We are so fortunate to live in history when we have the cannon. We are able to read back and make connections that men like Joshua or the disciples only had bits and pieces of information in putting together their worldviews. The way we can read Israel’s story and the thread of redemption woven through it, is grace to us. How much more revelation do any of us need to comprehend and grasp the love Father has for us?
Here are a few things found in Joshua which point to events and ideas found when and after Jesus came:
- The Name of Joshua and Jesus. The name of Joshua means “the Lord is our salvation.” Interestingly enough the English Jesus is a derivation of the Greek which is a derivation of the Hebrew. So etymologically, their names mean the same thing and their roles and nature line up dramatically.
- The Promises Rest- Josh was leading Israel into their inheritance, into their rest (Deut 3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Josh. 1:13, 15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1). But at best a temporary rest from enemies, for Israel would have many more foes in the centuries ahead. From the vantage point of the NT, Joshua’s successes were only partial at best, and therefore they pointed beyond themselves to a time when Joshua’s greater namesake, Jesus, would bring God’s people into an inheritance that could not be taken away from them (1 Peter 1:3-5). Jesus would provide the rest Joshua had not attained (Heb 3:11, 18; 4:1-11).
- Models of Faith- The people of Israel at the battle of Jericho and Rahab the prostitute are presented as models of faith, examples of those who were looking for a country (Heb 11:30-31; 11:14-16), but who did not attain what was promised (11:39_40), because God had planned something better.
- God’s Warrior- According to the NT, Jesus is not only Joshua’s greater namesake, but he is also the Divine Warrior, the captain of the Lord’s Army who fights in behalf of his people and achieves victory for them (Josh. 5:13-15; Rev. 19:11-16). The inheritance he gives is not a stretch of rocky land in the eastern Mediterranean, but rather renewed heavens and earth and a heavenly city (Rev. 1-2).
- The Conquest- Many have made comparisons between Joshua and the book of Acts. After redemption from Egypt in the Exodus, Israel began the conquest of her inheritance; after the redemptive work of Jesus at the cross, his people move forward to conquer the world in his name. Israel enjoyed an earthly inheritance and an earthly kingdom but the kingdom of which the church is a part is spiritual and heavenly.
Sidenote- for some of you struggling to rearrange your daily schedule to get the hour or so reading done everyday, I ran across this article that gives a few pointers on how it can be done. Stay after it!! Reading all of God’s words in this rapid fashion is so worth it.