Just As I Promised (Joshua 1:1-9)
Topic: Joshua Scripture: Joshua 1:1–1:9
First Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 13:8-10
Second Scripture Reading: Genesis 15:1-21
Sermon Text: Joshua 1:1-9
The book of Joshua begins with a transition in leadership from Moses to Joshua. Moses was the dominant figure in Exodus through Deuteronomy because he was chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt and to the Promised Land. However, the book of Joshua begins with a passing of the baton, so to speak; Moses is dead and Joshua is now appointed by God to lead Israel. It is significant that the designation of Moses as the “servant of the LORD” in Joshua 1:1 is applied to Joshua at the end of the book, where we read, “After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being 110 years old.” Underlying this change in leadership is our unchanging Lord, who remained faithful to his promises to Abraham. John Calvin writes in his commentary on Joshua:
While men are cut off by death, and fail in the middle of their careers, the faithfulness of God never fails. On the death of Moses a sad change seemed impending; the people were left like a body with its head lopped off. While thus in danger of dispersion, not only did the truth of God prove itself to be immortal, but it was shown in the person of Joshua as a bright mirror, that when God takes away those whom he has adorned with special gifts, he has others in readiness to supply their place, and that though he is pleased for a time to give excellent gifts to some, his mighty power is not tied down to them, but he is able, as often as seems good to him, to find fit successors, even to raise up from the very stones persons qualified to perform illustrious deeds.
1. What do you think the book of Joshua is about? What are some major themes that come to mind when you think about this book?
2. Read Genesis 12:1-7; 13:14-15; 15:12-16; and Exodus 3:7-8. What did God promise in these verses? How was his promise going to be fulfilled according to Joshua 1:2? What do you learn in these verses about patience and trusting in God?
3. Read Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5-6; and Matthew 28:16-20. In what way is God with us? What is the connection between this promise and his exhortation to “be strong and courageous” in Joshua 1:6-9?
4. What promise does God give in Joshua 1:7-8? What is the connection between our obedience to God’s Word and “good success”?
5. In preparation for next week, read Joshua 1:10-18. What do you think this passage teaches us about the importance of church unity?