Joshua – There is More
When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered." Joshua 13:1
The Book of Joshua is the story of the children of Israel crossing the Jordan River and entering the land of promise. Finally, after 40 years of wandering in the desert. Moses, through whom the law was given, took them as far as he could, but he could not bring them in. Joshua, who is a type of Christ, whose name means salvation, and is the Hebrew word for Jesus, would finish what Moses started.
God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt, and that would have been enough, but He had more for them, He had a land of promise. This is the wonder of God, that He doesn't just forgive our sins and remove our guilt and shame – wow, that would be plenty! But the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ doesn't end there, with the deliverance from bondage to sin – there is more! There is an entering in to promise. There is an inheritance in Christ of blessing the likes of which we could never fathom.
So Moses leads them out (of bondage) and Joshua leads them in (to promise).
The first thing they experience on the other side of the river is the imposing city/fortress of Jericho and progress stops. They can't go around it, they can't go through it, and they can't make it go away. Jericho is a super-obstacle with walls 100 feet high and 30 feet thick. Jericho represents the super-obstacles in our lives that halt our progress and taunt us, prevent us from moving forward and mock our weakness. Things like sickness, poverty, addiction, disability – "You have made it this far, but this is where you stop. You lose!"
But God has other plans, plans for victory and not defeat, plans for conquest and blessing. And He tears down the walls and gives them the city through completely unexpected means.
There is more to salvation than deliverance. There is the promise of wholeness, which is a definition of being saved, being made whole; body, mind, and spirit, being restored to relationship with God, a relationship that had been forfeited to sin. By God's grace, the super-obstacles in our lives will fall before the One who conquered sin, death, and the grave and now leads His children into the promised land, and nothing can stop Him.
Here is how the Apostle Paul describes it in Romans chapter eight.
3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? … 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And this is the power that fueled Joshua and led the Children Israel to possess the land. And it doesn't stop.
We are tempted to stop, to settle, to slow down. But we must be careful and keep listening to the Lord. Joshua accomplished more than almost anyone in history, and when he got old and tired and God spoke to him…
"Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the LORD said to him, 'You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess.'" Joshua 13:1
Well past the age of retirement, creaky knees and a sore back, Joshua was ready for a cool glass of iced tea and a chaise lounge – but God said, "I know you're old, but there's more to do." And Joshua kept moving forward.
It's the same for us, dear one. There is always more. Not in the sense of physical movement or accumulation of things, but in learning to love, denying our self, character, wisdom, in being conformed into the image of Christ – intimacy with God, ultimately, as the Apostle Peter wrote, becoming partakers of the divine nature.
"And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires." 2 Peter 1:4
God longs to draw each of us deeper into the land of promise, deeper into relationship with Him. Have you reached the end? Are you there yet? No. There is more.