As the LORD commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses. So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.
(Josh 11:15 23 NIV)
Joshua is one of the most impressive characters in all Scripture. He came out of adverse circumstances, was apprenticed to a great leader, and carried out his mission completely.
WHAT MADE HIM DIFFERENT?
People generally reflect those they are associated with. But Joshua was different.
1. How could you describe the Hebrews that Joshua was associated with while in Egypt, and then in the Sinai desert?
2. We are introduced to Joshua in Exodus 17:9. What qualities does he immediately present to us in this chapter?
After Joshua defeated the Amalekites he could have felt like a hero. This could have been so particularly because Joshua didn’t just lead the battle, he actually fought with his own sword in the battle (Ex. 17:13).
3. Why do you think God commanded Moses to do what it says in Exodus 17:14, where it was specifically for Joshua’s sake?
4. How is Joshua described in Exodus 24:13? When did this ministry commence according to Numbers 11:28? How would Joshua have fulfilled this ministry?
A MAN OF FAITH
Joshua was clearly a man of strong character. He was also a man of great authority who commanded tremendous respect as Israel’s military commander. But perhaps his greatest quality was his faith in God.
5. How is this illustrated in Numbers 14:6?
This was a pivotal time in Israel’s history. Because all the people, except Joshua and Caleb, didn’t have faith in God’s promises they were unable to possess the Promised Land. Because of Joshua and Caleb’s faith in God and His promises, they were the only two people who left Egypt and then received their share of the Promised Land.
6. Faith isn’t faith unless it’s tested. Faith isn’t pure unless patience is involved (Hebrews 6:12). In what ways can we see that Joshua’s faith was strong? (Consider Number 26:65; 32:12-13)
Joshua’s apprenticeship culminated in his appointment as Israel’s leader. This was done when Moses publicly laid his hands on him and imparted the necessary authority and gifts to lead (Numbers 27:18-23; Deut. 34:9).
7. Moses could have felt like yesterday’s man after he appointed and commissioned Joshua. He could have even felt threatened about Joshua’s leadership. But what does God command Moses to do in Deuteronomy 1:38 and 3:28 that would have prevented Moses from feeling this way?
8. Even though Moses did this, we get the impression that Joshua was still apprehensive. Based on the following Scriptures, how might Joshua have been feeling, and why? Deuteronomy 31:7, 23; Joshua 1:6; 9
9. What did God command him to do in Joshua 1:8? What promise came with obeying this?
10. What was the response of the people according to Joshua 1:16?
Joshua only slipped up twice during his entire leadership. The statements in Joshua 11:15 and verse 23 reinforce God’s grace. Despite these slip-ups, Joshua still achieved all that God had appointed him to do. He led the most faithful and obedient generation of Hebrews in the whole history of Israel. Surely, this supports the premise that eventually people reflect their leaders. Moses was initially reluctant to serve God and displayed an erratic temperament, and this can be seen in the people of that generation as well. But Joshua was submitted, faithful, teachable, and totally obedient, and this too can be seen in the people that followed him.
11. What practical lessons can we draw from the life Joshua for our own lives?
© 2001 Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania