“Step Out” [Risky Faith]
Texts: Joshua 1:1-11
April 28/29, 2012
Pastor Matt Erickson
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Step Out with God’s Call
- Joshua called to follow Moses (vss 1-2)
- Joshua called to lead the people into Canaan (vss 2, 6)
- Joshua called to walk in the way of God’s law (vss 7-8)
Step Out with God’s Promises
- The promise of provision (vss 2-6)
- The promise of success (vs 8)
- The promise of presence (vs 9)
Step Out with Deliberate Action
- Calling others to action (vs 10)
- Preparing for action (vs 11)
- Moving into action (rest of the story)
- When you hear the word ‘risk’ what I your immediate response? Why?
- This weekend we are launching into a new series entitled “Risky Faith.” This week we will look at the life of Joshua, particularly the beginning of his time as the leader of God’s people in Joshua 1:1-11. Read that portion of Scripture out loud. (You may also want to read Deuteronomy 34:1-12 to give you further background.)
- What promises does God offer to Joshua in these first few verses?
- The promise of God that Canaan would be given to the new people of Israel goes all the way back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You can read God’s promises to these people here: Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21), Isaac (Genesis 26:1-6), Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22), and Moses (Deuteronomy 34:4). What do you think the significance of this history of promise might be?
- Verse 4 gives us a picture of the extent of the land into which Joshua was leading the people. You may want to consult a study Bible or Bible atlas to get a sense of the extent of this endeavor.
- What requests or commands does God make of Joshua in these first few verses?
- What do you think it might have felt like to stand in Joshua’s shoes at this pivotal moment for him and God’s people?
- What did Joshua do in response to God’s promises and call to action (verses 10-11)?
- There is a strong connection between the promises and call to action for Joshua and that of the disciples after Jesus resurrection (see Matthew 28:18-20). How might the experience of the first followers of Jesus have been similar to or different from that of Joshua?
- Name one specific way that God is speaking to you about living into His promises and call to action with a risky faith this week. Write it down, reflect on it, and put it into practice this week. If you are in a small group, discuss this with one another.
Next week we will look at the story of Hannah from 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11. Let God prepare you for next week by reading it ahead of time.