October 31, 2021 Service
Building a People of God With Unusual Characters: Joshua Part I: Finding God’s Courage
      • Psalm 119:1–8HCSB

  • God’s Unusual Characters

    Noah, the Ark Builder
    Abraham, the man who believed God
    Isaac & Rebekah, parents who had favorites
    Jacob, the deceiver that suffered deceit
    Leah and Rachel, the competing mothers of Israel
    Joseph, the favored son who became a slave and then a savior
    Moses, the murderer whom God used to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, and through whom the Law of the Great I Am was given
    And Now,

    Joshua, Moses’ Right-hand Man

    Born “Hoshea” to Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, Moses changed his name to “Yehoshua” which means “Yahweh is salvation”
    We say Joshua because our English bibles mimic the Germanic transliteration, where the Hebrew letter for “Y” becomes “J” for us, because the Germanic tribes that are behind the English people, the Saxons, pronounce a J at the beginning of a word the way we pronounce a Y. And the Latin versions use a J, not a Y, as in St. Jerome’s Vulgate translation of the Hebrew scriptures.
    So Yehoshua becomes Jehoshua, but we are lazy and treat the H like it isn’t there, and it becomes Yoshua, which of course we say with a J, making it Joshua. So there’s your little lesson in Hebrew-English transliteration for today.
    Joshua has a long history in the story of Israel, and Joshua, interestingly, is the only Old Testament man who is presented to us without a history of sin or failure of faith.
    That is also interesting because it is the shortened of Joshua Hebrew name that becomes “Yeshua” which is the Hebrew behind the name Jesus. So, in his work for God, Joseph is an unusual character because he has few character flaws.

    Joshua’s First Job: Moses’ Captain and Bodyguard

    Joshua as Captain

    Joshua shows up first in Exodus 17:9
    Exodus 17:9 CSB
    9 Moses said to Joshua, “Select some men for us and go fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with God’s staff in my hand.”
    The Amalekites had come out against Israel at the springs of Rephadim,
    Exodus 17:13 CSB
    13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword.
    and when God told Moses he would blot our the Amalekites, God told Moses to have Joshua with him to hear God’s pronouncement against the Amalekites.

    Joshua as Bodyguard

    The next we hear about Joshua is when it is time for Moses to go up the mountain to receive the Lord’s Commandments, and Moses brings the mighty Joshua as his bodyguard:
    Exodus 24:13 CSB
    13 So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua and went up the mountain of God.
    Still fulfilling the role of bodyguard, but also learning to stand near when the presence of the Almighty visited Moses.

    Joshua Guards the Tent of Meeting

    This made Joshua perfectly suited for the role of protector of the tent of meeting when Moses came down the mountain.
    Exodus 33:11 CSB
    11 The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend, then Moses would return to the camp. His assistant, the young man Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the inside of the tent.
    All along, in Moses’ work with Joshua, he was mentoring the leadership qualities of Joshua so he would become ready for a second career in service to the Lord:

    Joshua’s Second Career: Israel’s Leader in the Conquest of Canaan

    In Deuteronomy, it is clear that Joshua is God’s choice for leading the people into the land, for Moses was not allowed to go in:

    Joshua is God’s Man for the Conquest

    Deuteronomy 1:37–38 CSB
    37 “The Lord was angry with me also because of you and said, ‘You will not enter there either. 38 Joshua son of Nun, who attends you, will enter it. Encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit it.
    First step then is to be sure that God has a call on his life. And that was already clear to Moses. In Deuteronomy, the call on Joshua’s life becomes a command from Moses to lead the people into Canaan:
    Deuteronomy 3:21–22 CSB
    21 “I commanded Joshua at that time: Your own eyes have seen everything the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms you are about to enter. 22 Don’t be afraid of them, for the Lord your God fights for you.
    Moses was denied access to the Promised Land because he acted in anger at the rock of Meribah, and did not exalt the holiness of the Almighty.
    Numbers 27:15–17 CSB
    15 So Moses appealed to the Lord, 16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all, appoint a man over the community 17 who will go out before them and come back in before them, and who will bring them out and bring them in, so that the Lord’s community won’t be like sheep without a shepherd.”
    Moses knows how much the people need a leader.
    And God answered clearly that he had chosen Joshua by his Spirit.
    So we read how Joshua was now to be:

    Commissioned and Confirmed by the Spirit of God

    Numbers 27:18–20 CSB
    18 The Lord replied to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. 19 Have him stand before the priest Eleazar and the whole community, and commission him in their sight. 20 Confer some of your authority on him so that the entire Israelite community will obey him.
    Deuteronomy 3:27–28 CSB
    27 Go to the top of Pisgah and look to the west, north, south, and east, and see it with your own eyes, for you will not cross the Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will cross over ahead of the people and enable them to inherit this land that you will see.’
    Now, if you had been sitting around the campfire hearing the elders recite these stories of their roots, you probably would have heard the succession of events that truly prepared Joshua for service.
    It wasn’t just his call, and it wasn’t just his ability. Something else is vital to make Joshua into the General of the Armies of Israel and the Chosen Leader for the nation.

