Promises and Power – Message 1
January 8, 2023
New message series begins today entitled, Promises and Power.
- Exodus 24:12-18; Numbers 13:1-16; 14:1-9; 27:12-23
A. The messages will focus on Israel’s conquest of Canaan, the Promised Land.
- Today’s message, entitled Leadership will concentrate on the
transition from Moses to Joshua directing God’s people.
Moses guided Israel for forty years; under his direction, they escaped
slavery in Egypt, traveled across the wilderness and reached the Jordan
River, which bordered Canaan.
Then God removed Moses and replaced him with Joshua.
Theme: Joshua 1:2b (NLT)— “… Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people…”
From a mountain, Moses was allowed to see the land Israel would receive,
but he would not enter it, because he rebelled against God’s instruction.
What did he do? God told Moses to speak to a rock to provide
water. (Numbers 20:8)
Numbers 20:10-12 (NLT)—10
Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock.
“Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this
rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock
twice with the staff, and water gushed out. …
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me
enough to demonstrate My holiness to the people of Israel, you will not
lead them into the land I am giving them!”
[Did he take credit for God’s work? Did he disobey God’s direction? Yes!]
Moses did not apologize or ask for forgiveness; he requested God to name a
Numbers 27:16-17 (NLT)—Moses said,
“…Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. 17
Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead
them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep
without a shepherd.”
Moses had two sons (1 Chronicles 23:14-15), but he did not suggest one of
them should succeed him; he knew God need to choose who would lead
God knew what qualities and experience would be necessary, but more
importantly, what level of faith would be essential to lead Israel into the
future He had planned for her.
Numbers 27:18-20 (NLT)—
The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him,
and lay your hands on him. 19 Present him to Eleazar the
priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead
the people. 20 Transfer some of your authority to him so the
whole community of Israel will obey him.
This message is particularly applicable to our church because we will have
a change in leadership this coming summer.
Unlike Moses, God has not told me my ministry is concluded, but I will move
to a different role and Bryan Jones will become Senior Pastor. [update his
B. Requirements of spiritual leadership…
1. Relationship with God.
(Joshua 1:1-9. C/R: Genesis 13:14-17; Deuteronomy 31;1-8; Psalm 127:1;
- Joshua 1:1-2 (NLT)— 1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant
[Deuteronomy 34], the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun [tribe of
Ephraim; Numbers 13:8, original name was Hoshea (salvation) , Moses changed to Joshua (Yahweh saves); Numbers 13:16]
, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses My servant is dead.
Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the
Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.”
Why Joshua? He had relevant experience: a military commander (Exodus
17:8-13), he accompanied Moses, remaining at a distance, when Moses met
with God on Mt. Sinai and the Tent of Meeting and represented Moses in his
absence. (Exodus 24:13;32:17; 33:11)
Joshua was one of 12 men sent to explore the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:8)
and one of two (with Caleb) who encouraged the people to trust God for
victory (Numbers 14:6–9). (Joshua and Caleb were the only ones from their
generation who entered the Promised Land.)
But Joshua’s greatest qualification was not his past experience; it was
that he knew God and had the Holy Spirit within him! (Numbers 27:18)
God’s covenant promise with Abraham included (Genesis 12:1–3)family (descendants would become a great nation); blessing (descendants would be blessed and would be a blessing to
the world); and land (Genesis 12:1-3, 5–7; 15:18), the focus of
the book of Joshua.
Joshua 1:3-5 (NLT)—
“I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will
be on land I have given you—4 from the Negev wilderness in
the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates
River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all
the land of the Hittites.’ 5 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.”
[The land was given to Israel, but they would still have to conquer it!]
Joshua 1:6-7a (NLT)—
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these
people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give
7a Be strong and very courageous.”
[Then God gave Joshua His most important instruction!]
Joshua 1:7b-9 (NLT)—
“Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you.
[Hebrew Torah, first five books of Bible]
Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left.
Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study
this Book of Instruction
[especially, laws of Deuteronomy]
continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey
everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all
[APP.: Do we meditate and obey?]
This is My command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or
discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
[He heard God speak to Moses, now God was speaking to him! Exodus 33:11;
When the Scripture didn’t tell Joshua what to do, he consulted God
Numbers 27:21-23 (NLT)—
“When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before
Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast
before the Lord—to determine His will. This is how Joshua and the rest
of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.”
APP.: Instead of following your own ideas and opinions, are you willing to
seek and obey God’s instruction, from His Word and through His Spirit,
Joshua wasn’t Moses’ choice or the people of Israel’s favorite, He was
selected by God!
ILL.: After praying and fasting, secret vote was unanimous for our next
God has given us a leader for the future, to follow because he will follow
Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT)—
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own
understanding. 6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will
show you which path to take.
A spiritual leader demonstrates…
2. Responsibility for people.
(Joshua 1:10-15. C/R: Mark 10:42-45; Acts 20:28; Philippians 2:3; 1 Peter
- Joshua 1:10-11 (NLT)—
Joshua then commanded the officers of Israel, 11 “Go through
the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three
days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land
the Lord your God is giving you.”
Joshua understood the practical needs of the people; he made sure they were
told to gather their possessions, supplies and livestock in preparation of
crossing the river.
Spiritual leaders, in whatever setting, must be aware of the needs of
individuals to attempt to meet them. (EX.: Pastors to know what to preach,
parents to know what to say.)
Then he challenged the people to work together to attain what God had
Joshua 1:12-15 (NLT)—
Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the
half-tribe of Manasseh.
[Settled on east side of the Jordan River, across from Promised Land
because of good pasture for livestock; Numbers 32]
He told them, 13 “Remember what Moses, the servant of the
Lord, commanded you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest
[secure borders and peace]
. He has given you this land.’ 14 Your wives, children, and
livestock may remain here in the land Moses assigned to you on the east
side of the Jordan River. But your strong warriors, fully armed, must
lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their
territory. Stay with them 15 until the Lord gives them rest,
as He has given you rest, and until they, too, possess the land the
Lord your God is giving them. …”
[Transjordan tribes had to join in the battle for the land.]
All of God’s people must work cooperatively to accomplish His assignments.
We all need to follow God directions for raising our children, to expose
and eliminate destructive teaching in our schools, to resist immorality in
our church and community.
We can’t say, “It’s not my concern. Someone else will do it. God revealed
it to YOU!”
Together, we can raise our families and influence our community toward
APP.: Are we all involved in doing our part to spread God’s truth and
A spiritual leader will receive…
3. Responsiveness from people.
(Joshua 1:16-18. C/R: 1 Corinthians 16:15-16;1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7,17)
- Joshua 1:16-18 (NLT)— 16 They [all Israel, not just
answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go
wherever you send us. 17 We will obey you just as we obeyed
Moses. And may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey
your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be
strong and courageous!”
Why did these people commit to follow Joshua? They were convinced that he
was chosen by God and would be led by God, the holy Scripture and the
Spirit, so they trusted him!
Leaders, especially godly, Christ-like ones, cannot demand compliance.
Some tyrants do intimidate people into obedience, but those people will
always look for an opportunity to undermine, resist, and rebel against
leaders who use fear to control.
People (including family) must decide to trust and follow you because you
display faith, character, fairness, and are always motivated by their best interest, not your own ego!
“If you think you are leading, but no one is following, you are just taking
APP.: If people refuse to follow you, ask them (including you children), to
tell you why they don’t trust you; as you do, ask God to reveal the reasons
and show you want needs to change!