If a biblical character has marked me the most, apart from the Lord Jesus, it is that of Joshua. His story fascinates me from beginning to end, and it is so rich in lessons, anecdotes, and principles. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the book of Joshua is also one of my favorite books in the Bible.
In fact, at the very beginning of my walk with Christ, the Lord used this book to make precious deposits in my life, in relation to the person I was and the person He was calling me to. Become, by His grace. And since then, I have never ceased to raise thanks to His throne for the incredible richness of His infinitely varied wisdom, around this character that the Holy Spirit inserted into the scriptures to edify us (2 Timothy 3: 16). So before seeing some major principles that we can draw from his life, let’s first take the time to see who Joshua was.
Son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim and successor of Moses as leader of the children of Israel, Joshua was the faithful servant of his master. He also led the people to victory against Amalek at Rephidim in the valley, while on the mountain, Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses (Exodus 17:8-16). And at the death of Moses, servant of the Eternal, Joshua obtained the grace and the privilege of succeeding him to lead the people to the conquest of Canaan, the promised land, where milk and honey flow. His name has the same Hebrew root as that of the Lord Jesus: “Yehowshuwa,” which makes him the shadow of the Lord in the old covenant.
Here are some of the principles inspired by his life:
Before knowing elevation, one must first learn humility, for humility precedes glory (Proverbs 15:33). The Bible also teaches us that before exercising authority, one must oneself be a submissive person. Indeed, in Romans 13: 1 (KJV), The Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declares: “Let everyone be subject to the higher authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and God has instituted the authorities that exist.. Joshua is the archetype of the servant who chooses to submit to his master since his youth (Numbers 11:28). When it was necessary to fight the Amalekites, Joshua responded (Exodus 17: 9-14). When it was necessary to give a report on the atmosphere in the camp, we still found Joshua (Exodus 32: 17). When Moses went up into the mountain to meet the Lord, Joshua went with him (Exodus 24:13). And when Moses left the tent of meeting to return to the camp,” his young servant, Joshua the son of Nun, did not come out of the middle of the tent. (Exodus 33:11). Later, when Moses wanted to send the twelve (12) spies to explore the promised land, Joshua was among the group, including Caleb (Numbers 13: 16). The two were the only ones to make a good report, filled with faith towards the Lord of hosts, unlike the ten (10) other emissaries (Numbers 14: 6-9). Also, quite naturally, after submission, came consecration, elevation, and glory. It was he who was chosen by the Lord to lead His people and lead them to the promised land (Numbers 27: 18-21).
If we accept to walk too, with submission among brothers but also towards the different authorities that God has established over us, the Lord will raise us up in due time, to accomplish His projects here below (1 Peter 5: 5-6).
Joshua was not only subject to Moses until the latter’s death, but he also showed unfailing obedience to the Lord, who had told him in Joshua 1: 7: “Only be strong and be of good courage, doing faithfully according to all the law which Moses, My servant, commanded you; do not turn away from it to the right or to the left, in order to succeed in all that you will undertake. And for that, Joshua had to meditate on the Word of God on a daily basis. So in Joshua 1:8, the Lord went on to say, “Let this book of the law not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, to act faithfully according to all that is written therein; because it is then that you will be successful in your undertakings, it is then that you will succeed.
And we discover how precious obedience to the Lord was in the eyes of Joshua when the scriptures declare about him in Joshua 11: 9 (KJV): “Joshua dealt with them as the Lord had spoken to him. “Which will lead him to declare at the end of his life, in Joshua 24: 15 (KJV): “And if you do not find it good to serve the Lord, choose today whom you will serve, or the gods whom your fathers served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. I and my household will serve the Lord.
Joshua understood that obedience to the Lord was the only way to walk in victory and defeat Israel’s enemies. This is how he made sure to renew the covenant of the people with the Lord before his death (Joshua 24: 25-28). We, too, should learn to walk in covenant with the Lord, to overcome all the giants and challenges in our lives (James 4:7).
40 years earlier, the fear of giants had paralyzed all the people of Israel at the gates of the promised land. Joshua, who had always been a loyal servant and submitted to his master and to the Lord, now had the mission of leading the second generation of the people to the conquest of the promised land.
