Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of Joshua
Who is Joshua?
- Joshua had been a personal servant of Moses, and captain of Israel's army
- On Moses' death, God appoints Joshua as his successor
- Joshua must now lead the people into the Promised Land
- He is repeatedly told to "be strong and very courageous"
What happens in the book?
- Joshua sent two spies into the Land of Canaan
- The spies viewed the land, including Jericho, and were sheltered by a woman named Rahab
- God parted the River Jordan so that the Israelites could pass into Canaan
- The Israelites camped at Gilgal, where they prepared for battle, and kept the Passover
- Joshua met God's angel, the commander of the armies of the Lord
- Jericho is defeated, by God causing the walls of the city to fall down
- Achan stole some goods devoted to God, causing a defeat in battle, and was duly punished, following which the city of Ai was conquered
- The conquest continues with various cities in the south of the land, followed by various cities in the north of the land
- The allotment of Canaan between the twelve tribes is then detailed
- 48 cities were given to the Levites as their inheritance
- 6 cities of refuge were appointed, giving sanctuary to anyone who accidentally killed someone
- The tabernacle (place of worship) was set up at Shiloh
- When most of the land was conquered, Joshua reminded the people of their promise to serve God
God's hand at work
- The River Jordan (Chapter 3) – miraculously parted so the Israelites could cross
- Jericho (Chapter 6) – the battle was won by the Lord causing the walls to fall down
- Ai (Chapter 7) – the initial assault failed because Achan sinned against God
- Gibeon (Chapter 10) – the Lord held the sun still until the battle was won
- It is clear that the people could do nothing without God – and the same applies to us today
Joshua and Jesus
- The name "Joshua" in Hebrew is the same name as "Jesus" in Greek
- Both names mean "God saves"
- Joshua, one of the original 12 spies (see the Book of Numbers), trusts that God will deliver them despite insurmountable obstacles, just as Jesus always trusts in God despite the persecutions he faced in life
- Joshua helped to conquer the enemies of the Israelites, whereas Jesus helps Christians to conquer their enemy – sin