During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Cross-over Miracle (5). Her text was taken from the Book of Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-25, Heb 11:30, 31; James 2:24-26; Matt 1:1-6.


This is an amazing story of God’s grace with many lessons for us. The people of God are now at a place called Shittim (or Accacia Grove), on the east side of River Jordan. Moses died on the mountain. God commands Joshua to be the new leader of Israel. This is the last stop before the cross over. These are the last days of bondage. Across the River they see the Promised Land. Forty years previously, when Moses sent twelve spies to inspect the Promised Land, that simple action was followed by a terrible national sin. Because the whole nation rebelled against God they could not enter into the Promised Land. God sent them back into the wilderness. For the next forty years, all the adults 20 years and above died in there. When Moses sent the 12 spies it was in the presence of the whole nation. When they came back, ten of them gave an evil report about the land. They influenced the whole community to rebel against God. Only Joshua and Caleb trusted God and encouraged the people to enter. This time, the children of those people want to pass the test of obedience and faith to enter the Promised Land. They pledge total submission to Joshua, their new leader. They are now ready to enter into God’s Best for them. The people have learned from the mistakes of their parents and have repented of pride and unbelief. Their hearts now say: “Yes, Sir!” to God and to Joshua, their new leader.

From where they are, the highest structure they see ahead is the great city of Jericho. The meaning of the name ‘Jericho’ is ‘the City of the Moon’. All the people inside worshipped idols, especially the moon. Joshua sends two spies to Jericho. This mission is done secretly. Remember that Joshua was a seasoned spy himself. When Moses sent the 12 leaders, he told them to spy the land and the people. But none came close to the people of Canaan. Joshua clearly has learned from the mistakes of his master. He commands the two men to go and spy inside Jericho. This mission has a higher risk than what happened in the past. The two spies are not named. They are not leaders or famous people in the community. They seem young and physically strong, ready to take risks, to run or to hide. They go inside Jericho, and encounter Rahab, the harlot. She saved their lives. They bring a good report to Joshua himself. The community is not aware about this military action. You see that Joshua proves to be an excellent military leader. Confident that God gave them the land, he is ready for the cross-over.


The meaning of the name Rahab is ‘wide, large or big’. Maybe she was a huge woman with wide hips. We do not know. There is nothing in the natural that can commend her to us. But God used this woman of faith to save the two Israelite spies and facilitated the destruction of Jericho. What do we know about her?

*Rahab was a Canaanite. She was a citizen of the cursed city called Jericho. God told Israel to kill all the Canaanites and to posses their land. She was among the people God said that they should be killed (Josh 6:17-21). She was surely an idol worshipper. She was a liar and a deceiver.

*Rahab was a woman. In that ancient culture, the women were regarded as second-class citizens or the property of men.

*Rahab was a prostitute. If being a woman was considered inferior, being a prostitute is the lowest social status. In all cultures, prostitution was seen as sin, next to armed robbery. Men paid women to commit sexual sins. They used the bodies of prostitutes and cared nothing for their feelings. The only gain for the prostitutes is money. They had no respect, no reputation to lose, and no voice for men to listen to.  

You have to see Rahab with the eyes of the Spirit to understand her story. Her testimony of salvation is a story of grace. In spite of all these negative traits, Rahab became a woman of faith, a woman of God. The following are some good qualities hidden behind the sinful façade:

*Rahab was worldly wise. She was street smart. She was not foolish. As a prostitute, she was used to live among bad men and criminals. When she discovered that two Jewish men are in her house, and that the king of Jericho has heard about it, she lied about them and send the pursuers on the wrong track. She was fast in making decisions and willing to take risks to do what she wanted. She was ‘strong and courageous’ in her own way.  Jesus said: “Worldly people are more clever than spiritually-minded people when it comes to dealing with others… The people of this world look out for themselves better than the people who belong to the light (Lk 16:8, GWT, CEV). Like the dishonest manager, Rahab behaved wisely using the little resources at her disposal to make great gain. Thru a little lie, she saved the two spies, herself and her family. That does not mean that God approves of lies. To lie is sin. Rahab was a liar. She deceived her king’s men to go to the wrong direction, to save the two spies. Jesus said that ‘The devil is a liar’ (Jn 8:44). How can Rahab be a liar and a woman of faith at the same time? This is a reminder that we are all born sinners. Even after conversion, dying to sin is a process that takes a lifetime. Justification is a moment in time. But sanctification is a lifetime process.

*Rahab was discreet. Discretion means to be wise, diplomatic, prudent, especially in speech. It means to keep silent in order to avoid embarrassment or to gain an advantage. Maybe because of her job, Rahab knew how to keep a secret, how to hide men in an emergency. She was ‘wise as serpents’ (Matt 10:16), a quality Jesus expected from His servants, especially from missionaries who preach in dangerous places.

*Rahab had great courage. She hid the spies on the flat open roof under stalks of flax. From these plants, linen is made. It seems that her family lived outside the city and were farmers. They brought this flax to her house maybe thru her window. She dried them on the flat roof. She was smart to think of that as a good hiding place for the spies. But she was taking a great risk. If she was discovered that she was a traitor, the King of Jericho would kill her. She helped God’s servants under the nose of Satan. This is true faith and great courage!

*Rahab loved her family. She asked that Israel will have mercy not only on her, but on her parents and siblings. She took the risk to tell them about her decision to change camps and to serve the God of Israel. She convinced them to stay in her house. If any of her relatives betrayed her, she will be killed as a spy and a traitor.

*Rahab desired a new beginning, a better life. Prostitution is not an easy job. It is possible that she wanted to become a good woman but there was no hope for her in Jericho. God said that the Canaanites were wicked people. Just try to imagine that all her neighbors were armed robbers, pedophiles and criminals. There was no hope for her in Jericho. But Rahab wanted respect. She appreciated a good life. It is possible that this is the first time two men came to her brothel who were not interested in her body. They spoke to her respectfully, like she was a real human being. That impressed her. In Jericho, none greeted her, none spoke kindly to her. Men were ashamed to be seen with her in public. She knew the feeling of shame and rejection. But the Jewish spies saw her as God’s creation and spoke respectfully to her. This respect was a new thing to her. She appreciated it and she wanted more of it! She saw the God of Israel as the only One who can give hope to the hopeless. During the earthquake of Jericho, the only thing she had was the word of promise that she and her family will be saved. “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word” (Ps 119:114). That word of promise was enough. She and her family were the only people from Jericho who survived its total destruction. Her house was built on the very wall that collapsed. But God kept that part of the wall intact. New beginnings are sweet but never easy. Like her daughter in law Ruth, Rahab was willing to let go of her people, neighbors, and friends, to become the citizen of another country. She became an immigrant and a foreigner before she became a Jewish woman by marriage. Rahab and her family experienced the cross-over miracle. Surely Rahab considered the two options: Jericho with its idols and the God of Israel, Jehovah. She meditated about the two sides of the battle. She discovered that she is on the wrong side of the game. She decided to change camps. She discovered in her heart that Jehovah God is unique, special, and worthy of her trust and praise. She feared God in the right way. She surrendered her life to God before the battle. Her faith in God saved her from sin and death! Praise the Lord!

*Rahab was a woman of faith! She believed God’s Word (Heb 11:31, James 2:24-26). She heard stories about Israel and their God. She heard that Jehovah is a mighty God who does miracles. He spilt the Red Sea for His people to cross over. She heard that they totally defeated their neighbors, the two kings on the east side of Jordan, and took their land. She believed that the God of Israel is greater than her idols. When the whole city became afraid of Israel, she decided not to fear but to find a way to make peace with this great God. Her life tells us that some of the Canaanites decided to surrender and become part of Israel. She is the first fruits, the first convert from the Promised Land. Rahab became a woman of faith in the only living God. In her speech she does not say ‘your God’. She addresses God as Jehovah, the covenant keeping God, the One who is faithful to His promises. In her heart, she rejected her idols. She did not know yet the symbol of the red cord hanging at her window. Even the people of Israel did not know the deep meaning of the Blood smeared on top of their doors. But they believed that the blood of the sacrificial lamb saves. Rahab took the risk to believe in the God of her enemies. That God saved her life! Selah!

*Rahab became the great grandmother of Jesus! She married a Jewish man called Salmon. The Jewish tradition says that he was one of the two spies. Thru marriage Rahab became a true Jewish woman. Their son was Boaz. Their grand son was King David. We see why Boaz was not worried about marrying Ruth, a Moabite. His own mother was a foreigner and a former prostitute, now a proselyte to Jehovah God. God’s ways are not our ways! Joseph who married Mary was from their lineage. Jesus is the descendant of Rahab, the sinner saved by grace (Matt 1:1-6).


Rahab speaks with full confidence in Jehovah God: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9-11). Rahab speaks by faith. She sees things in the future as they have already happened. She tells them: “I know that the Lord has given you the land…” The people of Israel have not yet crossed over the Jordan, but Rahab has seen them as totally victorious. She knows that her people in Jericho will be defeated and destroyed. She recognized the paralyzing fear upon them as a sign of death. She knows that the source of this fear is Jehovah God. She confirms what Moses and the people of Israel prophesied forty years previously that all their enemies will melt in fear. “The people will hear and be afraid; Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; The mighty men of Moab, trembling will take hold of them; All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. Fear and dread will fall on them; By the greatness of Your arm they will be as still as a stone, till Your people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over whom You have purchased” (Ex 15:14-16).

The people in Jericho heard about the miracles Jehovah God did for His people. It is interesting to note that the same stories brought terror to the people of Jericho and faith and hope to Rahab. Rahab now believes that anyone who resists, or fight Jehovah God will lose the battle. Thru these stories her faith was born. By the time the spies came, she was ready spiritually to change camps. That is why she was so fast to help them. Faith was born in her heart before the spies came. The spies became her practical opportunity to escape darkness and go to the light. Rahab thought about her escape. She had no friends in Jericho to whom she can talk to about Jehovah. She kept her faith secret until the opportunity came.  Rahab had to quickly decide, to choose between serving her idols and the only living God. She made her choice. She abandoned her idols, betrayed her people in Jericho, and crossed over to Israel. This is how she became saved. Rahab made the best with the little knowledge she had about the only true God: that God is all powerful and the God is faithful to His covenant promises.    

