Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Joshua: God Keeps His Promises
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Joshua: God Keeps His Promises

Intro.: Think back 40 years ago. Where were you? What were you doing?

  1. I was in High School – not an athlete, but a leader of the campus service club.

  2. I served as secretary of the Key Club – we built floats, we sold programs at the High School football games. At the time I was a member, it was still appropriate to have an all male club – so we competed with the girls service clug, the Tri-S.

  3. I had the same girl friend since Junior High – but because we both had moved, we lost track of each other. They she moved back to my home town and though we went to different High Schools, we reconnected. I dated her through the middle of my second year of college.

  4. During that forty years, I graduated from Sacramento High School, Sacramento City College, California State University Sacramento, and I earned three master degrees. I married the most wonderful women in the world. I have raised three very different kids. I have had two very different careers.

  5. When I stop to think about it, you know 40 years is a long time!

Read: Numbers 14:1-9


Trans: Joshua was responsible for distributing the land.

  1. He began to distribute it to the Israelites.

  2. He then passed out the land to the Levites – the priests.

  3. But then he also had the responsibility of fulfilling the promise that God had made so long ago – parceling out the land to Joshua and Caleb.

T.S. I want to look at three lessons that we can learn from the story of Caleb and Joshua.

  1. Lesson #1: Living Faithfully has consequences

    1. I doubt that anyone does not believe that those who ignore God will have consequences to face.

(Ill.) Little kids don's always understand what we mean by consequences. Dory Smith is a nationwide talk radio host. She tells a story about when Leigh, her five-year-old brother, was listening as her mother argue with her. When Mom told Dory that she was just going to have to live with the consequences, Leigh piped up, “If Dory is going to live with consequences, can I have her room?”1 Little kids don't always understand the meaning of consequences – but we are not surprised that they come.

    1. But as we think about consequences, we sometimes forget that there are also consequences for living a life that is faithful to God and his demands.

(Ill.) It was in October 2000 the week of Spring Break at Roberts Wesleyan College. I took an afternoon to go to Tinseltown – where the first showing of a movie each day is at a substantial discount. I went to see a movie that I knew little about, yet had caught my interest. I came home that night and told my wife that she had to see it. I told my kids they had to see it. The movie was Pay It Forward. It is the story of the consequences that showing a little kindness by one 12 year old boy can have on the world around him. It really is a wonderful illustration of a practice that was started by Anne Herbert – a practice called Random Acts of Kindness.2 Maybe, for some of you, being obedient to God means doing Random Acts of Kindness in your world.

    1. But for Caleb and Joshua it was not a Random Acts of Kindness – but it was being faithful to their understanding of God. They had gone out with the twelve spies – but only Joshua and Caleb had the faith to recognize that God could do what the Israelites could not do.

    2. Joshua and Caleb would suffer the consequences of faith -

    3. To quote Numbers 14 - “...none of you will enter the land I promised to settle you in except for Caleb and Joshua.

  1. Lesson #2: God does keep his promises

    1. It would be 40 years before God would keep his promise to Caleb and Joshua.

(Ill.) A few weeks ago, I quoted a number of statistics. Statistics can be fun. Did you know that the Bible spans over 2000 years. The Bible has been translated into 1200 languages. Everyday, there are 170,000 Bibles distributed in the US every day. Someone has counted 3294 questions in the Bible. There are 6468 commands in the Bible. But today we are talking about promises – there are 1260 promises in the Bible.3

    1. I don't know, but I expect that Caleb and Joshua wondered if God would ever keep his promise. I mean they had been there when God had mad that commitment to allow them to enter into the promised land to have some land. But they had been wandering for years. They had followed Moses – but all they could do was wait.

(Appl.) Having to wait is hard – but did you know that one of the fruit of the Spirit is “waiting”. We don't call it that – we call it “patience”. You know, too often we want everything NOW – but Caleb and Joshua had to wait 40+ years for God to answer. Someone has said that Asking God to define patience has much to do with attitude, motivation, and finding peace while you wait. It isn't easy, but God's grace gives us the strength to keep on trying while we go through this phase of personal growth.”4

    1. I expect that after 40 years, Caleb and Joshua had learned patience – but after 40 years God did fulfill the promise he had made so many years ago. But they learned something else as well. J. I. Packer noted that “Patience does not just grin and bear things, stoic-like, but accepts them cheerfully as therapeutic workouts planned by a heavenly trainer who is resolved to get you up to full fitness.5 As spies, they were ready to stand up for their faith; now they even more prepared to live out their faith.

