Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Introduction to the Book of Joshua

Henri Rossier, a nineteenth century writer, begins his Meditations on the Book of Joshua with an arresting comparison:

The Book of Joshua gives us, in type, the subject of the Epistle to the Ephesians. The journey across the desert had come to an end, and the children of Israel had now to cross the Jordan led by a new guide, and to take possession of the land of promise, driving out the enemies who dwelt there. It is the same for us. The heavenly places are our Canaan, into which we enter by the power of the Spirit of God, who unites us to an ascended Christ. Joshua with an arresting comparison:, and seats us together in Him in the glory, so that thus we enjoy anticipatively this glory which He has acquired for Himself, into which He will introduce us, and which we shall share, ere long, with Him.

Alan Redpath, in his book Victorious Christian Living: Studies in the Book of Joshua. “I would suggest,” he begins, “that the clue to the interpretation of this Old Testament book is found in the epistle to the Ephesians…” He goes on, “I believe that we shall understand the real significance of the book of Joshua only if we recognize that what it is in the Old Testament the epistle to the Ephesians is in the New. This suggestion, of course, has to be substantiated from the Word of God itself.”

Overview up to this point in Scripture

In Genesis, Israel was born as a nation in the call and promises of God to Abraham (Election of the nation).

In Exodus, the nation was delivered out of bondage in Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and was given God’s Holy Law (Redemption of the nation).

In Leviticus, the nation was taught how to worship in view of God’s holiness (Sanctification of the nation).

In Numbers, they were tested and numbered as a nation (Direction and Wandering of the nation).

In Deuteronomy, the law was reviewed and reiterated and closed with the assurance that Israel would possess the land (Instruction of the nation).

In Joshua, the nation crossed over Jordan and took possession of the land (Possession by the nation). If Moses is the symbol of deliverance, then Joshua is the symbol of victory. Joshua teaches us that faith “is the victory that overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4).

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