1 A New Day, A New Way...
"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." Joshua 3:3-4
While reading through the book of Joshua several passages seemed to open up in the pages of the Israelites' journey into Canaan. This one, in particular, rolled over and over in my mind after I read it. I thought of how these words are true everyday of our lives, "...for ye have not passed this way heretofore." Each morning we are blessed with a brand new day. We don't know what path our feet will take before we lay back down. It may seem that we do the same thing day after day, but we have new opportunities to serve the Lord, that may be lost if we do not follow His guidance to the fullest. I do not know what direction our devotions will take this month, but let's travel with the Israelites through the book of Joshua "for ye have not passed this way heretofore."
2 "Moses My Servant Is Dead..."
“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.” Joshua 1:1-3
God told Joshua, "Moses my servant is dead; now arise, go over this Jordan,..." (Joshua 1:2) Moses was a great leader. Deuteronomy 34:10-12 tells us, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face. In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel." Verse 8 states that the children of Israel wept and mourned for Moses 30 days. God chose Joshua to lead the people into the land of Canaan. That would be an awesome task. Put yourself in Joshua's place. Imagine if your great spiritual and governmental leader died and you were chosen to take his place. Would you be willing to take on the responsibility if God called you to become the new leader? You may think that God would never call you to do anything that important, but even the "little" things in our eyes are important if God has called us to the task.
3 The First Mention Of Joshua
"Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:8-14
Since we are going to spend some time in the book of Joshua, I thought it would be good to go back in the scriptures and study the life of Joshua. Here is the first mention of Joshua. The book of Exodus begins with the Children of Israel serving the Egyptians in cruel bondage, continues with the mighty plagues, and in chapter 13 Pharaoh sends them out of Egypt. They went through the Red Sea on dry ground and Pharaoh's army was destroyed when they pursued after them and the sea returned to its place in chapter 14. In chapters 15 and 16 the people complained about not having food and water and God miraculously provided both. Now, as they face their first battle, Moses calls for Joshua. He knew what it was like to be in bondage, but he has seen the great miracles and mighty power of God. He leads the people to victory, but God wants to make sure he understands that God gave the victory. Moses wrote the details in a book and made sure Joshua remembered that God defeated Amalek. As we study the book of Joshua we need to remember that Joshua has learned to depend on God for the victory. If we are going to have victory in our lives, it will come because we depend on the Lord God to fight our battles.
4 Waiting On God
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." Exodus 24:12-18
When we think of God giving the tables of stone, the Ten Commandments, we think of Moses on Mount Sinai. Have you ever noticed the verses in this chapter? Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders waited for Moses, but Joshua went a little farther up the mountain. Some people wait in the camp like the Children of Israel, some wait at the foot of the mountain, but Joshua was called to go a little farther up the mountain with Moses. While Moses was in the presence of God, Joshua waited, and waited, and waited... forty days and forty nights. God was speaking with Moses, but Joshua was just waiting. There are times in our lives when we feel God's presence and hear God speak to our heart. Then, there are other times in our lives when we just need to wait on God. I think that if we want to go a little farther with God, we must be willing to wait on Him.
5 Coming Down Off The Mountain
“And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” Exodus 32:15-19
While Moses and Joshua were on Mount Sinai, getting the commandments, Aaron and the Children of Israel were in the camp, breaking them. Look at Exodus 19:24 through Exodus 20:3. "And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them. And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:" Aaron knew the commandments of God, yet he broke the first one. Joshua learned to put his faith in God and not in man. Aaron failed in making the golden calf. Now, think about Moses and Joshua as they came down the mountain. Joshua must have looked at the tables of stone in awe. They were written by God. They were so important that Moses carried them. Joshua was Moses' minister, or servant, and he probably carried things for Moses from time to time, but this time Moses carried the tables of stone, God told him that the people had sinned, but when Moses saw just how low the people had fallen, he threw the stone tablets down in anger. So Joshua not only witnessed the fall of Aaron and the people, but he saw Moses break the stone tablets in anger. He learned that you can't put your faith in man. You may have been disappointed by a close Christian friend, but don't let that hinder you from serving the Lord. We all have faults and failures. Keep your eyes on the Lord and serve Him.
6 Waiting In The Tabernacle
"And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle..” Exodus 33:7-11
These verses paint a clear picture of the tabernacle. God had given Moses instructions for the tabernacle while he was on Mount Sinai. Can't you hear the people saying one to another, "Look, there goes Moses, out to the tabernacle." When he walked by, they stood in their tent doors and watched him until he went into the tabernacle. Those who sought the Lord also went out to the tabernacle. Did you notice the role of Joshua in our story? Joshua stayed in the tabernacle. The people came and went. Moses came and went. But, Joshua "departed not out of the tabernacle." We saw earlier how Joshua waited for Moses for 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai. We are not told how long Joshua waited in the tabernacle, we are only told that he "departed not out of the tabernacle". When we are searching for God in our lives, there is no greater place to wait than at the altar of our Lord.
