AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE
WE WILL SERVE THE LORD
by Tony Alamo
The name Joshua is, in Hebrew, Yehoshua, which means "Jehovah is salvation." Joshua's name was given to him by Moses (Num. 13:16), changed from Oshea, the son of Nun, to Jehoshua (vs. 17). Moses sent him and eleven others to spy out the land of Canaan. Joshua was the assistant and successor of Moses. He was the son of Nun, the son of Elishama, head of the tribe of Ephraim (Ex. 33:11, Num. 1:10).
The children of Israel murmured because there was no water and said, "Is the Lord among us or not?" Afterwards, Moses was instructed to smite the large rock in Horeb and the water gushed out. The Lord stood upon the rock while Moses smote it, and water came out of it so that the people could drink. This Moses did in the sight of the elders of Israel. This place Moses called "Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel." This is where they tempted God. (The word chiding means "Quarreled, spoke out in anger or displeasure, disapproval.") Again, the rebellious Israelites stated, "Is the Lord among us, or not?" (Ex. 17:7).
"Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men [Moses calling out the shots again], and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation" (Ex. 17:8-16).
In the Bible, this was the first mention of Joshua, as he was the victorious commander of the Israelites in the battle against the Amalekites at Rephidim (Ex. 17:7-16).
When on Mt. Sinai
When Moses ascended Mt. Sinai to receive the ten commandments written by the Spirit or finger of God on two tables of enduring stone for the first time (Ex. 24:13), Joshua, called Moses' servant, accompanied Moses part way. He was also the first one to meet Moses on his way down from the mountain (Ex. 32:17). Joshua was left in charge of the tabernacle when the children of Israel defected from God by their worship of the golden calf, adulteries, and other sins. Moses moved the tabernacle outside the camp, then returned to the congregation.
Joshua, thinking he was doing the right thing, reported to Moses that Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp, Joshua asked Moses to forbid them. Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I would that all the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!" (Num. 11:27-29).
Soon after, Joshua became one of the twelve chief Israelites sent to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:8). "These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua. And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many" (Num. 13:16-18).
Joshua and Caleb were the only ones to give an encouraging report of their journey.1 Also, they exhorted the people to go up and possess the land.2
"And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
"Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not" (Num. 14:1-9).
Verse 10 tells how the bad Israelites who doubted God wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb. This was their fatal mistake. They had to spend forty years in the wilderness, then die.3They were not able to enter the Promised Land! God would have destroyed them all at once if it weren't for the logical prayer of Moses.4
This is why so many people fall away from God. It's because He puts us to the test as He did Abraham,5 to see if we believe the former deliverances of the Lord. If we do, we will patiently wait for God to open the Red Sea or provide a sacrifice, the Lamb of God. After seeing God pour out the ten plagues on Egypt and destroy the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea, they still doubted. God promises their destruction in Chapter 14 of Numbers (verses 29-45).
Christians who are fearful and unbelieving, not seeking God for deliverance, become antichrist, members of the one body of the Antichrist. They shall spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan and his evil angels (Rev. 21:8).
When the forty years of wandering was almost over, Joshua, because of his faithfulness, was one of the very few old time survivors (Num. 26:65). Moses, through God's direction (Num. 27:18-23), appointed Joshua with Eleazar, in a solemn and public ceremony, as leaders over the people of Israel (Deut. 3:28).
In the tabernacle, God revealed to Moses that he was soon to die and that he should appear with Joshua in the tabernacle. While in the presence of God, Moses gave his faithful minister a commission from God: "Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you" (Deut 31:14, 23).
Joshua Assumes Leadership over Israel
Under the commission of God, again renewed (Josh. 1:1-9), Joshua, "filled with the Spirit of wisdom [which is the fear of the Lord]" (Deut 34:9), assumed the command of the people. He sent spies into Jericho, where they were given lodging and were hidden by Rahab. They came back to Joshua with the report that people were terrified of the Israelites because of the Lord being with them (Josh. 2). The next morning after their return, Joshua moved down to the banks of the Jordan River, which in April always overflowed its banks (Josh. 3:15). On the third day, the officers instructed the people in the order of the March, and Joshua ordered them to sanctify themselves for the next day. In the morning, the priests advanced themselves in front of the people. They had the Ark of the Covenant, and when their feet touched the water, the river was divided. They took their positions in the middle of the riverbed and stayed there until all the people had passed over. One man from each of the twelve tribes took a stone from the spot where the priest stood, leaving in their place twelve other stones taken from the dry land. Joshua then commanded the priests to come out of the Jordan, and as soon as they reached the river banks, the water of the Jordan returned and overflowed its banks as before (Josh. 4:1-18).
