Joshua Commentaries

Paul J Bucknell - Biblical Foundations for Freedom

(Joshua 13-21)

Click charts to enlarge Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Joshua Commentary, Sermon, Illustration, Devotional





Josh 1:1-5:15 Josh 6:1-12:24 Joshua 13:1-21:45 Josh 22:1-24:33












ca. 1 Month ca 7 Years ca. 18 Years

See also more detailed Chart by Charles R Swindoll

Key Verses:

Joshua 1:8+, Joshua 11:23+ and some favor Joshua 1:5+

Key Words (NAS95):

Land (84x)

Possess/possession (27x in 21v - Josh 1:6, 11, 15; 8:7; 12:1, 6f; 13:1; 17:12; 18:3; 19:47; 21:12, 41, 43; 22:4, 7, 9, 19; 23:5; 24:4, 8) Law (Josh 1:7f; 8:31f, 34; 22:5; 23:6; 24:26)

Servant(s) (26x in 23v - Jos. 1:1; Jos. 1:2; Jos. 1:7; Jos. 1:13; Jos. 1:15; Jos. 5:14; Jos. 8:31; Jos. 8:33; Jos. 9:8; Jos. 9:9; Jos. 9:11; Jos. 9:24; Jos. 10:6; Jos. 11:12; Jos. 11:15; Jos. 12:6; Jos. 13:8; Jos. 14:7; Jos. 18:7; Jos. 22:2; Jos. 22:4; Jos. 22:5; Jos. 24:29;

Christ in Joshua (see also notes below) - Christ is the believer's victorious leader, even as Joshua whose name means "Yahweh is salvation" was for Israel. Christ is also shown in Rahab's scarlet cord (click here), which pictures the believer's eternal safety from destruction through the blood of Christ

JOSHUA 23 & 24













C H Spurgeon - "He who has once got fairly into the Scriptures can never leave them .The book holds you as a magnet holds a needle, or as a flower holds a bee. If you want great thoughts, read your Bible. If you want something simple, read your Bible. If you want the deepest and highest truth that ever was, read your Bible. The book talks to us in our own mother tongue. Why should I have to ask another what my Father says? … The Bible to many is a dull book, as dry as an old will. But when you hear your own name read out in a will, you prick up your ears. What if there should be something in the Testament of our Lord Jesus for you. When I found my own name there my heart danced for joy. It was in these lines: 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life' Get your legacy at once!"

Listen to this Overview of Joshua by Dale Ralph Davis - his commentaries on several OT books (click here) are easy to read, accurate and filled with much practical application.

Bruce Wilkinson - The theme of Joshua is Israel’s possession of the Promised Land and enjoyment of God’s blessings through obedient faith. (Talk Thru the Bible)

J Sidlow Baxter - The five books of Moses lead Israel up to Canaan; and Joshua complements these by leading Israel into Canaan. The further twelve books cover Israel's history inside Canaan; and Joshua introduces these by describing the Israelite settlement in Canaan. It is thus the link book between the two historical groups in the Old Testament. It covers a period of about twenty-five years, and describes one of the most memorable conquests in history. "The occupation of this small strip of territory scarcely larger than Wales, though it led to no further results in the way of conquest, has nevertheless to a great extent molded the moral and religious history of the world." (Explore the Book- J. Sidlow Baxter - recommended)

Henrietta Mears - "Take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own" (Joshua 1:11). It is God's to give! It is ours to possess!… No book has more encouragement and wisdom for the soldier of the Cross than this book of Joshua. It is full of spiritual truth… Joshua completes what Moses began! God never leaves His work unfinished. Remember the great Craftsman always has another tool sharpened and ready for use. Service awaits everyone. You can always honor God best by taking up your task with a strong and resolute heart that trusts God… Joshua led them into a life of faith. Joshua led them into possession (Ed: How? By faith!)… Remember as we study this book of Joshua that God gives—people take. This book focuses on overcoming the enemy and occupying the land. God says, "Take it all… Moses must die before the children of Israel could go into Canaan. Moses could not even enter Canaan himself, to say nothing of bringing anyone else in. Israel had to wait until Moses was out of the way. To the Christian, Moses represents the law. Joshua represents Christ. Christ alone can lead us into the inheritance that is ours. Paul says, "not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:9). Oh, that all Christians would simply lean on their faithful Joshua and follow Him only! Christ wants to lead us into what He has purchased on the cross for us… God called Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. We have the words that must have come to him in answer to a prayer for help in his great undertaking. "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5)… Set your foot down. "I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses" (Joshua 1:3). Take it all. These words are just as true for us (Ed: cf Believers have not a promised land but a promised life - Eph 1:3, 2Pe 1:3-4)… God has a way. He gave the directions for the people to follow. Martin Luther said, "I know not the way He (Christ) leads me, but well do I know my Guide."… With men (the task may seem) impossible, but with God all things are possible. God is always doing the impossible. God's biddings are His enablings… The greatness of your power is the measure of your surrender. It is not a question of who you are or of what you are, but whether God controls you… What was the Ark? The symbol of the divine Presence. And Christ is the reality of the divine Presence. He says, "Surely I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20). He goes before us and says, "Follow me," and He sends His Holy Spirit to whisper in our ear and say, "This is the way, walk ye in it." The living Ark of the Covenant is still our guide. He will guide us in the little as well as the great things of life. Yes, "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm" (Psalm 37:23)." (What the Bible is All About)

Irving Jensen - The average Christian knows the New Testament better than he does the Old, and this is understandable. But the Bible is one book, and the Christian who neglects a major part of it is forfeiting rich blessings intended for his own soul. There are two good reasons why every Christian should be acquainted with the book of Joshua. First, he should know it for its historical—past and contemporary—value. The Jewish nation has never disclaimed title to the land-deed of Palestine which God gave its forefathers and which they appropriated under Joshua. From biblical prophecy and the stirrings of current events it is obvious that the most dramatic history of the land is yet to be written. Second, the book of Joshua is filled with spiritual lessons on how the Christian may live the victorious life (rest-land living) spoken of in Hebrews 3 and 4. (Joshua: Rest-Land Won - Everyman’s Bible Commentary)

William Newell on Joshua - No book is more full of encouragement, wisdom and invigoration for the spiritual soldier… Israel as one has said, must be shown to be not only ungodly, as in Ex 32:1ff, but without strength (Ro 5:6); not only guilty, but helpless, unable to obey God's holy law in their own power. Till man learns both these lessons, God cannot come to him in grace. (See his Lesson on "Joshua: The Book of Possession - 20 page study) (See Pdf "OT Studies" by William Newell or here)

