Joshua: The (Almost Always) Courageous (Featuring The Peculiar Treasures)

 

I am so excited to introduce this wonderful lady to you all! I started poking around her blog a few months ago and FELL IN LOVE with what she talks about and I think you will too!

 

So (drumroll please!) Without further ado, Kristin from The Peculiar Treasure!

 

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She has a great post for us talking about Joshua so dig in and tell us what you are thinking!

 
 

A photo by Todd Quackenbush. unsplash.com/photos/Nk5rSNq13sM

 
 

I’m not going to lie- sometimes I can be a big weenie when it comes to things that scare me. Ask me to go talk to a stranger, invite someone who looks sad to sit at our lunch table, or ask the embarrassing question that no one else is willing to ask, and I’m your girl! But ask me to meet someone for an interview by myself, dance in front of a crowd, or do any sort of public speaking, and you’ll see a totally different woman. The difference? The first set of tasks doesn’t scare me at all. The second set absolutely does!

 

But this begs the question, what is courage? Because if courage is simply doing things that scare other people, but don’t scare me, then boy am I courageous! But something tells me that isn’t exactly what God had in mind when he told us to be courageous.

 


 

Joshua 1:9 is probably the most quoted verse from the book of Joshua- and for good reason! But did you know that within the first chapter of Joshua, God had already said “Be strong and courageous” two other times?

 


6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors 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 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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 afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

Sometimes, I fear that people skip over this far too quickly (myself included).

 

We tend to read it and think, “Ok, I will be courageous and strong today during my presentation. And I will do great”. And while there isn’t anything wrong with drawing courage from this verse, there is a lot more to it- and to all of Joshua- than that.

 


Courage and Faithfulness

The thing about God telling Joshua to be strong and courageous, is that that’s not all He said. What He really said was, (and I’m paraphrasing): “Be strong and courageous. Cling on to me, and seek me, and trust me. That is where your courage should come from. Keep my commands near, live by them, and trust me for all I’ve promised”.

 

So when we say, “I’m a Christian. I can have courage and do well on this project”, that’s great and all, but God is asking for far more than us just declaring that we will do well. He is asking us to trust HIM.

 

Courage has nothing to do with trusting our own abilities. Courage- real courage- is trusting God and knowing that He is in control, leading, and holding us.
Throughout the book of Joshua, Joshua seeks God, listens for God, and obeys God. He trusts God to 1.) do what He has already promised, and 2.) continue leading him all through his life.

 

There is one incident however, in Joshua 9:14 that Joshua hastily took a deal with some men he met on the outskirts of the city. He did not consult God about this (he was trusting his own wisdom and desires, instead of seeking God first). This resulted in Joshua being tricked by the men he made a deal with.

 

When I read that passage, I don’t naturally think of Joshua’s sin as a lack of courage. But if we define being courageous as trusting what God has commanded us to do, living by it, and seeking Him in all things (especially when things aren’t black and white), then in this moment, Joshua was not being courageous. He was, in true human fashion, being a weenie.

 

 

But you know what? We all have those moments. Joshua did not seek God, and that was a bad thing, but God had mercy on him. And God has mercy on us, too.

 

He only asks that we work towards being courageous and trusting Him the next time around.

 

So next time we are afraid, we need to remember that courage is the act of trusting God, no matter how scared we are, and no matter how difficult things look. We are to trust that He will help us accomplish what we need to accomplish, that He will help us in times of trouble, and that He is taking care of every aspect of our lives. That, dear friends, is courage. And that is what God asks of us.

 
 

Don’t forget to check out more great content at Kristen’s blog The Peculiar Treasure
thepeculiartreasureblog.com

 
 

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The Forgotten Stones-Joshua 4-GMG

This chapter was a difficult one to write about because there is the reminder of getting across the Jordan, however there are also the 12 stones that are left at the bottom of the Jordan River that the Bible says are still there.

So let’s talk about the memorial 12 stones first because we know for sure what those mean. God wanted the people to remember for all future generations how they came to the Promised Land as well as the struggles that God helped them through supernaturally to get there.

The generation that wandered in the wilderness was not very good at remembering what God had done for them even though they had A LOT of cool things happen. (The cloud and fire were really neat!) Joshua explains to the people that they will tell their children about what God did for them and the pile of stones was the reminder.

Now the hard part! After reading several weird ideas and re-reading that section of chapter 4 several times, here is my idea of what it means.

I think the 12 stones that are at the bottom of the Jordan symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel that didn’t get to the Promised Land. It was a clean slate, but also a way to almost mourn for them as well. If you really think about it the people that are going into the land were young, just born, or not even a twinkle when Israel was told they would wonder for 40 years (which may be why they needed to see the water part as well in order to understand the greatness of God they had heard about because they had not seen all the awesome miracles God had done for their parents).

The fact that we are told the stones are there to this day shows that there was a distinct group of people who didn’t get to the Promised Land because they didn’t believe they would make it or that God would come through.

You could take that all the way out to salvation saying we all have the opportunity to get to the Promised Land (Heaven), but some will not believe and be left behind.

It is interesting to think about, but not even scholars who are WAY SMARTER than I can agree, so I pose the question to you…What do you think the 12 stones in the Jordan mean?

Reminders of Victory-Joshua 3-GMG

Remember how when God goes before us good things happen? Well chapter 3 is a great illustration of that! The Ark of the Covenant (God) literally went before the people. Did you catch the part where God was going before them because they hadn’t been that way before? (verse 4)

He was paving the way for them to take the Promise Land and claim victory. They just had to show up and follow God!

