Judges through Poets- 2a: Introduction to Joshua

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:3-4
The Greek word for inheritance is used in the Greek OT for Canaan. Canaan is a type of Heaven because Heaven is the heightened version of Canaan.

Hebrews 13:14 ‘For here we do not have a lasting city but we are seeking the city which is to come.’

Recommended reading:
‘Kingdom Prologue’ by Kline is a discussion of the first eleven chapters of Genesis.
Warren Austin Gage ‘The Gospel of Genesis: Protology and Eschatology’

The Promise through the Patriarchs
Joshua describes the Israelites taking of the land promised to the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

1) Abraham
Genesis 12:7:
‘Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him’

Genesis 13:14-15:
‘And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.’

We see the promise of eternity in the word ‘forever’

Genesis 15:18:
‘On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: ’To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates’

2) Isaac
Genesis 26:3:
‘Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.’

3) Jacob
Genesis 28:13
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.

4) The climax of the Pentateuch:
Deuteronomy 34:4
‘Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.’

2 things in every one of the above verses
1) the seed
2) the land

The book of Joshua
The book of Joshua is a demonstration of the continuing fulfilment of Genesis 3:13. The seed of the woman is placed in a land. The book of Joshua demonstrates that God keep His promises. The land received was a temporary fulfilment of the promise.

1) Structure
1-12 the conquest of the land
13-22 the division of the land
23-24 the covenant engagement under Joshua

2) A Theological Problem
Some argue that it is wrong of God to order the annihilation of the Canaanites. How could a loving God do this?

God commanded the destruction of the Canaanites:
Duet 7:1-2
‘When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.’

This is also seen in Duet 20:16-17.

How are we to understand this destruction?
Some argue that the OT God is a God of wrath and the NT God is a God of love.
This division is not easily made. Christ quotes the OT when commanding His disciples to love the Lord.

God’s wrath is explained in the NT in various places such as Revelation and 2 Thes.

Theodacy is the theology of trying to defend God’s goodness in the presence of evils’ existence.

God has the right to exercise His power whenever He wants to who ever He wants.

The Canaanites were not a peaceful, righteous, and moral people. They were deserving of such wrath. Lev 18 speaks about the sin of the Canaanites. The Canaanites were not indifferent to the Israelites. They had enmity and murderous intent towards them.

Romans 1 tells us that everyone (including the Canaanites) suppress the truth and exchange God’s glory for sin. We are all without excuse and deserving of wrath.

3) The commissioning of Joshua
Joshua 1:1-9 is the key theme passage of the book.
We see in this passage the commissioning of Joshua. This shows us that Moses’ authority has been transferred to Joshua.

This commissioning is confirmed by:
God speaking directly to Joshua as He did Moses
God’s addressing of Joshua out of the tabernacle (Duet 31:14-15)


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