Confessions of a Homemaker

Series: Born to work, by Rosie Moore.

“The necessity for work—to be a creative, productive being—is built into man: Adam was created to be a working being” (Jay Adams, A Theology of Christian Counseling).

As Christians, we believe that productive work is part of God’s design and is commanded by God (2 Thess 3:10-12Gen 1:282:15). We also know that sin has distorted and defiled work, making it hard, painful and often unfulfilling (Gen 3:17-19Eccl 2:17-29). Yes, we are born to work, but work is not an end in and of itself. More accurately, we are born to worship our Creator in and through our work.

Confessions of a homemaker.

I confess that one of the most crippling lies I have believed in my lifetime relates to work and vocation. It was a “hollow and deceptive philosophy” that captivated me, a pretension that set itself up against the knowledge of God which needed to be demolished (Col 2:6-82 Cor 10:5). Let me try to describe this lie to you as best as I can:

As a woman educated within a worldly system, I wrongly assumed that being a steward of a home is an inferior calling. For many years I allowed the pendulum of what our culture values to sway my own thoughts and feelings about my work as a wife and mother. And because of this faulty thinking, I was ambushed at odd moments by the feminist lie that a woman’s identity is built on her public persona and accomplishments, especially a salaried job outside the home.

But through Scripture, the Holy Spirit has progressively reshaped my twisted idea of work, plucking out the seeds of false guilt and futility that the enemy sowed in my heart. Paul’s instruction in Titus 2:1-5 convicted and corrected me in my sinful thinking about work as a Christian woman:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

Firstly, it’s important to debunk some myths about Titus 2:1-5: We know from examples of godly women like Lydia (a seller of purple cloth) and the industrious woman of Proverbs 31, that Paul is not saying that women should only work at home. Nor does this text imply that women have no place in the public arena or forbid us from being compensated financially for our work. Paul is not saying that Christian women should submit to all men and never contribute to church, community, or culture. These caricatures would deny the valuable contributions made by women in the early church and throughout history (Romans 16:1-15).

But Titus 2 convinced me not to despise the vocation that God Himself has chosen for me as a woman. In his divine wisdom, He has given me specific work to do. He has given me a home, a family, and other responsibilities. Since God has called me to marriage and motherhood, obedience means faithfully doing the work He has set before me. It means obeying God’s commands to “work heartily as for the Lord, not for men” (Col 3:23), even when it seems repetitive and doesn’t deliver a fixed salary.

Working heartily at home.

Many workers are disillusioned when their job doesn’t deliver the fulfilment they seek, and homemakers are no exception. But for a Christian, job satisfaction comes from glorifying God in and through our work (Eccl 5:18-20). Fulfilment and joy are byproducts of heartfelt obedience to the Lord in whatever work God has given us to do.

The Bible promises that when we pour ourselves heartily into our work, the Lord Himself will reward us in the future.

“Work heartily…knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col 3:24).

In the here and now, the Lord wants our wholehearted devotion. He commands us to work heartily, not out of a sense of duty or to earn His approval. In her practical little book titled, “How can I feel productive as a Mom?” Esther Engelsma warns women about the temptation of laziness, which produces a discontented and unproductive lifestyle. The antidote to laziness and lack of peace is to ‘work heartily, as for the Lord’.  Engelsma writes,

“The exhaustion that comes at the end of a day of hard work is a far better feeling than the tiredness at the end of a lazy day of short tasks sandwiched between long breaks on social media. It is laziness that breeds discontent, not work. And while work does not guarantee contentment, you will never be content if you don’t do the work the Lord has put in front of you. It is in obedience that you find peace.”

I have come to see that job satisfaction does not come from being productive in the world’s eyes or bringing home an impressive salary or raising well behaved kids, but from glorifying God and growing in godliness in and through my work at home. My work as a homemaker is my worship, an apt response to Christ’s work on the cross for me.

Glorifying God at home.

The first reason why work is inherently valuable is that it glorifies God. According to Titus 2, it glorifies God when women learn to be kind, pure and loving at home; content and grateful in their work, instead of believing that it is beneath them. It honours God when wives gladly follow their husbands’ leadership and team up with other women to share a Christian vision for their homes, helping each other live out this vision in practice.

It pleases the Lord when older women, who have experienced the joys and challenges of homemaking, walk alongside younger women, offering godly encouragement, advice and prayers. This mentoring work is no less valuable than Adam tending the garden of Eden, or an architect designing a magnificent building, or a surgeon performing a heart operation. No person is more aptly suited to perform this role than an older woman who has walked with the Lord through the ups and downs of life.

