Praise in Joshua
HIS faithfulness to his promises (1:3);
HIS presence among his people (1:9);
HIS provision for daily needs (5:12);
HIS salvation that is available to all people (6:25);
HIS concern for obedience and purity in worship (7:10-15);
HIS intervention on our behalf (10:12-13);
Our assigned responsibilities and the strength he gives us to fulfill them (15:13-14);
HIS concern for justice and mercy (20:1-9);
Committed leaders like Joshua (24:15);
The testimony of his people (24:16-18).
Worship in Joshua
The book of Joshua teaches us that worship involves action. We must act on God’s promises. Time and again Joshua consulted God, acted on his instructions, and then worshiped God in response to his deeds. Joshua followed God’s instructions for crossing the Jordan River, and then he created memorials of stone to remind the people of the event. Later, Joshua received instructions for conquering Jericho, carried them out, and then built an altar to the Lord.
Worship may involve a bold step into the unknown or a humble walk on familiar ground. Worship may require us to go forward in obedience or to stand still in reverence. Regardless of what God asked, Joshua obeyed and charged others to do the same. But even during Joshua’s lifetime, it was becoming clear that the people were failing to possess their inheritance.
At the end of his life, Joshua seemed to suspect that the people lacked the zeal that was necessary to serve the Lord (24:19). The tragic results of this trend became evident during the time of the judges, when action failed to follow commitment to the Lord. Let us constantly strive to put feet to our worship today, lest we make these same mistakes.
God’s people have battled against evil since the earliest times. In the New Testament, Paul reminds us that we are engaged in a daily struggle against the powers of Satan (Ephesians 6:10-12). In the book of Joshua, the Ark of the Covenant led the Israelites into battle, and the walls of Jericho crumbled at the sound of the ram’s horn, which was normally used to call the people to worship (6:4-5). A hailstorm killed droves of Amorites (10:11). The sun and moon stood still as Joshua finished off a coalition of enemy kings (10:12-13).
Although the Israelites possessed military skill, they were dependent on God’s leadership to overcome the considerable obstacles they faced. If we are faithfully following God, we will almost certainly encounter obstacles in our journey. Yet we can take encouragement from God’s directive to Joshua: “I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (1:9).
In order to please God, we should meditate on his Word (1:8).
The Lord’s deeds proclaim to everyone his dominion over the world (2:11).
The Lord will guide us, but we must follow in obedience (3:17).
Symbols and memorials testify to God’s deeds and remind us to fear him (4:20-24).
If we are to overcome our enemies, we must obey the Lord’s instructions (6:1-21).
The Lord is faithful to his promises, including his promise of rest for those who obey him (21:43-45).
Misunderstandings over worship methods lead to needless dissension and feuding (22:30-34).
The testimony of those who have witnessed God’s mercy can help us remain faithful to God (24:31).