I’m really excited about this blog because, with the help of a friend, God connected some things I’ve never seen about Joshua’s life. Please check out Part 1 to catch up.
I have to laugh when people look at me and say, “You know so much about the Bible.” Like, I literally laugh, out lout, in their face. I know virtually nothing about the Bible. Each time I read it, I see something I’ve never seen before.
When my mom lived in Seattle, she had two amazing friends. These women, both super intelligent, Bible breathing, strong women, have become like aunts to me. One of them has recently asked if we could study something together and I said I’d already been studying Joshua, so we went from there. Although I have read through the Bible a couple of times, I missed the fact that Joshua was mentioned before the instance I talked about in Part 1. My “aunt” Amy pointed out that Joshua first came on the scene in Exodus 17. Check it out.
The children of Israel had a problem, much like the problem I have: they were always testing God, walking around in unbelief, never really convinced that He was actually with them. I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration Moses had with millions of complaining, immature nomads. God had provided mana for them, He had parted a sea: I mean, they saw the miracles. And still…they kept on complaining.
“Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim.” – Exodus 17:8
“So Moses said to Joshua…” – wait. Okay. Here he is, out of the blue, commander of the army. Exodus 24 later tells us that Joshua was a servant of Moses. After looking more into it, Joshua was actually Moses’ right hand man. I don’t know how he got there, maybe I’ll find out later, but anyway, Moses calls upon Joshua to gather some men to fight Amalek.
Joshua did as Moses told him, and then is the story of how Moses lifted his hands and as long as they were up, Israel prevailed, but when he let them down, the enemy prevailed. You can read the story for yourself, but in the end, with the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses’ hands stayed up and Joshua’s army defeated Amalek.
This story leads me to two very important conclusions.
1. Moses trusted God. Aaron, Hur, Moses – the older generation – trusted God could accomplish anything.
2. Moses believed in the next generation. He trusted God enough to send Joshua to the front lines, knowing that God would have the victory.
Verse 14 says this (check it out…it’s SO good):
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
Now, let’s talk about that memorial thing God commanded Moses to write down for Joshua. In exchanging what we learned, Aunt Amy pointed out that not only did Moses write this account down, he also had to recite it to Joshua. That word “recite” in the Hebrew is the word suwm. It means “to ordain, establish or appoint, transform into, bring to pass.”
If Joshua was Moses’ servant, they spent a lot of time together. (I’ll probably write more on this later). But in all that time, I think Moses was a broken record about this story. Why? Because God told him to be. Moses had no idea, but I think this one account, told over and over and over and over and over, would be what prompted Joshua and Caleb to know and trust that God would successfully bring them into their promise(d) (land) in Numbers 13.
Moses built an altar and called it “The Lord is My Banner” meaning “This is the signal, the standard, the ROCK.” Joshua could only remember that day for the rest of his life.
So when the twelve ran up on the sons of Amalek in the promised land, Joshua had no reason to believe Israel wouldn’t defeat them again. Why? Because He could only remember how God came through the first time. He could only remember the promise God made about defeating Amalek for the rest of eternity. He had a holy confidence that the Lord would do everything He said He would.
How crazy awesome is this? God is not about coincidence. He is about complete and total preparation for what He’s calling us to do. He has a promise for each one of our lives, and you best believe he’s going to prepare you for it.
Joshua “[didn’t] doubt in the dark what God taught [him] in the light.” – Pete Wilson