The spies enter the city of Jericho. They go to the house of a harlot called Rahab. In Hebrew, the word ‘harlot’ is also translated as ‘housekeeper’.  Her house must have been a brothel. This is not the best place for two men of God to enter, but it is easier to hide in a place like that, where many foreign men come to drink, and to be sexually entertained by women. Drunkards talk more than usual. A brothel is bad for God fearing men, but it is good for the spies to hear the latest in the realm of politics. The spies made the decision to go there for two reasons: men could enter the brothel without too many problems, and they saw that her house was built on the wall. In case of danger, thru the window, they could exit faster. The two spies did a double work: they went to examine the city of Jericho and they also did evangelism. Rahab has never seen men who were not interested in her body, but only cared for her soul and her family. Their words and behavior surely convinced Rahab that Jehovah God is holy and real.


Rahab tells the Hebrew spies: “Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token,

and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death” (Joshua 2:12, 13).

Rahab asked the spies for ‘a true token’. In Hebrew these words are translated as a pledge of truth, a sure, a real, and reliable sign, evidence, a guarantee of your faithfulness, some proof of your sincerity. She is asking for something visible, to hold in her hand as evidence that their promise to her done in secret will come true later. She did not accept the simple word of promise of the spies. She had a practical faith. She was afraid that in the confusion of Jericho’s destruction, without a visible proof of their pledge, she and her family will be killed with the others. As you can see, her faith in Jehovah God was both theological and practical. This is true faith! She believed in God and also in the blood of Jesus. That scarlet red rope was the visible symbol of the Blood of Jesus shed for her on Calvary tree.

She shows kindness to the two Jewish men. She saved their lives. She trusts Jehovah great covenant promise made to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:3). The men made a pledge before God: ‘Our lives for yours’. They made a vow that if they do not rescue Rahab from the destruction of Jericho, then God should judge them as guilty and kill them. She helped them in their mission as spies by telling them the truth about the citizens of Jericho. In exchange for this kindness to them, she wants them to promise to save her and her entire family from the coming destruction of Jericho.

For Rahab to be saved she had to do three things: To bind the red cord by her window, to bring all her family inside her house and to keep silent about this encounter. If she tells the king about them, if she betrays them, they are not bound to save her. When the King of Jericho sent messengers to Rahab to find about the spies, the men were not aware of the danger. It was Rahab herself that decided to hide them. That is when they knew that their life is in danger. Rahab could have betrayed the spies any time. But she did not! She changed camps and trusted Jehovah God. That was great faith and wisdom! The Bible does not openly condemn her for the lying but approves of her faith.

Rahab insisted that her family be saved with her. It seems that she had no husband or children. She only asks for a proof that they promised life to her and to her household. Her wish came true. This is the cross-over miracle of a whole family, from paganism to serving the only living God. In fact, God gave her more than she asked. She became a princess in Israel, married Salmon, a leader from the tribe of Judah. King David, and later Jesus Christ, are among her descendants. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph 3:20, 21)

Rahab is a woman desperate to save her soul and her family. She sees the two men as her ticket to salvation. “Unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home” (Josh 2:18). The spies command her ‘to bind the scarlet cord in the window’. She was not to be careless with that cord. In Hebrew, the word ‘cord’ also means a door of hope, of expectancy and longing for better things. A proof that Rahab had saving faith is that she desired that her family should be saved. Her love for her family may have been natural, but once she trusted God for her salvation, she wanted others to be saved.

Rahab had to tie the scarlet cord. She had no pastor to call, no church to help her with prayer. Her personal faith and works were enough to save her and her family. Morning and evening she made sure that the cord was there. Salvation is by the blood of Jesus alone! She knew that her hope was in that scarlet cord. She did not use super-glue to connect the cord to the window. She had to tie it strongly so that the wind will not carry it away. That cord was the most important item in the house. She could lose all her money and clothes, but not that cord! This red cord protects her soul, her life, and her family! Rahab had a faith that manifested thru action (Jam 2:24-25). This is real faith! She did not allow her past to define her future! She loved her family! It is hard for us to believe that a prostitute loves people! But here we see that it is possible!

Lesson: The scarlet cord protected Rahab and her family. Fight to save your family!!! Rahab could have asked for money or land. But she did not. Here you see that she is free from the spirit of prostitution! All she asked for was that her family will live! Your family can be saved no matter your sinful background. It is because of the Blood of Jesus. There is now no condemnation for them who are born again! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Ac 16:31).

Why do you think God led Joshua to send the two sipes to Jericho? It is true that they bought some information. But the main reason why they went there, it was to save some of God’s lost sheep living in Jericho. They went there as missionaries and saviors. Rahab’s name and her family was written in the Lamb’s Book of life before the foundation of the world. Jesus said: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” (Lk 15:4-6). The salvation of Rahab and her family brought joy to Israel. Glory to God!

Rahab’s confession of faith in Jehovah was as powerful as Peter’s own. “Jesus to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:15-18). As it was with Peter, Rahab’s revelation of who Jehovah God is, was given by God the Father Himself. She had no synagogue or church in Jericho to attend. God revealed Himself to her thru the stories of His mighty deeds for Israel. She has been a silent believer even before the spies came to her house. She was ready to make a commitment and the spies provided the opportunity. It was to them that she openly confessed God! She is now a child of God! “With the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom 10:10)

The scarlet cord tied at her window was the sign that her house, a prostitute brothel, was safe under the Blood of Jesus. The scarlet rope tied at the window represented faith for salvation thru the Blood of Jesus. This salvation is by grace alone. To bind the rope on the window is so easy. Even a child can do that. Because Christ paid it all, salvation by grace is easy for the believer. Even a child can believe in Jesus. The scarlet rope is a visible symbol of an internal miracle of faith. Rahab could not trust herself for salvation. She was a sinner. She had nothing to offer to God except her faith in Christ Crucified who died to save her soul. Rahab was like the woman at the well (John 4). By telling her family to trust in Jesus too, she did the work of an evangelist or a pastor. This is great ministry. Long ago, when Lot talked to his two sons in law that God wants to destroy Sodom and that they should escape with his family, the two men mocked Lot (Gen 19:14). They did not believe the Gospel. They perished with the other people in Sodom.  But Rahab’s family believed in her God! They were all saved!


God is sovereign. His Grace is sovereign. God can change and use any man or woman, for His glory. God takes pleasure to change the foolish and the weak, and the ones rejected by the society. In their conversion, God alone is glorified. God alone grants a new beginning to any person. No matter how much you have sinned, come to the Cross, trust in Jesus, and God will save your soul. God is not like us. We are ashamed to talk to sinners, to thieves or prostitutes. This is because we are afraid to lose our reputation. But Jesus has no inferiority complex. He was never afraid to lose his reputation. Perfect love drives out all fears (1Jn 4:18). Jesus said that He came to die for sinners, not for righteous religious men. Rahab’s story proves that even in the Old Testament, salvation was always by Grace and through Faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10). God is the God of all who believe, no matter their past sin. Jesus rebuked the religious men of His day (people like the King and the rulers of Jericho): “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him” (Matt 21:31, 32).

It’s important to remember that not every passage in the Bible is telling us what to do. Not every character is an example for us to follow in every action they take, even if some parts of what they do are admirable. God’s Word does not advices us to commit prostitution, adultery, to lie or to deceive people. God is holy, He hates sin! But we see that Rahab is a testimony of God’s grace. “Where sin was powerful, God’s gift of undeserved grace was even more powerful” (Rom 5:20, CEV). Rahab, by her very profession, is a morally complex character. And yet, God was willing to let her become a hero in this story, the story of a sinner saved by grace, to the glory of God!

God appreciates and rewards faith in Him (Heb 11:6). Rahab believed not only that Jehovah God is strong and He does miracles. She also believed that He is the only faithful God who keeps His covenant promises with His people. She lied but she believed that God does not lie! “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Nu 23:19). The spies tell her that the very red cord that she used to save them, will be the true token and evidence to save her life. She bound the red cord by her window. Lesson: the very thing we use to serve God will be used by God to bless us!

Rahab conversion from a harlot to a worshipper is similar with the sinful woman who met Jesus. The religious men rejected her, but Jesus accepted her worship and confirmed her conversion. Her faith manifested as worshipping Jesus freely, in public. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Lk 7:50). That good word can apply to Rahab also!

Rahab had faith. When Rahab ‘welcomed’ the two spies, at that time, in the natural, there was no hope at all that Israel can defeat Jericho. Israel had no artillery or bombs to bombard the high wall. But Rahab believed that they could win the battle, just because Jehovah is their God. Listen to what she told the two men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land… for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Josh 2:9,11). This is 100% faith!

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Heb 11:31). The word ‘faith’ means to trust God completely. The word ‘receive’ means to welcome, or to accept the spies in her home. The word ‘peace’ means good will and prosperity. The people of Jericho did not believe that God will destroy their great city. They were rebels and disobedient. They chose to fight God and His people. Rahab was wiser. She knew now that no one fights God and wins.

Lesson: it does not matter if you are strong or rich in the natural. The victory is decided by your God! As for God’s people, they move from victory to victory in Christ! God can never lose any battle! Be sure you are on God’s side!

Wisdom does spiritual warfare. Christ has become our wisdom from God (1 Cor 1:30). The people of Jericho trusted in the strength of their city wall. That was their idol. They thought that their wall was stronger than Jehovah God. That is foolishness. “A wise man scales the city [walls] of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust” (PV 21:22; AMP). Rahab was wise. Her faith and wisdom made her spiritually strong. “Wisdom strengthens the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city” (Ecc 7:19).

Question: does God have the right to judge sinners and send them to hell? The answer is categorically ‘yes’! God is sovereign! God has created everything that is created. He has to right to judge and condemn all people. God sent His only begotten to save only those who believe in Him!

Lesson: pray that God increases your wisdom and your faith. You will have spiritual strength, the true mark of a champion, a conqueror.

Joshua and Rahab are the two main characters in this chapter. In the natural, they are completely opposite. He is a man, a Jew, Moses’ successor, a worshipper of Jehovah, and the leader of the army that will destroy Jericho. Rahab was a woman, a prostitute, an idolater, from the cursed race of the Canaanites, and living in the city that will be destroyed. The only thing these two people have in common is their faith in Jehovah God. We forget the differences and remember only the glorious story of salvation, when Jew and Gentile become one on Christ. This unity is possible in Christ alone. This is the power of the Gospel: Christ died and rose again to save those who believe! “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom 1:16). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).

Lesson: It does not matter how you start in life; it matters how you end! You must become born again and be saved, in Christ alone!

God is sovereign in His choice of people to be saved. It does not matter if they are sinful or low class like Rahab. Jesus died for all who believe. The humble believe Him but the proud reject His offer of grace. God saves the foolish to shame the worldly wise. He saves the weak to shame and nullify those who think are strong in this world (1 Cor 1:26-31). This is the royal way of the Cross. Why does God do that? So that none may boast in His presence, for all the glory belongs to God alone!


