As Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the tablets of stone in which God had engraved His will for Israel, he could hear a boisterous sound coming from the camp below. Although Moses didn’t know it, the noise was the sound of people singing and shouting as they danced in worship to a golden calf. Joshua insightfully remarked to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp” (Exodus 32:17). Moses dismissed Joshua’s observation saying, “No, it’s not a shout of victory, nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration” (v. 18).
In this case, however, Joshua’s perception and sensitivity were deeper than that of Moses, his elder. There was indeed a war in the camp of Israel. It was a spiritual war designed to destroy God’s nation. The second key to successful living that Joshua demonstrates is a great understanding of spiritual battles. This is a valuable asset that contributed to his victory in conquering the land of Canaan. This kind of spiritual insight is essential to winning our battles also.
We must become aware of our enemy’s spiritual strategies. Many homes could have been saved and many tragedies avoided if this area had not been overlooked. How often have we seen a simple difference of opinion escalate into a major division in a home? There is a spiritual struggle for the joy, stability, and testimony of that entire household. We must rise up with the authority of God’s Word and bring the presence of the Holy Spirit into the picture. And when we do the climate of that home will change.
In Exodus 33 we see a third facet of the character of this man of faith, Joshua. After Moses destroyed the golden calf and executed the rebels, he again separated himself from the people to meet alone with God. He had a special tent where he again entered to seek the face of the Lord. The cloudy pillar that accompanied God’s presence moved into the tent.
Notice what happened: “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle” (v. 11).
Unaware to Moses, Joshua had also separated himself from the people. This tells us that Joshua preferred being totally identified with God instead of the people. This man who had demonstrated his loyalty and devotion to God chose to stay where God would manifest His glory.
It’s obvious that Joshua was different from the rest of the crowd. He was one who was not intimidated or embarrassed to stand upon what he believed, even if it meant standing alone. He was not swayed by the pressure or opinions of others. He chose to remain in a place where he would hear the voice of God, and then move in accordance with what he heard.
What we need today, more than ever, is a renewed dependence upon His Word. We need people who will be unashamed to stand for what they believe. Those who will not waver in times of pressure. Will you become one who will remain in a place to hear the voice of God?