Passages: Joshua 1-8 & 23-24
As we come to the end of Deuteronomy we see that God has brought His people to the Promised Land. In the book of Joshua we see how God delivered the land into the peoples hands. As we think about the book there are parallel and principles that will challenge and encourage us.
We see the people leave the wilderness for the promised land.
In the being of Deuteronomy we see why the Israelites spent so much time in the wilderness.
- They Grumbled
Deuteronomy 1:27 You grumbled in your tents and said, The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.
Sadly they misunderstood of who God is and who their are to him
- They Lost heart
Deuteronomy 1:28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’ ”
Sadly they misunderstood God’s plan and faithfulness
- In their fear they did not trust
Deuteronomy 1:29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” 32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.
Sadly the past victories didn’t count
Some of us may find ourselves in the wilderness struggling with these same issues, like Israel wandering through life and never finding our purpose. Never finding the promised land and living as God’s treasured possession.
How can you counter the struggles above in your life? (think about the opposites)
The people of Israel moved from the the wilderness to the promised land by having faith in God and passing thought the Jordan River.
We move from the Wilderness to the Promised Land through Jesus and the Cross
Living in the Promised Land
When we pass into God’s promises for us through faith in Jesus and the cross, we can find ourselves living there but not experiencing the blessings God’s wants to give us.
This was the case for Israel, we see this as we read Joshua they had victories and failures. They had victory over Jericho then they just went to AI and also made a covenant with Gibeon
- They where not fully obedient
- They where self reliant
- They didn’t consult God
Do these sound familiar?
Do we allow these to stop us from truly living in the blessing of the promised land?
In Joshua we see that the people had to be continually reminded of what it looks like to be the people of God and there’s a cycle of constant rededication.
God’s desire was for the people to not only live in the land but to be blessed in the land, following Him and being His treasured possession, a holy nation and kingdom of Priests.
As christians we can know the blessing God desires for us as we Walk with Jesus
Walk with Jesus
Blessed in the Promised Land
There is a difference between simply living in the promised land and being blessed in the promised land. As we walk with Jesus we live as a holy nation, kingdom of priests and as God’s treasured possession.
We experience; the fulness of life, Jesus eating with us, filled with the Holy Spirit and the wonder of eternal life, joy, rejoicing, perseverance in challenge, complete trust.
We are changed so that we spend time with God, love God and others, read the bible, pray, live in community, rest, serve, worship, show the fruit of the spirit, use spiritual gifts, bless others, and introducing others to Jesus.
But as the people of Israel did we can simply live in the comfort of the promised land and miss out on the blessings of God.
At the end of Joshua we read of the idols they still had from Egypt and had picked up from the people around them.
What are the idols from the culture around us that we can pick up on the way?
How do they stop us experiencing the blessings of God?
Fear can also stop us experiencing the blessings of the promised land. We can learn from God’s interaction with Joshua.
6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.
- God has called us and given us all roles, he leads us.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
- We Obey God
- We Meditate on His Word
- We Walk with God
- We realise that God gives the success
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- we remember that God is with us
What are our fear barriers as we seek to experience the blessing of the promised land?
What are our idol barriers as we seek to experience the blessing of the promised land?
In light of all we have considered how do these verses encourage and challenge you?
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Joshua 24:14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
As we journey through the Bible let us ask, how does knowing this help me to become wise for salvation through faith in Jesus?
- What does it teach me?
- How does it rebuke me?
- Is it correcting something in my life?
- What training can I put into place to help me live a righteous life?
- How is this equipping me for every good work?
Additional questions you may wish to consider for personal study or in Life Groups.
As I reflect what have I found interesting?
As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?