7 Don't Be Jealous of Others
"And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel." Numbers 11:24-30
I enjoyed staying home with my five children when they were small, but there were times when they were sick or tired and they whined. Those days seemed to drag on forever. I can't imagine leading thousands of people through the wilderness and hearing them whine and complain. The people cried to Moses, and Moses cried out to God. "Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom,... Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me." (Numbers 11:10-14) Seventy men were called to help Moses. When two of the men prophesied in the camp, Joshua was jealous for Moses' sake. Joshua found out that Moses was not jealous of others who were called to do the Lord's work. We need to serve the Lord with gladness and rejoice with others who are serving God. We do not need to be jealous of others serving the Lord.
8 Spies in Canaan
“Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.” Numbers 13:2
When Jonah tried to run from God, he was swallowed by a whale and after three days he got a second chance to obey God. But God does not always give us a second chance. I have heard preachers tell stories about God telling them to speak to someone and they didn’t, and the person died shortly thereafter. I have heard them tell of people trembling in the house of God and refusing to humble themselves before God, and being in a car wreck on the way home from church. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance. The 12 spies searched the land of Canaan and brought back a cluster of grapes from the brook Eshcol that two men carried on a rod. “And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there… And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13:27, 28, 30, & 31) God had already promised to give them the land of Canaan. He had done many mighty wonders before their eyes. But they were afraid of the giants. They said, “…we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33) Joshua and Caleb tried to encourage them to go up and possess the land saying, “If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land;… their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Numbers 14:8 & 9) The next verse says that the people tried to stone Joshua and Caleb. God told them they would wander in the wilderness 40 years, a year for every day they searched the land. Only Caleb and Joshua would be able to enter the land of Canaan. He would give the land of Canaan to their children. All the men and women would die in the wilderness. The people then had a change of heart. “And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.” (Exodus 14:40) Moses told them not to go up because the Lord would not go with them. They went up anyway and were defeated. They said, “We have sinned.” They tried to do what God had said. But it was too late. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance to do what God has told us to do. Have courage in the Lord. Obey His voice the first time.
9 Joshua Chosen To Be Leader
“And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” Numbers 27:15-23
We have followed the life of Joshua during the past week and now we have come to the death of Moses. Moses shows his love and concern for the people in asking the Lord to choose a man to take his place so they will not be "as sheep which have no shepherd." We have seen several stories of Joshua as an Army General, a servant, a minister waiting on Moses, and a courageous spy who had faith that God would lead them into the land of Canaan. The greatest mention in the life of Joshua thus far is in the description that God used, "a man in whom is the spirit". Do we live such a Spirit filled life that God wants to choose us to serve Him in a special way? Are you a chosen vessel that God can use for His glory and honor?
10 Encouraging Your Successor
"And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see." Deuteronomy 3:23-28
God told Moses to encourage Joshua, first in Deuteronomy 1:38, and again here in 3:28. I have turned to the story of Moses and Joshua again to look at the circumstances. The children of Israel are ready to go into the Promised Land and Moses wants to finish the journey he began 40 years before. Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us, "And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." Moses had the ability to continue to lead the people. His heart's desire was to go into the Promised Land, but God had already told Moses he could not lead them in because he disobeyed when he struck the rock when God told him to speak to the rock. He is asking God again to let him go in, and God tells him (just as parents often tell their children) not to ask again. The role of leadership is passing from Moses to Joshua, and God said, "charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him..." Imagine you are in Moses' place. You have been in a role of leadership for many years. You still have the ability to continue your work. Now, you come to the peak of your career, and you are told you must hand your job over to someone else. What are the feelings you have towards that new, younger person taking your place? You did the hard work. You put in the long hours. Now is has all been taken from you. What does Moses do? God tells him to encourage and strengthen Joshua. God has a lesson for us here. God wants us to encourage those who follow in our footsteps. Don't harbor hard feelings against those who take your place. Encourage them. Pray for them and keep trusting the Lord to lead you in the right path.
11 Encouragement For Success
"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." Joshua 1:1-9
We saw yesterday how God told Moses to encourage Joshua and how we should encourage our successors. Today, put yourself in Joshua's place. Moses, the great leader, has died. What does the Word say about Moses? "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face," (Deuteronomy 34:10) How would you feel following in those footsteps? Moses had tried to encourage Joshua. More than that, the Lord God encouraged Joshua. Look at the promises, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses... 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:.. 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." And then, we find the only time in the King James Bible the word "success" is used. "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." Do you want success as you face the challenges that come along your way? Let me encourage you today with these words on how to have a prosperous and successful way. Stay in the Word of God. Read and meditate day and night. Follow and obey God's commands. That's the way to true success!
