From The Pastor's Desk
A Survey of the Bible-Joshua
*Note-This is disputed by some, but Jewish tradition assigns the authorship of the book to its namesake. Also, it is clear that the author was an eyewitness to the things recorded in it.
- · Key word-victory
- · Key dates-The book of Joshua takes the story of Israel’s history on from the death of Moses, through the conquest of Canaan, to the death of Joshua. Chapters 1-12 cover the first five or six years after Moses’ death. The events recounted in the last two chapters probably took place about 20 years later.
- · Key passage-There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success-Joshua 1:5-8
- · Key concept-God, not their own strength, gives Israel the land. Victory belongs to the Lord.
- · Key teachings about God
o God kept [H]is promise, giving the land [H]e had promised to Abraham many centuries earlier.
o God expects obedience.
I. Possessing the Land (chaps. 1-12)
*Note-Joshua and the children of Israel conquered 31 kings.
II. Dividing the Land (chaps. 13-24)
*Note-Once the land was parceled out among the tribes, it became the responsibility of each individual tribe to enter its territory and eliminate all the Canaanites left there. Joshua obeyed the Lord and completed his assigned tasks. Unfortunately, as history reveals, Israel did not.
- · It is clear that the destruction of the people was not simply to make room for the Israelites. The Canaanites and other inhabitants are portrayed as having brought the judgment of God upon themselves. The response of Rahab is important in Joshua 2 in that it shows that even one under the judgment of God who responds in faith will be spared.
- · The book concludes with a renewal of the covenant (chs. 23-24) as the people publicly and formally acknowledge that God has fulfilled [H]is promises and that they are indebted to [H]im, obliged by covenant to be faithful. The book highlights God’s side of the covenant. It shows that God is serious about punishing those deserving of judgment. This is true whether the offenders are Canaanites or Israelites who violate God’s commands. . .
Resources: Survey of the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, and Zondervan Handbook to the Bible.
Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on