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Obey what I command you this day. Indeed, I am going to drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. — Exodus 33:11

Joshua the Faithful Soldier

Joshua’s name is Hebrew, and it means “the Lord saves.” It is from the Greek word for Joshua that we have the name Jesus, “the Lord saves.”

The Japanese have a way of taking what ordinarily are large trees and reducing them into tiny little trees, or bonsai. The way they do that is, first of all, by cutting off the taproot. They then are only able to use the surface roots, the smaller surface roots of the plant, and so the tree just doesn’t grow very much. That is the way it is with most people in this world. Their taproots do not go down deep into the Word of God, and so all they have for nourishment are those surface roots that are sucking up the things of this world. Consequently their spiritual growth is badly stunted, and they will never show spiritual grit. They will never persevere unto the end and be saved.

But Joshua was a man who followed the Lord faithfully, year after year, beginning under the leadership of Moses. Then when Moses died, Joshua was the logical heir to lead God’s people. He then led the children of Israel into the Promised Land.

After the conquest Joshua kept on until every one of those tribes had its appointed lands. He was steadfast in his purpose to do the will of God, because he not only had his taproots down in the Word of God and the promises of God and meditated upon them day by day, but he also had a second thing that a person who has true grit has—a vision. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” They shall see the vision.

Joshua continued faithfully throughout all of those years to follow that gleam, to remember the vision, to trust in the promise of God, to meditate upon His Word day and night, and he did it year after year. Did you ever stop to think that Joshua was just a young man when he left Egypt? Then forty years passed by in the wilderness, and then another fifty years or more passed, and Joshua was an old man. By the time he gave the “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” speech, he was a man of one hundred ten years. During all of that time he had been faithful; he had trusted in the Lord and believed His promise. He had faithfully served the Lord as God called him to do as a spiritual soldier, a warrior for God, who kept a dream in his heart through the years. He was one of those who had been willing to go just a little bit further, a little bit longer for God. May God help us to follow his faithful example.