For this study we will look at the book of Joshua in two parts; Part One is The Conquest of Canaan , which will be further subdivided into four sections.
1. Israel Is Prepared for the Conquest
(1) Joshua Replaces Moses
“After the death of Moses… the LORD said to Joshua….. 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.” . As Moses came to the end of his earthly days he summoned the people, telling them that he was no longer able to be their leader. The Lord had already told him that he would not cross the Jordan to enter the Promised Land; he said to them, “The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the LORD said.” Their wilderness wanderings were now ended and they were about to enter the next phase of their journey; the land promised to their forefathers was before them but they had to claim it for themselves by destroying the enemy, which was a formidable task, so Moses assured them “The Lord will deliver them to you…. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. He then gives the same message to Joshua adding the tasks that are expected of Joshua, capture the territory and divide the land among the Tribes as their inheritance, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” .
Appointing Joshua as Moses’ replacement, the Lord confirms the promise given earlier to the Patriarchs and to Moses; “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 Great Sea on the west.” and also confirms His promise to Joshua, “No one will be able to stand up 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.” . God’s promises are clear and precise and specific conditions on the part of the recipient are required, so He reminds Joshua of this; “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” . As leader, Joshua was expected to set and live the example of one who is dedicated to God and His Word, success to the strategy would only be accomplished by meditation and action on what God’s Word reveals – “..be careful to do everything written in it.” Joshua then repeats the conditions to the people, first to the Tribal Leaders and in turn to all the people; “So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.'”” The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had to be reminded of the conditions of their settlement in the Land, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: ‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land.’… all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.” Joshua then receives from them the assurance that they will carry out the agreement, “Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you.” , and so Joshua takes command and sets out to prepare the people for the conquest of the Land.
To Joshua the message is the same as was given before to Moses, the tasks are new and specific. The promises are clear and precise and specific conditions are required. Success is directly proportional to meditation and action on what God’s Word directs.
God never sends His servant into action without prior training in what the service requires.