Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Strong and Courageous, Joshua

August 09, 2020 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 4 Episode 10
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Strong and Courageous, Joshua
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Strong and Courageous, Joshua
Aug 09, 2020 Season 4 Episode 10
Pastor Dave Tucker

In this podcast, Dave explores the story of Joshua as he begins his message series, "Strong and Courageous. If there is a phrase that sums up Joshua's life it would be, Strong and Courageous. Joshua knew he served a God who is still in control and who wants to be intimately involved in our lives. 

Based on Joshua 1:9 
Originally presented Aug. 9, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX 

Show Notes Transcript

In this podcast, Dave explores the story of Joshua as he begins his message series, "Strong and Courageous. If there is a phrase that sums up Joshua's life it would be, Strong and Courageous. Joshua knew he served a God who is still in control and who wants to be intimately involved in our lives. 

Based on Joshua 1:9 
Originally presented Aug. 9, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX 

Strong and Courageous, Joshua
Joshua 1:9

As our country… our world reels in global crisis, I felt impressed to start this message series, Strong and Courageous, a Study in Resilience.  Our media, which includes social media is so full of bad news. It is time to bring some good news to the forefront for a change. In the midst of viral videos of social unrest, in the midst daily Covid updates, this world needs to hear that God is still in control! God is still on God’s throne!

What better way to start this message series then a study on the life of Joshua. If there was a phrase that summed up Joshua’s life, it would be strong and courageous. I counted ten usages of that phrase or variant thereof and most were related to Joshua! Let me run through them rapid-fire for you. As always, these messages are both video and audio recorded and every sermon transcript is available from our website if you would like to reference back to these. I am reading from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible:

 

Deut. 31:6  Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

 

Deut. 31:7   Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put them in possession of it.

 

Deut. 31:23   Then the LORD commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, “Be strong and bold, for you shall bring the Israelites into the land that I promised them; I will be with you.”

 

Josh. 1:6 Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them.

 

Josh. 1:9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

Josh. 1:18 Only be strong and courageous.”

 

Josh. 10:25 And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous;”

 

1Chr. 22:13 Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances that the LORD commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed.

 

1Chr. 28:20   David said further to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.

 

2Chr. 32:7 “Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him; for there is one greater with us than with him.

 

         Joshua was born into slavery to slave parents in Egypt. Curiously, we do not know his mother’s name, but we do know that his father’s name was, Nun. Now, some of you pastors and chaplains in the congregation this morning and watching online will be quick to tell you that there is no letter “J” So, his real name was actually, Ye-‘hosh-ua, which literally means "YHWH is salvation." I like that! Don’t you? I can imagine Joshua’s mother and father looking at this new baby boy, wishing that they could give him a better life. I could imagine his parents hoping upon hope that the promised messiah would come and deliver God’s people from the bondage of slavery, “Perhaps,” I can hear his mother ponder aloud, “Perhaps, this boy will grow to be the one who delivers God’s people from their Egyptian oppressors.”

         Indeed, Joshua was used of God, but it was Moses who freed God’s people from Egypt. Think about this for just a moment. Moses, who was raised in the Egyptian palace, not among the slaves, who lead God’s people out of slavery. It hardly seems fair, doesn’t it? Joshua wasn’t even second in command, that spot was reserved for Aaron, Moses’ brother. And somewhere near the top was the beloved Sister of Moses and Aaron, Miriam. She was considered a prophetess among the people. In fact, Miriam was such a prominent name that for generations after her death, people kept naming their daughters after her. This is evidenced in the fact that there are at least three, if not four women in the Gospels named Mary… one of whom was Jesus’ mother. So, Joshua, although an important figure, was far from the top guy on the totem pole! Yet whenever we see Joshua mentioned in the old testament, he stood faithfully by Moses’ side and was content to serve in whatever capacity he was called to serve.

         Then, the day came. The people of Israel were standing on the edge of the promised land. The land flowing with milk and honey. The land that God promised to their father Abraham. Remember the promise God made to Abraham as he overlooked Cana, “Your descendants will outnumber the stars, and they will dwell on this land.” God had brought the Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt to this wonderful land. Along the way, God provided miracles and evidences that God was with them and would bring them victories wherever they went. Moses chose twelve spies, one from each tribe to scope out the land and bring back a report. Among those spies were Joshua and a man named Caleb. After forty days, the spies returned with good news and bad news. The land was indeed extremely beautiful and it promised to be a wonderful place for God’s people to settle… however… The land was filled with giants.  Ten of the twelve spies had no faith. They didn’t believe that God could bring them victory over the giants. After all God had done for them, parting the red sea, providing food, leading with a cloud during the day to keep God’s people cool from the harsh desert heat. And God lead with a pillar of fire at night to keep God’s people warm at night. Still, there was doubt! The strong and courageous Joshua and his friend Caleb vehemently disagreed with the ten spies who gave bad reports. “We ain’t skaired of no giants!” I can hear them say, “God will go before us and will fight our battles for us!” Sadly, and because of the lack of faith of the majority, God’s people doomed themselves to wander in the wilderness for forty years.

         Fast forward forty years. Moses has been told by God that he will not be entering into the promised land and was told to pick his successor. Moses chose the strong and courageous Joshua!

         Moses’ words of instillation of Joshua as the new leader of Israel are found in Deuteronomy 3:7-8  “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put them in possession of it. 8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

         Moving forward a bit to the one of the strangest battles recorded in history. The fall of Jericho in my opinion is part of my top five favorites recorded in the bible. In my opinion it rivals the sun standing still overnight so Israel could fight in daylight (also at the hands of Joshua) The story of David and Goliath is up there toward the top. And then there is the story of how Gideon’s army of 300 defeated the Midianites by confusing the enemy to the point at which they defeated themselves! Okay, so that’s four… I’m sure there is at least one more that I’m not able to remember right now but that’s not what this story is about.

         God told Joshua that the Israelites were to march around the walls once every day for six days. The people of Israel were to be lead by the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day they marched seven times around the walls, then the priests blew their ram's horns, the Israelites raised a great shout, and the walls of the city fell. God had fought their battle for them!

         My friends, what battles are you struggling with today? What giants are keeping you from living a strong and courageous life? Depression? Discouragement? Fear? What does it take to become strong and courageous? Perhaps the answer is found in our scripture reading for today: Josh. 1:9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” 

         For our God who promises to never leave or forsake, we can say, “Thanks be to God, Amen!”