1:1-18 – For Israel, it was a new beginning. They were leaving the wilderness. That was their past. They were entering the promised land. This was God’s future. For God’s future, there is God’s command – ‘Be strong’ – and God’s promise – ‘the Lord your God is with you’. We wonder what the future holds. We wonder how it will all work out. God says, ‘Don’t be frightened. I will be with you wherever you go’ (9). How can we face the future with confidence? How can we ‘be strong in the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:10)? How can we be sure that the Lord will never let us down (2 Corinthians 3:5)? How can we step out into a future full of His blessing? ‘Meditate on His Word day and night’. Read your Bible – ‘This Book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this Book’: Which will it be? (8; Psalm 1:1-3).
2:1-24 – The story of Rahab is summarized in Hebrews 11:31 – ‘By faith… she gave a friendly welcome to the spies’. A friendly welcome – What an important thing this is! She spoke the word of encouragement – ‘I know the Lord has given you this land’ (9). This message of faith was taken back to Joshua (24). It was exactly what he needed! Few of us are ‘big name’ spiritual leaders like Joshua. All of us have an important part to play in the Lord’s work. For every ‘Joshua’ we need plenty of ‘Rahabs’, giving the friendly welcome, speaking the word of encouragement. Let there be no more unhelpful, negative criticism – ‘We cannot do this. We dare not do that. We must not do the other’. Let there be the friendly welcome, the word of encouragement. It will make such a difference – for the better!
3:1-17 – ‘Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you’ (5). ‘Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth’ (John 17:17). Together with the command, there is the prayer. We are called to set ourselves apart for God. We can only do this when we look to the Lord for His strength. We receive His strength through His Word. We give ourselves to the Lord. He gives His promise to us: ‘the Lord will do wonders among you’. His promise of blessing is no guarantee of an easy time. In the promised land, there would be problems – and God: ‘as I was with Moses, so I will be with you’ (7). There would be conflict – and victory: ‘the living God is among you… He will without fail drive out from before you…’ (10). We look beyond Joshua to Jesus – ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23). In Him, we have the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57).