Titus 2:1-5 assures women that even if our culture does not affirm the significance of work within our homes, God sees and values the small moments of life. If Jesus “emptied himself” by taking upon Him the form of a servant (Phil 2:7), women imitate and glorify Christ when we pour out our energy, time, and abilities for those He calls us to influence at home.

The Lord is pleased when you show little ones the beauty of His world and the wonder of the gospel. He is glorified when you love your work, use your time and resources well, and bring order and harmony to your home.

Growing in godliness at home.

The second reason why our work at home is inherently valuable is that it is designed to sanctify us day by day, year by year. We often forget this overarching purpose of our lives as believers. The Lord is always working all things for our good. And our ‘good’ is not a salary, nor praise, nor kids that make us look like good parents. Rather, our ‘good’ is that we are conformed to the image of Jesus, by the Spirit’s power (Rom 8:28-29). That means that God will infuse into our work exactly what is needed for our growth in godly character and faith.

And so, if you are a young Christian wife with children, this means that the Lord Jesus hears every word you speak to your husband and children. He plans the fights you must mediate; the disappointments and failures you must respond to; the moments you come face to face with your own pride. He is working with you, and in you, as you prepare meals, drive the kids to school and sit beside the sport’s field.

Christ watches over you as you shepherd young hearts to help them grow in their relationship with Him. He knows every sin you need to confess and forsake, every painful step to discipline a wayward child, or break sinful patterns of the past. He wants you to learn to trust Him increasingly through this long and unpredictable job of building a home and family.

Your work is not to tick off boxes with your children, but to show them Jesus, so that when the Holy Spirit works in their lives, they are ready to believe. And in those seasons when you wonder if you have what it takes to be successful, be sure that you don’t have what it takes! But Jesus does. You need daily time in the Word to renew your mind; daily time in prayer to guard your heart; and intimate communion with God’s people to strengthen you with wisdom, hope, and love. You need Christ’s grace to grow in godliness and find your identity in Him alone, especially in trying circumstances.

Women at work.

Christian women of all ages and stages are called to faithful and fruitful work. God intends us to use our time well, to be enthusiastic, diligent workers who are a blessing to others. We see the nature of this work in the noble woman of Proverbs 31:

“Her husband has full confidence in her

And lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm…

She sets about her work vigorously;

Her arms are strong for her tasks…

She watches over the affairs of her household

And does not eat the bread of idleness” (Prov 31:11-121727).

This doesn’t mean that we should neglect other important aspects of our lives, such as caring for the poor (Prov 31:20), visiting the sick, and reaching out to those who don’t know Christ, but the most important work a woman can do is to love and serve those whom God has entrusted to our care. This ‘home work’ is God’s work.

I am now on the other spectrum of homemaking. As an empty nester, Titus 2 reminds me that “teaching what is good and training the young women to be godly in their own homes” is fruitful work in God’s eyes (Titus 2:4-5). The work of motherhood and homemaking must be learned from someone, and the world is a terrible tutor. At 82, my own mother continues to empty herself in service to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She has always been a blessing and a mentor, and today “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also” (Prov 31:28).

Although we may never receive tangible rewards for homemaking, the Lord is writing the small, everyday work women do at home into His great story of redemption, for his glory and our good. Like every other worker, we are participating in God’s creation mandate (Gen 1:28). It is a great work from which we must not be distracted (Nehemiah 6:3), as stewardship of homes and families lies at the heart, not the periphery, of God’s mission in his world.

To the extent that I have embraced this truth about my work, I have found joy and purpose as a steward of my home. It has been a privilege to be entrusted with the nurturing of family, to create a warm haven for my husband and four children, plus the wonderful son and daughter we recently acquired through marriage. I want my home to always be a place where outsiders feel welcomed and I am thankful to be involved in the lives of young adults who will, God willing, become stewards of their own homes one day.

Nancy Wolgemuth concludes, “The heart for honouring Christ in and through our homes may express itself in different ways and may require more or less time and effort, depending on our season of life. But whether young or old, married or single, whether we own or rent our home or share an apartment or dorm room, the place we call “home” provides an opportunity to magnify Christ and bless others”.

Preview of the next few weeks….

I have shared this anecdote about my own faulty relationship with work to illustrate one of the many lies that a Christian may believe about work. Work is a good gift from God, but because of the curse it also presents many frustrations, pitfalls and temptations to sin (Gen 3:17-19).

