Category: Joshua-BibleTrekToday

Trek through Joshua

Taking a courageous stand!

Scripture reading for March 7: Joshua 22-24

Its been said that “if you don’t stand for something, then you will fall for anything.”  I am not ashamed to tell people publicly that I love Jesus Christ!  I have repeatedly told our children that our family serves the Lord and we are known as followers of Christ.  I don’t want the Lord to be ashamed of me because I have been ashamed of Him! (Luke 9:26)

Joshua was giving his farewell address to the people God had allowed him the privilege of leading into their inheritance.  He had lived a hundred and ten years and understood their propensity for stubbornness.   As he was ready to die, he made a strong declaration of faith to provoke them to serve the Lord.  Life and death are in the power of our tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) 

The closing chapter records the famous confession of Joshua:”. . .but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)  This confession has stood over the years as a beacon to fathers, pastors, and those who fear the Lord.  Joshua’s confession brought a positive statement from the Israelites as well!  (Joshua 24:16-18)  Despite their positive response, Joshua stated:  “You are not able to serve the Lord.  He is a holy God; He is a jealous God.  He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.  If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end to you, after He has been good to you.” (Joshua 24:19-20)

God knew His people well. He gave Moses a song and God’s prophetic word that told of Israel’s future unfaithfulness.  (Deuteronomy 32:15-22)  God had warned these leaders so that they could do what they could to preach and prepare the people to avoid the temptations of idolatry and unfaithfulness.  Joshua also knew God’s holiness and his jealous nature!  (Exodus 34:14)  God would not put up with these sins.  .  Prophesy was God’s way of helping His people and showing them love and care!

Have you made a bold confession of faith in Jesus Christ and received God’s promise of salvation? As a believer, have you been baptized in water to declare your faith? Today is the time to act on God’s Word! 

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Declare God’s faithfulness!

Scripture reading for March 6: Joshua 18-21

“So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.  The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as He had sworn to their forefathers.  Not one of their enemies withstood them, the Lord handed all their enemies over to them.  Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” (Joshua 21:43-45)

Our family has been through a number of trials during our journey here on earth.  When we farmed, we experienced a severe drought in 1974 and harvested very little.   But God brought us through!  We had a fire in 1975 that destroyed a large hog building and a large number of animals.  It was the only building not listed on the insurance policy, but God brought us through again!  In 1976 a tornado struck our farm.  destroying barns, cattle sheds, machine sheds and trees on both sides of our house.  We all survived and God took us through!  In 1981 a severe economic crisis hit agriculture.  Many farmers lost their farms and we were deeply in debt.  God showed us a plan and brought us through again!  In 2001, we were 2 miles from the center of a 6.9 earthquake that shook our house, church and city in Olympia, Washington.  God brought us through again!  I could go on, but the point is that God is faithful!

Joshua was dividing the land because the war to possess the land of Canaan was essentially over. (Joshua 18:2)  Joshua followed God’s instructions for seven years.  Not one enemy could stand up against them when they were obedient!  Not one promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ever failed!

Are you currently walking with Jesus through the land of His promises? Have you listened to His plan for giving you victory? What’s stopping you from declaring His promises true in your life and situation?  

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as He has promised.  Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave through his servant Moses.” 1st Kings 8:56

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Confess your confidence!

Scripture reading for March 5: Joshua 13-17

Some people are positive and exude strength and courage!  God commanded Joshua and the nation of Israel to be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:8)  When we choose to believe God’s Word and act on it, our lives change from sight-driven to faith-driven.  Caleb’s destiny changed from “dying in the desert” to “possessing the promised land”!  Faith pleases God and our hearts burn with His Word as Truth.

Caleb and Joshua were the men over 20 years old of 603,550 Israelite males that left Mt. Sinai for the promised land forty years before. (Numbers 1:46)  They were two of the twelve spies and the only ones to bring back a good report!  God rewarded them by sparing their lives and allowing them to have what they proclaimed in faith!  (Numbers 14:24) Caleb’s inheritance included the fortress at Hebron where the Anakites lived. (Joshua 14:15)   They were large people and renowned fighters.  This made no difference to Caleb who was still confident in God’s ability to give him the land promised to him! (Joshua 14:12) 

Caleb is one of my favorite people in the Bible.  He exudes confidence!  He maintains an attitude of faith and confidence even in his older years.  At 85 we find him strong and vigorous and ready for battle!  He isn’t in retirement or sitting out life in a rocking chair.  He understands what belongs to him, and is ready to take it and possess it!  He is praising God and making the good confession! 

What obstacle do you face today?  What excuses have you been making for not attacking it?  In what way might God change your destiny if you would trust Him and act by faith? Confess your confidence today!

“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for  forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert.  So here I am today, 85 years old!  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day! You yourself heard that the Anakites were there and that their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said!” (Joshua 14:10-12)

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God stopped the earth for Joshua!