Encouraged by the words of Rahab, when the two spies went back to Joshua, they confidently told him that God has granted them the victory. Their report was of total faith in God. How different this report was from the one brought by the ten spies 40 years ago. They brought grapes from the land, but these two, by faith, brought souls from Canaan! This is a sample of God’s Best for you! Glory to God! The miracle of Cross-over is about to begin… Worship the Lord!


During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Cross-over Miracle (4)/ The twelve spies. Her text was taken from the Book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14.

In the Book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14, we read about the rebellion in the camp of Israel. This is one of the most painful stories in the Bible. The people are just at the edge of the Promised Land but not yet inside. Moses sends 12 leaders to spy the land. People grumble because of the bad report of ten of the spies. They rebel against God’s plan for them. God is angry and sends them back to the wilderness. We learn from other peoples’ mistakes. The people’ sin of rebellion changed the direction of the whole nation. It affects the people of Israel even until today.

The Promised Land of Canaan in the Bible is not a symbol of heaven, because there are no wicked people in heaven. It is a symbol of God’s best for you, while you live on earth. It means to fulfill destiny! Only a Spirit filled obedient believer can enter that Land. You need to trust and obey God’s Word to be able to cross over into that land ‘of milk and honey’, also called ‘The Rest of God’ (Hebrew 4:1-10). You need faith in God and in His Word to enter and possess your possessions. Grumbling, rebellion, presumption, and doubt will block the way to your inheritance.

This is the story of God’s people. They left Egypt thru God’s miracle. They crossed over the Red Sea by faith. This is another miracle. They gathered at Mount Horeb (also called Mount Sinai) where they met with God. It is here that God gave His Law to Moses. The people rebelled and worshipped a golden calf. Many died in that plague. Now, God is directing His people to leave Mount Horeb (Sinai) and go towards north. They trekked thru the desert about 100 miles. They traveled about 10 miles per day. They covered that distance in 11 days (Deut 1:2). They settled at Kadesh Barnea. This is what Moses said to them: “So we departed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the mountains of the Amorites, as the Lord our God had commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh Barnea. 20 And I said to you, ‘You have come to the mountains of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.’ “And every one of you came near to me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we shall come” (Deut 1:19-22). From Kadesh Barnea they can see the Promised Land. After trekking in the desert for so long, their dreams of success and God’s best in life is just before them. At this spot, there is no River Jordan to block their entrance. The cross over to the promised Land is so easy. Moses wants them to enter the Promised Land now! He is encouraging them not to fear or be discouraged. But the story is a tragic one. The people are slow to believe God’s promise! They want to waste time to send 12 spies into the land. Clearly, they are not excited about the future promised by God. They reject God’s best for them! Selah!!!

Lesson: A leader’s responsibility is to carry the people along. But it is so hard and sad when followers do not share in the faith of their leader.

Kadesh Barnea is on the border of the Promised Land. So close, yet not in. They see God’s best for them. Vision is good but you must walk into it by faith. “By faith they obtained the promises” (Heb 11:33). Your eyes, ears, heart, and feet must be coordinated to see results. For example, God told Abraham after Lot left him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you” (Gen 13:14-17).

Lesson: many Christians dream and pray to inherit God’s best for them. Yet, they stop just before the dream becomes a reality. They stop short of glory. And that defines sin. What do you need to do? To possess your possessions, you need eyes, ears, heart, and feet. You need vision and action. It is all done by faith in God and His Word. You see the vision with your eyes; you hear the Word with your ears; you believe the word with your heart, and you walk with your feet into your vision to possess it. Your feet are the stamps of approval and possession. That is faith!

Study these people! Face to face with God’s best for them, they are not excited enough to cross over. Moses told them that God personally takes care of the land. “For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year” (Deut 11:10-12). But this is the problem! They like the land, but they hate the Landlord! There is rebellion in their hearts! They suggest that Moses should send spies into the land to confirm that the land is good. Moses prays and God approves their wish. Moses sends 12 men, each a leader from his tribe to explore the land and bring a report about the type of cities and the people living there. They should bring a sample of the fruit from the land. Is it not interesting that we do not remember the names of the other 10 spies who brought a bad report? We only remember the names of Joshua and Caleb, for they are the only surviving spies, and the only ones who possessed the Promised Land. Selah! After 40 days the 12 spies come back. They brought big clusters of grapes and fruits from the Promised Land. In the presence of Moses, Aaron the priest, and all the people, the spies give their report (Nu 13:26). This was a public address. When hearing about the giants and dangers in the land, the reaction of the people was disturbing. Unbelief and rebellion manifested openly. That terrible rection affected a whole generation. Selah!

Forty years later, when the people are at the same place, facing the same Promised Land, Joshua does things differently. He clearly has learned from what happened at Kadesh Barnea. Joshua sends only two spies to inspect Jericho, but he does not inform all the people. The spies go secretly and come back the same. They give their report to Joshua alone and not to the public. In that way, he removed the possibility of having a crowd reaction of rebellion. The Bible Commands that “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Ex 23:2).

Lesson: As leaders we need to be sensitive to what and when we inform all people about decisions taking in private, in God’s presence. Selah!

This was the report of the 12 spies. They all agreed that the land is good. But then, the ten spies added ‘a bad report’. In Hebrew ‘the bad report’ means something evil, to defame or to slander. They said: that the people in the land are giants and the cities there are fortified and strong. They saw and emphasized the problems and not the good of the land. They were sure that they can’t possess the land, that they will be killed there. They saw themselves as ‘grasshoppers’ and were sure that even the enemies will see that like that. Fear, unbelief, and inferiority complex gripped their hearts. They forgot that in the presence of God, before the King of kings, all men are ‘like grasshoppers’ (Is 40:22).

Remember that these spies were not ordinary people. They were leaders. Immediately, like a plague, the demons of fear and unbelief from the leaders spread into the crowd.  They started weeping loudly for lost hopes and dead dreams. Caleb tried to silence the voices of fear and unbelief, but the people refused to listen to him. The spirit of fear became rebellion. The people started to complain against the Moses and Aaron saying: “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt” (Nu 14:2-4). Now they want to go back to Egypt. They forgot that Egypt was a land of slavery. It was in Egypt that all their baby boys were killed. The wilderness was difficult, but it was much better than Egypt. At least, in the desert, God is with them, teaching them how to worship Him. What foolish ugly ungratefulness!

What was the main cause for this national sin of rebellion and backsliding? It was the sin of the leaders! Just imagine this: ten men stopped a whole nation to enter into God’s best for it. Ten men allowed the Canaanites to enjoy 40 more years in the Promised Land! Selah!

The spies were all leaders in their tribes. The spies forgot that God thru Moses sent them on that mission. They were leaders but they were also servants to Moses. A spy is not to give his opinion, to tell the crowd about what to do. A spy is to faithfully give a report about what he has seen to the person who sent him. The spies became proud and took the advantage to speak like leaders to the congregation. This is seen as pride, selfish ambition, and trespassing. That is why the ten of them were killed by God. Let us not forget the responsibility of leadership. A leader influences the followers, for good or for bad. Disobedience causes us to lose the promises of God, of a successful life on earth. Obedience is rewarded by God, on earth and in heaven!

Lesson: In God’s Kingdom, leaders are judged by a higher standard than the followers. Jesus said: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required“ (Lk 12:48). May we humble ourselves and submit to the Captain of our salvation! For His glory!

In the midst of this loud voices of unbelief, ungratefulness, and rebellion, four men stood for faith in God. These were Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb. Moses and Aaron fell on their knees interceding with God and pleading with the people to repent. Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes as a sign of grief in the presence of sin. But the people became like a wild dog. They wanted to stone these four people and kill them. That is when the glory of God shone in that place. Try to imagine what happens when God comes down. As the Judge of all the earth, God brings three accusations against the people: God said that His people have rejected Him, that they do not believe in Him; and that they do not appreciate all the miracles He has done for them (Num 14:11). Apart from Joshua and Caleb, the High priest, Eleazer, the son of Aaron, and the Levites, they too entered the Promised Land. They did not participate in the rebellion. They did not receive personal plots in the Promised Land.

The people build cities for them where they lived as Levites, helping the priests at the temple.

Lesson: The ten spies saw problems, but Joshua and Caleb saw God’s Promises fulfilled. Doubt saw giants, but faith saw victory. Doubt saw death. Faith saw life abundantly! At this moment, Joshua and Caleb failed to make an impact for God. Many people are affected by mistakes and failures of their youth. Forty years later, after Moses died and Joshua became the leader, he might have remembered this incident when he failed as a leader. That is why God commanded him to be strong and courageous because this time, he will lead the people into the Promised Land. That is why we need to forget the past, with its successes and failures. God said, Moses is dead. It is now time to move on into the future!

God’s people tempt God to break His covenant with them. In that case, the curses of the same covenant will come upon the people. God tells Moses that He will break the covenant he made that Judah would lead God’s people and the Messiah with come from him (Gen 49:9-10). God tells Moses that He will make another nation when the ruler comes from Levi, who is the tribe of Moses. But the great man Moses intercedes with God. He has a passion for God’s honor and glory. His meekness is revealed in his intercessory prayer. Here we see Moses as a symbol of Christ, our intercessor. Moses tells God that the Egyptians will say that God was not able to fulfill His promises and that Egypt and slavery was a better option for Israel. Moses’ intercession appeals to God’s character who is slow to anger and abundant in mercy. God receives the intercession of Moses. He forgives the rebellious people. But God decrees that because of this sin, there shall be consequences. The 10 spies that spread the bad report and discouraged the people to enter the Promised Land die of a plague. God directs Moses to lead the people back into the wilderness. For the next 40 years, one for each day the spies stayed in the Promised Land, all adults above 20 years of age will die in the desert. God will give to them what they said with their mouths: that it is better to die in the wilderness than to Cross over. The children will suffer for the rebellion of their parents, by wasting 40 years in the desert. This is God’s Law: “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). The people need to learn that even though God is gracious and merciful, sin is punished with death. They also need to learn that even when God forgives sin, the consequences of sin remain. The children suffer for their parents’ unfaithfulness. God accepts Moses’ intercession. The people still remain God’s nation but the individuals who have rebelled will die in the wilderness for the next 40 years. God continued to show mercy and grace to them in the wilderness. But the people missed their higher calling and now they have to accept an unexciting ‘second best’. Apostle Paul knew the danger of running into a race and becoming ‘disqualified’. He said: “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor 9:27).

