His name means: "Yahweh Is Salvation"
His work: He was Moses' aide and successor, a military commander and statesman.
His character: His remarkable military successes were achieved as a result of his attitude of trust and obedience toward the God who made them all possible.
His sorrow: That the Israelites failed to believe his good report of the Promised Land and that he and they were consequently prevented from entering it for forty years.
His triumph: To have led the Israelites to victory in Canaan, thus establishing them in the land God had promised their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Key Scriptures: Numbers 14:1-38; Joshua 1-6
A Look at the Man
When God calls someone to play a part in the history of his people, he often begins by testing his or her faith. Joshua's first test was to return a faithful report after he had spied out the land of Canaan with its giants and strong cities. Later God told him to cross the Jordan despite the fact that the river was at flood stage.
But the challenges didn't stop. To enter Canaan, the Israelites would have to take the city of Jericho, which lay five miles west of the Jordan River. But there was one little problem. High-walled, well-fortified cities had discouraged Israel's spies forty years earlier, and Joshua knew that their desert wanderings had not rendered the former slaves any more physically capable of laying siege to the city than they had been.
But Joshua believed that God had already delivered Jericho into their hands. They had merely to march around it for six days. On the seventh day, seven priests carrying trumpets of rams' horns would lead the army seven more times around the city. When the priests blew the last blast of the trumpet, all the people were to shout at the top of their lungs and the walls of the city would simply collapse. To practical-minded people—to most of us—this would have seemed a ridiculous plan. But it was the strategy Joshua employed, bringing about a victory that terrorized the other peoples of Canaan, thus paving the way for Israel's future military successes.
As each test grew larger, Joshua's faith kept pace, his obedience nourishing his faith and his faith nourishing his obedience. The man who had witnessed Israel's deliverance from Egypt, who had walked across the Red Sea, and who had stayed alive by eating manna in the desert was not about to doubt God's power to do what he said he would. Because of Joshua's faithfulness, the Israelites experienced victory after victory as they swept across the land and made it their own.
Reflect On: Deuteronomy 31:1–8
Praise God: For his power to do what he says he will.
Offer Thanks: For the victories God has won in your own life.
Confess: Any tendency to focus on your difficulties rather than on the God who promises to help you.
Ask God: To strengthen your faith by helping you take the risks he is asking of you.
Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
When God calls someone to play a part in the history of his people, he often begins by testing his or her faith.