a tough teacher because it always gives exam first and teaches the lesson afterward:

  • If the Leader turns his mistakes into mirrors, he sees only himself and this will make him miserable.
  • But if by Faith he turns his mistakes into windows, he sees the LORD and gets the strength he needs to try again.

To quote Elbert Hubbard again: “There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 7)

Joshua’s Competence

Competence rarely happens overnight. Even Joshua had to be prepared over many years to handle the enormous task given him. In developing his competence, God took Joshua through the following experiences:

  • God used Joshua over two Generations (Exodus 3- Deuteronomy 34). This develops his faithfulness.
  • God allowed Joshua to experience hardship of bondage in Egypt (Exodus 3:7-9). While in Egypt Joshua saw all the Signs and Wonders that God (Jehovah) performed (Exodus 7-12), the victory of Jehovah over the gods of Egypt, the Crossing of the Red Sea, on dry ground of the Israelites and the destruction of the Egyptian army (Exodus chapters 14 &15). This develops his trust in God’s Power to deliver and to fulfil His Promises.
  • God allowed Joshua to lead the battle against the Amalekites in the battle at Rhephidim (Exodus 17:8-16). This develops his courage in preparation of the battles in the military campaigns in the Promised Land.
  • God allowed Joshua to accompany Moses up Mount Sinai to catch “the Vision of God” (Exodus 24:9-18). Joshua had to stay in the Mount alone, for a prolonged period. This develops his ability to handle loneliness. He experienced no glory, no cloud, no voice, and no presence, yet he remained faithful to the station that he has been assigned.  
  • God allowed Joshua to develop a personal heart- devotion to Him – Joshua did not depart from the Tabernacle of the Congregation (Exodus 33:11). This develops his spiritual passion for God.
  • God allowed Joshua to be corrected by Moses in not promoting Moses (Numbers 11:27-30), when he (Joshua) requested Moses to forbade Eldad and Medad to exercise the Prophetic, this develops Joshua’s character – Moses refused to let Joshua exalted him – had Joshua not been checked here, his “selfless jealousy” for Moses’ honour could eventually made him a narrow, petty man-unfit for Leadership.
  • God called Joshua to spy out the Promised Land, witnessing and experiencing the unbelief, disobedience, and rebellion of the Children of Israel (Numbers chapters 13 & 14). Moses changed his name from Hoshea (Salvation – Numbers 13:8) to Joshua (Jehovah is Salvation – Numbers 13:16). With this Name’s change comes a transformation in identity and character. Joshua became a man ready to delegate, organise, and lead the Nation of Israel.
  • God replaced Moses, at his (Moses’) death (Joshua 1:1-2), with Joshua and allowed him to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land to take hold of their Inheritance (Joshua 1:1-9). This involved military campaigns. Joshua has matured and is fulfilling his Calling (Romans 11:29).

Joshua’s Confidence & Decisiveness

Joshua Distributes the Land (Joshua 13:1-19:51) – The time came when Joshua finally felt ready to divide the Land God had promised to Abraham hundreds of years earlier (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 15:18-21). His leadership faced a crucial test when he saw that he needed to exhort the hesitant Jews to occupy their Land. “How long will you neglect to go and process the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?” (Joshua 18:3) he exhorted the faltering Tribes. Joshua’s courage left an unmistakable mark on the hearts of his Countrymen and reminded them that they were to fulfil the expectations of God.  Notice how Joshua led the people in his later years when decisiveness became especially crucial:

  • Evaluation (Joshua13:1-14:5) – Joshua developed a clear picture of the Promised Land remaining to be conquered.
  • Imitation (Joshua 14:6-15) – Joshua blessed Caleb and pointed to him as a model of attitude and determination in following the LORD and claiming the Inheritance.
  • Communication (Joshua 15:1-17:18) – Joshua clearly articulated the Boundaries of each Tribe’s Land and what they needed to do.
  • Exhortation (Joshua 18:1-4) – Joshua challenged the Tribes of Israel to take the Land God had promised them.
  • Investigation (Joshua 18:4-10) – Joshua appointed Teams to survey the Scope of the remaining Land and report back to him.
  • Determination (Joshua 18:11-19:51) – Once he received the Commissioned Report, Joshua determined who should get what Land.
  • Leader’s Heart (Joshua 19:49-51) – Joshua took his share of the allotted Land last after distributing the Inheritance to the other Tribes.