12 Be Strong And Of Good Courage
“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.” Joshua 1:9
As I was reading the first chapter in Joshua I noticed these words over and over, "Be strong and of a good courage..." Verse 6 begins, "Be strong and of a good courage..." Verse 7 begins, "Only be thou strong and very courageous..." God also promises in verse 5, "...I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." What a wonderful promise! Moses had said these words to Joshua just before he died. "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it." (Deuteronomy 31:6-7) Again in Deuteronomy 31:23 "And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee." When I see the words, "be strong" I first think of physical strength, or outward strength and I think of courage as inward strength. The Lord also gives us spiritual strength with His promise never to leave us or forsake us. David also reminds us that the Lord is our strength and courage in Psalm 27. "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear: the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?... Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:1 & 14) Through Christ we can find the strength and courage to walk day by day in these troubled times.
13 The Lord Your God, He Is God
"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." Joshua 2:10 & 11
Joshua sent two spies into Jericho and Rahab hid them until they could escape back out of the city. The simple thought I want to share today is from these words of Rahab. She begins, "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you..." When God moves in our lives people will hear about it. When we walk and talk and live in the power of the Holy Spirit, people will notice. It would be wonderful if we could live so close to the Lord that those around us could say of us, "for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath."
14 Can God Use Someone Like Me?
"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." Joshua 2:1
My daughter has a wonderful, God-given, musical talent. God has blessed her with the ability to play almost any instrument she picks up. It is such a blessing to hear her sing and play for the Lord. Several young people at church can sing and play the piano and I love to hear them use their talents for God. Sometimes when I hear these young ladies play the piano, I realize just how much I'm lacking in talent. It is hard not to get discouraged when I know there are others who can do a task better than I can. It makes me wonder, "Can God use me?" The time is drawing near for our church elections. You may be asked to do something for God; teach a class, help with the children, serve in some capacity. Don't blurt out the answer, "I can't do that" just because you have never done it before. If God wants you to serve in that position, He will give you all you need to serve Him. When the two spies went into Jericho, Rahab hid them. We saw yesterday that she had heard about God. She believed in the God of Israel. In Joshua 2:11 she said, "...for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." She didn't look back at her past and say that she could not serve God. She believed God and did her part. We see her faith in Hebrews 11:31, "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." Another thing that is interesting about Rahab is that she is in the lineage of Jesus. "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham... And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat David the king;..." (Matthew 1:1, 5 & 6) Rahab had faith and God used her. If you have believing faith and saving faith, then pray for serving faith and give your all to the Lord. Don't look at the talents you lack, as I sometimes do, but look at what you can give to the Lord.
15 A Scarlet Thread
“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.” Joshua 2:14-19
Rahab let the men down to safety by a scarlet thread. Today I want to tell you that the only way we can find safety and salvation is by the scarlet thread that has stretched down through the ages. In the days of Joshua the people had to offer up sacrifices to cover their sin. "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:19-22) Man could not keep the law so Christ came to be our sacrifice. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28) Jesus stretched out His hands and let them nail Him to the cross to give His life for you and me. He died and rose again the third day giving victory over death to all who believe on Him. If you don't know how to be saved from the judgment of your sin, I can happily explain it as easy as A, B, C. A tells us to Admit that we are sinners and can't save ourselves. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) B tells us to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and C tells us to Confess. "That is thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:9, 10 & 13) Jesus shed His precious blood so many years ago, but that scarlet thread has stretched down through time with power to save whosoever will believe. Won't you believe today? "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
16 A New Day
"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." Joshua 3:3-4
For those who read the Home page you know that these are the verses that inspired me to study the book of Joshua this month. The end of the verse, "...for ye have not passed this way heretofore" is a good verse to talk about for those going back to school. We just had our Back To School Party for the children at church and Mike's students have their first day of class Monday. We need to pray for all the children as they begin their new school year. Many of these young people are going to new classrooms, meeting new teachers, and making new friends. They will have some review of information they studied in the past, but they will be taking new courses and learning new information. These children will face problems and temptations that I never had to face growing up. We need to pray for their safety and most of all for their salvation. I was saved when I was only eight years old and I am thankful that God called to me at such a young age. He has kept me safe and secure all these years. Pray for the children. Pray for the teachers. They need prayer as they begin another new year.
17 Crossing Over Jordan
"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." Joshua 1:5-7
We talked about how Joshua must have felt, when Moses died and he was chosen to lead the Children of Israel into the land of Canaan. Notice the words of Joshua as they prepare to cross over the Jordan River. "Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you." We read this story and think of it as just another miracle in the lives of the Israelites. I believe there is great significance in the crossing of Jordan, not only for Joshua and the Children of Israel, but for the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. Do you remember what Rahab told the spies in Jericho? "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;..." (Joshua 2:9-10) They heard about the crossing of the Red Sea. That happened 40 years before, yet it still brought fear to their enemies. Then I think about the Children of Israel. Most of the people who had crossed the Red Sea had died in the wilderness. Because of their unbelief and disobedience, all of the adults who crossed the Red Sea died except for Joshua and Caleb. When the waters of the Jordan River stood up in a heap for the people to cross over, this proved to the people that the same God who led their parents across the Red Sea still had power to lead them across the Jordan River. God also used this to magnify Joshua in the sight of the people. I believe everyone around, from A to Z, heard of this mighty miracle. "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." (Joshua 3:15-17) They passed "clean over Jordan". It's time for us to pass "clean over" into the Promised Land. Many Christians today don't live a clean, separated life. They enjoy living close to the world. Let's determine in our hearts to leave the world behind and follow God. Only then can we look for the Lord to do wonders among us.
