Claiming Your Canaan Series #4
ARE YOU READY TO CONQUER YOUR CANAAN?
Intro: Verse 1 tells us that the heathen nations in
Canaan saw the powerful manner in which the Lord
brought His children through the Jordan and that they were totally demoralized by these events. It would
seem that they were absolutely resigned to their fate.
It would appear that this would be the perfect time for
Joshua to lead the people forward into the attack.
However, instead of commanding His people to go
forward into the battle, God commands them to remain
at Gilgal and to do several things that, on the surface,
appear very strange. It even appears that the things
they are required to do puts them at risk before their
While the ways of the Lord may appear strange to
you and me, let me remind you that the ways of the
Lord are not our ways, Isa. 55:8-9. You see, God never
gets in a hurry! He has the liberty to take His time and
do things on His schedule. While the things that
happen in this chapter appear strange against the
backdrop of impending battle, the truth of the matter is
God is simply preparing His army to fight. He has them
do some things that may appear odd when preparing
for the battle, but may I remind you that God's people
are engaged in battles that go far deeper than the
physical realm? In fact, before the battle ever begins in
the physical realm, it had already begun in the spiritual
realm. God's battle are spiritual battles. If we expect to
fight in these battles and do well, then we must make
the right kind of spiritual preparations, 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
That is what the Lord is doing right here in the life of His
people Israel. It is also what He wants to do in your life
and mine this morning.
You see, we all have battle to fight, and if we expect
to overcome and achieve the victory, then we must
learn to make the right kind of spiritual preparations.
Israel appeared ready for the battle. They
possessed a large army and they faced an enemy that
was terrified at their presence. However, God knew
that they would never be ready to fight and win the
battle until the proper spiritual preparations had been
made. That is what this passage is all about. The
lessons taught here can help us this morning.
Let me ask you a question. Are you ready to
conquer your Canaan? The answer? Only if you are
willing to make the right spiritual preparations. Let's
take a few minutes this morning to consider the steps
that Israel was commanded to take before they could
conquer their Canaan. As we do, ask yourself whether
or not these things have been taken care of in your life.
Because, until they are, you will never be able to
conquer your Canaan. Are you ready to conquer your
Canaan? Let's find out this morning.
I. V. 2-7 RENEWING THEIR COVENANT WITH THE LORD
A. The first command the Lord gives to Israel is that
all the man are to be circumcised. It would
seems that all the men who came out of Egypt
were circumcised according to the demands of
the Abrahamic covenant. However, those men
who were born during the 40 years of wilderness
wandering had not been circumcised. The fact of
the matter is this, during the 40 years of their
wilderness wandering, the rebellious generation
that was dying off were no longer a covenant
people. Now, before these men can claim their
Canaan, they must be circumcised. They must
renew the covenant with the Lord if they wanted
His blessings on them and if they wanted to be
guaranteed the victory.
B. The lesson for us is simply this, just as Israel was
required to remove from their bodies a piece of
flesh as a sign that they were a part of the
covenant, so too, we must remove from our lives
anything that stands between us and total
surrender to the Lord. The Bible is clear that
there are times when you and I must engage in
spiritual surgery in our lives. (Ill. Col. 3:1-17; 2
C. To the Jew, circumcision was a reminder that
they were a "marked people." They were to
never forget that they were the servants of the
living God and that they were under obligation to
obey Him in all things. Circumcision was to be
the outward reminder of an inward work of faith,
(Ill. Child of God, if you are saved, then you are
supposed to live like you are saved! Anything
that is displeasing to the Lord needs to be
removed from your live. It needs to be cut off and
put away from you forever. There are some in
this room this morning who have failed to live out
the covenant they made with the Lord when He
saved them. You need to come this morning and
renew that covenant. Get back in fellowship with
the Father and serve Him like you know you
should. Remember the vows you made in the
beginning? Remember the promises you made
to Him? Don't you think it is time that you lived
like you are who you claim to be? Don't you think
it's time you lived like that new creature that God
said you were by His saving grace, 2 Cor. 5:17?)
I. Renewing Their Covenant With The Lord
II. V. 8 REAFFIRMING THEIR
CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD
A. At this point, Israel is camped in the heart of
enemy territory. After they have been
circumcised, every male in the nation of Israel
is temporarily disabled and is rendered unable
to fight. It took great faith for them to submit to
the rite of circumcision! They had to be willing
to trust the Lord to protect them until they
healed. They were literally sitting ducks for the
enemy. However, their faith was the secret to
their success. These men had learned the
valuable lesson that their battles would not be
won by military might and by superior battlefield
tactics. They knew that if they ever saw victory,
it would be because God gave it to them.