  1. Lesson #3: God gives us each what we need

    1. Joshua and Caleb did get their land – but they got it in very different ways.

    2. Caleb got his land shortly after the Israelites began to divide up the land; on the other hand, Joshua was the very last person to get land.

    3. The point is this, God works with each of us in different ways.

    4. He give us what we need to serve Him – but since we each are called to serve Him in very different ways, He gives us different gifts, He gives us different talents, He gives us different resources.

(Ill.) A concert violinist had a brother who was a bricklayer. One day a woman gushed to the bricklayer, “It must be wonderful to be in a family with such a famous violinist.” Then, not wanting to insult the bricklayer, she said, “Of course we don’t all have the same talents, and even in a family, some just seem to have more talent than others.” The bricklayer said, “You’re telling me! That violinist brother of mine doesn’t know a thing about laying bricks. And if he couldn’t make some money playing that fiddle of his, he couldn’t hire a guy with know-how like mine to build a house. If he had to build a house himself he’d be ruined.” If you want to build a house, you don’t want a violinist. And if you’re going to lead an orchestra, you don’t want a bricklayer. No two of us are exactly alike. None of us has every gift and ability. Our responsibility is to exercise the gifts we have, not the ones we wish we had. And when it comes to making decisions about your own life and the direction it should take, focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Know yourself. Know what you do well, and then go with your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.6

    1. God gave Caleb and Joshua land – in different ways and in different places. But he gave them what they needed when they needed it.

Conclusion: God will also give us what we need when we need it. Now we need the patience to wait.


1Streiker, L. D. (2000). Nelson's big book of laughter : Thousands of smiles from A to Z (electronic ed.) (152). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (509). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.



5Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (599). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

6AMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Joshua: The Priests Get Their Due
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Joshua: The Priests Get Their Due

Intro.: I once was a part of a party game.

  1. As each person arrived, they were given a colored slip of paper. The paper could have been red, green, or blue. 10% of those arriving got red slips, 30% got green slips, and the others got blue slips.

  2. As it came time for dinner, the people with red slips were told to sit in the back of the room, those with green slips were asked to sit in the middle of the room, those with blue slips were allowed to sit closest to the kitchen.

  3. The first food to come out was a feast – out from the kitchen came fresh green salad, bowls of corn and green beans, baked potatoes, and two huge roasts of Prime Rib of Beef. It was going to be a good dinner. And it was carried past those who had blue slips, and then past those with green slips; finally, it was placed on the tables alloted to those with red slips. It was going to be a good meal.

  4. The next food to come out was bowls of spaghetti. Now, the sauce was lucious, meaty, and full of vegetables – mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. And it was placed in front of those who had green tickets. They were a bit disappointed, but they were served tasty food – maybe it was okay.

  5. Finally, out came the bowls of white rice. And they were placed in front of those with blue slips.

  6. Two-thirds of the world's population goes to bed hungry each night.

  7. It sometimes seems that the distribution of the world's goods seems unfair. I wonder if that is how the Levites felt that day.

Read: Joshua 21:1-3


Trans: I want to spend the next few moments looking at the impact of the Levites on the Israelites.

  1. The Levites were prepared for what God offered

    1. The story of the Levites actually starts years before Joshua comes on the scene. We will begin our story by going back to Abraham. Abraham was very old before his son was born – Isaac. Isaac was a miracle – and a promise that God kept

    2. The story does not end with Isaac. Isaac had two sons – twins. The older, Esau, should have inherited ¾ of all Abraham's possessions. But one evening, Esau was hungry and Jacob traded a bowl of soup for Esau's birthright. It was about this incident that Malachi would later write eight hundred years later, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

(Ill.) A gentleman who thought Christianity was merely a heap of puzzling problems, said to an old minister, “That is a very strange statement, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’“ “Very strange,” replied the minister; “but what is it that you see most strange about it?” “Oh, that part, of course, about hating Esau.” “Well, sir,” said the minister, “how wonderfully are we made and how differently constituted! The strangest part of all to me is that He could ever have loved Jacob. There is no mystery so glorious as the mystery of God’s love.”1

    1. And Jacob had twelve sons – Each of these twelve sons began a family that would take the Jews into the promised land. Most of those families would receive an allotment of land – as we saw last week.

