Monday, February 13, 2017

Commentary On The Book Of Joshua

        The historical Book of Joshua is a fascinating text for a person to read. Every event revealed throughout the sacred Scriptures presents us with a series of truths that can never be broken. God’s appointed people, Joshua and the citizens of Israel, overcame all of the challenges that they faced only when they obeyed Him. This involved trusting in the Lord for every aspect of life and obeying His precepts. We must follow the same moral pattern when we encounter challenges in our daily lives. If we violate the commandments of the Lord, then we will certainly put ourselves under His discipline. The most significant theme of the Book of Joshua is that God will lead us through our trials, especially from an eternal perspective.

        Joshua and the Israelites only succeeded at defeating Jericho because they obeyed everything that God commanded them. The people had no choice but to obey what God commanded Joshua to enforce. “Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey all your commands is to be put to death. Only be strong and steadfast.” [Joshua 1:18] We as Christians can infer that we are to be strong and steadfast when teaching His Word to others. We are God’s army which has been commissioned to fight the spiritual battle against the dark forces of evil. In other words, we have been called to instruct the ignorant world about His ways of righteousness and wisdom. “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9] When we endure difficult tasks such as preaching the Gospel of Salvation to other people, we must heed to His command of always being strong and steadfast.

        Joshua was successful in defeating the enemies of God's chosen people because he obeyed His command to trust in Him. He was victorious at the battle against Gibeon because he did not fear the enemy, which was in perfect accordance to our Creator’s plain instruction. “The LORD said to Joshua: Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your power. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” [Joshua 10:8] Readers of the book of Joshua can deduce that God will continuously be there for them and to not be overcome by evil. The Lord repeatedly told Joshua to not fear his foes, for he will overcome them. Joshua can be seen as an example of faithfulness and courage. God is our Rock. He is our Refuge and Redeemer.

        The Book of Joshua teaches us that we as believers are bound to fail spiritually apart from the grace and sustaining power of God. Joshua sent a couple thousand men to battle at Ai and they were demolished quickly. The Israelites lost the first battle to Ai because they acted treacherously with the ban that God had established. He asked the Lord how such an occasion was possible. The Israelites had violated the Covenant that He made with them. If we follow God’s commandments, then He is with us. If we dare to act contrary to His Will, then He will discipline us. “But just as every promise the LORD, your God, made to you has come true for you, so will He bring upon you every threat, even so far as to exterminate you from this good land which the LORD, your God, has given you.” [Joshua 23:15] The Jews were promised blessings if they obeyed God. We must trust in Him if we truly wish to maintain a positive outlook from an eternal perspective.

         It can even be said that Joshua himself is a type of Christ. Just as he had enabled the Israelites to obtain the blessing of dwelling in the land of milk and honey through the conquest of the Canaanites, so Jesus Christ reconciles believers to the Father and guides them into the heavenly sanctuary [Hebrews 4:8-11].

        The Book of Joshua is a powerful guide to life because it reminds us of the One who is infinitely superior to us. It shows that there are consequences for those who disobey God. This inspired text keeps our thinking in line with His commandments. It enforces humility and reminds us that God is sovereign. It was written for our edification. All events that take place in the Bible were recorded under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So we would do well to heed to what is found therein. The Book of Joshua enforces themes of trust and obedience to God. He rewards those who seek after Him. We learn from the Book of Joshua to be strong and tenacious in serving the Lord our God.

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