Bible Study

Joshua 1:1-18  Claiming Your Canaan Series – #1


In our day, there are many misunderstandings surrounding the Christian life. A trip to the local Bible book store confirms this accusation. After all, the shelves are lined with books that talk about how to make the Christian life easier and more acceptable to the world. However, the truth of the matter is that we are not out for a day in the park! This thing that we got into when we were saved is a battle! We are engaged in warfare with a spiritual enemy who is far more powerful than we are, Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” In our own strength, we are no match for the devil! The good new is, he is nowhere near as powerful as our God, 1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Therefore, in the midst of the battles, there is always hope for victory, Rom. 8:31 ”What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” In fact, the Bible tells us that we are the recipients of victory through the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” While we are engaged in the battle with evil, there is the expectation that we can and will walk in victory in our lives. 

This is what the book of Joshua represents.

In this book, we find that Moses, the great leader of Israel has died and a new leader named Joshua has been appointed to lead the nation of Israel into Canaan. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Israel is about to take possession of the land which God promised Abraham centuries earlier, Gen. 12:7. This book is about the battles Israel faced in order to claim that promise from God. Joshua is a book of warfare, suffering and great victories. It is a book that can teach the modern Christian much about obtaining spiritual victory in your life. You see, we sing songs about Canaan land and often we have the idea that Canaan refers to Heaven. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When we get to Heaven, there will be no more wars, there will be no more enemies, there will be no more suffering or death, there will be no more sin. All of these are present in the book of Joshua and are dealt with in its pages. No, Canaan isn’t Heaven, but it is a picture of the life of victory that is available to every child of God!


V. 1-4  A Call To Claim The Land – In these verses, Joshua is reminded that the Lord has already given the land of Canaan to the children of Israel. Joshua is commanded to lead the people into Canaan to claim the land that they had been promised by the Lord. The land was given to them back in Gen. 12:7 and the promises was reaffirmed to every succeeding generation of the nation of Israel. The land was indeed their land! There was no need for them to continue wandering around in the wilderness. They had a land, all they had to was claim it!

Today we see many Christians who are defeated, who struggle with sins, who, for all intents and purposes are wandering around in a spiritual wilderness. It does not have to be that way! God has a place of victorious living which He has promised you and I can live in, 2 Cor. 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”; Rom. 8:37 “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”. I believe with all my heart that God did not save you to see you defeated! Most of the time, we are defeated because we refuse to walk in victory! I believe there is a place of conquest for every child of God this morning that we can claim for our own and these next few verses tell us what we need to remember as we set out to claim our Canaan.)

V. 5-6, 9 A Call To Have Confidence In The Lord – Joshua is reminded of some very precious promises in these verses. Notice what God promised him:

1. V. 5 The promise of victory over every enemy.

2. V. 5 The promise of the presence and power of God.

3. V. 5 The promise of the faithfulness of God.

4. V. 6 The promise of absolute victory.

5. V. 6 The promise of God to keep His promises.

What did Joshua have to do to make these things happen? Just one thing: Trust God! God was going to give Israel the victory. Joshua was merely the instrument that God had chosen to use to do it. These things were going to happen! For Joshua to be a part of it, all he had to do was have faith in God!

The same promises God made to Joshua are in force for you and me, we can still count on the Lord to do everything He promised Joshua He would do!

1. He still gives victory over all our enemies – 1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

2. He is still ever-present, Heb. 13:5 “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”, and all powerful – Matt. 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

3. He is still faithful – Matt. 28:20 “ lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

4. He still gives absolute victory –  Rev. 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

5. He still keeps His promises – Rom. 4:21 “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”

What do we have to do to see these things come to pass in our lives? Just one thing: Trust God! When we can learn to place our faith in God at all times in every situation, then we will walk in victory in our lives, Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”. When everything else fails, faith will ever stand the test! We might let the Lord down, but He will never fail the believer who has their faith in Him!

V. 7-8 A Call To Carry Out The Law – The Lord tells Joshua that if he is to lead the people of God to rest in Canaan, then he take heed to the Law of God. Remembering the Law is an essential step to entering our Canaan as well. Notice what the Lord to Joshua about the Law and how this applies to our lives today.

1. V. 7 He was to keep the Law – He was to do everything the Law said to do, not turning from it the least little bit.

2. V. 8 He was to meditate on the Law – Day and night, his mind was to be occupied with the Law. He was to love it and let it fill his heart and mind. This was in order that his life might be centered in the Law and therefore in the will of God!

3. V, 7, 8 He was to prosper by honoring the Law – God’s promise to Joshua was that if he lived his life around the Law of God, God would prosper him in everything he did and that God would make him very successful.

Is there a lesson in this for us today? Well, first I would like to say that I thank the Lord that we are not under the Law today! I am glad that we are under grace. Having said that, I would like to say that many in our day have concluded that since we are no longer under the Law, that they are free to do anything they please. Such an attitude is dangerous and is guaranteed to bring you to ruin! If you want to live in Christian victory today, you too must develop a love for the Word of God! Just as Joshua was commanded to honor the Law, we are commanded to honor the Book of God!

1. We are to feed on the Bible – 1 Pet. 2:2 “desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”; Job 23:12 “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”

2. We are to live by the Bible – Ps. 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”; Ps. 37:31; Ps. 119:97; Jer. 15:16.

3. We will be blessed when these things are true in our lives – Ps. 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Do you have a time set aside each day when you go to the green pastures of the Word of God and feed therein? If not, your spiritual life will be weak and ineffective. If so, you are well on your way to claiming your Canaan and entering into your spiritual victory.

