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trust and obey

'Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.'

James 1:22

Joshua2 LH.jpg

chalk and charcoal on black Canson 160gsm paper

Joshua is represented as a stag because the stag symbolises strength in leadership, freedom, endurance, and God's power. Joshua trusted God's promises and was obedient to God's commands, and after enduring 40 years in the wilderness, finally led the Israelites to the Promise Land.

Instead of being filled with joy and hope for the future after God led them out of Egypt and slavery, the Israelites were constantly complaining, arguing with each other, and letting their lives be ruled by fear. When Moses sent out 12 spies to scout out the fertile land which God had promised to give them, 10 of the 12 leaders were greatly intimidated by the enemies’ fortified cities and their soldiers’ physical size and strength. The whole point of the exodus out of Egypt was for God to bring them in to the Promise Land. But now that they were there, they refused to go in! For their fear and unbelief, those Israelites were never able to enter the land ’flowing with milk and honey’. Only Caleb and Joshua believed in God’s promise and were confident that He was going to defeat Israel’s enemies for them and give them the land. 


And so, 38 years later, after that doubting generation of Israelites had died off, Caleb and Joshua were again standing at the border of the Promised Land, their faith only strengthened with time. Again God asked Joshua to do something utterly irrational: to defeat the city of Jericho by marching around the city wall six times, blowing trumpets and shouting praises to God. Because Joshua had complete confidence in God’s promises of deliverance, he fully obeyed God, even though what God had asked of him did not make political or strategic sense at all. Then, surprisingly, (or unsurprisingly perhaps), everything went exactly as God had said. The giant walls of the city fell down flat and Joshua was able to capture the city. 


Jesus said in the New Testament that "if you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Can we truly claim to trust God and His plans for our lives if we are not willing to follow through and obey what He has asked us to do? Are you, too, standing before the Promise Land, unable to enjoy His promised blessings for you because you are fearful of the challenges ahead? What are you waiting for? Let the words God spoke to Joshua encourage your hearts today,

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9).

If you would like to read more about the story of Joshua please see: 

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