At the same time, God rewards the faith of Joshua and Caleb. They alone survive from all that generation, and they shall possess the land where their feet touched, according to God’s promise. Selah!

Lesson: Pray always! Remember God’s character! Ask for God’s mercy and grace in time of need! Stay faithful! God rewards faithfulness!

Hearing that they missed the Promised Land, the people start weeping again, this time because of God’s judgment. They say that they are sorry for their unbelief. But this repentance is superficial. The next day they tried to enter the Promised Land. Moses warns them that they cannot succeed for this is also rebellion. Moses and the Ark of His presence remain in the camp. The people commit a presumptuous sin (Num 14:44). They are defeated by the Canaanites and run to the camp. God commands that they should go back to the wilderness. They say goodbye to the Promised Land. “Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness of the Way of the Red Sea, as the Lord spoke to me” (Deut 2:1). This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. Selah!

Lesson: Unbelief and rebellion manifest in many ways: as grumbling, fear of dangers, slandering God’s promises and His leaders, as criminal hot temper, or backsliding. Never forget, God always judges sin! Even after God forgives men for their sin, the consequences of sin remain.

Forgiveness means to let go of a grudge against another. You need the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive well, like God. You can forgive someone who sinned against you, but that forgiveness does not mean you must reconcile with that person like nothing has happened.

God’s blessings do not come automatically to God’s people. You need to see and accept them by faith. There are different levels of faith. God cannot work with rebellious people. Backsliding does not mean going to hell. During backsliding, you lose peace, joy, opportunities to do ministry and rewards from God. Do not lose what you have! A backslider is a child of God who rejects God’s best for him. When he dies, he goes to heaven. But he dies as an unfulfilled man, with regrets in his heart. True repentance means to turn away from sin and turn to God. A fake repentance may come with sad tears, but there is no turning to God, to obey Him. May we fear God! May we pay the price to enter God’s Best!


When the 12 spies went to see the Promised Land, they all saw the same thing. But when they came back and gave their report, the group was spilt into two. The interpretation of what they saw was different. Ten of the spies brought ‘a negative report’ that discouraged the people. They had the wrong spirit, lazy, angry, doubting, and rebellious. Their fear of death overpowered their gratitude to God for leading them. Only Joshua and Caleb brought a good report. Listen to Caleb: “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it… The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them” (Nu 14:7-9). By faith, they said that they can conquer the giants and take over the Land. God will keep them alive and help them to cross over to possess it. What type of people are these two men of God? This is what God testified about Caleb: “My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it” (Num 13:30; 14:24). He called Caleb ‘My servant’. He said that he has ‘a different spirit in him’. That means Caleb was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. The spirit of rebellion that took over the crowd was clearly an evil spirit, but Joshua and Caleb were different. They followed God wholeheartedly, in big and small decisions, from youth until their old age. They refused to follow the grumbling people. They persevered until they entered the promised inheritance. They had no other God! When the congregation picked up stones to stone them, face to face with death, they did not run, beg, or compromise. God intervened and saved them. Like Daniel and his three friends they were ready to go into the furnace and die than to disappoint God. This is standing against serious peer pressure. This is the faith God rewards. This is the faith we need to cross over, possess, and enjoy God’s best for us in this life and forever. God promises to preserve Caleb life until he possesses his inheritance. Caleb was in his 80s when he enters Canaan. He was still able to fight his enemies at 85. Also, remember that God honors them that honor him. God gave Caleb the city of Hebron, which is the very the land that he trekked upon. Caleb wants the land of the giants! He is not seeking for an easy retirement! Caleb is a leader in his tribe of Judah and a great hero of faith! (Joshua 14:6-15; 15:13, 14).

As for Joshua, God rewards him with the leadership, not only of his tribe but of the whole nation!  

Lesson: Even in the midst of unbelievers, God locates you and will reward your faith. God will keep you alive until you possess your possessions. Faith conquers! Doubt is a loser! This is a question: Do you follow the crowd of doubters, or you stand with the faithful minority?


“Then they despised the pleasant land; They did not believe His word, 25 But complained in their tents, and did not heed the voice of the Lord. 26 Therefore He raised His hand in an oath against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness” (Ps 106:24-26). God had great and wonderful plans for His people. He brought them out from the land of slavery in Egypt. He wanted them to enter and settle in the Promised Land. It was a good land ‘flowing with milk and honey’ (Ex 3:8). Why did they not enter? The powerful Pharoah and all his armies could not stop them. The giants living in the Promised Land could not stop them. What was the main reason why they failed to inherit God’s promises? It was the sin of grumbling in the hearts of the people of Israel! To grumble, to murmur, to complain, or to nag it means to accuse, to find fault with someone or something. It means to make a dull, low, unintelligible sound in the throat, expressing anger. It is the sound of an angry dog just before he jumps to bite you. Grumbling is rebellion, which is like the sin witchcraft (1 Sam 15:23). Grumbling is a common sin in the church. Because it hinders God’s blessings, it is not a small sin. They who grumble against God and against the human authority over them are sources of poison that affects many. God hates grumbling. Repent of it. Replace grumbling with gratitude in your hearts. Be filled with the Holy Spirit!

When Jesus preached His Gospel, the Jews complained against His doctrine. He commanded that we should not murmur (Jn 6:41-43; 60, 61). We are commanded: “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” (Jam 5:9). People grumble against visitors in their homes or newcomers in the church. “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Pet 4:9). We are to shine our light for Jesus, to preach His Gospel. Grumbling quenches our light. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Phil 2:14-16). The story of Israel, how they missed God’s best for them, is a warning! “Nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor 10:10, 11). Grumbling damages relationships and especially the marriage. “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife” (PV 21:19; NLT).

Finally, listen to our Lord Jesus Christ: “Stop complaining about what I said” (Jn 6:43; NLT).


Presumption is defined as believing that something is true without having proof of it. It is taking something for granted. It is jumping at conclusions without having knowledge of the facts. It is based on partial knowledge and pride. Most of the time presumption proves to be wrong. That is why presumption has a negative meaning. The sin of presumption is an intentional rebelling against God thru a deliberate, proud, and willful action. A believer commits presumptuous sin when he knows that what he does is sinful and an offence against God. It is not a mistake. It is not just a weakness. For example, after God judged them for rebellion, He told His people to go back to the desert. But they insisted to go to the Promised Land. This was a presumptuous sin (Nu 14:44). Another example: David committed presumptuous sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband Uriah. Later David repented and prayed: “Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression” (Ps 19:13).

Presumptuous sins are like spiritual suicide. “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Heb 10:26,27).

Presumptuous sins are deliberate. They are committed with the full knowledge that they are sins and in full light of what God has said. Presumptuous sins are premeditated. There is intent to sin and a time of deliberation before the act. Presumptuous sins can only be committed in suppression of the conscience and in spite of its appeals. Those who sin presumptuously say, in effect, “I’m going to do this, and nothing is going to stop me. I know what God says about it, and I don’t care if it’s wrong. I’m going to do it anyway.” God may forgive the sins of presumptions, but there are always consequences that follow these sins. Selah!  



Forgetfulness is a memory failure. When you stop thinking about a person you will forget that one. These people forgot God and His works. They stopped reading God’s Word, pray and praising Him. They forgot what God has done for them. God said that they tested Him ten times even after they saw the miracles He has done in Egypt, how He saved them. How can they forget how God split the Red Sea, how God turned the bitter water into sweet water, how God fed them with Manna and gave them water to drink in the wilderness? This forgetfulness is evil. It comes from despising the miracles of God. This is God’s warning and command: “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today” (Deut 8:11).

Lesson: It is our duty to study and meditate on God’s Word. It is our duty to praise and worship God! You forget what you do not appreciate. You need to develop a spirit of gratefulness and worship. One of the hardest things to do for a parent is to teach the children to be grateful. This gratefulness never comes automatically. It is always a skill to be thought and acquired. Only the faithful and humble people remember God! “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Ps 103:2).


Discouragement is the state of losing courage and moral strength. Courage is defined as the strength to control your fears in a dangerous or difficult situation and to be confident of your faith in God. Discouragement leads to feeling rejected, depressed and hopeless. Sickness, poverty, and dangers ahead are common reasons for discouragements. The opposite is encouragement, This happens when courage is poured into you thru words of faith and prayer. At Kadesh Barnes, God, thru Moses, commanded the people to be strong and courageous. But they refused to obey the command. They saw the problems ahead and forgot that God brought them there and that God is with them. As they despised the past miracles, they now despise the presence of God with them.

Lesson: I reject discouragement, a common weapon of the devil. I encourage myself thru God’s Word, prayer and coming to church!


Fear is an uncomfortable, often painful emotions in when anticipating danger. The people allowed the demon of fear to intimidate them. That can be a fear of difficulties, of the unknown, of giants, of the future, fear of war, or fear of death. Fear became the dominant emotion.

Lesson: Fear is a demon that weakens the body and the mind. The only fear we should allow to influence our hearts is the clean strong fear of God. This is wisdom and courage. All other fears are demonic, and we should reject them. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7). How do you get free from these demonic fears? By seeking God in His Word and thru prayer. “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears” (Ps 34:4).


This is a sad story. But there are so many lessons for us.  The wilderness was never designed to be their home or their grave. It was always to be passage. It is a tragedy to live and die at the wrong place. The wilderness is a picture of spiritual immaturity. God uses it to humble people and add grace to them. God is preparing you to inherit the Land. The promised Land is God’s Best for you, to gain spiritual maturity. May we follow Jesus, our heavenly Joshua unto the end! May we trust and obey Him until we possess our blessed inheritance! Worship the Lord!


During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘The Cross-over Miracle’ (3). Her main text was taken from the book of Joshua chapter 1. We shall study God’s mighty promises to Joshua. In Christ, we shall apply them to ourselves!

Moses represents the Law. He started the process of redemption but could not finish it ‘for the law makes nothing perfect’ (Heb 7:19). God’s Law is holy but it does not save sinners. The Law did not come with the power to obey it. The Law proves that we are lawbreakers. The Law directs us to Jesus. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom 10:4). Joshua is a symbol of Christ. Joshua does what Moses could not do. He finishes what Moses started. This is God’s Grace revealed. “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17).

We shall study God’s four commands taken from Joshua chapter 1. Immediately following is Joshua’s command to prepare and enter the Promised Land. Commands are orders given by your authority who expects instant obedience. God never makes suggestions. We do not have the liberty to ignore or disobey His commands. It is our duty to obey instantly, totally, and joyfully. Our answer to God and to God’s human authority over us is ‘Yes, Sir!’. Our success in life depends on our response!

