Title: Joshua and Judges: Crossing the Jordan - Be Strong and Courageous, part 4. JOS 1:1-15.
Announcements / opening prayer:
JOS 1:1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying,
JOS 1:2 "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them [I have given], to the sons of Israel.
JOS 1:3 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.
JOS 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun, will be your territory.
JOS 1:5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.
JOS 1:6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
JOS 1:7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
JOS 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
JOS 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
In conclusion, the Lord not only repeats His exhortation to firmness, but the promise that He gave in vv. 5 and 6.
The final challenge to Joshua as a new leader is repetition. Joshua must never forget the earliest instructions from the Lord after he has received many, many more instructions.
In other words, when the Lord gives him the instruction a year from now to take such and such a city he is not to forget that he must meditate on the Law day and night or that he must be strong and very courageous to do according to all that is in the law.
No believer gets so advanced that he can forget what he first learned. If he does he is not advanced in the real meaning of the word. There really is that there is no such thing as a complex doctrine. Advancement is growth in humility and obedience as well as knowledge and wisdom. With God the Holy Spirit as your true teacher, no doctrine will be too hard for you to understand.
"For nothing will be impossible with God."
The hard part is removing the ego, which acts as a fortified wall to learning, and then the lesson can be comprehended clearly.
Ego is a major problem in Christianity. There are believers who desire to know things that no one else can know in order to elevate themselves, but there is no such doctrine that is unknowable to the masses of believers.
I see humility as the greatest asset to learning. This is why I mention it every night before we begin our study.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
Whatever we have studied must not be forgotten as we learn our current subject. Knowledge does not replace old knowledge, it adds to it and makes it richer. We must restudy and restudy all that we have learned so we don't forget our earliest instructions.
The great reminder, besides the command, is that the Lord is with him wherever he goes, so there is no need to fear or be discouraged.
God's presence as the divine warrior ensures perseverance and ultimate victory under difficult circumstances.
There is a great advantage over the enemy to know that you are going to win. There is added to this advantage the understanding that God, who is with you and in you and will not, will not, will not forsake you, is the One who gives the victory.
Confidence and humility are wonderful assets and they are even greater assets when they are found together. Divine virtues working in tandem bring exponential ability.
A man from Washington state who pulled cottonwood trees out of the forest with his two draft horses said that they pulled as if they were one horse, their movements crisply synchronized. And they pulled with all their hearts. When horses pulled like that, he said, they could pull far more than twice what each one could pull alone. Divine virtues working in tandem are much like this.
The presence of God is the greatest weapon of a chosen servant.
The battle is the Lord's. He is the invisible warrior standing behind us that the enemy cannot see and whom we know is standing ready and able to do exactly what is needed and to do so righteously and justly.
God the warrior will transform an unknown wilderness into a familiar territory. God will transform the unfamiliar territory of agape love, virtue, fruit of the Spirit into a familiar home.
All solutions boil down to fellowship with Him and as we are with Him we fight the good fight of faith, applying the proper doctrines to their corresponding circumstances.
so that Christ may dwell [be at home] in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
To this He adds, "Do not tremble or be dismayed." There is a positive command and a negative command.
Fulfilling the positive command eliminates negative results and so the negative command is also fulfilled.
One may ask, "Then why doesn't God just give us positive commands (what to do) and leave out the negative commands (what not to do)?" But you are a fool if you think you're wise enough that you only need the one and not the other. God gives us what we need and more so that we can come to an understanding of His plan for our lives as easily and as quickly as possible.
Strong - strong in faith, patience, and perseverance.
Courageous - strong and firm in determination; to harden one's mind.
These two qualities are indispensable to the Christian way of life.
tremble - feared, alarmed, terrified, or dreaded.
dismayed - broken or beaten down.