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Intro to Joshua (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 7, 2020 6:00 am

Intro to Joshua (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 7, 2020 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Joshua (Joshua 1:1-9)

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Joshua chapter 18 verse 3, Then Joshua said to the children of Israel, How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which Yahweh, God of your fathers, has given to you? So there we see years later Joshua was saying, God gave you the land, how come you're not going in and getting it? Isn't that like the Christian life? God is giving you things, He's given us things, you have to go in and exercise it, claim it, not name it and claim it, squeal it and steal it, not that prosperity junk.

But you have to do what belongs under our responsibility. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Joshua.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today Pastor Rick will continue his introduction to the book of Joshua as he teaches through Joshua chapter 1. And from Exodus chapter 3 all the way to Deuteronomy 34, Moses is the center of attention, his ministry. Now it's Joshua's turn, heroes pass away, but the power that makes them heroes continues, God's work continues. There's an old Christian quote, God buries His workers but His work goes on.

See it's so simple, I should say I get credit for that. Rome discovered this, did they not? They murdered Paul and Peter, but here the church still is, still going on. They crucified our Christ, the church is still here because of Him. You can bury God's workmen, but you can't bury the work.

That's a big point that comes out of this. Moses is dead, there's much work to do. So he says, the servant of the Lord, every Christian should want to be known with that moniker, the servant of the Lord, the man Moses.

He left that mountain in Midian with that bush burned but was not consumed with a staff in his hand and God in his heart. I want that, I want more of that. There are times I get it, I have it, I feel like I've got it, and there are times I just can't find it. It's just not, you know, distracted, wanting to, sometimes, you know, I want to go outside, I don't want to study.

I want to go outside in the rain. Because I, lyrics from a song, don't want you to see me cry. Alright, when will I learn?

When will I learn? So he starts out, he tends another man's sheep, and no, it's not going to happen. He tends another man's sheep and then now he's got the people of God that he's overseeing, Moses did. But that was Moses, the servant of the Lord. It says here, it came to pass that Yahweh spoke to Joshua, the son of Nun.

Time to move forward. Yep, he's dead, but we got things to do. And Moses' assistant saying, before we get to what he's saying, Moses' assistant, we need to emphasize that, because he doesn't just come on the scene. As I mentioned, there were decades of preparation that went into making Joshua the man that he became. And we miss him in scripture because we're so focused on Moses. Well, he is the great servant of the Lord, no question, but we cannot belittle at all the work of Joshua. Verse 2, Moses, my servant, is dead, now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to a land which I am giving to them, the children of Israel. Moses, my servant, is dead. I should also point out, when Joshua was in his 50s, he's referred to in scripture as the young man. Just, you know, just saying. But here we are, Moses, my servant, of course, he is dead, and he continues, now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, the day that was promised so long ago that to some of these who were alive in Egypt, probably thought many times, it ain't gonna ever happen, we're never gonna get there.

And now it is here. Joshua was qualified to bring him in, but was he called? Because he could be qualified and not be able to do it. Qualifications are useful in Christianity only with the calling is there. Otherwise, they can become quite a problem, someone who thinks that they deserve this recognition, that they should have entitled because of their qualifications, they're not in the spirit, and they will cause problems.

And then they leave and they try to make a mess of things when they go, and everybody says, why did so and so go? I like them, they had the qualifications, but they weren't called to these things. And it became evident. And so a lesson we get that Moses was qualified and called Joshua. You know the gifts of the Spirit? They have to be developed because of our character. God can give you some, impart some gift of discernment, but if you don't know how to use it, you just butcher things. You don't understand, you know, if you have discernment, you start blowing whistles on things that other people aren't seeing, if you're not careful, they're just gonna turn on you.

So you learn to make your delivery too. And so this helps us to not be so presumptuous, which is not an attribute, it is a liability. To the land which I am giving to them, it was always God's land. Every piece of land on the planet is God's land. He gives it to whoever he wants, whenever he wants, and in this case it is to the Jews.

And the land of Israel, where the Jews currently are, God gave it to them, and ain't nobody gonna take it away from them ever again. Verse 3, Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I have given you, as I said to Moses. This verse has been so troublesome to me as a Christian. In the earlier years, I loved it so much, every place the sole of my foot will tread upon, I'm thinking I'm gonna get victory over my flesh, you know, I'm gonna have self-control and be gentle and all these other things, and the long-suffering one I really don't need. But I'm gonna have these things, and I found out how difficult, how hard, how I hurt feelings of other peoples unintentionally most of the time.