God goes a step farther and parts the Jordan so they can walk across on dry land, not muddy ground—dry ground. Water moving and it being dry instantly if a big deal! I think this was really to remind Israel how and by whom they gained their freedom from Egypt, as well as foreshadow victory for the nation.

How are you reminded about God’s victory in your life? Is there something special that reminds you? Is there a moment you will never forget?

For our family it is moving into our house. My husband and I were not sure we would ever be able to own a home with me staying at home with the littles and him working his way up the ladder. It was stressful renting and moving and renting and moving again. We felt like we were stuck! But you know what, God came through in His timing. If it had been my timing of what I thought was right, we would not have found our perfect house, we may have had a roadside baby (crazy right?!), and it may have taken us a lot longer to move.

Thank God, God is God and I am not! I had nothing figured out the whole time, everything happened and there is no way we could say it wasn’t God. I still walk in the door and can’t believe that this place is ours!

But enough about me, I want to hear your story… Comment below and tell me what reminds you of the victories you’ve seen in your life.

Holy Ground Flashbacks-Joshua 5-GMG

Did anyone else do a double take at the end of this chapter!? When I read that Joshua was told to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground, I had a flashback to Moses with the burning bush. Isn’t it cool that God was making Himself so known to the people of Israel!

I find it interesting that He is also the Commander of God’s army (Jesus?). We know Joshua worshipped Him and (at least in my NKJV Bible) every term referring to this Commander is capitalized, which references God, so either God is the Commander of God’s army, OR Joshua is totally meeting Jesus face to face (which is more likely because 1. Joshua calls Him Lord, 2. Joshua worships Him, and 3. Joshua doesn’t die at the sight of His face{Exodus 33:20})

(Humming “I’m in the Lord’s Army)

But, back to the first part of the chapter… Joshua is commanded to circumcise all the men who were born in the wilderness because it had not been done yet. This is part of the new beginning we talked about before, and it was a reminder of the covenant God made with Abraham, which is where the circumcision started.

Another important quick detail is that the manna stopped coming. This was one of the first steps of taking in the land because they were able to eat of the land that whole year.

These last few chapter, in hindsight, are preparation for the people before they take over Jericho.

The Lord’s Reputation-Joshua 2-GMG

In Joshua 2 we see that Joshua was trying to see what was out in the land God had told him to take by sending two spies out to survey the area.

After taking refuge at the harlot Rahab’s house, the men are protected there, but Rahab tells them a very interesting thing in verse 8-13

8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the
men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has
fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of
you.10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you
when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites
who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly
destroyed.11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did
there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God,
He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you,
swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will
show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my
father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our
lives from death.”

Even after wandering in the desert for YEARS people were still very aware of what God had done for the Israelites. These people were shaking in their proverbial boots because they saw the power of God go before Israel and they knew they weren’t in line with God. They lost ALL Courage! There was no one who even thought they could beat Israel due to the miraculous wonders God had done through them.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have people say, “Hey! I know you are a child of the King because of all the amazing stuff that’s happened to you” And really it’s through you to bring God glory. These wonders made it clear to Rahab that the Israelite God was the only God over everything.

It reminds me of what two different pastors at two different churches said last weekend. They both posed the question, “Do we let God shape our lives, or our we trying to just squeeze Him in where we want?”

“Do we let God shape our lives, or our we trying to just squeeze Him in where we want?” Click To Tweet

“Okay God, You stay in the Sunday spot and the Wednesday night spot, oh, and the Friday night spot for Bible study, but the rest of the time is mine and I will pray when I need something! Talk soon!”

But isn’t that the reality of it? We separate our work, friends, and family away from God because integrating Him in to every aspect of our life is complicated and messy and then EVERYTHING is exposed. We pretend He can’t see this part of my life, or this sin I’m hiding over here, but HE CAN. We aren’t fooling anyone, but ourselves. God already knows all those areas, but until you give it over to Him you will be miserable holding on to them and trying to juggle them yourself.

Let God have all those broken pieces because He is better than Doc McStuffins at fixing broken things. Click To Tweet

Let God have all those broken pieces because He is better than Doc McStuffins at fixing broken things. Let Him have your life and let Him go before you because it is ultimately about Him getting the glory anyways.

Be Strong & Courageous-Joshua 1-GMG

 

Wow! This first day of Bible study was great! Do you just feel better knowing that God tells us to be strong and courageous!

 

What I found the most interesting in chapter 1 was that God tells Joshua no one can stand before him, but then He also says be strong and courageous.

 

Joshua 1:5-6

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.”

 

Do you ever feel like believing what God said He would do is the hardest part? Like when you don’t see a prayer answered right away or not the way you wanted? When your spouse does something that you have been begging God for them to stop? Or when life hands you lemons and takes your water and your sugar?

 

I know it is tough for me! Some of the promises we have are so GREAT that it is difficult to imagine they are for us, or that we even deserve them. However, we have to be strong and courageous and hold on to the promises God has given us because He wants us to have an abundant life! (John 10:10b)

 

John 10:10b “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Click To Tweet

 

God is preparing the stage and we need to show up to play the part that he wrote for us and not take creative license to do it our own way, but to let him direct the play. Click To Tweet

 

God is preparing the stage and we need to show up to play the part that he wrote for us and not take creative license to do it our own way, but to let him direct the play. He knows what He is doing, He knows how the play ends, He knows the plan and the end result, we just have to trust Him.

 

I know it’s not easy, but we will figure it out together. One Day At A Time

 

 

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