We are going through critical times ….
Governments and world leaders are being challenged, wars and conflicts. Erupt daily because of hopelessness, corruption and anger ….
People want new leaders and changes, they want strong leaders that can change things and fix things in these critical times ….
Israel was going through a time of crises. Moses who had brought them out of Egypt and slavery, had led them for 40 years and had received the 10 commandments from God, was no longer with them. He “had died there in Mohab” (Deut. 34:5)
The death of Moses symbolized the end of the dispensation of law.
“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth come through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17)
God calls Joshua to lead his people …. (Joshua 1)
Joshua is a type of Christ. Earlier in his life Joshua was called Hoshea (Numbers 13:8, 16) and it meant “Salvation”. But later Moses changed his name to Joshua meaning “The Lord Saves” or “The Lord gives Victory”.
The Greek form of Joshua is “IhsouV” which is “Jesus” ….
A new chapter opens in Joshua’s life and journey:
1) The Commission (vss. 2-4)
“Cross the Jordan River” Marching order ….
Joshua is told to lead his people.
Moses had said that this day would come and Joshua would lead the people into the land promises by God. (Deut. 31:7-8)
Moses had said to Joshua: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8)
Actually Joshua and Caleb had seen this land and had brought back good news, but the people doubted and they remained in their miserable conditions.
But now, Joshua would lead them into the promised land.
2) The Conflict (vs.4)
It wasn’t to be easy! He would be facing an awesome task ….
There would be resistance. Others had come and had taken the land.
The big problem was: the walled city of Jericho. But that wasn’t a problem for God, God wanted Joshua to trust Him.
Joshua did follow God’s instructions …. The rest is history ….
What About the Conflicts in our Christian life?
Our Conflict with the World (1 John 2:15-17)
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful men, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
The “World” here does not mean “The People” “Cosmos” as it is in John 3:16 or the created world ….
But rather it refers to the world of corruption and sin, which is controlled by the devil ….
Our Conflict with the Flesh (Galatians 5:19-21
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Our conflict, our fight is with the flesh and often is our worst enemy….
Our Conflict with the Devil (Ephesians 6:10-12
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
* Have your Personal conflicts been difficult for you? ….
* Are you facing defeat, or you are having victory? ….
* Is your life a constant struggle against the powers of darkness with constant defeat, or with God’s power and help you have victory ….
3) Words of Encouragement (v.6)
“Be strong and courageous”. This statement comes right after God said to Joshua –
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (v.5)
We may understand some of the reasons why Joshua might have been afraid.
* He had been given a huge responsibility to lead a rebellious people.
* His hero and mentor had just died ….
* He was not a young man (60-80 years old). But God knowing the difficulties He said to
Joshua 3 times:
“Be strong and courageous” (v.6)
“Be strong and very courageous” (v.7)
“Be strong and courageous” (v.9)
But there were some reasons that would give Joshua courage:
The Power of God – He had seen God’s Power in the desert ….
The Presence of God – “For the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go….”
The Promises of God – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” But God gave Joshua some instructions.
“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. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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.” (Joshua 1:7-8)
Joshua was promised God’s help to win the Conflicts and so are we!
God has Good Things Ahead for the True Believers!
Salvation is the beginning, the first step ….
We can overcome conflicts and have victory over them if we trust God and follow His instructions….
We must march forward in FAITH ….
No enemy can stand against God and His faithful people ….