Today I want to start the story of Joshua. He has an amazing story because he was actually the man who lead Israel into the promise land. Now we know that Moses was the one who lead them out of Egypt and he was their leader for about 40 years while they wandered around in the desert.
Now Joshua was a military man and Moses was sort of like the President. I used to think that Moses was a priest because the bible talks a lot in the book of Exodus about all of Moses conversations with God. After all, it was Moses who went up on the mountain to talk to God and get the ten commandments. It was Moses and God who talked over what was going to happen in Egypt, etc., right? Well in our society today, I used to equate this type of person to the Pope or to a preacher because we go to church to hear from God. I wonder what our country would be like if it was our political leaders who were talking to and hearing from God instead of just our preachers.
How do we know that Moses was not the preacher of his day? Well, the Bible says in Exodus 28, that Aaron, Moses’ brother was going to be the high priest. Moses was the leader of the people, not the priest. So anyway one of Moses’ right hand men was Joshua. Joshua was the military leader of Israel. He was like the commanding general of their whole Army. In Exodus 17, we get our first look at this commanding general. The Lord gave Moses, the President, the battle plan to fight against a group of people called the Amalekites. Then Moses told Joshua how to fight against them. Now you have to understand that the Israelites were just slaves a couple of months before this battle. They really didn’t know how to fight. That’s why God didn’t let them fight against the Egyptians when they came out. Remember Moses parted the Red Sea and they walked through on dry land then the Red Sea swallowed up the Egyptian army?
Well now the army of Israel got it’s first test and their commanding general was Joshua. This is pretty amazing because not only did Joshua have to learn to be a warrior, he had to learn to control a whole army that was fighting against a whole nation. So for this battle, Moses, the President not the priest, goes up on this hill to watch the battle. The Lord tells him to hold up his hands. As long as Moses is holding his hands up, Israel is winning the battle but if he puts them down, then the Amalekites start winning. Now here we get a good picture of how things are supposed to work. Moses has to sit down on a rock because he gets tired. This battle takes all day. First of all, notice what God tells Moses to do. The key to the battle isn’t the brilliant tactics of Joshua, although those are important. The key is Moses holding up his hands. Here is what we need to learn from this. Sometimes, the Lord will ask us to do strange things but if we know that it is the Lord, just follow his command and trust him.
There is something else here to notice. When Moses gets really tired, Aaron (the priest) and another dude named Hur, stand on either side of Moses and hold his hands up. Get a picture because it’s important, the priest is there to support the president. Also notice that the president is leaning on the priest. Both of these things give us a picture of the way God intended things to work.
So anyway, Joshua is victorious in his first battle because he defeats the Amalekites and Israel wins a great victory. Now I am going to stop right here for now. Next week we will look at what happens when the children of Israel get to the promised land and get a real good glimpse into Joshua’s character.
That’s another of the Minion’s bible stories.