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 6)

Leaders – Born or Made?

Is a Leader born or made? Probably both – God gives the Leader the genetic structure he needs and then develops his gifts and abilities in the “school of life.” Management Seminars promise to teach “Leadership;” but there must be “ingredients” of Leadership within the Person in order that the Leadership could be developed. Principles of Leadership may be taught, but what it means to be the Leader, can only be learned on the field of action. It must be “caught.” Seminars do not make the Person the Leader. It creates awareness. What are the characteristics of Joshua’s Leadership Style?

Joshua Walks with God

Like Moses, his Mentor, Joshua was a man of God. Joshua was called “the Servant of the Lord” (Joshua 24:29). God communicated His will to Joshua, and he obeyed:

  • Joshua meditates daily on the “Law of the LORD” (Joshua 1:8).
  • Joshua does what it said – Joshua 11:15 “As the LORD commanded Moses, His Servant, so did Moses commanded Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.”
  • Joshua is a man of Prayer – Joshua 7:6-9 

Joshua is a Worshipper

Exodus 33:7-11 “And Moses took the tabernacle and pitched it outside the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass that every man who sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which is outside the camp. And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle that all the people rose up and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, that cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp, but his Servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man departed not out of the tabernacle.” During the Wilderness Journey, Moses set up the Tabernacle of the Congregation outside the Camp where he (Moses) could meet with God (Exodus 33:7-11). It was Joshua’s responsibility to stay at the Tabernacle and guard it. Not only was Joshua a Warrior, but he was also the Worshipper and knows how-to live-in God’s Presence.

Joshua is Courageous

At the beginning of his ministry Joshua was told four times to “be courageous” (Joshua 1:6-7, 9, 18). It takes courage to be the Successful Leader, courage to stand for what he believes, and courage to do what he knows God wants him to do. Every Leader can learn from Martin Luther when he said: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

General Omar Bradley defined bravery as “the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” We have not been told whether Joshua was ever afraid as he faced the Enemies, but we do know that he did his job and won battle after battle. Most of us are not called to lead Armies, but any kind of leadership involves risks and demands moral courage. “He who love his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25, NIV). If the person is timid about life and ministry, he will never accomplish much for God. It was because the “unfaithful” Servant was afraid that he hid his Master’s wealth and did not take the risk of investing it (Matthew 25:24-30). Joshua’s courage involved much more than fighting the Enemies, as great as they were. He also had the courage to deal with sin in the Camp of Israel (Joshua 7) and to challenge the Tribes to “get with it” and claim their Inheritance (Joshua 17:14-18). Sometimes it takes more courage to face our own people at home or in the Congregation than it takes to face the Enemies in the spiritual realm.

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 5)

9. Joshua, the Successor

Throughout the Wilderness Journey, God is preparing Joshua for his ministry as Successor to Moses:

  • When Israel defeated Og, King of Bashan, Moses used that victory to encourage Joshua not to be afraid of his Enemies (Deuteronomy 3:21-28; Numbers 21:33-35).
  • When Moses was preparing for his death, he asked God to give the people a Leader; and God appointed Joshua (Numbers 27:12-23; Deuteronomy 31:23-29; Deuteronomy 34:9).
  • In his final message to Israel, Moses told the people that God would use Joshua to defeat their Enemies and help them claim their Promised Inheritance; and he also encourage Joshua to trust God and not be afraid (Deuteronomy 31:1-8). Moses laid hands on Joshua and God imparted to Joshua the spiritual power and authority he needed for his task (Deuteronomy 34:9).

Like Moses, Joshua was human and makes his fair share of mistakes; but he was still God’s Chosen, and Anointed Leader and the people knew this. That is why they said to Joshua “Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you” (Joshua 1:17). God’s people in the Church today need to acknowledge God’s Leaders and give them the respect that they deserved as the Servants of God (1Thessalonians 5:12-13). The secret of Joshua’s success was his faith in God’s Spoken Word (Rhema – Joshua 1:7-9), its Commandments and its Promises. God’s Word to Joshua was “be strong” (Joshua 1:6-7, 9, 18; Deuteronomy 31:6-7, 23); and this is His Word to His people today.

10. Joshua Begins with a Divine Call and Charge

(Joshua 1:1-9) – Consider this: It took 40 years for Joshua’s Leadership style to match the need of the moment. Moses led diplomatically. He sat and judged the people patiently as they grumbled through long years in the dessert. By the time the Israelites reached Canaan Land, fierce Enemies awaited them – and they needed a much more confrontational Leader, a military man skilled in war. Enter Joshua. Note the difference between Moses and Joshua and see how timing can dictate appropriate Leadership style:

Led through 40 yrs of desert travelLed through 25 yrs of conquering Canaan
Was a political, diplomatic leaderWas a military, in-your-face leader
Patiently listened to complaintsConfronted laziness and fear of the Enemy
Led people as a peace-making ShepherdLed people as a tough Commander
Provided water from a rock when the People got thirtyTold the people to dig their own wells when
they got thirsty

11. Joshua’s Obedience Sets the Pace

(Joshua 5:13-15) – Look at every phase of Joshua’s life, and you see a man who gives himself wholeheartedly to completing whatever task was assigned to him:

  • The first time Joshua appears in Scripture, we see him immediately obeying the instruction of Moses in Exodus 17:9-10 “And Moses said unto Joshua, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So, Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, and Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.” Thereafter, Joshua took on the role of Moses’ Minister (Assistant).
  • Joshua again displayed his obedience when he agreed to spy out the Promised Land. Upon his return from the reconnaissance (Numbers 13 & 14) mission, he (Joshua), and Caleb, alone among the Spies, were ready to obey God and enter Canaan Land, to claim Israel’s Inheritance.
  • Forty years later when Moses handed the reins of power to his Protégé, Joshua again obeyed the Call (Joshua 1:5-11)

In the end, the people of Israel followed Joshua’s example and did what God asked of them – and as a result inherited the Land God had promised. Scripture says that “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua” (Joshua 23:31). When the people followed Joshua’s lifelong example of obedience, they prospered. By the time of his death, Joshua was known simply as “the Servant of the LORD” (Joshua 24:29; Judges 2:7, 8). That is high praise!

While today we consider Joshua an exceptional Leader, nowhere does Scripture describe him as a man of extraordinary might, intellect, or talent. What made him extraordinary was his obedience. And when you’re the Servant of the LORD, that’s all we really need.

Stay Tuned….. To be continued……

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 4)

6. Joshua’s Recognition

Exodus 17:14 “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,” indicates that God had chosen Joshua for a special work in the future. Unknown to Joshua, the battle with Amalek was a testing time when God was examining his faith and courage. Marsden commented: “Make every occasion a great occasion, for you can never tell when someone may be taking your measure for a larger place.” Joshua’s conflict with Amalek was the preparation for many battles he would fight in the Promised Land.

7. Joshua’s Loyalty

Joshua was jealous not only for God’s Glory but also for the honour and authority of Moses. This is a good characteristic for the Servant to have, and it showed up when God sent His Spirit upon the Seventy Elders, Moses had chosen to assist him in his work (Numbers 11:16-30). – when the Spirit of the LORD came upon Eldad and Medad in the camp, two men who had not assembled with the other Elders at the Tabernacle, Joshua protested and asked Moses to stop them from prophesying (for a New Testament parallel, see Luke 9:49-50). This called forth Moses’ magnanimous reply: “Would that all the people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them” (Numbers 11:29). It is worth noting that when the inheritance was allotted after the conquest of the Promised Land, Joshua took his share last (Joshua 19:49-51).

