Joshua 1 Ė 2:1

Sunday Evening Bible Study

February 28, 1999

Introduction

The book of Joshua is a book about receiving Godís promises. The Israelites have taken 40 years getting through the wilderness, a journey that could have been done in two weeks. It was their lack of faith that made it last longer than it could have. But the point is that they are now ready to go in. Joshua is the man to lead them in.

Joshua 1

:1 Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister

His name means "Yahweh is salvation", the same meaning as "Isaiah" and "Hosea". In the Greek, the name is known as "Jesus".

A quality of a man that God uses: A servant (minister)

Do we want to be used by God? Do we want to go into the Promised Land? Do we want to lead others into the Promised Land?

We can look to Joshua as our example, both as an individual who got into the Promised Land, as well as a leader who brought others with him.

(Mark 10:42-45 KJV) But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. {43} But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: {44} And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. {45} For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you

I often like to see the Promised Land as a picture of a fulfilled, mature Christian life.

Itís more than just heaven, itís learning to be more like Jesus here on earth.

Things like:

Itís learning to gain the upper hand in the war against the sin nature.

Galatians 5:16-AV [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Itís experiencing the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 AV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

But ... To conquer the Promised Land, you need to walk it.

Learning to mature as a Christian, learning to obtain Godís promises, requires a little footwork.

You donít become a mature Christian without walking down some difficult roads.

You donít become a mature Christian without facing some enemies.

You donít go to bed an immature Christian, and wake up the next morning having learned all the lessons you need to learn in life.

God doesnít just want you lying in bed dreaming of the Promised Land, He wants you to take it. He wants you to own it.

:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth ... prosperous ... good success

The key to real prosperity and success is Godís Word.

(Psa 1:1-3 KJV) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. {3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Itís all about getting more of Godís Word into us.

:9 Be not afraid

Some people are the eternal optimists. Nothing can get them down.

Illustration

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat: "Iím the greatest hitter in the world," he announced. Then, he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike One!" he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, "Iím the greatest hitter in the world!" He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. "Strike Two!" he cried. The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, "Iím the greatest hitter in the world!" Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. "Strike Three!" "Wow!" he exclaimed. "Iím the greatest pitcher in the world!"

Illustration

The Optimist

There is a story of identical twins. One was a hope-filled optimist. "Everything is coming up roses!" he would say. The other twin was a sad and hopeless pessimist. He thought that Murphy, as in Murphy's Law, was an optimist. The worried parents of the boys brought them to the local psychologist. He suggested to the parents a plan to balance the twins' personalities. "On their next birthday, put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. Give the pessimist the best toys you can afford, and give the optimist a box of manure." The parents followed these instructions and carefully observed the results. When they peeked in on the pessimist, they heard him audibly complaining, "I don't like the color of this computer . . I'll bet this calculator will break . . . I don't like the game . . . I know someone who's got a bigger toy car than this . . ." Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents peeked in and saw their little optimist gleefully throwing the manure up in the air. He was giggling. "You can't fool me! Where there's this much manure, there's gotta be a pony!"

By Source Unknown

Not all of us can be optimists all the time.

For Joshua, thereís only one reason God would tell him this. He was afraid.

What could Joshua have been afraid of?

How much have the giants in the land grown since I last saw them?

Will anybody follow my leadership after having followed Moses?

Why was Joshua not to be afraid?

God would be with him.

God was on his side.

(Rom 8:31 KJV) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

:11 Prepare you victuals

Pack a lunch boys, weíre going in!

:14 ye shall pass before your brethren armed

Joshua reminds these 2 Ĺ tribes of their prior agreement with Moses and the Lord (Numbers 32:20-28). They wanted to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan river, but first they had to help their brothers conquer the Promised Land.

Joshua 2

:1 Shittim

"Acacia grove". Apparently the people were camping out in an Acacia grove.

:1 two men to spy

Numbers 13-14 - Moses sent out 12 spies at the Lord's command to spy out the Promised Land.

When they returned after 40 days, they had a mixed report.

10 of the spies gave a bad report, and said that the land couldn't be taken because of the giants, they caused the people to complain and inevitably wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

But 2 of the spies (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report. They knew that God could take them into the promised land!

Isn't it interesting that now that Joshua is the boss, he chooses to only send 2 spies, and not 12!

:1 came into an harlot's house

Some have tried to say that she wasn't really a prostitute, but really an "innkeeper". The problem is that the Hebrew word means "prostitute" (zonah)

My question is, what are two good Jewish boys doing in a harlot's house?

Some have suggested that part of their "cover" as spies, to remain unnoticed, was to stay at a harlot's house. Perhaps that was the only place for out of town guests to stay?

Also, since her house was located on top of the wall, it would make for a quick escape if necessary.

Inevitably, God led them to her house, because in her house they found a believer.

Lesson

God uses "unworthy" people.

Be careful that you donít glamorize Rahab too much. She was a sinner. She was an outcast. Sure she was popular with the men in the middle of the night, but the rest of her life was one of shame and rejection.

You may not feel like you're anybody that God could use.

God can only use "saints", can't he? Don't you have to walk six inches off the ground for God to use you? Don't you have to walk on water? Paul the apostle wrote,

(1 Tim 1:15-16 NLT) This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--and I was the worst of them all. {16} But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

Emory Campbell: "God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines"

This is not to say that if there's a particular sin in your life that you're struggling with, that God doesn't want you free from that sin.

But God can still use you in the meantime.

Illustration:

There was a very capable evangelist whom God used in a significant way in the British Isles. But he lost his interest in spiritual things and drifted into a life of sin, for a number of months. Some of his sin was done in secret but ultimately, it became public knowledge and even made the headlines. At first, all he could think of was that he had been ruined for life, but, finally, he realized what a fool he had been, and he came back to God like the prodigal from the pigpen.

He found exactly the same thing the prodigal did. The Lord welcomed him with open arms and began to strengthen him and bless him. Finally, after a period of waiting, he felt pressed back into a public ministry for the Lord. He was afraid that his sin would be found out and brought up all over again, but after he felt sure it was hidden and tucked away in the past, he went back to preaching, rejoicing in the forgiveness of God.

One night, when he was in Aberdeen, he was given a sealed letter. Just before the service began, he read the unsigned letter. It described a shameful series of events he had been engaged in. His stomach churned as he read it. The letter said, "If you have the gall to preach tonight, I'll stand and expose you."

He took that letter and went to his knees. A few minutes later, he was in the pulpit. He began his message by reading the letter, from start to finish. Then he said, "I want to make it clear that this letter is perfectly true. I'm ashamed of what I've read, and what I've done. I come tonight, not as one who is perfect, but as one who is forgiven." God used that letter and the rest of his ministry as a magnet to draw people to Jesus Christ.

-- Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay, By Gary Inrig