Join us in the next few weeks as we explore various Scriptures to understand work as a valuable part of God’s design for human beings.

Sources and further reading:

  • Esther Engelsma, How I can feel productive as a Mom? Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free. Moody Publishers, 2001.
  • Rachel Jankovic, You Who? Why you matter and how to deal with it. 
  • Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth– Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity.
  • Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Shepherd Press, 1995.

Joshua’s farewell.

Series: Joshua, By Rosie Moore.

As an old man, Joshua gave the leader’s of Israel final words of encouragement, instruction and warning. After twenty chapters describing Canaan’s conquest, there is something very poignant about Joshua’s farewell just before his death at a hundred-and-ten years old.

It marked the end of an era of eye-witnesses who had experienced God’s redemption from Egypt; his loving care in the wilderness, and the supernatural conquest of Jericho and the Promised Land. From then on, Israel would need to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Joshua’s godly leadership is implied in Joshua 24:31:

“Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel”.

For a leader, there can be no greater legacy. Joshua was a living example of the key message in his farewell: “Hold fast to the Lord your God” (Josh 23:8). “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15b).

When Joshua bade the Israelites farewell, he knew the nation’s weak spots. These are the same weak spots of God’s people in every generation, as relevant today as they were then. Please read Joshua 23 and 24 on your own as we look at three timeless applications.

  1. To God be the glory!

Consider how easy it would have been for Joshua to have focused on his impressive military career and shared anecdotes of his great battle victories. Leaders usually crave the adulation of adoring crowds.

But Joshua deflects all credit to the Lord, reminding the people that His power and faithfulness secured their inheritance. Lest they become proud and self-sufficient, Joshua confirms their utter dependence on the Lord to fight for them in the future. Repeatedly, Joshua rightly ascribes all glory to Him.

“And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the Lord your God who has fought for you. Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. The Lord your God will push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you. …

“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good thing that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14).

As people who have put our faith in Jesus, the greater Joshua, can we ever rightly accuse God of being unfaithful to us? Can you think of a single promise addressed to his people, which has not been fulfilled in the person and work of Christ?

It is in the Lord Jesus that God affirms all His covenant promises and blessings (Eph 1:3). Without Christ, we cannot claim any of God’s promises or spiritual inheritance as our own. Paul describes Jesus as the ultimate promise keeper:

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Cor 1:20).

And so, it is the privilege of every believer, and every Christian leader, to point people to the unmatched glory of Jesus, who came to redeem humanity by his life, death, resurrection and ascension. It is our duty and joy to make Him great and ourselves small. Only Jesus could serve the Lord fully and faithfully, which none of us can do (Josh 24:19-20).

Joshua makes an unequivocal statement to Israel, “And you shall possess the land, just as the Lord your God promised you!” (Josh 23:5). There is a note of victory and inevitability in this promise to Israel.

Likewise, believers today can have perfect assurance that we will inherit the new heavens and new earth if we trust in Jesus. It is our Promised Land and the heavenly country that God has promised us, “a city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb 11:14-1610).

We have full confidence in our strong and courageous leader, who was obedient in our place, earned our righteousness and paid our penalty. And we have daily encouragement from His Spirit, who seals our inheritance, indwells us, and empowers us to live a holy life of obedience.

Joshua’s final words remind us to remain fully dependent on Christ and never take credit for our blessings or accomplishments. “So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant” (Joshua 23:13).

  1. Submit to Scripture.

Joshua urges the people to be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left” (Josh 23:6-9).

This is the mirror image of God’s instruction to Joshua at his own commission as leader.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:7-8).

Obeying God’s Word has never been for the fainthearted, but it has always been the key to our distinctiveness and success as God’s people. Because all Scripture is God-breathed, it carries the full weight of God speaking. This means that if we disbelieve or disobey Scripture, we disobey God Himself and will never prosper. Keeping God’s Word is serious business.

Moreover, all God’s Word is important, not just the bits we like or the doctrines that harmonise with our culture’s beliefs. Turning to the left or the right may lead us into legalism or licentiousness, and Satan loves these two extremes.

As Christians, we have much more of God’s Word than the Law that Joshua had. We have the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament to instruct, convict, correct and train us in righteousness (1 Tim 3:14-17). In the Scriptures, we have everything needed to lead us to salvation and equip us for every good work in this world.

But how often are we tempted to dilute the Bible, to change or soften the message because people don’t like it, or it’s hard to obey?

