Epistles of Thomas

April 21, 2009

Joshua 1-3

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 11:25
Tags: , ,

The book of Joshua begins with God speaking to Joshua and affirming his leadership over the people. God personally promises him the Promised Land will be theirs and reminds them that they need to obey all the commands that were previously given. The people accept Joshua’s leadership, desiring that God will be with him as he was with Moses.

Joshua sent two spies to Jericho to get the lay of the land and they ended up in Rahab’s house. Although the king learned of their presence and desired to kill them Rahab hid them and reported that the people were terrified of the Jewish people. Not because of their military might but because they recognised that the God of Heaven and Earth was with the Israelites and no one could stand against them. She uses the name LORD four times in 2:9-12 which is the name YHWH proclaimed to Moses during the burning bush incident. Rahab requested her life and the lives of her family members, which were granted by the spies. Rahab would become the mother of Boaz, an ancestor of Jesus, and a model of faith (Mt 1:5; Heb 11:31; Jam 2:25). The spies returned to Joshua reporting that the Lord was clearly giving the land into their hands. This contrasts the first spying expedition which ended badly with the result that they spent 40 years in the wilderness.

God demonstrated his selection of Joshua for conquest leadership through a dramatic sign equivalent to Moses’ parting of the Red Sea. The priests marched the Ark of the Covenant to the edge of the Jordan River and once they arrived it immediately stopped flowing and allowed the people to cross on dry land. The ark, which symbolised God’s presence, went ahead of them and proved that God would defeat the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites and give the land to them.

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