Friday, 8 January 2021
"Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. ......I will not leave you or forsake you. -Joshua 1:2-5
God has given us today one of the most encouraging portions to meditate from the Old Testament. Here we come across two leaders- Moses the great leader in the history of Israel and Joshua his assistant. We also have a glimpse of leadership change from one to the other. Why should we be concerned about this historical fact? Let us look deeper from a New Testament perspective. The journey Israel undertook from Egypt to their Promised Land, Canaan, has a lot to talk to us from their experiences. Their journey under the mighty leadership of Moses has no parallel in human history itself— it was truly legendary. When he parted the Red Sea for Israel, no question arises about the stand-alone position Moses enjoys in the history of the Jews. See the highlights of his ministry: led Israel miraculously in the wilderness where manna was provided on a daily basis; water from rocks, spoke with God face to face, received the great commandments- there is no parallel to him other than Jesus Himself who is the leader of our salvation.
Now Joshua a humble servant of Moses was succeeding him and was given the great task of possessing the promised land of Canaan. This great task he accomplished with the ever-present help of God. When we look at Joshua, he stands side by side to us in our Christian walk to possess the land of our promise.
The salvation of Israel is made up of two inseparable parts – i) their miraculous salvation from Egypt and journey through wilderness under the leadership of Moses; ii) their possessing the promised land under the leadership of Joshua. We also have two sides of our salvation- Justification achieved under the direct leadership of Jesus through His dying on the cross and His resurrection. The other is our own part – to possess the divine nature (the land of promise God has given us) - our Sanctification. But the interesting part is that these two are inseparable. One is done directly by Jesus without any help or part from our side. But the part of possessing the land is done by us with the ever present help of the Holy Spirit in us and through us.
We too have the carnal nature (similar to the Hittites in the land)— part of our old nature in enmity to the spiritual nature. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we need to subdue and win over them. There is a promised land in Jesus - our divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4), to occupy every known part of our very life here on earth. Our new nature has the inherent potential to go and possess this wonderful land flowing with milk and honey. As we see repeatedly in the above portion, God is asking us to follow the same instructions given to Joshua: Walk in the Word of God and Do not be afraid.
The same way Moses led Israel out of slavery from Egypt, our Lord Jesus led us out of Sin and Satan. He provided us with the salvation which nobody else can provide- He stands alone on the victory stand like Moses. But like Joshua, we need to proceed from here to tread the steps of faith and possess this wonderful land of Canaan. God will be with us to make us victorious.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us in our daily Christian walk to subdue our old nature and help us to possess this wonderful land of divine nature in this world. In Jesus name ,Amen.