Summary: Joshua is a book about being an everyday hero, about trusting God’s might above our sight. In this introduction we learn how God prepared Joshua to face his battles, and how God prepares us to face ours.
Calvary Chapel Newberg o Bible Study
Joshua - Introduction
A brief history of God’s redemptive work: God created man who then rebelled against him, giving themselves over as slaves to an enemy (Satan). God began His redemptive work by promising a Savior (Genesis 3), then working to bring about that Savior by promising it to a man (Abraham), then bringing it about by birthing a nation (Israel). The nation had its gestation period in Egypt, where they became slaves. God rescued them, then reintroduced Himself to them in the wilderness where He gave them a character sketch of Himself and what they should be like through the Law and His prophet Moses.
God promised His people a land of their own-the same land He gave to Abraham, but when the Lord brought the people up to the border they were too frightened to occupy it. That lack of faith took them back out to the desert for 40 years until all of that generation died, save for two people: Caleb, and a man named: Joshua.
Joshua, who had been Moses’ assistant, then takes the people into victory in the Promised Land. Joshua was not a prophet, but a leader that God filled with His Spirit. What do we see about Joshua’s life before his book?
Military Leader - Exodus 17:9 Picked the men and led the charge against Amalek. He was not afraid of battle
Full of God’s Word - Exodus 17:14 Moses wrote a memorial book of the victory to read in Joshua’s ears. He was raised on God bringing about victory.
Experienced the Presence of God - Exodus 24:13 Joshua went with Moses to the mountain top for 40 days into the cloud of God’s glory. So He knew what God was like.
Enemy Focused Exodus 32:17 he was so focused on the enemy attacking externally that he missed sin attacking internally (thought it was the sound of war, when it was really sin). This will come up later in Joshua’s life and is a key weakness: the inability to have personal discernment.
Remained in God’s Presence Exodus 33:11 Joshua remained in the Tent of Meeting even when Moses went out. So he was a worshiper.
Numbers 14:8-9 If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them. ESV
Anointed for Ministry - Numbers 27:18 God recognized the presence of the Spirit in his life and told Moses to commission him with authority.
Prepared for the Lord’s Victory - Deuteronomy 3:21 - God defeated Og and Sihon to show Joshua what was possible in the Promised Land.
Joshua could be seen as a bridge book, between The Law and Moses, to the Judges and Prophets & Kings.
Joshua could be broken up into three sections: Going out in battle (1:3-5), Enjoying God’s victory (11:23), and keeping the faith (23:6-7). The theme as I envision it for this study is: Living the Victorious Christian Life.
Chapters 1 - 12 The conquest of Canaan.
Chapters 13 - 19 The inheritance of Israel
Chapters 20 - 21 The Allotment to Levi
Chapter 22 Reubenites, Gadites, Manasseh return to their land & renew their pledge
Chapters 23 - 24 Joshua’s Charge
What we will see as we travel through Joshua is that God prepares us to live in His Promised Land, battling enemies both external and internal-enemies that seem overwhelming. We need the same strength and courage that God gave Joshua to do what God has commissioned us to do, filled with His Word, His presence, and His Spirit. Our enemies also have protection removed from them as Joshua said in his report after spying out the land. We too only need to be strong and courageous for the Lord our God is with us. He will win the victory, but we will fight the battle.
Joshua is one of the few Old Testament figures in which we find no real fault, no real falling. Joshua heard God speak, believed what he heard, then acted on that faith without hesitation and with courage. He allowed God to use his natural talents to do supernatural things-not necessarily based on superior military strategy (who ever heard of walking around a city playing a trumpet?) but on trust in a superior being. Could the same be said about us?