18 A Time To Gather Stones
"...a time to gather stones together;..." Ecclesiastes 3:5
We often hear stories about the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry ground. Sometimes we don't think about Joshua leading the people across the Jordan River. The LORD said, "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...And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you 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? That ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD;... and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever." (Joshua 4:3, 5-7) God wanted them to gather stones for a sign to their future generations. What does God want us to do to be a sign to those around us? I think one way is found in Galatians 5:22 & 23. We should bear the fruit of the Spirit... Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance. These are definitely ways others can see Christ through us. We also read in the New Testament that Jesus is the Chief Corner Stone and "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,... to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (I Peter 2:5 & 6) Jesus is our foundation, and we are building on His foundation a spiritual house. It's time to gather stones. Is your life a Spiritual sign to lead others to Christ? Are you building up the name of Christ?
19 The Captain Of The Lord's Host
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15
The Children of Israel crossed over Jordan on dry ground and camped in the plains of Gilgal, the plains of Jericho. (Joshua 5:10) Joshua was, no doubt, thinking about the battle they were getting ready to encounter. The first mention we had of Joshua was in the battle against Amalek, in Exodus 17. Moses had "rehearsed" it over and over to Joshua, how the Lord helped them win that battle. Now, Joshua is ready to go to battle again. Moses, the great leader, is gone. Aaron, who held up the hands of Moses during that great battle is gone. In fact, Joshua and Caleb are the only ones still living who were old enough to fight in that battle. Do you think Joshua feels lonely? Do you think he feels a little overwhelmed? Do you think he feels old? It's been 40 years since he fought in that battle. Joshua 4:13 tells us that his army of about 40,000 crossed over Jordan, but they have been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. I don't know that they have ever seen battle. I don't think it is just coincidence that Moses kept telling Joshua over and over, "Be strong and of good courage" as we talked about earlier. Maybe Joshua is thinking of how Moses talked face to face with God. Moses was a special Spiritual leader of God's people. We don't know what Joshua was thinking as he looked at the great walled city of Jericho. Was he wondering how they would ever get beyond the walls? We don't know, but God knew. The Lord knew just what Joshua needed. "...behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come." Look at those last four little words, "...am I now come." Joshua has been waiting for the Lord to show him how to fight the battle, and now the Lord has come. Just when we need Him most, the Lord comes. When we face our strongest battles, the Lord comes. Then Joshua worshipped. He may have been thinking how special Moses was that God talked with him, but the Lord of Hosts told Joshua, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy." This is such a perfect picture of the loving care of our Lord. He knew just what Joshua needed and He came at just the right time.
"Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him." Joshua 6:1-5
If you grew up in church you have may have heard this story a hundred times. You may have sung songs about Joshua and the walls of Jericho. We may become so familiar with these great Bible stories that we lose our amazement over the power of God on people, ordinary people just like you and me. We sometimes use the term Bible characters, but these were actual men and women and not super heros. We had a missionary at our church once who had been in a tribe that had never heard Bible stories. He said they sat with wonder over every word as he began teaching them about God and the creation. Turn in your Bible to the 6th chapter of Joshua. Read this story like you were reading it for the first time. Imagine the people of Jericho as they watch from the wall. They see an army of 40,000 march around the city in silence and then return to their camp. This went on for six days, and then on the seventh day the army kept marching around and around the city. Now, think about Rahab's family. They have been hiding in Rahab's house, hoping that they will be kept safe, as promised. Now, suppose you are one of the young men in Joshua's army. This is not your typical war strategy. This is an amazing story. Keep reading with us as we continue with stories like this through the book of Joshua.
21 The Sin Of Achan
"And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel; thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." Joshua 7:10-13
After the victory of Jericho, Israel came to the little city of Ai and they decided that only a few should fight against it. Thirty six men of the children of Israel were killed and they fled from Ai. Joshua fell on his face to the Lord and prayed and the Lord told him to get up because "Israel" had sinned. Now, if you read the chapter you will see that Achan sinned, but the people as a whole suffered. I was not able to attend the morning services of youth jubilee this year but I heard that Preacher Mike Soop brought a good lesson on the story of Achan. He talked about having sin in our lives that we need to dig up. Achan had buried the "accursed" things that he had stolen under his tent. (Did you notice how many times the word "accursed" is used in this chapter?) Preacher Soop talked about how these stolen items were of no good to Achan. He could not spend the silver or gold. He had not been to Babylon. He could not wear the Babylonish garment because everyone would know that he had stolen it from the battle. He had tried to hide the sin in his life. Preacher Soop explained that some of us have sin in our lives and we are trying to hide it. We may have bad habits that we try to hide. We may have things that don't really belong to us and we can't use them or people will know we took them. Preacher Soop gave all of the people at youth jubilee that morning a small plastic shovel to remind them to dig up the sin in their lives and confess it to the Lord. We not only hurt ourselves by trying to hide our sin, but we also hurt those around us.
