The character and life of Joshua gives us a striking illustration of how the promises of God are to be received and enjoyed. The apostle Paul stated, (II.Tim. 4:6) “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Canaan represents the better land, or what God Himself appoint for them, “My rest” (Heb.3:11).
There were many of them that was shut out of the peace and rest of God, into eternal sorrow, anguish, distress, and trouble, and many other evils contrary unto this rest.
“My rest;”the Lord call it. Being Persistence in faith and obedience is essential to a well grounded hope of eternal life and if any man should discontinue to believe and obey Christ, they will harden their hearts, grieve the Holy Ghost, and be in danger of destruction, (Re 21:8) “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev.21:8).
This rest did not mean a folding of the arms and a lying down at ease.
It meant hardship, warfare, and victory.
It simply meant an entering into the plans and purposes of God, and a quiet resting on Him alone, to accomplish all that He had promised, “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (I.Chr.29:11).
The Christian life is a life of Faith in the promises of God. “Every place that the sole of your feet shall tread upon, that have I given you” (chap.1.3). There can be no real progress without a planting of the foot of faith upon the “sure word of promise.” All other ground is sinking sand.
There will not be a close following of the Lord unless there is a never ending trust in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The believer must be prepared to venture, like Peter, on the deep waters at His bidding.
Faith will be tried, it is too valuable not to be tested.
There will be Jordans in our path and Jericho walls in our way, difficulties which faith alonecan subdue.“But nothing shall be impossible to them that believe,” and continue believing.
It was when the feet of the priests were dipped in the brim of the water that the waters stood, (chap.3:15,16).
There must be Consecration to the will of God.At Ai we see failure for want of being consecrated wholly to the revealed purpose of God (chap. 6:18,19).
To live the consecrated life there must be an understanding of the Word of God. “The book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, thou shalt meditate therein day and night” (chap. 1:8).
An unquestioning obedience to the mind and will of God.“ Turn not from it to the right hand or the left” (chap. 1:7). To turn from the Word is to turn from God, and many are the temptations to turn aside, arising from our own feelings and to carnal-minded men.
A sanctifying of ourselves is needed, (chap.3:5). If we would see the wonders of the LORD this is needful. A setting apart of ourselves unto God (chap. 23:11,12).
There must fellowship in the presence of God. The promise given was clear and comforting:”I will be with thee: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee” (chap. 1:5).
Then the promise was confirmed: ”As I was with Moses, so wiI1 I be with thee” (chap.3:7). The promises of God are just as good to the believer to day as they were of old, and His presence should be to us as real and as abiding. Joshua believed the Word, and sohe said, “The living God is among you” (chap.3 :10).
How striking is (v.15) of chapter 4. We see Joshua in fellowship with the Captain, Prince of the Lord’s hosts. He said: ” Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” And Joshua did so. ” Then the scene suddenly closes, leaving Joshua standing with unshod feet in the holy presence of his mighty God.
Then in (chap 6:27) we read “Lo,the Lord was with Joshua.” And Joshua’s dying testimony was, “The Lord your God, He it is that fighteth for you, as He bath promised” (chap. 23:10). He is faithful and his promises will stand.
There was a testimony to the honour of God.The whole life of Joshua was a testimony for God. But the twelve stones which he pitched at Gilgal were to stand as a special testimony to the mighty saving power of God in opening a new way for His trusting people.
These stones were the works of faith, and others seeing them would glorify God.
The fruit of all testimony is that men might fear the Lord your God for ever (chap.4.21,24), and this testimony is to be to “all the people of the earth” (v.24).
Warfare against the enemies of God is a must. As soon as Jordan is passed, and the witness pitched, they find
that Jericho is straitly shut up (chap. 6:1).
Sothat aggressive warfare is at once needed if the promises of God are to be realised. The enemies are great and many. “All the kings gathered themselves together to fight with Joshua with om accord” (chap. 9:1 2).
There are many kings to fight, there is king pride, king lust, king love ease, king fearful, and king please-all.
There is also king fashion, king hate-the-truth, king Love-the dark, king worldly-mind, king unbelief.
Everything not pleasing to God is our enemy.
There is victory inthe name of Jesus.“Noman shall beable to stand before thee all the days of thy life.” (chap.1:5). Our life is a life of constant victory.
If there is defeat, as at Ai, “ it is because of sin. Every wall must come down before the shout of faith (chap. 6:5).
Every opposer may be smitten and the land possessed for God (see chap.12).
When men are faithful to God, then the terror of God is sure to fall upon the enemies (chap.2:9). If your life is not victorious, then it is time you were searching your heart.
There is Rest in the faithfulness of God, They divided the land (chap.14:5), and they rested from wars (chap.15), so they rested in the good gift of God.
A land which they did not purchase, cities and vineyards which they made not work for (chap. 24:13).
Not one thing had failed (chap. 23.14). But while we rest in the possessions given us of God, still we must not rest from war as long as there is yet much land (blessing) to be possessed (chap.3;1,18).
If we rest short of the fullness, then the likelihood is we will not enjoy what we have. The enemies spared became thorns in their side. Rest in the Lord.