TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

Joshua 1 – 2

Introduction

Deuteronomy is about preparing to enter the physical promised land as an allegory of how to prepare to attain to the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life, and is a warning that possession of the land is absolutely contingent on living by every Word of God. 

Joshua is about the inheritance of the physical promised land being attained only by a hard struggle and closely following the Eternal; as an allegory that we may attain to the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life, only by an intensive struggle to overcome all sin through living by every Word of God

Egypt was an allegorical type of bondage to sin and the Canaanites were an allegorical type of unrepentant sinners who will be totally destroyed by Christ at the final judgment. This is a lesson for those who wrongly think that Jesus Christ will overlook willful sin, because he is love and understands our weakness.

The scriptures were recorded for OUR instruction and reveal that Jesus will not permit any compromise with the Word of God or any lack of zeal to live by every Word of God and to follow him wherever he goes; precisely because he is love! and wants to save us from the sorrow and death that sin brings.

The book of Joshua reveals the end of the unrepentant willful sinner typified by the Canaanites; just as they died, we will also surely die for any unrepented self justified willful sin.

 

Joshua 1

Joshua 1:1 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 [Joshua had been Moses servant, aide and assistant for many years], saying, 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Joshua the faithful; was given every place that he had visited as a spy in the land, and so was Caleb; while the faithless who would not obey, died in the wilderness.

Those who faithfully live by every Word of God will also have their place in the Promised Land of eternal life.  All those who lacked faith to obey the Word of God and enter the land; DIED in the wilderness.   

The death of the faithless in physical Israel was an example for today’s spiritually  called out yet spiritually faithless, who are not zealous to live by every Word of God,  and will therefore not enter into the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life.

1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

Joshua is reminded of the borders of the land given to Israel.

1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

If we are zealous to live by every Word of God; we shall be delivered into that spiritual Promised Land of eternal life, and NO MAN will be able to keep us out.  Very many today fear men, they fear to question the words of men and to stand firmly on the Word of God.

Yet, following men contrary to God’s Word is idolatry and brings destruction; and only faithfully and zealously following the whole Word of God will bring the promise of eternal life.

Many elders also cling to false traditions because they fear rejection by their peers or by the brethren.  It is only by learning to respect and to follow the whole Word of God that we may enter eternal life.  Those who fear men so much that they cannot faithfully live by every Word of God are doomed to destruction by Jesus Christ.

God’s encouragement to Joshua was recorded for US!

If we are full of faith and courage to follow the whole Word of our God!  If we are strong and zealous to live by every Word of God, if we reject false traditions as we see them proved false by the Word of God; if we follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth; we may suffer trials in this life as Israel did in conquering the land; but we WILL conquer sin and the grave through the might of our Master! and we shall rise up into the Promised Land of Eternal Life when we hear our Master’s call!

1:5 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. 1:6 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. 1:7 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 withersoever thou goest.

1:8 This book of the law [dictated by Moses] shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

My heart breaks for those who refuse to live by every Word of God and for those who  even call the Word of God unreliable, because like the ten spies these men have no love or zeal for the Word of God and allow themselves to be intimidated by their fears.

Being fearful instead of being filled with the power of faith in following Almighty God and leaning on their corporate idols and their false traditions, no matter what God’s Word says; and stooping to anything to justify their error in turning away from the truth; they are doomed to severe correction.

1:9 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 [if we live by every Word of God] whithersoever thou goest.

Then Joshua commanded the people to prepare to enter the land.

1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 1:11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Joshua then reminded the people of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh, about their obligations.

1:12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, 1:13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.

1:14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; 1:15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

1:16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 1:17 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.

The people of Gad, Reuben and the half of Manasseh pledge themselves to Joshua.

1:18 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.

Our deliverance into eternal life depends on our love for and our zeal to follow God our Father and for our espoused Husband, to live by every Word of God.

YES WE CAN conquer sin and enter the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life, just like Joshua conquered Canaan (a type of sin), through the strength of our Mighty One! But ONLY by being faithful to live by every Word of God, to learn it and to keep it always!

 

Joshua 2

Two spies are saved by Rahab

This was probably a pub like a common public inn where food, drink, accommodations and company could be found by the traveler.

These two men would likely have eaten and taken a room at this establishment; this does not imply they were seeking company as well.

Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.

Word comes to the ruler of the city that these men are spies and lodging at Rahab’s house [inn].

2:2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.

The ruler then demands that Rahab the manager of the establishment, surrender the two men as spies.

2:3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house [inn]: for they be come to search out all the country.