Scripture reading for March 4th: Joshua 9-12

Sometimes the days aren’t long enough to get done everything that we would like to.  Joshua had just such a day when he responded to the call to help the Gibeonites. Joshua prayed to the Lord and asked God to cause the sun to stand still while the nation of Israel attacked it’s enemies.  God listened and a great miracle helped bring victory!

The Gibeonites had earlier deceived the Israelites in order to save their own lives.  Joshua made a covenant with them and then found out that they had lied to him. (Joshua 9:22-23)  As a result, this Canaanite tribe became servants to Joshua and Israel.  A lack of prayer and discernment caused this problem.  A short time later, five Amorite kings had formed an alliance and were attacking Gibeon.  God spoke to Joshua and told him to go and attack and He would give him the victory.  (Joshua 10:7-8)  Joshua and his troops marched all night long and the fight was on.  God helped the Israelites out with a heavy downpour of hailstones, killing more of the enemy than did the Israelites!  The fight was going well, but daylight would soon be gone.  Joshua prayed to the Lord.  God listened to this man and the sun literally stood still in the sky for nearly a day! (Joshua 10:12-14)

This miracle is amazing because of what happened to bring it about.  For the sun to stand still in the sky, the earth had to quit rotating 24,000 miles per hour!  The moon would stand still too!  It is orbiting the earth!  Only God could make this happen!  The hail storm that killed the enemy but did not affect the Israelites is also a miracle! (Joshua 10:11)

Joshua brought the five kings out of the cave they were hiding in and had his men put their feet on the kings’ necks. (Joshua 10:24-25)  They got a visual picture of victory and what God wants us to do to our enemy Satan!  (Romans 16:20)  God alone got the glory for these victories!

What do we learn from this ancient record of Joshua’s exploits?  With God, nothing is impossible!  (Luke 1:37)   Do you have a request that sounds too difficult for the Lord today?  Why not take time to humbly ask God for directions to victory?

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Conquering a stronghold

Scripture reading for March 2: Joshua 6-8

Have you ever faced a crisis that seemed impossible? Just out of college, my wife and I had started a farm business from scratch with the help of my father.   By 1981 we had borrowed over $600,000.  The farm economy took a turn for the worse and the land we purchased in 1979 for $2000 per acre was now only worth $600.  The interest rate that was six percent went to sixteen! We were hurting and in a mess! We turned to the Lord in repentance for our bad decisions and failure to follow His principles, asking for His help and grace. As we patiently worked and changed our approach to follow His Word, our debts began to shrink. We are debt-free today!

Joshua faced a tough, walled stronghold just inside the “promised land”.   As he contemplated what to do, he met up with an interesting person.  He was not sure who this person was at first, and asked him who’s side he was on.  The answer “neither” was surprising.  God is for all men but is working out His purposes to save as many as will respond!  Joshua removed his shoes as sign of holy respect when asked by the Lord and listened for instructions.  The plan for conquering this stronghold included all the Israelites.  They must march around the city each day for six days.  (Joshua 6:2 -5) The Ark of God was to lead the procession with seven priests carrying trumpets.  On the seventh day, they were to march around seven times and the priests were to blow the trumpets.  As they completed the journey, they were instructed to blow a loud trumpet blast and give a loud shout by all the people.  God promised that the walls would fall, and they did!

Humble obedience brings the victory!  He promises us this very same thing today.  Is there a stronghold that God has placed before you that seems impossible? What principles from Joshua’s conquest of Jericho can you apply to your situation? If He has given you victory, take time for a great shout of praise!

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Courage required–no wimps!

Scripture Reading for March 1:  Joshua 1-5

Walking with God is not for wimps!  God leads His people in paths of righteousness and truth.  He is a mighty Warrior!  His reputation for war is known far and wide!  He never loses or backs down, but often uses only those willing to follow His leadership.  As we begin our walk through Joshua,  we listen in as God finishes His preparation of Joshua to lead His people to possess the promised land.

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9

Possessing our inheritance requires strength and courage, especially in leadership!   It requires strength because there is walking involved and mountains and valleys to traverse.  We must have strength of mind to keep our thoughts focused on God’s promises.  We must possess strength of character and soul to keep from falling to the temptations of the enemy and the flesh that would trip us up.  God promises to lead us and go with us (Matthew 28:20).

Courage is the ability to face tough situations with confidence.  Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to face fear with truth and keep moving toward the goal.  The confidence is not to be in our own strength, mind or ability, but comes from a relationship with God.  When we know God, we come to trust and rely on His leadership and strength to get us through each obstacle.  Joshua was told not to let God’s Law and Word depart from his mouth or mind.   He was guaranteed prosperity and success as he meditated on the Word and was careful to obey.  Faith is produced by this process and it pleases God! (Romans 10:17) (Hebrews 11:6)

Today, receive this reading from Joshua as a call to walk in renewed strength and courage.  Jesus Christ has blazed a trail of perfect obedience to God and He is with us.  “Be strong and very courageous!”

