The Book of Joshua gives us many examples of faith beginning with Joshua himself who was truly a man of faith. His faith was an anchor for the children of Israel as they followed him just as they had followed Moses. Joshua’s faith is unwavering as seen in the 7 Examples of Faith in Joshua’s Life.
Who is Joshua in the Bible?
Joshua was an Israelite, born while the nation was held captive in Egypt. His name at birth was Hoshea. However, when Moses became his mentor, Moses changed his name to Joshua (Yeshua) which means “the Lord is salvation.” When Moses first sent spies into the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb returned with a positive message and they were the only two of this group who entered the Promised Land 40 years later.
Joshua is a type of Christ. “Notice that the name Yehoshua (i.e., Joshua) and Yeshua (i.e., Jesus) come from the same root (i.e., yasha: ישה) meaning “salvation” or deliverance (in the Greek LXX, Joshua is spelled Ἰησοῦς, the same spelling for Jesus in the New Testament. Indeed, in the book of Nehemiah, Yehoshua (Joshua) is explicitly called Yeshua (ישה), the name often transliterated as “Jesus” (Nehemiah 8:17).” Hebrew for Christians
Here are some of the similarities between Joshua and Jesus:
- Both were descendants of Joseph.
- Both were commanders of the Lord’s army.
- Both were humble, of perfect moral character, and true servants filled with the Holy Spirit.
- They loved God’s house and were faith leaders of Israel.
- Both led the people of God to the Promised Land fighting for the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Both accomplished the salvation of the people of God, something no one else had been able to do.
There are other similarities but these summarize the most widely known. Joshua was the leader who brought the nation of Israel into the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham – to have a land for themselves – a Promised Land. Of course, we have the same promise, fulfilled by Jesus who opened the way for us to enter heaven – the Promised Land.
Early Life of Joshua
While we know little of his personal life, we see him as a faithful and obedient servant and a man with a fierce, uncompromising faith in His God. He is the son of Nun, a descendant of Ephraim. We know that nothing kept him from being a servant to God and man. Of course, he made mistakes like all of us but Joshua stands out as a humble, steady, reliable, brave, intelligent, and strong leader. In fact, he was one of the greatest generals of all time, leading his army to victory after victory.
7 Examples of Faith in Joshua’s Life
1. Joshua’s Faith
Moses is the one who appointed Joshua as the next leader of the nation of Israel. However, Deuteronomy 31:23 says, “Then, He (God) inaugurated Joshua the son of Nun, and said, ‘Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you.'” God publicly appointed Joshua as the new leader of Israel when he was about 68-70 years old.
For his entire life, Joshua was a man of faith as we see in Deuteronomy and the Book of Joshua. He didn’t question Moses and he didn’t question God. He had seen the behavior of the children of Israel in the Desert and still agreed to become their leader when Moses died. The people had disobeyed, complained, and berated Moses. But Joshua’s faith was in his God, not the people and he accepted God’s appointment.
2. Obedience Born of Faith
Joshua obeyed when Moses told him to gather some men and go attack the Amalekites. Exodus 17:10 says, “So Joshua did as Moses said to him.” When God repeatedly told Joshua to be strong and very courageous, Joshua obeyed because he had faith that God would be with him.
As Moses is preparing the Israelites and Joshua to go into the Promised Land, he says this, “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 not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deut. 31:7-8 NKJV. Joshua had faith and obeyed.
Joshua obeyed God’s instructions to take down the walls of Jericho. Throughout the book of Joshua, we see his obedience. He exhorted the Reubenites by saying, “But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord you God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5 NKJV
At the end of his life, he reaffirms his faith and obedience. “Now, therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 NKJV
3. Knowing God’s Voice
We first see Joshua’s devotion to God with Moses in the tabernacle. Exodus 33:11, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Joshua wanted to be near God. He might have even heard God’s voice as He talked with Moses.
After Israel had entered the Promised Land, Joshua had an encounter with the Commander of the Lord’s army – an encounter with God Himself. He knew it was God because He knew the voice of God. He recognized the voice as the Commander told him who He was and why He had come. Again and again, we see God speaking to Joshua. Joshua absolutely knew the voice of God from the voice of man.
4. Speaking By Faith
Joshua 10:12-14 makes an amazing statement about Joshua.
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day whent the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies.
Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of the heavens, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
God did what Joshua spoke! That is faith in action. Joshua spoke directly to God and the people making a huge statement of faith. This truly was faith in action. He didn’t just think about maybe asking God. He believed that God was with him and for him and the people of Israel. He put that faith into action.
5. Refusing to Compromise
When a man named Achan disobeyed God’s command, the Israelites were defeated in the battle for Ai. Joshua tore his clothes, fell before God’s altar, and put dust on his head. He cried out to God asking why this had happened. God told Joshua of Achan’s sin. In the end, Achan and his entire family were stoned to death and burned along with all their belongings.
To us, this may sound very archaic and horrible. However, we need to understand that God had given a direct command, Achan had knowingly violated it, and there could be no compromise. This natural lesson is a spiritual lesson for us.
For it is written:
The first man, Adam, became a living soul.
The last Adam became the life-giving Spirit. However, the spiritual didn’t come first. The natural precedes the spiritual.