And I've had to reconsider this verse. Oftentimes, I have to now find, I'm not, it's not as easy as it was for Joshua on the map, here you go, this land between Lebanon and Egypt, between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, all the way up to the Euphrates, this is yours. I have to learn where my boundaries are, and so do you. And the better, the sooner we learn where our boundaries are, the more effective we are, because then we have license, we can do this, I have full authority now, I don't have to worry about, you imagine if you could get a pass to do 100 miles an hour on the interstates. I mean, you'd do it, because you'd have a pass.

But if you don't have a pass, you're breaking the boundaries, you're looking over your shoulder, you're nervous, not good. He says, I've given to you as I said to Moses. Notice the past tense, I have given, not I'm giving, it's yours. There's no human being that can challenge this lawfully, they will challenge it. Joshua chapter 18 verse 3, Then Joshua said to the children of Israel, How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which Yahweh, God of your fathers, has given to you? So there we see years later, Joshua was saying, God gave you the land, how come you're not going in and getting it?

Isn't that like the Christian life? God is giving you things, he's given us things, you have to go in and exercise it, claim it, not name it and claim it, squeal it and steal it, not that prosperity junk, but you have to do what belongs under our responsibility. This mandate to go in and take the land is given in Numbers chapter 33, and we don't have time to go into it, but chapter 33 verses 50 through 55, there's a clear mandate, not the only place, but that one's clear. And so we compare with Joshua that mandate, he's not stealing anything going in, he is exercising judgment and claiming the spoils for himself. Do you know in most of human history, armies were paid with the spoils, not with a check? So you go and conquer a village, whatever gold you find is yours. I'm sure there were boundaries on that too.

No, that's too big a piece, that goes to the king. Overall, the loot was yours. So this was right in line with the understanding of those days. Verse 4, from the wilderness of this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates and all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. It leads as though Joshua had a map in front of him, and he can look at these, because he did have a map in front of him, and he could look at these things. And we don't go far in this book of Joshua, like I said, before we find these superlative verses, there are quite a few of them, every place a sole of your foot, I've already given to you, be strong and of good courage, there are just many of them.

This one is not, I don't think, one to memorize necessarily, though it would be good, but it's such a lesson, because it goes back to the boundaries. We have boundaries. Just because we're free in Christ does not mean we can be reckless, do anything we want, work outside the boundaries, which many tried to do. And it always gives a bad name to the church, and it just seems, you know, what's the latest Christian fad?

Just go on the internet, I'm sure it's there, somebody's another, oh here we go, another one. Why can't we just be satisfied with continuing in the apostles' doctrine, in fellowship, in prayer, in communion, in the ministry of the word? Why can't that be enough for us? Well, I'm not going to solve the problem by asking that question. Anyway, here are the boundaries, and we're better off when we accept them. And when the tribes, the territory is given, and they get what their allotment is, that's it.

That's how it is for us too. Why don't I have a cathedral? Well, I do, it's a storefront cathedral.

But why don't I have, you know, I would love one of those, you know those big stone towers, takes like 60 years to build them up, with a big bell on top. I mean, how come as a pastor I don't have one? Well, I have my lot. God has given, this is your lot. This is your boundary. What are you going to do with this? Now I can say I don't want it, and do nothing, or I can try to work as hard as I can work to get everything out of it I can get. So the lessons about that kind of stuff, they await us. Verse 5, no man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.

I will not leave you nor forsake you. David spoke these words, these very words to Solomon about the temple, in 1 Chronicles 28, verse 20. But let's just show you how we can take a verse and misapply it. Suppose you are a Christian, and you happen to also be a prize fighter, a boxer.

I don't mean putting things in boxes, I mean putting things on people on the floor. And you read this verse, no man shall be able to stand before me, and get your clock cleaned. So we've got to be careful how we apply these verses.

To Joshua, God is saying, I am going to drive out your enemies. I don't want you turning back. You're going to be victorious. But you're going to have to work. And that's what he is saying.

