January 1, 2019

JOSHUA 1-5       


Key Verses for Today: Joshua 1:7-9


The following verses are God speaking to Joshua giving him encouragement and direction before leading the Hebrew nation into the land flowing with milk and honey, the promised land: Canaan.  


“Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9, NIV)


Who is Joshua?  Joshua is Hosea the son of Num.  He began life as a slave in Egypt.  Although life was cruel for Hosea in Egypt; Hosea’s faithfulness to the God of Israel allowed him to rise to leadership among his people.  Moses, whom God chose to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, changed Hosea’s name to Joshua (Yeshua in Hebrew), which means “the Lord is Salvation,” before leading the people into the promised land.  Hosea’s roll with Moses’ leadership of Israel increased dramatically after returning from a mission to spy on Canaan with 11 others.  Of the 12 spies sent only 2, Caleb and Hosea, gave a positive report.  Fear spread like an epidemic throughout the people of Israel.  The people rebelled against God and threatened to stone Moses and Aaron.  God denies the unfaithful entry into the promised land.  Eventually, Moses selects Hosea to lead the non-rebellious Israelites into Canaan to occupy the promised land.  It was at this time that Moses changed Hosea’s name to Joshua.  


The Book of Joshua would be a best seller on the New York Times book review.  The book takes off quickly beginning with God addressing Joshua concerning what is expected of him and the people of Israel in preparation to cross the Jordon River into the promised land: Canaan.  Military preparation is made by sending two spies into Canaan to assess the military preparedness of their adversaries.  The spies make an allegiance with a prostitute, Rahab.  The spies return to Joshua with a good report.  Preparation for and the crossing of the Jordan River follow.  Camp is made at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho where, under the stewardship of Joshua, pursuant to God’s instructions, spiritual and strategic preparations for the attack on Jericho are made.


If you are keeping a journal you will  find a lot to take note of in the first five Chapters of Joshua.  One thing you may want to note in your Journal is the mass circumcision that took place in Chapter 5.  The mass circumcision illustrates just how disobedient to God’s commands the Israelites had become.  Read Joshua 1-5 carefully and take some time to meditate over it and pray for God’s help in understanding what was happening then and for understanding of how it apples to you.  


Joshua was a man who studied, meditated, and prayed over God’s commands.  God was first in Joshua’s life.  Is God first in your life?