DATE: 1400-1370 B.C.
While Joshua is identified as the author of this book (24:1-26), there are a few sections (15:13-17, 24:29-31) that must have been written by another. It’s thought that these passages were probably added by Eleazar the priest or by Eleazar’s son Phinehas. Joshua was an eyewitness to many of the events and he recorded them shortly after they took place (6:25).
The book describes the conquest and division of the land of Canaan. It exposes the corrupt and brutal nature of Canaanite religion. God commanded to kill the inhabitants of Canaan and rid the land of the sins of prostitution of both sexes, infant sacrifice, religious syncretism, and more. Having failed to do so, Israel later engaged in many of the sins of the heathen nations including idolatry and false religion.
Joshua was born in Egypt and his given name Hoshea means salvation. Moses changed his name to Joshua (Num 13:16) which means God is Salvation. It’s thought that Joshua might have served in Pharaoh’s army which would have prepared and qualified him to command the Israelites against the Amalekites at Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16). Joshua served as a minister (personal attendant, (Joshua 1:1) to Moses during the year at Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:13). As the representative of the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua scouted the land of Canaan with the other eleven spies and, along with Caleb, had faith that they could enter the land and be victorious with God’s help. The Lord told Moses to commission Joshua as his successor (Num. 27:18-23) who would lead the people in their conquest of Canaan. Joshua’s outstanding qualities were faith, courage, obedience, and devotion to the law of God.
The book of Joshua emphasizes (1) the faithfulness of God to give Israel the land of Canaan (cf. Gen. 13:15); (2) the importance of the written law of God (Josh. 1:8; 8:32-35; 23:6-16; 24:26-27); and (3) the holiness of God in judging the sins of the Canaanites (cf. Deut. 7:1-6).
OUTLINE OF JOSHUA
I. Entering the Land of Canaan, 1:1-5:15
A. The Commission of God to Joshua, 1:1-9
B. The Command of Joshua to the People, 1:10-18
C. The Canvassing of Jericho: Rahab and the Spies, 2:1-24
D. The Crossing of the Jordan River, 3:1-17
E. The Commemoration of the Crossing, 4:1-24
F. The Circumcision of the People, 5:1-12
G. The Commander of the Lord’s Army, 5:13-15
II. Conquering the Land of Canaan, 6:1-12:24
A. Conquest of Central Canaan, 6:1-8:35
1. Victory at Jericho, 6:1-27
2. Defeat at Ai: Achan’s sin, 7:1-26
3. Victory at Ai, 8:1-29
4. Worship at Ebal, 8:30-35
B. Conquest of Southern Canaan, 9:1-10:43
1. Deception of the Gibeonites, 9:1-27
2. Destruction of the Amorite coalition, 10:1-43
C. Conquest of Northern Canaan, 11:1-15
D. Summary of the Conquest, 11:16-12:24
III. Dividing the Land of Canaan, 13:1-24:33
A. Instructions to Joshua, 13:1-7
B. Division of Transjordan, 13:8-33
C. Division of Canaan, 14:1-19:51
1. Introduction, 14:1-5
2. Inheritance of Judah, 14:6-15:63
3. Inheritance of Ephraim, 16:1-10
4. Inheritance of half-tribe of Manasseh, 17:1-18
5. Survey of remaining land, 18:1-10
6. Inheritance of Benjamin, 18:11-28
7. Inheritance of Simeon, 19:1-9
8. Inheritance of Zebulun, 19:10-16
9. Inheritance of Issachar, 19:17-23
10. Inheritance of Asher, 19:24-31
11. Inheritance of Naphtali, 19:32-39
12. Inheritance of Dan, Josh 19:40-48
13. Special inheritances, 19:49-51
D. Cities of Refuge, 20:1-9
E. Cities of the Levites, 21:1-45
F. Joshua’s Farewell Messages, 22:1-24:28
1. To the two-and-a-half tribes, 22:1-34
2. To the rulers, 23:1-16
3. To the people, 24:1-28
G. The Death of Joshua, 24:29-33
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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