Joshua is the sixth book of the Old Testament and covers the time when the people of Israel finally enter the land that God had promised to Abraham and his descendants.
The book of Joshua teaches us many things. Here are some of the main ones.
1. God is faithful to His promises
God is faithful to His promises. He will fulfill them however long it may take. In chapter 1 we read God’s command to Joshua to go and take the land that He had promised to their ancestors and He also promises that He will be with Joshua wherever he goes.
2. God is merciful
God is merciful to all who turn to him for help. Chapter 2 covers the story of a prostitute named Rahab who hid and protected two Israelites spies. Rahab had heard of the God of Israel and His power and asked that God would show mercy to her and her family. God honored her faith and she and her family were saved.
3. God is our commander and leader
God is our commander and leader. In chapter 5, Joshua met with the commander of the LORD’s army, (God Himself in the form of a soldier). He told Joshua that He would lead them into victory. He is also the one who leads us, guides and protects us. We must obey him just as soldiers in an army obey their commanding officers.
4. Disobedience will be punished
Disobedience to God’s laws will be punished. Chapter 6 covers the account of Israel defeating Jericho. God told them that all of the plunder from Jericho was to be given to God. Achan disobeyed God and kept some things for himself and hid them. As a result Israel was defeated in next battle they fought. God exposed Achan’s sin and he and his family were stoned to death. We must remember that God is constantly watching over us, to protect us and to keep us close to Him. When we sin, He will expose our sin and deal with it. Sometimes we may be the only one who suffers for our sin, but on occasions others may suffer too, just as Israel and Achan’s family suffered. God will not ignore the sins of His people.
5. God does amazing things
Throughout the book of Joshua God did some amazing things for His people. He is our God too, and is still able to do amazing things for us.
6. We have to obey God
Near the end of his life, Joshua reminds the people of Israel of all that God has done for them and warns them to continue to obey God, not to follow the example of the nations around them, or compromise their worship of God in any way. If they did, they would begin to fall away from God and they would be punished and God would bring many disasters upon them. This is exactly what happened. As Christians we must obey all that God has said in His word. The result of Israel’s faithlessness is proof that God fulfills His threats to punish. But also, when Israel was faithful, God fulfilled His promises to bless. The Lord desires to bless His people when they live in obedience to him.