    Deuteronomy 3:27–28 CSB
    27 Go to the top of Pisgah and look to the west, north, south, and east, and see it with your own eyes, for you will not cross the Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will cross over ahead of the people and enable them to inherit this land that you will see.’
    Now, if you had been sitting around the campfire hearing the elders recite these stories of their roots, you probably would have heard the succession of events that truly prepared Joshua for service.
    It wasn’t just his call, and it wasn’t just his ability. Something else is vital to make Joshua into the General of the Armies of Israel and the Chosen Leader for the nation.

    Inspired by God’s Spirit In Him

    Not a secret solution to leadership succession, but a public declaration that Joshua was chosen.
    He was first granted a little authority, under Moses’ care, but then the Job increased.
    Deuteronomy 34:9 CSB
    9 Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.
    Until finally, after the death of Moses, Joshua is clearly made ready to pick up the reins and go into Canaan:
    Joshua 1:1–2 CSB
    1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites.

    Getting Into Canaan

    Supernatural Confirmation

    Joshua 3:7–8 CSB
    7 The Lord spoke to Joshua: “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they will know that I will be with you just as I was with Moses. 8 Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: When you reach the edge of the water, stand in the Jordan.”
    Joshua 3:14 CSB
    14 When the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people.
    Joshua 3:15 CSB
    15 Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge
    Joshua 3:16 CSB
    16 and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass that extended as far as Adam, a city next to Zarethan. The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah—the Dead Sea—was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho.
    Joshua 3:17 CSB
    17 The priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
    Joshua 4:10 CSB
    10 The priests carrying the ark continued standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people, in keeping with all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across,
    Joshua 4:11 CSB
    11 and after everyone had finished crossing, the priests with the ark of the Lord crossed in the sight of the people.

    Joshua Is God’s Leader for Israel

    Joshua 4:14 CSB
    14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him throughout his life, as they had revered Moses.
    Now, the real work begins in the land of Canaan. And for all those tasks that are ahead, we have a phrase that is repeated over and over.

    Be Strong and Courageous

    From Moses at Joshua’s commissioning:

    Deuteronomy 31:6 CSB
    6 Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.”
    Deuteronomy 31:7 CSB
    7 Moses then summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land the Lord swore to give to their ancestors. You will enable them to take possession of it.

    From God at Joshua’s Commissioning

    Deuteronomy 31:23 CSB
    23 The Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I swore to them, and I will be with you.”

    Repeated and Repeated By God, Entering Canaan

    Joshua 1:6 CSB
    6 “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their ancestors to give them as an inheritance.
    Joshua 1:7 CSB
    7 Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.
    Joshua 1:9 CSB
    9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

    When the Commander In Chief Gives Orders

    Joshua 1:18 CSB
    18 Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words in all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous!”

    From Joshua to the Israelites at Gilgal

    Joshua 10:25 CSB
    25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight.”

    The Key to Strength and Courage is God’s Presence

      • Exodus 17:9HCSB

      • Exodus 17:13HCSB

      • Exodus 24:13HCSB

      • Exodus 33:11HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 1:37–38HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 3:21–22HCSB

      • Numbers 27:15–17HCSB

      • Numbers 27:18–20HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 3:27–28HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 3:27–28HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 34:9HCSB

      • Joshua 1:1–2HCSB

      • Joshua 3:7–8HCSB

      • Joshua 3:14HCSB

      • Joshua 3:15HCSB

      • Joshua 3:16HCSB

      • Joshua 3:17HCSB

      • Joshua 4:10HCSB

      • Joshua 4:11HCSB

      • Joshua 4:14HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 31:6HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 31:7HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 31:23HCSB

      • Joshua 1:6HCSB

      • Joshua 1:7HCSB

      • Joshua 1:9HCSB

      • Joshua 1:18HCSB

      • Joshua 10:25HCSB

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