Joshua, Guiding The Nation
Book of Joshua Chapter 1
In assembling the 66 books of the Bible it was obvious that the Book of Joshua should follow the Pentateuch.
There are many that believe that these first 6 books of the Bible are a fabricated history of Israel but in over 4000 years no one has proven them to be that way. In fact archaeological finds have confirmed the majority of God’s Word as the truth, though this should not be important to the believer.
We either accept God’s Word as true or we cannot be saved!
As we deal in “types” in the Old Testament, we will see that the name Joshua is equivalent to Jesus in the New Testament.
They both mean: “Jehovah is Savior”!
Who wrote the Book of Joshua?
Jos 24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
Jos 24:26 [And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God], and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
Jos 24:27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; [for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God].
The New Testament accepts the Book of Joshua as history of the nation of Israel:
The Book of Hebrews
Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
The Book of Matthew
Mat 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of [Rachab[; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
The Book of Hebrews
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, [I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee].
Compare to Joshua
Jos 1:5 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.]
The Book of Hebrews
Who led Israel into the Promised Land?
Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
We see the Greek form of the name Joshua in this verse and we can also know that it will be Jesus Christ who will lead His people into the Promised Land of Heaven itself! (“another day”)
Our Savior will lead all His children into the New Jerusalem.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
*****Jos 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
Jos 1:2 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.
While Moses was still living Joshua was designated to be the one to replace him at his death and Moses explained this to the people.
Deu 1:37 Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
Deu 1:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
In our verse we now see that the Lord now makes a personal request to Joshua.
You know Joshua could have still answered with no!
We see that Moses was still listed as a servant. To be honest to be called a “servant of God” especially by God Himself, is the greatest title in the Bible. To be a “servant of God” is even better than to be a “minister of God”.
Heb 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; [whose house are we], if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Just as Moses was a servant to the children of Israel, Jesus Christ is Servant to the House of God and all that believe on Him, are the House of God!
It was not until the death of Moses at 120 years of age that Joshua was to take the lead of this people.
Deu 34:7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: [his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.]
Deu 34:8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
Deu 34:9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.
The children of Israel were still camped in the “plains of Moab” which were on the east side of Jordan. This is part of what is known as the Jordan Valley. A place called Shittim.
That name “Jordan” is used 197 times in the Bible but only one time do we see river connected with it!
Mar 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him [in the river of Jordan], confessing their sins.
Even here it is referred to as the river in the Jordan Valley.
The prophet Joel includes this valley in his prophecy:
Joe 3:17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
Joe 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, [and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD], and [shall water the valley of Shittim].
Spiritually speaking, “the river of life” will flow at the entrance to the Promised Land of New Jerusalem.
Jesus Christ is our “River of Life” and it is He that flows to all that believe on Him to give eternal life.
*****Jos 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, [that have I given unto you], as I said unto Moses.
We can see that this is not some new plan of God. Those words “that I have given you”, refer to the fact that it has always been God’s plan from the beginning.
Whosoever that lives on the land of Israel besides Israel have always been trespassers on that land. This includes those of today and the Canaanites and all those others mentioned at this time of Joshua.
God commissioned Joshua to do 3 things:
1.) Lead Israel into the “Promised Land”.
2.) Defeat all the enemy that was already there.
3.) Claim the inheritance God had given to them.
What has Jesus Christ done for us all?
1.) He has defeated our enemy, Satan.
2.) He has claimed the inheritance for all that believe on Him.
3.) He will lead us all into the true Promised Land of God the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem.
God’s people do not need an explanation of God’s plan!
God’s people just need to have “faith” in God’s promises and follow God’s plan!
*****Jos 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
The promised land to the Jew extended from the southern desert to the great Lebanon mountains of the north, and from the Euphrates River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. This was the promise God made to Abraham.
Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
Because of their disobedience the children of Israel have never taken all that land except for a short time in the rule of King David.
1Ch 18:3 And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
We must see that the fulfillment of this promise to Abraham will not be fulfilled until some time in the future.
There are many references to the Hittites in the Bible but no one believed they existed until 10,000 clay tablets were found at a ruin of an ancient city of Turkey called Boghaz-Koy.
Boghazkoy is the site of a major Hittite capital called Hattusas, in what is now Turkey, some 100 kilometers from the Black Sea and 150 miles from Ankara. Occupied between about 1600 and 1200 BC.