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Pay attention to peace!

Scripture reading for April 6th: Joshua 22-24, Psalm 116, Luke 19

Luke 19:41-44 “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus was going to enter Jerusalem, the City of Peace, on a prophetic final mission. He told His disciples where to find a colt and mounted it and rode into the city thronged by crowds of people shouting praises and ‘Hosanna’, a greeting of salvation. They blessed the “King Who came in the Name of the Lord.” As Jesus drew near, seeing the city more clearly, He began to weep over it and lament over it’s inhabitants and the coming judgment that would befall them and their city as a result of unbelief. They missed the time of their visitation. They failed to understand the Prince of Peace and to receive the salvation He was offering. What a tragedy!

Joshua 24:20-21 “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank you for interceding over Jerusalem and interceding for all mankind on Your Cross at Calvary. We have all sinned and failed to serve You and promised that we would. Our only rest is in Your mercy. Jesus is our rest! He has delivered our soul from death, our eyes from tears, and will keep our feet from stumbling! I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living through Him!

Psalm 116:7-9 “Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

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Don’t lose heart!

Scripture reading for April 5th: Joshua 18-21, Psalm 15, Luke 18

Luke 18:1-8 “And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’ And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Many times in our world it looks like the ‘bad guys’ always win. The circumstances of life are stacked against us. We look for an advocate, but they are few and far between. The woman in this parable of Jesus’ may have felt that way, but her faith caused her to appeal to the ‘unjust’ judge. She did this again and again and got his attention. The ‘unjust’ judge finally granted her justice just to get some peace. Now Jesus turned this parable around for us. God is not ‘unjust’ but the all-powerful Just and True Judge. We have been given access through prayer to His throne. Like the woman, we should be crying out day and night in faith, not fainting under the load of fear or trouble. Jesus promises a speedy answer! Why not believe Him and begin asking in faith?

Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; . .”

Prayer: Father God, the times we live in are filled with injustice and Your people are often mistreated. Give us more grace to pray instead of fainting. Help us to live by faith, despite hostile circumstances and persecution. We desire a ‘full inheritance’ and want to be found with faith when You return.

Joshua 19:49-50 “When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. By command of the Lord they gave him Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he rebuilt the city and settled in it.”

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The kingdom in our midst!

Scripture reading for April 4th: Joshua 14-17, Luke 17

Luke 17:15-19 “Then one of them (the 10 lepers), when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no on found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

The Jews thought that their Jewish blood made them citizens of God’s kingdom. They were the ‘chosen’ people through Abraham. In this story, Jesus healed ten lepers who came to him. One of the ten, a Samaritan, returned to give thanks and praise God. The others, presumably Jews, did not. Jesus honored the Samaritan’s faith and granted healing–he was ‘made well!’ The Pharisees asked Jesus after this, when the kingdom would come. Jesus answered them with a puzzling statement. No one can actually observe the kingdom of heaven now, because it is within each person possessing faith in the Son of God. It is not what we eat or drink, healing, or miracles; it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! (Romans 14:17)

Luke 17:20-21 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great salvation! Like the ten lepers, I was unclean and in need of a miracle. You touched me and I was cleansed and given the kingdom of heaven in place of my filthy rags. I know righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! Like Caleb of old, my strength is renewed each day and I trust You to give me my full inheritance!

Joshua 14:11-12 “And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me: my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”

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Are you faithful in the ‘very little?’

Scripture reading for April 1st: Joshua 9-13, Luke 16

Luke 16:10-13 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Faithfulness is the first requirement of a good steward. Jesus said that what we have to manage here on earth is a test of our faithfulness and He considers all earthly wealth as ‘very little.’ Earthly wealth is also ‘unrighteous’ and fleeting. When we leave this earth, nothing will go with us. Scripture also teaches that the love of money is the root of all evil and this might be why Jesus called it ‘unrighteous.’ As a steward we actually serve God, Who owns it all. (The earth is the Lord’s!) The Pharisees were lovers of money and justified themselves concerning their use of it. Jesus reminded them that God knows all hearts and what we justify that’s sinful is an abomination in God’s sight. Not one person can serve both God and money!

Luke 16:14-15 “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the stewardship that you have given me. Forgive me for not always being faithful in the little. Help me to use the money and resources You give me to manage in ways that further Your kingdom. I realize that like the tribe of Levi, You are my priceless Inheritance, my Portion, and my eternal Reward!

Joshua 13:32-33 “These are the inheritances that Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan east of Jericho. But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance, just as He said to them.”

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