Lessons from the book of Joshua
Hi. I decided to start this new series today. The other one, “Understanding when to Date and whom” is still on though. My reason for startin this one today is that on this day, 4 years ago, my mother took off to glory. I write this today in honour of her blessed memory. According to Pastor Shirley Caeser, “I remember Mamma in a happy way”.
Her life proved to me that people’s lives are affected by the degree of divine light they acquire from the word of God. The thanksgiving service after the funeral ceremonies was held at on Sunday 14th April 2013 at The Redeemed Christian Church of God Solomon’s Porch in Lagos State, Nigeria, where my Dad was pastor for many years. There was a guest Pastor for that service and he opened to Joshua Chapter 1 and started to read.
The sermon blessed me but, as I often say to people when I preach to them to pay attention to what they heard that the preacher did not say, I got stuck on the second word. I got this light which I am now writing down today but it gave birth to the inspiration to study the entire book of Joshua. I have since gone through the book, learned a lot, a documented the lessons to be shared here. I have simply saved writing the first lesson for last and I held on to doing that until today. I miss my Mom; however, I will always remember her every time anyone reads the first verse of the book of Joshua.
I trust this series will bless you as it blessed me.
Joshua 1:1 – After Effects
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.
After … not before.
God did not speak to Joshua until after Moses was dead. Some might argue that God must have spoken to Joshua before now, I have nothing to tell me that however whether that is so or not, the content of the discussion could not have been what God would tell Joshua before Moses stepped aside because it was leadership stuff.
Moses was the point man, the leader of this nation of Israel, the head man. The power of vision, hearing and speech are all confined to the head. The question God asked me that day was, “Why would I give the direction for a body to a part of the body that does not have the power to see where the body is going, hear what I am saying and speak in terms of direction?”
I learnt that day that God compartmentalizes information. He is not an author of confusion. There are things he will only tell the man in charge no matter how many powerfully anointed men are in “the body”. By extension, I learnt that there are things the point man sees that I cannot see not because he is wiser or spiritually sound than I am but simply because he is the point man. Whatever I am seeing and hearing from God will only be a product of my connection, and a confirming word to settle my heart that I am properly connected to the head and I am where God wants me to be.
Any time in the bible that someone seemed to be fighting the leadership of the nation, even if the leader was in error, God called it rebellion. Numbers 12 documents his reaction to Aaron and Miriam who kicked against Moses for marrying an Ethiopian. The allegation was true, Moses was in error but the protocol was wrong as far as God is concerned.
Every time anyone took on the responsibilities of the leader because it seemed the leader was failing or too slow and things needed to be moved along, God called it rebellion. 1 Samuel 15 records the story of King Saul as he took over the prophet’s roles and made a private interpretation of the directives of God. God recognizes protocols, chains of command and authority. He calls it order.
1Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Every time someone was out of order, there were divine consequences, as seen in the afore mentioned records as well as in this one:
2Samuel 6:6-7 And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth [his hand] to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook [it]. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for [his] error; and there he died by the ark of God.
But after some time and thought,
1Chronicles 15:2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
1Chronicles 15:12-13 And said unto them, Ye [are] the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, [both] ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto [the place that] I have prepared for it. For because ye [did it] not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
One rendering puts the last part this way: … We hadn’t dedicated our lives to serving him in the way he designated.
Everything about the first incidence was wrong. The ark was to be borne on the shoulders of Levites using specifically prepared rods but the ark was on a cattle-drawn cart. And when someone reached out to help because the thing looked like it might tumble off, God killed him. The one person that seemed to want to help was the one who was killed. God is saying even if something is wrong and you want to fix it, there is only one way to fix it – my way.
Many times today, we go out of order … Could be in church or at work or at home between a man and his wife … God has not judged us with a public action but it doesn’t mean He dislikes disorder any less than before; remember, He does not change.
So two things: treat whoever God has placed or allowed to be ahead of you with reverence in view of God and not just the person’s merit and if you find something wrong in a system, of which you are not in charge, find the right way to get things corrected. Your noble and well intended end does not justify the means.
There is so much more to come. Meanwhile, do something for your Mamma today so she knows you love her.
“I LOVE YOU, MOM”