The Hittites are descendants of Heth who was the prominent son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. It is because of Canaan’s many sons that the land of promise was called Canaan Land.
*****Jos 1:5 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].
We have already studied the flood of Noah’s day. This was a worldwide catastrophe!
We have already studied the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This was a local catastrophe!
We will now see the first time God will use people to bring judgment to the wicked!
What had God told Abraham?
Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
Many times it looks like evil people get away with things indefinitely, but God always has a timetable for everything. When the right time has come, the evil will be judged and God’s justice will prevail.
God will never forsake His children and it is certain that God will never forsake them when they are used in His judgment of other nations.
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
We know that God used other nations in His judgment of Israel because they became like these of Canaan after a short period of time because they did not get rid of all the evil of that land.
We know that God the Son will one day return to bring judgment on this world and all evil will be done away with!
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
*****Jos 1:6 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.
Jos 1:7 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.
What we see here is that before God could fulfill His promises Joshua had to have “faith”!
He had to have enough responsibility in him to know that these things could only be accomplished in the way God chose.
Joshua had God’s promise but he still had to put forth the effort in believing and following the Word of God.
God’s promises are His tool to get us involved in His plan!
So when we are used of God, we should say:
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
*****Jos 1:8 [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.
There are many that teach that the Word of God was actually written many years after the death of these great leaders of Israel.
But what do you do with this verse?
God’s people were commanded to obey God’s written law just as we are today. We have the same written Word of God as Joshua had. It has now been completed but even Joshua had the written Word. This was not just a written record of the History of Israel but it was the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God!
God shows us here in this scripture that it is not only important to have His written Word but it is very important to take the time to read, study, and meditate on the Word of God daily and even at night!
We must make God’s Word a part of us!
The very first song of praise in the Bible explains this for us.
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
We know that in the end times we are in now people are loosing the hunger for the Word of God. We must not loose our delight in the Word of God!
The Hebrew word translated “meditate” means to “mutter”.
It was a Jewish practise to read the Word of God out loud even if they were not alone. God gave us one mouth but He gave us two ears.
Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deu 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Deu 6:9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
*****Jos 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, [neither be thou dismayed]: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
The message of God never changes. We see what God told Joshua.
What did God tell Mary the mother of Our Lord?
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
What does God tell every believer?
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, [to stand].
Not even the Devil can penetrate the armor of God unless God allows it!
Just like Joshua every child of God has a divine commission and God will supply the things needed to face our enemies and to make sure His Will Is Done!
When we are sent of God, He will provide!
*****Jos 1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
Jos 1:11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
Once we understand the calling of God, it is time to prepare to be obedient. It was time for God’s people to claim His promises.
When we recognize the “Spiritual” bond between us and our Lord it is time to get moving!
Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Our first place to work is where we see the Lord working already. To many of us this is our local church. It is only when we will get involved in God’s plan that He may call us or direct us in another work.
If we see God working somewhere in our community, then get involved there. If we hear God mentioned in our work place then get involve there.
Jesus also said:
Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Joh 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Israel’s ownership of the land of Palestine is unconditional!
BUT, Israel had to take the land and then be obedient to the Lord to remain on that land!
They needed to prepare only three days of meals for they would soon then be eating off the Land of Promise and the Manna would cease to come.
Notice Joshua did not try to second guess the plan of God, Joshua just got in God’s plan. God had opened up the Red Sea so the River Jordan would be small in comparison to that.
Joshua reminded the those that were promised land on this side of Jordan of their covenant with Moses.
Those 2 and one half tribes kept their promise but it was a concession on Moses part to allow them to live out side the Promised land. This is now the nation of Jordan.
It is with these that we can see the future thoughts of mankind.
They thought it better to make a good living with the grass lands for their cattle than to make a new life in the promised land of God!
They place fortune before family!
They made sure they were far from the place of worship!
They are a “type” of borderline believers in the Bible.
They were willing to serve the Lord for a set time but when they felt that time to be over they went back to the things they wanted to do.
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Four times in this chapter we see the words “be strong and of good courage”.
God gives us His free gift of salvation if we only believe on Him!
But we must take that first step toward Him in “Faith”.
We must then be strong in His Word and have courage.
Courage is that quality of mind that enables us to encounter the dangers of this world and the difficulties of living as a Christian, with boldness enough to take a stand for God and then “to stand”.
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
It is God’s Power that is endless, not our own!