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May 19, 2021 8:00 am
Who succeeded Abraham Lincoln, who followed after Winston Churchill. We often overlook those that follow the great ones of history. Moses was followed by an often overlooked but brilliant hero of the faith name Joshua coming up on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will launch a new series entitled Joshua. We will serve the Lord and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Joshua story is one of obedience to God's command. This hardly wins the attention and admiration of the world, but it's key to success in the Christian life today from chapter 1. Dr. Boyce introduces us to this Bible hero and his extraordinary calling, I would you turn in your Bibles to the book of Joshua. Joshua is one of that class of biblical books that is named after its chief character. Not all of the biblical books are like this, as you well know, Dr. was preceded in our Bible by five other books. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and not one of those boxes named after a major character, though some of the chief and most important personalities of the Bible are found in the thing of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, yet none of those books are called after the names of those individuals. Here we come to Joshua and we find that this book is named after its chief character. And so it falls in the category of such other books as Ruth first and second Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and the book of Joe. I was appropriate that this book should be name Joshua because it deals with other things, most certainly introduces us to the character and accomplishments of this really extraordinary man Joshua as I say deals with other things but here is character who excel in his obedience to God and led the people of Israel during a difficult and transitional.
The fate of characters in history who follow particularly prominent individuals of their overlooked and that unfortunately has been Joshua's fate.
Who can remember the American president to succeeded Abraham Lincoln. Some people perhaps can, but it does not come leaping readily to mind that many people can think of the prime minister who followed Winston Churchill. Joshua followed Moses. Moses was the great leader of the people during the years of their wandering in the desert and he was the one through whom God brought about their deliverance from Egypt.
People focus naturally on Moses, Joshua, well Joshua was a follower and so Joshua has unfortunately I must say without biblical warrant often been overlooked. So I say it's appropriate that the book be named Joshua, because naming it's as if God is saying to us, have you considered my servant Joshua. Joshua was an extraordinary man. It was faithful serve me over a long period of time.
He was wholly devoted to byways.
This is story… A character which you should certainly take heed.
I suppose that's what Philip Keller was thinking about when he wrote about Joshua.
He is seldom been given full credit to the services. Perhaps the greatest man of faith ever to set foot on the stage of human history and facts his entire brilliant career was a straightforward story of simply setting 1 foot after another and quiet compliance with the commands of God.
Well Joshua was not perfect going to see that in our study and that achievement, the achievement of setting 1 foot after another and quiet compliance with the commands of God is hardly a way to command the attention and admiration of the world and yet it's the key to success in the Christian life, which is the only thing that really matters is simply a matter of obedience and in that this man Joshua was an outstanding noteworthy example. Let me say because I'm introducing the book and not just a character that that is not the only thing with which the book of Joshua deals it's true. The doctor was the story of a man, but at the same time. It's also the story of the conquest tells how these tribes that had been let out of Egypt by Moses great's emancipator now under the command of Joshua who in turn was commanded by the Lord actually entered into the promised land and possessed that which God had given to the people in promised so many thousands of years before first time that promise of the land is found in Scripture is back in the 12th chapter of Genesis.
The very first book, where God calls Abraham said that he was sending him to a land that he said I will give you this land which I send you, but it has been more than 500 years since that initial promise was given. Yet here in the holding plan of God in history that which was promise so many centuries before now rolls around to its fulfillment in the fulfillment of those promises in the possession of the land we have this matter of transition. This is the thing that impressed Francis Schaeffer so much in his study of Joshua and his wife called and I think rightly a bridge book leads me to say that's as I have studied a large number of the commentaries that deal with the book of Joshua.
I detected three basic approaches to this book. One is the approach of the liberal camp to them.
Joshua was chiefly a puzzle as most of Scripture is they they approach her Joshua with the attempt to find out who it is will actually wrote it, and when it was actually written, and what actually happened in the period of history about which it reports to give us facts. I don't accept any of this is history. And so there puzzled by the things they find here. Many of these commentaries go on times for hundreds of pages producing what is chiefly human speculation and so is very limited value. The second approach to the book of Joshua is the dominant approach I would say of evangelical camp liberal looks at this book and sees it to be a puzzle evangelical for the most part is look to Joshua and found it to be an allegory, it's not a matter of course, saying that the evangelicals don't believe Joshua's history. Of course they do.
