I just finished a journey through the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, and it was a journey.
Sometimes, people avoid the Old Testament because of the unfamiliar names and long genealogies, and it is easy to bog down in those. The specificity found in the Old Testament books speaks to God’s attention to detail, His perfectness. We can struggle with this specificity. Perseverance coupled with God’s holy Spirit, however, will allow us to uncover many truths to help us along our own journey.
This was certainly the case as I waded through Joshua. Beyond stories of the battle of Jericho and the dividing of the land among the Israelites, Joshua is a storehouse of everyday truth that applies to life today.
I kept a list of “Lessons from Joshua” as I read. Even though there are 21 of these lessons, the list is not comprehensive. It is just a sampling of the encouragement and the admonitions I found.
Lessons from Joshua:
- God calls His children to be ‘strong and courageous’ as we move through this life. (Joshua 1:7)
- Being ‘strong and courageous’ is wrapped up in obedience to God. (Joshua 1:7)
- Strength comes from God’s word. (Joshua 1:8)
- Know that God IS with us. (Joshua 1:9)
- Remember the lessons taught and learned in our walk with God. (Joshua 1:13)
- Be ready. This lesson comes from Rahab. When the spies left her house, she did not wait a few days before tying the scarlet thread in the window; she did it immediately. She was ready for the battle that would come. (Joshua 2:21)
- Remember how God has helped in the past. (Joshua 4:6 – 7) Remember the journey on which God has guided you. (Joshua 24)
- Listen for the trumpet! This lesson comes from the march around Jericho. The people were told to shout when they heard the trumpet – the shout of victory. Today, we know that the trumpet will signal the return of Christ. (Joshua 6:5, 6 and I Corinthians 15:52)
- Don’t hide sin. (Joshua 7)
- Fear not. (Joshua 8:1) This phrase is repeated throughout the book reminding us that when our faith is in the Everlasting God, there is no need to be afraid.
- God IS my deliverer. (Joshua 8:7)
- The enemy will lie to you, so depend on God’s wisdom. (Joshua 9:14)
- Don’t allow the enemy to control what God has promised you. (Joshua 10:8)
- God fights for His children. (Joshua 10:14, 42)
- It won’t be quick. (Joshua 11:18) The battles in this life are hard and long, but God has promised victory.
- Rest comes after the battle. (Joshua 11:23)
- God doesn’t deliver me from the battle. He has called me to be strong and courageous and to stand. He has promised deliverance from defeat when I walk with and obey Him. (Joshua 11:7)
- God keeps His promises. (Joshua 21:45)
- Loving God goes hand in hand with obeying Him. (Joshua 22:5) Obedience to God is always wrapped up in love for God. (Joshua 23:11)
- Misunderstanding another’s motives is easy. Therefore, communication between believers is imperative. (Joshua 22)
- God gives us a choice. We must choose to follow Him. (Joshua 24:15)
These lessons that Joshua and the Israelites learned as they entered illustrate life lessons for me today.
What lessons are you learning from God’s Word?
II Timothy 3: 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Joshua 1: 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NKJV)
Photo – Carillion Tower in Luray, VA – Beth Mims