Joshua (Yhwh Shwh) literally means ‘The LORD is salvation’. It is the same name given to Christ. The book of Joshua outlines how the LORD will use Joshua to save his people by bringing them into the land of promise and showing them how to inherit it.
Joshua 1.2-5 underpins the book and gives reference to what we will see as we read through it. Most importantly, God will never leave or forsake his people. He will fulfil his promise to them. But the completion of their ‘laying claim’ to their inheritance also depends on their obedience to him.
The book of Joshua has many links to the New Testament. Christ’s promise that he will not leave or forsake his followers mirrors God’s words to Joshua in chapter one. It forms the basis for Jesus sending out his disciples in Matt 28:18; Mk 16:15; Acts 1:8. As they ‘enter the land’ God will surely be with them and give them victory (in the NT sense this refers to victory over the enemy, being Satan and the power of sin withholding people from the gospel).
The tension that will be felt through the book is set up – on one hand God has given the land to Israel as their inheritance, on the other, they must occupy it. Similarly, for us as Christians, victory over sin has been won through Jesus, but we must claim it by living out a life of freedom (continuing to claim that victory over sin).
Themes in Joshua:
• Land (tied to)
• God’s promises (tied to)
• Covenant (tied to)
• Obedience (tied to)
• Holiness (tied to)
• Godly leadership (tied to)