Joshua leads Israel to settle in the promised land.
The book of Joshua shows us God’s faithfulness to his covenant with the Israelites to bring them into the land he promised to Abraham. This book points to the importance of covenant obedience before, during, and after God fulfills his promises.
The Promised Land
At the start of the book of Joshua, Joshua is appointed as Israel's new leader, a new Moses. He commands obedience to the covenant, sends spies into the land, and brings the people of Israel through the waters of the Jordan River. There Joshua runs into a heavenly commander who makes it clear that the battles that will unfold in this book are not about Israel versus other nations but about God fulfilling his promise to the family of Abraham.
In the battles that follow, Israel learns the hard way to walk in covenant faithfulness. As they do, some of the Canaanites surrender, while most try to extinguish the Israelites. The justice that God brings on human evil finds unique expression in Joshua as God drives out the Canaanites. Having defeated their enemies, the people of Israel divide the land by tribe and receive final words of challenge from Joshua to remain faithful to the covenant.
Joshua Leads Israel
The portrait of Joshua reminds us of Moses. However, this time we find that Israel is willing to listen and obey, leading to faithfulness.
Jericho and Ai
These two cities show two contrasting pictures of Israel’s battles. When fought by their strength, Israel is defeated. When they follow God’s direction, they find victory.
The battles listed in chapters 10-12 take place over many years. God brings justice to the inhabitants of the land for their moral corruption and child sacrifice.
After all the battles have been won, Joshua divides up the land for the Israelites. Although it’s not the most exciting read, this section represents God’s covenant faithfulness to Abraham.
Joshua's Final Words
Joshua gives a final charge to the newly settled people. Their obedience to God will result in life and blessing, but their unfaithfulness will bring about the same divine justice that God brought on the Canaanites.
Tim Mackie & Aeron Sullivan
There are few stories in the Old Testament as challenging and troubling to modern readers as God’s command that the Israelites should do away with the Canaanites and take over their land (see Deut 7, or Josh 6-12). Is this the same God that revealed himself in the life, deat...