THE STORY #7: THE BATTLE BEGINS: (JOSHUA)
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)
Note: Because of a technical difficulty, this week’s message wasn’t recorded.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Have you ever faced an overwhelming challenge in your life? Did you confront it, or retreat?
- In the Story this week, we see God’s people facing an overwhelming challenge.
- The children of Israel are ready to head into the Promised Land, but the wicked people who live there are strong – some are giants – and their cities are fortified.
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK OF JOSHUA:
- Preparation: Ch. 1-5: God calls Joshua, Rahab hides spies, Israel crosses Jordan
- Conquest: Ch. 6-12: Jericho, Ai, Southland Conquest then Northern Conquest
- Division of Land: Ch. 13-22: The Land divided among the tribes
- Joshua’s Final Speech: Ch. 23-24: Joshua’s final words: “We will serve the Lord!”
THE BIG IDEA: In Joshua, God gives His people three keys to being successful: Being people of the Word, people of prayer, and people who identify with Him.
I. THREE KEYS TO BEING SUCCESSFUL:
First of all – what does it mean to be successful? This doesn’t just mean in school or work!
Successful in every area of your life: Overcoming stress, worry, anxiety, depression, fear, relationship struggles, family issues, more!
1. BE PEOPLE OF THE WORD OF GOD:
“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, NKJV).
- If we want to have good success, we need to read and obey God’s Word!
EXAMPLE #1: THE BATTLE FOR JERICHO:
“1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.” (Joshua 6:1-5).
- This had to be one of the most unusual military strategies in all of history!
- But – the People Obeyed God: After six days of marching around Jericho:
- “But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!” (v.15-16).
- The Result of Obeying God? “So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” (v.20).
EXAMPLE #2: THE BATTLE FOR AI:
“And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.” (Josh. 6:18).
“But… Achan… took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned them.” (Josh. 7:1).
- Because of Achan’s disobedience, God’s people were defeated when they fought Ai.
- So what did Joshua do? “And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law.” (Josh. 8:34).
- It’s important that we obey God, and if we sin, to confess that sin to the Lord!
2. BE PEOPLE OF PRAYER:
“13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13-15).
- If we want to be successful in life, we need to be people who pray.
- This is more than just ‘saying our prayers’! Many people say their prayers but never pray.
- We need to learn how to get alone in the prayer closet until we’re not alone anymore:
- Jesus said: “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).
3. BE PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY WITH GOD:
“At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.” (Joshua 5:2).
- In the OT, circumcision was the outward symbol that the people belonged to God.
- In the NT, baptism is the outward symbol that we belong to God: (no Romans 6:4).
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19).
- Have you been baptised since you became a believer in Jesus? If not, now is the time!
FIND YOUR IDENTITY IN JESUS:
- “just as He chose us in Him…” (Eph. 1:4).
- “hcaving predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ…” (Eph. 1:5).
- “He made us accepted in the Beloved…” (Eph. 1:6).
- “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Eph. 1:7).
- See yourself the way God sees you: chosen, adopted, accepted, forgiven, loved!!
II. WHY DID GOD COMMAND THEM TO TAKE THE PROMISED LAND?
A. Because of the wickedness of the inhabitants in the land.
- The inhabitants practiced idolatry which included using prostitutes in worship and sacrificing (burning) children to their false gods.
B. Because God wants to make Himself known among the nations.
- “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4:24).
- At least 19 times in the Scriptures God declares this as His mission.
- God wants all people to be in relationship with Him.
III. CONCLUSION: JOSHUA’S FINAL SPEECH:
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15).
- This was Joshua’s final challenge to the people before his death.
- If we want to be successful, we need to be:
- people of the Word
- people of prayer
- people who identify with God
- Who will YOU serve?
Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/