In a few days I’m starting an online, interactive, in-depth journey through the book of Joshua. As we walk through this incredible Old Testament book, we’ll discover seven recurring themes that run throughout the book:
1. God fulfills His promises. The word “promise” appears fourteeen times in the book of Joshua, and for good reason. God promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites, and the book of Joshua is all about God making good on His promises.
2. Disobedience leads to disaster. We see this clearly in Joshua 7 with Achan’s sin, but it’s a theme that occurs several times throughout the book. When the Israelites obey God, good things happen. But disobedience leads to disaster. Several times the Israelites take a misstep and pay the penalty for it.
3. True faith requires action. Joshua believed in God, and we see that faith by what Joshua actually did. Joshua stepped foot into the Jordan River at flood stage (Joshua 3), he marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days by faith (Joshua 6), and he even walked onto a battlefield where his opponents outnumbered him exponentially (Joshua 11). True faith requires action.
4. We must take possession of what God has promised. This is a timeless truth many Christians miss today. Just because God had promised the land of Canaan to Israel, that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be work involved for the Israelites. They had to take possession of what God had promised, just as we as Christians today must take possession of the victory God has already promised us.
5. God is sovereign judge over all the nations. The book of Joshua is a brutally stark reminder that God is ultimately judge of all the nations. God leveraged Israelites as His instrument of judgment on the nations of that land for their sins, just as hundreds of years later God would leverage the Babylonians to pass judgment on the nation of Judah for its sins. God is sovereign judge over all the nations.
6. Holiness fuels the miraculous. Before the Israelites crossed the Jordan they consecrated themselves. Before the Israelites took Jericho they circumcised the men. Before they defeated Ai they cleansed the sin from their camp. Holiness fuels the miraculous.
7. Leadership matters. God used a human (Joshua) to lead the Israelites. As long as Joshua led well, the people were victorious. When Joshua failed (as with the deception of Gibeon) the people suffered. Nothing has changed in the millenia of human history: leadership matters.