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Sermon30 Josh1 Guide

Joshua 1:1-9, Theme verse Joshua 1:9

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

Over the past few weeks, we have learned that God first delivered the Israelites of 2.5 M people from the slavery in Egypt for 430 years, through ten plagues to punish Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and parting the Red sea, by Moses whom God trained as His leader of meekness and then He led them to the Mount Sinai to make a covenant with them and to give teach them the ten commandments and statutes of tabernacle and regulations for offerings and sacrifices, while feeding them with the manna from the heaven and drinking them with the water from rock, as the training of obedience. But when they were led to enter into Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea, the Israelites who were reported from the spies that the descendants of the Anak were strong complained and cried out to return to Egypt, losing their faith so that God punished them to walk around in the wilderness to cure their unfaith. And when new generation arose and older generation died in the wilderness, God proclaimed them again the ten commandments and the ‘Shema’ through Moses before leading them including Joshua and Caleb who kept the faith to the promised land, Canaan and exhorted them to live well by obeying to God’s law. And as we can see in Today’s text, God installed Joshua as new leader and commanded them to enter Canaan. We would like to learn what God commanded them to conquer the land.

1) The book of Joshua describes how the Israelites conquered the promised land, distributed it among them and settled into it and was written to proclaim that God the LORD is almighty, faithful sovereign God who gave them Canaan as He promised. The book of Joshua can be divided by two parts; the conquer of the land and the distribution of the land. More details speaking, the introduction is 1:1-18, the entrance into Canaan in 2:1-5:15, the distribution of the land in 6:1-12:24 and the preservation of the land in 22;1-24:33. In Canaan in the 14 century BC, the seven tribes had been occupying (Josh 9:1), after being under the Egyptian governance, and they had been committing the idolatry and adultery so that the Israelites were commanded not to follow them. (Deut 12:29-31)

2) Joshua was introduced first time in Exodus 17. I mean, when the Israelites complained about the lack of water, arriving at Rephidim after leaving the wilderness of Sin, God told Moses to drink them by striking a rock with his staff to flow out the water. And then when the Amalekites came to fight with the Israelites, Moses commanded Joshua to fight at Rephidim, while Moses went up to the top of the mountain holding the staff of God in his hand. When Moses raised his hand, Israel won, but when Moses lowered his hand, the Amalekites won. So after Aaron and Hor took a stone and placed it under Moses and made him sit down, they stood on either side of Moses and held his hands and lifted them up until the sun would come down. Then Joshua defeated the Amalekites. And then in exodus 24, Joshua was accompanied with Moses when Moses ascended Mount Sinai for 40 days to receive the law of God. After that, after he became Moses' attendant, Joshua always was there for Moses, when Moses entered the Tent of Meeting not leaving the Tent of Meeting even when Moses met God face to face, just as he was speaking with his friend. He also spied out Canaan as a representative of the tribe of Ephraim, and the other ten people all gave a bad report about the land of Canaan, after seeing the greatness of the descendants of the Anak to call themselves like grasshoppers, causing the whole congregation to complain and complain. But, only Joshua and Caleb of the tribe of Judah said that the land of Canaan was a very good land and that if the Lord was pleased with them, He would bring them there to give it to them so that the first generation of the Exodus was punished by God and could not enter Canaan, yet Joshua and Caleb entered into Canaan with the second generation of the Exodus.

3) And, in the chapter 27 of the book of Numbers 27, when Moses asked God to appoint a leader after him over the congregation to lead them so that they would not be like sheep without a shepherd at the Mount Abarim only to look at the promised land from there, since he could not enter due to the incident of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness, God told Moses to lay his hands on Joshua in whom is the Holy Spirit as the leader for the Israelites so that Joshua might stand before Eleazar the priest, who would inquire for Him by the judgement of the Urim before the LORD and at his word, they would go out and at his word, they would come in. Therefore Moses did as God commanded him to do. In Moses' final sermon in Deuteronomy 31, he told the Israelites to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or to tremble, because when Joshua crossed in front of them, the Lord would hand them over to the Israelites, just as He did with Sihon and Og, kings of the Amorites.

