Who Is The Servant Anyway?


Photo by Robby McCullough on Unsplash

Joshua 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying …

In a recent address to the 2019 graduates of Liberty University Vice President Mike Pence spoke about religious liberty. He said:

throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian. It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible. But things are different now. Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs.”

Someone asked the question “What must Americans do to stem this tide of bigotry?”. I believe that this is the wrong question. When our Lord Jesus came to this earth, He came as Light into the midst of darkness. From the very beginning Jesus was resisted by Israel – those He came primarily to save – and the religious leaders of Israel. The Scripture says:

He came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not (John 1:11)

The Light shined in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5, in my words). Jesus told the Rabbi Nicodemus right after He told him “God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son” (John 3:16) that:

John 3:19 … Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil.

The world opposes Christ and His genuine followers because the world is in the grip of the Evil One (1 John 5:19). Jesus told the religious leaders of His day right after He healed a boy blind from birth:

If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41)

Why was the world that Christ was come to save against Him from the beginning? Why would a King called Herod attempt to kill Him while He was yet in a cradle? (Matthew 2:16; Jeremiah 31:15). Why would every religious leader of not – Pharisee, Sadducee, Scribe, Chief Priest, or Elder – seek His death? Jesus defined the problem Himself, saying:

John 15:21-24 … they know not Him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

For entirely too long the Church in America has lowered God’s standard until our ensign is dragging in the dust.

As we lowered the standard, changing what God has told us in His Word to a humanized little “w” word, the Church ceased to be a threat to the darkness. Vice President Pence has been clear in his faith, and is being attacked for it. President Jimmy Carter along with other Presidents went down the road of compromise. In a New York Times interview President Carter was asked:

One of my problems with evangelicalism is that it normally argues that one can be saved only through a personal relationship with Jesus, which seems to consign Gandhi to hell. Do you believe that?”

His response was typical of what many say today. President Carter said:

I do not feel qualified to make a judgment. I am inclined to give him (or others) the benefit of any doubt.”

Jesus left no doubt. Whether Gandhi or any person – even Adolf Hitler – is in hell today is not for me to judge. But Jesus was very clear when He said in John 14:6 “I am to Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me”. If a person leaves this life without a personal relationship with God in Christ then they have NO HOPE for Heaven. To compromise this truth is to reject the very basic tenet of Christ’s Gospel. It makes the world happier if we who are Christ’s say “I prefer to not make a judgment”, but it inflames the world when we say “Christ said He was the only Way to God the Father.

Who Is Serving Who?

The reason we as American Christians have not experiences much difficulty in living our faith is sadly because many of us think that God serves us rather than we serve God. We’re going to start studying through the Book of Joshua, an extraordinary believer in God. The Book of Joshua begins where the Book of Deuteronomy ends. The Hebrew Bible is divided into three parts:

The Law, The Prophets, and the Writings”. The portion known as the Law was written by Moses as God gave direction. The Scripture tells us that:

2 Peter 1:21 … the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Moses wrote the Torah – the first five Books of our Scripture. Moses knew Jesus Christ. How do I know this? Because Jesus told the Pharisees:

John 5:46-47 … had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

As the Law ends and Joshua begins we read:

Deuteronomy 34:1-6 .. Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, 2 And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, 3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. 4 And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. 6 And {God} buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day.

When Moses died he went to be with Jesus. Moses was 120 years old when he died. The Bible says that:

his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (vs 7)

Moses knew who the servant was. Because Moses failed to serve God at Kadesh by striking the Rock rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20:8-13) Moses would not enter into the Promised Land. Yet God loved him, and buried him with His own hand.

It amazes me that the Hand that wrote the Law on tablets of stone was the same Hand that dug the grave for Moses’ body.

Why would God take such care with Moses? Even though Moses failed God at Kadesh (also called Meribah or bitterness – Numbers 20:13), Moses was still “The servant of the Lord”. He knew and served God. He wrote of Christ. He trusted God the Holy Spirit. He served the Lord. God said of Moses once he died:

Deuteronomy 34:10-11 … there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land …

God loved Moses because – outside of that terrible day in Meribah – Moses knew whom he served. He lived for the Lord Who saved him. He cared for Jesus. When Moses dies who will God choose to take his place? Will God go by popular vote, or electoral vote? Will God ask the people whom He will choose? NO!

the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister

Joshua Served The Lord

Who is Joshua? His Book is the first Book in the Hebrew division of the bible called “The Prophets”. We don’t know who the human secretary was that wrote this Book, but we do know it was written by God. The name “Joshua” is the Hebrew יְהוֹשׁוּעַ Yᵉhôwshûwaʻ, (pronounced yeh-ho-shoo’-ah) which means “Yahweh is salvation”.

Dr. Thomas Constable in his commentary notes “is the Hebrew name that translates into Aramaic as “Jesus.” What Jesus is to God’s people in a larger sense, Joshua was to the Israelites in a smaller sense. Joshua brought God’s people into the realization of many of God’s plans and purposes for them. ”

Why was Joshua chosen to lead Israel? Judah was supposed to be the ruling tribe of Israel. When Jacob lay dying he directed that:

Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Judah was the tribe where Israel’s rulers were to come from. King David came from Judah. Our Lord Jesus Christ is descended from Judah. So what of Joshua?

the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun

Was Joshua from Judah? No. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim. When Moses sent twelve spies into the land of Canaan – one from each tribe – we read that he sent:

Numbers 13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea (Joshua) the son of Nun.

The tribe of Judah was represented by Caleb the son of Jephunneh (Numbers 13:6). So why did God choose Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land? Because Joshua was a minister to Moses, and the servant of the Lord. Joshua did not spend his time trying to order God about. He knew he was called to serve God. When the twelve spies went into Canaan 40 years prior ten of the spies brought back “an evil report” which caused Israel to refuse to enter. God told Israel:

Numbers 14:29-30 Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. 30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

Israel wandered for forty years because of her sin of unbelief. And of the ten spies God punished them:

Numbers 14:36-37 … the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, 37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord.

They didn’t know who was the servant. God is not the servant. God is not our servant. We serve the Lord. If we will be blessed, we must serve the Lord! I look forward to going through the Book of Joshua with you. Let us commit to serving the Lord!

Who Are You Serving?

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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