This morning we had the privilege of hearing from Pastor Justin Taylor, our former Young Adult Pastor, who is the Outreach Pastor at Grace Covenant Church. Justin overviewed the book of Joshua from four different angles: Person, Story, Literature, and Theme.
Joshua as a person:
Joshua means "Yahweh is salvation". He was one of the two spies that went to survey the land and came back believing in faith that God would give the Israelites victory. He was Moses' aide and chose to linger in the presence of God. It was where he wanted to be.
Joshua as a story:
Joshua succeeds Moses, rallies the troops on the east side of the Jordan, and led the people to cross the Jordan on dry land. The people were consecrated and went to take the land in some epic battles. He falls face down and worships God. Jericho falls. The Israelites divided the land among the 12 tribes. Although God keeps His promise, the people didn't drive out everyone, but enslaved them.
Joshua as literature:
This is the first of the history books (Joshua-Esther). All future generations are dependent on Joshua because he is setting the foundation for the Israelites, a holy people.
Joshua through themes:
Baptism - God uses the theme of water to show new life. 2 Peter 3:5-6 shows us God separates water in the chaos. Joshua 3:7,13,17 all remind us of the Red Sea. Water symbolizes death in the ancient world. The people of the day were scared of water, so that is why water is used as a symbol for coming up out of the water in new life.
Crucifixion - The custom and law set out in Deuteronomy said that once someone dies, they can be hung on a tree to invoke the curse of God. They were not allowed to hang there overnight. Joshua 10:26 shows the kings that were conquered being hung after death, and then thrown into a cave with rocks. This history gave Jesus' crucifixion so much more meaning to the people of the day.
Inheritance - The land that the people inherited is a picture of heaven. A place to come to your rest. Unfortunately, they never fully claimed the promise. They settled and didn't receive the full benefit of that inheritance.
1. Do you linger in the presence of God the way Joshua did? When? If not, why?
2. Do you have the faith to believe in the inheritance that you have received? How do you live that out?