Faithlife Sermons

Some Qualities of a Christ-like Community

Joshua  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Exposition of how the Israelites committed to follow Joshua and keep their oath to support one another in entering into God's promised land and His rest

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Joshua 1:10–18 ESV
10 And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ” 12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” 16 And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! 18 Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

Obedient- Joshua accepted God’s call to lead and he shared the duties of leading.

Christ-like obedience- One of the greatest lessons we learn from the life of Christ is to obey the will of the Father. We know this because Christ says, I have come to do the will of my Father on multiple occasions in the Gospels.
Here we read of Joshua who was obeying the command to lead, which put him in a position to be accepted and obeyed or rejected and disobeyed. (He had been around long enough to know it could go either way) When Moses took the role of leader, he tried to make excuses. We see here that Joshua simply obeyed and moved forward in faith, trusting God would provide what He said He would provide and as we have observed in previous messages, this was Joshua’s M.O.
Joshua 1:10–11 ESV
10 And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ”
Joshua 1:10 ESV
10 And Joshua commanded the officers of the people,
Josh 1:10-11
This was a significant event that they were about to embark on. They had spent virtually their entire lives wandering in the wilderness. Their way of life is about to change drastically.
I remember one of the biggest decisions I ever made was to marry my sweetheart, but as the wedding was about to start, while I was very excited to be married and very much looked forward to my future with her, I also got very nervous.
Why was I nervous? Because of the long-term commitment I was making and because life would be different for me from that day on. Consider the situation that the Israelites were in. They had been wandering for years and now they would have a place to call their own. A wonderful land full of opportunity and blessing. Think of the emotions of excitement and anticipation but also the concern of the conquest ahead, and the thoughts of uncertainty and the unknown they must have been experiencing. What would the land be like? How strong and fortified are the cities we are going to conquer? How long will the battles last? How many lives will be lost in the process of taking the land?
What we see, is that they were in this together. They were a community. In fact they were a family. A very large extended family.

Community/Family

Joshua 1:11 ESV
11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ”
Josh 1:11
Joshua
Partnership- The leadership was shared and the other leaders did their part
Often it is helpful to share the load of leadership, to strengthen and encourage one another during the ups and downs of life.
To help one another communicate the objective. To remind one another what the objective is. To spur one another on when the going gets tough.
Parents- training children
Children- obeying and honoring parents
Members- building one another up in unity to be more Christlike.

Qualities of a Christ-like Community

We will look at a few of the qualities the Israelites displayed, which were also displayed by Jesus Christ. This is not an exhaustive list, but the qualities are ones that we ought to seek to emulate in our lives, as we seek to help others know Christ and gain a better understanding of our Heavenly Father.
Joshua 1:
Joshua 1:12–15 ESV
12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

Content- They were pleased with what God provided.

Numbers 32:1–5 ESV
1 Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock. 2 So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the land that the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” 5 And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.”
Numbers 32:5 ESV
5 And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.”
Christ, our Supreme example demonstrated the ability to be content when He came to earth as a man, as He willfully set aside many of His attributes, and humbled Himself, and was born a baby, so that He could accomplish the Father’s will.
Paul also demonstrated the ability to be content despite the difficult circumstances that he frequently faced in his lifetime.
Philippians 4:10–13 ESV
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
There are plenty of examples of the children of God being discontent. Chances are we don’t have to think very long to remember a time in our lives when we have experienced discontentment. Hopefully, for the sake of our Lord’s name, we don’t have to think very long to recall a time of contentment either.
In fact, let me ask you this:
Paul also demonstrated the ability to be content despite the difficult circumstances that he frequently faced in his lifetime.
Philippians 4:10–13 ESV
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
In fact, let me ask you this:
When is the last time were struck with the realization that God has blessed you and provided for all your needs and many of the things you simply want?
The two and a half tribes were content to stay on the east of the Jordan River because the land met their needs.
There is an obvious distinction from their response to that of those who refused to enter the land because they were afraid. They weren’t shirking responsibility. They were not trying to abandon their fellow Israelites. If fact, they proved how much they cared for them, which is the 2nd quality of a Christ-like community.

Caring/Concern- They demonstrated love for their fellow citizens.

Joshua 1:16–17 ESV
16 And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses!
The Reubenites, Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh were concerned for the welfare of the other tribes. They cared enough to leave their own families behind, in order that the other tribes would be successful in possessing the land on the other side of the Jordan River. Their care for one another was accompanied by a similar quality, which is the third quality of a Christ-like community. They were committed to the cause.

Committed- They agreed to follow through on previous orders until the job was done.

Numbers 32:5 ESV
5 And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.”
Num 32:
There are plenty of examples of the children of God being discontent. Chances are we don’t have to think very long to remember a time in our lives when we have experienced discontentment. Hopefully, for the sake of our Lord’s name, we don’t have to think very long to recall a time of contentment either.
When is the last time were struck with the realization that God has blessed you and provided for all your needs and many of the things on you list of “wants”.

Promise Keepers- Following through on Moses’ command to go with the others into the land, until they possess the rest promised to the other tribes.

The two and a half tribes were content to stay on the east of the Jordan because the land met their needs.

Punishment Published-

There is an obvious distinction from their response to that of those who refused to enter the land because they were afraid.

Committed- They agreed to follow through on previous orders until the job was done.

Joshua 1:15–18 ESV
15 until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” 16 And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! 18 Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”
Joshua 1:15-18

They were committed to obey no matter the cost.
Let your yes, be yes and your no be no.
Matthew 5:37 ESV
37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Matthew 5:33–37 ESV
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
They were committed to fight for others to receive their inheritance.
They were at rest, knowing God would keep them.
They did this despite the risk to their wives, children and livestock.
They were committed to keep one another accountable. (Whoever rebels against Joshua’s commands and disobeys his word, whatever he commands, shall be put to death.)
A mission society is reported to have written to David Livingstone- “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to send other men to join you.” Livingstone replied, “If you have en who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”
We need to be committed to the task that God has called us to. We need to be sure of our commitment to obey God’s Word and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The men of Israel were committed and they remained strong and courageous, and they encouraged Joshua and the other leaders to do the same.

They were obedient, they were content, they were caring, they were committed and finally, they were Strong and Courageous-

They reminded Joshua of God’s presence and the necessity of being bound to the Word of God and to obey it.
As we look at those qualities, I think we can all agree that they are qualities and character traits that Christ also demonstrated.
If we are Christians (little-Christs) then we too will be content with they way that God has chosen to provide for us.
We will care about our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will want to help them to enter into the Rest that God has provided for them.
We will be committed, ensuring that our yes means yes and our no means no.
We will also be strong and courageous. We will be willing to hold strong and fast to the Word of God, and if we do these things by grace of God, through the work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we be a light to the people around us and we will bring glory to our Heavenly Father.
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