    2. You have heard of some of them. There was Joseph who rescued his family from famine, there was Judah – the leading family by the time of Jesus, there was Benjamin. But there was one who would receive no property. That was the family, or as they are better known, the tribe of Levi. The Levites have been set aside since the time of Moses to serve as Priests for the Israelite nation. They were not counted as part of the membership of the Jewish people – and they would not be given any land in the promised land.

  1. The Levites received what God offered

    1. The Levites were prepared to take what God would give them. As priests they had a responsibility to the entire Israelite nation. If they had been given land, they would be unfairly located in one region. They would not be given land, rather they were to be given cities scattered throughout the promised land – there are 48 cities and the surrounding land given to the Levites to raise their families. There were 13 in the south, 10 in the central plains, and 13 in the north. There were also 12 to the east of the Jordan river. 2

    2. God did not want the Levites to be tied to one group of people, but be available to serve the entire nation.

(Ill.) God always has had a global perspective. He scattered the priests. The early church was scattered through persecution. The modern missionary movement had its beginning with the translation of the scriptures into modern languages. One of the first of these was John Wycliffe. Here was a man who was declared a stiffed necked heretic because he translated the scriptures into English in the late 14th century. Wycliffe believed the Bible belonged to all believers – not just the clergy. And because that was true, it had to be made available in the language of his people. Wycliffe was British – he devoted his life to creating the first English translation of the Bible. God's love is not for a few – but for all. It is true today, it was true as the people settled into the promised land.

  1. The Levites used what God offered

    1. It was the priest that were responsible for maintaining the synagogues. It was the priests that were responsible for maintaining the temple in Jerusalem.

(Ill.) The priests training would start at age 25 – it began with a purification ceremony. After completing the purification ceremony, the young Levite would be brought to the door of the tabernacle and be set aside for service as the Jewish elders set their hand on him – Very similar to the ordination service in today's churches. They would begin their service as assistants and then move into other duties such as members of the temple orchestra, doorkeeper, or administrator. These Levites were also responsible for guarding the temple, cleaning it, and the various piece of furniture inside of it.3

    1. Now that is a pretty costly venture for anyone in an agricultural society that owns no land – a fact that God was acutely aware of.

    2. So the result was that the priests were to collect the tithe – for both their support and for the support of the synagogues and the temple.

    3. It is interesting that during this time, the Levites faith went from hot to cold – several times in the next 1400 years.

    4. By the time that Jesus arrived on the scene, it was not only the Levites that cool; but, with few exceptions, so was the entire Jewish nation.

    5. And that is part of the reason Jesus stood out – here was a man who lived out and demonstrated His faith in His broken world. He was different – He was like nobody else that they had met.

    6. You know, our world is not much different. We live in a world that has, for the most part, become cool in its faith.

(Appl.) Can you imagine a world where one person, two people, or three people, lived out their faith? Can you imagine a world where a few people allowed their faith to effect every decision they made? In His parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus insisted that true worship consisted of doing good to others. This is demonstrated by the lowly Samaritan traveler, who stopped to help a wounded man. His compassion is a contrast to the hands-off approach of a priest and a Levite, both of whom “passed by on the other side” (Luke 10:31–32).4 Will you be a priest, a Levite, or a Samaritan?


1AMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

2The Open Bible : New King James Version. 1998, c1997. Includes indexes. (electronic ed.) (Jos 21:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

3Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1995). Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. Rev. ed. of: Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.; Includes index. Nashville: T. Nelson.

4Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1995). Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. Rev. ed. of: Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.; Includes index. Nashville: T. Nelson.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Joshua: Decision Making God's Way
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Joshua: Decision Making God's Way

Intro.: I thought about bringing in a set of barbells this morning.

  1. Lift the 5# weight – no problem

  2. Lift the 25# weight – might struggle, but might be able to do it

  3. Lift the 100# weight

  4. Lift the 500# weight – I doubt that any of us could lift this weight. The Olympic record for weight lifting is just 671 pounds – but 500 is too close for comfort. At least my comfort.

  5. God's will is sort of like this – sometimes it is really easy. Other times it becomes a real challenge.

  6. Knowing and doing God's will can be a challenge to believers in every age.

  7. Joshua had to face it as he distributed the land to the Israelites.

Read: Joshua 13:1-7


Trans: As Joshua divided the land, it was done in three steps.

  1. The first step was the bulk of the land that was to be given to the twelve tribes that came from the descendants of Jacob.

  2. The second step, involved keeping a promise that was made by Moses to Caleb and Joshua – we will look at that passage next week.

  3. The third step involved providing for the one tribe that would not receive any land – the Levites. This will be the focus of our study the last week in October.

  4. But for now, Joshua is faced with dividing the Promised land between the eleven tribes that would get land.

T.S. There are three steps to follow when we are following God's will.

  1. Step 1: Know what God wants.

(Ill.) When children first start to color, they have two problems. First, they might choose colors that are inappropriate. Secondly, once the colors are chosen, they have a difficult time keeping the colors within the boundary lines. As they mature and keep on coloring, they learn to keep within the guidelines and to choose the appropriate colors, resulting in a satisfying picture. As children of our Heavenly Father, our prayer life often resembles a child’s coloring. At first, we don’t know what to pray for nor do our prayers stay within the guidelines of His will. As we mature and continue praying, though, we pray for the right things and stay within His will, resulting in a satisfying prayer life.1

    1. Something similar is true for God' s will. First, I have trouble knowing what His will is; and then, I have trouble doing it.

    2. I want to do what God wants. I expect that is why most of us are here. Seems simple enough.

    3. In fact, this was where Joshua found himself. He has the remarkable job of dividing the promised land among 12 families. And he wanted to do it God's way.

(Ill.) I expect he and Abraham Lincoln had similar thoughts – when addressing a group of Methodist pastors, he once said, “I can assure you that the subject is on my mind, by day and night, more than any other. Whatever shall appear to be God’s will I will do.”2

    1. But if Joshua, Lincoln, I am going to do what God wants, we need to know what he wants.

    2. What God wants will fall into two categories.

    3. There are those things that God makes very obvious. There a re very few secrets in what God expects of us – except for one fact, we don't take the time to get to know what he wants.

    4. How can I expect to do what God wants, if I don't know what he wants? Let me as a question, how much time have you spent this week? How much time have you spent in His word? How much time have you spent in prayer? (Remember, scripture says, “pray without ceasing”.)

    5. This is exactly what Joshua has done. He has spent years walking along side Moses, preparing for the time he would be called upon to lead. Moses had prepared him by making it clear what God wanted.

    6. Joshua understood that the first step to doing what God wants is to know what He wants. It is a lesson that we also need to learn.

  1. Step 2: Do what God wants.

    1. God makes much of what he wants from us obvious. Now we merely need to do it.

    2. That part is not as easy. You see, there is a part of us that wants to do things our way rather than God's way.

    3. But Joshua did it that way. As he began to parcel out the land, the pattern was extremely clear. Moses had parceled some of it out before they crossed the Jordan, other parts were a natural consequence of the pattern that had already been established.

    4. And so when Joshua had to go beyond those basic, he had prepared himself – had practiced what he what he had to do and was ready for the task.

(Ill.) Do you remember having to learn your ABCs? How did you do it. You kept repeating the letters over and over. Perhaps you even learned that wonderful little ditty, “ABCDefgHIJK lmnopQRSTuvwXYZ Now you know I know my ABCs, will you sing them again with me?” What was the secret? It boils down to this -- do you remember the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” It as true in the spiritual realm as it is in learning the alphabet or our multiplication tables.

    1. If we develop the habit of obedience in those things we know, it will be more likely that we will be obedient in those things that are less certain.

(Appl.) Someone has said that there are four questions involved in discerning God's will beyond what is explicitly given in scripture:

      1. Is is allowed by scripture?

      2. Do your circumstances allow it?

      3. As you listen to the Holy Spirit, does your heart say the chosen action is right.

      4. Do believers you trust see God's hand at work?

    1. I really think this step, the ability to do what God wants, is the hardest. It means that, when our wants and desires conflict with God's, they have to be set aside.

    2. We begin by know what God wants from us, we then do what he wants, and then comes ...

  1. Step 3: Celebrate what God has done.

    1. We can always celebration. It is not the results that we are celebrating – it is the fact that we have been obedient to what God wants.