He's not saying, don't worry, you're just going to plow through them like a tank over, you know, twigs or something. You will have divine help. He says, I will not leave you nor forsake you. He needs to tell them this because there are going to be struggles awaiting him where he's going to be afraid, and he's going to feel abandoned. So that's why God is telling him. Now he's either going to believe that when those moments come, or he's going to not believe them. And it's the same with you and I. God tells this great military commander that, don't ever think I'm not going to be there. I often liked it. Well, not so much anymore, but there have been times I said, Lord, it's not enough that I know you're here.

I want you to change and fix all this. And there have been times he says no. And the next morning I wake up, I'm still following him.

And yeah, because we know, right? Verse 6, be strong and of good courage. For to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. How do you command somebody to be strong and of good courage? That's what this is. God is saying to Joshua, I want you to get this in you. This is the direction we're going in.

There can be no backing down from this. There can be no retreat from your faith. Well, the Christian today, the inheritance, again, is the possession of righteousness as Peter tells us. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled that does not fade away, reserved for you in the heaven. You see, this whole book of Joshua from the Jewish perspective is about their inheritance.

And it was. That land was theirs. And so for us, righteousness, Christ's likeness, that is our inheritance in this life by faith.

These are what the objectives are and we should not hesitate to accept them. And Joshua was encouraged the same way by Moses. We won't read it. Deuteronomy chapter 3 verse 28. He gives him the same encouragement long ago. And here he was encouraged by God through Moses. Now he's encouraged directly. Then we get to verse 18 and the people are going to encourage Joshua.

See, this man, this leader is getting all of this cheering on. And that's us as Christians. If the angels rejoice when one sinner repents and converts, does that mean they also are into us when we are trying to be righteous?

Absolutely. They see the faith of God. They know what the score is. They know what's going on. They are intelligent beings and they want us to succeed, to be victorious. Faith in God leads to faith for God.

It's the truth. Only be strong and very courageous that you may observe to do according to all that the law which Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left that you may prosper wherever you go. And so God says, just be strong. I know sometimes things are so messed up. Someone's telling us to be strong. We have a choice. We can turn on them.

What do you mean? You don't know what you're talking about. Or we can say thank you.

I know that's what I'm supposed to be trying to do. So the emphasis, and we cannot miss it, is therefore it's a necessity that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you. We ought to observe the law, not in the sense of being a spectator. I'm observing the law.

I'm watching it. I'm not going to do it. That's not the meaning. I believe in the abiding security of the believer. You're a vibrant Christ.

You are secure as you can be. And to that means you just know he is Lord and nobody else is and you want to be with him. And everything he says is right no matter what. It's part of what it takes to be a believer, abiding with Christ. And the Lord is not watching so much how we walk in the light as that we walk in the light. He wants to help us with that walk though. He says my servant commanded you.

I already commented on Moses enough. He says to not turn from it to the right hand or to the left. Well anybody can have a quick start and poor finish.

Anybody can do well for years and then fail in the end. Deuteronomy 28 verse 14, these same words appear to not turn and serve other gods. That's what he's talking about. Stay straight. It is straight. It is narrow. There's nothing to the right or to the left that's worth it.

It's just not worth it. The pilgrims progress and they turn off the road. They ended up in the dungeon with the giant, the castle of despair. And it was just, it took everything they had to survive that. And it's one of the terrible times in the pilgrims progress account and you say boy Bunyan is drawing from his own life's experience of depression and how to overcome it. Remember he was locked away 12 years in jail and his beloved daughter passed away while he was in that jail.

He had some tough struggles and you can't always get that off the pages. You have to have that insight, pay attention and you get it. Anyway Proverbs 4 27, do not turn to the right or to the left. Remove your foot from evil.

See that's the idea. Straight and narrow. That your progress that you may prosper wherever you go. Attention given to God's word. God's word is astounding. Victory depends upon adherence to the word of God.

Just as it is today. So when Jesus said, if you abide in me, you will be my disciples. If you abide in me, if you do not abide in me, you will be cast into the fire. John 15, he just lays it right out. I don't care what other doctrines of men have to say. I know what Jesus said and I know what the rest of the scripture is saying. And we have so much more of God's word than Joshua had.

Verse 8, this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night and you shall observe to do according to all that is written in it. Then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success. Starting from the bottom up. There is a success that's not good. People like Bill Gates have it. People like Steve Jobs had it. It doesn't do them any good. It only could take them as far as the grave. That's it.

Once they die, it doesn't help. That's bad success. Good success is that which carries us across that spiritual Jordan into heaven. And here, Joshua being told to make the law, the Bible his book, it's the same Bible that Moses had.

