Today’s reading: Josh 1:1–3:17, 2 Cor 9:1–5, Ps 47:1–9
Today’s theme: Be strong and courageous
Today we learn that we have many reasons to be strong and courageous in the Lord, as we place our trust in Him.
The continuation of leadership
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Joshua 1:5 (ESV)
Joshua is the new leader for God’s people and he needed to be encouraged to lead with boldness and confidence. God affirmed His new chosen leader by encouraging him that He would be with him as He was with Moses.
This principle of God maintaining continuity in the leadership of the church continues in the NT, where elders are called to raise up younger men who can continue to lead God’s people forward, passing the baton from generation to generation. See 2 Timothy 2:2 where 4 generations of leaders are mentioned (Paul, Timothy, Faithful Men, Others)
Invincibility and inheritance
Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Joshua 1:6 (ESV)
Three times in this chapter God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. On this occasion, God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous because he (Joshua) will cause the people to inherit the land that God had promised to them. Another reason for Joshua to be confident is that in the last verse (5), God made an amazing promise of invincibility, God said no one would ever be able to stand before Joshua.
Joshua is an old testament type of Jesus, they share the same name and both have a calling to bring God’s people into their inheritance, as the captain of their salvation. No one can stand before Jesus, He is the ultimate victor. See the following regarding our inheritance: Matthew 19:29, Colossians 3:24 and Hebrews 9:15
Keep reading the bible
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
There are many books today about being successful but God’s formula is simple… keep reading the bible, think about it and live it out, this leads to prosperity and success and very often this will be the true riches valued by God and His people, but not appreciated or recognised by the world. See 2 Timothy 3:16
God is with us
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
God’s 2nd command to be strong and courageous – God promises to be with Joshua.
We can take encouragement from this; God will fight our battles, no devil can stand before us because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. We can be bold and courageous as we claim our inheritance in Christ.
We see the call to boldness by the help of the Holy Spirit from the start (Acts 4:31) to the end (Acts 28:31) of the book of Acts and throughout the NT, in places like Ephesians 3:12 and 1 Thessalonians 2:2.
The God of Heaven and Earth
And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Joshua 2:11 (ESV)
This is a great and true confession, God alone is God, not just of heaven but of the earth, which is His own creation. This is like Rahab’s statement of faith, she did not just hide the spies out of fear but had faith that the God she had heard about was the true God and that He was guaranteed the victory.
Rahab’s wise actions and faith were used in the providence of God to bring her, as a pagan, into the family of God’s people and covenant. It is from her line that David and Jesus were born, pointing to the fact that God seeks to save people from all nations and walks of life.
See Matthew 1:5 for Rahab in Jesus’ family line. Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25 for the reference to her faith.
And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. Joshua 2:21 (ESV)
Rahab did this in faith. Like the blood on the doorpost at Passover, the red cord points forward to the blood of Jesus. This it is applied to our lives when we put our faith in the word of God concerning the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross, we escape judgement. The judgement passes over us. See Ephesians 2:13 and Revelation 1:5
Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan. Joshua 3:17 (ESV)
The crossing of the Jordan into the promised land is alluded to in some of our hymns as being symbolic of death, passing from this life into the promised land of heaven. This death can also be seen as dying to the old self and coming alive to the new life in Christ, which is symbolised by baptism. Romans 6:6–11
2 Corinthians 9:1–5
So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. 2 Corinthians 9:5 (ESV)
Paul was a true father to this church, he did not want them to be humiliated by the very church that they had inspired to give to the collection for the poor in Jerusalem. To avoid this type of humiliation, we should follow through with our pledges as quickly as we can. When we give and serve the Lord we should actually do it and not just think or talk about it, we should do it willingly and with joy.
Sing loud songs
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! Psalm 47:1 (ESV)
The psalms call us to sing loud songs of Joy to our great God. Such songs will be raised at Church today.
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! Psalm 47:6–7 (ESV)
We should sing praises to God just because of who He is, God is the true King, He is the King of all the earth, not the devil! The earth is God’s and we should sing to Him the praises that any people would sing to their beloved and powerful king.
God is sovereign
God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. Psalm 47:8 (ESV)
God’s throne and authority is above all. God is sovereign and He is sovereign over every nation. This is said of Jesus in Colossians 1:16, Matthew 19:28, Ephesians 1:20-22 and Philippians 2:9–11.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 2 Corinthians 9