Faithlife Sermons

The Call to Courage

The Gospel Project  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God calls the new leader to be courageous

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I. Introduction

The book of Joshua recounts the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abram that he would give him and his descendants a land.
Genesis 12:1–3 NASB95
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
In the movie, a few good men Tom Cruise comes to the crossroad of whether or not he is going to accuse Colonel Jessup of ordering the code-red and risk court martial and the destruction of his young legal career. He needed courage to pull it off.
Desmond Doss saved 75 lives one at a time and won the congressional medal of honor during WWII on Okinawa.
The only leader that Israel has known, Moses, is dead. Apart from Christ, there is never been another leader that could match the leadership of Moses.
How would you feel if God had called you to step into those shoes?
Israel has come out of Egypt by the might hand of God. They have seen miracle upon miracle and God has delivered on his every promise up to this point. Now it is time to take possession of the land.
So the Torah/Pentateuch reveals
The creation and fall of humanity
Wrath and grace in the fall
Wrath and grace in the flood

Approaching the New Testament

Despite the book’s focus on the land, the main poles around which the theology of Joshua turns are the extermination of those who resist God and the granting of rest and partial enjoyment of the covenantal inheritance to those who believe and obey. [A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the OT, editor, Miles Van Pelt]
Deuteronomy 20:10–20 NASB95
“When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. “If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. “However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. “When the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. “Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the Lord your God has given you. “Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations nearby. “Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. “But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the Lord your God. “When you besiege a city a long time, to make war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them; for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you? “Only the trees which you know are not fruit trees you shall destroy and cut down, that you may construct siegeworks against the city that is making war with you until it falls.
Modern morality now sits in judgment of God and the morality we see in Scripture. How should the Christian respond?

II. God is our ever present source of courage and strength

Joshua 1:6–9 NASB95
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
What did God command Joshua?
Be strong.
Be courageous.
Be careful to do according to all the law

מְאֹ֗ד לִשְׁמֹ֤ר

Very diligent to observe or act
This Hebrew word MEOD
Genesis 1:31 NASB95
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
4. Do not deviate from God’s commandments to the left or to the right.
5. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth.
6. Meditate on it day and night.
7. You will do ALL that is written in it.
Matthew 28:19–20 NASB95
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
8. Do not tremble.
9. Do not be dismayed.
Do not be dismayed.
What did God promise Joshua?
1. Your way will be prosperous.
2. You will have good success.
3. I am with you wherever you go!
How do people pervert this verse?
The prosperity gospel preachers attempt to apply this literally to Christians living in the New Covenant.
Matthew 5:11–12 NASB95
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
1 Peter 4:14 NASB95
If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
But we don’t want to be reviled for the name of Christ. We want everyone to like us. Modern evangelical pastors are teaching people to believe that if the world doesn’t like it, it is because you are presenting the gospel in a hateful tone or your doing something wrong.
One celebrity pastor recently wrote a book called Irresistible.
Matthew 24:9 NASB95
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

III. God Works and We Work

God goes before his people to demonstrate his power.
Joshua 3:5–8 NASB95
Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people. Now the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you. “You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’ ”
Joshua 3:14–17 NASB95
So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
These are the kind of miracles that offend modern sensibilities.
The claim is made that these kinds of miracles are nothing more than embellishments on the part of the writers to create the myth that came to be known as Israel, the people of God.
The historical method rules our miracles as an inherently implausible because they are contrary to nature or human experience.
How should you respond?
If miracles were so common, they wouldn’t be miracles now would they.
God does his work and then we work - God goes before us in the preaching and witnessing of the gospel
Acts 2:23 NASB95
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
Acts 13:48 NASB95
When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 10:47 NASB95
“Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?”
1 Corinthians 1:26–31 NASB95
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
John 5:17 NASB95
But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
Proverbs 21:1 NASB95
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Acts 10:48 NASB95
And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.
Never ever think that God is out of control. Nothing happens that God did not ordain. God’s plan is perfect and God perfectly executes his plan.
It has never been the case that a particular flea was found on a particular dog where God did not ordain it. There has never been an ant in all the world, throughout the entire history of ants, that strayed from the path God planned for it from eternity.

IV. God calls His people to Remember and Testify of His Works

Joshua 4:20–24 NASB95
Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ “For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
John 4:20–24 NASB95
“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Ephesians 2:11 NASB95
Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—
2 Timothy 2:8 NASB95
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,
Luke 17:17–18 NASB95
Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
John 20:30–31 NASB95
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
1 Peter 3:13–16 NASB95
Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
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