“These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land; but Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.”
Why, I wondered, did Moses change Joshua’s name to Joshua? What did his other name, Hoshea, mean? I looked them both up in my strong’s hebrew reference. Here’s what Hoshea means:
Howshea, from the root yasha, meaning 1) to save, be saved, be delivered, to be liberated, be saved, be delivered, to be saved (in battle), be victorious, to save, deliver, to save from moral troubles, to give victory to.
Well, that’s pretty clear. Hoshea’s name meant saver, deliverer, liberator, victor… savior. But what about Joshua, the new name?
The Hebrew for Joshua is Yĕhowshuwa. It’s a blend of Yĕhovah and Howshea. Yehovah. That’s the word most English bibles translate “the LORD” with LORD in all caps. It’s God’s holy name. It means “The Eternal One,” “The Existing One.”
So Joshua is a mix of two words: One, the name of our Lord, and the other, Savior, redeemer, rescuer. What just happened here?
Here’s what I personally believe: Moses needed Hoshea to know that he is not the savior. God is. So Moses changed his name to “God Saves.” It was a reminder that no person gets to be savior – God does. I wrote some of this down in my notebook. Hosheas must be renamed to Joshuas before they can be of any use to God. Before we can be of any use, we must be renamed from “I save” to “God saves.”
And then over the past couple weeks He’s been showing me how desperately I try to be the savior. I use Him for my plans to save people, instead of allowing Him to use ME for HIS. Last sunday in church I hit my knees and repented. I’m praying now…
God, I’m not the Savior. You are. I don’t want to use YOU as a part of my plan, but instead I want YOU to use ME as a part of YOURS.