March 11, 2007
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- 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.
- Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
- From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
- 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.
- Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
- Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
- This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
- Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
- Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
- Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
- And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,
- Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.
- Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;
- Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.
- And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.
- According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.
- Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
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- And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
- And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.
- And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.
- And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:
- And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.
- But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
- And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.
- And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
- And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
- For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
- And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
- Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token:
- And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
- And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.
- Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.
- And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.
- And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
- Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.
- And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.
- And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
- And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
- And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.
- So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:
- And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.
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- And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
- And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
- And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
- Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
- And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
- And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
- And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
- And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.
- And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.
- And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
- Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
- Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
- And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
- And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
- And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
- That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.
- And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
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- And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
- Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
- And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
- Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
- And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
- That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
- Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
- And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
- And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
- For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.
- And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.
- And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:
- About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.
- On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.
- And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
- Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.
- Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.
- And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
- And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
- And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
- And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
- Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
- For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
- That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
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Thought for the day:
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The book of Joshua opens with a crisis that most believers will someday face. This crisis involves a change of leadership, or a change of situation. Up until this point Moses has been the leader of the Jews. He has been the one through whom God spoke, and he has been the one who attempted to keep the people in line. This has been going on for forty years. In fact, Moses was the only leader that the nation of Israel had known. The only other leader any of them could remember was Pharaoh, and he certainly didn't count as a representative of the Lord. All of a sudden, after forty years,
Joshua 1:2 states those dreaded words,
"Moses my servant is dead."
Moses is dead? Whatever will the children of Israel do? Who will guide them? Who will petition God for them? What will become of them?
Unfortunately, thoughts like this often cross the minds of believers when their particular situation changes, or when a cherished mentor passes off the scene. A pastor leaves a church, and suddenly the church members don't know what to do, and don't know how they will ever go on. A wife loses a husband to disease, and she fears what the future will hold for her. A young man graduates from high school or college, and now is unable to determine right from wrong. A crisis such as this provides the Devil with an excellent opportunity to turn the unsuspecting Christian away from the Lord.
What can the believer do to avoid this trap? First of all, he must realize that even though his situation may have changed, God remains the same. The Christian still has his Bible, as well as the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, to keep him on the right path. Paul quoted the Lord in
II Corinthians 12:9 as saying,
" My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
As long as we have the Lord, we need nothing, or no one, else. Second, the child of God needs to realize that God will make a provision for him. When God stopped leading through Moses, he started leading through Joshua. The Lord understood that the Israelites needed a human leader, and He provided exactly the right one. In the same manner, when God takes away a pastor or mentor, He always provides the young Christian with someone else who can assume the responsibility of leading and feeding him. Third, the believer must be willing to continue to follow the Lord regardless of what the conditions might be. After reminding Joshua that Moses was dead, God immediately states,
"Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan."
God had led Israel to the bank of the Jordan River in order that they might conquer the Promised Land. The death of Moses had no bearing on God's ultimate plan for His people. It didn't matter what the situation was - Israel was to continue to obey God. Three times in chapter one the Lord reminds Joshua to be strong and courageous. Yes, it may be difficult to continue when the former leader is gone. It may be frightening to move forward "alone". Yet God, the true Leader, is still on the throne, and He has promised to never leave His children alone. Therefore we can, and must, continue on.
Discouragement comes when we place our focus on God's men, and not on God. It comes when we concentrate on our condition in the world rather than on our relationship with the Lord. Life may be different, but God's Word remains constant, and the Lord told Joshua,
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success," (
vs. 8). The same promises are true for us as well.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery