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 v 15
If you have been following the story so far you will have realised what a tough tale it is. Battles follow battles, and there is slaughter in almost every chapter. But at last we read, ‘So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.’ (v 23)
You read it all in a short period of time, but we are reminded in v 18 ‘Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time.’ It seems as if the whole process of conquest took about 7 years of hard slog.
The outstanding feature of the whole story however is Joshua’s obedience to what he knew he had to do. That is recorded over and over again. Behind that lies the secret of success in Christian living.
There are three distinct elements to it. It involves
a. Listening to what others have heard from God. Joshua took to heart what God had said to Moses. We are never alone in hearing what God is saying. God’s word comes to us through preaching, reading, times of fellowship with other believers and even just hearing a testimony from someone else who is on the same Christian journey as we are.
b. Listening to God for ourselves. In times of prayer, meditation and personal Bible Study, God communicates with us if we will but listen and recognise His voice.
c. Doing something about what we hear. It was the apostle James who warned ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’ (James 1 v 22)
And that is the tough bit of the Christian life – translating what we know is right into practical action.
For reflection: Has God said anything to me recently about my life? And have I done anything about it yet?