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Joshua 1:1–3:17 (LEB)

Joshua Addresses the Israelites

1 After the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, Yahweh said to Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, saying, “My servant Moses is dead. Get up and cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the soles of your feet will tread, I have given it to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon, up to the great river, the river Euphrates, all of the land of the Hittites, and up to the great sea in the west, will be your territory. No one will stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so will I be with you; I will not fail you, and I will not forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you will give the people this land as an inheritance that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous to observe diligently the whole law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn aside from it, to the right or left, so that you may succeed wherever you go. The scroll of this law will not depart from your mouth; you will meditate on it day and night so that you may observe diligently all that is written in it. For then you will succeed in your ways and prosper. Did I not command you? Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or be dismayed, for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.” 10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people: ‘Prepare your provisions; in three days you are to cross the Jordan to go possess the land that Yahweh your God is giving you to possess.’ ”

12 To the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word that Moses Yahweh’s servant commanded you, saying, ‘Yahweh your God is giving rest to you, and he is giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little children, and your livestock, they will remain in the land that Moses gave to you beyond the Jordan. All of the best fighting men will cross armed in front of your families; they will help you 15 until Yahweh gives rest to your families as well as to you. They will take possession of the land that Yahweh your God is giving to them. Then you will return to your own land and take possession of it, the land that Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan to the east.” 16 And they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you will send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses, so will we obey you. Only may Yahweh your God be with you, as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your orders and does not obey your words according to what you commanded us will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

Spies View the Land

2 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men from Acacia Grove as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and spent the night there. The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some men from the Israelites have come here tonight to search out the land.” And the king of Jericho sent for Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who came to you, the ones who have entered your house, for they have come to search out the whole land.” But the woman took the two men and hid them. And she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when it was time to shut the gate for the night, the men left, and I do not know where they went. Chase after them quickly, for you may catch up to them.” (But she had taken them to the roof and had hidden them in the stalks of flax that she had spread out on the roof.) So the men chased after them on the way to the Jordan at the fords; and they shut the gate behind the pursuers that had gone out after them.

Before they went to sleep, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that Yahweh has given you the land, and that dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away in fear because of your presence. 10 For we have heard how Yahweh dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you went out from Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 We heard this, and our hearts melted, and no courage was left in anyone because of your presence. For Yahweh your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth below. 12 So then please swear to me by Yahweh, because I have shown loyalty to you, and you will also show loyalty to my family. You must give me a sign of good faith, 13 and you will spare my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all that belongs to them; you will deliver our lives from death.” 14 And the men said to her, “Our lives for yours. If you do not report this business of ours, we will show you loyalty and faithfulness when Yahweh gives us the land.”

15 Then she lowered them with a rope through the window, as her house was on the outer side of the wall, and she was residing in the wall. 16 And she said to them, “Go to the mountain, so that the pursuers will not find you, and hide yourselves there three days until the pursuers return, and afterward you may go on your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We will be released from this oath of yours that you made us swear. 18 When we come to the land, you must tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you must gather your father and mother, and your brothers, and your whole family to your house. 19 If anyone goes outside the doors of your house, they will be responsible for their own death, and we will be innocent. Anyone who will be with you in the house, we will be responsible for their death if a hand is laid on them. 20 But if you report this business of ours, we will be released from your oath that you made us swear.” 21 And she said, “According to your word it will be.” Then she sent them away, and they went, and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 They departed and came to the mountain, and they stayed there three days until the pursuers returned. The pursuers searched all along the way but did not find them. 23 The two men returned and went down from the mountain, and they crossed over and came to Joshua son of Nun, and they told him everything that happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “Surely Yahweh has given all the land into our hand; also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away in fear because of our presence.”

The Israelites Cross the Jordan

3 Joshua rose early in the morning, and they set out from Acacia Grove. And they came up to the Jordan, he and all the Israelites, and they spent the night there before they crossed over. At the end of the three days the officers passed through the midst of the camp, and they commanded the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God you must set out from your place and go after it. But there will be a distance between you and it of about two thousand cubits in measurement. Do not come near it, so that you may know the way that you must go, for you have not passed on this way before.” And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, because tomorrow Yahweh will do wonders in your midst.” And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” And they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.

