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  The Great Bible Story #43
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Joshua takes over

Jacob Ninan
After forty years of wandering in the desert, all the people from the generation who had been unbelieving had died except for Joshua and Caleb. When they came to the banks of the River Jordan beyond which the land of Canaan lay, Moses asked God if he could just cross over and take a look at the Promised Land because he was not going to be allowed to lead the people there. As a concession to Moses, God asked him to go on top of Mount Pisgah and look across the Jordan to have a glimpse of the land.

Now the time came for Moses to die, and God buried him in the land of Moab without any man knowing where. The leadership passed on to Joshua who had earlier been serving Moses and had shown himself to be full of faith and also faithful. God commissioned Joshua to lead the people of Israel across the Jordan and to give them their inheritance tribe by tribe. Joshua was to be strong and courageous because God would be with him just as He was with Moses, and he was to take care to follow all the instructions of God.

The tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh (one of Joseph's sons) decided not to seek possession across the Jordan but to occupy the land on this side of it, on condition that they would fight for their brothers against the people of Canaan till everyone had captured their portion of the land.

When Joshua took charge, he told the people to get ready to cross the river in three days' time. He sent two spies to see the city of Jericho which was just across the river. When these spies went there, they stayed the night in the house of Rahab, a prostitute, which was on the city wall. She had come to put her faith in God after she had heard all the stories of how He had miraculously led the people of Israel from Egypt and how great kings could not stand against them. She told them that the people of Jericho were terrified of them. She requested them to spare her and her family when they came to conquer Jericho. The spies left early in the morning down the city wall through her window, asking her to tie a scarlet cord on her window so that they could identify it when they came to conquer.

The spies came back and told Joshua everything, saying what God had done to the people of Jericho to practically hand over the city to Israel. They also told him about Rahab and their promise to her. This was really good news to Joshua at the start of his campaign.


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Comfort & Counsel