The book of Joshua

The mighty salvation promised to Abraham way back in Genesis 12 comes to pass in Joshua. After the unnecessarily long wandering in the desert, Joshua records how they come into the Promised Land. The story is one of conquest and distribution of the land.

The book of Joshua comes to us in three pieces. The three parts relate to Joshua between the ages of 80 and 110. Chapter one talks about Joshua being set in place to lead. Chapters 24 & 25 cover Joshua’s final message and death. The middle portion breaks up into three parts as well.

  • Chapters 2-5 follows Israel entering into the land
  • Chapters 6-12 tells of Israel’s conquests
  • Chapters 13-22 explain the distribution of the land

As with all the books of the Bible there are many layers and beautifully rich stories that intertwine. These stories and perspectives will keep us in God and keep us busy with the Bible’s infinitely deep message.

Joshua is about two very important elements in life: God and us. Its teaching shows how they and we come to inherit what God has promised us. Each of us has been given promises from God. Some of them are general promises. Everyone who loves Jesus has been promised heaven forever with God. Each saved person has promises of being useful to God in their life. People are like Israel – saved from bondage to come into inheriting all that God has for them. But this inheriting is not automatic. Israel had to trust and to remove the inhabitants of the land, who were idol worshippers. We, too, will have to follow Jesus in absolute trust and remove old behaviours.

The book continues to emphasise these two elements – man’s part and God’s part. We trust and we obey. God gives the means, the power, the directives and pretty much everything else! Joshua also defines the type of courage we need – courage is dogged determination to do what we know is right, especially when there is no cheering on from anyone else.

Joshua is a high point in the life of Israel. It is supposed to be that for us: A high point in our understanding that we are saved from bondage but saved to come into some amazing promises. As Peter says ‘what precious promises’ we have! (2 Peter 1:4.) Let us learn from Israel and get all we are supposed to in God! He has an amazing inheritance for you!

Picture: “Poussin Nicolas – The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites” by Nicolas Poussin – Hermitage. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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