| Strong And Courageous
C: Joshua was a young man when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. He was on Mount Sinai with Moses when Moses received the 10 Commandments from God. As a young man, Joshua was sent with Caleb and 10 other men in Numbers 13 to see what the promised land was like. For 40 years he wandered in the desert with the Israelites. Then Joshua led them into the promised land. The book of Joshua was written describing how the Israelites took the promised land. It was written around 1400 B.C.
1. "I Will Give You Every Place You Set Your Foot."
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide:
2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites.
3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west.
5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Q: When did all this happen, according to verse 1? [After Moses had died.]
C: They must have all been sad about Moses' death. But God told Joshua to get up and lead the people to the promised land. He promised them victory in every place! He told them in verse 5 that "no one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life."
What a great promise! Imagine if God said that to you. You'd feel so encouraged. And yet that is exactly what Jesus promised us in Matthew 28:20 "surely I will be with you always..." God said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." The world dumps us and abandons us.
Q: Have you ever been abandoned or dumped by someone?
C: God's promises to us are just as good as the ones he gave to Joshua. Even in our area, God wants us to win every neighbourhood.
Q: What are some places around here that God wants to save?
2. "Do Not Let This Book of the Law Depart From Your Mouth."
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Q: What did God tell Joshua over and over again in this passage? ["Be strong and courageous."]
Then why does God tell him to be courageous here? [Because each new challenge requires courage. We can't rely on past victories to make us confident. We must be strong and confident in God's power each time.]
What warning did God give in verses 7-8? [To be careful to obey all the law Moses had given.]
C: God told Joshua not to let the Bible leave his mouth and mind. He told him to meditate on it day and night (v.8). He told him not to be terrified (v.9).
Q: Have any of you ever been terrified?
3. "You Are to Help Your Brothers."
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people:
11 "Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.'"
12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,
13 "Remember the command that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: 'The LORD your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land.'
14 Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers
15 until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise."
C: In verse 10, Joshua told the leaders to prepare the people. He told them that in 3 days they'd be crossing the Jordan to go into the promised land. He challenged the tribes who already had their land to also go and fight the Canaanites. He said, "help your brothers" (v.14). God had promised that all of them would get land, but he did not want those who had already gotten their land to stop fighting. He wanted them to work as a team. That is the way we must be in this family group.
Q: What are some ways that we can work as a team?
- Help each other find jobs.
- Babysit for those with kids.
- Do each others' follow-ups.
- Pray together.
- Help each other with household chores.
- Having meals together.
- Evangelise together.
4. "We'll Do Everything You Say."
16 Then they answered Joshua, "Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses.
18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!"
Q: How did the people respond to Joshua's challenges? [They were humble and fired up. They agreed to do everything he said! They promised to fully obey him. They even promised to kill those who did not obey.]
C: In the same way, we must fully obey our leaders. We should ask advice before going out of town. We should ask advice about our jobs, and our timings. We should trust God about the fact that we will get married someday. We must listen to advice it is given for our own good.
God wanted Joshua to be strong and courageous. He wanted his people to work as a team. That is what we must do in this family group.