Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying,Joshua 1:1(NASB)
What a lovely example of a servant of the Lord, Joshua proved to be. He was one of two adults who did NOT dishonour the Lord in the wilderness wanderings, through murmuring and unbelief. He was also one of twelve agents sent to spy out the land of Canaan.. but only Joshua and Caleb gave a faithful report.. that the land was a good land and that God was well able to deliver it into their hands.
Joshua was the man whom God chose to lead Israel's army in battle against the Amalekites while Moses interceded for their success. And he was the one whom God chose to lead His people into the land of Canaan, four hundred years after it had been promised to their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yes, Joshua was a man who trusted God and whose name was changed by the Lord from Hoshea to Joshua: the Lord is Salvation.
And it was after the death of Moses, God's faithful servant that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun and said: “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.'
Throughout his life God had been training Joshua for the work that He had ordained for him to do.. Joshua did not know that he would be chosen by God as Israel's leader when he was a slave in Egypt. He had no idea what plans God had for his future when they crossed the Red Sea; when the 10 commandments were given to Moses or when he went with Caleb to spy out the land of Canaan.
He did not know what the future held as he watched the construction of the tabernacle or witnessed the earth swallow-up the disobedient Korah and his family. But Joshua maintained his hope in the Lord. He trusted God in times of difficulty and danger. He believed in the integrity of God's character and had faith that God would fulfill all His promises to Israel. And Joshua also grieved at the bitter murmuring and unbelief that were displayed by his fellow Israelites. Yes, Joshua was a man who trusted God.
All of his life he had looked to Moses as his inspiration and spiritual leader. He had witnessed the wonderful way that God had led and guided, trained and corrected.. upheld and encouraged His servant Moses. But after the death of Moses, God spoke to him about an entirely new office that Joshua felt ill-equipped to carry out - for God commissioned him to be the man to lead His people out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.
At the time Joshua must have felt that he had been catapulted into a position for which he was unprepared and of which he was incapable. But God had been faithfully leading; guiding; training; correcting; upholding; encouraging and preparing this faithful servant for decades. Joshua had been honed from the very beginning for this new and different ministry with all its problems and challenge.. It was a ministry for which Moses was not qualified, but it was a position that God had purposed would be carried out by Joshua. And God used every experience in Joshua's life to prepare His servant for this important position.
God takes equal care over all His servants, but He uses the different challenges in each of our lives to lead and guide; to train and correct - to uphold, encourage and prepare us for the work that He has purposed for us to do. But He needs faithful servants who do not murmur against His plans.. question His purposes - or seek to return to the fleshpots of the world.
God seeks servants who are prepared to trust Him through all the difficulties and dangers of life and to step out in faith when confronted with the raging waters that hamper our progress or flood our path. God wants servants who trust Him implicitly in all the problems we encounter - even when the enemies is raising up an evil standard against us.
God wants us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might so that we do not rely on ourselves or on those who went before us - but on God alone. God used all things to prepare Joshua.. just as He does in the lives of all His faithful servants. May we like Joshua live our life as unto the Lord - knowing that He is well able to finish the good work He started in us.. when we first trusted Him by grace through faith in Christ our Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful examples of Moses, Joshua, Caleb and so many saints of God, whom You prepared for the specific work that You prepared for them to do. I pray that You would lead and guide me - and prepare me for the work that you have for me to do in the days that lie ahead.. and I pray that I will not fear difficulties and but will allow You to use them to train and perfect me into the person You want me to be - to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.