Thursday, August 13, 2009


“You are witnesses... that the Lord God has fought for you. He has driven out nations before you and gave you this land. This is your inheritance!” Joshua spoke loudly, his voice still forceful even though he was advanced in age. He paused in his farewell speech as silence prevailed in the crowd of the victorious people of Israel. Few drops of tears rolled down from his eyes, a rare sight from this warrior man. He was one fighting machine!

“Be very strong. Be careful to obey the Law of Moses. Don’t turn to the right or to the left” Joshua let out each word carefully. He knew that once the people thought they were the ones who wrought the victory, defeat would swiftly overtake them.

Joshua was a man who always dared to dream. Despair and desperation were not in his dictionary, only victory. As a young slave in Egypt, his heart would fire up inside him every time he heard of the promise of God carried along by his fore fathers. “One day. That one day will come” he often encouraged himself. When Moses led the great deliverance of his people from slavery out of Egypt, he was one of the first to volunteer for anything. His passion for God coupled with his ever-willing heart to serve were what caught the eyes of Moses. Perhaps, slavery was to him a training ground for his mind and a grinding ground for his muscles. Joshua became an assistant every leader looked for. He became a mentee every mentor dreamt of. God Almighty, who had foreknown everything, could never miss Joshua in such a time in history. While Moses delivered Israel out of slavery into the wilderness, Joshua settled them down as a nation in the promise land. Thus, the promise of God fulfilled!

That day, as Joshua stood there with the rest of the history makers, he could not imagine that he was the one who led Israel into becoming a nation. He knew deep inside him that God’s every promise was to be taken literally. And with faith and patience, all promises would come to pass, no matter what. He heard about God’s promise that Israel would be a nation and that day, he saw it with his own eyes. Hittites, Amalekites, Perizzites and all the other “terrorites” fell like timber logs when the judgment of God came sawing through. Nothing could possibly stand erect when God attacked. No enemies could withstand the awesome might of God.

“But if you turn and serve other gods, God will attack you. You will be His enemies,” Joshua warned. In God, there would be no favouritism, no “specialism”. God formed and settled the nation of Israel to be His light. Joshua knew God’s love for Israel entailed an even greater purpose. Israel, a victorious overcomer by the strength of God must also be His servant. A servant that would shine forth God’s Name and shout His fame!

“Choose you this day whom you will serve, idols or the Lord God. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” the victorious leader wound up his speech. The people unanimously said a big “AMEN!!”

Preaching a great sermon was never enough for Joshua. He insisted on their display of allegiance to God by committing them to a covenant. As an altar call for his congregation, he had prepared a heavy stone for a memorial for all they promised God. The stone would stand firm against the powers of nature to be a powerful witness.

Joshua was a victorious man in his every endeavour but never once thought his victory came from his own strength. Like he always said, “God fights for Israel!"

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