The book of Joshua is one of conquest. It was time for Israel to inherit all that God had promised her. It would take a special man to take charge after Moses’ death. That man was Joshua. The Bible defines Joshua as a man with a different spirit. It was his job to lead the armies of Israel into battle to obtain their promised land. We see several key requirements that led them from victory to victory. The adherence to these led them into victory and our adherence will lead us into ours.
To take the children of Israel into their promised land, they first had to cross the Jordan river. God had given specific instructions through Moses how that was to be done. The process from the beginning was paramount because it would solidify the legitimacy of Joshua’s leadership and take them from the old and into the new while bringing the fear of the Lord on their enemies. Following or forgetting these instructions meant victory or utter defeat. These are the steps found in God’s instructions.
- Obey all of God’s instructions. That meant they were to let the arc of the covenant go first. We need to be following where the Lord is directing. Joshua 3:6 and Romans 8:31b KJV “If God be for us, who can be against us?” You cannot know the directions without first having communication and relationship with God. Out of this relationship will come instruction.
- Build a memorial. God instructed that Joshua take stones from the midst of the Jordan and set up a memorial on the new campgrounds. It would serve as a reminder to them and their children that it was God who opened the Jordan for them to cross on dry ground. A memorial of remembrance is our testimony. If God did it once, He will do it again. Joshua 4:4-7
- Build an altar. After his victory at Ai, Joshua built an altar to the Lord. The altar is our place of prayer. We come to ask for the Lord’s direction, and we come again to thank Him for bringing us through. Joshua 8:30-31
- Do not make unholy alliances. When Joshua failed to ask the Lord about those who wanted a treaty they were tricked. Making an alliance meant keeping those around who worshiped other God’s and would eventually lead the Israelites away from their God. Joshua 9:14
- Honor your vows. Though the treaty was a trick, it was made before God. It bound them to keep it so that God would not bring judgement on them. If we bind ourselves to any vow before the Lord, we have made it holy and we must honor the Lord by honoring the vows we make with Him. Joshua 9:19-21
Following God’s requirements meant that God would continue to drive out the enemy before them. When they failed to follow His instructions, they were defeated. God is no respecter of persons. They were successful when they knew and followed God’s ways.
If we will make it our desire to know our God and walk in his ways, we too will experience great victory and enter our inheritance and live in our promised land.