After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Does that last sentence remind you of anything? How about this?
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:20
Just as Jesus handed off the gospel to His disciples at the end of Matthew with a promise, so God handed off the covenant with Israel to Joshua with a promise.
Remember, the law of Moses isn’t really about rules. The point isn’t to get people to jump through a bunch of hoops. It’s about a promise—the promise God made to Abraham and to Moses.
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
The death of Moses and the transfer of leadership to Joshua represents an essential shift. Moses gave the law, explained the law, and oversaw the building of the tabernacle. The covenantal promise is set. Now Joshua will captain the Israelites receiving this promise.
This parallels the New Testament in two ways. One is the handoff to the apostles mentioned above. The other is that the whole gospel is the fulfilment of a promise God made to Abraham.
“and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” — Genesis 22:18a
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” — Luke 24:44
I often think of creation as consisting of space, time, matter, and energy. But it’s about covenants.
As we walk thorough Joshua, keep this in mind: Joshua is to the Pentateuch as Acts is to the Gospels. Both are about following God’s plan.
This book will show us how it’s done right.
It’ll also show us how it’s done wrong.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.
I like to say that the church needs to get back to the purity and glory of its early years. I normally mean that we need to get back to the purity and charity of Christian behavior that turned the world upside down.
But maybe that’s not at the heart of what was different back then. Maybe it was the focus on Christianity being true and testifying to that.