    2. Results are God's responsibility – obeying is ours.

    3. Joshua understood this. After all the effort he and the Israelite army had spent in conquering the land, the first thing that book of Joshua records is, “This is the land that remains.” and Joshua 13 continues by listing all the areas that they had not conquered.

    4. It may be true that we are broken, but we may not be as broken as much as we thought. We want to measure success by what we want. But that is not God's measure. He only asks us to be obedient. Not to accomplish what we want.

(Ill.) You may remember the story of Charles Goodyear. Rubber had around for many years, but it was not very stable – and rotted easily. Products that were thought to be safe, ended up being less than perfect. Goodyear spent five years working on a process that would solve the problem. He began by mixing magnesia into the rubber, and for a while it looked like it would work. But no. And he tried other chemicals – magnesia, lampblack, and turpentine. No go. Then he tried running the finished rubber through nitric Acid – nope it did not work. Mixing, coating, using mechanical mixing of the components, using solvents to mix the various chemicals that were needed, nothing, He was at a lost. But you probably heard the end of the story. One day he spilled some of the rubber mixture on his stove – he kept trying. By man's standard he had blown it. He had to clean up his mess before he could continue. But as he cleaned up the mess, he realized that what he was cleaning was actually the product he had been looking for over the last few years. 3

    1. Just as Goodyear had to rethink how he was going to measure success, so must we. Success for the believer must be measured by our obedience – not by some external accomplishment.

    2. We can only celebrate because we have done what God has called us to do. Nothing else

Conclusion: Joshua could celebrate.

  1. He discovered what God wanted.

  2. He did it.

  3. He celebrated because he and the people of Israel did what God wanted.


1Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Bilical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

2Lincoln, Abraham. September 13, 1862, Saturday, in commenting to Rev. William W. Patterson, Rev. John Dempster, and representatives of the Methodist, Baptist, and Congregational denominations from Chicago, who had presented a petition supporting the emancipation of the slaves. John G. Nicolay and John Hay, eds., The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln: Speeches, Letters and State Papers (1905). William J. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, the Christian (NY: Abingdon Press, 1913), pp. 94-95. William J. Johnson, How Lincoln Prayed (NY: Abingdon Press, 1931), pp. 45-46. Charles Fadiman, ed., The American Treasury (NY: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1955), p. 381. Edmund Fuller and David E. Green, God in the White House—The Faiths of American Presidents (NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1968), p. 113. Carroll E. Simcox, 3000 Quotations on Christian Themes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), p. 14, No. 130. Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Glory of America (Bloomington, MN: Garborg’s Heart’N Home, Inc., 1991), 9.17. Found in Federer, W. J. (2001). Great Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced according to their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions. St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch. Found in Federer, W. J. (2001). Great Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced according to their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions. St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Joshua: Coming To A Close

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Joshua: Coming To A Close

Intro.: Over the last two years we have sung that little ditty three times:

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho,

Jericho, Jericho.

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho,

And the walls come tumbling down.1

  1. It was the Spring of 2006 that we first began this journey.

  2. Then the next Fall, we again walked through this book.

  3. And again, last Spring.

  4. Now we want to finish the book that we started so long ago.

Read: Joshua 1:1-9


Trans: The first five books of the Bible are known as the Pentateuch.

  1. With Joshua we begin the second major section of the scriptures – Beginning with Joshua through the book of Esther make up a group of twelve books known as the historical books.

  2. The historical books provide the history of the Jewish people from the crossing of the Jordan River into the promised land to a period about 400 years before the time of Christ.

  3. Between the end of the OT and the beginning of the NT there is 400 years of silence – at least as far as the scriptures are concerned.

  4. But the events of Joshua take place long before then – dated most often at 1400 BC. Some scholars will date it a bit later – but the date is not as important as recognizing that the events are provided to better prepare us to serve God.

T.S. As begin the end of our study of Joshua, I want to spend a few minutes of looking at four milestones that defined Joshua's early life.

  1. Snapshot #1: Joshua the spy (Numbers 13:1-33)

    1. Our first snapshot of Joshua is as a young man. He is a group of twelve sent into the promised land.

    2. There job was simple – report on the state of the land that God was going to give them.

    3. Though the job was simple, their report back to Moses was less so. The report started out positive: Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey. In fact they brought back examples of the produce they found. Nobody disagreed with that assessment. It was unanimous.