22 Faith In The Battles
“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:” Joshua 8:1
Joshua and the Children of Israel learned two valuable lessons when Achan sinned against the word of God and took the gold, silver, and garment from the ruins of Jericho. First they learned that they could not win the battle without the Lord's help. They also learned that the Lord would not help them when there was sin in the camp. Those are two truths that we would do good to remember. We can't fight the battles of this world on our own. We need the Lord. And we are told in Psalms 66:18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Now, moving on to chapter 8, the first verse (written above) is so similar to Joshua 6:2, "And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour." So many times in my life I have said things like, "I just don't see how we can afford another payment", or "I just don't see how we can do that." In times like that I need to trust in the Lord. Before both of these battles the Lord said, "See, I have given..." God wants us to "see" Him and we can only do that by trusting in Him. He has given us the greatest gift, the gift of salvation. Look at these words of promise in Romans 8:28, 31-32, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose... What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Maybe today God is showing you Bible truth so you can "see". We need to see Jesus. Just as the people came to Philip so many years ago... "The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus." (John 12:21) When we see Jesus, He can give us faith through the battles of life.
"Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai,... And when they had set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city. And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers." Joshua 8:9, 13-20
I was reading these verses and although I knew the story of Ai, I never noticed that that it was next to Bethel. In Genesis 12 God told Abraham to leave his country and He would make him a great nation. "And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD." (Genesis 12:6-8) God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendents. Abraham went down to Egypt and in Genesis 13 he went back to Bethel "Unto the place of the altar... and there Abram called on the name of the LORD." (Genesis 13:4) Abraham was the father of Isaac and Isaac was the father of Jacob and Esau. When Jacob fled for his life from Esau, after tricking him, he came to Bethel. We can read the story of the angels going up and down the ladder to heaven in Genesis 28. "And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:17) Jacob continued on his journey and after many years God changed his name to Israel and told him to go back to Bethel and make an altar to God. (Genesis 35) During the 7 years of famine, Joseph (his son) brought his family down into Egypt. After the death of Joseph the children of Israel became slaves to the Egyptians and served them 430 years. (Exodus 12:41) Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and they wondered in the wilderness 40 years. Now, they are back in Bethel. The Lord gave them victory over the Canaanites in Ai and Bethel, and in Joshua 8:30 we read that ...(Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel..." We need to go back to Bethel, the place of an altar to our God, and worship Him.
24 The Word Of God
"And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them." Joshua 8:32-35
Joshua built an altar and then he read the Word to all the people. These people did not have their own precious copy of God's Word in their tents. The two things I notice in these verses is that Joshua "read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings..." We are not to pick and choose which part of God's Word to believe. We should accept all of God's Word. The second thing I notice is that it was read to all the people. It was read to the men and the women. We are told that it was read to the little ones, and even the "strangers" that lived among them. God's Word is good for everyone. John 3:16 invites "whosoever" to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." So, our thought is a simple one today... all the Word, for all the people.
25 The People Of Gibeon
"And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him,... Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them." Joshua 9:3-16
I used enough scripture to tell the story, but the verse that I think is most important in this chapter is verse 14. "And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD." The men of Gibeon did everything in their power to make it appear as though they lived very far away, so the Israelites would make peace with them. Sometimes situations arise in our lives that are not as they appear. Things don't always end up like we thought they would. We may look back on decisions in our lives with regret when we don't pray about them first. It is a good idea to begin each day in prayer that God will lead you and guide you in the right path.
26 Five Kings At War
“Now it came to pass, when Adoni-zedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. Wherefore Adoni-zedec king of Jerusalem sent unt Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.” Joshua 10:1-4
When we get saved and start walking with God and spending time with other Christians, we can expect our old friends in the world not to like it. If we live a separated life, holy and pure, they will feel uncomfortable around us. In our story from Joshua 10 we see that all the surrounding cities turned against Gibeon when they made peace with the Israelites. Verse 2 tells us that Gibeon was a great city, like a royal city. The five surrounding kings declared war against Gibeon, who called on Joshua to help them. What could have been a fearful time in Joshua's life, instead became an opportunity for victory. "So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel..." (Joshua 10:7-10) God fought for the Israelites. He cast down hail stones from heaven that killed more men than the army did. The Lord gave another victory that day to Joshua and the Israelites.
27 When The Sun And Moon Stood Still
"Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel." Joshua 10:12-14
"The LORD fought for Israel." We have seen over and over in the first few books of Joshua how the Lord fought for Israel. The walls of Jericho fell down flat. The Lord rained down hailstones that killed more men than the Israelites did. Five armies went against Joshua at once and the Israelites were winning the battle. Joshua asked God to have the sun and moon stand still so they could continue on to victory. When I read this chapter again this morning I noticed verse 9, "Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night." The Israelite Army had moved through the land all night to meet the enemy suddenly. They fought all day and were winning the battle. When Joshua prayed for the sun and moon to stand still, another day was added. I realized that not only did God give them the victory over their enemies, but he had to give them the energy and strength to stay in the battle. Often when we are in our hardest battles the days seem to last longer than ever. During the trials of life time seems to stand still as we try to wait out the storm. We would prefer that our good days last twice as long, but as they say, "Time flies when you're having fun." It's the hard difficult days that seem to go so slow. That's when God gives us strength to carry on. I have Psalm 46:1 posted beside my computer at work to remind me of this promise. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." God does not always take us out of the storm; sometimes He just gives us the strength to go through the storms.
28 Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod
“There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.” Joshua 11:22 & 23
Chapter 11 continues with the victorious battles in the land of Canaan. But, when we get to the end of the chapter we see that the Israelites did not have complete victory in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. God told the children of Israel to destroy the Anakims in Deuteronomy 9:1-4, not for their righteousness, but “for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.” Again in Deuteronomy 12:2 we read, “Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods…” The Israelites did as the Lord commanded except in Gaza, Gath, and in Ashdod. How did this affect the children of Israel? Samson went to Gaza and met Delilah. She tricked him and he lost the power of God and was bound and blinded by the Philistines. (Judges 16) We can see that there is war in Gaza to this day just by reading the newspaper. In I Samuel 17 we read the story of David and the giant, Goliath, who came from Gath. And in I Samuel 5 the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant and put it in the house of Dagon in Ashdod. Incomplete obedience can cause pain and problems in our lives as well. Our text ends, “And the land rested from war.” But, their failure to wholly follow God, brought war and sorrow later on. Obedience is not only following the “thou shalt not” commands of God, but there are also “thou shalt” commands. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) We need to follow the Word of God to the fullest extent.
29 Growing Old
“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” Joshua 13:1
Now, when the Lord tells you that you are old, you know that you are old. I think this verse is funny. Joshua was old, and the Lord told him he was old. When I went to the eye doctor last month and told him my eyes were worse and I needed new glasses, he told me that my worsening eyesight comes with birthdays. That was his polite way to tell me my eyesight was getting worse because I was getting older. We may see someone who looks like he is a hundred years old, but unless we are under 6 years old, we don't usuallly tell him that he is old. Joshua 11:18 tells us, "Joshua made war a long time with all those kings." Our first mention of Joshua was in the battle against Amalek when God gave them the victory as Aaron and Hur held Moses' hands high. Joshua had a lot of victories, but he had to fight a lot of battles. Now, he is old, and there are still battles to be fought, and victories to be won. Judges 2:8 tells us that Joshua lived to be 110 years old. God has preserved His precious Word so we can read these wonderful stories about Joshua. What will people remember about you? Will they remember you as a victorious Christian? Let's make the most of our time here and live a life that others can see the light of Christ shining through us.
30 The Tribe Of Levi
"But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them." Joshua 13:33
Chapter 13 of the book of Joshua gives the divisions of the land to the different tribes of Israel. I don't know the land or know the significance of what portion of land went to which division of people. But I did notice this verse because it has been stated several times before. In this same chapter, verse 14 we read, "Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them." This command was given in Deuteronomy 18:1, "The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance." The Levites were to have a portion of the sacrifices and offerings made to God as they carried out the priestly duties. As far as where they were to live, that is explained in Numbers 35:1. "And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them. And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts." Each tribe was to give part of their land to the Levites. I believe this teaches us to take care of God's chosen leaders. It is pleasing to God for us to give to our pastors, preachers, and missionaries who are devoting their lives to preaching and teaching the gospel. We also see this concept in the New Testament. Paul praises the Philippian church for their giving. "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:15-19) We often claim Philippians 4:19 as a promise from God, but we need to follow their example and have a giving spirit towards God's servants.
31 "I Want That Mountain"
“Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.” Joshua 14:12-14
I grew up singing a little chorus, “I want that mountain, I want that mountain, where the milk and honey flows, where the grapes of Eshcol grow. I want that mountain, I want that mountain, the mountain that the Lord has given me.” Caleb went to his old friend Joshua and said, “I want that mountain.” He was 40 years old when he and Joshua first went up to Hebron to spy out the land of Canaan. Because the children of Israel did not have faith to go into the land God had given them, they had wandered in the wilderness forty years and everyone over the age of 20 had died except for Caleb and Joshua. After the death of Moses, the children of Israel began to enter into the land and they finally came to the place Caleb wanted. Caleb said, “And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.” (Joshua 14:10 & 11) There are many valleys in the Bible. The Psalms tell us of the Valley of Baca, which is the valley of weeping. We also know of the valley of the shadow of death. We all go through valleys, but I am glad that we don’t have to live in the valley. We can claim that mountain. We may have to face giants, just as Caleb faced the Anakims. Giants of fear, and doubt, and sorrow. But God can give us strength to claim His promises and rise above our enemies. Trust God, have faith, and climb that mountain.
32 A Giving Father
"And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs." Joshua 15:18-19
One of the joys of being a parent is giving to our children. We did not always give our children everything they wanted, but we enjoyed giving to them. Now, we are finding joy in also giving to our grandchildren. These verses remind me of the Words of Christ in Matthew 7:7-11. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?'' I know that we are not to be selfish in our asking, but I believe that God enjoys blessing us, just as we enjoy giving to our children.
33 Don't Be Slack To Accept God's Inheritance
“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?” Joshua 18:1-3
I have been reading these chapters in Joshua about the land that the Israelites were given by God. Each section of land was described so that the children of Israel would know which part was theirs. I started thinking about an inheritance. I don't have any rich old uncles, but what if I did? What if a wealthy relative (unknown to me) died and left me a large house with a great amount of land? It would be very exciting to move into a new, furnished, large house and not owe anything on it. Now, let's suppose that I inherited this wonderful new home and I went to look at it, and it was just as great as everyone had told me, but I didn't take steps toward moving in. What good would it do me? If we receive an inheritance it does not do us any good if we don't claim it. When I turn to the 14th chapter of John I can read of such an inheritance. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:1-6) Jesus has promised us such a place in heaven. He has paid the price and made the way for us to receive eternal life. All we have to do is accept God's free gift of salvation. It's there for us, but we have to accept it before it becomes ours. We can't get to heaven through good works. We must realize that we are lost and can't save ourselves. After we confess our lost condition to the Lord and trust in Him as the only way to God, then we can be saved and become a child of the King. Then we can claim these wonderful promises in John 14.
34 Cities Of Refuge
"The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them." Joshua 20:1-4
God set aside cities of refuge for innocent people to find a haven of safety in the land of Canaan. As I was deleting the entry here from last Thursday I decided to leave this portion... (I have Psalm 46:1 posted beside my computer at work to remind me of this promise. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.") God is our refuge. Let's look at a few of the Psalms which praise God as our refuge.
"The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." (Psalm 9:9)
"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast." (Psalm 57:1)
"But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble." (Psalm 59:1)
"In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God." (Psalm 62:7)
"Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." (Psalm 62:8)
"I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living." (Psalm 142:4-5)
There are times in this life when you may feel like David in those last two verses, that no one cares for you. During those dark days when you feel all alone, turn to the one who has promised never to leave you or forsake you... turn to the Lord, and let Him be your refuge.
35 God Is Faithful
“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45
This verse tells me that God is faithful. He will keep His Word. This verse is talking about God's promises to the Children of Israel, but I can turn to the New Testament and read of God's faithfulness also. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (I Corinthians 1:9) A promise of God's faithfulness is also found in Deuteronomy 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;" Friends may let you down. Family members may fail you. But God is faithful and true.
36 Love The Lord With All Your Heart
“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5
What a change it would make in our world today if we would go back to this verse. If we could follow God's Word that He has preserved for us in His precious Holy Bible, the world could see a difference in us. If we could love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul, all the other little things in our lives would fall into place. We can find this message again in the New Testament. "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:35-40)
37 Looking Back And Looking Ahead
"And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age: And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you. ... Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.." Joshua 23:1-3, 6-11
We began our study with verses from Joshua 3:4-5, "...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." Now, as we come to the end of Joshua's life he is reminding the people that the Lord fought their battles. He wants them to see that God has fulfilled His promises. He then tells them to keep God's commandments and He will continue to bless them. If they turn away from God, then they will perish from their good land. As I look back in my life I can see how God has blessed me. He has always provided my needs and been so good to me in every way. As I think about the phrase, "...for ye have not passed this way heretofore" I understand that each new day may bring new challenges, but I also know that God has never failed me. I can look back and see His hand on my life. It would help us greatly if we would take time to remember all the Lord has done for us. That will give us strength and courage to face each new day.