Charles R. Swindoll - What's the big idea? - The book of Joshua was written to the descendants of those who conquered the land, as a historical account of how they had come to settle there. It celebrates God as general, defender, and king. It shows the geographical boundaries given to each tribe of Israel. Even more significantly, the book of Joshua serves as the connecting narrative between the days of Moses and the days of the judges, during which the book was first circulated. That which Moses began and endured in the wilderness, Joshua was able to claim victoriously in the land. God’s promises through the ages were being fulfilled before the people’s eyes. “Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45). How do I apply this? - The last few verses of Joshua narrate three burials: Joshua (Joshua 24:29–30), the bones of Joseph (Josh 24:32), and Eleazar the high priest (Joshua 24:33). Strange as it may seem, these burials proclaim God’s character. All three men were associated with Israel’s days in captivity (Joseph long ago when Jacob’s family first settled in Egypt, and Joshua and Eleazar as young men on the long journey through the wilderness). And now all three lay at rest in the land of promise, witnesses to God’s faithfulness. God is the ultimate promise-keeper. As faithful and present as He was with Israel, so He is with us. “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). (Book of Joshua Overview - Insight for Living Ministries)

Paul R Van Gorder - The word ''Joshua'' means ''Jehovah is Savior,'' or ''Jesus.'' Therefore, we expect to find the book filled with typical teaching about Christ and His work in redemption. The Red Sea, for example, typifies what we are separated from, and is fulfilled in Romans 6 and Romans 7; the Jordan River typifies what we are separated unto, and is fulfilled in Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 2… God's purpose for Israel was not only to deliver them out of Egypt but to bring them into the land of promise. Canaan does not represent heaven. Remember, Canaan had in it walled cities, giants, and chariots of iron. It was a land of conflict, but it was also a land of conquest. God has far more in store for us than simply saving us from the penalty of sin. He desires to give us victory in our present situation, and enables us to claim what is ours in Christ Jesus. ''Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ'' (Eph 1:3). ''Jordan,'' according to Jerome, means ''stream of judgment''; according to Augustine, ''to come down.'' In either case it implies death to self, the experience through which every believer must pass to enter into the rest God intends for us. [cp. Heb 4:8-10-note, where 'Jesus' refers to 'Joshua'. Under Joshua, believing Israel entered temporarily into rest in the promised land. The Lord Jesus brings His people into a better rest.]… The book begins with the words, ''Now after the death of Moses… '' (Josh 1:1). Moses represented the Law. The people could not enter the land of Canaan until Moses was dead. ''For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit'' (Rom 8:3,4-note). Moses died; he could not lead the people in. Likewise, the flesh is weak. What Moses could not do, Joshua did. He led them through the Jordan, which speaks of death and resurrection. He led the children of Israel to victory after crossing the Jordan. He was their advocate in time of defeat. It was Joshua who allotted them their portions within the land. All of this beautifully pictures the work of our Lord in death and resurrection, in His present advocacy at the Father's right hand, and in His provision for believers. Not only is Christ typified in the life and ministry of Joshua, Israel's great warrior and deliverer, but we actually see Christ Himself in this marvelous book. Suppose someone should ask, ''I thought Christ did not exist until Bethlehem. Where do you find Him in the book of Joshua?'' Let's consider several factors. Joshua and the Israelites stand before Jericho, a walled city. God has told them to capture it. Joshua goes on a survey trip around the city outside the walls. Suddenly, he is confronted by a man with a drawn sword. Without question, this is a supernatural being. Joshua asks the question I think most of us would have asked: ''Are you for us, or for our enemies?'' A strange answer came from this supernatural being. ''Nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come'' (Josh 5:14). [The word 'host' means 'army'.] In other words, this person was saying to Joshua, ''I've not come to take your part; I've come to take your place.'' Joshua 6 indicates that this supernatural person was none other than the Lord Himself. What a lesson! Joshua was to learn of One who was adequate for the task and equal to the circumstance. Christian friend, let us not forget this in our work. None of us is sufficient for the assignment. But we have One ''who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think'' (Eph 3:20-note). Yes, this was one of the pre-incarnate appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ… The great lesson for us is that spiritual victories are not won by human means. Hebrews 11 says, ''By faith the walls of Jericho fell down'' (Heb 11:30-note). Faith in what? Faith in the unseen Captain of the Lord's hosts! This great victory in the experience of Israel is a warning. The Lord is dishonored when His church is engaged in activity that stems from fleshly energy, rather than from faith and the empowering of the Holy Spirit… Our heavenly Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, walked His earthly pilgrimage in perfect obedience to the Father. Not once did He falter. He could say, lifting His face toward heaven, ''I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do'' (John 17:4). Unlike the earthly Joshua who died and remains buried, the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead and now lives at the right hand of God the Father. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, our Lord! (OT Reflections of Christ - Joshua - Paul R. Van Gorder - Recommended)

Christ in All the Scriptures - Joshua - A M Hodgkin

We now come to a new Leader and a new command to arise and go in to possess a new land. Moses was not able to bring the Children of Israel into the Land of Promise. Moses was the embodiment of the Law. The Law cannot bring us into the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. That Jesus Christ alone can do, and through this book Joshua is a type of Him. The very name has the same meaning. Joshua means “Jehovah is Salvation.” “And thou shalt call His name Jesus—Saviour; for He shall save His people from their sins.”

God gave His people a threefold encouragement to go forward and possess the land:—

First—The Gift of the land. “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you.”

Second—The Command. “Arise and go. Have not I commanded thee?”

Third—The Promise of His presence. “As I was with Moses so will I be with thee.”

And the Lord commanded them to observe to do according to all the law which Moses commanded, and to meditate therein day and night.

The Land. The entrance of the Children of Israel into the Land of Canaan is full of teaching for the Christian. It is true that in one sense it is a picture of the Better Country to which we look forward as our eternal Home. But in many respects it is far more truly a picture of our present inheritance in Christ Jesus, a good land we are called upon to enter here in this life.

It is a land of Rest from the wanderings of the wilderness life. A land with “great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, and houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not” (Deut 6:10–11).

It is a land of Plenty. “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil-olive and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass “ (Deut 8:8–9).

It is a land of Living Water. “A land of brooks of water, of fountains, and depths that spring out of valleys and hills” (Deuteronomy 8:7).

It is a land of Promised Victory. “There shall no man be able to stand before you” (Deuty 11:25).

Surely this is a picture of our present inheritance in Christ Jesus; it is He who can give such rest to our souls that we are able to say, “We which have believed do enter into rest.” He who did not spare His own Son has promised with Him to “freely give us all things.” Christ has promised to give the Living Water, the Holy Spirit, to those who come to Him and drink. And He has promised continual victory to those who commit themselves to His leadership. A victorious life, full of the Holy Ghost and of power, is God’s purpose for every Christian, and is experienced through continual abiding in Christ. He promises us—not absence of tribulation, but in Him peace; not freedom from temptation and conflict, but through Him victory; not immunity from toil, but in Him rest. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1).

In the purpose of God, those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ are already not only “accepted in the Beloved,” (Eph 1:6KJV) but also “complete in Him” (Col 2:9); but it is necessary for us by faith to enter into possession of what is already ours in Christ.

