In a jewelers world, you can gawk at so many fine specimens. It is incredible to consider how the natural formation of gemstones and pearls is purely God’s created system at work. The pearl, for instance, is the product of irritation, pressure, and polishing. After such a process, you will find splendid beauty. The most exquisite rating system for pearls comes from Japan and they are classified as Grade AAA. They are dense, spherical, and pristine with hardly any flaw.
The Israelites are going to experience a process of irritation, pressure, and polishing until they are transformed into an invaluable work of God. The book of Joshua chronicles the struggle they endured to possess the Promised Land. In order to have “good success” God encouraged Joshua and the people with three facts. These facts would guarantee their success. First, they acted on God’s promises. The same promise God gave Moses would apply to Joshua, the successor. “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses” (Joshua 1:3). In order to advance, they needed to act in faith. Some theologians have given this book the theme “Victory by faith.” This is very important in your life. Victory is not typically achieved by inactivity. When we are aligned with God’s promises, we are moving forward according to His promises. God’s promises are not only to be comforting but commanding. You will read James’ instruction, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). For Israel, faith meant stepping into the Jordan river and watching God reign the waters back. Faith meant circling the walls of Jericho. Only feet of faith traffic the path of God’s promises.
Second, they were assured of God’s presence. Someone was once questioned why they took such a risk to work in difficult ministry. They responded, “It is never a risk when God has called you.” Every day you are plagued by many questions of “what if.” Your perspective on life leads you to prepare for the worst case scenario or celebrate the potential success. The substance of your faith is found in the presence of your God. Even today, Christian, you advance for the cause of Christ in the security of God’s unwavering presence. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Third, they were armed with God’s power. Sprinkled throughout the first several chapters of Joshua you will find several references to God fighting on behalf of the Israelites. After the spies returned from Jericho, their evaluation was “Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us” (Joshua 2:24). They had not yet crossed Jordan or set themselves in an array, but the hearts of the people melted. Clearly, God’s powerful intervention on their behalf was the harbinger of things to come.
How important is your faith? Without faith, you will never experience victory or enjoy God’s presence. God has told us how we can please Him. “Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6). What grade or quality is your faith?