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Joshua 1 (2018)






By: Jeremy Witt

Moses has died.  The nation is nearing the end of the time of mourning for Moses.  They are camped on the east bank of the Jordan River.  It has been 39 years since they received God’s law at Mount Sinai.  Joshua is beginning to take the mantle of leadership.  God appointed him in Numbers 27:18-23.  Joshua was one of the two only eyewitnesses to the Egyptian plagues and the Exodus along with Caleb.  Joshua was Moses aide for 40 years.


Joshua was an eyewitness to what Moses endured and learned much about what it takes to lead people, especially people who could be as belligerent, obnoxious, and difficult as God’s people.  Now they are about to move into the Promised Land which they will have to take by force, they are going to need a new type of leader, a military leader rather than a shepherd type leader as Moses was. 


Moses had done everything possible to make a change in leadership successful.  This is critical to us today.  It is true for countries.  It is true for business, and it is true in our lives.  When this transition is not done well, we get what our world has today, and yes, this includes the USA. 


I can’t imagine the things that Joshua felt or thought as he began to lead.  Fears had to be creeping into his mind.  These Israelites were not the easiest group of people to lead.  Doubt would try to press into his thoughts, and God spoke truth and confidence into Joshua’s life in verse 5 and following.  God knows exactly what we need and gives it to us at the perfect time.  We may not be Joshua or facing the exact situation, but the truth of Scripture is that God will not leave us or forsake us.  We do that to Him, or at least I sure have.  The principle that we really need to get and cement in our hearts and minds is that God is true to His Word.  He never breaks a promise.  May we be like Joshua and trust and believe the Words of God.


Verses 6-8 will be repeated in Joshua and throughout Scripture.  These words are critical for the people then and likewise for us today.  We will face difficult tasks, so we must be strong and courageous.  God’s laws give us structure, guidelines, and wisdom, so we should obey them.  We should be in God’s Word to give us wisdom and discernment.  The principles here were key for Joshua as a leader and key for us today.


In verse 10, Joshua begins to make plans, and gives instructions to the people.  He speaks to key leaders and informs them of what to do, and in doing so, the people respond in verses 16-18.  Do you notice that the people encourage Joshua as well in verse 18?  They tell him to be strong and courageous. 


A leader needs encouragement.  They need support and strength.  Knowing people support you are a vital bit of encouragement for difficult days and difficult decisions.  I am sure at times the people may not have understood the how’s or why’s, but they followed Joshua and trusted him, but more importantly stood behind him.  This is something we do not see much of today.  Individual opinions and ideas can be helpful at moments, but when it comes to a group, individuality can cripple the vision, plan, and mission of a group.  We see this both positively and negatively through the Israelites in their beginning to the present.  May we discern and apply these things to our lives today.

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Deut 34





SCRIPTURE:  Deuteronomy 34

By: Jeremy Witt

We come to our conclusion today and read of Moses’ death.  Moses has preached his sermon, led in worship in song, and given his blessings.  Let’s review one thing before we see Moses die.  What was his excuse when God first called him at the burning bush?  (Exodus 4:10)  It is an amazing thing how God will take our excuses and train us or equip us and overcome our excuses for His glory.  Moses preached in 3 ways to the nation, in sermon, song, and blessing.  Imagine what might have happened had he simply trusted God? 

Did you notice the differences between the tribes?  Moses did not give the same blessing to all.  God doesn’t do that with us either.  We are blessed in a variety of ways.  But how we react when someone else is blessed and we are not?  How do we respond when we see their gifts or someone being blessed by God?  Are we happy for them or jealous for ourselves? 

We see God show Moses the land of promise in verses 1-4.  He was blessed but not the same of those who got to go into the Promised Land.  He got to see it from a distance.  Yet Moses was still blessed.  If we hit “rewind” for those of you old enough to understand that term, we will several people have died prior to this who did not get to see this land of promise.  Abraham did not see it as Moses saw it.  Isaac, Jacob, Sarai, etc did not see this land as Moses did.  If we remember they traveled through it, lived there temporarily before a drought and moved to Egypt, and now their descendants are about to embark into the Promised Land.  I wonder if Moses saw this as a blessing or not?  Or was he jealous that he was not going to get to go into and conquer the land?

In verse 5, Moses did not die on the mountain but died in the valley of Moab.  He was buried by God Himself.  There is another Bible trivia question/answer for you.  I wonder why God buried Moses Himself?  What do people do at Elvis’ grave?  Or Abraham Lincoln’s grave?  Why do people of the Islamic faith go to Mecca?  Who is buried there?  I wonder if that is why God buried Moses Himself.  This would keep the Israelites from worshipping Moses.

Read verse 7.  Moses could still see, and he was still strong.  He died because God said it was His time.  That is true for all of us as well, isn’t it!  Moses wasn’t going blind or weak, but was still very capable of living and leading. 

Verse 9 leads us to our next book that we will begin tomorrow, so get ready for one of my favorite Old Testament books.

Verses 10-12 were clearly not written by Moses here, and was most likely Joshua that summarize the life of Moses.  One of the traits of Moses that we can learn from is that his position and the power of that position did not go to his head.  He was able to lead without abuse as so many have done and do today.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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