    4. But the rest of the report was not unanimous. It was the majority opinion: the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. More than one translation makes it clear that the men they found there were big – “giants”, if you would. And the majority of the thought that the men they saw were fierce enough, that they did not want to fight.

    5. However, there was a minority opinion: The land we passed through and explored is an extremely good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us into this land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and give it to us. Only don’t rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Don’t be afraid of them! Caleb was the spokesman, but when it came time to decide between the majority and minority, Joshua was right there, recognizing God's ability to hand the land over.

(Appl.) I don't think it was any easier for Caleb or Joshua to stand before these 10 men and represent God than it would be for us in the 21st century. Yet, here was a man of faith, that was willing to stand for what he believed. He sets an example for each of us – we live in a culture that does not want to hear about our faith, yet we, like Joshua, will find times when we are called to be honest and stand for our faith in the face of opposition.

  1. Snapshot #2: Joshua the leader (Deuteronomy 31:1-23)

    1. Joshua was a spy, he was also a leader. He was the man appointed by Moses to take leadership upon his death.

    2. He would be taking the Israelites that survived the 40 years since the spies had been sent out.

    3. We will see in the coming weeks some of the characteristics that made Joshua a successful leader. But it starts off with an appointment to lead.

(Ill.) H. Gordon Selfridge was born in Wisconsin, and became an early leader in the Marshall-Fields department store chain. But he eventually married an English woman and took the expertise he had learned under the tutelage of Marshall Field to build up one of the world’s largest department stores in London. He achieved success by being a leader, not a boss. Here is his own comparison of the two types of executives:

      • The boss drives his men; the leader coaches them.

      • The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will.

      • The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.

      • The boss says “I”; the leader, “we.”

      • The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown.

      • The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how.

      • The boss says “Go”; the leader says “Let’s go!”2

    1. As we finish our look at Joshua, we will see that we are looking at a leader – not a boss.

  1. Snapshot #3: Joshua the spiritual leader (Joshua 4:1-3)

    1. One might be tempted to say that Joshua was unique. After all we don't expect the leaders of our government to serve as spiritual leaders. It might be nice, but we don't expect it to be so.

    2. But that is what we in Joshua – a man who is called to be the leader of his people, but also

    3. Here is a man who listen to God, here is a man who obeys God, here is a man directs the building of altars. Yet he is not a priest. He is not a professional minister.

(Appl.) I said earlier that we don't expect the leaders of our government to serve as spiritual leaders; however, we should expect those believers who are leaders in our government, to also be spiritual leaders.

  1. Snapshot #4: Joshua the disciplinarian (Joshua 7:1-26)

    1. Joshua was a leader – but that also meant that he had to deal with some difficult issues.

    2. Perhaps the most famous case in Joshua's life was took place after he and the people of Israel conquered Jericho. You'll remember that story – God had the people march around the city for six days, then on the seventh day the walls came down. With exception of Rahab and her family, everyone in Jericho died. The people of Israel were commanded by God to take nothing from that city. Yet one man, Achan, took a beautiful cloak, 200 pieces of silver, a bar of gold. And it had consequences for all of Israel – they lost the battle at Ai.

(Ill.) Dr. J. Kenneth Kimberlin is a Presbyterian pastor. It was Dr Kimberlin that noted “We are free to sin, but not to control sin’s consequences.”3

(Appl.) I suppose it is a hard lesson for all of us to learn – we too often go through life thinking that the decisions we make have little effect on other people. We have all heard the expression, “I can do what I want as long as I don't hurt anyone else.” Yet what we do, does effect our families, it does effect our neighbors, it does effect our community, it does effect our nation.

    1. I am sure Achan never suspected it, but his sin did effect those around him.

Conclusion: We are now coming to the end of our study of Joshua. Before we finish our study of Joshua, we will ..

  1. We will see Joshua divide the land among the people of Israel.

  2. We will see Joshua renew the covenant between God and His people.

  3. We will see the impact that Joshua has had on the other writers of scriptures.

  4. Take time to reread the book of Joshua this week as we begin our final walk through this book.



2Sunshine Magazine found in Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

3J. Kenneth Kimberlin in Water, M. (2000). The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations (948). Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd.