Today some of my friends from Christians on Campus and I got to help out with a VBS type camp called Summer School of Truth Jr. It’s for kids in grades 1-6 and the topic this year is Joshua and how he helped the children of Israel enter into the good land (Canaan).
The major theme that my partner and I were supposed to speak over was “We should take the lead to work to accomplish God’s purpose and to help others to enter into what God has provided for them.” Joshua was really a pattern in this respect. He and Caleb were the only two original spies sent my Moses that came back from Canaan with a good report. They wanted to stand by faith on God’s word to fight for the good land, but the rest of the Israelites were afraid of the natives and shrunk back, thus beginning their forty years of sojourning through the wilderness.
Anyway, there’s a lot in the book of Joshua that I enjoyed while preparing to speak to the kids, but what I was really impressed with was that Joshua fought for other people. He lead the children of Israel in the fight against the all the nations in the promised land (Deuteronomy 1:38), but he didn’t do it so that he could establish his own little kingdom. Joshua 11:23 says “So Joshua took the whole land according to all that Jehovah had spoken to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land had rest from war.”
God prepared that land in Canaan for the children of Israel and promised it to Abraham in Genesis 15, but He still needed someone to cooperate with Him to take it and distribute it among the tribes of Israel. According to Deuteronomy 31:7, Joshua was that man, but like I said, he didn’t do anything for himself. He didn’t even allot himself any part of the land he had waited forty years to possess. Joshua 19:49 says “So they finished distributing the land as inheritances according to its borders. And the children of Israel gave Joshua the son of Nun an inheritance in the midst of them.”
Joshua gave everyone else their land first. He took care of everyone else first. He fought for everyone else first. In the Bible the good land is a type of Christ and inheriting the land is a type of enjoying the Christ we have received from God. So today, I’m just considering how much I have fought for other people so that they can enjoy the inheritance and the riches that God has prepared for them. I know I’ve experienced being on the receiving end when people have prayed for me, expounded a verse in the Bible I was struggling to understand, or even just helped me to sing a hymn of praise in a church meeting.
But have I done this for others? I know that to a small extent, the answer is yes. I have prayed for people, read the Bible with them, and encouraged them when they were down. However, I know that I have also shrunk back from helping someone in need or tried to greedily get something for myself.
Romans 15:1-2 say “But we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those who are weak and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor with a view to what is good for building up.” So many times my view is toward myself and not toward the Body of Christ. If I’m strong in something I want to get stronger and not be weighed down by someone I think is weak. This is absolutely against what God is doing. God wants us to live our Christian life with a view toward what is good for the building up of others, with a view toward helping others gain the Christ that God has prepared for them.
O Lord Jesus! Make me one who takes the lead to work for others and helps them enter into the what You have prepared for them!