Warfare. The Epistle to the Ephesians is the New Testament counterpart of the Book of Joshua. It tells of the Christian’s inheritance in Christ, the good land, the “heavenly places,” to which He has already raised up by His grace those who trust in Him. It is the epistle most full of deep spiritual experience, yet nowhere have we a fuller description of the armour the Christian needs. It is the highest kind of warfare, “against principalities, against powers,… against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, margin).

Israel’s enemies are a type of ours. Egypt was a type of the world. In the Amalekites in the wilderness—those descendants of Esau who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, a people near of kin to Israel—we have a picture of the flesh, or self. But in the Canaanites we have a picture of a still more deadly foe. From contemporary records as well as from Scripture, these nations seem to have been the very personification of evil. Highly civilized, versed in arts and full of intellectual culture, they were nevertheless hopelessly corrupt. In God’s command to Israel to destroy them utterly (Deuteronomy 20:16–18) we recognize at once His plan of dealing in judgment with nations after having given them full time to repent (see Genesis 15:16), and we have also His care for the moral well-being of His people. “God has a right to choose, without being questioned, the best method of chastening a guilty people, whether by flood, fire, brimstone, earthquake, famine, pestilence, or war. Study carefully these ‘Acts of God’ in the Bible and in our own time” (H. S. Richardson).

The Wiles of the Devil. Israel’s warfare with the Canaanites is a picture of our conflict with Satan. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” The word “wrestle” implies a hand-to-hand conflict, and it is just this that the Church is experiencing in our own time. From all lands today we hear the same testimony—those who know most of the power of the Holy Spirit are experiencing most of personal conflict with the Devil. It would seem that he knows that “his time is short,” and that he is therefore putting forth all his power, and they alone can overcome who have learnt the threefold secret of Revelation 12:11: “They overcame him (the Devil) (1) by the blood of the Lamb, (2) by the word of their testimony, (3) by not loving their lives unto the death,” i.e. taking their place on the Cross as crucified with Christ.

The verse before us speaks of “the wiles of the Devil.” He comes not only as a roaring lion, but as a serpent, as an angel of light, and the climax of his wiliness is the invention of the lie of his non-existence. He is willing to deny his own personality even, if by so doing he can blind men and women to his power.

The Red Sea and Jordan. In “The Faith Chapter” —Hebrews 11—there is a gap of forty years between the crossing of the Red Sea and the taking of Jericho. The interval is filled with unbelief and disobedience, and even the act of faith—the Crossing of Jordan—which brought the Children of Israel into the land is omitted; for had there been no wandering there had been no Jordan: they would have marched straight up from Kadesh-Barnea without having to cross the river.

The two crossings are coupled together in Psalm 114:5 “What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?” There is a close connection between them. Going down into the bed of the sea and into the bed of the river alike signified death. Both show our participation in the death of Christ. The Red Sea crossing includes it all in God’s purpose, though not always so in our experience. There are some Christians who, like Paul, enter into the deep meaning of Christ’s death and receive the baptism of the Spirit almost immediately after their conversion. It was Israel’s wandering that made the second crossing necessary.

And so it often is with Christians now. Through want of clear teaching, it may be, about God’s purpose of blessing, or through personal unfaithfulness, how many wander in a wilderness experience for years after their conversion, and need some definite act like the crossing of Jordan to bring them into “the Lord’s delightsome land” of peace and rest and victory? They have seen Christ crucified for them as the ground of their salvation, but they need to see themselves crucified with Christ. The history of the Israelites crossing Jordan makes this so beautifully simple that it cannot fail to be a help to any soul seeking to know the fuller meaning of Christ’s death.

The channel of the river has several sets of banks, cut out by the stream in its varying fulness, and at this time it was overflowing all its banks. For a great multitude—including women and children and cattle—to have crossed it at such a time was an absolute impossibility. But as soon as the feet of the Priests, bearing the Ark of the Covenant, touched the brimming flood, the waters divided, and the priests stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan until all the people were clean passed over. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, where the feet of the priests stood, and he commanded a man from each tribe to take a stone out of the midst of Jordan, twelve stones, and he set them up in Gilgal on the other side of Jordan as a memorial, “that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty; that ye might fear the Lord our God for ever” (Joshua 4:24).

Buried and Risen with Christ. The Ark was a type of Christ: He has gone down into death for us. “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The twelve stones buried for ever under the waters of death show us our place as crucified with Christ. The twelve stones set up on the other side show us our place as risen with Him. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). God’s word to us is: “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” To believe this is as great an impossibility as for Israel to cross Jordan; but as we take Him at His word, and reckon the self-life to be dead with Christ, He makes it true in our experience, and enables us to live the risen life in Christ Jesus.

This is only the beginning of a new life of victory, the acceptance of our position, as risen with Christ, which makes victory possible. It is what Paul meant when he said: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

The next step for the Children of Israel was the renewing at Gilgal of the Covenant with God by the neglected rite of circumcision, separating themselves unto the Lord. God’s separated people were then immediately called to keep the neglected Feast of the Passover. And they ate of the old corn of the land, the manna ceasing from that time. In the slain Lamb and the Bread of Life we have another picture of Christ.

The Captain of the Lord’s Host. Not only in type do we see Christ in the Book of Joshua. There came a day when the Lord Himself shone through in all His glory. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him, with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua said, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries?” He queried whether his mysterious Guest had come as an ally or as an enemy; but the Lord said: “Nay, but as Captain of the Host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my Lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the Lord’s Host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so…. And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thy hand Jericho.”

The Burning Bush was a picture of the Incarnation, but how much more vivid was this foreshadowing in the form of a man. God says, “I have given Him for a Leader and Commander to the people.” Ofttimes today some servant of the Lord is hard pressed with responsibility at the thought of some great undertaking, when if he would but lift up his eyes and look he would see One mighty to save, who has come to take entire control.

Victory. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down.” That is the simple record in the New Testament of the taking of the city. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” Those who are living in the Spirit have ceased to fight with carnal weapons; they have learned to wield the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and quench the fiery darts of the wicked by the shield of faith. The saint wins his victories beforehand on his knees, and then stands still and sees the salvation of the Lord. “Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.” This book may also be compared to the book of Acts, where, through the Spirit, Christ leads His Church to victory, and heathen strongholds yield to the preaching of the Gospel and to prayer.

