In this devotion from The Redemption Bible, we will compare Joshua and Jesus. It is surely no coincidence that the Hebrew name “Joshua” is the Greek/Latin/English equivalent of the name “Jesus” – there are several striking connections between Joshua and the Son of God!

Joshua was the assistant and eventual successor of Moses as leader of the Israelites. And like Moses, he was Christ-like in aspects of both character and mission. One clear connection to Jesus is that The Holy Spirit was in Joshua: “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him” (Numbers 27:18).

The first well-known event involving Joshua was in Numbers 13-14. After God had used Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He led them toward the Promised Land of Canaan that He had first spoken of to Abraham. When they were near the land, Joshua and 11 other men went on a Spy mission to scout it out. Upon seeing it was filled with strong people, 10 of the 12 spies – all but Joshua and Caleb – reported back that taking the land was impossible. An Israelite Rebellion ensued which Joshua and Caleb fought against as they proclaimed that God was able to provide according to His promise. The Fearlessness of Joshua was clearly shown as he declared to his fellow Israelites:

“The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:7-8)

For being a Wicked Community, the Lord decided to let that generation – all except Joshua and Caleb who had faith in Him – remain in the wilderness for 40 years and pass away there; the next generation would be led by Joshua and Caleb into the Promised Land. This is what happened, and the taking of the land in some miraculous battles is found in the Book of Joshua.

Jericho was the first city the Israelites needed to conquer to take the Promised Land. Again spies were sent to scout it out, and were aided by a Canaanite woman named Rahab. She hid them in Stalks of Flax and aided in the safe Flight of Spies back to the rest of the Israelites. In return for her kindness, the spies promised Rahab that she and her household would be kept safe when the Israelites took over the city. To mark her home as one to pass over, she was to put a Scarlet Line out of her window – the color scarlet being a foreshadowing of Jesus’ blood, which He shed to forgive our sin so that God’s judgment mercifully passes over us.

Back in the wilderness, Joshua has a remarkable encounter with The Captain of the Host, a being whom some suppose is an angel (as he is represented in Redemption), while others believe that he is the pre-incarnate Christ Himself! I am more with the latter camp, for a few reasons. Wielding the Captain’s Sword, this being commanded Joshua to take off his sandals, for he was standing on holy ground – which is exactly what God told Moses in the burning bush encounter in Exodus 3. Also, Joshua worshipped him, an act which God rightly accepts but angels rightly do not accept (see Revelation 19:9-10, 22:8-9). Finally, the Captain declared that he was the commander of the Lord’s army, which is a position that the King of God’s Kingdom, the Lord Jesus Himself, solely possesses.

With the Captain’s inspiration, Joshua and the Israelites attacked and captured the fortified city of Jericho – in a very surprising way! With armed men in front, seven priests carrying a Ram’s Horn trumpet next, followed by other priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant, with a rear guard behind them, the Israelites marched around the city once in each of six consecutive days, during which each of seven priests was to Sound the Trumpet he carried. On the seventh day, the Israelites marched around the city seven times, and then as the seven priests blasted their trumpets the people shouted a great Battle Cry. The wall of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites destroyed the city with the sword and with fire – all except Rahab and her family.

Such Trumpet and Sword tactics, and the later-on, shouting-with-Trumpets and Torches situation with Gideon, may seem to be perhaps completely random, until we consider what God says in the rest of the Bible about how Jesus will return in His Second Coming. He will utter a loud shout amidst a Trumpet Blast (1 Thessalonians 4:16), wielding a sword (Revelation 19:15) and with blazing fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7)! Moreover, the timing will be at the Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:15, 1 Corinthians 15:52) and He will return to both judge evil as well as deliver His people, who are spiritual Israelites (Romans 4:16) and a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6, 2 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:9), and who by human standards are the “underdogs”. Clearly, the past conquering of Jericho by Joshua foreshadowed the future conquering return of Jesus!

Finally, Joshua’s famous farewell speech to the nation of Israel reminds us of Jesus. Raise your hand: how many of you have this verse posted somewhere in your house? “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Yes, I thought so – us too! Joshua gave complete credit to God for the Israelites going from slaves in Egypt to conquerers of the Promised Land, and warned the people to not forsake the Lord. Jesus likewise warns us, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent!” (Revelation 3:19). As Joshua mentioned in Joshua 24:19, God is a holy and jealous God; His great love moves Him to do whatever is necessary to draw people to Repentance when we turn from Him. So out of love for Him who loves us, let us “bear fruit in keeping with repentance!” (Matthew 3:8)

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