Deeply embedded in almost every part of the Bible is a tension between the holiness of God and his graciousness.
As a holy God he demands compliance with his law, set before human beings choices of obedience or disobedience on which are conditioned blessing or judgment.
As a merciful, gracious, and compassionate God, he makes unconditional promises reflecting the grace and favor he has set on his people.
Joshua 1:1-8 expresses no less than ten “will”s, of which the Lord is personally speaking to a stalwart of a man, of which every one of them were fulfilled.
What was true for Joshua is certainly true for each of us- “Do not let this Book of the Law (probably Deuteronomy) depart from your mouth; meditate (hagah) on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Josh1:8).
Then to close the book, Joshua sums up everything ever learned from Moses and challenges the people, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the Gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:14-15).
Each of us is going to worship and serve something. What or who is it going to be for you?
In kind of a short look back at the week, a point struck me regarding the person of Joshua, some of the theological ideas in that story and how they point to a future Messiah and Kingdom of God.
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.
Posted in B90X
Tagged B90X, Castle Rock Bible Church, churches in Castle Rock, courageous, CRBC, Jesus, Joshua, Messiah, reading, strong, strong and courageous
How are things going? Have you been keeping up? Many of you are faithful to the task of reading, fasting, and praying. I am very proud of you and am so blessed by your attention to your word.
In my attempt to bring daily encouragement and thoughts, I have fallen a bit behind haven’t I? I would have a novella to this point, so I will spare you the agony of such reading. You have enough to get through.