Joshua 1 Ė 2

 

Tonight we will begin digging in a little deeper into the book of Joshua but before we get into the verses I want to talk about the man Joshua.

 

Joshua

There are several thingsthat we can learn about Joshua from the scriptures.First of all we know that he was born in Egypt as a slave and he was at least 20 years old when the children of Israel left Egypt. The reason why we know this is because when the children of Israel did not put their faith in God that they could conquer the promise land God said this.

 

Numbers 14:28 "Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:29 'The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.30 'Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in.

 

From this we can know that Joshua was included in the 20 and above and he would have died in the wilderness to if had not put his faith in God and told the people that theycould conquer the promise land. We alsolearnthat Joshua was a leader early on.

 

Numbers 13:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,2 "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them."

 

Notice the spies that were to be sent out were to be someone that was already a leader among their tribe. The first time we see Joshua mentioned in found in verse 8

 

Numbers 13:8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun;

 

Notice Joshua original name was Hoshea (o-shay-ah) and hewas the son of Nun. Sometimes when little kids hear his fatherís name they will ask the question do mean he didnít have a father. Now notice,

 

Numbers 13:16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.

 

Moses changes his name. It is interesting to me how God has given new names to some of those who he was going to work through. For instance you might remember how Abram and Sari had there names changed to Abraham and Sarah. Although Moses gave Joshua his new name I personally believe God told Moses to give it to him and to me this shows God already had plans of working through Joshua at a latter time. At that is exactly what happens as Joshua would replace Moses and be the new leader of the Children of Israel.

 

Deuteronomy 34:9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.

 

He we see the beginning of Joshua role as the new leader for Godís people. Joshua turned out to be a great leader throughout his entire life and was always a faithful servant to God. Under his leadership and with God being on his side, in one six year period he conquered 6 nations and 31 Kingsfor God almighty.He passed this earth at the ripe of 110. Joshua truly was a great man because he put so much face and trust in God. As Christians we would do good to emulate Joshuaís commitment to Lord. Now that we have learned about the man lets now begin to dig into this book of conquest.

 

Joshua 1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying:2 "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them -- the children of Israel.3 "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.4 "From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

 

He we see God is now talking to Joshua and commanding him to go over the Jordan. He also tells him the territory that has given to them. Here you can see a map of Canaan and area that God was talking about.

 

Joshua 1:5 "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

 

I love what God tells Joshua here and each of us should take great comfort from what is said because God has made the same promise to us today. But I want to point out that this is a conditional statement because God will only help you and be with you if you are obeying his commands. If Joshua had turned his back on God I canpromise you that he would not have been able to stand against his enemies. Another thing I want to point out isthatGod never fails on his part and he will never forsake us it always us that forsakes him. There is a great need for us to remember that when God is on our side all things are possible and with his helpwe can overcome our true enemy sin.

 

6 "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

 

Her God is reemphasizing what I just said. He tells Joshua how imperative itis for himto follow his commands and observe all of them. AsI pointed out last week in the overview verse 8 shows us that their success would be based upon how well they followed all of Godís commands. We alsosee how God really encourages Joshua to be strong and of good courage. As Christians we to should be encouraged by Gods word and have great confidence know thatGod is with us wherever we go.

 

Joshua 1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,11 "Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, 'Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.' "12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying,13 "Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, 'The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.'14 "Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them,15 "until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD's servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise."

 

After 40 long years of wandering in the wilderness because their parents lacked faith in God now they were just 3 days a way ofbeginning their journey intothe promise land.

Joshua then reminds the tribes of the commitment they made to Moses to conquer the land of Canaan. Let me explain back Numbers 32 the tribe of Gad, Ruben and half the tribe of Manasseh decided they wanted to live in the east side of the Jordan. The only way thatMoses wouldallow this to happen is if they promised to send their fightingmen with the children of Israel to help them conquer Canaan. You might remember me making the comment that we should never be like these tribesand settle for getting close to the promise land no we want to make sure we make it into the promise land which represents heaven. So, Joshua is reminding them of their promise. Notice their response.

 

16 So they answered Joshua, saying, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.17 "Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses.18 "Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."

