Joshua

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“The Lord commanded Joshua to assign some of Judah’s territory to Caleb son of Jephunneh. So Caleb was given the town of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), which had been named after Anak’s ancestor” (Joshua 15:13 NLT).

April 17, 2018

GOD HONORS THOSE WHO HONOR HIM
After the death of Moses, Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land. He followed the Lord’s instruction in assigning the land to his people. The lands were allotted according to the twelve tribes with one exception, the land allotted to Caleb. Caleb was one of the two men who had given a faithful report when Moses had sent twelve men into the land to spy it out. He and Joshua were the only two who returned with a good report, while the other ten gave a fearful one, causing the people to turn away and wander in the wilderness for the next 40 years. Caleb and Joshua were the only men still left alive from that whole generation. And God did not forget Caleb. The Lord “commanded” Joshua to assign land from Judah’s allotment to Caleb and in a fashion true to his character, the 85-year old Caleb chose the mountains where the giants of Anak dwelled.

So, Caleb was given the town of Hebron, the place where Abraham and the patriarchs had been buried in the Cave of Machpelah. For the Lord did not forget Caleb. As the Lord has said, “those who honor me I will honor” (1 Sam. 2:30).

“Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14 NKJV).

April 21, 2017

Joshua, sensing that he was at the end of his days, called all the Israelite leaders from every tribe together to hear his final words. He and Caleb were the last of those who remembered their slavery in Egypt. He had witnessed the ten plagues. He knew the meaning of Passover first hand. He had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. His thirst had been quenched with water from the Rock and his hunger satisfied for 40 years with a daily provision of manna from heaven. Some in their midst may have been children during those days, but Joshua and Caleb alone had experienced it as grown men. Joshua had been faithful as a servant to Moses, faithful to spy out the land and give a good report, and faithful to lead Israel after Moses’ death. Now Joshua was faithfully preparing to take the next step in his journey, he was going the “way of all the earth,” namely, he was about to die. Yet, his final words were to encourage his people to remain faithful to the Lord, just as the Lord had been faithful to them.

Joshua is an example to all who would be faithful to the end. His last words were like the first words that the Lord had given him as Israel’s new leader, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

“Then Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord, and there Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel according to their divisions” (Joshua 18:10 NKJV).

April 18, 2017

“Shiloh” was a town located in Ephraim where the Tabernacle with the Ark was kept from the beginning of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land until the time of Eli’s wicked sons in 1 Samuel. The name “Shiloh” was first mentioned in Jacob’s blessing over Judah and is often used synonymously for Messiah: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Gen. 49:10). It comes from the word “shalom,” and has been translated to mean, “the coming of rest, the coming of peace, or place of rest.” It was at Shiloh that Joshua divided the land for the final seven tribes according to the Lord’s designation.

Now, our Shiloh has come. His name is Jesus. He is our peace with God. He is our rest.

‘Then Joshua spoke 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 still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”’ (Joshua 10:12 NKJV).

April 14, 2017

How big is your God?

Joshua, with all Israel bearing witness, called out to God that He would cause the sun and the moon to “stand still.” And the Lord answered his prayer. With our modern scientific knowledge, we understand the insane nature of Joshua’s request. Joshua didn’t know about gravity, the rotation of the earth, and the exact motion of the celestial bodies; therefore, he had no idea what a crazy request he had made. Yet, God lengthened the day as Joshua asked. From Joshua’s perspective, and from that of all Israel, the sun appeared to stand still.

Whether we try to interpret this as poetic expression, or attempt to explain the possible ways that God could’ve performed this miracle without breaking the solar system, one truth remains: Joshua’s God was a big God! Joshua actually believed that God could do anything. Joshua may not have known as much as we do about science, but he knew considerably more about God.

I doubt that we would even think to ask God to cause the sun to “stand still.” We try to make things easy on God. We don’t want Him to over-exert Himself. We ask for small things because we have a small God. But Joshua’s God was huge!

You can tell the size of your God by the size of your prayers.

“There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them” (Joshua 8:35 NKJV).

April 13, 2017

The key to passing the faith on to the next generation is that we are faithful to give them the Word that was given to us.

Moses gave Israel the Word that the Lord had given to him. And Joshua, after Moses had died, gave the people the Word that Moses had passed to him. Joshua did not leave out a single word, but passed it on whole to all of Israel, even the “little ones” and “strangers” living with them.

We are called to do the same. As the apostle Paul instructed Timothy, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture…” (1 Tim. 4:13).

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NKJV).

April 10, 2017

The Lord commanded Joshua four times to be strong and courageous. Three times He told him in the positive (verses 6, 7 and 9), “Be strong and of good courage.” And one time in the negative, “Do not be afraid, nor dismayed” (v.9). The negative version of the command helped to reinforce and define the positive version. Each time the Lord repeated the command, He gave another supporting way for how to keep it. Here are the four supporting ways that the Lord gave Joshua to be strong and of good courage:
1) Rely on God’s power.
2) Remember God’s promises.
3) Reflect God’s precepts.
4) Rest in God’s presence.

Carefully read through Joshua 1:1-9 and see if you can discover the same four supporting ways to be strong and courageous in the Lord.

Renew

January 3, 2016 | Joshua 8:30-35 | beginnings

What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you have financial goals, relational goals, personal goals? Have you put any thought into God’s plan for you this year? In the book of Joshua, God led the Israelites into the promised land and then instructed them to begin this new phase of their existence as a nation by pulling away and renewing their covenant with the Lord. We too can proceed into this new year by renewing our dependence in Jesus Christ and our obedience to his will.

Remember

December 27, 2015 | Joshua 3-4 | beginnings, children

When you look back on the previous year, was it everything you hoped for? Was last year something you want to forget? Here is the more important question: are you looking back at last year and forward to next year through God’s eyes? God told Joshua to prepare the Israelites to enter the promised land by following him by faith and remembering his faithfulness in their past. We too can remember God’s faithfulness to us and commit to follow him.

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:12 NKJV)

April 16, 2015

Caleb was one of the 12 spies who Moses sent into the Promised Land. He and Joshua were the only two who gave a positive report. The people were swayed by the majority report and became fearful, doubting God. This resulted in 40 years in the wilderness to raise up a new generation of faithful warriors. Only Caleb and Joshua remained from the adults who first left Egypt. Caleb was 40 years old when he first saw the land flowing with milk and honey. He was 85 years old when he asked Joshua to give him the mountains, to give him the giants, for he was still as strong as he was 45 years before. He could have asked for anything. He could have requested a nice walled city or a grassy plain, but he asked for the hills of Hebron and the land of the giant Anakites who made men feel as grasshoppers in comparison. When others would want their retirement and days spent fishing, Caleb still wanted to accomplish things for God. Many men begin well, but few finish well. Caleb finished better than he started. If the Lord allows me to live until 85, may He grant me the passion and strength to ask for the mountain!