How many times have you heard the expression “The Joshua Generation”? How often have you heard references to God, “Doing a New Thing”? I find these expressions to be synonymous as we begin this New Year. God was about to do a New Thing as Joshua assumed the leadership role from Moses. This portion of Biblical history carries great significance as we look forward to the time of the Lord’s return.
Our focus today and in subsequent devotionals will be taken from the first six chapters of Joshua. Embedded in these chapters are keys and insights that will prove helpful in navigating today’s spiritual landscape. The following is a breakdown of messages we will explore:
1) Be Courageous and Fear Not — Joshua 1:9
2) Rahab – The Gospel to the Gentiles — Joshua 2
3) Significance of the Jordan Crossing — Joshua 3-4
4) The Fall of Jericho — Joshua 6
Be Courageous and Fear Not
One of the primary tactics of the enemy is to keep the people of God in fear. He successfully employed this strategy about 38 years earlier when God was able to make a way for Israel to go into their inheritance. It was a day they had been looking forward to. Why did they fail? Did they see God as being able to bring them in?
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13:31)
The land was pleasant and desirable however giants who stood in the way. We know that Caleb and Joshua saw the situation differently. They saw God as being able (Numbers 13:30). They were also noted as having a different spirit from the others (Numbers 14:24). This is the courageous spirit that Joshua is carrying and leading from and the manner of spirit needed today.
It is important to note how one becomes equipped with this fearless attribute of God. One of the keys is found in the following verse:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
Studying God’s Word and adherence to His law will go a long way in assuring our long-term success. In today’s world we see such a breakdown in lawlessness and morality. This opens the door for the enemy to greater access into businesses, schools, homes and churches. This is why he can taunt and intimidate the people of God into a state of paralysis.
As believers, it’s easy to talk tough against the enemy. This was constantly seen in Israel throughout the Old Testament. The question is, how did they respond in the day of battle? When Goliath asserted himself all of Israel cowered before him, with the exception of David. Where are the David’s of today? Here is another account from the Old Testament:
The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law. (Psalm 78:9-10)
The enemy is kept at bay when God’s people embrace and keep His Laws. The key for you and me is no different than it was for Joshua.
Learning from Peter
Why do so many of us readily identify with Peter? Perhaps we see ourselves through some of his mistakes as well as his fears.
And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him”. (Luke 22:56-57)
This was not one of Peter’s better moments. The Lord was about to be crucified and yet one of his closest disciples was denying him. In a matter of days, we see a very different Peter; he now is a man of a different spirit.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. (Acts 2:14)
What brought about this transition from cowardice to boldness? It was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What God did at Pentecost will be superseded as we draw nearer to the return of our Lord. We need another Pentecost!
If we are going to be a part of the New Thing God is about to do it is essential that we be bold, courageous and without fear. Spend time in His Word and reflect upon His laws so that we learn them and keep them. This will ensure our success. In Part 2, we will examine Rahab – The Gospel to the Gentiles.
Monday: Psalm 19:7
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
Tuesday: Ephesians 6:10
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Wednesday: Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Thursday: 1 Corinthians 16:13
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
Friday: Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Saturday: 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Sunday: Numbers 13:30
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell