JOSHUA: THE LAND OF REST
What can be more spectacular than the end of a generation-long journey culminating in the conquering of “the promised land?” Joshua, whose name means the same as Jesus, or “The Lord is salvation,” has the privilege of leading the Israelites with Jesus, “commander in chief of God’s army” who is the true leader.
This picture vividly portrays our current journey to eternity, led by Christ, winning our battles. The promise “I will not fail you or forsake you” 1:5b coupled with ‘The Lord your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’ 1:13b still holds good.
This leadership coupled with the faith of and the Israelites make for a winning combination. There is:
• Clear Direction set by the book of the law (1:8), the legacy of God (4:21-24) and Captain of hosts of the Lord (5:13,14)
• Deep Conviction in the heart of Naomi, as she chooses God over her King and co-operates with the Israelites (2:3-11). As she seals her choice by marrying Salmon, father of Boaz, little does she anticipate being the ancestor of the likes of King David and Jesus.
As we have the word of God and the Son of God to guide us, are we prepared to put our necks on the block to follow our convictions? Do we seal our choices to make them irreversible?
On the flip side, as Joshua and the Israelites progressed with:
• Formidable Wins through walls (Jericho, 6:20), waters (Jordon 3:15,16) and wars (11:16-19) across the land. It was what they considered
• Negligible Sins (ch 7,9), that led to their eventual downfall after centuries.
The little deviation of Achan (ch 7) as he retained some of the spoils cost him his life.
The subtle deception of the Gibeonites (9:14,15), and failure of leaders to consult God (9:14,15) opened them up to “Trojan horses.”
While they did conquer the land, they did not seal their allegiance to God by defeating all the enemies. The Gibeonites later trapped them into making a forbidden covenant.
No matter how many battles we have won for the Lord, even a little deviation can be a loophole for Satan to enter and gradually destroy us and our families. In a world of excessive tolerance, do we make it a habit to consult God on everything, know where to draw the line, win spectacular victories for Christ and attain true rest?