A devotional look at eleven Biblical dads and what we can learn from them.
He is the great warrior. A protégé of Moses. He was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent out to scout out the Promised Land. He and Caleb were the only two who told the truth about the giants. Only he and Caleb believed that God was bigger than the giants and would indeed give them the Land. And so, Joshua and Caleb were the only two, of all the Hebrew people who left Egypt at the Exodus, they were the only two who were permitted to enter the Promised Land. All the other men and women and children who left Egypt with Moses died in the wilderness.
And Joshua is appointed by Moses to lead the people into the Land for he was a capable military commander. He also became a strong spiritual leader.
Joshua’s story is told throughout the 24 chapters of the Old Testament book that bears his name. There are numerous stories of his faithful belief in God.
The first occurred before they even stepped foot in the Promised Land. God personally ordained Joshua with these words:
In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:5-9 (The Message)
It is no wonder Joshua accomplished all that he accomplished! God personally spoke these loving and powerful words over him.
May I encourage you today, that these words can be your words too! Be strong. Be courageous. Stay focused on God. He is with you. You’ll be successful.
So, the people of God conquered the Promised Land with Joshua at the lead. His story includes many other supernatural experiences:
- He encountered Jesus personally as the Captain of the Army of the Lord.
- He put worshippers out in front of the army and the walls of Jericho fell down.
- He asked that God would make the sun to stand still so that his army might continue to fight and defeat the enemy and God did it!
His life is mostly one great triumph after another. He did have some pretty bad followers however, ones that actually caused Joshua’s army to be defeated once… But all in all, Joshua’s life is a good one. Some suggest his Old Testament story parallels the lessons that Jesus taught in the New Testament.
For example, Joshua took the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan River. Jesus began his ministry of taking people to the ultimate Promised Land by being baptized in the Jordan River.
So, Joshua was a trusting leader, a great military warrior. But we’re talking about Lessons from the Fathers’ Hearts, so how was he a good dad?
Well, there is no actual mention that Joshua is married or has children. There is, however, a key rallying scene in Joshua 24. The leader has all of the people of Israel assembled together. He is challenging them to put off worshipping the gods of Egypt and to serve God and to serve Him only.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
And the buzz of the crowd builds into a frenzy where they shout “We will serve the LORD!” And Joshua, who has known these people and how stubborn they can be, says, “You are not able to serve the LORD.” And they say back to their leader “NO! We will serve the LORD!”
And there’s sort of this back and forth. He calls them to throw away their gods and makes a covenant with the people and with God. He cements this promise by placing a large stone under an oak tree to remind the children of God of the promise they are making with God.
And then, he sends them out, each to their own inheritance.
The legacy of Joshua? He has faithfully served the LORD. He and his family.
Will you join with me in being a family who shares this heritage?