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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

May 17 2024

Friday May 17

Joshua Encourages the Leaders


Joshua 1:10-11

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

11 "Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, 'Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.' "


For the past several days we have been looking at how God encouraged His servant Joshua to lead the people of Israel to cross the Jordan River and conquer the Promise Land. In verses 1-9, God gave Joshua a commission, gave him His promises, gave him His Word, and gave him His command to go! Every day in our spiritual journey we face new challenges, problems, and issues and we need to be encouraged too!


I will never forget in my four years at Lynchburg Baptist College (1971-1975), now Liberty University, how often that Dr. Jerry Falwell spoke on the subject of discouragement. He knew this new generation of church leaders that he was mentoring and preparing for ministry would be tempted to quit as they faced the hardships of ministry. Dr. Falwell would often say that the devil’s best tool to keep a Christian from serving is discouragement. He would go on to say, “God can’t use a discouraged Christian”. The quote I really remember was: "A man’s greatness is measured not by his talent or his wealth, but by what it takes to discourage him."


It is amazing that fifty years later America is facing a similar crisis to what we were facing in the late 60’s and early 70’s. And if there was ever a time in our history that believers need to rise up, speak up, and deal will the terrible evils that are destroying our great nation, it is today! We need to be encouraged to remember that “The Battle is the LORD’s”, and He will enable us and empower us to be victorious over all our enemies!


Joshua had been encouraged by the LORD and now he sought to encourage his leaders (vv. 10-15). The nation of Israel was so organized that Moses could quickly communicate with the people through his officers who formed a chain of command (Deut. 1:15). Moses didn't assemble the leaders to ask for their advice but to give them God's orders. There are times when leaders must consult with their officers, but this was not one of them. God had spoken, His will was clear, and the nation had to be ready to obey.


Forty years before, at Kadesh Barnea, the nation had known the will of God but refused to obey it (Num. 13). Why? Because they believed the report of the ten spies instead of believing the commandment of God and obeying by faith. Had they listened to Caleb and Joshua—the minority report—they would have spared themselves those difficult years of wandering in the wilderness. There is a place in Christian service for godly counsel, but a committee report is no substitute for the clear commandment of God.


Instead of the command to prepare food, you would have expected Joshua to say, "Prepare boats or start building a bridge, so we can cross the Jordan River." Joshua didn't try to second-guess God and work things out for himself. He knew that the God who opened the Red Sea could also open the Jordan River. He and Caleb had been present when God delivered the nation from Egypt, and they had confidence that God would work on their behalf again.


Though he trusted God for a miracle, Joshua still had to prepare for the everyday necessities of life. Each family and clan had to provide its own food. The manna was still falling each morning (Ex. 16) and wouldn't stop until Israel was in their land (Josh. 5:11-12). But it was important that the people stayed strong because they were about to begin a series of battles for possession of their Promised Land.


Note that Joshua's words to his leaders were words of faith and encouragement. "You shall pass over! You shall possess the land! The Lord will give it to you!" Joshua had made a similar speech forty years before, but that generation of leaders wouldn't listen. Now that generation was dead, and the new generation was ready to believe God and conquer the land.


Caleb and Joshua were the oldest men in the camp, between 60 and 70 years of age, and yet they were enthusiastic about trusting God and entering the land. It isn't a matter of age; it's a matter of faith; and faith comes from meditating on the Word of God (Joshua 1:8; Romans 10:17).


Look up!!!!! God is still on His throne and be encouraged today!


God bless!

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