- Joshua was a slave in Egypt until age 40.
- From age 40-80 he was under the authority of Moses as Moses led the people from Egypt and through the wilderness.
- At age 80 God put Joshua in charge of the people under Jesus Christ as they entered the Promised Land.
- Joshua is a book about victory by faith.
- The three keys to spiritual success shown in this book are: 1. Cooperate with God. 2. Continue in His strength. 3. Meditate day and night in His word.
1 After the death of Moses, the servant of the LORD, it happened that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying: 2 Moses My servant is dead. So arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land that I am giving to them, the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread on I have given to you, as I said to Moses.
- The land was already theirs.
- God had given it to them.
- They had to walk in and take it.
- God leads us into our Promised Land through the 7,000 promises of His word.
- Having all the promises in the Word, but not in our heart is like having lots of money in the bank but never writing a check or withdrawing any of it.
- Psalm 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
- Psalm37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; and he will give you the desires of your heart.
4 Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun. 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for to this people you will divide as an inheritance the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
- God has promised total uncontested victory.
- He will be with us.
- He will not leave us or forsake us.
- Forsake means let go. He will not let go of us.
- He tells us what our job is.
- He commands strength and courage because He provides all we need.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your way of life be without covetousness; and be content with what things you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, or forsake you.
God has given the only true secret to lasting prosperity
8 This Book of the Law will not depart from your mouth, but you will meditate in him day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you act wisely. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
- Fear is a choice.
- It is a waste of energy.
- It produces nothing fruitful.
- It destroys faith.
- God is with us.
- He made all things and controls all things.
- His power is infinite.
- Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. 3 And he will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season; his leaf also will not wither; and whatever he does will prosper.
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people saying, 11 Pass through the camp and command the people saying, Prepare provisions for yourselves, for in three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke saying, 13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you saying, The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land. 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock will remain in the land that Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you will pass before your brothers armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 Until the LORD has given your brothers rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. Then you will return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.
- Two and a half tribes wanted the land on the east side of the Jordan.
- Moses allowed them to have it on the condition that they help their brothers conquer their lands west of the Jordan River.
- Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and low in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
16 And they answered Joshua saying, We will do all that you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, will be put to death. Only be strong and of good courageous.
- God wants His first and best for us but can’t give it when we rebel against His words and do not obey His commands.
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men out of Shittim to spy secretly, saying, Go look over the land, and Jericho. So they went and came to a harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged/lay there. 2 And the king of Jericho was told saying, Behold, men of the children of Israel came in here tonight to search out the country. 3 And the king of Jericho sent to Rahab saying, Bring out the men that have come to you, who have entered into your house: for they have come to search out all the country. 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said this, Men came to me, but I do not know where they are: 5 About the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, the men went out: I do not know where the men went: chase them quickly for you will overtake them. 6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had set in a row on the roof. 7 And the men chased after them toward the Jordan, to the fords: and as soon as those that chased them left, they shut the gate.
- These two men would have been arrested and killed.
- God provided a safe haven in the harlots house.
- This woman lied to protect God’s people and His plan.
- God honored this woman forever for this act.
- He brought her into His eternal royal family.
- She is in the line of descendants of Jesus Christ.
- Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Truly I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him.
8 Before they laid down, she came up to them on the roof; 9 And she said to the men, I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that your terror has fallen on us; all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
- Genesis 35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was on the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
The LORD is God in heaven above and on earth beneath
11 And as soon as we heard these things our hearts melted, no courage remained in any man any longer because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have showed you kindness that you will also show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a pledge of truth: 13 And that you will save alive my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. 14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if you do not tell our business. And when the LORD has given us the land, we will deal kindly and truly with you.
- Rahab’s faith is shown in verses 9-14. Our God also deals kindly and truly with all who believe.
- John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window: for her house was on the town wall; she dwelt on the wall. 16 And she said to them, Go to the mountain so you won’t meet the patrol chasing you; hide yourselves there three days, until the patrol has returned: and afterward go your way. 17 And the men said to her, We will be free from this oath which you have made us swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you are to tie this cord of scarlet rope in the window that you let us down by: and bring/gather your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household home to you. 19 And it will happen that whoever goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head, and we will be guiltless: and whoever is with you in the house, his blood will be on our head, if any hand is upon him. 20 And if you tell our business, then we will be free of your oath that you have made us swear. 21 And she said, Let it be according to your word. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she tied the scarlet rope in the window. 22 And they went, and came to the mountain, and stayed there three days, until the patrol returned: and the patrol sought them throughout all the way, but did not find them. 23 So the two men returned, descended from the mountain, crossed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that happened to them: 24 And they said to Joshua, Truly the LORD has delivered into our hands all the land; all the inhabitants of the country faint/melt because of us.
- God guided them safely.
- Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you are to go: I will guide you with my eye.
- Psalm 48:14 this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
God, the LORD of all the universe, does the impossible for His people
1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; they left Shittim and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and stopped there before they crossed over. 2 And it came to pass after three days that the officers went through the camp; 3 And they commanded the people saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites carrying it, then move from your place, and go after it. 4 But keep a space between you and it, stay about half a mile behind them: do not come near it, so that you may know the way which you must go: for you have not passed this way before.