Moses has died. Joshua is now the leader. But God never changes.  God appoints His workers and the seasons for them to work. ‘One sows and another reaps” (Jn 4:37). Men come and go, but ‘Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!’ (Heb 13:8). Let us worship Him!


“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses” (Josh 1:2, 3)

God commands Joshua to ‘arise and go over this Jordan’. To arise it means to actively stand, to be active. The opposite position it to lie down in sorrow, regret, depression, or failure. To look back at the time when Moses was leading them will be a hindrance in moving forward. The mourning for Moses lasted for thirty days. Now, it’s time to stand on your feet as a soldier following his commander. Your response is: ‘Yes, Sir!’

Lesson: to make spiritual progress in life you need to repent from passivity, doubt, laziness, and regrets. You follow the Holy Spirit. Progress is never automatic. It does not come with age. It is a command of God. You need to choose to obey. This is how you possess your possessions!


“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you… Joshua, I will always be with you and help you as I helped Moses, and no one will ever be able to defeat you” (Josh 1:5; NKJ; CEV).

The word ‘stand’ means to be established, like a pillar, like a high wall. God tells Joshua that no man can successfully oppose him. All Joshua’s enemies shall become weak and shall fall ‘before’ him. This promise says: “No one will be able to successfully oppose you, or to publicly resist you”. God confirms that His presence will always be with Joshua and never with his enemies. This is the promise of Grace. God will not leave or forsake Joshua all the days of his life. The word ‘leave’ means to relax His grip so that Joshua will fall. The word ‘forsake’ means to abandon Joshua in a helpless position and never plan to help him again. It means to betray a friend, to leave him exposed to danger. God said that He will never do that to Joshua. In other words, God will always be with Joshua, extending grace to him even when he sins or makes mistakes. Joshua will never ‘fall from grace’. God will never answer the prayers of Joshua’s enemies. Joshua will never fail! He is more than a conqueror thru Him who loved him (Rom 8:37). This is a great encouragement for Joshua! With God by His side, he has nothing to lose! The promise that no man will be able to stand against Joshua implies that for as long as Joshua obeys God’s Word, the taking over the Promised Land will be easy. God promised to direct, teach, protect, and prosper Joshua, thru His Word and His Spirit, just the way He helped Moses. Remembering his master, Joshua knew how successful God made him to be. Now, God says that the same grace is extended to him. This reveals the unity and continuity of the Spirit.

Lesson: We stand in God’s power! God’s Word is our guide even to the end. In Christ, we can never fail. We move on from victory to victory!

God’s presence is the secret of all true success and progress in life.  The promise of God’s constant presence applies to all believers. These are some examples… Jacob was running from his brother Esau. He had a dream. He saw God who promised him: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you” (Gen 28:13-15). God promises Jacob total protection, prosperity, and success in life, to him and his descendants. Jacob will do God’s will and fulfill his destiny. Moses told God’s people: “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Ex 14:13, 14). God tells Isaiah: “For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children… Indeed, they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake” (Is 49:25; 54:15). The same promise is given to Jeremiah: “Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD… They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you” (Jer 1:8, 19).

Lesson: the child of God is free from the fear of untimely death, from living a wasted life of failure and shame. God’s presence will protect you, will give you a hope, a future, and an expected end (Jer 29:11). God will never disappoint you! Your life and death will glorify Jesus!

Our Lord Jesus Christ, our heavenly Joshua, believed and lived by this promise. Jesus said that men will abandon Him, but God the Father will never do so. “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him… Indeed, the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (Jn 8:29; 16:32). On the Cross, it seems that the promise was broken. Jesus cried that the Father has forsaken Him when He was dying. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46). He was quoting Psalm 22:1, written by David. How do we explain these words coming from our Savior’s lips? In the Garden of Gethsemane, He chose to drink the cup of sin on our behalf. This was the will of the Father. From that moment, the Father removed His presence and protection from His Son. On that Cross, Jesus died in our place. He was not a sinner, but He became sin that we might live. “He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness]“ (2 Cor 5:21; AMP). Sin drives away the presence of God. This salvation is by grace, thru faith in Christ Crucified. God’s presence and protection is now ours, forever! In Christ alone!  

Lesson: Jesus died that we may live! Jesus paid for our salvation with His Blood. It is our duty and highest privilege to serve Him forever!

In Joshua chapter 1 we see the clear transition between the leadership of Moses and that of Joshua. The name ‘Moses’ appears 10 times in this chapter. Moses built the foundation. Joshua will build on it. God is the same God to each of them. God promises Joshua that He will be with him ‘as He was with Moses’. That means God will be with Joshua until the end. He will show the same mercy, grace, and patience to Joshua as He showed to Moses. The human leader changes but God never changes. God’s presence will help him become a champion, a leader, a hero, strong and courageous like Moses was. Joshua needs this strength to fight two types of battles: with the Canaanites, to conquer them and take their land, and secondly, to lead God’s stiff-necked people, who proved to be difficult. Joshua saw how hard it was for Moses to govern the Israelites. They tended to grumble, to doubt and to rebel against his leadership. But God helped Moses by giving him supernatural wisdom, patience, strength, and courage. God promised to do the same for Joshua. God will not leave Joshua without internal strength of character or external help to conquer all his enemies. Three times in Joshua Chapter 1 God commands Joshua: “Be strong and courageous”. This may be because Joshua did not imagine he will be the next leader after Moses. Joshua was not a proud, or selfishly ambitious man. Serving Moses was his ministry. Now, God encourages him to stand as the next leader to His people. God tells Joshua that he must fight to occupy the land. Joshua will finish what Moses has started. God also says: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you”. God promises that His presence will always be with Joshua exactly the way it was with Moses, his mentor. God promises to help Joshua just the way He helped Moses. Joshua has seen how much God has helped his human master to be strong, wise and courageous especially during crises. Joshua was a witness at how much God forgave his mentor Moses when his flesh failed. God promises to Joshua that what he has seen in the life of his leader, will now be his portion. This implies that Joshua is Moses’ spiritual son. The DNA of grace given to Moses is now given to him. What a great promise! Glory to God!

Joshua was faithful to Moses, his leader and mentor. Because of that, God rewarded him with his own testimony as a man of God! Jesus said: “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Lk 16:12).

Lesson: If you submit and are faithful to God and to your human authority, God will give you your own ministry and testimony! Selah!

This transition of leadership is similar with that between Elijah and Elisha. It happened when Elijah went to heaven. Elisha loved the way God worked in his master, Elijah. He asked for the same grace. Elijah said that his request is ‘hard’. No man, at his hour of death, can give his mantle of anointing and leadership to another man. God alone appoints His workers. When Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, Elijah said this: “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kg 2:10). The condition was that Elisha sees Elijah to the end of his life on earth. In Hebrew, the word ‘see’ is the word Jireh. It means to have the same vision, to encounter or to provide what you see. In other words, Elijah told Elisha: ‘If you see what I see, you shall have what you see’. This is like running the relay race. ‘If you see the baton in my hand as I depart, it shall be yours. Then you run with it, even faster than I’.  

Lesson: we must submit to the human authority for Christ’ sake. We must be willing to humble ourselves and to serve our leaders. We do not manipulate for promotion. We trust God for all things! Ministry and promotion come in God’s own time and God’s sovereign will!


“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Josh 1:7, 8)

The presence of God and obedience to His Word is the basis for successful Christian life. The Word God gave to Moses, must be the same Word Joshua should study, obey, and preach. Then he will ‘prosper wherever he goes’ and have ‘good success’. The word ‘prosperity’ means to push forward against all opposition. Prosperity is the result of spiritual strength.  The word ‘good success’ means wisdom, spiritual intelligence to make the right decisions. People say that ‘health is wealth’. Spiritually, divine wisdom is wealth!

God called and commissioned Joshua to be now the leader of Israel. All people must submit to Joshua. But Joshua himself is a man under authority. The Word of God is his authority. No man can stand against Joshua to judge or condemn him. Only God’s Word will judge him. During the time of Moses, Joshua’s mentor was a man. Now, Joshua’s mentor and leader is invisible. It’s God’s Word! Jesus is the Word made flesh (Jn 1:14). Jesus will now be Joshua’s Commander, Teacher, and Judge. This is a transition, from being led by sight to being led by faith alone.

God commands Joshua to be a man of His Word. Every decision, every judgment, every counsel, every command to the people, shall be done according to the Word of God, in prayer and in the presence of God. It is the duty of Joshua to study the Bible and learn how to apply the Word of God practically. No man can encourage Joshua. He has to learn to encourage himself thru the Word of God and prayer.

Lesson: The more God’s Word dwells in you richly (Col 3:16), the more you are ‘qualified’ to become God’s servant and leader of men!

God commands Joshua to be faithful to His Word, to the covenant God made with Israel. Joshua is to study, memorize and preach the Word of God. His mind and heart must be filled and saturated with God’s Word. Then God will grant him prosperity and ‘good success’. Joshua must be ‘strong and courageous’. This command is repeated three times in Joshua chapter one. This command applies not only to Joshua’s character, but especially to his decisions, and deeds. To be strong and courageous it means to be firm during crisis, not moved by manipulations, or men’s deceptions or intimidations. It means to be free from the fear of man but to fear only God. “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe” (PV 29:25). Once you are free from the fear of man, you will conquer all your enemies.

God’s presence with the leader overflows to the whole nation. This prosperity will overflow from the leader to the nation. The primary role of the leader is spiritual, to host and carry the presence of God. If the leader backslides, the nation suffers. “If a ruler pays attention to lies [and encourages corruption], All his officials will become wicked” (PV 29:12; AMP). It is a fact that the best followers make the best leaders. Faith in the Word of God is the secret of their wisdom, strength, and anointing!

Lesson: To be a Christian, to be a leader in the Body of Christ, in the family, or in the nation, is an extraordinary privilege and responsibility!

The command to study the Bible and obey God’s Word is given to Israel’s kings and rulers. “Also, it shall be, when the king sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (Deut 17:18-20). The king shall use his hand to copy the Bible for himself. It means that he should diligently and faithfully study God’s Word! The study of God’s Word will help him to fear God, which is the beginning of wisdom (PV 1:7). The study of God’s Word will humble him so that God continues to give him grace upon grace. The study of God’s Word will give him a long and successful life, to him and his descendants. 

Lesson: God’s command to study, obey and preach God’s Word is to all believers because they are ‘a royal priesthood’ in Christ.

