JOSHUA 1 Introduction: The book starts with the fact that, with Moses being dead, God directs

and encourages Joshua to take command of the children of Israel, and to go over Jordan with them. His purpose was that Joshua might take possession of the land of Canaan, and divide it among them. He initially gives him firm and gracious promises and strong assurances of His presence, and some good advice with respect to his behaviour, upon which Joshua orders the people to be ready ‘in three days’ to go along with him. He particularly addresses the Reubenites and Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, who had settled on the east side of Jordan river, and reminds them of what Moses had ordered when they had obtained permission to do so. They promised to go along with their ‘brothers’, and help them in conquering the land. This they had readily agreed to do, and had promised total obedience to him. Now they were being called on to fulfil their obligation. A. The Lord's message to Joshua: 1. Concerning Israel's borders (vv.1-6): 1After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. (The Lord establishes the boundaries of the Promised Land.) Q1: In your present life, are you still being led by Moses or has Joshua already brought you to victory? Q2: Why do you think God was so sure that Joshua is ready to take charge? Q3: When God promised you something, will it be automatically yours? Q4: What does it mean being strong and of good courage? 2. Concerning Israel's book (vv.7-9): 7Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not 1

turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8This 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. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Israel must read and heed the Book of the Law.) Q5: Like Joshua, why do we need to be strong and very courageous? Q6: What does v.8 mean? B. Joshua's message to the people. 1. To the leaders (vv.10-11): 10Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’” (Joshua tells the leaders to get ready, for in three days they are going to move out.) Q7: Waiting is often the most difficult part for us, why does God want us to wait sometimes? 2. To the 2½ tribes: These tribes were Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. (a) The reminder (vv.12-15): 12And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, 13“Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’ 14Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.” (Joshua reminds the 2½ tribes' promise to help the other 9½ tribes in conquering Canaan before settling on the east side of the Jordan river.)

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Note: This same principle operates in the Body of Christ. When one member has a need, it is the common need of the body (1Co_12:25-26). We should never refuse to help a brother in need because our own state is settled. (b) The reassurance (vv.16-18): 16So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.” (They reaffirm their promise to help the other tribes.) Q8: In v.16, can you say the same thing to our God? Conclusion: God equips us. Joshua was not in an easy situation, facing a difficult assignment and replacing a great leader like Moses. But God had equipped him and prepared him for this very work. Joshua had faithfully served with Moses and was now qualified to lead. The task that you faithfully do today gets you ready for what God is preparing for you (Matt. 25:21). God encourages us. The inheritance can be claimed only by the obedience of faith (v. 3), but faith and obedience demand courage. God encouraged Joshua by giving His promise (v. 6) and the assurance of His presence (v. 9) and by reminding him that his success came from the Word (vv. 7–8). God also encouraged Joshua through the people (vv. 16– 18). Are you an encouragement to your leaders? God enables us. “Be strong!” is much more than an admonition (vv. 6, 7, 18), for God’s commandments are God’s enablements. It was not Joshua’s experience or skill that brought the victory; more than once, he was defeated. The victory came from the power of God that was released when they obeyed Him by faith. God still does the impossible (Luke 1:37)!

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