Clearly the central theme of the book of Joshua is the truth that God is a promise-keeper. Well over five hundred years before these recorded events God pledged to Abraham that â€˜to your offspring I will give this land'. The land he is referring to is Canaan. From that time onward to the period of the conquest God repeatedly makes the same promise to his people. This promise occurs so frequently in the Pentateuch that it seems to be the theme sentence of the literature.
The writer of the book of Joshua recognizes the importance of this theme. The fulfillment of God's promises of a land are central to the book. He begins the book with it and brings to closure Joshua's final charge to Israel's leaders with it. And the promises of God as fulfilled are found throughout the book.
The truth that God fulfills his promise of a land for Israel also has great implications for the believer today, and that is one of the great applications of the book of Joshua. Those who are truly of God's people, that is, those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, shall inherit a land. However, that land is not the dry and dusty land in the Middle East today. Rather, the Apostle Peter tells us that God â€˜has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you'. We as believers have God's promise of an eternal inheritance and the possession of an eternal land that is real, earthy, and substantial. And, like Israel, we will indeed receive our inheritance because God is a promise-keeper!
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- Publisher: EP Books
- ISBN: 978-085234-747-8
- Pages: 271
- Price: 11.99
Strong and Courageous – Joshua
John D Currid
Star rating: 4 stars
John D. Currid has again produced another valuable volume on the Old Testament – this time it appears in the Welwyn commentaries, the Bible simply explained. It is similar in style to Dr Currid’s EP Study Commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – but the Welwyn commentaries are not so detailed. However, every verse of the book of Joshua is covered.
The author has divided Joshua up into four sections – the crossing (1:1 – 5:12), the seizing (5:13-12:24), the dividing (13:1-21:45) and the serving (32:1-24:33). Those who are wary of books by theologians need not be deterred from reading this one. Included in the introductory chapter are brief explanations of three literary genres. These help the reader to identify key words, phrases and recurring themes throughout scripture.
The author is not only a Professor of Old Testament; he also pastors a Presbyterian Church congregation. He skilfully uses his theological skills to apply the meaning text to ordinary Christians.
There is nothing complicated about the way the commentary moves through the book of Joshua and I like the fact that each section normally covers no more than two pages of the commentary.
In dealing with the defeat at Ai Dr Currid points out the similarities to the conquest of Jericho. ‘As everything belonging to Achan is taken outside of the camp of Israel and destroyed (which does not seem fair), so everything belonging to the city of Jericho had been laid waste. …[Achan] is no different from a pagan from the city of Jericho!’ (p.100).
After over 40 years of preaching I have now come to understand why Jesus used so many stories in his teaching. Dr Currid adopts a similar method. He frequently illustrates his teaching by referring to incidents from the past (often in the lives of Christians). These all show us how the Bible is relevant to the daily lives of each one of us.
‘Points to ponder’ are useful tools that appear at the end of each chapter. Here the author often relates Old Testament occurrences to New Testament teaching.
Every Christian believer would benefit spiritually by using this book to aid his or her study of the Bible. It will be of great benefit to all preachers and teachers of the God’s word, and I thoroughly recommend it.