Joshua 1-3 shows the leadership of Joshua and his ability to lead people where they should have already gone. The new generation listened and were prepared to go where their ancestors were unwilling because of carnality and fear. Surely this new generation of Israelites had enough of wandering aimlessly in a desert land! rarely does opportunity knock more than once, unless it is the unfinished plan of God. The point of raising up a nation from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was to have a people for God’s own glory. To have a witness to the majesty and power of Elohim. I am sure that just as the early nation had set backs because of lack of faith, we to have been the object of our own disobedience. When we think through the work of God in the Old Testament to make a people, a specific people, and peculiar people for His own work, we must remember God’s plans will not be thwarted by us. There were upwards of over 1 million people who died after being delivered out of Egypt. Oh what could have been, but it was not to be! We all have missed the perfect will of God, yet God is patience with us, he doesn’t give up on us – I am thankful for that, because there are times I give up on myself!
We could look at these first chapters in Joshua like a Second Exodus, for there is familiar language and actions that were done crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan. For example the memorial stones gathered and erected to answer the questions of the young ones when they see the stones. Forgive me for the side note here – our nation has been embroiled in a rebellion that is trying to destroy the journey so many people in America have been through and the destruction of the Memorial monuments that were erected for us to explain bad talk about their meaning. We cannot sanitize our lives from all the wrong we have done, but we can learn from the mistakes and evil by remembering and being reminded about the events of human actions. We live history, sometimes it is really ugly, sometimes glorious, but either way it is life of mankind. How are others to keep from making the same wrong decisions? Teach them when they ask about the memorials. There are many events i wish i could go back and do over, but i have to remember those events formed me and others for who we are today – do i throw out the baby with the bath water because the water is dirty- No, we confess and move on in life, having learned from it.
Okay, back to Joshua, there was a significant attitude shift at Jericho, we are going forward, we will trust the LORD and press forward to the Land that was meant to be ours forty years ago. Just as Moses sent spies into the land for 40 days, here we find the objective was view the land, not take a vote of whether they should go across. The Spies meet Rahab the harlot, living on the outer wall of the city. We know how she used the scarlet ribbon to designate her home. Side note – you think that’s where “the red light district” phrase came from? Rahab brings a testimony about what Jericho already knew, they were living where God had given Israel to live. There was faith in Jericho! The people were ready, knowing that this massive nation that camped on the river of Jordan would take the Land. Rahab secured safety for her family and a covenant similar to that fatal night of the Passover when God delivered Israel from Egypt. Rahab has a great testimony and even though she is a “gentile” she is included in the linage of Jesus. God rewards faith – everyones faith!
Finally the day comes to make ready and go across the Jordan. God enabled them to walk across on dry ground, the Ark of the Covenant and the Levities in the lead. Can you imagine what it must have been like to finally advance out of the Wilderness? Or even to watch from Jericho as nearly 1.6 million people descend on the city! Jericho had heard what God did in Egypt and the Red Sea, now they were watching an enactment of the power of God before their eyes! And so the journey begins finally. How many today are waiting to do what God told them to do years ago? Well, it’s time to get ready and Go!