Sunday, September 11, 2011

Introduction to Joshua

September 8, 2011 Introduction to the Book of Joshua CBS Women’s Evening Class, Gastonia, NC
Ladies, I know you are really going to enjoy studying the Servants of God in the Old Testament. Children have heard so many bedtime stories and Sunday school lessons about these Men and Women. However if you missed those in your childhood, Hebrews 11 in the NT gives us a brief history of the HEROES OF FAITH in the bible starting with Abel through Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel. Though Joshua is not mentioned specifically, it does relate the fall of Jericho.
Warren Wiersby “The main character in the book of Joshua is not Joshua but the LORD Jehovah, the God of Joshua and of Israel.” At least 14 times in this book God is called the LORD God of Israel. In all the Joshua did by faith, he desired to glorify the LORD. That is my aim tonight. PRAYER
 To understand where we are going sometimes we have to look back. Psalm 105 is a quick review of the important events of Abraham and Moses; a “mini Torah” as my friend Jean Bugg would say.
A concise overview of the first 5 books of the OT comes from J. Vernon McGee, “In the book of Genesis Israel was born. In Exodus Israel was chosen. In Numbers the nation was proven. In Leviticus it was brought nigh by the blood. In Deuteronomy it was instructed. Now in the book of Joshua it faces conflict and conquest.” The book of Joshua completes the redemption of Israel that was begun in Exodus. Exodus is the redemption OUT of Egypt; Joshua is the book of redemption INTO the Promised Land.  
Our lecture tonight is “Why Joshua, son of Nun?”
 JOSHUA THE SON My friend Jean Bugg relates as a child in Sunday school hearing about Joshua. “I thought it was strange that he had no parents – he was the son of n-o-n-e. Now I know Nun was his daddy’s name.” And his name wasn’t Joshua to begin with – he was Hoshea son of Nun from the tribe of Ephraim.
How important is a son in the family? We love our girls, our precious daughters we can dress up in lace and ribbons. But Dad often wants to keep trying until they have a son to carry on the family name.
Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE The Hebrews regarded the presence of children in the family as a mark of Divine favor and greatly to be desired Ps 127:3 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. The birth of a male child was especially a cause for rejoicing Ps 128:3  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. More men meant more defenders for the tribe. If there were no sons born to a family, the branch became lost. Gen. 22 God made a promise with Abraham that he would have a son. So his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand of the seashore. This promise is repeated numerous times throughout the Old Testament. Look in day 4 of lesson 2 how the lineage of Jesus in Matthew can be traced back earlier times.
JOSHUA THE SLAVE-Joshua was a slave in Egypt. He saw all the signs and wonders God performed to free his people. He saw the power of Jehovah open the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass on dry land and then close it over the Egyptian army. 
Joshua was a man of faith who knew God and trusted Him to protect His people.
Wonder how Joshua felt after being rescued in such a miraculous way with God’s People safely on the other side! FREE at last! Makes you think of heaven, doesn’t it?
 Joshua was born into slavery and was given the name Hoshea which means salvation. God was preparing him for his calling even then.
Exodus 11-12 Joshua was a first born son which meant his life was in danger on the night of first Passover, the last plague on the Egyptians. He was saved by the blood of the lamb covering the sides and tops of the doorframes of the Israelites.
The firstborn son belonged to God (Nu 3:44 ff). The ceremony of redeeming the firstborn occurred on the 30th day. Friends of the family were invited to a feast. The child was placed in the hands of the Rabbi. The priest asked the mother whether this was her firstborn, and, on being answered in the affirmative, claimed the child as Yahweh's. The father offered the redemption money, some gold or silver in a cup or vessel, which was accepted in exchange for the child. Are you still a slave to sin?  Have you been redeemed by your Father? 
1 Pet 1: 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed …, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect-“ who was chosen before the creation of the world, …Would you trust in HIM to redeem you tonight?
9 Moses said to Joshua “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Exodus 17:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”  How prophetic that God told Moses to specifically relay the message to Joshua.  15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. 16 He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The[c] LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
The first recorded act of Joshua in Scripture was his victory over the Amalekite army about 2 months after Israel's exodus from Egypt. While Moses was a prophet and representative of God to His people, Joshua was a general and soldier of great military skill. He was a man of great courage and strength.
Joshua was learning that power, True power is from the LORD. Who won the battle? Joshua, Moses, God?
JOSHUA THE SERVANT In Exodus 24 Joshua was called Moses’ servant, aide, minister which indicates he was an official assistant to the leader of Israel.  Our CBS leadership is called the SERVANTS TEAM. That is what we want to be. We are here to serve you.
