Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19950830.htm
JOSHUA: CONQUERING AMIDST OBSTACLES TO GOD'S ASSIGNMENTS
Part I: Overcoming The Personal Anxiety Of Overwhelming Responsibilities
Lesson: When God's assignments seem overwhelming, and we get anxious about them, we can function well as follows: (1) gain hope for success to offset our fears by hoping with the precedents of (a) how God helped other believers in history do similar tasks, and in (b) noting how He has given us just enough experience already for the tasks we must perform now; (2) we gain insight into taking future steps as we proceed by (a) constantly saturating our minds with Scripture (b) so that we make decisions with the mind of God applied to every situation faced! In doing so, God blesses us in each step of the endeavor, and we gain the confidence to be courageous in the prodigious task we face!
- As Christians, we all have responsibilities to perform for God. Students must attend class, parents must rear their children well and heads of households must bring home the family income, etc.
- However, due to obstacles we face or limitations we have, we may want to hide from the task at hand.
- Joshua faced overwhelming responsibilities when Moses died, and God gave him instruction to keep him going that teach us also about overcoming anxiety to achieve while facing overwhelming responsibilities:
- Overcoming The Personal Anxiety Of Overwhelming Responsibilities, Joshua 1:1-9.
- When Moses, the servant of God passed away, it left a gaping hole where once a spiritual rock had stood:
- When the book of Joshua starts, the man, Moses had just passed away, Joshua 1:1-2a.
- This was a tremendous loss to the people of Israel and, specifically, to Joshua, Moses' servant:
- Moses was highly educated for leadership, being raised in Pharaoh's court, Ex. 2:10. His death left an enormous human vacuum of leadership that was placed on Joshua's shoulders, Num. 27:15-18.
- Moses was originally supposed to have led the nation both out of Egypt and into Canaan, but was stopped from doing so under divine discipline due to personal sin, cf. Deut. 32:48-51; 34:5. Thus, Joshua was left with a burden that was not originally his, an added anxiety for him to face!
- The nation Moses left was a difficult group to handle! They were so bad that God stalled Israel's entering Canaan for forty years until an entire sinful generation had died off, Num. 14:22-23,30-33.
- Yet, Joshua was left with the burden of using less formal leadership training than Moses, doing a job not originally assigned to him and with a group proven to be difficult to lead, all to lead them unitedly to conquer Canaan, Joshua 1:2b,c! Humanly, it was a staggering task for Joshua!
- However, God expected Joshua to accomplish the task, Joshua 1:2b!
- Just HOW he was to do this is formulated carefully for Joshua by the Lord in Joshua 1:2c-9 as follows:
- God had set a big precedent of promise fulfillment regarding the movement of the nation out of Egypt, and that precedent provided the current hope that Joshua needed that he would succeed:
- When Moses first began to lead, Israel did not have confidence in him, Ex. 2:13-15,21-22.
- Yet, even with his objections to the contrary, God brought Moses as a "has-been" back into Egypt to take the nation out of Egypt with great power, Ex. 3:6-8,10 with 3:11,13; 4:1,10,13; 14:30-31. This all happened due to God's keeping His unconditional covenant to Abraham, Gn. 15:13-21.
- Well, since that covenant was only half fulfilled in taking Israel out of Egypt, the other half of taking Israel into the land remained promising, especially to Joshua, cf. 1:2c.
- With this precedent of partially-fulfilled promise in place, God confirmed the covenant to Joshua, encouraging him that he would be a success in conquering the land of Canaan, Jos. 1:3-4,5-7a.
- God had already given Joshua practice in leading under Moses, equipping him with enough experience so that he knew how to function in his job at present, cf. Num. 27:18-23.
- God then laid out the step-by-step formula for oshua in follow in the near future to perform his task:
- As a way of life, Joshua was to meditate habitually on the Word of God, Jos. 1:8b.
- Due to this habitual meditation, Joshua would know the right move to make every time, 1:7b,c.
- In making the right move as leader every time, God would bless his every move, 1:8b-9.
- In this way, Joshua could afford to be very courageous and strong in his leadership role, 1:7a,9a.