Then Yahweh said to Joshua, “This day I will begin exalting you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that I was with Moses, and I will be with you. You will command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘At the moment that you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you will stand still in the Jordan.’ ” And Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here, and hear the words of Yahweh your God.” 10 Joshua said, “By this you will know that the living God is in your midst, and he will certainly drive out the Canaanites from before you, and the Hittites, Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. 11 Look! The ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is about to cross over ahead of you into the Jordan. 12 So then, take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of Yahweh, Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off upstream, and they will stand still in one heap.

14 And it happened, when the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant were ahead of the people. 15 When those carrying the ark came up to the Jordan, and the priests carrying the ark dipped their feet in the edge of the water (the Jordan was flowing over its banks during all the days of harvest), 16 the waters flowing down from above stood still; they stood up in one heap very far from Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while the waters flowing down to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh stood firmly on the dry land in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation finished crossing the Jordan.

2 Corinthians 9:1–5 (LEB)

God Loves a Cheerful Giver

9 For it is unnecessary for me to write to you concerning the ministry to the saints, because I know your readiness to help, concerning which I keep on boasting to the Macedonians about you, that Achaia has been ready to help since last year, and your zeal has stirred up the majority of them. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you would not prove to be empty in this case, so that you may be prepared just as I was saying, lest somehow if Macedonians should come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—would be humiliated in connection with this project. Therefore I considered it necessary to urge the brothers that they should go on ahead to you and make arrangements in advance for your generous gift that was promised previously, so this would be prepared as a generous gift and not as grudgingly granted.

Psalm 47:1–9 (LEB)

All you peoples, clap your hands.

Shout to God with a voice of rejoicing.

For Yahweh Most High is awesome,

a great king over all the earth.

He subdues peoples under us

and nations under our feet.

He chooses for us our inheritance,

the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah

God has gone up with a shout,

Yahweh with the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God, sing praises.

Sing praises to our king, sing praises.

For God is king of all the earth.

Sing praises with understanding.

God reigns over nations;

God sits on his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples are gathered together

with the people of Abraham’s God.

For the shields of the earth belong to God.

He is very exalted.

April 19

“My servant Moses is dead” (Josh 1:2).

Imagine the shock of this moment for Joshua, Moses’ right-hand man. He probably already knew about Moses’ death before God told him (Deut 34:1–8), but it’s in this moment that he really feels the tragedy.

If you’ve experienced death, you know this feeling—the moment when someone looks you in the eyes and says, “They’re gone.” You can’t prepare for it. It’s death; there’s nothing you can do to change it or handle it.

This was also the moment when Joshua was confronted with the great leadership burden that he would now carry as a result of Moses’ passing—equivalent to the emotional burden a vice president carries as he’s being sworn into office after the president has died.

Yahweh tells Joshua, “Get up and cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. Every place that the soles of your feet will tread, I have given it to you, as I promised to Moses” (Josh 1:2–3). There isn’t a moment to spare; it’s time to move. So Joshua leads. Of all the incredible moments in his life—the battles he won and bravery he showed in the face of danger—this moment is probably the most impressive because he simply does it (Josh 2:1).

And Joshua does so in the face of the great fear of foreign warriors: “From the wilderness and the Lebanon, up to the great river, the river Euphrates, all of the land of the Hittites, and up to the great sea in the west, will be your territory” (Josh 1:4). He will face these warriors while still overcoming grief.

We all experience moments like these that will shape who we become. We’ll experience grief, pain, and difficult decisions. We may be called to lead people. What we do in these moments is what defines us; it determines what kind of Christ followers we will be.

Joshua experienced the great comfort of God’s Spirit and guidance, and Christians have the opportunity to do the same (Deut 34:9–12; John 17). That’s something that no one can take away from us and no circumstance can overcome.

How are you handling grief or pain in your life? What important moments and decisions are in front of you? How can you incorporate the Spirit into everything you do at this moment?

John D. Barry is the publisher of Lexham Press, general editor of Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary, and the previous editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. He is the author of The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah, Cutting Ties with Darkness, and Letters to a Christian, as well as the coauthor of Mary: Devoted to God's Plan. John is also the author of Not Your Average Bible Study volumes on Malachi, Colossians, Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter, and the coauthor of a study on 2 Peter–Jude.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.