What Joshua Learned Ex. 33:11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Joshua was a young man when he began to train under Moses, as his servant. In this study we examine what Joshua learned that prepared him for his ultimate work of taking the Jews into Canaan when he was older. The young man Joshua was in training and in training Joshua:
Learned to fight – Ex 17:8-10 – he had to fight Amalek not long after the Jews entered the wilderness. This fight came on the heels of a spiritual victory [water out of a rock]. Rather than celebrate, Joshua had to prepare for battle. We are involved in spiritual warfare in the ministry. We fight spiritual battles with spiritual armor [Eph 6:10-18]. Young men need to learn how to fight with our enemy. Paul said that we are not ignorant of his devices, something only a man who has fought a while would know.
Learned to serve – Ex 24:12-13 – in these verses, Joshua is referred to as Moses’ minister. Young men start out being taught and pampered. They must learn to serve and to minister [Matt 20:25-28].
Learned to perceive – Ex 32:17-18 – Joshua couldn’t discern the sound of the shouting. Young men must learn to perceive [Prov 1:2]. In the ministry, the sound people make when talking is rarely the voice of their heart speaking. You must learn how to perceive what they are trying to say. Joshua probably couldn’t imagine what was really going on down below.
Learned to commune with God – Ex 33:8-11 – Joshua wasn’t only there for Moses, he was also there for the Lord. Young men must not only learn to serve, but they must learn to “get alone with God.” Develop your own fellowship with the Lord. He needs to be real to you.
Learn to cooperate with others – Num 11:24-29 – Joshua envied that the two men who hadn’t gone into the tabernacle were prophesying. You must get used to God using other people besides you and your pastor in the ministry. We aren’t mavericks. Our desire should be to see God using everyone in the church [1 Cor 12:18].
Learned to trust God – Num 14:6-10 – Num 32:12 – Joshua and Caleb had to trust God to defeat the Canaanites, to overcome their fears and to help them stand when everyone else was ready to stone them. Like David, you need to encourage yourself in the Lord [1 Sam 30:6] even when it seems that you are facing impossible odds and hostile followers.
Learned to obey [be under authority] – Num 27:16-20 – Deut 3:28 – Deut 31:7-8, 23 – Moses laid his hands on Joshua and gave him a charge in the presence of the people as evidence that he was under authority. Men are never without authority over them. The centurion was a man under authority [Matt 8:9]. Jesus was a man under authority [Jn 7:16; Jn 8:28-29]. You need to be under authority even when you are ready to lead.
Learned to wait on God – Deut 34:9 – Joshua waited until he was filled with the spirit of wisdom like the disciples waited in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. He waited on the Lord to use him to lead until he was fully trained.
Learned to lead – Jos 1:1-2, 6-10 – When it came time for Joshua to lead, he received his orders directly from the Lord. And because he had learned the above, he was ready to lead. He had surely been very productive up till now. However, now he was in charge.
Conclusion: Joshua wasn’t perfect by any means. He made mistakes. In Jos 7:6-11 he sprawled out on the ground after the early defeat at Ai. In Jos 9:14-15 he made a careless league with the Gibeonites, which God honored by the way [2 Sam 21:1]. In spite of these, he stood right with God [Jos 24:14-15] as an excellent and well-trained leader. Thus, he was able to lead Israel to defeat 31 kings in Canaan and divide up the land among the tribes.