For most Christians, Joshua is a favorite book to read. Perhaps it’s because we have just finished the Pentateuch (5 books of law) and we’re excited to read something less dry. Maybe it’s because the book is an action-packed book filled with all kinds of battles.
For me personally, the book is a favorite because within its pages I get a clearer picture of what following God amid challenges, trouble, and hardships is all about. From beginning to end, the book of Joshua captivates us with stories of the people of God as they strive to live up to the demands of a new life in the Promised Land.
It often reminds me of the challenges of living the life of faith in Jesus. They have been redeemed from the sin and slavery of Egypt; endured the wilderness and its challenges; only to be confronted with living in fellowship with God. I am not saying it’s a bad thing but let’s be honest, it had to be a hard adjustment to make. Up to this point, the people have been asked to exercise enough faith in God to follow Him while He graciously provided for them. Now, they must muster enough faith to risk everything and take the land from the people who lived there. The task must have appeared overwhelming, to say the least. The cites were well fortified, their armies large, and the people intimidating since they towered over the rather short (in stature) Hebrews.
In the same way, Christians often find themselves overwhelmed by the reality of life in Christ. Overwhelmed with the choices to be made and the challenges to be faced. Joshua reminds us that by faith in Jesus, we can conquer this new Promised Land that we call “faith” and live a life of victory we never imagined possible.
Every story, every chapter, every event within the pages of Joshua contain great spiritual insights for the people of God. It’s so pervasive that even the death of Joshua and its effect on the nation is set forth as a lesson.
Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned and definitely the first lesson to be learned from Joshua is the power of faith and action. Someone once said that the lesson of Joshua was, “You cannot go with God and stay where you’re at.” Faith always demands action and a courage to step into the unknown and risk everything simply because God says you can.
This is key to life and faith in New Testament Christianity. Make time to read and learn from the Old Testament books. Within them, you will find a wealth of information and lessons to be mined for the rest of your life. The Hebrew Bible was the Bible Jesus and his apostles read (It was not the KJV). Thus, it will be valuable to you as well.