Joshua stands at the gateway to the Land of Promise. Where Moses [the Law] could never go, Joshua [a type of Christ] enters and conquers. In Hebrews 11 a forty year gap between the Red Sea and the Jordan marks this period of no faith leading up to the faithful Leader Joshua was.
The book of Joshua divides into two halves. The first fourteen chapters describe the conquest of Canaan, about 1406-1400 B.C., whereas 15-24 relate the division of the land among the tribes. Contrary to Numbers [God chastening His disobedient people], which precedes it, and Judges [God judging His wayward people], which follows it, Joshua emphasizes God [YAHWEH] blessing His people when they obey Him.
God fulfils His promises by bringing His people to the land. They are to conquer and settle this land. As long as they obey He will fight for them. If they disobey they must serve the nations around them. Thus the Book of Joshua portrays the unchanging truths that lead us to Victory. There is TRIUMPH for those who:
I. WALK BY THE WORD [Joshua 1-5]
A. Key Verses
1. Joshua 1:8 “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. (NKJV)
2. New Testament counterpart Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV)
B. Clear examples for those following the Lord:
1. The Encouragement of God:
a) COMMISSIONED: I send you out into battle. [1:2]
b) COMMANDED: I give you this land. [1:3]
c) CONFIDED: I will be with you. [1:5]
2. The Scarlet Thread was a picture of the blood. [chapter 2]
3. The River, the Rocks and Gilgal in chapters 4-5 portrayed:
a) GOD IS FAITHFUL. The pile at Gilgal [4:6-8] was for them to remember that God is Faithful. Lamentations 3:23.
b) GOD IS GRACIOUS. The pile under the Jordan was to remind them that God is forgetful of our sins. Hebrews 8:12; Psalm 103:10-12.
c) GOD IS PATIENT. The circumcision at Gilgal [5:2-6] showed them God was starting fresh with them.
4. The Captain of the Hosts [5:13] was a vivid reminder of the presence of the Lord.
II. WIN BY FAITH [Joshua 6-22]
A. Key Verses
1. Joshua 10:8 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.” (NKJV)
2. See Moses in Deuteronomy 11:23-25 “then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves. 24 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. 25 “No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you. (NKJV)
3. In the New Testament we are to:
a) 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (NKJV)
b) 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (NKJV)
B. Clear examples for those following the Lord:
1. FAITH IS VICTORIOUS in chapter 6 as the walls fall down.
a) VICTORY COMES FROM GOD. They did not use earthly weapons. 2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (KJV)
b) VICTORY COMES IN GOD’S TIME. They had to be patient [13x around].
c) VICTORY COMES IN GOD’S WAY. They had to be silent [Isaiah 30:15].
2. HIDDEN SIN IS DISASTROUS in chapter 7 as Achan troubles the whole camp.
3. OBEDIENCE IS COURAGEOUS in 10:40 as Joshua covers the land with conquest by the Lord.
4. DISOBEDIENCE IS CONTAGIOUS as one tribe slips, others follow. Watch the sequence in 16:10 and then 17:12-13. The book of Judges finished this sad decline.
III. WAIT FOR GOD [Joshua 23-24]
A. Key Verse Joshua 24:14-15 Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! 15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (NKJV)
B. New Testament counterpart Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
- God promised the Land but wanted them to learn the lesson of victory through obedience. The Lord gives victories, not military power.
- God wanted to teach them that Salvation was from the Lord. He used Joshua whose name means Yahweh is Salvation in Hebrew. Joshua in Greek is JESUS!
- God wants Pilgrims who follow their leader. Christ as Joshua gives us the PROMISED:
1. REST from our former wanderings Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (NKJV)
2. ABUNDANCE in place of our former poverty.
a) Deuteronomy 8:7a “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land,; (NKJV)
b) John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have
more abundantly. (NKJV)
3. REFRESHMENT from parched desert life to the Living waters.
a) Deuteronomy 8:7b “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; (NKJV)
b) John 7:37-38 On the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (NKJV)
4. VICTORY over all our foes.
a) Deuteronomy 11:25 “No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you. (NKJV)
b) 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (NKJV)
WHAT ISRAEL FACES, WE ALSO FACE
- WARFARE against: EGYPT which symbolizes the world 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (NKJV). The AMALEKITES [blood cousins] symbolize the FLESH Galatians 5:16-17 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (NKJV). The CANAANITES symbolize the DEVIL 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (NKJV)
- CONQUESTS like Jericho, Ai, and the North and South Campaign were only won by faith. We may only conquer by prayer and the ministry of the Word.
1. Ai in chapter 7 was because they hid their sin and loved the world more than God.
2. Gibeon in chapter 9 was because they listened to the World more than God.
3. Manasseh and Ephraim [13:13; 15:63; 17:12-13] did not take their allotted inheritance because they Feared the World more than they trusted God.
- Joshua 13:13 Nevertheless the children of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maachathites, but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day. (NKJV)
- Joshua 15:63 As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day. (NKJV)
- Joshua 17:12-13 Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out [the inhabitants of] those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land. 13 And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out. (NKJV)