4) Of course, on the one hand, you may think that God's punishment for Moses, the meek leader who led the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years not to enter Canaan, was a little bit too much, excessive, but here we have to think about that not only the leadership in the war could be different from the leadership of the meekness in the wilderness, but also it was an unavoidable measure to transfer leadership since Joshua had to receive direct guidance from God in an urgent situation of the war.

5) Anyway, Moses died in his age of 120 and was buried in the land of Moab. And the Bible says that although Moses was 120 years old, his eyes did not dim and his strength did not fail (Deuteronomy 34:7) And the Israelites mourned for Moses on the plains of Moab for thirty days, and then the LORD commanded them to enter Canaan. And what the LORD commanded Joshua was recorded in a:1-9 and the commandment of Joshua to the people was recorded in verses 10-18.

6) In today's text of Joshua 1:1-9, after God said in verse 2, “Now my servant Moses is dead,” He commanded Joshua to rise up with all the people and cross the Jordan to the land he was about to give to the children of Israel. He said, “I have given you every place where the sole of your foot will tread” (verse 3), which was all the land of the Hittites from Lebanon to the great river Euphrates, and the land as far as the Great Sea towards the sunset (verse 4). God said, “I will be with Joshua just as I was with Moses, and no one will be able to stand against him during all his life.” God told him to be strong and courageous so that this people can take over the land that God promised to give to their ancestors. And also God told them to be strong and very courageous that if they read the law and meditate on it day and night, and follow all that is written in it, and do not turn aside to the right or to the left, their path would be prosperous wherever you go. Lastly, God commanded them to be strong and courageous, not to be afraid or dismayed, because God would be with him wherever he goes.

7) In other words, God said Joshua to have a strong and courageous heart to fight the war of conquest, after reading and meditating on God's word, to obey and do according to God's will, to walk fairly and without bias to the left or right, and to tread on all the ground with the soles of his feet where He told them to take it.

8) Through today’s text, we would like to learn few things; share some graces. First, we would like to think about God's sovereignty and human responsibility in the war of conquest of Canaan. As Trent Butler says in his Word Biblical Commentary on Joshua, that “Victory is repeatedly promised (3–9), yet must be won through human action (2, 3, 5) and obedience (7–9), the promised land can be described explicitly (4), yet only what is precisely touched is won (3), and Victory is certain, but the human leader must be repeatedly admonished to have courage and not to fear (5–9),”[1] “Divine sovereignty is not a substitute for human responsibility. God’s sovereign Word is an encouragement to God’s servants to believe God and obey His commands. As Charles Spurgeon put it, Joshua “was not to use the promise as a couch upon which his indolence might luxuriate, but as a girdle wherewith to gird up his loins for future activity.”[2]Secondly, we would like to think about what the land means to us today. Canaan does not mean the heaven we will eventually enter, rather, as we saw in today's text, it was a land that we must conquer and live in. As we Christians were called from the world to be consecrated, but also we are sent into the world, into the land of Canaan we have to conquer and we are invited to build the kingdom of God there. In that sense, the place we must enter and conquer is the workplace where you are now and work for. From there, we must drive out the seven tribes living there and rule over and serve that place in God's presence with God's justice and love. And finally, so in order to do that, like Joshua, we must have a strong and courageous heart because God is with us, and read and meditate on his words, engrave them in our hearts, to obey his words without turning to the left or right. And also we have to step on that land. So I pray that we will all discover our identity in the presence of God, strengthen our hearts, and arm ourselves with the Word of God to do what we must for the victory given to us today.

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 As we look back at our individual situations today, I hope we can think about where the Canaan which we must conquer is, what challenges we face there, and how to overcome those challenges, to share our thoughts with each other.

Q2 According to today's text, in order to achieve the victory given to us, we must read and meditate on the Word of God and act without bias to the left or right. I hope that each of us can look back on our life of the Word, to share our experiences and lives together.

Love you. Thank you. Bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon )

Please help me to live in that ( learned way of life )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] Butler, T. C. (1984). Joshua (Vol. 7, p. 9). Word, Incorporated. [2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Strong (pp. 26–27). Victor Books.


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