Scripture: Joshua 1-4. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Joshua succeed Moses as leader of the Israelites. As the Book of Joshua opens, the Israelites are camped along the east side of the Jordan River, right next to the promised land that God has given them. Moses had just passed away at 120 years of age, and the people are completing the mourning period for him. Joshua had helped Moses for many years, so he was well prepared to take over the leadership of the Israelites. His new position required Joshua to lead a couple million people into the promised land and conquer it. Joshua was told by God three times to be strong and courageous.
Joshua sent two spies from Shittim to look over the land, especially Jericho. The spies stopped at Rahab’s (a prostitute) house. The king of Jericho had heard that a couple Israelites had come to spy out the land and sent a message to Rahab, telling her to bring out the men that came to her house as spies. Rahab hid the men, for she had heard how God had lead the Israelites, and the spies promised to save Rahab and her family from death when they conquered the land.
The officers of the Israelites gave instructions that when the people saw the ark of the covenant and the Levite priests carrying it, they were to follow it. When the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stepped into the river, the Jordan River dried up, and the priests stood on dry ground so that all of Israel could pass through. After the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River safely, God told them to build a memorial from twelve stones drawn from the river by twelve different men, each representing a tribe. This memorial was to serve as a constant reminder of the day that the people crossed the Jordan River on dry ground.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Just as God was with Joshua as he faced new assignments and challenges, God is also with us as we come up against new challenges in life. God promises that He will never abandon us or fail to help us in the midst of our problems. Just as God told Joshua three times to be strong and courageous, we, too, can get our strength and courage from our Heavenly Father when we are afraid to do what we know is right. Rahab was willing to risk everything she had, including her life, for a God that she barely knew. We cannot judge a person’s interest in God just based on their background, lifestyle, or appearance on the outside. We should not let anything get in the way of us telling others about our God. God wants us to trust Him and obey Him. He also wants us to take time to thank Him and set aside quiet moments to spend with Him, building our own memorials to God’s power and what He has done and is doing in our lives.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for always being with us and guiding us as we face new assignments and challenges in life. Thank You for the courage and strength that You give to us when we are afraid. Please help us not to judge people’s interest in learning more about You based on their background, lifestyle, or appearance, for we know that You can change anyone for the better. Help us not to shy away from sharing the Good News with others. Help us to trust and obey You always, and please forgive us for the many sins that we commit in life. Please help us to understand Your Word as we start this new Book of Joshua. We love You and thank You. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.