“By faith Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies in peace.” The token for her salvation was the scarlet cord with which she had let down the spies, tied in her window. It was like the token of the blood on the door-posts in the Passover In former days in the Royal Navy every rope and cord was marked with a scarlet thread running right through its entire length, so that wherever you cut the rope you found the scarlet cord. The scarlet line of redemption through the precious blood of Christ runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Independent Evidence. Each step in the record of the conquest of Canaan is the vivid story of an eye-witness, if only there were space to dwell upon all the details. The points of vantage, the configuration of the land, the fertility dependent on laborious cultivation, the picture given of a densely populated country, with walled and garrisoned cities and chariots of iron, of its occupation by various independent nations,—all is exactly the Canaan of Joshua’s day as given in the contemporaneous records of the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, and therefore proves that the Book of Joshua is—as it claims to be (Deuteronomy 6:25)—a contemporary document and not of late date. “No mark of late date is discoverable in the names of the cities” (Col. Conder). Jerusalem is mentioned in this book, and it has been objected that this city was not called Jerusalem until the reign of David. “But letters were found at Tel-el-Amarna in Egypt, from the king of Jerusalem, which were written about the very time when Joshua was invading Canaan. In these letters the name Jerusalem appears as it does in the Scripture” (Urquhart). These tablets also constantly refer to the Habiri, who have been identified with the Hebrews. There are frequent appeals from all parts of Canaan to Egypt for help against this powerful foe. One letter says, “The hostility of the Hebrews waxes mighty against the land, and against the gods”; proving their monotheism.

The victory at Jericho was followed by the defeat before Ai. The way to Ai led up a steep rocky defile, so it was natural that the spies who were sent to view the country said, “Let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; make not all the people to labour thither, for they are but few.” The result of this attack was defeat and ignominious retreat. The thought of God’s honor was uppermost in Joshua’s mind. “What wilt Thou do unto Thy great Name? And the Lord said, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned … therefore they could not stand before their enemies.” All the spoil of Jericho was to be devoted to the Lord (Joshua 6:19; Deuteronomy 7:25–26), but some one had taken of the “devoted thing” (R.V.). Early in the morning all Israel had to appear before the Lord, tribe by tribe, and family by family, and man by man, till the guilt was brought home to Achan, and he confessed his sin. “I have sinned … I saw … I coveted … I took … I hid.” And the stolen treasure was found, and judgment was executed on Achan and all his house.

The defeat before Ai was caused by hidden sin. There is a very solemn lesson here—that sin always means defeat. All may look right outwardly, but God is not deceived. Absolute obedience is the condition of victory in the land. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” After the sin of Achan had been judged the Lord said, “Fear not; take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai.” After sin has been confessed and put away God gives victory. We may have had some great victory, like Jericho, and then fail in some little Ai of daily life. He will give victory in the very place where we have been shamefully defeated. But we need all the power of God for every battle, and our position is one of absolute dependence on Him.

Ebal and Gerizim. Next, we have the carrying out of God’s command, through Moses, that the tribes should stand on Ebal and Gerizim, six on one mount and six on the other, and pronounce the blessings and the curses of the Law. It has been objected that people could not hear each other at such a distance; but the acoustic properties of the valley are remarkable, and Canon Tristram tested it on the spot, two of his party stationing themselves on opposite sides of the valley and reciting the Ten Commandments in turn with perfect ease. Ebal is to the north of the valley, Gerizim to the south. The priests standing with the Ark would no doubt be facing the east. The Ark did so wherever the Tabernacle was pitched. Thus Mount Ebal would be on the left hand northwards, Gerizim on the right hand southwards—the same position as regards blessing and cursing as in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. In the Tabernacle the sacrifices were slain “on the north side of the altar before the Lord.” The altar of sacrifice was likewise on Mount Ebal to the north, the atonement was made in the place over which the cloud of Divine wrath was resting. We cannot but see Divine plan in the perfect harmony of all these details.

Then follows the stratagem of the Gibeonites, who with their mouldy loaves and ragged garments led the Children of Israel to believe they had come from a far country, and therefore entered into a covenant with them. It was because Israel asked not counsel of the Lord, but took of their victuals, that they fell into the snare. Here again we are taught the need of absolute dependence upon the Lord in the life of faith. He is willing to guide us in every detail of our lives, but we must seek to know His will, and not judge by the sight of our eyes or lean upon our own understanding.

Having entered into league with the Gibeonites, Israel was bound to respond to their appeal for help when five other nations rose up against them. God overruled this circumstance to deliver the five kings into the hands of His people. As these nations worshipped the sun and moon, there was a special reason for the miracle which God wrought on that day in showing them His power in controlling the hosts of heaven. We do not know how that miracle was wrought, it is enough for us to believe that He who made the universe could control its action. The ancient annals of Greece, Egypt, and China each confirm the record of a certain “long day” such as God’s Book tells us of.

Possession. The first half of Joshua is mainly occupied with the Key-note of Victory, the second half with the Key-note of Possession. Though “all things are ours” in Christ, it remains for us to take possession of them experimentally by faith. The promise was that every place that the sole of their foot should tread should be theirs. And in the Joshua 13 the Lord said unto Joshua, “There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” There was a slackness on the part of Israel to possess the land which the Lord had given them (Joshua 18:3).

Then follows an account of the division of the land. The inheritance of the two-and-a-half tribes beyond Jordan, and the inheritance of Caleb. That old warrior claimed the mountain of the Anakims, with its cities great and fenced, which God had promised him forty years before. He said: “As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war … if so be that the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.” Caleb promised his daughter Achsah to whomsoever would take the city of Kirjath-sepher. Othniel his nephew took it and won the prize. Achsah said to her father, “Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a South land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.” Our Heavenly Father waits to bless us in like manner, and “to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”

Failure. Next we read of the inheritance of Judah, and then of Ephraim and Manasseh. We read that the children of Manasseh could not drive out the Canaanites, but put them under tribute and let them dwell in the land (Joshua 17:12–13; see also Josh 13:13 and Josh 15:63). When we come to study the Book of Judges we shall see what trouble came through Israel not obeying God in driving out the Canaanites. The process of degeneration had begun even in the time of Joshua. Though the children of Joseph failed they were also ambitious, and came to Joshua with the plea that they were a great people and their lot was not enough for them. Then Joshua bade them go up into the wood country and take the land of the giants. But the children of Joseph feared to go because the inhabitants had chariots of iron. Joshua’s answer was a wise One: he bade them prove their greatness by driving out the Canaanites which they were well able to do “though they have iron chariots and though they be strong.”

Then we read of the Tabernacle being set up at Shiloh, and the congregation of Israel were assembled there, as the central Place of sacrifice. Then the seven remaining tribes received their portion, and Joshua his own special portion, and the six Cities of Refuge were fixed. The Levites held their cities upon a different tenure from the other tribes, for the Lord Himself was the portion of their inheritance.

Conclusion. The book closes with Joshua’s exhortation to the people. He reminds them that it is God who has fought for them. He exhorts them to keep all that is written in the Law of Moses, and to serve the Lord with all their heart. He invites them to choose this day whom they will serve, but adds his own resolution, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua’s last act was to write these words in the book of the Law of God, and to set up a great stone as a witness to the renewal of the Covenant. He died at the age of a hundred and ten years, leaving a character without blemish. After the account of his death we have the ominous words: “And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that He had done for Israel.”

Our Joshua never dies. It is He who brings us into the good land, and it is only as we abide under His leadership that we shall possess it and overcome all our enemies.




Key: Joshua 1:8

Key: Judges 21:25









Spiritual vision

Earthly emphasis

Fidelity to the Lord

Apostasy from the Lord





Sense of unity

Declension, anarchy

Sin judged

Sin lightly regarded

SourceThe New Unger's Bible Handbook Merrill F. Unger, Revised by Gary N. Larson, Moody Press, Chicago, 1984, p. 129


Additional Commentaries on Joshua reviewed by Cyril BarberThe Minister's Library - Vol 2 and The Minister's Library - Vol 3

  1. Auld, A. Graeme. Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Daily Study Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984. †Auld writes out of the conviction that these books are the Bible's prime witness to Israel's early history in Canaan. He expounds the text skillfully and incorporates important historical, linguistic, and archaeological information into his discussion.
  2. Blailde, William Garden. The Book of Joshua. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1978. One of the finest books ever written on this section of God's Word. Admirably treats Israel's history under Joshua. Filled with practical lessons for everyday living. Recommended.
  3. Boice, James Montgomery. Joshua: We Will Serve the Lord. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1989. Here is a reliable work that is ideal for lay Bible study. Boice interprets the text literally and applies it accurately. Recommended. (Ranked #5 by Challies)
  4. Boling, Robert G. Joshua. The Anchor Bible. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1982. This work, with an introduction by the late G. Ernest Wright, gives the reader a lucid and scholarly exposition of the contents of Joshua. A commendable work
  5. Bush, George. (ONLINE OR HERE) Joshua and judges. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1981. These formerly separate studies have now been combined into one volume. They provide a pleasing synthesis of scholarship and devotion, historical background and relevant exposition. Bible students, whether laypeople or pastors, should eagerly acquire the writings of this fine biblical scholar and for their own edification and enrichment read what he wrote. (NOTE - In the verse by verse commentary on Joshua I have included Bush's notes at the end of each verse).
  6. Campbell, Donald Keith. No Time for Neutrality Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1981. A perceptive presentation of the main movements and principal teaching of the book of Joshua. Recommended for adult Bible study groups (ED: Campbell also wrote the section on Joshua in The Bible Knowledge Commentary )
  7. Garstang, John. Joshua Judges: The Foundations of Bible History. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1978. Reprinted after years of neglect, this epochal work treats history, geography, archaeology, and the settlement of Israel in the land. Though he adheres to a modified form of the documentary hypothesis, Garstang's treatment is nevertheless possessed of a freshness and vitality seldom found in works of this nature. 2
  8. Goslinga, C. J. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. Bible Students Commentary. Translated by R. Togtman. Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1987. Brief, perceptive comments on each verse of these canonical books. Adheres to the standard evangelical interpretation of major critical issues. In applying the text to life, Goslinga follows a typological approach. As a commentary, this work serves as a handy guide to laypeople studying these books for the first time. Pastors and lay preachers may find the outlines helpful.
  9. Gray, John. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. New Century Bible. Revised ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986. Based upon the text of the RSV. This is a complete revision of the author's earlier commentary. In this work Gray incorporates some new conclusions which he has reached since his 1967 study appeared. He now includes a section in which he puts forth his thesis that there was a gradual growth on the part of the people of Israel from the militant core of worshippers of Yahweh which became localized in Ephraim, to a wider group including an underprivileged proletariat attracted by the social ethic of the "new faith." The fact that this thesis cannot be maintained from evidence within the books of Joshua and Judges does not stop Gray from presenting his ideas as if they were some new revelation.
  10. Hamlin, E. John. Inheriting the Land: A Commentary on the Book of Joshua. International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983. Well outlined and giving evidence of thorough research, this popular commentary is designed to interpret the events of the conquest of the land from the perspective of the Hebrews. Though containing helpful interpretative ideas, the application of the text is almost exclusively in terms of sociological criteria
  11. Sanders, John Oswald. Promised Land Living. Chicago: Moody Press, 1984. A pleasant devotional treatment of the book of Joshua in which the principles of spiritual victory are applied to the believer today. 
  12. Scroggie, William Graham. Joshua in Light of the New Testament: The Land of Life and Rest. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1981. A brief survey of the message of the book of Joshua in light of the teaching of the NT
  13. Wiersbe, Warren Wendell. Be Strong. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993. Discusses the Book of Joshua. Shows readers how to put God’s power to work in their lives. An excellent resource for adult discussion groups.
  14. Wouldstra, Marten H. The Book of Joshua. New International Commentary of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981. A valuable contribution to this series. Fully abreast of the latest archaeological and philological research. Should be in every pastor's library. Recommended,
  15. HERE IS ONE I WOULD ADD TO THE LIST - Alan Redpath - Victorious Christian Living: Studies in the Book of Joshua (this is the written copy for purchase) - many wonderful convicting and encouraging insights to ponder. You won't be disappointed. Note this book can be borrowed for an hour or up to 14 days from While it cannot be copied, it can be read and can also be listened to (I find the English male voice very pleasing and more natural sounding - select voice just below the open page you are reading. Here is the link to the Table of Contents - it is a short read but you will find it to be spiritually very profitable for you walk and growth in Christ-likeness. If you are wondering if this book is worth your time to read, then take a moment and look at some of the reviews to see what others have said about this book.

Here is another short Bibliography of recommended resources from a seasoned pastor Bob Marcaurelle

  1. Living On the Cutting Edge (R. Kent Hughes. He is, to me, the best writing preacher today. See his volumes on Mark, Hebrews, Colossians.
  2. No Time For Neutrality (Donald Campbell). The best short work. Clear, concise, well illustrated.
  3. Bible Study Commentary (Paul Enns. Zondervan). To know what the text says in concise form, buy this book. Each of these volumes, in this series, Old and New Testaments, is the first I buy when preaching through a Bible book.
  4. (Focus on the Bible Commentary – Joshua: No Falling Words) (Dale Davis). Good Old Testament background.
  5. Be Strong (Joshua): Putting God's Power to Work in Your Life (Warren Wiersbe).
  6. For Joshua as “The Victorious Life” see VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING (Alan Redpath - see below), POSSESSING YOUR POSSESSIONS
  7. Adrian Rogers—Tapes—Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN) - (ED: While some of his sermon audios are available on youtube, his entire collection of written sermons is available here - Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (1,925 sermons) - excellent resource if you own Logos Bible Software. Dr Roger's preaching is pithy and practical and filled with illustrations - you will not be disappointed. See also Love Worth Finding for additional Roger's resouces.
  8. Joshua (F. B. Meyer).