When we compromise our faith and break God’s commandments, there must be true repentance and cleansing of sin. If we make excuses and room for compromise, it is like poison flowing through our lives. We must refuse to compromise and be willing to put to death the part of our flesh that wants to sin. For us, that complete cleansing comes by faith in Jesus and the work of His cleansing blood.
6. Faith in Action
Rahab was a harlot – a prostitute – who lived in Jericho. When Joshua sent spies into Jericho, they stayed at Rahab’s house. Rahab and all the people in the land had already heard about the Israelites and their God. What they heard, instilled fear in them along with a realization that this God was different than theirs and far more powerful.
The King of Jericho heard about the two men who had stayed with Rahab and asked Rahab to tell him where they went. She didn’t. Instead, she hid and protected them. She told the spies where to go and, in turn, they told her how to protect herself and her entire family when their army came to take the city. Rahab lived on the wall of the city – the same wall that would fall without a man ever touching it.
Rahab did as the men instructed. She had faith in their God and in them. She put her faith into action by bringing her family to her home and placing the scarlet cord in the window as they had told her to do (Joshua 2:21; 6:22-25). At Joshua’s command, Rahab and her family were rescued and then became Israelites!
Rahab’s faith was put into action. James said that “faith without works is dead.” We aren’t saved by works, we are saved by faith. But faith that has no action in our lives is dead. Faith isn’t just words – it is a living force moving through our lives, actions, words, thoughts, heart, mind, and soul. Rahab’s faith naturally resulted in acts of faith.Rahab's faith was put into action. James said that "faith without works is dead." We aren't saved by works, we are saved by faith. But faith that has no action in our lives is dead. Faith isn't just words – it is a living force… Click To Tweet
7. Faith Inspires
Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.
As you read through the Old Testament, this verse might seem unimportant and not very impressive. However, as you read, you will also see that Israel tended to regularly stray from their worship of the One true God. Think about the golden calf they built while Moses was up on the mountain talking to God. Over and over, they strayed and sinned, repented, and were forgiven.
To see a statement that they served the Lord (Yahweh) throughout the entire life of one leader is astounding! Joshua inspired faith through his own example of unwavering faith in the one true God. The young man who would not leave the temple did not change.
The verse doesn’t say they served the Lord perfectly. Even when some of the people did stray during Joshua’s life, as is seen in Joshua 24:23, the majority remained faithful to Yahweh. They were an imperfect nation (like us!).
Inspire means – to spur on, to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration. It originally meant “to breathe or blow into or upon,” and “to infuse (something, such as life) by breathing; to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural influence or action.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Joshua’s influence on the nation of Israel was to continually spur them on, move and guide them through supernatural influence! The Holy Spirit lived inside Joshua (the Spirit of Wisdom Deuteronomy 34:9) and God was with him all the days of his life. His words, actions, and example brought inspiration to the nation of Israel, spurring them to remain faithful and to repent when they strayed.
7 Examples of Faith
We too can be examples of faith in our world. We may not be leading a nation, but we are leaders in our families, with our friends, at work, in our neighborhood, in our interactions with strangers, at church, at the gym, and everywhere we go. How? By living these 7 principles of faith.
- Unwavering Faith in Jesus
- Obedient Faith
- Knowing God’s Voice
- Speaking by Faith
- Refusing to Compromise
- Actions of Faith
- Inspiring Others
Remember – it’s the little things that might turn out to be the greatest inspiration to others. Just obey when the Holy Spirit reminds you to pray for someone. Refuse to compromise in even little things. Speaking your faith can be sharing your testimony. Inspire others through your own unwavering love for your Savior.
Jesus said that if we are faithful in the small things, we can be trusted with greater things (Luke 16:10). He also said that His commandment to us was to love others as He loves us (John 13:30). You may not think anyone sees your example of faithful service to the King of Kings but, God sees. Little eyes see as well. People you may never meet see. People who may never tell you that they see also see and know and are inspired.
Inspiration, Encouragement, Imagination, and Enthusiasm – part of a life of faith.
Inspiration = to spur on, to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration. It originally meant “to breathe or blow into or upon,” and “to infuse (something, such as life) by breathing; to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural influence or action.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Inspiration For Life Today.
Encouragement – To encourage is to breathe the breath of God into someone imparting courage, spirit, or hope! Here is the origin of encourage: early 15c., from Old French encoragier “make strong, hearten,” from en- “make, put in” (see en- (1)) + corage “courage, heart” (see courage). Encouragement makes or ‘puts in’ strength and courage or, heart. You are putting your heart and God’s into someone else. What Is Encouragement?
Imagination – Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says, “ the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality.” It also means resourcefulness and inventiveness. Think of Joshua seeing a picture in his mind of the sun standing still! God’s Gift of Creative Imagination.
Enthusiasm – “Enthusiasm entered the English language around the beginning of the 17th century. It was borrowed from the Greek enthousiasmos, meaning “inspiration or possession by a god.” For the first two hundred or so years that it was used in English, enthusiasm was primarily employed to refer to beliefs or passions that related to religion. By the beginning of the 18th century, however, the word began to be used to describe having strong feelings or interest in secular matters.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. How to Be An Enthusiastic Person.
These 4 words are the foundation of Inspiration For Life Today because I believe they are so important to each one of us. Joshua’s example of faith also embodied inspiration, encouragement, imagination, and enthusiasm. Let your own life include them as well!
Inspiration For Life Today uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.