So many of these commentaries. The interest in the book lies not in what actually happened and what Joshua actually did, and what God actually accomplished through the people in these days, but rather for the parallels which they received between what happened historically in that day and what is the supposed to happen to us spiritually as we enter into our spiritual possession number of these commentaries make close parallels between the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. On the one hand, the book of Ephesians in the New Testament. On the other hand, because both. According to these teachers are supposed to dwell with those themes will I'm sure those themes are there. Certainly there is a parallel in a way God deals with his people in one age or another and we can see that as we study God's dealings in history, but all that's true. I have to confess at the beginning that the approach to Joshua that interests me most is that when I've already referred to as mentioned in which is developed I think wisely and carefully by Francis Schaeffer and held by some other commentators as well is an approach to Joshua which treats it mainly is history, and looks at it for the lessons of history, particularly as we see the hand of God and his continuity of dealing with his people. Things that were true in the first books of the Bible are true in this book as well and in the books to follow Solon down your own time as we live by the teaching that we find there are the W. Pink in his writings is sometimes speculative, and I always take what he writes with major grain of salt, but he makes this point that Francis Schaeffer is made quite well and in an interesting way points out, you don't notice it in our English translations because translation would be bad English style, but he points out that the book of Joshua begins in the Hebrew text with word and little Hebrew word while and it's a characteristic Hebrew construction. Now it's true that that is often simply a stylistic device in Hebrew.
Many Hebrew sentences begin with land adjuster connective sort of the kind of thing one suspect sometimes that characterizes the speech of some people everything they say begins with a and have you sit and laugh, and so on. The Hebrew sentences begin with this little connected abandoned sometimes translated if you translate it all now.
So you begin by saying now after these things or something of that nature. Well it corset it may just be that I wonder is pink wonders if it's presence here isn't a bit more significant than that. Let me explain why.
Genesis the first book of the Bible does not begin with, I that's exactly what you it's expected the very first thing Genesis begins perishing brought Elohim in the beginning God created his own land. There because there's nothing before that in the beginning God, you said that you said everything you can, as far as origins is concerned, nothing goes before God. After that Exodus begins with an and Leviticus begins with I am in numbers begins with and then when you realize that read it that way, you detect, I think rightly that those books properly belong together there telling one story they're dealing with one period of history.
There giving one theology.
The money there thinking this through very carefully will stop at that point inside but what about Deuteronomy, I noticed that you stop there is. Deuteronomy the fifth book of the Pentateuch doesn't belong with the others and I noticed that you didn't say the Deuteronomy begins land that is true. Deuteronomy does not begin with that and it is the fifth book of the Pentateuch, and at first glance it would seem to be an argument against this particular theory and I ask you, what does the Lord. Deuteronomy mean Deuteronomy means a second statement or a second wall now. That means that Deuteronomy is saying over again as if it were making a new beginning. What you already five in the first four books cheap example of that is the fact that the 10 Commandments occur for a second time in Deuteronomy. Most of us know the 10 Commandments from Exodus 20 they occur again in the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy and selling in many ways. Deuteronomy says this all over again in terms of law. Autonomy belongs with my perceived in terms of a new beginning. In terms of history. It starts off and sets a new course being the initial book of the second main historical division of the Old Testament after Deuteronomy all of the books begin with and you get the first Chronicles.
That means that Deuteronomy through the end of second Kings properly. By this method of reasoning belong together. Reason I say that is that it indicates I think in a dramatic way. The transitional character of Joshua in Deuteronomy, Moses is the leader Moses the great emancipator of the people book of Joshua begins after the death of Moses in Deuteronomy you have God's promises of land which is to be possessed.
Yet the people don't possess it in Joshua you read now then you and all these people get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them to the Israelites and Deuteronomy. You have the preparation and Joshua, you have possession of the book is therefore quite properly a transition from a life of wondering the life of genuine settlement in the land. I think that's significant. And as we read the book we need to read it. With that in mind what that really tells us you see is that God God who leads in the first books as well as in the latter books is the same God owner changes the people changed. Those who enter the land where a new generation all those of the previous generation from 20 years and Opera died in the wilderness, the people changed leaders changed Deuteronomy, Moses is the leader in Joshua. Joshua is the leader.
