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The Book of Joshua is not merely about how one brave and godly man of God led God’s people into the Promised Land but on how God works in and through His people to accomplish His greater purposes.
Joshua is not only to be admired but to be imitated. The name ‘Joshua’ means ‘Savior’ in English and the name Jesus in Greek. In this sense Joshua is a true type of Jesus who would lead His people (think of the Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20) to take occupation (i.e. grow God's spiritual kingdom).
Joshua is a type for the real Savior that would come and show us how to commune and live with God in this dangerous world. God was not just making a home for His people but readying them to accompany Him on His great mission.
As one reads through the Book of Joshua, one is amazed as to what is discussed and what is left out. Many things like all the great details of the battles are left blank while certain acts such as the sins of Achan and the need to be circumcised are included.
Although the Book of Joshua is a history of God’s people as they came out of Egypt, it is a specially written history to help us understand how God works in the lives of His people. Several particular aspects come to mind.
Joshua links together God’s people with the Land - the long desired Promised Land. The Law recorded their exit from their old slavery status.
Joshua, however, shows how they actually became the people of God in the Promised Land. They were of course the people of God before this, but the Law was only recently learned. They needed to learn how to live out the Law of God in the Land of God. God was their new Master; they needed to learn to trust Him. It was for this reason that many different incidents were highlighted in Joshua.
God was using the events to impress and instruct Israel. What they learned would impact future generations. They needed to learn things right even if people suffered, such as in Achan’s case. What they did not learn right would cause much more harm in the future. God was carefully laying the foundation for His people.
Joshua also emphasizes the need to live by faith. God was not one they could see. They could, of course, see the enemies and the tall walls that made conquering them an impossible task, but they could not see God.
Even the mysterious ‘presence’ of God that they were used to during their wanderings after Egypt or the manna God wonderfully provided for them disappeared. God was there but these signs of His presence faded away. They were to live by faith.
They needed to learn to obey the Law as God’s Word. It was important to trust Him on how they were to live their life even if they did not understand why they had to do things such as being circumcised. Faith is the key to victory, but God and His promises are based on what God revealed to them. Joshua had to rely on God’s promise to be with Him. His direction came from meditating on the Law. If the people of God obeyed God, they would win. If they disobeyed, they would lose.
The Holy Spirit is absent in the Book of Joshua. Perhaps this is analogous to the coming of the Spirit of God after Jesus left. After Joshua left, then the Spirit of God was actively working as seen in the Book of Judges. But before we can understand the invisible Spirit of God, the people of God are first instructed on how to trust God through the ‘Savior.’
The people were to learn from observing and following Joshua. The day for this one-man leadership would soon disappear and then the Spirit of God would work in the people who devoted themselves to the Word of God. The people were now to learn how to live out their lives in a way that pleased God.
Joshua is an excellent book to study if one wants to learn how to live out our Christian lives in light of God’s divine and glorious mission. God’s people are on a mission.
We need to not only learn how to live our lives properly under the divine guidance of our Lord in this world. He has more to accomplish than just make our lives comfortable. There are battles we need to face in order to expand and establish God’s kingdom. Every battle that is faced in this book provides some wisdom and instruction on how we ourselves are to depend upon God and accomplish His great will.
The younger generation so often criticizes the older one for lack of faith and boldness.
May Caleb silence the critics!
But what about the younger generation?
Will you be more faithful and true to what the Lord has set before you?
This is your turn,
=> Understand more on the book of Joshua by studying our informative Book of Joshua overview and outline page.
Check out our Biblical Library absolutely filled with great training materials including pdf, powerpoints, maps and audio/visuals.
Joshua 1:8 Diagram of Meditation's Importance
Reaching Beyond Mediocrity (Joshua 10:1-43)
The Day the Sun Stood in the Sky
Skepticism and Higher Bible Criticism
Joshua 10:12-14 Interpretations of 'Sun stood in the sky.'
Joshua 10:12-14 Purpose of Recording the Miracle
Joshua 10:1-11: A. Joshua's Sincere Obedience
Joshua 10:12-43: B. Joshua's Quest for God's Best
Joshua 10:1-43: Bible Study Questions
Joshua 1:1-5 The Mission: God's Purpose
Mobilizing God's People (Jos 1:10-18)
Joshua 1:10-18: Introduction to Moblizing God's People
Joshua 1:10-11: A. Communicates God’s Will
Joshua 1:12-15: B. Demands Total Participation
Joshua 1:16-18: C. Responds With A Clear Commitment
Joshua 1:10-18: Bible Study Questions
Obtaining a Greater Portion (Jos 21)
Joshua 21 Introduction: A Greater Deal
Joshua 21:1-7 A Special Calling
Joshua 21:8-42 A Special Service
Joshua 21:43-45 A Special Promise
Joshua 21 Bible Study Questions
Joshua 23 Bible Study
Joshua 23:1-16 Intro: Cling & Cleave
Joshua 23:1-11 Cling to God
Joshua 23:12-13 Don't Cling to World
Joshua 23:14-16 Make up your mind
|Effectively Dealing with Defeat & Despair (Joshua 7:1-15)
Joshua 7:1-15: Learning about Defeat and Failures
Joshua 7:1-5: Falling into Failure
Joshua 7:6-10: Staying in Disgrace
Joshua 7:11-15: Road to Recovery
Joshua 7:1-15: Bible Study Questions
Other Articles on Biblical Leadership
Other Articles on Biblical Leadership
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988