Today is Day 18 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
Yesterday we finished up Joshua and began the book of Judges. Both are action-packed books, but we’ll just talk about Joshua for now…
Joshua had a pretty daunting task in front of him: take over for Moses. Not only was Moses known as the most humble man who ever lived, but he also had talked to God face to face, and led God’s people out of Egypt, through the wilderness, to the Promised Land. Joshua had his work cut out for him!
His job was to take God’s people into the Promised Land (Canaan), and conquer the cities within. All the land was theirs, the people there were theirs, but God wanted them to take a step of faith and pursue their enemies.
Just getting into the Promised Land was a step of faith…literally. They were blocked by the Jordan River, so God told Joshua to have the priests step into the river so that the water would stop. Imagine the first guy in – what a man of faith!
They had already spied out their first enemy: Jericho. It had huge, impenetrable walls that would have intimidated anyone…unless you’re God. God laughed at Jericho’s walls and came up with a game plan on how to prove He was behind the defeat. After 7 days of marching (not battling) around Jericho’s walls, the men of Israel shouted, and just like London Bridge, Jericho came falling down! They rushed in and plundered the city.
They learned a hard lesson after that. Ai was a much smaller, less-intimidating city, so they weren’t scared to go to battle there. However, on their first attempt, they got beat down. What happened?
God had told them not to take anything from Jericho, but Achan didn’t listen. Because of his sin, 36 Israelite soldiers died in battle and Israel couldn’t beat Ai. Not for long though. Sin was rooted out and destroyed, and Ai was severely beat down. And so were the kings of…
…and 24 other kings.
They spared us most of the details in Joshua, but you get the point – it was a bloody book.
The second half of Joshua relates how the land was divided between the 12 tribes of Israel. It’s a bit boring to read, but of course that’s because it’s not our land and we’re removed from the action. If a similar list of land that we were to inherit was compiled in our day, we’d be pretty interested. It is, however, the pinnacle of the book and the fulfillment of a promise that began back in Genesis 12!
I love Joshua 21:45. It describes not only the first 6 books of the Bible, but also the rest of human history…
“Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” – Joshua 21:45
As if the book wasn’t good enough already, it ends with an epic conclusion. Joshua gathers the whole nation together and charges them to choose whom they will serve. If they want to serve the false Canaanite gods, they’re more than welcome to do so. However, history tells them Who the real God is and that is Who Joshua and his family chooses to serve.
Missing Moses by just a decade, Joshua dies at the ripe old age of 110. He died doing what I want to do when I die – challenging people to follow after God!
Like the book of Joshua, life is a constant battle. We make progress when, by faith, we take God at His word, and follow His lead regardless of how impossible things may seem. However, we fight against ourselves when we get greedy and allow compromise to sneak in. Don’t tolerate it.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve!” – Joshua 24:15
We begin a verse-by-verse study through the book of Joshua this Sunday at Awaken Church, called “Divide & Conquer.” Join us on Sundays at 10am or download/watch the teachings in our teaching archive.