Summary: After the death of Moses, Joshua took over leadership and secured the Promised Land through conquest and consolidation. In this message, we will study the characters of Joshua and the spiritual journey we have to go through as Christians.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
Scripture Reading: Joshua 1:1-6 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
We are going to start a new series today on the Book of Joshua.
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Old Testament.
The first Book is GENESIS - this is the Book that talks about the birth of the nation Israel, the call and the promises of God to Abraham - (ELECTION of the nation.)
The second Book is EXODUS - this is the Book that talks about how the nation of Israel was delivered out of bondage in Egypt, how they crossed the Red Sea and was given God's Holy Law (REDEMPTION of the nation.)
The third Book is LEVITICUS - how the nation was taught to worship in view of God's holiness (SANCTIFICATION of the nation.)
The fourth Book is NUMBERS - how they were tested and numbered as a nation (DIRECTION and WANDERING of the nation.)
The fifth Book is DEUTERONOMY - the law was reviewed and reiterated and closed with the assurance that Israel would posses the land. (INSTRUCTION of the nation.)
Then, this Book of Joshua is about how the nation crossed over Jordan and took possession of the land (POSSESSION by the nation.)
In this book, they were able to secure the land through conquest and finally get settled in the land through consolidation.
The first five books of the Old Testament were written by Moses, the symbol of deliverance from Egypt.
The sixth book is written by Joshua, the symbol of victory in the Promised Land.
Joshua teaches us that faith "is the victory that overcomes the world." (I John 5:4).
When we have faith and we persevere in our trust with God, we have victory.
This is a book therefore of conquest and occupation.
They conquered the enemy and they occupied the land.
But it was not as simple as that, they went there, experienced discouragement and difficulties that we experienced ourselves but they eventually progressed until the enemy was subdued by God's help.
The primary purpose therefore of this Book is to show the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promise.
The same promise to Abraham was fulfilled physically and spiritually.
That he would be the heirs of many nations like the stars in the sky and the sand in the seashore.
After many years, it became a reality in the life of Joshua.
Actually, the events of the book of Joshua span about twenty-five years.
It started soon after the death of Moses around 1406 BC, before the conquest commenced.
The conquest of Canaan took about seven years, and Joshua’s final address and subsequent death came almost twenty years later.
The book begins with the nation of Israel poised at the banks of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
It records the details of numerous military campaigns that defeated the inhabitants of the land.
The book ends with Joshua’s regathering of the nation for his final exhortation.
God is faithful even to the very end.
We will learn lessons from three different points of views:
First is the Land of Promise - Canaan.
Second, the Man that God used to claim the promise - Joshua
Third, the Christians in our spiritual journey to the Promised land or heaven
I. LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT THE PROMISED LAND: CANAAN
There are three symbols for this place of Canaan in the Book of Joshua:
1. PLACE OF REST.
At the latter portion of Joshua, we will find the Israelites dividing Canaan, the Promised land.
They have finally entered and received their inheritance.
They have finally found their place of rest from all their struggles.
After their hundreds of years of their toil in Egypt and their wandering in the wilderness, Israel was finally able to settle down and find a home in Canaan.
There in Canaan, they will function as the people of God.
There, they will become a light to the nations.