This is how Moses first, then the Lord gave him this as an order: “Be strong and take courage“. We find this order no less than six (06) times in the Bible (Deuteronomy 31: 7; Deuteronomy 31: 23; Joshua 1: 6). He had to be strong and full of courage to serve as a model and an example to this multitude who had agreed to obey him on the way to Canaan. And as a guarantee, the Lord had promised to give him and the people every place where the sole of their foot shall tread, and that no one shall resist them, since He will always be with him, never forsaking him (Joshua 1:2-5). Joshua first saturated himself with the Word of God, while taking care never to leave it, just as he never left the tent of meeting during Moses’ lifetime.
He first began by delegating authority (Joshua 1:10), and preparing the crowd (Joshua 1:11). And he also kept his promise to remind the tribes east of the Jordan to help their brethren west of the Jordan to fight (Joshua 1:12-15). We also know that Joshua was filled with courage because of his actions throughout the book. He led the children of Israel to the promised land, helped them defeat all their enemies in thirteen (13) battles fought, and ended up dividing the land among the tribes. He had courage, indeed, and his courage was based on the faithful Word of God.
It is this type of courage that each of us must also demonstrate in our walk with God, by ensuring that we accomplish the mission that God entrusts to us, and by scrupulously obeying His word (John 15:7).
4. Deeds with God.
Joshua did many exploits with God and for God. In Jericho, Joshua by his obedience to the prophetic instructions of the Lord enabled the people to break down the wall and take possession of the city, without fighting, just with praises, cries, and trumpets (Joshua 6: 1 -21). And for God, he also stopped the march of the sun and the moon, to finish defeating the enemies of Israel, before nightfall.
Joshua 10:12-15: “Then Joshua spoke to the LORD on the day that the LORD delivered the Amorites to the children of Israel, and said in the presence of Israel, Sun, stand still on Gibeon , and you, moon, over the valley of Ajalon! And the sun stood still, and the moon suspended its course, Until the nation had taken vengeance on its enemies. Isn’t this written in the Book of the Just? The sun stood still in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to set for almost a whole day. There was not a day like this, either before or after, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, returned to the camp at Gilgal.”
We too are called to do exploits for God. Because the Eternal never sends us empty-handed when He asks us to hunt the giants still present in our territory. Just open our hearts, and listen to His guidance, and the world will know that we serve the living God too (Psalms 60:14; 108:14).
Joshua lost only one battle, that against Ai, following the disobedience of Achan, who had dared to touch the spoils of war of Jericho, which the Eternal had nevertheless devoted by interdict. This event had saddened Joshua to the point that he tore his clothes (Joshua 7: 6). After that, the Lord answered him in Joshua 7:10; 13 (KJV) “The Lord said to Joshua, Arise! Why do you lie like this on your face? … Arise, sanctify the people”. And because this memory had left a bitter taste in the heart of Joshua and his contemporaries, the Lord makes this promise to us in Hosea 2: 15-17 (KJV), if we too choose to drop the path of rebellion. : “Therefore, behold, I will draw her and lead her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her heart. There, I will give her her vineyards and the valley of Achor, as a door of hope, and there, she will sing as in the time of her youth, and as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. In that day, says the Lord, you will call Me My husband! and you will no longer call Me: My master! I will take the names of the Baals out of his mouth so that they will no longer be mentioned by their names.
Joshua died in all his vigor, at the age of 110, after having settled the twelve (12) tribes of Israel in their respective territories, on both sides of the Jordan. He walked in covenant with the Lord, that is to say, in obedience and sanctification until the end of his life, and he finally obtained the prestigious title of the servant of the Lord (Joshua 24: 29).
Like Joshua, whatever struggles or battles come up in our lives, we can be strong and have courage – not because we are inherently courageous, but because, as believers, our courage is rooted in the unchanging promises of God. We can be strong and courageous because “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). The Lord Jesus promised, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). In truth, God has promised, “I will never leave you, and I will never forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
That’s why I love the book of Joshua. He allowed me to overcome fear, to walk with courage, with the constant awareness that the Lord is ALWAYS with me, around me, by my side. What happiness!