The study and preaching of God’s Word are the foundation of a successful Christian life and building the skill of leadership. Without God’s Word there is no success in life! The study of God’s Word, prayer and attendance to the local church bring innumerable spiritual and material blessings to us and our descendants. Joshua discovered this secret. He said: “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh 24:15).  

Joshua was to keep the Bible in his heart and mouth. He must study, meditate, and preach God’s Word. To study the word of God brings genuine prosperity. There is no short-cut to true happiness and success outside faith in God’s Word. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Ps 1:1-3).

As a Man, Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly, even unto death. “Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner (Jn 5:19). “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 6:38). “I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak” (Jn 12:49). “The world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here” (Jn 14:31)

Lesson: By God’s Grace, I will pay the price to faithfully and diligently study, memorize, meditate, and preach the Word of God! By doing this I will please God and become a source of blessings to my descendants and to many others!  


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh 1:9).

All God’s commands to Joshua are verbs, words of action. God promised to provide strength to Joshua. But it is his duty to receive God’s provision, to be strong and courageous, to observe and to do all the Law of Moses. ‘To be ‘strong and courageous’ in not God’s suggestion. It is His command! We must answer: Yes. Sir!”. Strength is defined as the capacity for endurance, to successfully resist oppression when an enemy attacks. To be strong it means being unafraid when dealing with difficult, dangerous, or unpleasant situations. To be courageous it means to be bold, to be confident when taking risks, to be free from the judgments of men. The qualities of moral strength and courage are vital for spiritual leaders. Listen to Apostle Paul: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Cor 4:3, 4).

In Hebrew, ‘to be strong’ in means to be obstinate, to seize, to bind, to restrain and conquer the enemy. To have ‘good courage’ it means to be strong, bold, alert, determined and steadfast. These words do not refer only to Joshua’s character, but to his decisions and actions. He is to be a true godly leader, like a trained solider during war. He was to be a man of action, alert, prompt, ready to act, wise, courageously taking every opportunity to conquer the enemy. He should not doubt His commander or become slow in obeying God’s Word. He should not be a coward, a double minded or timid man. Joshua’s courage will lead to success. He needs wisdom from God. This command is similar with Paul’s advice to Timothy who tended to be timid. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).   

The opposite of courage is cowardice or timidity, the fear of leading or rebuking people, especially when going to new places. A coward is someone easily afraid, who quickly runs away to avoid pain, danger, or difficulties, to save his own skin. He is easily intimidated by men. Apostle Peter was a coward. He denied Christ because he feared for his life. Later in life, he overcame this ugly sin and became bold unto death. Cowardice is linked to a guilty conscience: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion” (PV 28:1). Cowards are in the same class with the unbelievers. They are not saved and cannot go to heaven. “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev 21:7-8).

Joshua is a hero of faith. He knew that Moses was a sinner saved by grace. He saw the weaknesses of Moses. After the death of Moses, Joshua obeyed the Words written by Moses as they are the very words of God. He did not repeat the mistakes of his mentor. God’s Word is the authority for Joshua and for every Christian. To obey the Word of God, to be faithful to God and your mentor, you need great courage! Unbelievers will mock and oppose you! You will be tempted and discriminated. To stand for God you need courage! All Christians must be strong and courageous! Stand like a man! For example, God said to Job: “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me” (Job 40:7). What do you do when problems come. Do you faint or complain? Jesus said: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matt 11:12).

Lesson: Obey God’s Word! Be strong in Christ! Encourage yourself! Do spiritual warfare and possess your possessions! Learn from the past, be strong today and have great hope for the future.


“Joshua commanded the officers of the people “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess” (Josh1:10,11)

Immediately God finished talking to Joshua, he commanded the officers to tell the people to prepare for the cross over. Joshua did not ask questions and did not complain the way Moses did at the burning bush. He believed God for the mantle of leadership and ‘commanded’ the people. His obedience is instant, total, and joyful. This is a Spirit approved obedience. Like Apostle Paul, Joshua did not ‘confer with flesh and blood’ (Gal 1:16). He did not suggest that people should get ready. Like a true leader in the army, he commanded them to prepare for the cross over. A command is an order that you have to follow, as long as the person who gives it has authority over you. Joshua commands the officers to tell the people to prepare their food and get ready to move. In Hebrew, the word ‘prepare’ is to stand firm and get ready for action. There is a time for prayer, and there is a time for action! Now it is time to move! Like an army that goes to war, this is the time to move on, attack the Canaanites and occupy the land! Praise the Lord!


“Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I WILL NEVER [under any circumstances] DESERT YOU [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], NOR WILL I FORSAKE or LET YOU DOWN or RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU [assuredly not]! So, we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER [in time of need], I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME? (Heb 13:4-6; AMP)

God’s promise to Joshua that He will not leave or forsake him, appears in the New Testament too. This promise is given to all the believers in Christ.  “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor 1:20). God promises to be our Helper! A helper is one who gives strength, assistance, or support to another. To help it means to make it easier for someone to do something, by providing advice, money, or support. It means to assist another who is in a painful or difficult situation, to make it less painful. The helper does not take over. He does not do all the work. He helps you do your job. Without a helper, it is too difficult for you to finish the job.

The first time the word ‘helper’ appears in the Bible is in the Book of Genesis. God made the wife to be a helper comparable to her husband. “The Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen 2:18). The truth was that Adam was not totally alone. He had fellowship with God, and he took care of the animals in the garden. But emotionally, God was too high, and the animals were too low for him. Then God made Eve, his wife, who was a helper comparable with him.

Lesson: fast and pray before deciding who you will marry. Trust God for your choice. Both of you must be compatible, spiritually, and physically.  

There are two areas in particular when the believers need God’s help. The believers need God’s special Grace to cross over, to advance from immaturity to maturity, especially in the areas are marriage and managing their finances.


God invented marriage. God created Adam and then created Eve, his wife. God put them together as a married couple. Marriage is the first institution established by God. It was established before the fall of man. Sin has corrupted the marriage but has not totally destroyed its value. God desires sexual purity and holiness. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, are sins. The beauty of holiness is upon a godly marriage between two mature believers. There is a great need today of godly married couples who can mentor the younger ones. A young marriage is like the water. A mature godly marriage is like water becoming wine. God promises to the husband and his wife: “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. We respond by boldly saying: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” This confidence and courage must be applied to the area of marriage. God’s presence is the sure source of true love, peace, joy, and unity of the Spirit in that home. There is no fear of divorce. No man, no devil can separate that couple. May we enter and possess our possessions of a mature godly marriage that glorifies God!


Our relationship with money is another area that can make or destroy our testimony as believers. The Love of money is the root of all evil. The cure for that is living a content life. Contentment is defined as peace of mind, joy, a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in life. Contentment totally drives away the fear of death. Contentment is possible only by the Spirit of God. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim 6:6-10). Paul had learned the secret of contentment in every circumstance of life (Phil 4:11-2).

What is the secret of this powerful victorious contentment?

1-Be grateful! Always give thanks to God! “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:18).

2-Be humble! Do not be selfish or overambitious. Be happy with a simpler life. Invest in the spiritual treasures more than on earthly gains.

Learn to serve others. Think of others. Have the mind of Christ. God will exalt you at the right time. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… He humbled Himself… “ (Phil 2:3-8).

3-Have faith in God! He promised to be your Helper, never to leave or forsake you! God knows what you need. God is your Helper: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand… For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you” (Is 41:10, 13).

Before going to heaven, Jesus assured His disciples that He will always be with them. This promise applies to all believers. He said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen” (Matt 28:18-20).

Apply these cross-over commands to your marriage and to your finances! Say: ‘Yes, Sir!’

1-Arise and make progress! No more passivity! Actively stand and improve your relationship with your spouse. Your money will increase!

2-You will never fail! You’ll not divorce! You’ll not experience bankruptcy! Thru all trials of life, your marriage and finances will become better! I am with you! God’s presence will protect your marriage and your finances. You will be fruitful. You will have joy!

3-The Bible leads you in your relationship with your spouse and in managing your finances.

4-Be strong and courageous! The Holy Spirit will give you strength to improve your marriage and your finances!  

5-Get ready for action! You have prayed! Now, this is the time to apply all your know about marriage and money from the Bible!

I DECLARE: GOD IS MY HELPER! YES, SIR! In times of loneliness, He comforts me. In times of anxiety, He brings peace to my soul. In times of confusion, He helps me think well. In times of sickness, when even the doctors are confused, He heals me. In times of lack, when I don’t have money, He provides for me in so many ways. In times of attack, He saves me. When I am weak, He makes me strong. My Helper will never leave me not forsake me. By God’s grace I am ready to cross over and to possess my possessions. To the glory of God and for my own good!

My Prayer:

“I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay” (Ps 70:5)

Worship the Lord!


During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘The Cross-over Miracle’ (2). Her main text was taken from the books or Deuteronomy 31:1-8, 34:1-12; and Joshua, chapter 1:1-18.

The Book of Joshua is a transition Book, describing the events from the death of Moses to the leadership of Joshua, the crossing of Jordan, and the taken over the Promised Land. Joshua is the first among the books of History (from Joshua to Esther).  But Joshua is not just a book of history. It is also a Prophetic Book. Joshua is a spiritual leader with a prophetic mandate. The Book does not only describe history, but it applies these events for us to understand the mind of God. And that is the work of a prophet. The first 12 chapters in the Book of Joshua describe his military achievements. The last 12 chapters describe how he divided the land to the different tribes. As we study the Book of Joshua, we identify with the leadership transition from Moses to Joshua. It is a cross over from great to greater things. The Holy Spirit leads us into this truth. God named the book of Joshua after his name. Joshua in Hebrew is the same as Jesus in Greek. Joshua is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Many Bible scholars believe that Joshua himself wrote this book. Joshua is a great man of faith. He fulfilled destiny. He is a great example for us all!


God tells Moses to appoint his assistant Joshua as the new leader of Israel after his death. “Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also, the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the Lord has said. And the Lord will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when He destroyed them. The Lord will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deut 31:1-8).  

