I find Joshua to be more a man of “action” than “prayer.” Yet he did pray, learning the value of that spiritual discipline from Moses, no doubt. For example, we know Moses loved to pray and commune with God at a certain place, the “Tabernacle.” Joshua tagged along, apparently!
“And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: BUT HIS SERVANT JOSHUA, THE SON OF NUN, A YOUNG MAN, DEPARTED NOT OUT OF THE TABERNACLE.” Exodus 33:10-11
Joshua loved to spend time with God, to pray!
Also Joshua accompanied Moses to the Mount of God, at least on occasion. Or at least further up the Mount (with Moses) than any other human did. “And Moses rose up, AND HIS MINISTER JOSHUA: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” Exodus 24:13
More time, close to God … very close!
But the “apex” of Joshua’s prayer life may have been at a “low” time in Israel’s history! Just after the miraculous victory at Jericho, for example. Their next “city” to conquer was so small, “Ai” by name, that only a few soldiers were needed. Victory was a sure thing!
But, alas, defeat resulted!
Thirty-six Jews died that day, unexpectedly, inexplicitly!
Now watch Joshua pray. “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and ….” Joshua 7:6-11
It is emotional, ripping clothing and falling to the ground and putting dust on the body!
It is protracted, a long time, until the evening!
It is inquisitive, Lord “WHY?”
It is concerned for God’s Honor, “Thy Great Name” will be demoted!
It is answered, “Get up, Israel has sinned,” reported the Lord!
And a price had to be paid, sin punished.
Then victory once again ensued!
A Lesson in Prayer, for sure.
Bringing all one’s burdens, problems, questions, puzzles … to the Lord!
Seeking His Wisdom!
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Precisely what Joshua did.
We can do the same!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell