What You Should Know About Joshua

What You Should Know About Joshua by Myra Kahn Adams for Town Hall

Author’s Note: Interested readers can find all previous volumes of this series here. News Flash: The first 56 volumes are compiled into a book titled “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible.” More details at the end. Now back to our regular programming.

Thanks for joining our study. Today we will learn about Joshua, who succeeded Moses as the leader of the ancient Israelites and led them into the Promised Land.

The Lord anointed Joshua after he showed extraordinary faith when the Israelites were rebelling against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites were distraught after hearing what awaited them when they entered the Promised Land after wandering in the desert for 40 years. (Read Numbers Chapter 14 subtitled “The People Rebel” for all the details.) What follows is a quick synopsis that begins in Numbers Chapter 13.

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God told Moses to send one man from each of the 12 Tribes of Israel to “explore the land of Canaan which I am giving to the Israelites.” Joshua represented his tribe, Ephraim. Upon returning, the men described, “cities were fortified and very large,” with “people of great size,” but also saw the promised “fruit” of the land. Ten of the men were discouraged and encouraged rebellion against Moses and Aaron, warning, “ ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are’ ” (Numbers 13:31).

But Joshua had a different mindset. He boldly proclaimed in front of “the entire Israeli assembly” that the land was “exceedingly good” and detailed his faith and action plan:

“‘If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them’ ” (Numbers 14:8-9).

Meanwhile, Moses was in his last chapter of life. Although a great leader and man of God, Moses had disobeyed God’s instructions only once, but for that was denied entry into the Promised Land. (See Vol. 86).  Thus, Moses asked God to “appoint a man” to “lead them.” Moses’s request is recorded in Numbers 27:15-17, and God responded:

“‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him’ ” (Numbers 27:18-23). (I linked God’s entire transition plan.)

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