Joshua 1 - Joshua gets tired of waiting and forms an angry mob


Moses dies and Joshua, the son of one of Moses’ ministers, takes control per God’s request and he tells everyone they are finally going to go to war to and get the land God promised them years ago. The men pledge their allegiance to Joshua and agree that if anyone disagrees with Joshua, they will be killed.

Or to put it another way:

Moses dies and there is a power vacuum. Joshua angles to replace Moses by claiming he is God’s chosen successor.  He gather around him a mob of angry young men who support him and they declare that anyone who disagrees with Joshua’s claims to religious authority is to be killed and oh yeah, let’s start a war!

Favorite bit:

(Joshua 1:8) God tells Joshua not to talk about His commandments, but to simply meditate on them so he can follow them properly. I like this because God is basically telling Joshua, don’t use My laws to bully others into doing what you think they should do. These are rules for you personally to follow and if you do, things will work out ok. In other words, God is basically saying, don’t be a holier than thou jerk.

What’s annoying:

(Joshua 1:6) God promises to finally give them the land he had promised to give their fathers but didn’t. Not sure I would have believed him, after all, he didn’t fulfill his promise to their fathers, why should now be any different.

Verse most likely to be quoted out of context:

(Joshua 1:9) “Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” This is a clearly a very moving quote that I would guess most people would like to think applies to them personally. In context, however, it doesn’t. It applies only and specifically to Joshua because in context God is speaking directly to Joshua to convince Joshua to take over for Moses as God’s appointed leader on earth. In other words, this is a personal covenant between God and Joshua. The folks that follow Moses/Joshua aren’t included.

Moral Lesson:

People who claim to rule by divine right don’t like having their authority challenged.

And/Or ... You can’t really wait for God to fulfill his promises on his own. If you want something, you are eventually going to have to do it yourself.