Encourage * Scripture * Prayer * Next Steps
Conquer & Remember
Throughout the Old Testament, we are provided not only with a historical record of actual events, but we are also provided with spiritual pictures to guide us in our lives as Christians (1 Cor. 10:6). The Israelites crossing the Red Sea was a picture of salvation and baptism. As we will see in our study of Joshua, crossing the Jordan was a picture of rest—the rest that comes from living in obedience to God and His will for your life. When the Israelites refused to obey God’s plan for them, they lived lives of empty wandering which led to disappointment and death.
The next generation, determined to trust and obey God, found purpose and rest that comes from knowing God’s presence and peace. They still faced difficulties, battles and defeats from sin but, through it all, they felt the rest that came from knowing they were right where God wanted them to be.
As the book of Joshua opens, we find Joshua preparing to lead God’s people as a pastor, political leader, and military general, to fulfill their calling. As Joshua prepares, he has two choices before him. He can choose to remember the Israelites’ past failures, or he can choose to remember God’s deliverance and promises. I can’t even begin to imagine the pressure this man must have felt. His mentor was Moses. The Moses. Scripture tells us there was only one Prophet greater than Moses, and his name was Jesus. And, Joshua was chosen as his successor.
Can you imagine the anxiety this man must have felt? As the Book of Joshua opens, we are introduced to a Joshua who seems overwhelmed by his circumstances. Three times in the first 9 verses God admonishes Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” Do you think God would need to constantly repeat this admonishment if Joshua was not gripped by fear? Of course, Joshua was frightened. I know I am frightened by much less daunting circumstances.
God does for Joshua what he so often does for us as well—God reminds Joshua that he has nothing to fear. He reminds Joshua that the battle is already won. God will neither leave nor forsake him. As we study the book of Joshua, we will see time and again that he builds altars of remembrance. As God was reminding him of His presence, power and deliverance, Joshua reminded people what God had done for them. Likewise, Paul reminds us there will be struggles and difficulties, but in Christ Jesus, we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:31-39).
Remember, as we study this book, we are not only reading history and seeing how God spoke to Joshua, but also seeing how God is speaking to us. These words are applicable to our life today.
Joshua Week 1 Discussion Questions:
- What does it mean to be more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:37)?
- In addition to “be strong and courageous”, what were the two critical instructions that God gave to Joshua in Josh 1:7a and 8a? And how do we apply these two commands to our lives today?
- What are some of the altars of remembrance in your life?
- How do you see yourself…as a conqueror or someone who turns away when faced with difficulty?