TEXT: "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses" (Jos. 1:3).
1. In perspective, tied to the books we have already looked at, we note:
a. In Genesis we see the fall of man and the introduction of the call and promises from God to redeem man.b. In Exodus we see the redemption of Israel, a type of the redemption of man.c. In Leviticus we see a people taught to worship, an example to us of following God's pattern for worship.d. In Numbers we see a people wandering for a lack of faith in God, and example to the world that is wandering in sin.e. In Deuteronomy we see a nation prepared to possess the land promised by God.
2. Now in Joshua, we will see the nation take possession of the promised land of God; a type of the Christian taking possession of the church--the spiritual promised land of God.
3. Moses was the symbol of deliverance; Joshua becomes the symbol of victory--an appropriate picture for one that pictures Jesus the One who is the victory!
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT JOSHUA
A. TITLE AND AUTHOR1. The book is named for Joshua, its writer and leading character.2. It is worth noting that this Hebrew word "Joshua" means "Jehovah is salvation."3. In Greek it is "Jesus" (see Hebrews 4:8--there the name Jesus refers to this Joshua not Jesus the Christ).4. Again for one that is the symbol of victory to the physical nation of Israel, sharing the name of the One that is the victory of the spiritual nation of Israel is a picture even unto itself!B. DATE AND SETTING1. The book opens some 30 days after the death of Moses (Deu. 34:5-8), sometime around 1,400 B.C., and covers about 50 years, closing with Israel in possession of the land and the death of Joshua.2. The opening location is on the plains of Moab, near the Jordan River, for in Joshua 1:2 God commands: "Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.3. The actual crossing is recorded in Joshua 3, and so we see Israel move from the eastern side of the Jordan and enter into Canaan proper.4. The book the focuses on the conquest of the land, directed by God and executed by Joshua--think of this as a type, for it is the Father that directed the conquest of sin while the Son (Jesus) executed that very conquest.D. AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE1. The Hebrew nation is the immediate audience.2. The book serves as a record to us of the history of the nation of Israel obtaining its land promise.3. It also serves as a type--the conquest over the evil inhabitants of the land was long and hard fought; the conquest of sin, accomplished by Christ, but fought continually until His return, in our daily lives is long and hard fought.
II. AN OUTLINE OF JOSHUA
A. ISRAEL DESCENDS INTO THE PROMISED LAND (1-5)1. The Preparation of Joshua (1)2. The Preparation of the Military (2)3. The Preparation of Logistics (3-4)4. The Preparation of the Spirit (5)B. ISRAEL DEFEATS THE PROMISED LAND (6-12)1. The Conquest of Jericho (6)2. The Conquest of Ai (7-8)3. The Craftiness of Gibeon (9)4. The Conquest of the Five Kings and of the South (10)5. The Conquest of the North (11)6. The Conquest of the Kings of the East and West of the Jordan -- A Review of the Conquest (12)C. ISRAEL DIVIDES THE PROMISED LAND (13-21)1. The Inheritance of the 2 1/2 Tribes (Reuben, Gad, and 1/2 of Manasseh) (13)2. The Inheritance of the 9 1/2 Tribes (14)3. The Inheritance of Judah (15)4. The Inheritance of Ephraim (16)5. The Inheritance of Manasseh (the other 1/2 of the tribe) (17)6. The Inheritance of Benjamin (18)7. The Inheritance of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan (19)8. The Inheritance of the 6 Cities of Refuge (20)9. The Inheritance of Levi--the 48 Levitical Cities (21)D. ISRAEL DWELLS IN THE PROMISED LAND (22-24)1. The Conflict Among the Tribes (22)2. The Counsel of Joshua (23)3. The Covenant Renewed (24)
III. THE ONE WORD THEME OF JOSHUA: OCCUPATION
A. THE PRIMARY THEME IS THE OCCUPATION OF THE PROMISED LAND1. Joshua is to lead the nation in taking possession of the land.2. God had already given them the land, as He states in Joshua 1:3: "...that I have given unto you."3. Here it is just as salvation is to us--God has given, now His people must do their part to take possession of it!B. THE SECONDARY THEME IS THE OCCUPATION OF THE MIND"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk on all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Jos. 22:5).1. Take diligent heed...2. To do the commandment.3. To keep his commandments.4. To love the LORD your God.5. To walk in all His ways.6. To cleave [to stick; to adhere; to hold to; to unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment] unto Him.7. To serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
IV. THE PICTURE OF CHRIST IN JOSHUA: HE IS THE CAPTAIN OF THE LORD'S HOST
A. THE CAPTAIN OF THE LORD'S HOST1. Joshua is the commander and leader of the physical nation of Israel (Jos. 1:1-2).2. Jesus is the commander and leader of the spiritual nation of Israel (Eph. 1:22; 5:22-27; Col. 1:18; Heb. 2:10; 10:19-22).B. CANAAN IS A TYPE OF THE CHURCH1. Canaan was the place given by God to the physical nation--it was their job to possess it, to protect it, and to keep it pure.2. The church is the place given by God to the spiritual nation--it is our job to possess ot, to protect it, and keep it pure.C. CANAAN IS A TYPE OF HEAVEN1. Canaan was to be the "final" home of the physical nation--it was here that the Messiah would come.2. Heaven is the final home for the spiritual nation--it is here that the Messiah leads His people.D. CROSSING THE JORDAN WAS A TYPE OF THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST1. Joshua was confirmed and anointed as the leader of the physical nation with the miraculous crossing of the Jordan.2. Christ was anointed and conformed as the spiritual leader by His own baptism in the Jordan (Mat. 3:13-17).E. CROSSING THE JORDAN WAS A TYPE OF OUR BAPTISM1. The physical nation began to partake of the blessings of the promised land at the crossing of the Jordan (Jos. 5:12).2. It is the church--entered into by "crossing the Jordan" (baptism)--that the spiritual nation partakes of the blessings (Eph. 1:3; Gal. 3:26-29).
1. It is interesting to note the never give up attitude found in the book of Joshua.
2. Not only in the person of Joshua, but also in men such as Caleb.
3. Caleb is an example of one who had faith, like that of Abraham, in God:
a. He was a man of 40 when he went to spy out the land originally (Jos. 14:7).b. He was a man who was promised an inheritance, a special portion, by God (Deu. 1:36).c. He was a man of patience, waiting for his inheritance, first during the 38 years of additional wandering and then for 7 more years while the land was conquered (but not subdued)--making him 85 years old when he claims his inheritance (Jos. 14:10).d. He was a man of zeal, not one to take the easy road: At 85 years old he asked the inheritance of a place where the giants dwelt, that he might possess and subdue it.
4. What is our attitude toward the work of the Lord as we age? Are we Calebs?
5. God had promised Joshua and Caleb believed likewise: "(5) 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. (6) 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. (7) 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. (8) 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" (Jos. 1:5-8).
6. Paul says it to us in the New Testament this way: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31).
7. Joshua charges the people at the end of his life, after reminding them of all God has done--giving them a land for which they did not labour, cities that they did not build, vineyards and oliveyards that they did not plant--with the following: "(14) Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood [the Euphrates River], and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. (15) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood [Euphrates], or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Jos. 24:14-15).
8. The choice still remains--"choose you this day whim ye will serve"!