Overview of Joshua

 

The book of Joshua picks up where right where Deuteronomy ends. The first five books that we have already looked are usual called the Pentateuch. The book of Joshua begins the first of 12 books of history which covers a time period of about 1000 years from about 1450 BC to 400 BC. The first three books Joshua, Judges and Ruth contain the history of the independent tribes. 1Samuel through 2 Chronicles records the history of the kingdom and Ezra, Nehemiah and Ester give an account of their return from captivity.This thousand year period contains great civilizations, great characters, great cities and great conflicts.

 

The book of Joshua itself covers about a 50 year span and isa story of conquest anddivision of Canaan. A great deal of this book has to do withmilitary campaigns in which God fights for the Jews. Another interesting thing is when you look at how Moses, Joshuaand Jesus relate to one another. First of Moses which means ďdrawn outĒ brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and Joshua which means ďsaviorĒ brought them into the land of Canaan. Both of these relate to the work of Christ in that Moses representsour delivery from Satan and Joshua representsour salvation in Christ.

 

A few comparison can be made between Moses and Joshua. The great event of Moses life was the crossing of the Red Sea and the great event of Joshua life was the crossing of the Jordan. Moses symbolwas the rod and Joshuaís was the spear.

 

Key words: Conquest and possess

Key verses:

 

Joshua 1:5 "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.6 "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

 

Joshua 22:5 "But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

 

Keychapters: 23-24 These chapters record one of the greatest sermons in the Bible. At the age of 110 Joshua reminds the people of what God did for them and how he keeps his promises and how they should be more grateful for what God had done.

 

The author is Joshua for the most part anyways. However, just like the book of Deuteronomy Joshua could not have penned the last verse of Chapter 24 because it records his death and what happens next. Jewish tradition says that Eleazar and his son Phinehas are the ones who wrote these last verses but we canít be for sure.

 

Theme deals with the faithfulness of God. God always keeps his promises.

Those who teach that Christ will return and reign upon the earth for a thousand years say that the Jews never full possessed all of Canaan and so God will in the future fulfill his promise by having the Jews return to Israel during this earthly reign of Christ. However this is not true because God fulfilled his promise then. Notice very carefully the following verses.

 

Joshua 21:43 So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.44 The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

 

Joshua 23:14 " Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.15 "Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all the good things have come upon you which the LORD your God promised you, so the LORD will bring upon you all harmful things, until He has destroyed you from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.16 "When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them, then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which He has given you."

 

There can be no doubt that God did indeed fulfill his promise and not one thing he said failed. These verse make it clear that those who teach God fulfilling this promise in the further are dead wrong. It also teaches us that a covenant is only biding as long a both parties are doing what they are suppose to. Because if the children of Israel sin against God he will bring harm upon them and we know that is exactly what happens to them latter on when they are defeated by their enemies and taken captive.

 

Greatlessons we learn from the bookof Joshua

 

The first lesson we learn from Joshua comes from the Psalm 105. This Psalm summarizes the children of Israelís history. I want pick up where starts talking about them leaving Egypt in,

Psalm 105:38 Egypt was glad when they departed, For the fear of them had fallen upon them.39 He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.40 The people asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; It ran in the dry places like a river.42 For He remembered His holy promise, And Abraham His servant.43 He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness.44 He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, And they inherited the labor of the nations,45 That they might observe His statutes And keep His laws. Praise the LORD!

You see this great book teaches us that God does indeed keep his promises. In the book of Joshua God fulfills many of his promises he made to Abraham over 400 years ago. I also love what God tells Joshua in,

 

Joshua 1:5 "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

 

Donít you know this gave Joshua great courage and strength because he was there in wilderness with Moses and saw with his own eyes over and over again how God worked through Moses and helped him in his time of need. This being the case we can know that Joshua would be very happy knowing that God would be on his side and wouldnever ever forsake him. Just like Joshua we should take great comfort in knowing that God has made that same promise to us today.

 

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."6 So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

 

Since God has never failed to keep his promise we can rest assured that he will always be there for us.

 

Keep Gods word

The next great lessonwe learn is the importance of keeping Gods law and that it can be understood.

 

Joshua 1:7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

 

Right after God reassures Joshua thathe will be there for him he now tells him how important it is to live his life according to Godís law. Notice the analogy he makes. He tells him not to veer off to the left or the right but to stay right in middle where truth is and tells him how to accomplish this. He wants him to mediate upon day and night. But you see its not enough just think about what Godís word says we must also emulate it by putting into practice every single day of our lives. We can also learn that Joshua is observe all of the law and not part of it. This is great lesson for us and especially for thosein the religious world because there are far to many people who call themselves Christians yet they donít follow all of Godís word. This is where is denominations come from. They have left the path of truth and have veered to the right or to left bymaking there on truth in addition to Godís truth. But, I want you notice very carefully the conditionalstatement madin verse 8 . He is telling Joshua that IF you observe my law Then your way will be prosperous and you will have good success.