V. 6a, 7a, 9a A Call To Courage In Leadership – In the midst of all these things the Lord calls Joshua to do, 3 times, God Himself, encourages Joshua to be strong and courageous! These words carry the idea of “standing firm and strong in the face of opposition.” Joshua would need great courage to face the enemies of Israel and to lead the people to victory in the promised land. God’s challenge to Joshua is for him to stand!

There is just as great a need for people to stand for the Lord now as there was in the days Joshua! All around us, Christians are falling by the wayside. What we need is for God’s children to be moved in the depths of their souls to stand up, renew their commitments to the Lord and say, “By God’s help, I’ll stand and not fall all the days of my life!” We need people today who will take the lead in the churches and make their stand for the Lord. We need to remember the words of the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 15:58 “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”. We need to stand, Eph. 6:10-17. It is high time that the church stopped letting herself be a doormat for the world and the devil. It is time we stood up and made our stand with the people of God and headed God’s call to be brave and strong in these days, Rom. 13:11-14.

I. The Call From The Lord


After Joshua receives his challenge from the Lord, without hesitation, he goes to the people and tells them that the time has come to take their land. First, he challenges the nation as a whole and then he addresses a specific group within the nation of Israel.

V. 10-11 A Challenge To Readiness – Joshua tells the people to get ready to go into Canaan and claim the land. These were the words they had been living for for 40 years. However, before they could go in, they had to get ready! God told them to prepare them some food. You see, the manna was about to stop. God had told them that He would give them manna while they were in the desert, but it would cease when they entered the Promised Land, Ex. 16:35. The manna was desert diet, now they were about to move up to something a whole lot better. They were going to a land flowing with milk and honey. What had worked in the wilderness would not suffice in the land of blessing!

The same is true for us today. Before we can enter our Canaan, we have to prepare for that land. The way we live must change. The things we feed on must change. The entire scope of our lives must be altered to adjust to life in Canaan! This is why so many never enjoy the victorious Christian life. They simply refuse to make the necessary changes to adjust to living in spiritual victory. The fact is, if you expect to walk in victory, you will have to learn to walk by an entirely new set of rules, Rom. 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”; Col. 3:1-10 “Set your affection on things above”.

What will you have to do to get ready for Canaan?

B. V. 12-15 A Challenge To Responsibility – Now, Joshua addresses the tribes of Reuben, Gad and that half tribe of Manasseh. These tribes had sought, and gotten, permission from Moses to remain East of the Jordan, just outside the promised land. Their reason in making this request? The land east of Jordan was a land that was good for raising cattle, Num. 32:1, 4, 16. Still, Joshua reminds them that they had promised to fight alongside their brethren until the land was conquered, Deut 3:12-20. These people are challenged to remember their promise and to aid the nation until victory was secured. While these people settled in a land of prosperity, they were also in a land of danger. Years later, when the Assyrian army attacked from the East, these tribes were the first to go away into captivity.

There is a very powerful lesson for us in these verse. We have literal legions of Christians who are just like these 2 ½ tribes. They are more concerned about making a living than they are about making a life! The primary thing that motivates them is getting ahead in life. In other words, they are materially minded instead of spiritually minded! These are people who have trusted Jesus for salvation, but that is about as far as they are will to go. They will come when they want to, put in an offering when they feel like they can afford to, fight a battle now and again, but most often, they are seen just playing around the edges, refusing to put God first in their lives. By the way, it is this type of Christian who is usually the first to fall in times of attack and temptation!

I. The Call From The Lord

II. The Challenge From Joshua


V. 16 They Commit Themselves To A Life Of Surrender – These people make their stand with the Lord. They promise absolute obedience and surrender to the will of God.

This is the only way spiritual victory will come to any life. There must be total and absolute surrender of every area of life to the will of God and to His divine leadership. Anything less hinders the work of God in your life and mine.  Too often, we are like the men described in Luke 9:57-62 “having put his hand to the plough, and looking back”. God’s will is that we surrender our will and follow Him to victory. I challenge you to make a complete surrender to God. Run up the white flag today and get in line to go into Canaan!

V. 17 They Commit Themselves To A Life Of Submission – These men also promised to follow the leadership of God’s man. Just as they had followed Moses, they committed themselves to following Joshua!

While I believe that there is a certain amount of authority invested in the pastoral office, and that the people of God ought to follow the man of God as he follows God’s will for the church, there is a higher authority that every person must acknowledge, GOD. Too many people follow the preacher and not God.

V. 18 They Commit Themselves To A Life Of Separation – Finally, the people commit themselves to separating from those in their midst who refused to comply with the commandments of the Lord. And, their separation was so strong that they vowed to put to death anyone who rebelled against the leadership of Joshua. These people knew that allowing rebellion in their midst was a sure way to guarantee defeat.  2 Cor. 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,”

If we want to walk in victory, we must practice separation in our lives as well. We should separate ourselves from anything that would prevent us from having victory in our lives. Whether it be from certain people, in the way we dress, the way we talk, the things we watch and do, where we work, how we think or in any other area of life. If it is a hindrance to your entering into your Canaan, then it must go. Otherwise, you will always be defeated and in danger. 

Canaan land is our land! It has been given to us by the Heavenly Father and all we have to do this is to march in and claim it for ourselves. However, while it is ours, it isn’t cheap! If you really want to walk in spiritual victory and live in Canaan land, then you will have to pay the price.

Luke 14:27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,”

Victory Baptist Church 09 September 2020 

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