Maybe it’s a parenting situation. The Bible tells you what the Lord wants you to do with your children, but it feels too difficult. Maybe it’s a difficult relationship or dishonest transaction. Maybe it’s hard to give when finances are tight. Maybe it’s the biblical command not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever, but you’re desperate to get married or close that business deal. Maybe it’s Christ’s command to forgive someone who mistreated you.

Maybe it’s standing on the Bible’s definition of sin, as some Church of England pastors in the UK have done, rather than submit to the world’s warped gender ideology which has swept through their denomination. Whatever our struggle, we will be tempted to ignore, dilute or pick and choose what we want to focus on in the Bible. But Joshua’s word to us today is an encouragement and a warning:

Don’t exchange truth for lies. Don’t say what the world wants you to say, or do what they want you to do, so they will like you better. Don’t second-guess, cherry-pick or explain away the Bible. God has given us the Bible as his Word to us. Be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in it. 

The more I study the Bible, the more confidence I have in Scripture and the preaching of the Word as the means through which God works to change lives. There is no way that a person can know God apart from the Bible, because it reveals truths like our sinful nature, Christ’s work of redemption, and how to be reconciled with God through faith in Christ.

It also teaches us how to live wisely in God’s world as God intended. That’s why keeping God’s Word is the only way that we will flourish as his people.

Joshua’s words urge Christians to read the whole Bible for ourselves; meditate on it, memorise it and speak it out loud; use it to counsel ourselves and others who are struggling. Most of all, we must prove ourselves doers of the Word, not merely hearers who delude ourselves (Josh 1:8James 1:22-25).

In our times, there is an urgent need for Christians to confirm the Bible as our ultimate authority. This will require courage and strength as social and political pressures mount. Like Israel, we will be tempted to make peace with the enemy.

  1. Don’t make peace with the enemy!

But compromise led to catastrophe for God’s people. Joshua instructed the people to remain holy and distinct from the pagan nations around them, especially regarding intermarriage and worship of their gods:

 “…that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, but you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day….

11 Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God. 12 For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, 13 know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the Lord your God has given you (Josh 23:7-911-13).

Seeds of compromise were sown throughout the book of Joshua wherever Israel failed to fully dislodge the Canaanites, as God instructed. Out of fear, Israel chose to make peace with the pagan nations and assimilate with their culture and religions (Josh 15:6316:1017:11-13Josh 17:16). To borrow Paul’s language, God’s people became “unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Cor 6:14).

Compromise led to the devastation that Joshua warned about. Israel lost the good land and blessings that God had given them, and the book of Judges is a terrible record of what happened to future generations:

“And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. 13 They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. 14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies (Josh 2:10-14).

As Christians, we are not called to evict or destroy anybody, but we are still called to be holy and to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world and its values (James 1:27). Paul says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph 5:11)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon echoed the warnings of Joshua when he spoke to Christians in the 19th century about compromise. Perhaps his words are relevant to the church today.

“I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.”


Heavenly Father, may I not love the world or the things in the world. If I love the world, your love is not in me. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of you but of the world. Help me to see that the world and its lusts are passing away, but the one who does your will abides forever (1 John 2:15-17). Lord, give me courage to obey Scripture even when it’s hard, and your grace to be holy and distinct from the world. In Jesus name, Amen.

Join us next week for our final devotion in Joshua, “As for me and my household…”

Four ways that Joshua foreshadows Jesus

Series: Joshua, By Rosie Moore

Nancy Guthrie describes how Joshua foreshadowed Jesus: “In this man Joshua, who bore his name centuries before him, Jesus saw the shape his own life would take, how he would lead his people into the rest that God had promised to provide, and how he will one day come again to bring judgment on all those who persist in living out their wickedness in God’s land. Here, in the book of Joshua, we see the deliverance Jesus accomplished in shadow form.

Yet when Jesus came the first time, he did not accomplish his great work of deliverance by brandishing the sword of God’s judgment. “He was pierced for our transgressions” (Isa 53:5). The sword of God’s wrath against sin was turned against Christ in order to reconcile to God those who were his enemies. Because Christ was pierced by the sword of God’s justice, we can be sure that the sword of the Lord will never be turned against us but is always for us. And “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) ( From The Son of David—Seeing Jesus in the historical books.)

The book of Joshua has many chapters devoted to battles and swords. From chapter 6 onwards, we read of how Joshua attacked the centre of the Promised Land, the southern kings and the northern kings. It’s a long description of the conquest and allocation of the land of Canaan for the tribes of Israel, set against the backdrop of the detestable Canaanite practices. In the final chapters, we read Joshua’s moving farewell to the leaders and his renewal of the covenant, urging them to continue to follow the Lord and worship him alone (Joshua 23-24).