ESV Resources


Bruce Hurt,MD

Joshua - Portrait of the Man God Uses - overview of Joshua's life

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Joshua 21:33 Commentary
Joshua 21:34 Commentary
Joshua 21:35 Commentary
Joshua 21:36 Commentary
Joshua 21:37 Commentary
Joshua 21:38 Commentary
Joshua 21:39 Commentary
Joshua 21:40 Commentary
Joshua 21:41 Commentary
Joshua 21:42 Commentary
Joshua 21:43 Commentary
Joshua 21:44 Commentary
Joshua 21:45 Commentary

Joshua 22
Joshua 22:1 Commentary
Joshua 22:2 Commentary
Joshua 22:3 Commentary
Joshua 22:4 Commentary
Joshua 22:5 Commentary
Joshua 22:6 Commentary
Joshua 22:7 Commentary
Joshua 22:8 Commentary
Joshua 22:9 Commentary
Joshua 22:10 Commentary
Joshua 22:11 Commentary
Joshua 22:12 Commentary
Joshua 22:13 Commentary
Joshua 22:14 Commentary
Joshua 22:15 Commentary
Joshua 22:16 Commentary
Joshua 22:17 Commentary
Joshua 22:18 Commentary
Joshua 22:19 Commentary
Joshua 22:20 Commentary
Joshua 22:21 Commentary
Joshua 22:22 Commentary
Joshua 22:23 Commentary
Joshua 22:24 Commentary
Joshua 22:25 Commentary
Joshua 22:26 Commentary
Joshua 22:27 Commentary
Joshua 22:28 Commentary
Joshua 22:29 Commentary
Joshua 22:30 Commentary
Joshua 22:31 Commentary
Joshua 22:32 Commentary
Joshua 22:33 Commentary
Joshua 22:34 Commentary

Joshua 23
Joshua 23:1 Commentary
Joshua 23:2 Commentary
Joshua 23:3 Commentary
Joshua 23:4 Commentary
Joshua 23:5 Commentary
Joshua 23:6 Commentary
Joshua 23:7 Commentary
Joshua 23:8 Commentary
Joshua 23:9 Commentary
Joshua 23:10 Commentary
Joshua 23:11 Commentary
Joshua 23:12 Commentary
Joshua 23:13 Commentary
Joshua 23:14 Commentary
Joshua 23:15 Commentary
Joshua 23:16 Commentary

Joshua 24
Joshua 24:1 Commentary
Joshua 24:2 Commentary
Joshua 24:3 Commentary
Joshua 24:4 Commentary
Joshua 24:5 Commentary
Joshua 24:6 Commentary
Joshua 24:7 Commentary
Joshua 24:8 Commentary
Joshua 24:9 Commentary
Joshua 24:10 Commentary
Joshua 24:11 Commentary
Joshua 24:12 Commentary
Joshua 24:13 Commentary
Joshua 24:14 Commentary
Joshua 24:15 Commentary
Joshua 24:16 Commentary
Joshua 24:17 Commentary
Joshua 24:18 Commentary
Joshua 24:19 Commentary
Joshua 24:20 Commentary
Joshua 24:21 Commentary
Joshua 24:22 Commentary
Joshua 24:23 Commentary
Joshua 24:24 Commentary
Joshua 24:25 Commentary
Joshua 24:26 Commentary
Joshua 24:27 Commentary
Joshua 24:28 Commentary
Joshua 24:29 Commentary
Joshua 24:30 Commentary
Joshua 24:31 Commentary
Joshua 24:32 Commentary
Joshua 24:33 Commentary


Explanation - The following list includes not only commentaries but other Christian works by well known evangelical writers. Most of the resources below are newer works (written after 1970) which previously were available only for purchase in book form or in a Bible computer program. The resources are made freely available by but have several caveats - (1) they do not allow copy and paste, (2) they can only be checked out for one hour (but can be checked out immediately when your hour expires giving you time to read or take notes on a lengthy section) and (3) they require creating an account which allows you to check out the books free of charge. To set up an account click and then click the picture of the person in right upper corner and enter email and a password. That's all you have to do. Then you can read these more modern resources free of charge! I have read or used many of these resources but not all of them so ultimately you will need to be a Berean (Acts 17:11+) as you use them. I have also selected works that are conservative and Biblically sound. If you find one that you think does not meet those criteria please send an email at The resources are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name and some include reviews of the particular resource. 

Joshua, leader under fire by Campbell, Donald Very practical with excellent insights and illustrations from former president of Dallas Theological Seminary. 

When the job seems too big : take a lesson from Joshua by Getz, Gene A

Living on the cutting edge : Joshua and the challenge of spiritual leadership by Hughes, R. Kent,

Joshua, Judges and Ruth A GRAEME AULD - 

Cyril Barber - Daily Study Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984. †Auld writes out of the conviction that these books are the Bible's prime witness to Israel's early history in Canaan. He expounds the text skillfully and incorporates important historical, linguistic, and archaeological information into his discussion. 

Joshua Judges: The Foundations of Bible History. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1978.

Cyril Barber's critique - Reprinted after years of neglect, this epochal work treats history, geography, archaeology, and the settlement of Israel in the land. Though he adheres to a modified form of the documentary hypothesis, Garstang's treatment is nevertheless possessed of a freshness and vitality seldom found in works of this nature.

Joshua : a self-study guide by Jensen, Irving

Joshua, man of fearless faith by Keller, W. Phillip

Studies in Joshua-Job by Newell, William - This same resource is found hereDownload Pdf (allows copy and paste)

Wiersbe says it is "valuable for your library."

Brookman writes "Popular studies with an excellent synopsis of the historical books. It is written in a clear manner, and surveys each book giving key ideas and insights." 

Evangelical Commentary on the Bible

Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament - Dallas Theological Seminary Faculty

Be Strong - Joshua - Warren Wiersbe (1994) 180 pages Or Here Be Strong

Cyril Barber - Discusses the Book of Joshua. Shows readers how to put God’s power to work in their lives. An excellent resource for adult discussion groups.

Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament - Warren Wiersbe - always worth checking

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament by Warren W Wiersbe  - can be very helpful for sermon prep.

"Even the most difficult Scriptures come alive as Warren Wiersbe leads you book-by-book through the Old Testament and helps you to see the "big picture" of God's revelation. In this unique volume, you will find: • Introductions and/or outlines for every Old Testament book • Practical expositions of strategic chapters • Special studies on key topics, relating the Old Testament to the New Testament • Easy-to-understand expositions that are practical, preachable, and teachable If you have used Dr. Wiersbe's popular BE series, you know how simple and practical his Bible studies are, with outlines that almost teach themselves. If not, you can now discover a wonderful new resource. This work is a unique commentary on every book of the Old Testament. It contains new material not to be found in the BE series.

With the Word - Devotional Commentary - Warren Wiersbe 

Choosing victory, overcoming defeat : Joshua, Judges, and Ruth by Arthur, Kay,

Joshua, Judges, Ruth by Goslinga, C. J (1986) 568 pages

Survey of Israel's History - Revised Edition - Leon Wood - 416 pages (1986). See user reviews

James Rosscup - This is one of the most rewarding surveys available from the standpoint of giving a survey and yet pausing on key problem areas to state a well-considered view and specific supports marshalled briefly. It is firmly evangelical.

