May 29 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 13:1
Joshua 13:1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
I said yesterday that we would get to the inheritance of the tribe of Levi but I cannot skip our verse today. So, we will postpone Levi's inheritance again for a day to consider verse 1 of chapter 13. Some believe the war lasted around 7 years from Jericho to the battles with the Anakims in the hill country. Even though the war was over the fighting would not be. They had conquered enough land to finally settle down and divide the land among the tribes but there was still a lot to be conquered. Notice also that this was the word of the LORD. This wasn't Joshua's ambitions but rather God's. Joshua was passing off the scene but there was still much to do. This reminds me of 2 things. One, the ministry that Jesus passed to His Apostles. When Jesus ascended into heaven, the church as we know it, had not even began. These where the words of Christ to Philip in John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Notice as well His words to Peter in Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Then in Ephesians Paul is refering to the church as a building fitly framed together for a habitation of God through the Spirit and listen to how he refers to the apostles: Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
The point I'm making is our heavenly Joshua, Jesus Christ The Righteous, passed his ministry on to the Apostles. It's true his heavenly work was finished but His earthly work was just beginning. Christ was the chief cornerstone. In laying a foundation I've been told that you set the corner first as a standard for the rest of the foundation, that is precisely what Christ did.See, like Joshua of old, He had won the inheritance but there was still much land to be possessed. He won our heavenly inheritance and then told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. He set the standard for all and the Apostles followed suite. Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles, went as far as God would allow him, preaching the gospel. Jesus left a work to be done. The Apostles picked up that mantle and carried it to the next generation and on and on and on all the way to us. Which brings me to my second observation. The preachers of yesteryear are passing away year by year and I've seen a disturbing trend. That mantles are being left behind by Great men of God, the type that preach the whole counsel of God, who studied to show themselves approved, who forsook the things of this world for the sake of the Gospel. These men are leaving their mantle behind only to be forsaken by the generation coming behind. The danger that Israel is in chapter 13 is complacency. Notice how God gives this word directly after their inheritance and list of victories in the previous chapter. He was reminding them that there is still a work to do. You know Israel never had complete peace until King David was on the throne. There was a work to do all the way until the blessed King took the throne. The same is true for us today we are in danger of becoming complacent in our work for God, we look to the eminent return of our Savior and say it's almost over, let us relax and wait for Him or we may look at what God has given us and say it is enough let us settle down and stop all this warring and working. Be reminded friend that there is still a work to do! Until Christ(The Root of David) sits on the Throne of the earth in the millennial reign there will not be peace from the enemy. There remaineth very much land to be possessed and our fight isn't over, our ministry isn't over until Christ returns. We believe it will be very soon! Where will you be found? Will you forsake the cause because of the present blessings and ease? Will you lay down the banner because you feel the end is nearing? I don't know about you but I want to fight until the very end, I want to preach until the death of this body or the rapture. Don't stop now we are to near the end, There is much land to be possessed! There are untold millions where you are that have only heard misconceptions of the Gospel. Joshua went up to the very end of his life fighting for the promises of God. We aren't fighting for Land but for the Lost, keep going, keep telling. If there is breath in our lungs then there should be the Gospel on our lips.
I'm reminded of a song from my childhood, sung often by the preacher who preached the Gospel to me in power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost, Bro. Ed Ballew. He sang often these words: I want die on the battle field, I want to die in the war, I want to die on the battlefield with glory in my soul!!!
That is my desire this morning and I pray that desire never leaves me!!
Go ye into all the world!!
Onward Christian Soldier!!