Once the people of Israel under the leadership of Joshua entered the promised land of Canaan, they faced all kinds of next lessons and experiences. In Joshua 5:1-15 we find that by instructing Joshua to circumcise all the men, God reminded them that their past disobedience would no longer be tolerated. By ending the daily supply of manna, God showed His people that His daily provisions would no longer come in the same way. By sending the commander of His army to meet Joshua, God showed Joshua that he was no longer in charge. By falling on his face to worship, Joshua won the battle that was to be fought against Jericho in chapter 6. All these lessons remind us that we are always in God’s school, as He calls us to learn His ways and walk by faith not sight.
All kinds of memories can be evoked by certain sounds, sights or smells. In Joshua 4:1-24, God instructed the people of Israel to gather large stones from the bed of the River Jordan while the waters were held back and to create a memorial on the banks of the river. By this memorial, the people of Israel were taught to remember the Lord’s power who saved them, to fear the Lord’s name because it is great and to know for sure that they were His people. All believers know of God’s saving grace and can testify to what God has done by the power of the gospel at work. They will also know that God no longer bears witness through memorials but does so through His ‘living stones’ who can speak openly of His grace at work in them.
This year’s ‘Scots’ Day Out’ in Bendigo will be held in Rosalind Park on February 13th. We’ll be there so look out for us and come and say ‘hi!’ 🙂 (What are we doing there?…oh…well… our denomination has a rich Scottish heritage… but that doesn’t mean you have to be Scottish to come to our church!)
After the encouragement Joshua received through the conversion and rescue of Rahab, the next obstacle in his way was the flooded Jordan River which lay between the people of Israel and the Promised Land. However, as we read in Joshua 3:1-17, God knew what He was doing, and arranged it so that when the priests of Israel placed their feet in the flowing water, it stopped flowing and stood up in a heap. It was a miracle of a similar order to the crossing of the Red Sea under Moses. And by it, God showed His people that He was able to get them into the land, just as He had got them out of the land of Egypt. He can be trausted to complete what He has begun
After Joshua assumed the mantle of leading the people of Israel into the promised land, he would have been greatly encouraged by the report of the spies he sent into the city of Jericho. There, as is found in Joshua 2:1-24, they were received by the a prostitute named Rahab, who not only confessed that she had come to believe in the living God but whose actions in giving the spies a safe hiding place, proved the reality of her faith. Before any battle for the land or for Jericho, Joshua discovered that God’s plans were for the salvation of all he would call – even Rahab and her family.
After Moses’ death, the mantle of leading the people of Israel into the promised land fell upon the man of God’s choosing, Joshua. Though Joshua had been Moses’ apprentice, this was no small task! But God’s appointing is also his enabling and in Joshua 1:1-18, God gave Joshua clear instructions in the way he should go, always depending upon God’s promises and His Word to be his guide. At the start of the new year, it it is good to put these principles into action and go forward trusting in God’s precious and very great promises.