James Rosscup - Chapter 8 surveys the Joshua period succinctly but very helpfully in conservative style, dealing with main problems such as the long day and providing frequently good footnotes. Another fine survey of conservatives is by John J. Davis & John C. Whitcomb, Israel, A Commentary on Joshua-2 Kings (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989, 542 pp.). The latter work combines three former books, Conquest and Crisis, The Birth of a Kingdom and Solomon to the Exile. Wood’s section on Joshua, as the other parts, offers comments that pull together main truths and seek to assist on main problems even to the extent of giving views and reasons.


Note: The first 3 resources have no time restriction and allow copy and paste function: 

(1) KJV Bible Commentary - Hindson, Edward E; Kroll, Woodrow Michael. Over 3000 pages of the entire OT/NT. Well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective. Pre-millennial.  User reviews - it generally gets 4/5 stars from users. 

Very well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective   user reviews 

The King James Version Bible Commentary is a complete verse-by-verse commentary. It is comprehensive in scope, reliable in scholarship, and easy to use. Its authors are leading evangelical theologians who provide practical truths and biblical principles. Any Bible student will gain new insights through this one-volume commentary based on the timeless King James Version of the Bible.

(2) The King James Study Bible Second Edition 2240 pages (2013) (Thomas Nelson) General Editor - Edward Hindson with multiple contributing editors. Pre-millennial. See introduction on How to Use this Study Bible.

(3) NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version Study Bible (formerly "The Nelson Study Bible - NKJV") by Earl D Radmacher; Ronald Barclay Allen; Wayne H House. 2345 pages. (1997, 2007). Very helpful notes. Conservative. Pre-millennial. 

The MacArthur study Bible : new King James version - John MacArthur

ESV study Bible - Excellent resource but not always literal in eschatology and the nation of Israel 

NIV Study Bible - (2011) 2570 pages  - Use this one if available as it has more notes than edition below.  This resource has been fully revised in 2020. 

HCSB Study Bible : Holman Christian Standard Bible - General Editor Jeremy Royal Howard (2010) 2360 pages. Conservative. Good notes. Include Holmans excellent maps. One hour limit

Life Application Study Bible : New Living Translation. Has some very helpful notes

NLT Study Bible (Illustration Version) 

The Living Insights Study Bible : New International Version - Charles Swindoll. Notes are good but somewhat sparse and not verse by verse.

The David Jeremiah study bible - (2013) 2208 pages. - "Drawing on more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah has compiled a legacy resource that will make an eternal impact on generations to come. 8,000 study notes. Hundreds of enriching word studies"50+ Essentials of the Christian Faith" articles."

The Experiencing God Study Bible: the Bible for knowing and doing the will of God - Blackaby, Henry (1996) 1968 pages - CHECK THIS ONE! Each chapter begins with several questions under the title "PREPARE TO MEET GOD." Then you will interesting symbols before many of the passages. The chapter ends with a "DID YOU NOTICE?" question. This might make a "dry chapter" jump off the page! 

NIV archaeological Study Bible (2005) 2360 pages 

The Ryrie study Bible - Charles Ryrie (1978) 2142 pages. Conservative. 

The Defender's Study Bible : King James Version by Morris, Henry M.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary - Charles Pfeiffer - 1560 pages (1962). Less detailed than the KJV Bible Commentary. Conservative. Notes are generally verse by verse but brief. 

Rosscup - Conservative and premillennial scholars here have been experts in their fields. The work contains brief introductions and attempts to give a verse-by-verse exposition, though it does skip over some verses. The treatments vary with the authors, but as a whole it is a fine one-volume commentary for pastors and students to use or give to a layman. Outstanding sections include, for example: Whitcomb on Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther; Culver on Daniel; Ladd on Acts; Harrison on Galatians; Johnson on I Corinthians; and Ryrie on the Johannine Epistles.

Believer's Bible Commentary - OT and NT - MacDonald, William (1995) 2480 pages. Conservative. Literal. Often has very insightful comments. John MacArthur, says "Concise yet comprehensive - the most complete single-volume commentary I have seen." Warren Wiersbe adds "For the student who is serious about seeing Christ in the Word." One hour limit.

James Rosscup - This work, originally issued in 1983, is conservative and premillennial, written to help teachers, preachers and people in every walk of life with different views, explanation and application. 


Jensen's Survey of Bible - Old Testament and New Testament (online) by Jensen, Irving  This is an outstanding resource and a great place to begin your study on any book of the Bible. 

IVP Background Commentary  - OT - John Walton

Back toward the future : hints for interpreting Biblical prophecy by Kaiser, Walter C.,

The Old Testament in contemporary preaching by Kaiser, Walter 

The uses of the Old Testament in the New by Kaiser, Walter C

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill 

Toward Old Testament ethics by Kaiser, Walter C.

Toward an Old Testament theology by Kaiser, Walter

The promise-plan of God : a biblical theology of the Old and New Testaments by Kaiser, Walter C - Excellent.

The Messiah in the Old Testament by Kaiser, Walter C

Every prophecy of the Bible: Walvoord, John F

Zondervan Atlas of The Bible By: Umair Mirza

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery - free for use online with no restrictions (i.e., you do not need to borrow this book). Editors Leland Ryken, J C Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III - This is a potential treasure chest to aid your preaching and teaching as it analyzes the meaning of a host of Biblical figures of speech. Clue - use the "One-page view" which then allows you to copy and paste text. One downside is there is no index, so you need to search 3291 pages for entries which are alphabetical. 

Archaeology and the Bible - OT and NT - only 123 pages. No division by books. Strictly confines itself to discussion of archaeology.

Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible (DDD) - 950 pages (1995) Read some of the 65 ratings (4.8/5 Stars). A definitive in depth resource on this subject. Very expensive to purchase. 

Unger's bible handbook : a best-selling guide to understanding the bible by Unger, Merrill F

Rosscup - A former Professor of Old testament at Dallas Seminary, evangelical writer of many scholarly books, did this in his late years. He has sections on each Bible book, archaeology, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, between the testaments, the four gospels, epistles of Paul, how the Bible came to us, Bible statistics, outline of church history, creation stories, Ur of Abram’s day, Egypt, Assyria, the Chaldean empire, demonism, miracles, Bethlehem, Dead Sea scrolls, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome, etc. The work includes more than 20 charts and 30 maps and has color sections. Unger has good material at some points in surveying passages, dealing with certain problems, etc., and handles the long-range prophecies in a premillennial way. Often he is very cursory.

Halley's Bible Handbook Henry H. Halley - (2000) 2720 pages (much larger than original edition in 1965 and no time limit on use). (Halley's Bible handbook : an abbreviated Bible commentary - one hour limit 1965 872 pages)

Rosscup - A much-used older evangelical handbook bringing together a brief commentary on Bible books, some key archaeological findings, historical background, maps, quotes, etc. It is helpful to a lay Bible teacher, Sunday School leader, or pastor looking for quick, pertinent information on a Bible book. This is the 72nd printing somewhat revised. Halley packed in much information. Unger’s is better overall, but that is not to say that Halley’s will not provide much help on basic information.