Moses gives God’s people his final words. He tells them that he cannot lead them anymore. God’s name here is Jehovah Elohim, The Covenant Keeping God, the Creator of the universe. Moses tells the people that though he dies in Moab, God will keep His promises to give them the Promised Land. God Himself will lead them to cross over. He will destroy and dispossess the nations in the Promised Land. In Hebrew, the word ‘dispossess’ means to rob, to make poor, to expel, to occupy and to inherit. These actions are done by God Himself as the owner of the Land. Then God will give this land to His people. Joshua will lead the cross over and the possessing of the land. Moses commands both the people and Joshua to ‘be strong and courageous’ as they enter the Promised Land to occupy it. God moves first. Joshua and the people are to follow God and take over the land. You need strength and courage to walk in the Spirit! Joshua is commanded not to fear and not to be dismayed. The word ‘dismayed’ means to be discouraged, to break down in pieces, to prostrate (before your enemy), to be intimidated, or confused. To be dismayed it means to react with emotional shock, to fear, to become sad or suddenly disappointed at something unexpected. Another word for ‘dismay’ is to react with a panic attack when you encounter something that you think you cannot handle by yourself. Faith in God at all times is the medicine against dismay. Hallelujah!  


I took this information from some Biblical historical books. The time God used Moses to confront Pharoah in Egypt, and to free the people of God, it was in the middle of the 15th century BC. The exodus happened in 1445 BC during the reign of Pharoah Amenhotep II. At that time, Egypt was enjoining a great economic revival as a superpower. Why did God decided to free His people at that time, when the oppressor was the strongest? To prove that man’s strength is nothing to Him. For the next forty years God’s people stayed in the wilderness when that generation died. Moses himself died just before entering the Promised Land. Under the leadership of Joshua, the people of God enter the Promise Land. They fight and defeat all the kings in Canaan. Then, they settle in that land. At that time, Canaan was under Egyptian rule. When Joshua attacked the little kings, they asked for help from Egypt, who was their master. But at that time, during the reign of Amenhotep III the economy of Egypt was much weaker. Letters were found saying that the kings in Canaan were pleading for help from Egypt. But the Pharoah lost interest in Canaan and abandoned his subjects. Why? Because God made it so. In this way, Joshua did not have to fight the Egyptians armies in the land of Canaan. God made it easier for His people to conquer the Promised Land. Selah!

Lesson: God is the only living and faithful God. He will make the crooked paths straight for His people. He will simply their lives. He will weaken the opposition and give them the victory so that they can enter into their promised inheritance.



“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel” (Josh 1:2). This is God’s Word to Joshua. He commands Joshua to ‘arise’ from the pain of loss and mourning and to lead the people forward. To obey God’s Word, it takes strength and courage! The word ‘arise’ means to get up on your feet from a lying down position. It means to stand and to be established as God’s servant. God commands Joshua to arise first, then the other people will follow his example. He must go over ‘this Jordan’. For forty years in the wilderness, they only heard about a river called ‘Jordan’. Now, they are on its banks, looking ahead to their Promised Land. Because the Israelites made a difficult and dangerous journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land, the Jordan also refers to freedom. The actual crossing was the final step of the journey from bondage to freedom. It becomes a symbol of victory and deliverance: saying good-bye to slavery and hardship and entering a new life of promise and hope. ‘This Jordan’ represents ‘this freedom’, our entering to possess our possessions. Joshua must receive this word by faith. Joshua leads the people of God across the river Jordan to enter the Promised Land. God does a miracle, and the river stops flowing. The people of God crossed over across the river Jordan as on dry ground. This miracle is similar with the one God did during Moses’ leadership when he divided the Red Sea for the people to cross over.

Jordan is the lowest river in the world. It is not called ‘a river’. It is always called by its name, Jordan. It ends in the Dead Sea, at a depth 400 meters below sea level. Jordan is more than 360 kilometers long. It starts on the slopes of Mount Hermon, on the border of Lebanon and Syria. It flows southward through northern Israel to the Sea of Galilee. There the river drops sharply, to 209 meters below sea level. The word ‘Jordan’ means ‘to descend’. Because of its great length and central location, the Jordan is mentioned in the Bible over 185 times. When Abraham told Lot to choose where he wants to go, Lot chose Sodom city, which was built in the green fertile valley of the Jordan (Genesis 13). God destroyed the city later but Lot escaped from it. Abraham chose the desert, but God blessed him and his descendants. Jacob wrestled with God by the ford Jabbok, a tributary to river Jordan (Gen 32:22). The prophet Elijah lived by the river Jordan during the drought (1 Kings 17:5). Both Elijah and Elisha divided the Jordan river and crossed over miraculously. The Assyrian general Naaman was healed of leprosy by obeying the word of the prophet Elisha, by dipping in the Jordan seven times (2 Kings 2:7-14; 5:10-14). John the Baptist baptized sinners in the Jordan. He also baptized Jesus when the voice of God the Father spoke, and the Holy Spirit came as a dove on God’s Son (Luke 3). The location of the supposed baptism of Jesus is recognized as a place of worship. Approximately 600,000 Christian pilgrims visit this spot annually. Today it is known as Kasser Al Yahud, the Baptismal place of Jesus, opposite Jericho.

Lesson: Thru baptism in Christ, we cross over from death to life, from a life of sin into a new life of spiritual maturity, victory, and freedom.


After Moses died, Joshua was commanded to stand and move on, leading the people. As a human being, Joshua was tempted to mourn Moses, his master, longer than thirty days (Deut 34:8). But God commands Joshua to move on, leading the people. Moses was a colossus of a man. It is not easy for Joshua to follow such a great man as the leader of a nation. It was not easy for Joshua to stand and go! Please observe that God says He is the One who gave the Promised Land to them. God does that because the Canaanites were wicked and served idols.

Lesson: God commands you to stand! You must obey God’s Word! This is an active obedience! Before you move on to inherit God’s promises for your life, you must choose to get up from the passive position of depression, doubt, discouragement, defeat, bondage, and spiritual laziness. You must ‘stand’ in the power of God’s might. This is the position of the soldier of Christ! Your answer should be: “YES, SIR!”. You cannot cross over into your Promised Land without standing tall and doing spiritual warfare. God says: ‘My servant Moses is dead’. There is a Danger of losing focus, of looking back. Moses was a great man. The name of Moses appears 57 times in the Book of Joshua. But Joshua must go ahead. You cannot ignore the past. The past is important. You learn from it. But you cannot look back if you want to make progress in life. You have to look ahead! God says: Moses My servant is dead. In other words, God’s servants live, work, die and they go to heaven. But God’s work and worship continues, for His glory! The devil wants you to backslide. The devil hates your progress and will do whatever it takes to slow you down. “We do not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]” (1 Thess 4:13). What God wants for Joshua and His people is that they thank Him for Moses, mourn for him for a limited time, then move on in life having hope. They know that Moses is in heaven and one day they will see him again. This is the correct way of Christian mourning. To sorrow without hope is the portion of the unbelievers. That hopeless attitude is a great hindrance against progress in life. Repent of it!


Egypt is a picture of the world. The Promised Land is the inheritance of God’s people to enjoy, to be gained by faith! For any soldier who protects his home, there are three options: the first one is to become a coward, to give way to fear and to withdraw. Many believers chose backsliding than making progress thru spiritual warfare. That option is a total failure. Once you withdraw, you abandon the place of your responsibility. The devil will come in and he will take over your home. Many couples divorce because of this spiritual defeat. Many pastors have abandoned their duty to Christ and their churches have now become ‘dens of thieves’. The second option is to stand, but in fear. This standing is useless because the devil will come, fight, and win your home. The only successful option for the believer is to actively stand, to move ahead by faith, and to occupy the Promised Land. What are some of the dangers in any spiritual transition?

*One of the dangers is that of backsliding. It means to look back, to the leadership of Moses. This is what Lot’s wife did. Because of Abraham’s intercession, the angels save Lot and his family. They told Lot: “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed”! Looking back means to desire to go back and identify with the past sin. As God was destroying the city of Sodom, Lot’s wife did not appreciate God’s mercy to her, by saving her family from a sure death. She looked back with longing to her life of sin in Sodom. At that moment, she became a pillar of salt, visible until now, near the Dead Sea (Gen 19:17- 26). The Bible teachers call that pillar of salt ‘a monument of an unbelieving soul’. Jesus warned us about this. He said: “Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]!” (Lk 17:32; AMP).

*A second danger is to become frozen in time, to stand in fear and refuse to move on. You passively protect your gains. But sooner or later the devil will attack and defeat you.

*A third danger is pride. Joshua was commanded to read, meditate, and preach the Word of God. Faith in God’s Word is the secret behind ‘good success.’ Joshua was faithful to God and His Word. Only two times Joshua made mistakes in the Promised Land. These two mistakes had serious consequences. Both are connected with disobedience to the command to study the Word of God and pray. It means that some amount of pride affected Joshua after the great victory at Jericho. The first mistake was at the battle with the city of Ai. This was a much smaller city than Jericho. Joshua did not pray. He sent some people to spy the city. They told him that the city is small. They advise Joshua that there is no need for all the soldiers to fight. They attacked Ai with just few soldiers, and they were defeated. The men of Ai killed 36 Israeli soldiers. Joshua was broken by this defeat. He had to humble himself. He prayed and asked God for mercy and wisdom. God told him what to do and they conquered Ai. The second mistake was when Joshua and the leaders were deceived by the Gibeonites. In these two instances, Joshua walked by sight and not by faith. The reason for the failures was that he forgot God and trusted himself.  Pride is a sin and a danger to always avoid.

*Another danger is impatience, to be too quickly satisfied and to fall short of God’s promises. The tribes of Ruben, Gad, and half of Manasseh, decided to settle on the west side of the Jordan River, outside the promised Land. Moses allowed them to stay there eventually, but this was a bad example to the rest people. God promises Joshua: “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses” (Joshua 1:3). Joshua needs to walk on the land. His feet are his spiritual weapons. He cannot get tired and stop walking. He must walk and win as long as God leads him on.

Lesson? Press on until you possess your promises. Walk in the Spirit and you shall win the victory over the flesh (Gal 5:16). You must be patient. Every step counts! Make God happy by your faith!  Do not be led by sight or by greed. Finish the race like a champion! Be like Jesus!


Joshua was the man who led Israel in the conquest of Canaan. Given the many battles he faced and won, no one would ever call him a coward. Yet Joshua must have struggled with fear, for the Lord tells him over and over to “not be afraid or be of good courage,” (Josh 1:9, 18; 8:1). God’s encouragement against cowardice and fear Joshua passes along to the Israelites (Josh 10:25). The main attribute of Joshua was his courage followed by his humility. He was fearless as he conquered the land. He defeated 31 kings and occupied their land (Josh 12:24). By faith, Joshua moved on. He trusted God to fulfill His promises. See God’s testimony before Joshua died. “So, the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (Josh 21:43-45). Read again: “all (God’s promises) came to pass!” Glory!

