Okay......I read about 30 pages of commentary last night about the history of the book of Joshua and the literary style of its writing......I'll spare you! :) But here's a quick view......they will have successfully settled into the land of Canaan. We will have more repeats here about settling the land and such, but it will be a simpler version than what we've read in the past books. It will not tell the actual events in detail of settling the land. This book will describe Israel, past and future, in its relationship with God, and the kind of society it WISHED to be!!!
Chapters 1-12 will be about the settlement of the land as the tribes take over Canaan. The violence we read here will be harsh.....they had to acquire the land, in part, through violent means.
Chapters 13-21 are about land distribution
Chapters 22-24 are three stories that focus on the loyalty that Israelite tribes owe to their God who has given them the land. The book of Joshua affirms that God's purpose for Israel was served....even in the evil take over.
The purpose of this book is to move people to faith through obedience in God....who bring good out of evil. Should be hope for watching the evening news any day.....good prevails through evil!! This book was not written as an "eyewitness" account as it was happening....it was not composed and written all at once. It is, though, an accurate account of an time in history and was a "gradual" writing of the events over time!
Chapter 1 The Lord addresses Joshua and he receives his commission. Verse 1-9 is the Lord re-commissioning Joshua. Verses 10-11 is Joshua given his first order to his army officers; and verses 12-18 the tribes declare that they will follow Joshua as their leader and guarantee their obedience to him! Joshua has established his authority. Just as Jesus was commissioned so was Joshua.
Chapter 2 Rahab the prostitute helps Joshua out by allowing his spies to stay at her house. In return, they promise her safety when they return to take over the land. They must have been a very poor family for her to have turned to prostitution to make ends meet for her family. Here, she will now be regarded as a hero for saving her family! Her people as a nation fear the Israelites......the Lord dried up the Red Sea for them and because they took over the Ammorites! This caused great fear....so she believed and was willing to help! She is even mentioned in the New Testament in Hebrews and in James! She is a model that "faith without works is dead."
Chapter 3 Crossing the Jordan leads to the battle of Jericho! The ark of the covenant is being carried on the shoulders of the priests (they are the only ones that can touch it) and it is the very presence of the Lord. They are to keep about 3,000 feet away from it even!!! The water is held back by the presence of the Lord and the Israelites tramp through the river bed to the other side. Another symbol and reminder that they are the redeemed children of God. God provides...again and again! They took a step of faith.....they river was a full force at the time of year they passed. This wasn't a dry creek bed with a few trickles of water. The river was at full force......a step a faith!!!!
Chapter 4 Anytime God does something amazing (and when doesn't He?!!) the Israelites are to leave a memorial in that place. The cross the Jordan on dry land and enter the promised land without a wet foot among them!!! Their sandals were dry!!! The stones will be there for generations to come to remind their children of what God did for them!! They will tell the stories over and over again to their children! They must remember!!!
What ways do you remember what God has done for you? What are you passing on to your children about God? When was the last time you stepped out in faith? Leap out and see whatGod will do!!!!
tomorrow: chapters 5-8