Lessons from the battles!
Joshua takes charge of Israel after the death of Moses. God gives Joshua the steps to a successful conquest of the land. This is the land that God has given to the nation of Israel, yet they must fight to possess it.
1) The land is flowing with milk and honey; fit for kings-- land of abundance, a land of wheat, barley, fig trees, olive oil and honey (cf. Deut. 8:8-9).
2) The land was promised to Abraham--Gen 15:1ff
3) 40 years ago Israel "spied" out the land, were fearful, lacked the faith to enter the land and God made them wander for 40 years in the wilderness. (Exodus 13 and 14)
4) Joshua is written after that unbelieving generation died, now it is the time for the new generation to claim the blessings fo God's gift. (Joshua 1 and 2)
As Israel must fight to win and keep that which God has given to them, so the Christian must apply spiritual disciplines to obtain all the blessings God has for us.
1) The believer has been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus--Ephesians 1:3-14
2) God's grace gifts to the Christian are fully appropriated as the believer acts in a disciplined and obedient manner.
a) Grieve not the Spirit (Eph 4:30)
b) Quench not the Spirit (I Thes 5:19)
c) As we obey the commands of the New Testament re: the Church; marriage; church discipline, giving, discipleship, evangelism, we realize the full blessing God has for us. Because we are blessed in our position in Christ, we desire to obey
Israel faced a real enemy with real walled cities, soldiers with real spears, kings with real strategie--all designed to defeat the children of God.
1) Israel faced the
a) walled city of Jericho; Joshua 6
b) the battle against a minor city, Ai Joshua 7-8 and
c) the stealth fighters of Gibeon. Joshua 9.
2) Today we Christians face the enemy of the world, flesh and the Devil.
a) the world--I John 2:15, Romans 12:1,2;
b) the flesh--Galatians 5:19;
c) the devil--I Peter 5-8-14.
3) Christian face modern day
a) Jerichos--We attack and demolish the fortresses that the world has raised up against the knowledge and plan of God (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
b) Christians are deceived by a stealth-devil--false teachers (Matt 7:13-23;) (2 Cor 11:13-15) and
c) enticed by the deceit of our old sin nature (Romans 7:1ff; James 1:14ff)
Christians must fight to win by listening to the commands that God gave to Joshua. (Joshua 1:6-9)