38 It Is Appointed
“And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof..” Joshua 23:14
Joshua said, "... this day I am going the way of all the earth..." Joshua knew he was going to die. He knew he was going to meet the Lord. I read this verse and immediatly thought of Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" If the Lord tarries then we are all going to die. And just as sure as death, we are all going to fall on our knees to God in judgment. "Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:8-12) Are you living for the Lord? Are you ready to meet God? If you don't know the Lord as your Savior please trust in Him today. We are not promised tomorrow. Jesus can save you today. You may know John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." We are all going to bow on our knees to God. It will make all the difference in eternity if you bow and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior before you have your appointment with death. Christ can give you eternal life in you just believe. You must realize that you are lost in your sin with no way to heaven on your own and believe that Jesus alone can give you salvation, then you can be saved. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:9, 10, & 13)
39 As For Me And My House
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
We have a small plaque that someone gave us many years ago that contains part of this scripture, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” We were both raised in Christian homes and that was a natural and spiritual choice for us. When we became parents, it became even more important to us to bring up our children in a Christian home. Susanna and Andrew became engaged this weekend and we had fun on our first shopping trip for the wedding. They saw a picture frame with those words on it and bought it for their new home when they begin their lives together next spring. It is a blessing that they have decided "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." I know that some are saved in later years and may not have known the blessings of being raised in a Christian home. But it is not too late to start now. You are given the same choice. Start in your own life, “choose you this day whom ye will serve”. Have you decided to serve the Lord? You can begin today to put Christ first in all you do. Sure, we give Him service at church, but we can also live for Him at school or work and especially in our homes. If you are looking for a lifetime companion, follow God’s Word found in II Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” If you are young parents, be an example to your children of Christian service. As we grow older, we must stay determined to serve the Lord. Our children need Christian peers, parents, and grandparents. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23 & 24)
40 We Can't Serve God And The World
“And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Joshua 24:19-24
When Joshua told the people to "choose you this day whom ye will serve" they answered that they would serve the Lord. Notice that Joshua said, "choose". We have to make a choice to serve the Lord. If we are not serving the Lord then who are we serving? Joshua warned the Israelites to "put away... the strange gods" and serve God. We don't keep little idol statues around our homes and pray to them, but anything we put between us and serving God can become like an idol in our lives. Joshua warned the people of the evil that would come to them if they turned away from God and served the gods of the land. The next book in the Bible, the book of Judges, is the sad story of how the Israelites turned away from serving God. "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed." (Judges 2:11-15) Let's choose to serve the Lord!
41 Written In A Book
"And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD." Joshua 24:26
This verse reminds me of the words of Job, "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!" (Job 19:23) I want to bring back a devotional that I wrote several years ago...
Write A Book
"Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:" Job 19:23-25
Job wrote these words so many years ago, and it is as though they were graven with an iron pen in a rock forever. When we are discouraged and the headaches and heartbreaks of this world get us down we can go to God's Word and find help and comfort. We can say with Job, "...I know that my redeemer liveth..."
When my first son was three years old my mother-in-law gave me a "word-less" book. She told me that she kept a journal and I might enjoy writing one, too. That is when I started writing devotionals about things in my life. I used the scriptures for help and guidance and wrote what was on my mind and in my heart. I wrote of the funny things my children did and said. I also wrote of the sad times we went through, such as when their puppy died. I don't expect my words to be printed in a book, and I know that they won't last forever. But, it is fun to pull those books out and thumb through the pages now and then. One by one my children started school and many of their teachers asked them to write journals in class. It was interesting to read what my children thought about. Sometimes they wrote of their feelings and put on paper words that they would not say out loud. Why not start writing a journal of your own? It was hard to find the hardback journals twenty years ago when I starting writing, but many of the stores have them now. You don't have to spend twenty dollars for one of the expensive ones in a big bookstore. I have seen them in the one-dollar stores. You can even use a notebook like you use, or used in high school. You may even like to keep it filed in your computer... just print it every now and then so you don't lose it if your computer crashes. If you have trouble starting, write about the weather. Or pretend that you are writing letters to a friend who has moved away. If you are a parent, write about the little things your children do and the things they say. They grow up so quickly.
42 A Servant Of The Lord
“And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.” Joshua 24:29-30
I like the description of Joshua; "the servant of the LORD". We have covered the life of Joshua, from a slave down in Egypt to the top of Mount Sinai with God and Moses. He could have been described as a spy, a doorkeeper in the tabernacle, a servant to Moses, or even a great general of the Israelite Army. But at his death he is remembered as "the servant of the LORD". I would like to be remembered as a servant of the Lord. We can read of the faith of many other men and women of the Bible in Hebrews 11. They walked with God in faith as they lived their short lives here on earth, looking for a better country. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13-16) I pray that I can walk so close to the Lord here on earth that when I'm gone people can say that I was a servant of the Lord.
43 The Next Generation
“And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.” Joshua 24:31
When I first read this verse I didn't quite understand it because I knew that Joshua and Caleb were the only two Israelites over the age of 20 that lived to go into the land of Canaan. (Numbers 14:29-34) This verse speaks of the "elders that overlived Joshua" but it does not say the elders older than Joshua. As I read on into the book of Judges it was easier to understand. "And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that gereration were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger." (Judges 2:7-12) There was a generation of children, under twenty years of age, who saw the works of God when they came out of Egypt. There was another generation of children born as they wandered for forty years in the wilderness. So when they entered Canaan, the Isrealites were a young people, all under sixty years old. The Bible says that the Israelites who saw the mighty works of the Lord served God, but the generation which followed did not know the Lord. If that could happen to the children of Israel, who saw first-hand the miracles of God, then it could happen in our country today. We may know the Lord and serve Him faithfully, but are we passing our heritage down to our children and grandchildren? We can't be saved for them, but we must bring them up in prayer and teach them from God's precious Word. If our children don't grow up to serve the Lord, then our churches will slowly die out as our generation passes on. Don't gripe and complain about the children of today. Pray that God will save them and guide them to become the Christian leaders of tomorrow.