Joshua was not a prophet, but he was a divinely inspired leader. After he conquered the land and he divided it to the different tribes, Joshua retired in the place of his inheritance, Timnah Serah. He was now an old man. His army disbanded. Everyone was living simple lives. Just before his death, Joshua addresses the people once more, reminding them to serve God. This is his most famous inspiring challenge: “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15). Joshua does not boast about any of his military achievements. He gives God all the glory for the military victories. Moses laid his hands on Joshua who became his successor. But Joshua did not delegate anyone as the new leader. God works in different ways at different times. Joshua died as a fulfilled man. He was buried in the Promised Land, in the portion given to his tribe, Ephraim. He buried the bones of Joseph that they carried from Egypt. The priest Eleazer, son of Aaron also died and was buried close to Joshua, in the mountains of Ephraim. This is the end of a great chapter in the history of God’s people. Joshua left a wonderful testimony of a man of God, who fulfilled God’s will for his life. He left a legacy of holiness and peace. “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the Lord which He had done for Israel” (Josh 24:31).

God can never lose any battle. He dispossessed the Canaanites and gave their land to His people, Israel. God changed His tenants. God’s works means desolations for the unbelievers. “Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth” (Ps 46:8). It is hard for us to understand God’s ways. But we must accept them by faith. God destroys and God builds. He is sovereign in all His works. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

May people think that God stands aloof, far in His heaven. But that is a lie. God is actively involved and ruled the nations and the individuals. God is sovereign over all the earth. He brings down and lifts up as He wishes. All people, even the unbelievers, are commanded to clap their hands and praise Him. He dispossesses the proud and gives their inheritance to the humble. “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet. He will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah!” (Ps 47:1-4). The victory of Israel was not because they were stronger than the Canaanites but because of God’s plan and purpose. In Christ we have “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet 1:4). This refers to the New Promised Land in heaven! We celebrate the sovereign and saving Grace! Praise the Lord!

Finally, do not think that progress in life in easy. The lazy timid people do not experience success in life. Having a good education, a good family background and a lot of money is not enough to live a fulfilled life. You need to be born again, Spirit filled and ready to follow the heavenly Joshua as He leads on. Heaven is not only a destination but also a motivation, because we shall have our reward. Behind every successful man is not a woman, but the Holy Spirit giving strength and courage to fulfill destiny. Worship the Lord!



During the first Sunday service in 2023, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘The Cross-over Miracle’ (1). Her main text was taken from the books of Deuteronomy, chapter 34, and Joshua, chapter 1.


The Old Testament is divided into three parts: The law, the historical writings, and the prophets. The Book of Joshua is a transition Book, describing the events from the death of Moses to the leadership of Joshua, the crossing of Jordan, and the taken over the Promised Land. Joshua is the first in the books of History (from Joshua to Esther). But Joshua is not just a book of history. The Bible scholars consider Joshua to be a Prophetic Book. Joshua is a leader with a prophetic mandate. The Book of Joshua has a spiritual purpose. It does not only describe history, but it applies these events for us to understand the mind of God. And that is the work of a prophet. As we study the Book of Joshua, we identify with the transition between Moses and Joshua. It is a cross over from great to greater things. The Holy Spirit leads us into this truth.

God named the book of Joshua after his name. Joshua in Hebrew is the same as Jesus in Greek. Joshua is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Joshua is a great man of faith. He fulfilled destiny. He is a great example for us all! The word “Hebrew” means to ‘cross-over’. For example, Abraham is called the Hebrew (Gen 14:13) because he crossed over from false gods to the only true God. He crossed over physically by leaving his homeland and coming to the Promised Land. The Israelites are called the Hebrews because they were delivered by God from the Egyptians as they crossed through the Red Sea, and then crossed through the Jordan River into the Promised Land. All these are pictures of transition, of deliverance and salvation. The meaning of the word ‘cross-over’ is a movement, a transition, from one place to another. It takes courage to cross-over, to move on in life. Spiritually, it is a miracle! Just as the Resurrection is a miracle, the cross over from death to life is a miracle! Please note that God always leads in this transition. Nobody knows the way of the Cross of over except Jesus! To God be all the glory!

It is amazing to know that the place where the people crossed over Jordan is the same place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Today it is known as Kasser Al Yahud, the Baptismal place of Jesus, opposite Jericho. Thru baptism in Christ, the believers cross over from death to life, from a life of sin into a new life of spiritual maturity, victory, and freedom.

After 400 years in the land of bondage, the people of God led by Moses have left Egypt. This exodus was a miracle. God does another miracle of deliverance and parts the Red Sea for them to cross over. By faith, they passed thru the Red Sea as on a dry ground. The same waters came back and killed the Egyptians who were pursuing them (Heb 11:29). On the other side, they praise God for His deliverance. Moses then sends twelve spies to inspect the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb bring a good report. The other ten spies discourage the people. Because of their unbelief, God punishes them. They stay in the wilderness for forty years until all the adults die. From that unbelieving generation, only Joshua and Caleb survive. They are now at the edge of the Promised Land. Moses dies up on the mountain. Because of his disobedience, God does not allow him to enter the Promised Land. God gives the mantle of leadership for the next stage to Joshua, who was Moses’ attendant for all the forty years in the desert. Joshua is a hero of faith. He is not as ‘famous’ as Moses but he is more efficient in the things of God. He is not related to Moses. He is from a different tribe. Moses is from Levi and Joshua is from Ephraim. Joshua was mentored by Moses. He knew Moses more than any other person. He was obedient to the leadership of Moses unto the end. Clearly, Joshua has learned to obey God’s Word and to avoid the mistakes of his leader. He never complained but always trusted and obeyed God to the end of his life. Now God Himself calls Joshua to lead the people into the Promised Land and to conquer it (Joshua 1). Their dreams will become a reality. Faith must become sight! They must possess their possessions! Moses was great! Joshua is even greater! The future is better than the past. This is the hope for every child of God!


The Book of Joshua is a transition prophetic book. The man called Joshua, the son of Nun, is one of the greatest heroes of faith. God names the Book after his name to encourage him. Joshua is a great model to study. He leads God’s people to possess the Promised Land. God has given already the Land to them. They must believe His promise. Joshua leads them from a position of victory to take over the Land that becomes theirs by faith. As a solider, Joshua leads three main military campaigns defeating more than 30 enemy armies. He was more than a conqueror. In Christ we declare that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37). The word ‘conqueror’ means to gain decisive victory, to prevail mightily. The conqueror totally defeats the enemy, wins the war, and takes complete control over the people.

What was Joshua’s secret? It is the same with Joseph in the Old Testament. “So the Lord was with Joshua (Josh 6:27)”. The victorious life of Joshua, leading God’s people to conquer and possess the Promised Land is a parable of the Christian life. Christ has won everything. He has the victory. We must by faith experience the gains. Joshua is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ. His name Joshua is the same as Jesus, in Greek.

Moses was a colossus of a man. There was no man like Moses. But Moses is now dead (Deut 34:9-12). Joshua is the new leader. He is overwhelmed by the responsibility of occupying Moses’ shoes. He had many questions: ‘how can I lead these people?’ Like many of us, he was afraid of failure. How can Joshua become a successful leader? What will be the secret of good success? We must learn the lessons from Joshua!

Joshua was the son of Nun from the tribe of Ephraim. His father’s name ‘Nun’ means prosperity. His original name was Hoshea (meaning Savior, Helper). Moses changed it to Joshua (meaning God’s Helper or Savior) (Nu 13:8, 16). He was Moses’ assistant (Nu 11:28; Josh 1:1). The word ‘assistant’ means menial servant, or worshipper. Joshua was about 85 years during the cross over. He died when he was 110. The whole nation mourned this great man of God. Joshua was a slave in Egypt. He knew the meaning of suffering and oppression. Like Joseph who rose from pit to Palace, Joshua too rose from slave to savior of his nation! He was an excellent soldier for Christ. The secular army generals study how he conquered the Promised Land and divided it to his people. He was a faithful servant to Moses, a faithful spy, a great soldier, and a saint. He was filled with God’s Word and God’s Spirit (Josh 1:8; Deut 34:9).

God has already commanded Moses to appoint Joshua as the next leader of Israel. Moses brought Joshua to Eleazer the Priest and before the people. Moses laid his hands to Joshua to appoint him as his successor (Numbers 27:15-23).

Why did God choose Joshua? The first reason is this: Joshua already has a testimony as a tested man of God. He was a faithful servant to Moses. Like Moses, Joshua was born in Egypt as a slave. God gave these two babies as a gift to God’s people, but they did not know that for a long time. Moses grew in the royal palace in Egypt. Joshua grew up among the poor slaves in Egypt. They have different backgrounds. They are from different tribes. Moses is from the tribe of Levi and Joshua is from Ephraim, the son of Joseph. As a young man, Joshua remembered the exodus, the power of God demonstrated thru the plagues on the Egyptians and the Red Sea being divided. He saw the pillar of fire. He saw how manna came. Moses called him as a servant. He totally submitted to Moses. He saw how God used Moses to lead the people, how Moses was seeking God and prayed to Him. Joshua saw how God provided food and water for His people in the desert. As a child and a young man, Joshua witnessed the work of God. But there were other young people in Israel who witnessed the power of God. Why did God choose Joshua as the new leader? What was the difference? From his young age Joshua dedicated himself to serve God. He did not only ‘enjoy’ the miracles. He wanted to be used by God to do them. He wanted to experience revival. In a time of crisis, Moses called Joshua to fight the Amalekites (Ex 17). Moses prayed on the hill and Joshua fought in the valley. Moses saw that Joshua has the zeal and passion for God. Joshua has learned to fight and defeat enemies. This is a wise saying: The crisis does not make the person. It only reveals who that person is. Joshua took the things of God seriously long before Moses died. Moses went to meet with God on the mountain. Joshua followed him. He heard Moses talking to God. Moses came down and saw that the people forgot God and they made a golden calf to worship. Joshua saw the holy anger and zeal of Moses in serving God (Exodus 32). When Moses carried his tent far from the crowd, Joshua stayed there waiting on God when Moses was not there (Exodus 33). It is such people that God uses. It was the same with David and Daniel and his friends. They wanted to know God better and to serve Him. Question: Is that what you want?

Lesson: Joshua became a man of God long before he became famous. God uses people who are faithful in the background. God trains and tests them for a long time before he approves them as leaders. The way you serve God now as a young man, will determine the way God will use you as an older man. Many revivals are started by young people. Never estimate the impact of the Holy Spirit on your children as you bring them to church, and you read the Bible to them. Worship the Lord!