OVERVIEW JOSHUA

The PURPOSE of this book is to give the history of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land.  There are 12 books in the Bible classified as History.  Moses was the father of the LAW.  The Law is very important and is intended FOR the Promised Land …. NOT as an admission ticket!!

The AUTHOR is Joshua with the exception of the ending which may have been written by Phinehas, the high priest who would have been an eye witness.

The SETTING is Canaan, also called the Promised Land and has the same general geographical territory of modern day Israel.

For 40 years the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness.  The OLD generation died while wandering in the desert because of their unbelief and lack of trust in God’s promises which resulted in their disobedience, rebellion, pagan worship, and wrong CHOICES leading to devastating CONSEQUENCES.  NOW, the NEW generation is ready to cross the Jordan and TAKE the Promised Land.  Do you recall the original promise?  About 500 years prior to the Book of Joshua God made a COVENANT with Abram and said: “To your descendants I GIVE this land, from the river  of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:18-20)

God’s covenant with Abram was to “GIVE this land!!”  It was not for anyone to TAKE….but it was and is HIS to GIVE.  Joshua had distinguished himself as a man of FAITH and courage.  He was loyal and obedient in his service to Moses.  He and Caleb were the ONLY TWO out of the OLD generation (out of 2-3 MILLION people) to be allowed to enter into the Promised Land.  Joshua and Caleb were two of the 12 spies sent to “check out” the Promised Land.  Joshua was born in Egypt into slavery.  He was originally mentioned in Numbers 13:8 as Hoshea, from the tribe of Ephraim (Ephraim was one of the sons of Joseph. Joseph married Potiphera…. A GENTILE.)  Joseph is a portrait of Christ. Christ marries the church.  Gentiles were ALWAYS part of the Plan of Salvation, and foreshadowed to be … want to read more about Joseph… head back to Genesis 41.

Joshua, in Hebrew means “salvation.”  Joshua translated in Greek is the name JESUS.  Jesus in Greek means “Lord is Salvation.” (Hebrew was the language of the OT and Greek for the most part was the language of the NT.)

Joshua was the personal assistant to Moses throughout the 40 years of wandering.  God knew and knows the heart of EVERY man, and woman.  ONLY Joshua and Caleb had the FAITH to BELIEVE they could TAKE the Promised Land, but NO one else except Moses believed them.

Joshua is about 85 years old, a great warrior, very disciplined, and has distinguished himself a man of faith.  JOSHUA WAS CHOSEN.  As you read this book remember that Joshua is a FORESHADOW of Christ to be.  CHRIST is the ONLY ONE CHOSEN for us to follow.  THE ONLY one who can bring us from our slavery and wandering (sin) into the Promised Land.

We will witness Joshua as a brilliant military leader and a strong spiritual influence to the Israelites.  However, the KEY to his success was his submission to GOD.  EACH time God will speak in this book, Joshua obeys.  His obedience will serve as a model to the Israelite Nation and the Nation will remain faithful to God throughout Joshua’s lifetime.

The Book of Joshua is divided into two main parts:

  1. The events surrounding the TAKING of Canaan — crossing the River Jordan on dry ground, camping near the mighty city of Jericho, obeying God’s command to TAKE the city of Jericho by following HIS specific commands thus winning the battle of Jericho, being set back when they attack the small town of Ai due to one Israelite’s (Achan’s) sin, Achan being stoned to death by the Israelites then successfully TAKING the city of Ai, winning the battle against the Amorites when God made the sun stand still to aid them in their victory, defeating other Canaanites lead by Jabin and allies.
  2. Joshua records the assignment and settlement of the captured territory.  The book concludes with Joshua’s farewell address and his death.

This is a book about Joshua being committed to obeying God in ALL He did.  It is also a book about FAITH which was so strong it lead to Joshua’s obedience.

Joshua 23:11 — “So be very careful to love the Lord your God…” and “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.

Ephesians 2:8 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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