Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Mar 22, Josh 1-4

Today's readings are Josh 1-4. Tomorrow's are Josh 5-8.

Joshua is the sixth book of the Bible. The first five are known as "Torah" by the Jews. By the end of Deuteronomy, we've seen creation, the fall of mankind, the choosing of Abraham to lead a people who belong to God, their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the giving of the Law and the establishment of a place for God to dwell among them. God is moving, one step at a time, in His plan to redeem His people completely and totally restore His relationship with them.

Joshua places a primary emphasis on the land. Canaan is the Promised Land and God has directed His people to conquer it. Possession of the land is important. It represents a permanent home which, in turn, represents an eternal home in heaven. It is important that God's people see the land as their gift from God. 

Josh 1 picks up where Deuteronomy leaves off. Joshua is established as the leader of the Hebrews, replacing Moses. God always provides one man to show His people the way, a man of His choosing. The people agree that they will obey the Law and listen to Joshua. This will prove to be a difficult challenge for them. 

We meet Rahab, a resident who lives East of the Jordan River, in Josh 2. Rahab rescues two Hebrew spies and becomes a convert to their faith, believing in their God. This is an early indication that God intends to eventually bring all peoples into His fold. Rahab will become one of the ancestors of Jesus (Mt 1:5) as well as a role model in her faith (Heb 11:31).

Israel crosses the Jordan in Josh 3. Once again, the waters are divided and they cross on dry land. This is a second type of Exodus demonstrating that God is still with His people and continues to move supernaturally among them. In the first exodus, Moses led the people to freedom on the other side of the Red Sea. Still, their journey turned out to be a struggle. In this second exodus, Joshua leads the people into their new home on the other side of the Jordan.  Their journey will be a struggle too. But the manner in which they cross the river is also a sign that God will deliver them, just as He did the first time.

The Jews leave a memorial on the far side of the Jordan. It is a reminder of the miracle God gave them. It was also an affirmation of Joshua's position as their leader, a man blessed by God. In addition to all that, the memorial is a reminder to the surrounding nations that God is with His people. 

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