good quote

" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Beginning my Journey through Joshua

Some days ago I mentioned that I wanted to start a Journey through the book of Joshua and today I want to get that started. I'll be using KJV only, of course, but my Bible is also The First Scofield Study Bible based on the 1909 edition of the Scofield Reference Bible. While I don't agree with all of Mr. Scofield's notations on Scripture, I do think that some of them present thoughts that Mr. Scofield had that are worth notice but are not at all to be taken as God's Holy Word nor do they carry the same weight. They are the thoughts of a MAN and not to add or take away from the infallible WORD OF GOD. That being said, let me begin.

    According to Scofield's notes, Joshua records the consummation of the redemption of Israel out of Egypt. It is the "Ephesians of the Old Testament" in a spiritual sense. "The Heavenly" of Ephesians is to the Christian what Canaan was to the Israelite- a place of conflict, and therefore not a type of Heaven, but also a place of victory and blessing through the divine power of God. The government was theocratic; Joshua succeeding Moses as the leader under God.


Scripture: Joshua 1: 1-2
   "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel."

Also some other scripture of note:

2 Timothy 2:1-2
   "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

Here we have Joshua commissioned by God to follow in the pathway which God had designed for them. They have left Egypt and have been in the wilderness for some time now. I think in these first two verses we are seeing a "passing of the baton" so to speak. The first spiritual leader God chose for them has now passed away and God has chosen a new leader. This new leader was not just anyone but he was the son of Moses' minister and picked personally by God to lead His people through the next leg of the journey. While I don't know exactly the kind of relationship Joshua might have had with Moses, I do want to focus a little on the spiritual leaders in my life and who might be looking to me for spiritual guidance and how I want to be sure that in all things I am pointing people, not back to myself, but to God.

2 Timothy also speaks of being strong in the grace of Christ but it makes mention of staying close to those things which we have heard and been taught by faithful men of God and to teach to others those things as well. Being a Sunday School teacher to 3-5 year olds I can see where that speaks to me personally as being one of those faithful persons with the responsibility of teaching about God's grace and living for God in a wicked world. Also, I look back in my own life at those faithful Christians who taught me.

My first Question for you, reader, and for myself, is "Who has helped you/ me the most to grow spiritually?"
      Years ago, when I first did this study, my answer to that question was quick and easy. The answer I gave then was, (no surprise), my MOTHER. I think we can all probably give example after example of the impact our mothers have had on our lives. They, if they cared for us at all, sacrificed immensely for our benefit in all areas of our life. They carried us inside them for 9 months and loved us before they knew us.  Then there is all the years of loving devotion that she gave in raising us. To have a CHRISTIAN mother also adds the spiritual impact that she has on our lives for Christ sake. I am reminded of Paul's letters to Timothy and Timothy's testimony of the impact his mother and grandmother had on teaching him the Scriptures from a youth. Mothers are a wonderful gift from God and a great representation of God's love for us. That being said, I would definitely say that my mother has been and will always be a foundation stone in my own testimony because of HER testimony for the Lord.
  As I have grown in age both physically and spiritually, the list of people that the Lord has used in my life to help me grow in my walk with Him has also grown. From preachers, Sunday school teachers, godly ladies and gentlemen that I have spent time with in fellowship, youth leaders, evangelists, missionaries, and even a few ungodly people have served, unknowingly, as warnings of what can happen if I were to wander away from the Lord. The list continues on and on...
 When you start to consider who has helped you to grow the most, you also may want to ask why. What is it about that person that seems to shout to you "Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING!", "Jesus is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE!", "JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!"

The second question for consideration is: "How would you feel without that person around to direct you?"
   Without my mother, I would be heartbroken and lonely but I would also have the peace of God with the knowledge that she would be in Heaven. That is if death was the reason for her absence in my life. It was through my mother being a teacher of the youth at church that lead to my trusting in Christ as my personal Savior. Now that's not to say that God could not have used another way to show me the truth about my lost condition and my need for a Savior but the fact that He used my mother in such a way makes it so much more special to me on a personal level. Through God's omnipotence He chose to put me in a Christian family and to give me a godly mother that He KNEW would raise me with spiritual grace and wisdom that would guide and direct me the rest of my life. Without that heritage, I can not say for sure that I would be living for God today. That same heritage was what Joshua and the Israelites had. It is a mighty gift not to be taken for granted. Do not take those faithful people in your life for granted. They are far more precious than gold or silver.

The last question for consideration is: "How do you think Joshua may have felt with Moses dead and God telling him to take over?"
   Now, as far as I can tell, the Bible doesn't give us Joshua's personal feelings in these verses about how he felt during this but it does show in later verses that despite what he may or may not having been feeling at the time he chose to follow God's call for his life. I think that gives a wonderful example of how we should be as Christians. Following God's will is not based on how we feel at any given time, it is based on that personal relationship we have with Him and His Word telling us "God wants me to do this, so I'm going to do it" not for our own selves but because of what Christ did for us.
  In my own limited, human understanding, and based on my own personal experiences, I think that there is a chance that Joshua could have felt humbled, and perhaps a little apprehensive of the responsibility placed before him but I also think that Joshua, through faith in God wouldn't have been afraid. He would have known that he could place his full and complete trust in the one true God. This is jumping ahead in my study of this book a little but in verse 5 God gave Joshua a promise and it says:
   "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

With a promise from God like that, how can you be anything but confident in the power of the Almighty God? Joshua had nothing to worry about and we as Christians, don't either.

To finish up this post on Joshua 1:1-2, let us thank God for the spiritual leaders He has put in our lives and for the peace that comes with trusting fully in Him.

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