The host of Israel camped that night at Gilgal, in the plains of Jericho. This was where Joshua set up the twelve stones which were taken from the Jordan as a perpetual memorial of the dividing of its waters (Josh. 4:19-24). At the command of God, Joshua caused all the males to be circumcised, a rite which had been neglected in those born after the Exodus (Josh. 5:5). Four days after crossing Jordan, the Passover was celebrated. Israel, the next day, ate of bread made of the grain of the land, and the manna from Heaven was no more (Josh. 5:10-12).
They Took Jericho
Joshua saw a warrior (this was a vision of Jesus) with a drawn sword in His hand, who answered Joshua's challenge by saying that He was the "Captain of the host of the Lord" and gave Joshua the divine plan for the victory of the city (which was to have a parade) (Josh. 5:13-15). The men of war and the priests carrying the trumpets and the ark were to circle (or to parade around) the city once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, when the walls of the city would fall. Joshua followed the directions he was given. No one was to say a word. They watched the fall of the city. They put those living there to death and destroyed the property found within it. Only Rahab the harlot and her family were spared, plus the silver, the gold, the brass, and the iron, which they placed in the sacred treasury (Josh. Ch. 6).
The first loss in war was at Ai.6 Thirty-six men were killed because Achan, who was a thief, stole some of the spoil from Jericho.7God revealed who it was. If he hadn't, there would have been curses forever. Achan troubled Israel. He and his family were put to death.
Today, the United States and the rest of the world is cursed because they have forgotten and (neglected) God and His commandments. Get saved, world, before it's too late. Achan's destruction is in Joshua, chapter 7. After the death by stoning of Achan and his family, Joshua devised a plan from the Lord. It worked, and they, Joshua and Israel, were able to defeat Ai. "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Heb. 10:28-29).
The Crafty Gibeonites
When the kings of the Hittites and other nations west of Jordan heard of Ai being defeated, they armed themselves against Joshua. But the Gibeonites confederated with many cities far from the camp of Israel. They sent ambassadors with torn clothes, old sacks, and dry bread, pretending that they came from a far country, and stated they wished to make peace with Israel. They made a treaty, which was kept by Joshua. They were made hewers of wood and drawers of water for the entire congregation (chapter 9).
The Battle of Gibeon
Angered by the defection of the Gibeonites, Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, became an ally of the kings of Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, and laid siege to Gibeon. Joshua hurried to the aid of the cities, marching by night from Gilgal and taking the Amorites by surprise when he defeated them near Bethhoron. Joshua was helped by God sending a hail storm, during which men then were killed by the hail. God lengthening the day, after Joshua prayed, made it possible for Joshua to pursue the fugitives to Makkedah (Josh. 10:1-14).
The calculus for the scientists to figure out how to send the astronauts to the moon, as well as to send other rockets, would not have been made possible unless this miracle of God had been figured into the plans.
More Following Conquests
This great victory was followed by the victory of Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Gezer, Eglon, Hebron, and Deber. In this one campaign, Joshua subdued the southern part of what is so-called Palestine, from Kadesh-Barnea to Gaza, the frontier, holding the people back to Gilgal (Josh. 10:15, 43). In another campaign, he marched to Lake Merom, where he met and overthrew a confederacy of the Canaanite kings of the north under Jabin, king of Hazor. During the course of the war, Joshua led his victorious soldiers to the gates of Sihon (Zidon, KJV) and into the Valley of Lebanon under Mount Hermon, but left the cities standing, with the exception of Hazor.