Today we will put on a pair of bifocals to view the person and work of Jesus through the book of Joshua.

“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Josh 5:13-15)

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. (Josh 6:2)

Here are four of the ways that Joshua points us to the greater Joshua— Jesus Christ.

  1. Yahweh saves!

A name can speak a thousand words, and “Joshua” is the Hebrew version of the name translated as “Jesus” in Greek. It means “Yahweh saves.” Moses gave Joshua his Hebrew name” (Num 13:16).

Indeed, Joshua was a brave leader with faith, obedience and confidence in God’s word. The Lord used Joshua to defeat his enemies and lead God’s people into their own land, but it was clearly the Lord who delivered their enemies into Israel’s hands.

I love the description of Joshua, son of Nun, as a young man, in Exodus 22:11. He had always had great awe and love for God, lingering in the tent of meeting in the Lord’s presence after Moses had left. Out of the 12 spies who were sent to spy out the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb had come back with an encouraging, faith-filled report. Joshua had been Moses’ constant shadow and had learned to lead God’s people well.

Joshua is a great example for all leaders. But still, Joshua was a mere man and the instrument of Yahweh’s salvation. Salvation belongs to the Lord, not a human leader.

Fourteen centuries later, Matthew records God instructing Joseph to give his son the name Jesus, because “He will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Joshua and Jesus both mean ‘saviour’, but the ultimate Saviour came in the person of Jesus Christ.

It still blows my mind that in real time and space, Jesus came into our world and won an even greater victory than the conquest of Jericho, to provide an even greater inheritance than the earthly kingdom of Canaan. Jesus secured a Kingdom that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for God’s people (1 Peter 1:3-52 Peter 3:13).

What a Saviour! Of course, this statement has awesome implications, but it rolls off the tongue far too easily. If the word “Saviour” with a capital S doesn’t strike us with awe, perhaps we don’t understand or remember our total depravity and estrangement from God, apart from His salvation. Let’s refresh our memories on why we need to be saved, not just improved or helped:

All unredeemed people are “dead in…trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). We walked in worldliness and disobedience (Eph 2:2) before Christ’s word was implanted in our hearts. Without God’s salvation through Jesus, we “lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath” (Eph 2:3).

We were “separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12). There was a heavy sentence of death hanging over our lives.

Before our salvation, there was no fear of God in our hearts and we were God’s enemies, “alienated and hostile in mind”, tainted by sin in every part of ourselves (Rom 3:185:810.) The Bible’s verdict is universal and without exception: “There is none righteous, not even one…None who understands…none who seeks God…There is none who does good…not even one” (Rom 3:10-17).

In fact, our status before God was no better than the wicked Canaanites’, unable to save ourselves or even make ourselves worthy of God’s salvation. God’s judgment is deserved and his rescue isn’t, but still he offers to save us, because he is the God who “justifies the wicked” (Rom 4:5).

Joshua points us to the infinitely greater Saviour of the world. Whew, it’s important to remind ourselves of who we were before Christ found us, because only then will we exult the Saviour instead of ourselves and will treasure His saving grace. Only then will we long for the salvation of those who don’t know Him and actively work towards it. Let’s never again be blasé when we say that the Lord Jesus is our Saviour.

  1. The Creator of the universe charged Joshua to lead his people into Canaan and to reclaim it for God, promising to be with him (Josh 1:2, 5).

Joshua points us to the infinitely greater restorer, Jesus Christ, who reclaims the whole world as the Lord’s and promises to give God’s people a home in the new heavens and new earth. Through His miracles, Jesus showed that the whole earth, not just Israel, is under His rule and reign.  That should make us rejoice, even if the climate activists put us all in a panic!

And at the end of His mission on earth, Jesus, to whom all authority has been given in heaven and on earth, told his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, reclaiming  sinful people for God, and promising to be with them always, even to the end of the age (Matt 28:18-20).

Just as Joshua brought the people to a place of rest (Josh 21:44), Jesus gives His people rest. He frees us from the burdens of our sin, guilt and inadequacy. From the hamster wheel of virtue-signalling and people-pleasing to make ourselves worthy. From fear and meaningless toil.

Even though our final rest is still ahead of us, the rest that Jesus promises now is spiritual healing, wholeness and peace with God, the blessings of God’s presence and favour. Our spiritual inheritance is infinitely more wonderful than any earthly legacy the Israelites received in Canaan (Josh 24:28). It is a home worth living for, and a home worth dying for. The battleground at Jericho became the cross at Calvary, the place where Jesus secured eternal rest for His people.