Doubtless the memory of the exodus from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea [for Canaan had been dominated by Egypt before the end of pharaoh and his army] and the fame of Israel crossing the sea dry shod had spread across the city, and Rahab probably talked over these things with the two men; Rahab BELIEVED them!  And she added to that belief the works of faith!

She feared the God of Israel and believed; and she acted on that belief, which was FAITH in the Word of God, that God’s Word would be fulfilled and that the city and the people of Jericho would be destroyed.

Rahab believed God! and she acted on her faith to save these two men! This shows that even the Canaanites (as types of sin) if they were to sincerely repent, and add to repentance the works of godliness could be saved!

But Canaan as a whole refused to repent sincerely; they rejected God and trusted in their own idols and false teachings to save them!

If today’s Ekklesia resists the Word of God to cling to their idols of men and their false traditions of men, we shall all likewise perish!   If we are zealous for the whole Word of God to learn it, to keep it, and to follow its author with zealous determination, fearing to turn away from God like Rahab;  WE will be delivered just as Rahab was delivered!

This woman sheltered the two spies in her inn which was undoubtedly a capital offense worthy of death, as she would be perceived as putting the whole city in grave danger; yet she risked the immediate danger and chose to fear God rather than men!

This whore had more faith and true repentance than very many of today’s called out, who would not dare to stand up for the Word of God against the pollution of the Sabbath or other false teachings in today’s assemblies!

No wonder this obscure Canaanite whore is a mother of the family of David the zealous; and is accounted among the elect who will receive the promise of eternal life in the raising of the bride of Christ in Hebrews 11.

Oh my friends; where is our courage of FAITH coupled with actions, to stand on and keep the whole Word of God, regardless of what others may say or do? Where is our zeal for the sanctity of the Sabbath and for the whole Word of God?

2:4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: 2:5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. 2:6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. 2:7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. 2:8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;

Rahab makes a declaration of faith and couples that declaration with the works of faith; saving the two men and placing her trust entirely in the hands of the Eternal.

Where is our faith and trust and belief in the Word of God and the promises of our loving LORD today? 

Yes, other Canaanites also feared, but they would not repent!

Rahab feared and did sincerely repent and chose faith and trust in the Word of God above all else.

2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt [forty years before]; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

God the Father and Jesus Christ are God indeed; why then do we not respect the sanctity of the Sabbath and the holiness of every Word of God?  Why then do we fear men which are nothing but dust before our God?  Why do we make idols of men and corporate entities who lead us away from Christ-like zeal for the Word of our God?

2:12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: 2:13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

The two men then agree that she had spared them at the risk of her physical life and that she and her family should be saved.

My friends, put your trust in God in sincere repentance from all sin, to live by every Word of God with loving enthusiastic zeal, regardless of any consequence, or what any person may say or do; and Christ will spare you from the wages of unrepentant sin and raise you on that day!

2:14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.

She let them down from the wall by a rope giving them a way to escape out of the city of sin; even as God will deliver from destruction and death all of his faithful who love God enough to keep his Word and to diligently seek out his truth.

2:15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

Rahab tells the two men where the pursuers are seeking them, between Jericho and the  Jordan river, and shows them how to elude the pursuit.  She is doing all this at the risk of her own life, just as we also should be living by every Word of God even if it costs us our physical lives. 

2:16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

The two men then give her a way to save her house; telling her to use a scarlet thread [token, cloth] as a sign.  How fascinating, that a scarlet thread was used; giving us a glimpse of the blood of the Passover Lamb on the doorposts of Israel in Egypt, and the blood of the Lamb of God covering the sins of the repentant!

2:17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. 2:18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

Just as in Egypt, those who are outside the house during the destruction would surely die; only those inside the protected house, protected by the scarlet symbol of the blood of the Lamb of God would be spared.

This tells us that only those who are following Jesus Christ to faithfully live by every Word of God (Mat 4:4), with his blood atoning for their sin; will be saved spiritually.

2:19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.

Rahab is reminded to keep her word and promise to them; that if she backslides she shall surely die.

We, the spiritually called out of the New Covenant, must also keep our baptismal commitment of espousal to Christ and to live by every Word of God, that we will do all that our LORD requires; and if we go back on our word and exalt any other as our idol, instead of living by every Word of God: We shall also surely die along with all other unrepentant sinners.

Notice that Rahab immediately bound the scarlet to her window not waiting for a single day.  We must also immediately obey the Word of our God once we learn what is right!  No delay, no vacillating, no forgetting: Immediate sincere repentance to seek to return back under the atoning sacrifice, once we are made aware of any sin!

2:20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. 2:21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. 2:22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.

The two men give their good report.

2:23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them: 2:24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.

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