Joshua Chapter One (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is God will bless obedience. Today, we hope to discuss the entering of the land of Canaan and the commission of God to Joshua.

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Read Joshua 1:1-9

I. Entering the Land of Canaan.

A. The Commission of God to Joshua. The Lord talked with Joshua after Moses’ death. The Lord assured him that he has a work to do and that the Lord would be with him. He is to lead the people in the conquest of the land of Canaan.

He is urged several times to be strong and courageous, which may imply there will be temptations to be weak and cowardly. Obedience is a key to his success.        

Applications -

- The certainty of death. Notice in vs. 1 that Moses died. As great as he was and as long as he served, he still died. In like manner, all of us have a date with death (of course the return of the Lord overrides this application).

It is foolish to think we will live forever. It is foolish to think that our leaders or loved ones will live forever. Consequently, we should do what we can to prepare for our dates with death.

We should work on estate planning issues like wills, life insurances and beneficiaries, living wills, powers of attorney, gifts to the church, and the like. We should also demonstrate the love we want people to know that we have for them, before they are gone.

We don’t want to have extended comments at the funeral, as our means of dealing with unexpressed feelings shared with the living. We should also work to make sure succession plans are in place.

As much as we are able, we should make sure someone else can keep things moving along, until we know what to do next. Let’s live like we understand the certainty of death.

- Servants of the Lord. Also, notice in vs. 1 that Moses had a legacy of being a servant of the Lord. Every believer should have this reputation and leave this legacy.

Some of us are preaching servants, others are money counting servants, some are church leading servants, some are youth worker servants, others are community involvement servants, but we are all servants of the Lord.

As servants, we should be known for serving and looking to the Lord for our rewards. There are too many who like the title but don’t do the service.

And there are too many who expect too much out of fellow servants, instead of the Lord. Let’s work on being faithful servants of the Lord.

- The shoulders we stand on. Notice in vs. 1 that Joshua was the son of Nun and an aid to Moses. First, none of us simply showed up. We are standing on the shoulders of those who went before us.

As Joshua was the son of Nun, we are the children of someone. No matter how wicked or righteous they may have been, we stand on their shoulder.

Second, we are often called from being faithful over a few things to being ruler over many. The late Rev. Dr. J. J. Lillard of Dayton, Ohio was known for saying that “the person who is too large to follow is too small to lead.” 

It seems as if there are too many people who want to skip over the aiding and assisting the leader phase and jump right to being a leader. Let’s work on appreciating how we connect to those who have gone before us and our previous assignments.

- God’s bigger plan. Notice in vs. 2 that God’s plan is bigger than Moses. As great as Moses was, God had a plan bigger than Moses. And as great as Joshua will be, God has a plan bigger than Joshua.

In like manner, God is bigger than those we admire and bigger than us. Let’s live like we understand that God’s plan is bigger than us. This kind of living should be known for giving God our very best.

We should feel like we are running a lap in a relay race. We may not be able to run as fast as those who were before us or those who will come after us, but we should do our best, as a part of the team.

- Moving through grief. Notice in vs. 2 that God calls Joshua to move past grieving to carrying out God’s will. In like manner, there is a time to grieve and a time to move on with our lives.

In reality, we may simply move to a point where we give more of our attention to our assignment than to grieving.

This is as opposed to being 100% past grieving and 100% focused on our assignment. This will be even harder to do, if we don’t remind ourselves that God has a plan. As believers, we trust that a part of God’s plan is life after death.

Let’s work on moving through intense grief to serving the Lord. The details and time line will vary depending on the situation, but at the end of the day, we must trust God enough to obey Him, even in the time of grief.

- God’s supplying of our needs. Notice in vss. 3-4 that God can bless with land and material possessions. On one hand, God is still able to give those who obey Him land and all kinds of material possessions.

We don’t have to worry about God’s ability to take care of His own. We don’t have to worry about God being insensitive to our needs.

On the other hand, God is able to give us immaterial blessings as well. God can give us peace of mind, purpose and power for living, joy on our journey, and hope in our despair.

Some have discovered that these immaterial blessings may be as valuable, if not more valuable than the material blessings.

The person with peace and joy at the bus stop and in the apartment may be better off than the one with a brand new car and beautiful house but not peace or joy. Let’s live like we believe that God is able to supply what we need. Such living should be known for obedience.

ConclusionLet’s be mindful that God bless obedience. God has much for those who obey His will.

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