Summary: To glean lessons from the amazing similarities that exist between the Books of Joshua and Acts in this 2-Part Series.
Of Joshua and Acts -Part 1
Amazing thing about the Bible is that several things which occurred in the New dispensation of grace were either prophesied directly or portrayed through symbolic events in the OT times. Take the prophecy of "Redeemer" Moses (used of God to redeem the Jews from the Egyptian bondage) for instance who prophesied that the Almighty would raise up a similar Prophet like him (Deuteronomy 18:15-18). We see Jesus not only applying that Prophecy to himself (John 5:45-46) but also by His action of offering Himself as a vicarious sacrifice on the Cross, He paved the way for redemption of not just one nation but for that of entire fallen mankind. Boy, there are some more similarities between Moses and Jesus. At their birth there was a slaughter of innocent babies (the Almighty who said vengeance is mine- Romans 12:19 - avenged it by killing of Egyptian male children on the Passover night -- Exodus 12:29- and by bringing about an excruciating death of King Herod due to bowel disease, a historical fact validated by writings of Jewish historians like Josephus). Continuing with the similarities both Moses and Jesus were rejected by Jews in their "First coming" (Exodus 2:13-15/ John 1:11), and both their lives are covered in precisely 4 Books...if Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy cover the life and Ministry of Moses, then the four Gospels penned by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John cover that of Jesus.
Whenever we focus usually on the Book of Acts, do we also bring to remembrance a similar Book-full of action- in the OT Dispensation, which symbolizes it? Oh yes we ought to. Looking for action, the racy kind you see in the Book of Acts then the Book of Joshua perfectly fits the bill!!! Welcome to the comparative study of Books of Joshua and Acts (virtually Siamese twins of OT and NT times). In the initial part of my message, I would be training the spotlight on the lessons from the positive events, we can derive from this comparative study and in the latter part, I would reflect on the lessons from the both negative and positive events described in these two wonderful "action-packed" Books, which are not a result of some fertile imagination but Divine inspiration, bearing not fiction but FACTS.
The Books of Joshua and Acts begin exactly where the earthly Ministries of two great Redeemers (Moses and Jesus) end. In the Canon, we see the Book of Joshua placed immediately after Deuteronomy where we see Moses finishing His Ministry (Deuteronomy 34:7-12) and Acts begins immediately after John’s Gospel (the only Gospel, which records the triumphant cry of Jesus on completing the Redemption plan on the Cross...IT IS FINISHED... John 19:30).
If the main protagonist-Joshua- in the Book of Joshua (the Book bears his name) was trained by Moses for good 40 years , then the Apostles of Christ --the heroes’ of faith -- in the Book of Acts were intensely trained by Jesus for three and half years. Oh how wonderful it is to be mentored by a faithful, God-fearing leader ...for we have an opportunity of seeing first-hand and inculcating the God-honoring virtues conspicuous in them, which would stand us in good stead , when we launch into our own Ministries at the time the Almighty says "GO".