In six years, Joshua was master of the whole land from Mt. Halak, at the ascent of Mt. Seir on the south, to Baalgad under Mt. Hermon on the north. His conquests were six nations with thirty-one kings, including the giants (Anakim), the old terror of Israel (Josh 11:4-23, Ch. 12).
The land was divided among the tribes. Joshua, in conjunction with Eleazar and the heads of the tribes, now began to apportion the Promised Land, excluding the portion not yet conquered. Joshua asked for Timnath-Serah, a city of the hill country of Ephraim, to be his portion (chapters 13-19). After five of the tribes had been determined, Joshua moved to Shiloh, where he set up the tabernacle and assembled the people (Josh. 18:1). Seven tribes had not received their inheritance, and Joshua reproved them for not taking possession of the land. Three men were selected from each tribe to survey the rest of the land and to divide it into seven portions, which with their cities they described in a book. When the survey was finished, Joshua cast lots for the seven portions before the tabernacle in Shiloh (Josh. 18:2-10).
After the settlement of property, the warriors of the Jordanic tribes were then dismissed in peace to their homes (Josh. 22).
Joshua's Old Age and Death
After a time of rest, Joshua called all Israel to an assembly and delivered two solemn messages regarding the incredible, miraculous fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their fathers. He warned them of the conditions upon which their property depended, and he caused them to renew their covenant with God at Shechem. He died at the age of 110 years and was buried in his own city, Timnath-Serah (Josh. 24:1-31).
Joshua's personality or character was overshadowed by the greatness of events in which he was placed. This is a glory to him. A man not as great as Joshua would have been seen and heard more. His life was recorded in great detail, yet there is not one stain of sin recorded by the obedient serving of his youth. He was trained to be a commander as a man, and he was a patriotic citizen in the highest degree. As a warrior, he was fearless and blameless, and as a judge, he was calm and impartial. He was equal to every emergency under which he was to act, and valiant without timidity; no duty was neglected by him. He always looked to God and obeyed divine direction with the simplicity of a child, and he wielded the great power given him with a calm and unostentatious demeanor, holding the course, without swerving, to the accomplishment of a high, unselfish purpose. He earned by manly vigor a quiet, honored old age, and he retained his faith and loyalty, exclaiming, in almost his dying breath, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:15). Everyone must be faithful to God.8 The faithful men of the Lord are our examples of what we must be. The first step in faithfulness is to call upon the Lord and He will hear you and answer you.9 Ask for salvation and it's yours. Say this prayer that this too may come to pass:
My Lord and my God, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. 2 I believe that He died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. 3 I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit 4 and that He sits on the right hand of God at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart, Lord Jesus. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that You shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 You will not turn me away, Lord Jesus, You will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because Your Word, the Bible says so. 8 Your Word says that You will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that You have heard me, and I know that You have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as You command and sin no more. 11
You've just completed the first step in a series of five steps which are necessary to receive salvation. Your second step is to deny yourself and take up the cross daily for the purpose of mortifying yourself, that is, for putting to death your own will, your soulful self, and the world with all of its lusts. All these must be baptized into the death of Christ.
Step three is your resurrection from the satanic life of Adam unto the sinless life of Christ. Step four is your ascension into a position of authority to reign for God on earth, and the fifth step is to reign for God on earth to the end for the purpose of bringing about the kingdom of Heaven on earth. You must learn the Word of God, then submit yourself and do what the Word says, so that the Church and the world may see evidence of your submission to God's Word, His order, and His authority in and by you.
Praise the Lord. May God reward you abundantly.
Pastor Tony Alamo
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As For Me and My House We Will Serve the Lord footnotes:
1. Num. 13:30 return
2. Num. 14:6-9 return
3. Num. 14:28-34 return
4. Num. 14:11-20 return
5. Gen. 22:1-18 return
6. Josh. 7:1-6 return
7. Josh. 7:19-22 return
8. Gen. 3:9, Luke 16:10, I Tim. 1:12, Titus 1:6, Heb. 3:2, Rev. 2:10 return
9. Luke 1:77, Luke 19:9, John 4:22, Acts 13:26, 28:28, Rom. 1:16, 10:9-10, 13:11, I Thes. 5:9 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return