Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.2 Do You Hear What I Hear???
Joshua is one of my favorite Bible characters because he was a faithful servant of God and of Moses. He served as Moses’ “assistant” for some 40 years, and an obedient servant of God. We’re not told much about his early life, but like the rest of the Israelites he was born into slavery in Egypt, but he saw the hand of God along with the Israelites, but he was different from may of them—he believed God. He didn’t just go through the motions of following Moses, crossing the Red Sea, seeing the miracles of God, he believed. And ‘belief’ is necessary to ‘hear’ God!
“While it is said, To day
if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts,
as in the provocation.
16 For some,
when they had heard,
howbeit not all that came out of Egypt
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years?
was it not with them that had sinned,
whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he
that they should not enter into his rest,
but to them that believed not?” Hebrews 3:15-18
God reminds us that just being a part of “the crowd” isn’t what saves—only being born again by faith in Jesus saves!!! Salvation for those who believed Messiah was coming to save them, and since the cross for all who believe in His coming, His death, burial and resurrection for our sin!
“For I delivered unto you first of all
that which I also received,
how that Christ died
for our sins
according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day
according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas,
then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
Jesus did it all for us—and it’s no coincidence that Jesus and Joshua are different forms of the same name!! Joshua served as God’s deliverer of the people into the Promised Land. Jesus was, is and ever shall be God’s deliverer from sin to the ‘Promised Land’ of eternal life–that which Jesus provided at Calvary!
While Joshua wasn’t “The Messiah”, he was the deliverer whom God called to serve him in a particular time and place. And like you and me, he wasn’t always sure of how to do God’s will; and while he didn’t always succeed, he did always pursue God, and even when he failed, he made things right when God revealed his failures and called him to correct them. Joshua stepped out in faith and trust in the God he had followed for 40 years, learning to go where God led, even thought it wasn’t always easy.
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass,
that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
2 Moses my servant is dead;
now therefore arise,
go over this Jordan,
thou, and all this people,
unto the land which I do give
even to the children of Israel….
5 There shall not any man be able to stand
before thee all the days of thy life:
as I was with Moses,
so I will be with thee:
I will not fail thee,
nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage:
for unto this people shalt thou divide
for an inheritance the land,
which I sware
unto their fathers
to give them.” Joshua 1:1-6
As Joshua heard the call to lead God’s people into Canaan, he was also called to “Be strong and of a good courage”; more than once God reminds Joshua of the need to depend on God’s power and provision, not his own!
“7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest……. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;
be not afraid,
neither be thou dismayed:
for the LORD thy God is with thee
whithersoever thou goest.”
“17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. 18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:17-18
We can learn from Joshua that God calls us to strength and courage to depend upon Him. When we will hear God, as Joshua did, we will find Him just as sufficient in our weakness. Paul also reminds us to stand up for Jesus. Let’s peruse some passages to help encourage us all today.
“Finally, my brethren,
in the Lord,
and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11
No matter our need, God is sufficient to meet it!
“The LORD is my rock,
and my fortress,
and my deliverer;
in whom I will trust;
and the horn of my salvation,
and my high tower.
3 I will call upon the LORD,
who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:2-3
God is our strength, the One in whom we trust; He is also the sovereign God of all, and can be trusted in all things—even those trials and puzzles of life which we often don’t understand—yet!!! He is completely trustworthy and it is HIS strength and understanding we can rely on. One of my favorite passages, one I rely on continually, compels us to trust HIM not ourselves.
“Trust in the LORD
with all thine heart;
and lean not
unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways
and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise
in thine own eyes:
fear the LORD,
and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-6
When we commit to trust God, He provides in every way, even when we face those things beyond our capacity to understand (yet). Paul, one of the great men of God, faced a situation, an affliction, and he sought the Lord’s provision to deliver him from it. But God gave him an answer that he probably wasn’t expecting—nor what we often expect. But God is trustworthy and faithful in every way, both then and now! We need to hear His voice—and heed the message!
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,
that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me,
My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect
Most gladly therefore
will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ
may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,
for Christ’s sake:
for when I am weak,
then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
God has promised to be our strength, and He is the provider of our salvation, because we are helpless to save ourselves. He always cares for those who will come to HIM by faith in Jesus! Have you heard His voice? Do you hear Him now?
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation
4 And patience,
5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God is shed abroad
in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength,
in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified
by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath
10 For if,
when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved
by his life.” Romans 5:1-10
Jesus transforms us from enemies of God into the children of God!!! His blood paid for our sin, and saves us from the penalty of sin (death), the power of sin (temptation), and eventually He will return and deliver us from the very presence of sin. Until then, we can depend on HIM to strengthen us and direct our steps; we can give Him our doubts, our worries and fears, knowing that God is ever at work conforming us “to the image of His Son” (See Romans 8:28-29). And we can have victory today!
“Humble yourselves therefore
under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you
in due time:
7 Casting all your care
for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast
in the faith,
knowing that the same afflictions
are accomplished in your brethren
that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace,
who hath called us
unto his eternal glory
by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while,
make you perfect,
11 To him be glory and dominion
for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:6-11
God is ever at work to grow us in faith and power by His Spirit, His Word because of the blood of Jesus! Are we hearing and obeying the call of faith?
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Yet we can come to God any time, with any problem.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 11:6
So my question for us today is, “Do you hear what I hear?” Are you walking with God and learning to “Be strong and of a good courage”? Are you leaning to hear His voice, studying His Word to recognize truth, and standing courageously for Jesus? May we join Joshua today?
“….choose you this day whom ye will serve; …… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21