Once again this show the importance of following Gods word to the best of our ability. This same lesson is taught through out the NT.

 

Luke 6:46 " But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?

Matthew 7:21†† 21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

John 14:1515 " If you love Me, keep My commandments.

James 1:2222 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

 

From these verses we see a great need for us to follow all commands and not part of them.We also learn from Joshua that Gods word can be understood. After all hetellshim mediate on it and observe all of it. The only way he could observe all of it is if he could understandit. To many people today say that they cant understand Gods word but thissimply is not true. Even the NT tells us that we can understand it. Notice what Paul says in,

 

Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

 

Paul is telling us that when we read Godís word we can understand and we have access to the same knowledge that the apostles had. So donít every say you cant understand the Bible because you can. Sure there are difficult passages that are hard to understand but they are not impossible for us understand especially when we compare those difficult sections to what the rest of the Bible says about that particular topic.

 

We also learn a couple of great lessons from the events a Jericho

The first lesson we learn comes from when Rahab hides the spies and makes a deal with them so they wont kill her or her family. From this event we learn the importance of keeping your word and doing exactly what you said you would do. Because notice the 2 things that Rahab had to do to protect herself and her family.

 

Joshua 2:17 So the men said to her: "We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear,18 "unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household to your own home.19 "So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless.

 

You see not only does God want us tokeep our agreements withhim he also wants us to keep our agreements with those around us as long as it doesnít violate Godís will. . If Rahab and her had not followed the agreement and did those 2 things it would have cost them their lives.

So, from this we learn that we need to be careful in what we agree to do. Donít let someone put you on the spot and force you to make a decision right then and there. Tell them you need some time to think about before you make your decision. But, once youagree as Christian you should do your best to fulfill the agreement that you have made.

 

You might remember Joshuamade the mistake of making an agreement with one the enemies he was to destroy. Normally he prayed to God and received instructions from him but when these men rode up and put their fake act they talked Joshua into making an agreement not to destroy them and once he made this agreement it was binding and he had to keep his word even though hemade agreement out of haste.

 

The second lesson we learn from Jericho is that it takes an obedient faithto accept Gods gift or might say Gods grace.

 

Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said to Joshua: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.

 

Jericho was a gift from God but the children of Israel had their part in accepting this gift. In very next verse God begins telling them exactly what they must to obtain this gift. We all know they had march around the city for 7 days a blow their horns and shout for the walls to come down and then they had to go in and defeat the people of that city. They had to have a obedient faith and follow Godís instructions before they could receive the gift that God had given to them. This same thing is true today. God has given us the gift of Grace by means of son dieing on the cross for our sins. He gives us instructions in the NT on how to lay hold of that gift. Just like Joshua and the children of Israel we have to have an obedient faith and follow God instructions. We will not be allowed to have the gift of grace until we do all that God has told us do. Unfortunately many today leave out baptism as part of salvation even though the NT makes it very clear that it is apart of salvation. When people leave out baptism it would have been like the children of Israel only marching around Jericho 6 times instead of 7. Do you think those walls would of failed if they did this? Absolutely not. So, we can clearly see that we need to follow all of what God says to accept his gift of grace.

 

Another great lesson we learn from Joshua is the God doesnít want sin in his camp.

 

We learn this from the event that takes place at AI. They thought it would be easy to defeat them because they thought God would help them. But they were easily defeated bythis little cityof AI. Joshua prays to God to find out why and God tells him,

 

Joshua 7:10 So the LORD said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?11 "Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.12 "Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you.

 

You see God doesnít show partiality. Someone sinned against God and so he wasnít goingto help them defeat their enemy. Of course we all know that this man was Aken and because of his sin many died that day and because of his sin he and whole family werelaid to rest because God didnít want any sin in his camp. The same thing is true today God hates sin not the sinner but sin and he wants us as Christians to do our best not to sin in our life. Fortunately for us God does not strike us dead for us sins today but if we continue in our sins we will be spiritual dead that is separatedfrom God and I can promise you that it a far worse to be spiritual separated from God than to lose your life because if you are spiritual separated from God then you will spend you eternity inhell with devil and his angels. We need to understand that God doesnít show partiality. Ifyou are a Christian and you are living in sin God will not look the other way because you are abusing his grace and there are dire consequences of keeping sin in your life.

 

Victory belongs to God

You see without Godís help the children of Israel would not have been about to defeat their enemies. Without God guidance the Children of Israel would have been wiped from the face of the earth. Victory truly belongs to God. With God we have no hope other than the life we have here on the earth. Without Godís guidance we would never be able to overcome sin or the grave. Without God we are nothing. So again we can clearly see that victor belongs to God.