Hey, there! I’m super excited to be writing this post, and I’m going to try something new! I’ve been studying the bible with Women Living Well for over a year now, and it’s been such a blessing to me. Why not pay it forward? I’m planning on creating 2 blog posts per book of the bible that we work through in order to share what I’m learning…and hopefully spread some encouragement! Let’s check out some takeaways from Joshua 1-12!
**If you’re looking for a bible study to follow, you can check out our Facebook devotional group by clicking the “devotional” tab in the navigation bar above!
God can use anyone
In Joshua 2, we have the story of Rahab, the prostitute. When Joshua sent two spies to check out the situation in Jericho, Rahab hid them from her people and the king. She was convinced from what she had heard that their God was a powerful God and one to be feared and respected.
“When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” -Joshua 2:11
Because of her faith and the fact that she helped the spies of Israel, we see in Joshua 6 that she and her whole family were saved from the destruction in Jericho! There is so much that we can learn from Rahab’s faith and courage, but one thing stands out to me above all else in her story. God can use anyone. Rahab was a prostitute, yet God was still able to use her for His great plan! Each one of us has a unique set of talents and gifts, no matter our circumstances or what we have done in our past. If you’re ever feeling less than adequate, remember that God uses us all if we are willing to follow him. And if you’re ever tempted to judge someone, don’t. You never know what God is doing through them!
focus on heaven defined success
Joshua 1:7,8 “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.”
We see a very clear picture of success in the verses above! Be strong and courageous, obey God’s law, and read & study the bible daily. It’s so easy to get caught up in the earthly view of success that is pushed on us daily. We are told to be the best, have the best, and do the most. It’s easy to get burnt out and lose focus of the real steps to success. In order for us to have true peace in our lives here on Earth, we need to focus on God’s definition of success over the world’s agenda for our lives.
we must be ruthless
I’m not going to lie and say that it’s easy to understand and digest all the things in this book of the bible. In the book of Joshua, there are verses upon verses that outline the destruction of the people that the Israelites defeated in battle.
Joshua 10-28- “That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.”
It’s hard to imagine why our God who is so full of grace would instruct the Israelites to destroy all those that stood in their way. The one way that this makes sense to me is to realize that God wants us to be ruthless in removing sin from our lives. The Israelites were instructed to destroy all that they came upon in order to protect them from becoming weak to temptation later on. We must apply that same mentality to all of the influences in our lives, as well. It’s not enough to live by the world’s standard of “good”. When we are evaluating the things in our lives (friendships, TV shows, music, books, the way we talk about our spouse, etc.) we must be careful to remove those things that tempt us into sin! We must be ruthless in pursuit of a pure heart for God!
failure happens to us all
In Joshua 7, we see that Israelites have a failure in battle at Ai because Achan took some of the plunder from the fall of Jericho that they were instructed not to take. (They also failed to consult with God before going to Ai, which aided in their failure.) When Joshua fell on his face before the Lord, God instructed him on what to do concerning the sin of Achan, and Joshua did just as the Lord commanded. We see in Joshua 8 that the Lord then instructed them on how to defeat Ai, and He was with them as they did so! They were victorious!
This was one of the most encouraging parts of Joshua so far for me. The story of Ai reminds me that our God is a God of second chances. Everyone will fail at some point (or points) in their life…we’re all sinners, so it’s bound to happen. It’s not so much about the failure itself as it is about what we do with the second chance that God gives us. Once confronted with the sin, Joshua repented, got forgiveness, and moved on in the way of the Lord. This cycle of sin, repentance, and forgiveness isn’t intended to make us feel guilty but instead to free us from our sin and allow us to try again! If you’re struggling with a cycle of failures, repent and talk to God about it. Let His forgiveness wash over you!
we can’t control everything…but we can control one thing
Obedience is a big theme in the book of Joshua. Throughout the entire first half, the Israelites were faced with overwhelming armies and “odds”not always in their favor. They could have chocked it up as a loss at the first sight of a large army, but they didn’t. They weren’t able to control their surroundings, the sizes of the army, or what those around them would do. They could, however, choose to obey God through all the trials. This holds true in our modern world, as well. We are often met with undesirable circumstances outside of our control, and it’s up to us to stay faithful and obedient to God in those times. The next time that you find yourself in a hard situation, stop and pray for the wisdom and strength to be obedient in that moment!
“As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.” -Joshua 11:15
Below are some of my favorite resources for studying the bible and just growing in faith in general!
War Room *
(Items with an * next to them are affiliate links. Learn more about what that means for you, here!)
Are you reading along in the book of Joshua? What is your biggest takeaway so far?