Let’s praise the Lord Jesus for the rest He has won for us, and given us, and is bringing us to.

“For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Heb 4:8-9).

  1. Joshua led the Israelites to victory against the Canaanite nations.

Joshua brought divine judgment upon the Canaanites who had persisted in wickedness for four hundred years (Gen 15:16). In fact, God was patient in dealing with the Canaanite nations, waiting until they reached a point of no return.

It’s important to understand that the people of Canaan were not morally neutral. They were set in rebellion against God and His ways. They had chosen to live in God’s world in defiance of Him, merciless, practising adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, child sacrifice, witchcraft, divination and the worship of false gods for centuries (Lev 18:320-28).

But Joshua, led by the commander of the Lord’s army, decisively destroyed the enemies of God (Josh 5:13-15). It was not gratuitous violence or imperialism on Israel’s part, but God’s divine retribution and fair judgment on the nations of Canaan. In Joshua 10, we read about the day when the kings in Canaan became a footstool for the Israelites’ feet, a symbol of complete defeat (Josh 10:24).

The conquest of Canaan foreshadowed the judgment that Jesus would take for God’s people on the cross, as well as his triumph over sin, death and Satan. Paul explains that “the record of debt that stood against us he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Col 2:14-15.)

How freeing to know that when Christ died for our sins, He disarmed Satan and triumphed over evil! And because our perfect Saviour took the full measure of God’s wrath for our sins, if our own sins are forgiven, we can now stand victorious against the Enemy by faith alone.

  1. Joshua persevered in taking the land.

Even though it was clearly the Lord who gave them victory, Joshua and the people of God had to persevere in battle to take possession of all that God had given them (Josh 11:1813:1). They were not passive spectators in the conquest. Similarly, believers today are still onward Christian soldiers, called to obey God courageously as we travel towards our final resting place. But in our day, as the people of God, we don’t take up arms to subdue our enemies. Rather, we recognize the true Enemy that we must fight– the demonic forces that hold the world in captivity to sin. We see evidence of these powers all around us, even in our hearts.

As Paul explains, this is not a one-day battle against flesh and blood, but a fearsome spiritual war waged against God’s people since the garden of Eden (Eph 6:12Rev 12:17Gen 3:15). The Enemy is real, and he seeks to deceive and destroy us, so we need to be alert and watchful, resisting him (James 4:71 Peter 5:8-9). Victory against evil isn’t overnight. We need to persevere in battle to take possession of all that Christ has already won for us (Phil 3:12-14). There are no bystanders in this war against the Enemy, described in the Bible as a cunning serpent, ferocious lion and furious dragon who knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12-17) .

Today, our offensive weapons are prayer and preaching the gospel to ourselves and those around us. We fight the Enemy by believing and speaking the truth, as defined in God’s Word. By upholding righteousness. By steadfastly trusting God. By living like people who have been delivered from serving Satan. By understanding and applying God’s word to our lives. And by praying at all times in the Spirit, for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters going through the same kinds of struggles (Eph 2:2-36:10-18).

The book of Joshua teaches us that partial obedience and incomplete conquest will always lead to trouble down the road (Josh 13:1315:6316:1017:12-13). We will never properly subdue the Enemy if we are flirting with him, even if he makes some compelling arguments about what is true and good. He is pure evil, a thief, a murderer and a liar.

The climax of this great spiritual war is revealed to us in Revelation. This time, the Saviour will not be gentle and lowly, seated on a donkey. He will be on a white horse, coming with angel armies in judgment against all the enemies of God. The conquest of Canaan is a sober picture of a future day when all people will face a final and fair judgment at God’s hands. This is why we desperately need to repent and turn to Christ as our own Saviour.

“The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty (Rev 19:14-15).


Lord, thank you for caring enough for your world that you judge and destroy those who ruin it. We acknowledge that our own society is careering dangerously close to the wickedness of the Canaanites, but we know that without Christ, we too would choose to live in your world in defiance of you. Thank you for caring enough for your people to provide a way of salvation through your Son. Thank you that anybody who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. And thank you that you are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. The foes of the righteous will be condemned, because you redeem your servants, and no one will be condemned who takes refuge in you. Amen. (Ps 35:17-22).

Join us next week as we look at Joshua’s parting words to the leaders of Israel. “Joshua’s farewell.”