 

These men give their promise to stand by Joshua and follow his orders and if anyone fails to follow his ordersthey will be put to death. Just as these men were ready to follow Joshua we need to be ready to follow Jesus where every he leads us and if we donít follow his instructions we will become spiritually dead.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Lets us always try to be good soldiers of Christ and do our best to let Godís word direct our footsteps.

 

Joshua 2:1 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, "Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country."3 So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country."4 Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.5 "And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them."6 (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.)7 Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

 

The first thing I find interesting is that Joshua only sends out 2 spies and they only talk to him. I canít help but thinkthat Joshua had learned a lesson from what happened when 12 spies were sent out the first time and how 10 of the spies corrupted all of the children of Israel because of their faithless report. Joshua prevents history from repeating itself by just sending out the 2 and having them talk to him directly. Notice they were to spy out the promise land but especially Jericho.Now they enter a harlot house which can mean she was either an innkeeper or prostitute. Most commentators thinks that she wasa prostitute. Well, somehowthe king finds out that they are there and he goes and has a talk with Rahab. Well we learn that Rahab lies and she hides these 2 spies. This brings 2 questions to mind.

 

1. Why was Rahab willing to protect these 2 spies? The answer is found in following verses.

 

Joshua 2:8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,9 and said to the men: "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.10 "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.11 "And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.12 "Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token,13 "and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death."

 

You see Rahab and the people of Jericho had heard about how God had parted the Red Sea and how the children of Israel had defeated the two kings of the Amorites and this news had scared the people of Jericho to death and made a believer out Rahab. She was confident that the lord was going to give Jericho to the children of Israel. So she was willing to protect these men because she believed in power of their God and she was hoping she could bargain with these men so that she and her family would be spared from the pending doom.

 

The 2nd question is was it ok for Rahab to lie to protect these men of God in this situation? I would say absolutely not. First of all we must realize that the only thing Rahab knew was that the Children of Israel had a powerful God and I donít think she would have known what God thought about lying. Rahab lived in a very immoral place and it wasnít a big deal for her to lie about these men. I certainly do not believe that God used Rahabís lie to save these men because God could have easily of saved these by many other meas. Besides all this Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie and because God cannot lie he certainly would not use a lie to protect his people.

 

James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? Rahab is only commended for her faith in receiving the spies and for sending the out another way. Not once is she commended for her lie. John makes it clear in Rev 21:8 that liars will be cast into hell. So the answer to question is no Rahab was not justifiedin lying in this situation just as we will not be justified in lying in certain situations. Now lets take a look at the 2 spiesresponse to Rahabís request.

 

Joshua 2:14 So the men answered her, "Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you."15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall.16 And she said to them, "Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way."

These men agree to spare their lives and Rahab lets them down the wall with her rope. That was the only way out of the city because the Gates were closed. She even gives them instructions on how to avoid getting caught.

 

Joshua 2:17 So the men said to her: "We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear,18 "unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household to your own home.19 "So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.20 "And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear."21 Then she said, "According to your words, so be it." And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

 

Now last week I made a small mistake I said that there were 2 things that Rahab had to do in order to save her family. One was tying the rope to the window and other was her family had to remain in the house. Well there was also a 3rd thing they had to do and thatwas not to tell anyone of their business. So they had to abide by all 3 of these rules unless they wantedto die when the came to defeat Jericho. She agrees to do this and the men leave.

 

Joshua 2: 22 They departed and went to the mountain, and stayed there three days until the pursuers returned. The pursuers sought them all along the way, but did not find them.23 So the two men returned, descended from the mountain, and crossed over; and they came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had befallen them.24 And they said to Joshua, "Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us."

 

These spies followed Rahabs advice and managed to keep from being captured. They returned back to camp and gave Joshua the news. The news they gave was encouraging because they knew that when people are already scared of you that they wont be difficult to defeat. Half of winning a battle his having the right mind set. With this in mind we need to realize that the devil does not have any power over us and we can easily defeat him.

 

James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 

Through Jesus Christ with the right mind set we can and we will defeat our enemy the devil and all the sin that he represents.