Exodus 24 Tells the Elders waited while Joshua accompanied Moses up the mountain and the Appearance of the Glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire! The Glory of the Lord rested on the Mountain for SIX days.  Joshua was observing all this, that God is not far off that He is always present. Joshua faithfully waited until Moses descended the mountain forty days later.
 When rest of the children of Israel grew weary of waiting, Aaron, Moses’ own brother, helped them build a god. Ch.31 “24 Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”  Have you ever heard such a ridiculous excuse?
The Tent of Meeting was the place God‘s Spirit met Moses friend to friend some distance away from the camp. Sometimes don’t you just need to get away from your “camp” and meet with the LORD? That is why CBS is such a big part of my life. I hope you will find it fills that NEED for you as well.  After Moses returned to camp; Joshua stayed with the tent and guarded it.  Joshua was comfortable in the presence of God. Joshua proved himself faithful and trustworthy – Waiting is not easy.
How many of us grow weary of “waiting on the LORD?”  One of my favorite verses Isaiah 40:31 (
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”.
How long have you waited for the answer to your problems? Have you been holding onto to them trying to fix it yourself? Do you have issues you need to left on the altar.  Do you have faith enough to wait on God to fix it for you!
JOSHUA THE SPY Do you remember the bible story of Moses sending the 12 spies to investigate the land of Canaan, the Promise Land?  One from each tribe was chosen. Numbers 13: 6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;….. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
They returned and reported to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekite lives in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” V.30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” The other ten spies shouted, v.32 “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” V.33 We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
The people wailed and complained, “If we had only died in the desert.” Numbers 14- Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes in anguish. Here they are on the edge of the Land flowing with milk and honey, the inheritance that God has promised Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Moses. 
Only Joshua and Caleb had faith in God that they could possess the land. The assembly threatened to stone them, but they were courageous in the stand. God was angry with His people. Numbers 14:32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land.  REMEMBER ALL THESE 40’S AS WE STUDY.
Have you ever lacked the courage to possess what God had promised is yours? I will never leave you or forsake you; you are a child of a King; joint heirs with Christ! Ladies seek the promises in this BOOK and be amazed at what the LORD has prepared for you.
Can you see the hand of the LORD was preparing Joshua all through his life experiences? Not all of them good. Of all of the Israelites freed from the slavery of Egypt only two men were to enter the Promise land-Joshua and Caleb.  NUM. 14:30 “Not one of you will enter the land, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.” Num. 27 tells us the LORD handpicked Joshua to be Moses’ Successor. A man in who is the spirit.  Deut. 1 reminds Moses that Joshua will be the one to lead Israel into the land God promised. The people will finally possess what God had promised Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.
Have you been called by God to a position in your church or community; are you being prepared to be a leader? I can note where God was preparing me for this calling.  What is God calling you to do? Will you take a leap of faith and trust Him?
JOSHUA THE SAVIOR?  Joshua has been regarded as a prototype of Christ, a shadow of the future. Can you see any parallel between Joshua and Jesus? Joshua means God is salvation or Jehovah Saves and our Lord’s Hebrew name is derived from the name Joshua but is Jeshua, The same word in the NT is Jesus.
Joshua brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua 21:43” So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.”
Jesus brings us to a heavenly Canaan. Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Through conquering the land the people had rest. Joshua 21:44The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them.” Hebrews 4:8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
Jesus said “I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28(NKJV) 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Joshua apportioned the land -Israel’s inheritance. Joshua 21:45 Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Jesus Christ offer eternal possessions to all who come to Him. Titus 3:3 “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
What about you? Will you choose to claim all that Jesus has redeemed for you?
Warren Wiersby “After 40 years of wandering the desert Israel will finally claim their inheritance and enjoyed the blessings of the land God had prepared for them. Jesus Christ wants to lead us in conquest now and share with us all the treasures of His wonderful inheritance.”
Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
How many of us are like the Children of Israel? God tells us we are free, He gives us salvation and yet we do not take hold of all the riches He gives. All you have to do is claim what is already yours.

Will you come tonight and talk to me or one of the core leaders. If you have questions and would like to talk at another time, please put a note in the prayer box out front. PRAYER