BE COURAGEOUS

Bible In One Year-Day 89 (Sunday, March 30, 2014)
Commentary: Joshua4-6. The names Joshua, Jesus and Hosea are of the same meaning – Salvation. It was God who inaugurated Joshua, Deut31:14, 15 and 23.
Deuteronomy 31:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge (inaugurate him). And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Not only that, He encouraged him for the great task ahead. He repeated the words of encouragement in Joshua1:7 even though He had told Moses to do the same before then. One would wonder why God really emphasized on encouraging Joshua. Out of many reasons, one stands out clear. The Israelites were stiff necked who forgets God’s goodness easily. They didn’t consider God’s goodness in most cases, when in difficult times and in comfort, they forgot Him. At every difficulty, their leader was in trouble, but when in comfort, they slip into serious sin. Moses fell under their pressure when they needed water and because of this, Moses got into trouble with God which ended his career with God. The Israelites had not changed and Joshua was to lead them into the Promised Land just for the sake of God’s faithfulness. At his inauguration, God told Moses in Joshua’s presence that the Israelites would go into harlotry with other gods which would provoke Him and He would hide His face from the abomination which they would get into. Therefore, the encouragement came for Joshua not to be discouraged at that moment. Stones are always thrown at the leaders (good or bad). The encouragement is that, under any pressure, the principles of the scripture should not be compromise; our thinking, talking, acting and deliberating should follow the principles of the scriptures and the pattern of the vision on the mountain;
Hebrews 8:5 “Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Trying or challenging moments do not mean God has forsaken or is unaware of our plights; we need to patiently pray for God’s encouragement and direction in hard times. Under no circumstance or pressure should the pattern of the vision be changed. Jesus went through the suffering as a pattern for those who will believe on Him;
1 Timothy 1:16 “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
As leaders and as Christians, the life of Jesus must still be evident in you even in unfavorable situations;
Titus 2:7 “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
Despite God’s encouragement, Joshua was still reluctant or undecided when God charged him in Josh1:9 “Have I not commanded you?” and in verse10, Joshua summoned courage and set to work. The first place to conquer was Jericho. Without taking up this place, there was no moving forward. It was a well fortified city. However, there was help already planted there by God; Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute and at the same time a woman of faith; she believed in the God of Abraham. To every child of God who walks in the covenant of God and comes in contact with Jericho, a Rahab is planted there. She could appear unrighteous with some horrible manners, you need to discern the spirit in her, if you could see faith or hunger for righteousness in her, use her to get the map of your Jericho. That is your first convert;
1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”
Rahab entered into a covenant with the Israelites, thereby saving herself, household and father’s house from destruction. Your salvation should affect your family positively. The action of Rahab shows the usefulness of women of faith in ministry, family and life. They cannot be relegated. Rahab was not self centered but quite considerate in support of a true vision and interceding for her family. God was impressed by Joshua’s actions in taking steps to move forward and He declared in Joshua 3:7 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.”
A true and genuine child of his father will manifest the grace of his father by the Spirit in his father. It is amazing to see how God proved His faithfulness to Joshua by parting River Jordan;
Joshua 4:14 “On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.”
May the Lord do something through you that will send fear over your adversaries in the name of Jesus and you will pick stones of everlasting testimony as you pass through your difficult times. Fear is not a good thing to have but it is a good instrument in the hand of the Lord to weaken the enemy. It kills untimely;
Joshua 5:1 “… that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.”
They were already dead even before the Israelites got to them. The Israelites had been eating manna all along until they tasted the produce of the Promised Land; this is God’s faithfulness. In Ex3:5/14, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire to escort them out of Egypt, but to Joshua in Josh5:13-15, He appeared with a sword to welcome them into the Promised Land;
Isaiah 45:1-3 “… to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”
It is funny to realize that men secured the gate of Jericho because of the Israelites in chapter6 where God’s Angel was standing. They secured the tomb of Jesus also with stone but an Angel rolled it off with ease and sat on it. The secret of victory is in the hand of God. They may secure the gate, but God can collapse the walls holding the gate, then of what use is the gate. That Angel shall lead you through this year in the name of Jesus. Our reading for today is Joshua7-9. Keep the fire burning and alive.

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