This Week’s Reading Schedule
Today’s (Monday’s) Bible Reading is Joshua 1-5.
Tuesday’s is Joshua 6-10.
Wednesday’s is Joshua 11-15.
Thursday’s is Joshua 16-20.
Friday’s is Joshua 21-24.
Next week we will read Judges.
The overall year’s plan is here.
The Book of Joshua is the story of the conquest of the land God promised to Israel. In this book and during the travels to the land of Canaan, it is primarily the land of Canaan, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, with which the Israelites were concerned. But notice in verse 4 that God has actually promised the Israelites all the land from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean.
That kind of expansion is for later, but it was reached under David and Solomon, when God was pleased with Israel and its leaders.
Joshua 1:8 is one of the more popular memory verses, and for good reason.
This is the story of the 2 spies and Rahab. This is a prophecy that modern Christians do not miss, but know about. The spies have Rahab tie a scarlet cord in her window, which marks salvation not just for her, but for her whole houses.
The scarlet cord represents the blood of Christ, of course, and Rahab’s family will only be saved if they are in the room marked by the scarlet cord.
Israel miraculously crosses the Jordan directly across from Jericho.
Imagine the faith it must have taken to send the Ark of the Covenant marching into the flooding Jordan River. Only someone with experience with God and the Word of God would have that kind of faith.
God promises Joshua that he will support him just as he supported Moses, and the Jordan River splits like the Red Sea did when the feet of the Levites hit the water.
Note, too, that the priests were standing on dry ground, not muddy ground, and the rest of the Israelite camp crossed on dry ground as well. This was a notable miracle performed by God.
The Israelites set up an altar at their camp site after crossing the Jordan, and Joshua also set up stones in the middle of the Jordan at the priest’s feet. God has always been a God of memorials, wanting to continually remind his people of the things he has done.
Today, we have the Lord’s Supper to bring the work of Christ before our remembrance.
Gilgal is a name you will want to remember. It comes up often. Sometimes it’s difficult to picture where all these places are. Gilgal, as we see, is at the east edge of Jericho.
It seems odd that the Israelites did not circumcise their children during their travels in the wilderness, but they didn’t. So Joshua takes care of that now before they begin their conquest of the land of Canaan.
At the end of this chapter, we find one more appearance of the Word and Son of God. He appears to Joshua as "the Captain of the army of Yahweh." Joshua recognizes him as lord, and the Captain tells Joshua to take of his shoes because the ground is holy. This seals the Captain’s identity as the same God that appeared to Moses some 40 years earlier, not too far away on the other side of the Jordan, in the burning bush.
Again, the Scriptures tell us that no man has seen God at any time (Jn. 1:18), which is a reference to the fact that it is not the Father, but the Son, who appears on earth to men.
What almost no one realizes anymore is that while it is true that the Son of God is Divine, our modern use of the word God to refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time is not Scriptural. When the apostles writings (the New Testament) use the term "God," it is almost always a reference to the Father only, not the Father, Son, and Spirit together.
Yes, the Son is called God, a number of times (e.g., Rom. 9:5; Tit. 2:13), in the apostles writings, but on such occasions the Son is always clearly being referred to, and apart from the Father. Whenever the Father and Son are referred to together, or God is used by itself, it is clear that "God" is applied to the Father and "Lord" to the Son (e.g., Jn. 17:3; 1 Tim. 2:5; and the greeting of all Paul’s letters).
1 Corinthians 8:6 says, "For us there is but one God, the Father … and one Lord, Jesus Christ."
The Nicene and Apostles Creed, repeated in both Protestant and Catholic churches on a weekly basis and considered the standard of orthodoxy by most denominations, says, "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty … and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
The reason this is important is in verses like John 1:18. John 1:18 is not saying that no one has seen any of the divine persons. It is saying that no one has seen the Father, who is "invisible" (1 Tim. 1:17).
For a more complete coverage of the apostolic and early Christian understanding of the Trinity, which is very accurately outlined in the Apostles Creed (even though modern Christians, except the Eastern Orthodox churches, no longer understand it) see http://www.christian-history.org/the-trinity.html.