Monday, February 13, 2012

The Book of Joshua

The Life Project: Joshua Pastor Matt Roberts The first words God speaks to Israel in the book of Joshua are "Moses is dead, now arise and go into the land I promised you!" After 40 years of wandering it was time. A new generation stood at the helm of a long awaited promise. God reminds them to let dead things lie and new things come alive in them. Many people see the book of Joshua as a book of battles, of which there are many, but we find hidden under the scenes of gruesome battlefields an old promise that has come alive in a new generation. 38 years earlier Joshua was a young man. He was chosen by Moses as the representing spy from his tribe to be one of the first 12 Israelites to enter the land of their forefathers. He crossed the Jordan River in front of an expectant nation. Joshua experienced the beauty of the land, probably allowed himself to dream of what it would be like to raise his family there and finally have a place to call his own. Maybe he even picked out a perfect place for a perfect home. The time had come for a wandering nation of former slaves to settle down. But something went terribly wrong. As Joshua and Caleb reported promise and vision for a new tomorrow their ten companions spoke with fear of giants and city walls and insurmountable odds. We know the rest of the story, Israel fearfully walked away from promise that day. For forty years Joshua walked a path of wandering he didn't choose. I wonder how many times he reflected on the things he saw as a spy. How many time did he think to himself, "things didn't have to be this way!". It is a sad thing to grow old knowing there was a better path, a sweeter life, greater promise that was just one different choice away. Now God is reminding Joshua's Generation that those things are dead. The old is gone and the new had come. It was time to reclaim the promises of Joshua's youth but three things had to happen first. The first is to make the choice to walk away from dead things. This was no insult to Moses or his impact as a leader. It was God making a statement to an entire nation saying the days of rebellious wandering are dead and gone, let THIS generation choose a different path! Just because you have wandered for so long doesn't mean you have to keep on doing it. Walk out of the wilderness and reclaim the promises of God! The next command is to be strong. The book of Joshua shows us that God's plans for us require action on our part. If the promised land was to be theirs they had a war in front of them. God promised to provide the victory, to fight on behalf of His people but first they had to find the strength to go! To find the strength to press beyond the fears of the unknown and allow God to be their victor. The third command we find in Joshua is to take courage. I believe courage and faith walk hand in hand. God was calling a generation to place courage behind their convictions. They were called to simply believe in God. Would they find the courage to step out and live great lives because of that belief? Would they leave behind the safety of the present and head into the fear of the unknown future just because God said so? Now that takes courage! God continues to call forth generations today. He is calling a people who are willing to walk away from the graveyards of their past with strength, unwavering determination and the courage to live out what they believe everyday! Will you be a part of a new Joshua Generation? If so, it is time to move! It is time to go places with God that have never been seen before! Look out world! Here we come! Suggested Reading Of Joshua Monday, 2/13/12 - Joshua 1-4 Tuesday, 2/14/12 - Joshua 5-8 Wednesday, 2/15/12 - Joshua 9-12 Thursday, 2/16/12 - Joshua 13-16 Friday, 2/17/12 - Joshua 17-20 Saturday, 2/18/12 - Joshua 21-24

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