Joshua was Moses’ right-hand man for over 40 years. He observed what God did for and through Moses. He also saw how Moses took a firm stand as he followed the instructions of the Lord.
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Joshua 1:5
Joshua now also needed to make a firm stand as he would follow the commands of the Lord. God assured him that as He was with Moses, He would also be with Joshua.
When you think about it though, Moses didn’t even make it into the promised land. God did, however, indirectly tell Moses that he wasn’t going to enter into that land.
Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. Numbers 14:29-30
Did you notice that God didn’t mention Moses’ name in the list of exceptions? But that didn’t mean that God wasn’t with him. And Moses always made a firm stand for the Lord.
For Joshua’s first command, he sent spies into the land. Unlike the mission 40 years prior, he didn’t send 12 spies. In fact, he didn’t even announce this mission.
Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” Joshua 2:1
Preparing to Cross the Jordan River
The spies came back with a good report, which I’m sure didn’t surprise Joshua. Then they prepared to cross the Jordan River. God encouraged Joshua with these words.
The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Joshua 3:7
Even with the river at flood stage, Joshua took a firm stand in obeying the word of the Lord. He told them when they walk into the water they would know that God was with them.
The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall. Joshua 3:13
The population of the Israelites at that time could have been upwards of 2 million people. Thus the men carrying the Ark of the Lord had to stand firm while all those people crossed over.
All the people safely made it across to the other side of the riverbed. Then after Joshua completed a couple more tasks, the priests carried the Ark to the other side.
As soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant came up out of the riverbed and their feet were on high ground, the water of the Jordan returned and overflowed its banks as before. Joshua 4:18
Let’s talk for a moment about the other two tasks they completed. The first one, God told him to do. The other one Joshua did on his own. For that one, he did the following.
He had twelve stones stacked up in the middle of the riverbed. He put them at the place where the priests held the Ark of the Covenant.
Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day. Joshua 4:9
He also carried out the one God commanded him to do. Remember Joshua secretly only chose 2 men to spy out the land. But for this task, God told him to choose 12 men for its completion.
The Lord said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”Joshua 4:1-3
These men didn’t carry twelve souvenir stones out of that dry river bed. No, each tribe carried out a reminder of how God miraculously ushered them into their promised land.
They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. Joshua 4:8
Those stones stood as a reminder of how they, no matter what could make a firm stand in the Lord. Representing all the tribes of Israel they also served as a memorial for future generations.
Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’” Joshua 4:21-22
Help New Generations Stand Firm in the Lord
Sometimes things happen in our lives that shake our faith making it hard to stand firm in the Lord. It’s in those times we must plug into the strength of one of our faith-building moments.
But we also need memorials of faith in our lives for our future generations. Like when you get to share one of your special moments with your children or grandchildren.
As that child sits on your lap, you may have the opportunity to say something like this. “One day when grandma (or grandpa) was about your age, God did something special in my life . . .”
You’ll not only get to share how you stood firm in your faith. But you’ll also encourage that new generation how to trust the Lord to stand firm in their faith.
Lord, we love you with all of our hearts. Sometimes though things shake our faith. In those times Lord, help us to stand firm as we live our lives for you.
Check out these related posts about taking a stand for the Lord.
- How To Stand Firm on Godly Principles
- How To Live By God’s Standards
- Who Can Stand Against The Lord?
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