Joshua is standing on the heels of greatness. He will witness spectacular things and be challenged in this new role. Since the Israelites left Egypt forty years prior, Joshua had known God’s plan and promise. He heard the people speak of it. While God showed up in miraculous ways, the wilderness was still a hard and difficult time in the life of God’s people. They survived on manna and quail every day, felt the dry heat of the desert against their skin, watched a whole generation die, and experienced God’s judgement from their outright disobedience. And now—as Joshua stared cautiously into the future—his beloved mentor was gone and he was left holding the reins.
I’m usually a wimp and cower at the thought of doing something big and outside my comfortable little area. But I also understand what it’s like to have God’s call put on my life. No matter how scary the task seems, I just cannot say no. Jeremiah the prophet once said: “If I say, I will not mention him or speak any more in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9). Oh, the life of a prophet. Jeremiah must have wished for just one day of serenity instead of one filled with proclaiming messages of doom and gloom. But in the end, he couldn’t hold it in. God had called him.
God had called Joshua, too. Scripture doesn’t tell us what Joshua was going through when the time of usurping the leadership was upon him. Perhaps he didn’t tell a soul. But God knew. So, God gave him great encouragement and instruction.
Read Joshua 1:6-9 and summarize God’s word to Joshua.
When did God declare the land for His people, according to Joshua 1:6?
That’s right! The inheritance was affirmed long before this day. In fact, it had been their land all along. It was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God had been moving His people in this direction centuries before. It didn’t matter that there were inhabitants residing in the land, or that the people outnumbered the Israelites, or that they were bigger and stronger, or that they would never willingly leave. None of that mattered. All the people of Israel had to do was step out on faith and claim it.
Forty years before, they failed miserably. The crowd sided with the doubting spies. They refused to walk in faith. They let fear capture their hearts. So, the desert became their home. But now a new leader was brought to power. Joshua had lived through God’s penalty for their disobedience. And he wasn’t about to let that happen again. Perhaps on this day, a faith Joshua had never known rose up in him. And he knew what he had to do. He would lead the people into their new awaited land—the land flowing with milk and honey.
Can you picture this scene with me? What do you envision?
As we discussed earlier in our study, the land of milk and honey is symbolic of the land that awaits us. And the only way to claim it is through faith in Jesus Christ. But here’s the thing: Jesus promised us a fruitful life on this earth. He said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). But here’s a stark reality: Many believers have yet to live this way. They simply exist! They’re just surviving! Friends, this is not the life Jesus came to give us. He’s not offering us a life free of struggles, but He has promised us inner joy no matter what the circumstances are. This is freedom in Christ. This is abundant living. And like the Israelites, we need to step out on faith and claim it as our own.
What is the promise to believers in Ephesians 1:3?
Right now would be a good time to do a self-evaluation. Are you just existing? Or are you living the way Jesus described? Write down your thoughts and your plan of action.
Please take a moment to write your comments in the comments section. Tell us what God is speaking to you about as you study Joshua.