It's Joshua's too. In order to obey, he says. How do you know what to say about God if you don't know what God has said about himself and what God has said about people? It comes from the book. In order to obey, you have to know what is said. Why is this such a difficult lesson for so many churchgoers? No answers.

Who knows? I mean, you can have an answer, but that's not going to change it all the time, but it might change it with one or two. Well, at this point, I could quote Isaiah 59 verse 21, but I'm not because of time. But there is the emphasis on God's word and actually doing it. Knowing the scriptures is not enough. It's not sufficient, just knowing the scriptures. You still have to do it in the power of the Spirit, and we should steep our souls in the scripture as much as we can until it becomes instinctive, so trained in the word that we don't have to ask, is this right or is this wrong? We know it.

The filter is operating just the way it should work, and we do not have to fret over matters. As Alan Redpath said to be, oh, here's another one. So Alan Redpath, one of the Bibles, we have his books in the chapel store, is one of the great influences of my life, and his saying to be saturated with the word of God is to be assured of the presence of God. I can't tell you how many times with tears rolling down my nose, I'm trying to quote that. Where's God? I have the word.

How come I'm all messed up? That's the fight. It's not this choreographed little dance. It's nasty. It involves failing, and it involves being restored, and you lose your temper, you fly off the handle or something like that.

That's part of the fight that goes on, and as the years go by, we get better at not doing those things, so hopefully we will. The Bible is not a good luck charm or an open sesame kind of arrangement. It is God's word to us and our response to what he has said. He says, you shall meditate in it day and night.

Well, that covers everything. We are to explore the word, to reflect on it, to pour into it. Reading is consuming, meditation is digestion, and then comes the application.

You've got to do it. I have here 1 Timothy 4. Can't read it, no time, but verses 15 through 16. There Paul tells Timothy to meditate on these things.

Give yourself entirely to them. This is not incidentally transcendental TM meditation or that contemplative prayer junk coming out of these new-age liberals in the church using the Bible to convince people that God's not enough, repeating words and mantras over and over and over to tap into some spiritual energy and to get to some new level of Christianity. That's demonism, and they're out there, and if you don't know what they look like, you might force succor to them. You better be careful of those various cultic attempts that are designed to trap you because they tell you to get into some new dimension of spirituality.

It's a lie. You're good with the Scripture and telling people who Jesus Christ is and following the virtues. What more do we need? Well, I would like to hover.

That you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. That's going to take up your day and night. It won't leave much space for much else because somebody's going to come along and start pulling on your ponytail or tugging on your cape. Me, I have the cape, you've got the ponytail.

And, obviously, somebody's going to push your buttons. Game time. Let's see where your love is now, Christian.

Let's see how you forgive. Let's see if you're strong enough and courageous enough to tell them about Jesus Christ when you're supposed to tell them or if you're disciplined enough to shut your mouth when God says don't talk. This is what it means to get the Word. When Peter said we will give ourself to the ministry of the Word, it covered the Bible in doing it, not just studying it, meditating on it, but actually getting up and doing it. I tell you, the sermons I preached at Hound Me, years later I preach that, I'm going to do it. I am not going to be somebody that can't do what they preach as best I can.

Well, anyway, and you should have good success, satisfaction. Well, verse 9, Have I not commanded you be strong and of good courage? Do not be afraid nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. If you can't be on the battlefield with Joshua, you can be on the hillside with Moses. If you can't be on the field swinging the sword, you can bend your knees and pray on behalf of others.

There's always something to do for all of us. I know you get older, you feel like, oh, I'm useless, I don't, that's nonsense. Isaiah 46, Even to your old age I am he, and even to gray hairs I will carry you, I have made you, I will bear, and I will bear even I will carry and deliver you.

Don't think for one moment that because you're not on the battlefield that you can't fight on your knees. It's a lie from hell. He says, nor be dismayed, he's rather emphatic about this, for the Lord your God is with you, as promised, for we will encounter God in our lives through faith. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the book of Joshua. Cross-Reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. If you're interested in more information about this ministry, please visit our website,

You'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. By doing so, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. Just search for Cross-Reference Radio in iTunes, Google Play Music, or your favorite podcast app. You can also follow the links at We're glad we were able to spend time with you today. Tune in next time to continue learning from the book of Joshua right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-17 05:11:17 / 2024-03-17 05:22:19 / 11

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