Posts Tagged ‘Joshua’

Show Me Your Glory

January 4, 2016

“The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of your glory and grace.”   This is a line from a chorus many of us may remember.  I wonder how focused we are on either the things of earth, or on heavenly things.

I.  Tabernacle of Meeting:  Exodus 33: 7-11

Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

The tabernacle of meeting was a place for people to seek the Lord.  It had one purpose: to meet with God.  I do not think that we can make a fair comparison to our churches today.  Our churches today serve many functions. meeting with God is only one of them.  I hope that it is the most important function, but I suspect that I might be disappointed if I knew the truth.

Moses had a relationship with God that was unique.  The pillar of cloud would descend to the door of the tabernacle and God would speak with Moses “face to face”.  This does not need to mean that God took on a human appearance, but rather that this phrase reveals the closeness of the relationship.  I wonder how close we are to God in our conversations with Him?  Are we up close and personal, or are we watching from the cheap seats, or maybe even on TV?

Moses spoke with God and then left.  Joshua stayed behind.  He could not get enough of a good thing.  He loved to be in the presence of God.  I know that we have to live in the world, but how much time do we spend in heavenly places?  Do we just pop in for a quick visit when we need something?  Or do we take our time and linger for a while?

II.  Grace and Rest:  Exodus 33:12-14

Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

God had given Moses an important task.  He gave him the grace that was needed to do the task.  God promised to be with him as he did his work and to give him rest.

God has given each of us a task on this earth.  We have a purpose.  That task will change over time.  Things may change, but God always has a purpose for us, and a task for us to do.  God will give us the grace that we need to fulfill our task.  He has promised to be with us always.  He will give us rest.

III.  Show Me Your Glory:  Exodus 33:15-23

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”

Moses wanted more.  He had a task.  He had the grace of God.  God had promised to be with him.  Moses wanted more of God.  “Please, show me Your glory.”

God allowed His goodness to pass before him, but Moses was human and could only handle so much.  The “face to face” reference earlier was not literal, but comparative.  No mortal could truly be exposed to the fullness of God’s glory and live.  God agreed to reveal as much as He felt Moses could handle.

How hungry are we for the presence of God?  Are we satisfied with a crumb when a whole feast is laid before us?

May we encounter the glory and the goodness of the Lord.  May our capacity for that encounter grow with each passing year.

These are the sermon notes from 12/13/15.  Any advertisements that might appear have been placed by WordPress. I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.   

 

A Little Help Please

September 4, 2014

Many of us celebrate our independence.  We like to be able to handle our problems by ourselves.   There are times however, when we need a little help from our friends.

I.  Sometimes We Know:  Exodus 17:8-13

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

In this battle there were many roles to be filled.  Moses had to hold up his staff.  Aaron and Hur supported the hands of Moses.  Joshua was the battle leader.  Some men were selected to go into combat.  Each one was important.  Moses realized very quickly that he could not hold up the rod of God by himself.  It became evident that as his hand lowered Amalek prevailed. So he sat on the rock and Aaron and Hur supported his hands.  The problem was solved with a little help, and the battle was won.

Sometimes we know that we need help.

II.  Sometimes Others Know:  Exodus 18:13-24

And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14 So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”

15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

Sometimes we try to do more than we should do on our own.  We may not even be aware that what we are doing is not good for us, or for those whom we are serving.  There are times that we need help, but we do not recognize it.  May God give us wisdom to know when we need help, or may God bring along someone to speak truth into our lives.  May we be willing to listen to the godly council of others so that we may not bear the burden alone.

III.  All Together Now:  I Corinthians 12:12-18

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Together we can accomplish the work of God.  We each have a task to perform and each one is important.  We are not in competition with each other, we are working together to build the kingdom of God.

May we each do our part, and may we accept a little help from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

These are the sermon notes from 8/24/14.  Any advertisements that may appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

Strong and Courageous

August 12, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 8/11.

I.  Joshua:  Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 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. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We remember Joshua for a number of reasons.  He was one of the twelve men who had been sent into the promised land to spy it out shortly after Israel had been delivered from Egypt.  All of the spies agreed that it was a rich land, but that it had numerous strong people, fortified cities, and even giants.  Joshua was one of the two men that believed that Israel should invade, the other ten said that they should not invade, the people would be too strong for them.   Israel believed the report of the ten and God punished them by making them to wander in the wilderness for forty years while that generation died off.

In these verses he is charged with leading the children of Israel in conquest of the promised land.  He is told three times to be strong and courageous.  The Hebrew word that is translated as strong here is sometimes used to mean encouragement, or sometimes obstinate.  I believe that it is a reference to our attitude.   We are not to give up in the face of difficulty.  We are to forge ahead with what God has charged us to accomplish.

The same word translated as strong is used in the name Hezekiah, which means strengthened by the Lord.  This is important because the source of Joshua’s strength was not his own ability but the fact that God was with him.

Joshua is promised that the Lord would be with him.  That was the source of his strength, and why he could be strong and courageous.  This promise should sound familiar to Christians because Jesus told His disciples that he would be with them always, even to the end of the age.  (Matthew 28: 20)  In Hebrews the author quotes from Joshua when writing to Christians that God will not leave them or forsake them.  As Christians, we can claim the promise that God will be with us, and by that promise we too can be strengthened and take courage.

We should recognize that even Joshua, as close as he was to God was still told to remain in the Word, to meditate on the law and to be obedient to the law.  That God’s blessing was connected to obedience.  As Christians we have been set free from the Mosaic law, but not from the moral commandments of the Word of God.  We cannot rightfully claim the promises of the blessings of God if we are knowingly living in disobedience to the Word or Spirit of God.

II.  Caleb: Joshua 14: 6-14

Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.

Caleb was the second spy who had been faithful to believe God.  God had rewarded him by preserving both his life and his strength.  Here it is, forty five years later, and he was still ready to take the mountain.  He believed that if God was with him, then he can do it.  God rewarded his faithfulness and blessed his actions.

Some dreams may take a long time to fulfill.  We are to continue to be strong and courageous, doing what God has called us to do.  We may retire from our regular employment, but there is no retirement from our service to God.  The nature of our service may change, our work may become less physical and more spiritual, but we continue to serve.  As long as we are upon this earth, God has a reason for us to be here.

Be strong and courageous and fulfill the mission that God has for you.

Be Strong and Courageous!

April 26, 2012

I am a little behind.  These are the sermon notes from 4/15/12.

Introduction:  Read Joshua 1:1-9

I.  Our Journey

A.  The children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt, led through the wilderness, and were headed into the promised land.

B.  We also have a journey.  We have left the past behind, are heading towards the future that God has for us, and we experience the leading, and presence of God, in the present moment.

II.  Our Directions

A.  We are to observe the law.

B.  We are to meditate on the law.

I wonder how much time we are spending in the Word of God?  I suspect that many people are not getting the spiritual food that the Word of God provides.  You could say that many are anorexic

C.  As we are obedient to God, and meditating on His word, we will prosper.  This is not limited to monetary blessings, but is spread throughout a wide variety of areas in our life.

III.  Our Strength

A.  Be courageous.  Do what God calls you to do.

B.  Be strong.  Do not quit.  Remember “…in due season, we will reap, if we faint not.”  (Galatians 6:9)

C.  Know that God is with you on your journey.  He is our strength and our shield.