Joshua Becomes Israel’s Leader After Moses
Joshua had already been appointed by God to become Israel’s leader after Moses died. (Numbers 27: 18-23) We first met Joshua when Moses sent a man from each tribe to spy on the land of Canaan! Hoshea, son of Nun, from the tribe of Ephraim, was one of the chosen men. (Numbers 13:8) Moses changed his name to Joshua. (Number 13:10) Joshua is a Hebrew name, but means Jesus in Greek.
Joshua and Caleb were the only men from the twelve spies to report that they could easily take the land of Canaan. Because of that, they were the only ones that had left Egypt still living and were allowed to go into the Promised Land. So, Joshua had survived the forty years in the Wilderness and was ready to lead the Israelites into their new land. He had been a faithful aid to Moses and was called a faithful Servant of God, as Moses had been called.
The LORD promised Joshua that wherever his feet touched in the land would be given to Israel. He also promised to Joshua, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5) Just as in Hebrew 13:5, God promised to never leave nor forsake His people. Joshua was reminded by God that if he was to be successful, he needed to meditate on the words of God constantly and continually and to follow them always. (Joshua 1-9)
Joshua sent our two men into Jericho to spy. They came to the house of a prostitute named, Rahab, where they stayed . It made sense for them to stay there because her house was located on the city wall and foreigners were frequently seen going in and out of her house. (Jeremiah Study Bible page 280) When the king of Jericho heard of the spies, Rehab had to hide them on her roof under some flax to keep them safe. The spies were so thankful to Rahab for saving their lives; they promised to spare her and her family when they came to take the land. The signal would be a scarlet cord wrapped on the outside of her window. Rehab had heard the rumors of what their LORD had done for the people of Israel and she obviously believed them! As soon as it was safe, Rahab lowered the two Israelite spies down by a rope through the window of her house. (Joshua 2: 1-21) [Rahab is a name to remember, because she is listed in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:5.]
Now, Rahab did tell a lie when she told the king’s men that she did not know where the spies had gone. “Many people struggle with the fact that Rahab lied because both the Old and New Testament affirm that lying is a sin. It is notable, however, that when Rahab is mentioned in Hebrew 11, her lying is not mentioned. That is not because her lying was overlooked, but because it was forgiven. Rahab is never honored for her lie; she is always honored for her faith.” (Jeremiah Study Bible page 280)
I’m looking forward to getting to know Joshua better and to follow Israel as she finally is going into the land that God had promised to Abraham so long ago! It has been 40 years; but this generation is ready! I hope you are, too!