This year at Faith West we are studying the books of Joshua and Judges in a series called, Everyone Did Right in Their Own Eyes. It is going to be incredible to see the contrast between a leader like Joshua who was faithful to the Lord and the people who were seeking their own desires. It is our hope that by giving you the basic outline of the lesson you can follow up with your teens to see what they have learned and to help them apply those truths in their life.
God calls us to do some pretty uncomfortable things sometimes. Go share the Gospel with complete strangers, live a holy life in the middle of an unholy world, forsake your comfort for the advancement of the Gospel, take leadership in situations where you do not feel comfortable assuming the leadership, explain your faith to a skeptic, or even give your entire life to living by faith.
Think of some times that you spent doing something you were uncomfortable with for the very first time. Maybe your first time standing in front of a crowd, your first time singing in public, your first time being in a play, your first time playing a sport in front of a crowd, or your first time going to a new school. What was your reaction? How do you tend to respond to those situations?
This year we are going to see the period of history after Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. He promised them victory and a promised land. He set up Joshua as the ruler to take them there. In the book of Judges we have the time period after Joshua when Israel was without a king. We will see that in these two books God is calling the people to do great things and they keep responding by doing things in their own way. Joshua is the exception as one man who even though he felt uncomfortable gave his all to the cause that God asked him to take on.
Imagine being Joshua. Moses a truly great leader led this group of complaining, ungrateful Israelites for years. They just spent the last 40 years wandering around in a wilderness outside of the promised land that God had set for them because of their lack of trust in God. Moses the only man who had seen God’s glory so close that his face shined so bright they had to cover his face so the people would not be blinded. Moses who God had miraculously preserved from the hands of a murderous Pharoah by allowing the Pharoah’s daughter to adopt him. Moses who even for all of those good things because of one act of not trusting God was not allowed to enter into the promised land.
Imagine being Joshua and having the opportunity to lead a group of whiny but special chosen people to follow a righteous holy God into some completely uncomfortable situations. You are now the ruler of a nation without a land.
I. God’s Promise (1-9)
God immediately upon calling Joshua to the role of leadership went to work reminding him of some truths that Moses had forgotten in the midst of his leadership. Let us take a look at those things he reminded him of.
a. The promise of a land for God’s chosen people (2-4)
1. Cross the Jordan to the land I have given you. (2)
2. I have given you every place where your foot treads. (3)
3. Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great Euphrates River – all the land of the Hittites – and West to the Mediterranean Sea. (4)
4. Notice none of the places God promised them were in question or maybes. They were all promised the people just needed to step out by faith and take it.
5. What are some of the promises God has given us that we just need to have the faith to take them? (small groups)
b. The promise of God’s presence (5)
1. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live
2. Find another promise given to us that no one will be able to stand against us because we have God with us. (small groups)
3. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses
4. We have nothing to fear because God is with us.
5. Hebrews 13:5-6, “Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid, what can man do to me?”
c. The promise that God will keep His Word (6-8)
1. Since God will keep His Word we can be strong and very courageous
a. If the Gospel is really true then we need to live like it is. We have no reason to fear or be afraid to share the Gospel with those around us.
b. The most effective person in any activity is the person who approaches that activity without fear of death.
ii. light bulb changer on the cell phone towers
iv. teen who shares their active testimony at school
v. teen who has the character to stand up to those who are living in sin.
2. We can be confident that things given to us in God’s Word are true and thereby live by them.
a. 2 Peter 1:20-21, “First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
b. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
3. God gave us His Word so we can be courageous and confident in it. Therefore we need to live by it.
a. Psalm 1 – notice the difference between the person who is dependent on God’s Word and the person who is not anchored in it.
b. Psalm 119:15-16, “I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I will delight in Your statures; I will not forget Your word.”
c. If we can trust God’s Word to give us courage and confidence what should we be doing with it? (small group)
d. “If Joshua was able to conquer Canaan having only the first five books of the Bible, how much more ought we to overcome now that we have a complete Bible!” – Warren Wiersbe
II. Joshua Steps Up to Leadership in Faith (10-15)
So God called Joshua to live a life of courage and strength knowing what God said is true.
1. Joshuah follows God’s chain of command (10)
a. God told Joshua what to do.
b. Joshua told the officers what to do.
c. The officers told the people what to do.
d. Think about all the areas of leadership God has ordained in your life.
1. Parents (Ephesians 6:1-2)
2. Leaders of the church (1 Timothy 3)
3. I am always leery of the person who believes that they are doing God’s Will yet refuses to submit to the leadership that God has set up for them. Teens it is important that you are a part of your church and that you are following the leadership that God puts there. Teens it is important that you submit to the leadership of your parents, because God put them there for a reason.
2. Joshua told those who had already settled down that the work for the rest of them still needed to happen. (12-15)
III. People are Willing to Follow a Leader Who Is Confident in God’s Word (16-18)
The people responded that they will follow Joshua into battle. They said that they will obey his orders. Most importantly they said they will be stron and courageous to.
1. How many people would follow you in doing right if you stepped out and led without fear?
2. How much impact could your testimony have if you stayed consistent in your walk?
3. God is with you will you have the courage to trust His promises and His Word?