- The Ark of the Covenant was their picture of God.
- The box was made of wood, which represented the humanity of the Savior and overlaid with gold which represented the deity of the Savior (The Savior was God).
- The mercy seat where God sat was solid gold and placed on the box between two cherubim.
- Instead of the Ark of the Covenant, we look to Jesus Himself and follow Him.
- Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…
5.And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you. 6.And Joshua spoke to the priests saying, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and cross over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant, and went before the people. 7.And the LORD said to Joshua, Today I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel so that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8.And you will command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant saying, When you are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, stand still in Jordan.
- The people were to bath, wash their clothes, and stay clean.
- Sanctify means set apart.
- Standing still in the Jordan took faith. The silt deposits in the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee were 40 feet deep.
- God magnified Joshua in the sight of the nation.
- He promises to be with His leaders.
- Romans 15:16… being sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
9 And Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come here and hear the words of the LORD your God. 10 And Joshua said, By this you will know that the living Godis among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
- ‘Come here and hear the words of the Lord’ is a banner for all peoples of all times.
- The Living God is among us.
- He will drive out from before us all evil.
- Crossing Jordan is an act of faith.
- Stepping out when you don’t see it and expecting God to do what He has promised, to provide the way as you go forward.
11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth crosses over before you into Jordan. 12 Now take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, a man out of every tribe. 13 And as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of Jordan, the waters of Jordan will be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they will stand up in heap/pile up. 14 And it happened, when the people set out from their tents, to cross over Jordan, and the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant before the people; 15 And as those that carried the ark came to Jordan, and the feet of the priests that carried the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest,) 16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, the salt sea, failed and were cut off: and the people crossed right over opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests that carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had completely crossed over Jordan.
- A miracle of God brought them over safely right in the face of the enemy.
- God wants our lives to be just like these priests—standing on solid ground of His promises and His presence rather than being overwhelmed with the problems of life.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Job 5:9 who does great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number.
God makes a way when there is no way
1 And when all the people had completely crossed over Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua saying, 2 Take twelve men out of the people, a man from every tribe, 3 And command them saying, Take twelve stones out of the middle of Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm, and carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where you stay tonight. 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men he had prepared of the children of Israel, a man out of every tribe: 5 And Joshua said to them, Cross over before the Ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and every man of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 6 That this may be a sign among you, so when your children ask their fathers in time to come saying, What do you mean by these stones? 7 Then you will answer them, The waters of Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones will be a memorial to the children of Israel forever.
- God had the Israelites set up a memorial of their miraculous crossing of the Jordan River.
- God held back the waters so they could pass over on dry land.
- Silt deposits in the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee are 40 feet deep.
- Joshua chose 12 men like Christ chose 12 men.
- The whole procedure was symbolic of our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ.
- They crossed over the Jordan by a miracle of God leaving the old life of the wilderness of unbelief behind to walk in the new life of the Promised Land with God who is our rock.
- It is no accident that John the Baptist came baptizing in the Jordan, paving the way for the Messiah who brings us newness of life.
- John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is
8 And the children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took twelve stones out of the middle of Jordan, as the LORD spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant stood: and they are there to this day. 10 For the priests who carried the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: the people hurried and crossed over. 11 And when all the people were completely crossed over, the Ark of the LORD crossed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people. 12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke to them: 13 About forty thousand prepared/armed for war crossed over before the LORD to battle, to the plains of Jericho.
- Notice that God went ahead of the people in the symbol of the ark and stood in the midst of the danger until they were completely through it. Then He came behind them.
- Deuteronomy 1:30 The LORD your God which goes before you, he will fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
- Isaiah 52:12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
The Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel
14 On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life. 15 And the LORD spoke to Joshua saying, 16 Command the priests that carry the ark of the testimony, to come up out of Jordan. 17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests saying, Come up out of Jordan. 18 And when the priests that carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD came up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up to the dry land, the waters of Jordan returned to their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
- God instructed at each point.
- In His word, He has given full instructions about all things.
- He left nothing uncertain.
- He released the waters of the river when the priests were safe.
- He makes a way for us through the impossible.
- The volume of water involved in this was tremendous, but God released the water in a way so that no damage was done, no one was swept away. Everything returned to normal.
19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and camped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. 20 And those twelve stones that they took out of Jordan Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 And he spoke to the children of Israel saying, When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying, What is the meaning of these stones? 22 Then let your children know saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until you crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we crossed over: 24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that you might fear the LORD your God forever.
- That all the people of the earth might know (Mark 16:15).
- God wants everyone to know.
- Waters often symbolize unbelieving people in scripture (Revelation 17).
- This includes those people who oppose our passing from unbelief into living in our promised land of a life of faith and abundance with God.
- God will hold back opposition until we have crossed safely into faith.
SUMMARY: Joshua 1-4
- God brings us into the Promised Land He has given us by faith in His word
- He is with us
- He won't leave us, fail us, or forsake us
- He gives rest
- He protected His spies by a harlot and brought her into His eternal family
- He is God in heaven above and earth beneath
- He does the impossible for His people
- He is among us
- He dried us the Jordan River for them to cross on dry ground
- The hand of the LORD is mighty