8. Joshua’s Delay

Hebrews 6:12 “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (NIV). When Israel arrived at Kadesh Barnea, on the border of the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to appoint twelve men to spy out the Land of Canaan – Joshua was among them (Numbers 13). After forty days of investigating the Land, the Spies returned to Moses and reported that the Land was indeed a good Land (Numbers 13:27), but ten of the spies discouraged the people by saying that Israel was not strong enough to overcome the Enemies (Numbers 13:28-33), while two of the Spies – Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people to trust God and move into the Land (Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9). Sadly, the people listened to the faithless ten Spies. It was the act of unbelief and rebellion that delayed the conquest of the Land for forty years (Numbers 14:29-34). The crisis revealed some fine Leadership qualities in Joshua. He was not blind to the realities of the situation, but he did not allow the problems and difficulties to rob him of his Faith in God (Numbers 14:6-9).

The ten Spies looked at God through the difficulties (Numbers 13:33), while Joshua and Caleb looked at the difficulties through what they knew about God. Israel’s God is Powerful for the battles that lay ahead (Numbers 14:7-9). Knowing he was right; Joshua was not afraid to stand up against the majority. Joshua, Moses and Caleb stood alone and risked their lives in so doing (Numbers 14:10a); but God stood with them (Numbers 14:10b). It has well said that “one with God is a majority.” It would take that kind of courage for Joshua to lead Israel into their Promised Land (Canaan Land) so they could defeat their Enemies and claim their Inheritance.

It is through faith and patience that we inherit what God has promised (Hebrews 6:12). Had the people of Israel listened to Joshua and Caleb, they would have entered their Inheritance (Numbers 13:26 to14:10). The years of blessing in the Promised Land that Joshua forfeited because the people had no faith in God.

But Joshua patiently stayed with Moses and did his job, knowing that one day he and Caleb would get their promised Inheritance (Numbers 14:1-9). Both Joshua and Caleb patiently endured the trials of the Wilderness Wandering for forty years because they knew they would one day enter into and claim their Inheritance in the Promised Land.

Leaders must know not only how to win victories but also how to accept delay. Joshua and Caleb must have encouraged each other during the 40 years of Wilderness delay. Year by year, for forty years, they saw the older Generation, those 20 years and above, die (Numbers 14:29), but each year brought them closer to their Inheritance of the Promised Land (c/f Hebrews 10:22-25). In their unbelief, the earlier Generation of the children of Israel rejected “the work of faith” and refused to enter the Promised Land; but they could not rob Joshua of his “patience of hope” (1Thessalonians 1:3). A Leader must learn to wait. Often his Followers do not always see as far as the Leader sees or has faith to believe.

The vision of future – Proverbs 29:18a “Where there is no vision (revelation), the people cast off restraint,” NIV) is what motivates a true Leader; but, like Israel, too often the people are looking back. I suppose every Leader has at one time or another identified with Jesus when He said: “O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you and put up with you” (Luke 9:41, NIV). On more than one occasion Joshua witnessed Moses pouring out his heart to the LORD because of the unbelief and stubbornness of the people.

Stay Tuned….. To be continued….

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 3)

Point 4 – Joshua’s Submission

1 Peter 5:5 “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (NIV) – Joshua knows how to submit to authority. As Leader of the Jewish Nation, he followed Moses’ orders and defeated the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16). As Moses’ “Assistant” (Minister) for many years (Exodus 24:13), Joshua stayed with his Master, Moses, and served him faithfully.

God’s pattern for Leadership is summarised in Matthew 25:21 “His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”  Good and Faithful Servanthood still stands today. When the Servant proved himself faithful as the Servant over a few things, then God can make him Ruler over many things. Joshua was able to give orders because he had learned to take orders. Joshua has submitted, with obedient to God, through the authority of Moses until the death of Moses.

  • The key verse in Joshua’s life was: “Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7, NIV).
  • This is reinforced with Joshua 11:15 “As the Lord commanded Moses, His servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.”

