Israel is preparing to go into the promised land. Moses will not be leading them. God has chosen a new leader, Joshua. This week we will look at the transition of leadership. Please read Deuteronomy 31:1-23, 34:1-12 for the historical background. Joshua 1 will be our text.
“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.” (Deuteronomy 34:9)
Introduction: God chooses Joshua to be the next leader of Israel. “And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. 8 And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)
God’s Commission (V1-4)
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.”
There was no fight for the leadership when Moses died. God had preselected Joshua to be the next leader. There was no opposition. God tells Joshua that He would go before them, with them, and would not forsake them. He would give them every place they stepped on. He even specified the boundaries.
God has also given us a mission to proclaim the good news of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-6)
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Will we be obedient to God and share the good news with others who have never heard? Will we impart the knowledge that God has given us to young believers? It is our responsibility and duty.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001