There's all kinds of change. But God is the same God is the one who makes the transition. That means that as we read this book we read it with an emphasis upon these unchanging characteristic and purposes of God in human history. I would significant the right here at the beginning and the very first chapter, we find an emphasis upon the law of God books of God, the Bible, which at that time was the Pentateuch. This first section of Joshua one that were particularly considering in this study. Joshua 119 is divided into paragraphs 1st paragraph indicates the transitional nature of the book is what identifies it as a bridge after the death of Moses the Lord said to Joshua, all that we understand the second paragraph in this first portion of Joshua. One deals with the word of God and it deals with it in such a way that they recognize that once the very beginning of the book that this is to be the focus of Joshua's life and the life of the people really worth looking at in detail.
Be strong and courageous. God says to Joshua, because you will leave these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them be strong and very courageous.
Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go and let this book of the law depart from your mouth meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
I not commanded you strong and courageous. Do not be terrified to not be discouraged the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go. I great commissioning of this great soldier is something that needs to be studied in intricate detail. I want to do that. I do, let me make this point is significant in this entire passage is based upon the premises that at this point in the history of the people I had a written law of God, which they already were. Regarding is a revelation, Francis Schaeffer, whom I've mentioned several times already calls this the first unchanging factor of the book all during these previous 38 years as a people had been wandering in the wilderness, Moses had been writing down the law God gave him began with the law given on Mount Sinai. The 10 Commandments and unfilled itself in the great many more legal and moral requirements of the people of Moses have been writing this down.
This been going on as I say, presumably for a long period of time. Now the people were about to enter the land and the first thing God does is directly attention Joshua back to this law which God given and there is not the slightest suggestion in this passage anywhere that Joshua or anybody else regarded that written law of God, through Moses as being anything other than a direct revelation which have absolute authority over their lives. Joshua knew this book. This book was received by Joshua's word of God was to become the basis of his wife in the land. I think this is what makes Joshua preeminently.
What I would call a modern book. So you see that the God of Joshua was any different than the God of the first five books God is always the same and the theology is always the same and you can study any portion of the Bible and find the same true then it but there is this difference during the period of history that came before the time of Joshua. There were no written books. Moses was just writing them toward the end of the.
That means that when God spoke, he had to speak as he did Abraham in the vision, sometimes by an audible voice rise in the case of Joseph my dreams. This changes with Joshua. All escrow that the commander of the Lords host does appear to Joshua. In chapter 5 in presumably Joshua did receive specific direction from God for the ordering of the battle for the priest and most things recorded here for us but something is changed. What's changed is the Bible the first portion of the Bible is been given. Now Joshua was to make it his practice to know and study and learn and obey this book just as we following in his footsteps and obedience to God or to know, read, study and obey entire word of God which we have at this time at our disposal.
So Joshua becomes. In this respect also a model for us all I was worth reflecting on the specific things. Joshua was told to do so far as this law is concerned. Therefore, first of all, he was to know God's word.
It's true that that word is not used specifically, the other things I'm going to mention our said specifically but everything else that said presupposes the fact that he had to know it. This booklet Moses and written at the direction of God was not to be signed. Superstitious religious rally that was laid up with a holy place the ark of the covenant within the temple inaccessible revered but I know what was something that Joshua was to take out of the ark and study or to have copied my describes, then the added copy to take that book and to hold it in his hand, resting it on his lap. He himself, turning its pages studying what those words actually were on that page and getting to know those words personally or snows days before Gutenberg before the scribe said that much of an opportunity to make multiple copies of the law but everybody had a Bible are probably very few copies there were any.
This early. Yet, that did not mean that this book of God was to be inaccessible to the people anything but Joshua was to know it and make it known. And it was recorded even in the book itself apportions written by Moses, Deuteronomy, particularly the when they came in the land what they were to do is make sure that the words about law all the words of the law of God, which had been given should be read audibly before the people regularly at the very least once every seven years. Joshua carried out the story is told. Later on in this book say it was a book to be known book to be understood and Joshua was told to do that and undoubtedly was given responsibility for a chuckle when I read this I can't doubt that this is something that Joshua probably had already learned Joshua after always Moses aid is what we would call his right-hand man.
His lieutenants if Moses spent a great deal of time as I think he must have writing the law. Joshua was his right-hand man tenant Joshua must've been there during much of the time that the composition was going on and he must've seen the extraordinary care. Moses is leader was giving the writing of this book. He must've been curious about it. He must've asked what it was that Moses was writing and I can't doubt for a moment that Moses the good teacher that he was instructed Joshua and the things that were recorded in the book when God comes as he does now. What is the first chapter of our book of Joshua and says there's one who has now succeeded Moses you must know this book must've struck an echo in Joshua's heart and Joshua must've said yes I know that and I have been trying to learn this book and now by your grace. I want to learn more about the person you had to do. The second thing is that he had to talk about the Bible. Here's what God says in verse eight. Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth wasn't just that he was to have in his head.
It was having on his tongue as well. All I'm afraid this goes contrary to a lot of what passes for Christianity in our time.
We have a book in its entirety, not just the Pentateuch, the whole of the Old Testament and the New Testament as well. Yet how shy we are about speaking of these things these words of the law and are common conversation.
Joshua wasn't to let these words of the law depart from his mouth meant that he was to speak about that with his family and his friends of the soldiers and all the others in the camp and how we hold back the corsets because of the world.
The world considers itself very tolerant at this point all you Christians just as everybody else can go practice your religion is wanting to do it quietly in your churches don't talk about it very much else try talking about these things when you're with your friends, your non-Christian friends, dinner or are at work rubbing shoulders with people are not Christians next to you.
Keep quiet about those things that your business. I'm glad it your business. Do it where you like.
But don't bother me with that is what were told to keep up too much pretty soon you find yourself in many cases with a new set of friends and yet here was God speaking to Joshua, saying forget to talk about these things when you learn them talk about them and you'll be blessed. The first thing he was told to do is meditate upon them.
Also in verse eight. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Meditation is a step beyond mere knowing or even speaking meditation implies reflection off.
It has to do with application meditation is the kind of thing that says now this is the truth.
How does it apply to my life. How does it apply to my society. All we need to be reminded of the need for that in our day because we live in the official Asia quick remedies where even Christian churches teaching is often so superficial that people think to be a good Christian. All you have to do is go there once in a while paid possible attention to the sermon and then go out with very much the way you would otherwise.
No wonder we failed to make a significant impact in the secular world. We need Christians will meditate on these things. Think about them. Make a portion of their lives try to frame their thinking in all other areas around what they know to be true in the basis of the word of God. That's meditation. I don't hesitate to say that it's one of the greatest needs. Perhaps the greatest of all needs an evangelical church today and finally, fourth Joshua was told this is undoubtedly the most important thing that not only was he to know the law of God and speak about the law of God and meditate on the law of God.
He was also to obey the law of God. In fact, he was the Bay of Fayette in its entirety. I was the great secret Joshua's success. I think it's our problem is not that we don't know the Bible we know the Bible passably well least we know enough to keep us busy obeying for a long long time.
The difficulty is we don't obey here as we study this book right at the beginning we find it is what Joshua was instructed to do as we go through the book we find out that that is indeed what he did to and that he was prospered as a result, it says that you know people today are very interested in success.
Here is the divine formula for success.
God says do this then verse eight. You will be prosperous and successful. I will be with you where ever you go. Joshua really did do that. The 27th chapter of Deuteronomy their instructions as to what was to be done when the people finally entered. Alanna got to the point of their conquest when they were located in the valley between Mount evil. On the one hand, my gear is even the other. They were divided into two camps were to build an altar. They were to write a blog on the altar and then they were to read aloud in the company of the people and they will all respond to the teaching that was read. When Joshua got Mount evil in my gear is a and that is exactly what he did.
The tiniest detail because he was determined as God had said not to depart from that water. The right hand or left. Moreover, when Joshua came the very end of his life just before he died what he was getting his final instruction to the people what he had to say was almost verbatim what God said to him way back in the beginning when he stood on the far side of the Jordan about the cross and possess Canaan be very strong. Be careful to obey all that is written in the book of the law of Moses without turning aside to the right hand or to the left. Joshua 23 46 that's why God bless them. That's why he's such a hero of the faith. That's why we need to study this book in order we might follow his example by God gives grace to do that because we need men and women like that in our day is bright.
Her father we ask you to bless the cruise of your word, particularly the truce of this book, especially those we studied our hearts grant we might be found increasingly like this great man.
His example is held up before us all through Christ our Lord and Savior.
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