Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Be strong and courageous!

Generations of good hearted believers have been sent into action, into martyrdom or monasticism, mission or church planting with the LORD's words to Joshua ringing in their ears. Be strong and courageous. But will it really do to cast ourselves as Joshua in this story? Like David vs. Goliath?

Joshua is Moses' heir which immediately makes him something of a saviour for his people.

Moreover he is promised successful conquest not just of a strip of land but from the Med to the Euphrates....  more land that the people ever had, even at the height of Solomon's reign. Joshua is promised the world, if he will be devoted to the word of the LORD.
" Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
Read your Bible's Oh Heroes! Or, perhaps that means to cast him as a King (Deut 17)? For the King will hold to the law, never wavering from trust in the LORD. The King whose LORD will always be with him...

The people cry that they will obey Joshua, as their fathers did Moses.
"Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:7-8 ESV)
Trust him and live, distrust and die. This is faith in a Saviour not about dutiful obedience. The people have faith in their Saviour King, the LORD and his Anointed... though they'll waver.

If I'm Joshua who must obey me? If I'm the people, who do I obey? To obey is surely to trust the Saviour, as the people entrusted themselves to Joshua. Joshua, the one whose name is Jesus....

(Some say it's about me not Jesus.... but we can't just read ourselves into a text.
Some will say I'm reading Jesus into the text... but the Scriptures are about him before they're about us, and they're only for us because they're about him. He casts his shadow over all the Scriptures and it's good exegesis to see how.)

Having a saviour who can take the land is good news cos honestly I'm weak and fearful. He however trusts his Father and his Father was always with him - bar one moment when he was forsaken, and that for me.

With Jesus it's not "come and see how good I look" as Ron Burgundy would say. It's not I can do it... it's see what he has done. Joshua is a type of the true Joshua, imperfect and only a shadow, but a shadow nonetheless, who will enter into the land alongside the the Commander of the LORD's Army, Joshua and Jesus together.