Point 5 – Joshua’s Warfare Experience

Exodus 17:8-13 “The came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, choose us out men, and go out, fight with the Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand. 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. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur held 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. and Joshua vanquished Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”  The first official recorded act of Joshua in Scripture is his defeat of the Amalekites when they attacked Israel about two months after Israel’s exodus from Egypt (Exodus 17:8-16). Moses was the Prophet and Legislator (Deuteronomy 34:10), and Joshua was “a General” with exceptional military skills. He was also a man of great courage, who was not afraid to confront the enemy and trust God for victory. Where did Joshua learn to use a sword and to command an Army? Certainly, he was especially gifted by God, but even gifts must be discovered and developed in an earthly setting. Had Joshua in some way been involved with the Egyptian Army and received his early training in its ranks? This is possible, though the Scripture is silent, and we must not read too much into it. Just as Moses refused the high position in Pharaoh’s Palace where he received his education there (Hebrews 11:24-26; Acts 7:22), so Joshua may have turned down Army position that he might identify with his people and serve God, this may just be an assumption with no scriptural proof.

Stay tuned…..to be continued.

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 2)

Point 2 – Joshua’s Suffering

Joshua was born into Egyptian slavery and knew what it was to suffer. In Exodus 3:7-9, Scripture records the Jews experienced great affliction in Egypt and cried out to God for deliverance. The Hebrews had the Prophetic Words of encouragement while they were, in bondage, in Egypt:

  • God Promised to Abraham that his Descendant would inherit the Land (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 15:18-21).
  • God Promised of Deliverance from bondage (Genesis 15:14).
  • God reiterated His Promise of His Presence to the Nation of Israel (Exodus 6:6-8).
  • Joseph’s word concerning Israel’s deliverance and possession of the Promised Land (Genesis 50:22-26).

God’s pattern for life is that suffering must come before glory. This was true of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:26; 1Peter 1:11; Philippians 2:6-11), and it is true for His (God’s) Servant (1Peter 4:13; 5:10) – 1Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (NIV).  When His Servant suffers in God’s Will and depends on His grace, that suffering has a maturing and purifying effect on his life.

Sadly, we have too many Leaders today, in Christendom, who proudly display their medals, but they cannot show us their scars. Jesus’ Calvary wounds are now glorified in Heaven, an eternal reminder that suffering and glory goes together in God’s Purpose. Suffering sometimes makes people bitter. But when suffering is mixed with Faith and God’s Grace, then it becomes a wonderful “way” for building godly character (2Corinthians 12:1-10). When God’s Servant accepts suffering as a moulding process in fulfilling God’s Purpose, then suffering can work in His (God’s) Servant and for the Servant to accomplish His Will.

Point 3 – Joshua’s Faithfulness

1Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Definition – A Faithful Person is one who can be relied on, accountable, steadfast in affection or allegiance, firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty. The Person is trustworthy; one who shows himself faithful in business transactions, carrying out of commands or the discharge of official duties; conscientious, accountable. Exodus 24:13 “And Moses rose up, and his Servant, Joshua; and Moses went up into the Mount of God,” Joshua is called Moses’ Servant (Minister), which indicated that Joshua was now an official assistant to Moses, the Leader of Israel.

Joshua accompanied Moses to the Mount and went with him when he judged the people for making the golden calf (Exodus 32:17). It was not enough that Joshua be a good Warrior; he also had to know the God of Israel and the Law God gave His people to obey. The secret of Joshua’s victories was not so much his military skill but his submission to God (Joshua 1:8) and to God’s Word (Joshua 5:13-15). Joshua was not only a man of faith and courage, but he was also a man of unqualified obedience both to Moses his Leader and to God (Exodus 17:8-10; 24:13-18 with Exodus 32:15-18; Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9).

To be continued….. Stay tuned…..

Joshua’ Life & Exploits (Part 1)

The Statement

The Book of Joshua is not a biography of Joshua in the strictest sense, but it certainly reveals to us a great deal about this Godly man, Joshua.  Like the rest of the OT, this Book was written both to warn us (I Corinthians 10:11) and to encourage us (Romans 15:4).  Therefore, we ought to take time to review Joshua’s life and ministry and learn from him lessons that will help us know the Lord God and serve Him more effectively.

Joshua represents and encourages every Second-Generation Leader. He did not establish the Nation of Israel, Moses did. But Joshua succeeded Moses respectfully and naturally on Moses’ death (Joshua 1:1-2; Numbers 27:15-23; Deuteronomy 34:9).  He finished the work Moses could not complete and led the people of Israel to victory in the Promised Land.  Joshua challenges us to lay hold of God’s Promises and walk in His victory despite adversities.  We will learn several valuable lessons from this Leader, Joshua.

