Listen to this Sermon: 06232013Joshua1ListentoGodDonRuhl

Download the Notes to this Sermon: 06232013Jos1ListenToGodDonRuhl

Listen to God 

If we want God to listen to us, we have to listen to Him

Joshua 1

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • June 23, In the year of our Lord, 2013



  1. God made a promise to Abraham that through one of his descendants, 
    1. God would bless all the families of the Earth.
    2. The Chosen One had to have a nation through which to enter the world.
      1. That nation needed a land.
      2. God promised to give the Land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants.
  2. Nothing could keep God from fulfilling His promise. 
    1. The wickedness of the Canaanites did not prevent it.
    2. The wickedness of the sons of Jacob did not prevent it.
    3. The wickedness of Potipher’s wife did not prevent it.
    4. The wickedness of Egyptian slavery did not prevent it.
    5. The wickedness of the Pharaoh of the Exodus did not prevent it.
    6. The wickedness of the ten unbelieving spies did not prevent it.
    7. The death of Moses did not prevent it, because
      1. the Lord replaced Moses with Joshua.
      2. The Lord instructed Joshua on how to cause Israel to enter the land.
        1. I want us to see those instructions today, because
          1. they mean God worked in the lives of Joshua and the Israelites
          2. 3400 years ago to bring you the promise of Abraham.
        2. If the Lord would go through so much to give us the promised blessing,
          1. how great that blessing must be.
          2. Do you cherish that blessing as the Lord does?
  3. Likewise, if we follow the instructions of the Lord, 
    1. He will give us the promised blessing of Abraham.
    2. This shows that the Lord keeps all His promises.
      1. Even as He led Israel into the Land of Canaan,
      2. so the Lord will lead us into the true Land of Canaan, heaven.
        1. The time approaches rapidly when the children of God
        2. shall enter the final rest, and
          1. anyone not a child of God
          2. will enter a place where rest never exists.


  1. Joshua 1.1–9 – Listen to God

    1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel…” (Jos 1.1–9).

    1. God listened to Moses and appointed Joshua (Num 27.15).
    2. The Lord told Joshua to go, but look at what the Lord promised:
      1. He was giving them the land (v. 2).
      2. He was keeping His promise to give the land (vv. 3, 4).
      3. No man would be able to stand before Joshua (v. 5).
      4. He would be with Joshua and not leave him or forsake him (v. 5; Heb 13.5, 6).
    3. In return what the Lord wanted from Joshua were these things:
      1. To be strong and of good courage to divide the land for the tribes (v. 6).
      2. To be strong and of good courage to observe all the Law (v. 7).
        1. He was not to deviate from it to one extreme or the other.
        2. The Lord would then prosper Joshua.
      3. To meditate in the Law constantly (v. 8).
        1. He would have to speak it constantly.
        2. He would have to read it frequently.
        3. He would discover what the Lord wanted him to do.
        4. Doing those things would lead to success.
      4. Then in verse 9, the Lord summarized what He had just said to Joshua:
        1. The Lord had commanded Joshua.
        2. For a third time the Lord told Joshua to be strong and of good courage.
        3. He was not to fear or be dismayed.
        4. The Lord would be with Joshua wherever he went.
    4. The focus of this passage is to listen to God.
      1. Listen to His commands.
      2. Listen to His word.
      3. Listen to His promises.
      4. Listen to what He wants.
  2. Joshua 1.10, 11 – Possess God’s Gifts

    10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess’” (Jos 1.10, 11).

    1. God wanted to give them something.
    2. Therefore, they could possess it.
      1. It was in a sense already theirs.
      2. However, they still had to:
        1. Prepare provisions for themselves.
        2. Cross over the Jordan.
        3. Go in and possess the land.
          1. That did not take away from God’s grace.
          2. It did not mean that they earned the land.
            1. God gave the gift.
            2. God stipulated the commands.
              1. If we do what He commands,
              2. does that mean we are working for His gift?
                1. Yes, we are doing something, but
                2. it is still all of Him.
  3. Joshua 1.12–15 – Remember Your Promises

    12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 until the Lord has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise” (Jos 1.12–15).

    1. Remember your promises to God and to His people.
    2. The tribes of Rueben, Gad, and half of the half tribe of Manasseh
      1. wanted to remain on the East side of the Jordan, but
      2. they promised to enter the Land of Canaan,
        1. even leading in the wars,
        2. to help the other tribes inherit their land.
      3. Moses warned them that if they did not go over and fight,
        1. their sin would find them out.
        2. So, Joshua reminded them of their promise.
    3. They had to keep their promise,
      1. which meant leaving their wives and children at home on the East side.
      2. However, if they did as promised,
        1. the Lord would protect their families,
        2. just as He did at other times.
  4. Joshua 1.16–18 – Obey God

    16 So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage” (Jos 1.16–18).

    1. The Israelites respected Joshua.
    2. The Israelites promised to follow Joshua.
    3. The Israelites wanted the Lord to be with Joshua, as with Moses.
    4. The Israelites promised to carry out disciplinary measures.


  1. Pray and Read; Speak, But Listen 
  2. Be Used By God Rather Than Using God 
  3. God wants to bless, but He will curse if He has to. 
    1. He did not create us only to destroy us.
    2. He created us that we might enter His family and enjoy the eternal family.
      1. However, if we rebel at what He wants,
      2. He will cast us away from His eternal family.
  4. Even as you want the best for your children, God wants the best for you. 
    1. He wants peace with you, and
    2. He wants you to have peace in your soul.
  5. Perhaps you think that your sins cannot be forgiven. 
    1. Perhaps you think your sins exceed what anyone else has ever done.
    2. Perhaps you think you need a sign to know the forgiveness of your sins.
      1. Even as the Lord kept His promises to Israel,
      2. so He will keep His promise to forgive.
  6. You can follow the instructions, and you can obey the commands. 
    1. I have done it, and countless others have done it.
    2. He does not try to trick you, but
      1. He wants you to know His will, and
      2. He wants you to be able to enjoy all the blessings He has promised.
        1. You can do it.
        2. With God’s help, you can do it.
  7. The whole world exists, 
    1. time exists,
    2. everything that goes on in the world exists,
      1. for the sake of the Lord blessing all the families of the Earth.
      2. You need to be a child of Abraham,

        26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal 3.26–29).

        1. Joshua 1 was not merely about the Israelites 3400 years ago.
        2. It shows God keeping His promise to bless all the families of the Earth.
          1. Therefore, it does not matter whether you are
            1. a Jew,
            2. a Greek, or
            3. any other nationality,
          2. it does not matter whether you are
            1. slave or free,
            2. male or female,
              1. we can all be in Christ, and
              2. belong to Him,
                1. making us Abraham’s seed,
                2. making us heirs according to the promise, and
                3. unfolding in Joshua 1.
  8. Are you ready to do something about it? 
    1. We stand ready to help you.
    2. Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God?
    3. Do you want to change your life?
    4. Are you ready to start over?
      1. If so, you are ready to be born again.
      2. You have done what was necessary inside your heart,
        1. now let us do our part and
        2. baptize you in water for the forgiveness of your sins.