Their's would be a victory based wholly in faith.
B. As we move through this life, we face times of
testing just like these men in Israel did. They
had just come from a great victory and often,
that is the time when pride will rise up in us and
we will think that we are unstoppable. When
those times come in your life and mine, you can
be sure that the Lord will allow us to go through
a time of testing. When we do, we must have
faith in the Lord! It isn't enough to be clean
spiritually, we must also be walking in faith
before the Lord. We need to remember that our
God can and will take care of His children.
C. This spiritual truth is taught over and over again
in the Word of God. When God's people aren't
able to take care of themselves, their God is more
than able. Note just a few instances where faith
in a great God paid amazing dividends.
1. Noah was protected in the Ark while the rest of
humanity perished - Gen. 6-9
2. The firstborn of Israel were spared while the
Egyptian children died - Ex. 12.
3. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were
spared from the fire - Dan. 3.
4. Daniel was spared from the hungry lion - Dan.
5. Elijah was fed by the ravens and the by a poor
widow - 1 Kings 17.
6. Paul was given grace for his race - 2 Cor. 12.
What I am trying to tell you this morning is that
the Lord will take care of you during the difficult
times of life. He is still God and He is still able to
all that you need. His one requirement is that you
trust Him. Are you walking by faith this morning?
I. Renewing Their Covenant With The Lord
II. Reaffirming Their Confidence In The Lord
III. V. 9 REMOVING THEIR CONDEMNATION BY THE LORD
A. The term "reproach of Egypt" has reference to 2
events during Israel's wilderness wanderings.
The first is found in Ex. 32:1-12 when the
Children of Israel made a golden calf and
worshiped it as God. The other happened at
Kadesh-Barnea when the children of Israel
displayed unbelief and refused to enter into the
promised land, Num 14:11-14. On both
occasions, the Lord threatened to destroy the
nation of Israel and start fresh with Moses. And,
both times Moses interceded with the Lord and
reminded Him that He would give the Egyptians
a reason to mock God. They would say that He
brought them out of Egypt, but could not bring
them to Canaan. However, now they are in the
land and God has proven that He is well able to
bring His people into their possession. Therefore,
He tells them that He had rolled that reproach
away! In other words, their past was no longer an
issue. It was a new day!
B. In a sense, many of God's children are still living
under the "reproach of Egypt". You may be
living with the shame of things you did before you
came to faith in Christ. You may be ashamed of
times when you have failed the Lord since you
were saved. Either way, you live under the
constant stab of self-condemnation.
C. Let me remind you this morning that if you have
place your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, you
past is not an issue any longer, Psa. 103:12, Isa.
38:17; Isa. 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; 1
John 1:7. The reproach of the old life has been
removed forever! You must get past the guilt of
those days before you can walk in victory in your
Canaan! By the same token, many Christians
have failed the Lord in a big manner. As a result,
they are defeated and fell like they are second
class citizens in the kingdom of God. My friend,
if you have confessed your sin and repented of it,
then it has been taken care of as far as God is
concerned, 1 John 1:9.
(Ill. God is telling Israel that yesterday is forever
gone and they are to walk looking to the victory of
today rather than to the defeat of yesterday. If
you have made your sin right with God, you might
as well put it behind you, because the Lord has
certainly put it behind Him! You will never be able
to walk in victory until you come to realize that the
Lord has forgiven your past.)
I. Renewing Their Covenant With The Lord
II. Reaffirming Their Confidence In The Lord
III. Removing Their Condemnation By The Lord
IV. V. 10-12 REMEMBERING THE COMMITMENT OF THE LORD
A. In these verses, we find Israel once again keeping the feast of the Passover. They first observed it
when they were still in Egypt, Ex. 9-14. They also
celebrated it at Mount Sinai before they left for
Kadesh-Barnea, Num. 9:1-14. However, there is
no evidence that they had celebrated the
Passover in 40 years. The fact is they couldn't!
The new generation had not been circumcised and
this was a requirement for participating in the
Now, it might help us to remember what the
Passover is all about. When the Lord sent the
1oth plague, the death of the firstborn, upon
Egypt, He told His people to select a lamb, kill it,
put its blood on the door posts and lintels of their
houses and then cook and eat the lamb. When
the Lord passed through Egypt that night, He
would see the blood on their doors and would
"pass over" those protected homes and the
firstborn would live. Israel was commanded at that
time, to make this a yearly feast. They were to
remember that night when they were passed over
by the Lord and spared from the plague of death.
They were to remember that it was that night in
which the Lord had delivered them from their
bondage in Egypt. The Passover was a time for
the Jews to remember the deliverance of the Lord!
Now that they are in the promised land, they are to
celebrate the feast of the Passover. They are to
remember the things God did for them in bringing
them out of Egypt and in providing for them along
B. What a lesson the for redeemed people of the
Lord! When we face the battles of life, we must
remember some of the great things the Lord has
done for us in our pasts. We need to remember
C. V. 11-12 Just as Israel needed to remember the
Lord's commitment to them, they also needed to
remember their commitment to Him! You see,
for 40 years they had eaten manna every day.
However, when they ate of the fruit of the land of
Canaan, the manna ceased. Surely, Israel was
glad that the manna was no more. Now, the
Passover reminded Israel that God had brought
them out of Egypt, but the manna was constant
reminded of what they had left behind in Egypt,
Ex. 16:3. You see, it was easy for God to bring
His people out of Egypt, but it was hard for God
to get Egypt out of His people.
1. He called us in love.
2. He saved us by grace.
3. He forgave our trespasses.
4. He kept us when we fell.
5. He conquered our enemies in the past.
6. He gave us victory when there seemed to be
Ill. Take time to remember the way God has
proven that He was strong in your life all along
the way. It will give you courage to face the next
battle. If He was God then, He is still God now!
(Ill. Far too many Christians are just like the
Israelites. That is, they have an appetite for the
things of the world just like Israel did for the
things of Egypt. God help us to develop a
hunger for the harvest of our inheritance. God
didn't save us to satisfy our hunger with the
things of the world. He saved us so that we
might learn to enjoy Him and feed off the things
He would give us. Let us not look back to the
world or to the wilderness to try and find
something to satisfy our hungers. Rather, let us
learn to feed on the things of the Lord. He will
feed us in the place of victory if we will look to
His had. We do not need to scrounge around for
scraps! We are children of the King! We can
feed on the best if we are willing to allow the
Lord to lead us and feed us.)
V. 13-15 RECOGNIZING THE CONTROL OF THE LORD
A. The final step in getting ready to conquer your
Canaan in learning Who is in control. One day,
as Joshua was looking over the city of Jericho,
he saw a man standing with a drawn sword.
Joshua boldly asked the man to identify himself
and to state which side he was on! When the
man responded, He said that He was the
Captain of the Lord's Host. He told Joshua that
He did not come to take sides, but to take over!
That is, He was in control of the Lord's armies in
Heaven and in the earth. He told Joshua that He
was in charge. General Joshua had just met the
Commander in Chief! Joshua's response is to
fall down before Him and to worship Him. This
is an indication that Joshua is submitting to the
will of the Lord and that he knows Who is in
control. You see, before you can have the
victory, you must be vanquished. Before you
can conquer, you must first be conquered! We
must do what Joshua did right here. That is, we
must lay down our swords at the feet of the
Captain of the Lord's host.
B. Ill. This is a lesson that many of the Lord's
children have yet to learn. May I remind you that
a crucial step on the road to victory is learning to
relinquish leadership to the will of the Lord! He
is Lord and we are His servants. Therefore,
what He says must be followed to the letter.
C. That having been said, let us not miss the great
blessing that in contained here. Joshua is under
a great deal of pressure. He is trying to lead an
army in the successful conquest of a powerful
enemy. More than anything, he needs to know
that the promises God gave him when He called
him are real, Josh. 1:5. Here, Joshua is
experiencing the reality of those promises. God
is telling Joshua that he does not have to fight
the battles alone. He is even telling Joshua that
the battles are not his responsibility. The Lord is
the Captain of the Army of God and He is
present to direct the battle and to give the
(Ill. May I remind you that the same is still true as
you and I are called upon to face the battles of
life? Just as David told Goliath, "the battle is the
Lord's", 1 Sam. 17:47, so it still is! Child of God,
He has promised to be with you, to support you
and to lead you to victory. The key to seeing
these promises fulfilled in your life is to do what
Joshua did. Get on your face before the Lord,
seek the Lord's will for the battle and let Him
lead you to victory.)
Conc: Are you ready to conquer your Canaan this
morning? Not if there is sin in your life! Not if there is
rebellion in your heart! Not if there are uncontrolled
appetites for the things of the world. Not if you are filled
with doubt and fear. Not if you have forgotten where
the Lord brought you from. Not if you, instead of Jesus
is in control in your life. Child of God, do you want the
victory? If so, why not deal with those things in your life
that keep you from having it and leave this place today
ready to conquer you Canaan.