During Moses’ day, God patiently waited for the New Generation to mature so He (God) could lead them into the Promised Land. By the time Joshua takes over, God speaks in a straightforward manner to Israel’s Commanding Officer, Joshua.  God had grown weary of His people’s disobedience, hesitance, and complaints.  God challenges Joshua not to swerve to the right or to the left, but to do all that He commanded. Joshua must not compromise but fulfil everything (Joshua 1:1-9). Clearly, we see God leads in the new and appropriate style for the times.  His people were entering the season in which they needed to act as a military unit, so both God and Joshua provide direction in a military style. Lessons in Leadership:

  • Difficult times demand a different style of Leadership
  • Good Leaders help their people remember past blessings and Divine Victories
  • Leaders must be willing to take risks and pay the price, courage elicits commitment
  • Compromise on your methods, but never on your Convictions or Principles
  • Good Leaders do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Joshua’s Preparation

From Exodus 3 to Deuteronomy 34, the Bible focuses attention on the life and ministry of Moses, God’s chosen Servant to lead the Nation of Israel. But Moses died; and though he (Moses) is not forgotten (Moses is named 57 times in the Book of Joshua and his official title “Servant of the LORD” is mentioned 13 times), Joshua took over the place of Moses – Joshua 1:1-2 (KJV) “Now after the death of Moses, the Servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses My Servant, is dead; now therefore arise, go over the Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the Children of Israel.” –  Joshua is called the “Servant of the LORD” (Joshua 24:29; Judges 2:8). God buries His Servant (Moses), but His work goes on. We should note that this change in Leadership carries with it a tremendous spiritual lesson for Believers who want to experience God’s best in their lives. God’s Word exhorts us to honor the elderly in our midst: “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere God, I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32, NIV). 

Point 1 – Joshua’s Preparation

We will never be able to lead others into victory if we do not walk in it ourselves. Every area of victory that results from trials we have personally endured can be applied to the lives of others. There is no “hard place” that the Believer walks through (if yielded to God) that will be in vain. God always places “new deposits” in us through struggles that brings God’s life and encouragement to others. When God wants to accomplish something, He prepares His Servant for the task and prepares the task for His Servant. God spent many years preparing Joshua for his ministry. He was born into slavery in Egypt and was given the name Hoshea (Numbers 13:8), which means “Salvation.” Moses later changed it to Joshua (Numbers 13:16). Joshua means “Jehovah is Salvation,” which is the Hebrew form of “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8). When his (Joshua’s) Parents gave him the name “Hoshea (Salvation)” they were bearing witness to their faith in God’s Promise of Redemption (Genesis 15:12-16; 50:24-26). Joshua belonged to the Tribe of Ephraim and was the firstborn son of Nun (1Chronicles 7:20-27). This meant that his life was in danger the night of Passover, but he had faith in the LORD and was protected by the blood of the lamb (Exodus 11-12). While in Egypt, Joshua saw the Signs and Wonders that God performed (Exodus 7-12) and he knew that Jehovah (The LORD) is God of Power who would care for His People. The LORD has defeated the gods of Egypt and demonstrated that He alone is the God of Israel (Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4) – Joshua saw the LORD opened the Red Sea to lead the Children of Israel crossed, on dry land, and then close the waters and drowned the pursuing Egyptians Army (Exodus 14-15). Joshua is a man of faith who knew the LORD and trusted Him to do Wonders for His People.  The LORD prepares Joshua in three periods:

  • Forty Years in Egypt.
  • Forty Years in the Wilderness wandering with Moses and the First Generation of the Children of Israel (Numbers 14:29, 30b, 32 -35).
  • Twenty-five Years in subduing the Seven Nations in the Promised Land – the Canaanites, the Amorite, the Hittites, the Perizzite, the Hivite, the Jebusite (Exodus 33:2) and the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). Joshua died at the age of 110 years old (Joshua 24:29).

Stay Tuned….. To be continued