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by L.M. Grant
Joshua is a book of victory, not in every detail, but in its overall character. Joshua's name is the same as Jesus in the Greek language, meaning "Jehovah is Savior." Moses has been seen as a type of Christ as ruler, leading His people through the wilderness, with the promised land in view. But Joshua is a type of Christ in resurrection, establishing His people in their heavenly inheritance. Therefore, he pictures Christ as regarded subjectively, not objectively. For this reason Joshua's experience in Chapter 5:13-15 is most important. When a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn, Joshua asked him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" But the answer was, "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." If we are to engage in spiritual conflict, it is not enough to have Christ i n us, but we must also have Christ in authority over us.
By the Spirit of God today Christ dwells in every believer to enable him to enter into the great spiritual truths to which he is entitled, truths that are connected with his heavenly inheritance. Yet let us not depend on the fact that Christ is in us. Rather we depend on the great Commander who is above us. For the Spirit of God within us always seeks to lead us in true obedience to Christ in glory above us. Thus, when God gives the word we should be prepared to fully obey because we have His Spirit within us. The book of Joshua therefore contains many exhortations to be strong and of good courage. Joshua needed this, as did all Israel, and we no less today.
Yet this courage is to be calmly dependent on God, for Israel is not seen rushing eagerly into battle, but with calm deliberation taking each step as guided by the Word of the Lord. They entered the promised land by means of the hand of God parting the River Jordan, which is typical of the death and resurrection of Christ introducing believers into their heavenly inheritance. Each enemy in turn must give way to God's power among His armies.
This book compares with Ephesians in the New Testament, for the land of Canaan speaks of "heavenly places," the present sphere into which believers are brought "in Christ Jesus." Our blessings are there (Ephesians 1:3), our position is there (Ephesians 2:6), and our conflict is there also (Ephesians 6:12). But we are given "the whole armor of God" by which to resist and defeat the hosts of Satan, who seeks to hinder our enjoying what is rightly ours. If Joshua was told the Word of God was to be his meditation "day and night" (Joshua 1:8), how much more reason do Christians have for meditation on the Word of God continually, for we have all the New Testament as well as the Old. May we deeply value all the Word of God.
the Fifth Week after Easter