Monday: Joshua 1:1-9
Moses is now dead and Joshua succeeds him. The Lord is over transitions in life, and this is no small one. Moses still looms large in the panorama of God's story. Imagine having to fill his shoes. The good news is, Joshua doesn't have to fill his shoes. He needs to wear the ones God has given him.
In serving Him, God has a unique path chosen for you.
"Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the WAY HE CHOOSES for him." Ps 25:12
Your call and use in the Lord doesn't look like someone else's. There is not one servant in the Bible who was exactly like another. And it is the same with any of us. Consider the flowers, herbs, fruit and grass of the field.
“Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:11–12, NKJV)
In his infinite creative ability, He created countless and different types of flora, each with their own kinds of seed. These seeds carry life, in different ways, by different means, through different methods, all carried by very different vessels. But they all carry life, as God gives it. Elisha was no Elijah, Timothy was no Paul, and Joshua was no Moses. But they bore unique fruit to God that their predecessors couldn't or didn't. .
Some may try to "help" you
by making you like they are.
David would have never beat Goliath if he had taken the help of well-meaning people.
"So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. (1 Sa 17:38–39)
As we often say, "Don't wear another's armor."
We know how the story ended.
See Christ here: He chose twelve very different men with very different personalities. Peter was an extrovert and John was an introvert. Each were used for the purposes God had for them. Friend, God has a chosen path for you. Another man's call is another man's call. A master craftsman dynamically crafted your spiritual gifts, your heart, your experience and your personality for a particular purpose.
Ultimately, the Elijahs are transported and they leave their mantle but they take their shoes with them.
Read Joshua 1:10-18
The Lord commands Joshua to cross the Jordan and to take care of business. The Promised Land isn’t going to conquer itself. Two of the tribes of Israel, the Reubenites and Gad, had seen some land on the side of the Jordan where they already were. "It was suitable for their livestock" and looked good to them. Numbers 32 When they asked Moses to settle there, he gave them the charge that is now given to them as a reminder.
Essentially, “You need to fight for your brothers. After you help them to take the land, then you can return you desire and enjoy it.”
We see how God calls Joshua to get to work. As a good leader, he looks to get everyone into the faith enterprise, including the two tribes who might make excuses.
Have you ever met the person who is conscientious about doing nothing?
I read the story of young man who didn’t want to get employed because he thought employment would call him to a careful performance of several duties that he wasn’t quite ready for.
He didn’t want to become a Christian because it would require holiness in his life—something he wasn’t suited for.
He didn’t want to marry because it would require that he have regularity to his life and a behavior that would mean fulfilling the duty of being head of a family.
He was asked to be a godfather to his nephew, but declined because it would require much trust. This was something he was very nervous about.
The young man declined all of these things because he wanted to be honest with others and true to himself. He thought he was very conscientious in his conduct and thought all was well that he had no job, no practical living faith, no family and no trust to look after.
He wasn’t conscientious. He was a lazy man who didn’t want to live under any rules or with any responsibility.
He had all the time in the world, but he was the last person you would want to ask to get something done.
See Christ here: Did you ever notice that Jesus called working men and busy men into the ministry? You never ask someone who is doing nothing to do something. If you want something done, ask a busy person. To the credit of the Reubenites and Gadites, they indeed would step up. As a result, everyone, including their families, would be blessed because of it.
“The more things you do,
the more you can do.”
Read Joshua 2:1-7
Having already defeated two kings of the Amorites and King Arad a Canaanite, word of the Israelites progress has spread through the land and the fear of the Lord with it.
Joshua now sends out two men to spy out the land, especially the formidable city of Jericho. Here we will meet Rahab, a harlot, who becomes a help to the cause of Israel. More than that, the Lord will be of an even greater help to her.
Rahab is the story of an unlikely person. She is unlikely to be used of God and unlikely to be saved.
She was unlikely to be used by God because of her sinful life. Sexual immorality is very serious with God. It leads to dishonor, shame and a ruined conscience. It recruits and involves others to their harm. It is also a sin against one’s own body, the place that is meant for the Holy Spirit to dwell. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
God has often served his own purposes and his church’s interests by men of different morals. Matthew Henry
But her great sin is no match for a great grace that will lead to a great forgiveness and a great salvation in her life. This powerfully shows us Christ and His gospel.
“Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31, NKJV)
Of course, like so many of us who were great sinners, she didn't stay in her sin.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9–11, ESV)
Unlikely to be used and unlikely to be saved, she and her family would be plucked from the fire just one week before Divine judgment and death.
Read Joshua 2:8-14
There is nothing secret in this world, not for long anyways.
"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." Luke 12:2
Word of what the Lord had done through Israel already, has made the men of Jericho jumpy and suspicious of strangers. (10-11) The King is informed that men of Israel are in the city. On a lead, Rahab's house is investigated.
"But the woman took the two men and hid them."
This is very significant. It is more than compassion for strangers; it is a decision to choose the Lord. She was putting her own life and family in danger by siding against the city that she was from to receive and protect these men. She was choosing a different allegiance.
Listen to the what the Holy Spirit of this in the New Testament:
“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:31 This act put Rahab into the Hall of Faith.
The fact that she risked her life to receive, hide, and protect the spies is proof that Rahab trusted God. She identified herself with God’s people, not with the heathen around her. James praises her faith and the works that proved her faith:
“Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?” (James 2:25)
This woman chose Christ over her own safety and the former protections that she had enjoyed as a citizen of Jericho. How easy it would have been to lead the King's messengers to the stalks of flax on her roof. She could have earned much reward but instead she laid her life down for them. Why? Because she was awakened to a greater fear.
"I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us..." She feared God.
Hear Christ here: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28, NKJV)
Her faith reminds us of those who have chosen Christ at the risk of their own lives.
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Revelation 12:11, ESV)
In Rahab's case, the Lord will not only save her soul, but her earthly life too.
Read: Joshua 2:17-24
Rahab shows us many marks that any of us can identify with before we came to Christ:
She was part of a condemned people. We were condemned because of the sin that started with Adam and ran right through us. We all fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 Without Christ, we are condemned too.
She was under a season of grace. The land of Canaan was destined for judgment for more than 400 years. Deuteronomy 7:1-5 She had heard about the Red Sea miracle, and that was forty years before. Now there was only one week left. How patient God is.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
She heard the word. She had heard about the Red Sea. She had heard about the kings that had already been conquered. "As soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted." 11 Faith comes by hearing and this woman believed in the Lord as a result.
In the throes of deliverance she has a concern for others too. Now she pleads for a true token for herself, her father, mother, brother and sisters to be delivered. The men give their sure word. The token they give her for deliverance is the scarlet cord that is used to let the men down from her windowed room on the city wall. She is cautioned to keep her word and to keep her family within her own home.
She is instructed to tie the red rope in the window and it will be a sign for the Israelites to leave her home in peace.
She would be delivered from Judgment.
Rahab's house was on the wall, but apparently that section of the wall did not fall! After Rahab and her loved ones were taken from the house, Joshua commanded the rest of the city to be burned. But now, they were perfectly safe in the hands of God. Joshua 6:22-25
See Christ here:
Rahab’s scarlet line speaks, by its color, of the safety that comes to our households through the sacrifice of Christ exhibited by faith in the believer.
“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,” (Hebrews 9:19, NKJV)
“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22, NKJV)
“And she bound a scarlet cord
]in the window.”
…and that is what saved her.
She tied herself to Christ and that scarlet cord of Christ would carry her into a new nation, where she would marry and become one of God's people.
Did you know that there are four women mentioned in the lineage of Christ in Matthew?
- Tamar who was thought a harlot and involved in a sexual scandal (Genesis 38)
- Bathsheba who was involved with horrendous sexual sin, husband was murdered by David and mother Solomon. and you guess it:
Rahab, the woman of this story.
What have you done? Your history can’t be changed but it can be forgiven. The forgiven person is lifted by God’s grace from the lowest place, position and reputation and is placed in the royal family.