The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook - Editor - Walter Elwell (1984) 408 pages.

"This hardback is small in size but packed full of content: Brief summaries of every book of the bible, cultural, archaeological and historical info, word definitions, pictures, maps and charts." Worth checking! 

Eerdmans' Handbook to the Bible (1983) 688 pages 

What the Bible is All About Henrietta Mears

The New Unger's Bible Dictionary by Unger, Merrill Frederick, 1909-

J.Sidlow Baxter: Explore The Book - pdf 


The Apologetics Study Bible Understand Why You Believe - Comments from over 90 leading apologists, including: Ted Cabal, Lee Strobel, Chuck Colson, Norm Geisler, Josh McDowell, Albert Mohler, J.P. Moreland, see reviews. Here is a review from The Christian Reviewer.

Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler

Cyril Barber - This is a goldmine of valuable information! Well-indexed. Covers everything from “Absolute Truth” to “Zen Buddhism.” Extensive articles on such topics as “Agnosticism,” “Annihilationism,” “Bible, Alleged Errors in,” “Gnosticism,” “Miracles in the Bible,” “New Testament Manuscripts,” and “Objections to Resurrection,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Edward John Carnell,” “Christ, Death of,” are only a few of the insightful essays in this masterful work. Each article has been written in an understandable way, and a 28 page bibliography forms a valuable source for further research. An excellent resource.

The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin (another source without restrictions or here)

Mormons : answered verse by verse David Reed 

Jehovah's Witnesses : answered verse by verse David Reed 

Evidence That Demands A Verdict - Josh McDowell (no restrictions)

The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict - Josh McDowell (no restrictions)

More Than A Carpenter - A modern classic by Josh McDowell - Great resource for those who are skeptical that Jesus is fully God, fully Man.

Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Archer, Gleason L - or here with no restrictions

Hard Sayings of the Bible - Walter Kaiser

When Critics Ask - Norman Geisler

When Cultists Ask - Norman Geisler

When Skeptics Ask A Handbook  - Norman Geisler


Today's Handbook of Bible Times & Customs by Coleman, William L

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs : How the People of the Bible Really Lived by Vos, Howard Frederic

Manners & Customs of the Bible (The New Manners and Customs)  Freeman, James M., 1827-1900 Published 1998

The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times: Gower, Ralph, 1933- Published 1987

Manners and Customs of Bible lands By: Wight, Fred Published 1983

Manners and Customs in the Bible By: Matthews, Victor Harold Published 1991

Handbook of life in Bible times By: Thompson, J. A. (John Arthur), 1913-2002 Published 1986

Illustrated dictionary of Bible manners and customs By: Deursen, A. van (Arie), 1891-1963 Published 1982

The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs & Curiosities by Knight, George W. 

Orientalisms in Bible lands, giving light from customs, habits, manners, imagery, thought and life in the East for Bible students By: Rice, Edwin Wilbur, 1831-1929 Published 1910

Bible manners and customs By: Mackie, G. M. 1854-1922 Published 1898

Teach it to your children : how kids lived in Bible days By: Vamosh, Miriam Feinberg, author

Everyday life in Bible times : work, worship, and war  By: Embry, Margaret Published 1994

Everyday living : Bible life and times : fascinating, everyday customs and traditions from the people of the Bible  Published 2006

The Land and the Book; or, Biblical illustrations drawn from the manners and customs, the scenes and scenery, of the Holy land  By: Thomson, William M. (William McClure), 1806-1894 Published 1880

Eastern manners illustrative of the Old Testament history By: Jamieson, Robert, 1802-1880 Published 1838

Scripture manners and customs : being an account of the domestic habits, arts, etc., of Eastern nations mentioned in Holy Scripture Published  1895


Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament by Harris, R. Laird - (5/5 Stars) One of the best OT lexicons for studying Hebrew words.

Here is another link to the TWOT which has no time limit on use and does allow copy and paste. Can be downloaded as PDF. 

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words - Online pdf

Hebrew Honey: a simple and deep word study of the Old Testament - 330 pages.  The definitions have more of a devotional flavor. For example, see the descriptive definition for "Abide" (Hebrew - gur)

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words by Richards, Larry,  It does not go into great depth on the Greek or Hebrew words but does have some excellent insights. 

So That's What it Means (Theological Wordbook) - Formerly titled "Theological Wordbookedited by Charles Swindoll. It is now under this new title So That's What it Means and can be borrowed - it is more like a dictionary than a lexicon but the comments are superb! The contributors include Donald Campbell, Wendell Johnston, John Witmer, John Walvoord 

Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill. Indexed by English word and then any related Hebrew nouns or verbs. Definitions are solid and geared to the lay person. 

Synonyms of the Old Testament-Robert Girdlestone

Inductive Study

Do you wonder if you are following the Lord's leading to the place where He wants you to be? The Israelites cried out to God, and He heard them, raising up Moses to deliver them out of slavery in the land of Egypt and lead them towards the Promised Land. Because of their sin, however, they suffered the consequences and wandered in the wilderness for nearly forty years. What can you learn from the children of Israel so that you won't make the same mistakes? 7 lessons

Joshua 1-10

Here is Paul Apple's Introduction to Joshua


Spiritual Victory is the great theme of the Book of Joshua as God fulfills His covenant promise to lead Abraham’s descendants into possession of the promised land of Canaan despite tremendous obstacles and powerful enemies. The people under Joshua’s leadership needed to engage the enemy by trusting fully in the Lord and turning away from sin. The distribution of the conquered land reminds us of the spiritual rest that comes to God’s people as they enjoy the blessings of victory. This account stands in contrast to the Book of Numbers which highlighted the failure and the wandering in the wilderness of a people who did not inherit the blessing because of unbelief. Consecration is the essential preparation for spiritual conflict. Victory gained must still be maintained by an ongoing commitment of faith and obedience.


Claiming God’s promises for spiritual victory requires engaging and conquering the enemy by grace through faith.

Joshua 3:5 “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”



A. (Joshua 1:1-18) Commission to Go to War – Transition from Moses to Joshua

B. (Joshua 2:1-24) Avoiding the Grasshopper Mentality – The Mission of the Two Spies

C. (Joshua 3:1-17) Avoiding the Victim Mentality – Crossing the Jordan

D. (Joshua 4:1-24) Avoiding the Bigshot Mentality – Commemorating Spiritual Milestones

E. (Joshua 5:1-15) First Things First – Stepping Out in Faith Requires Submission to the Sign of the Covenant


A. (Joshua 6:1-27) Faith Celebrates Victory Before the Walls Even Fall

B. (Joshua 7:1-26) Sin Snatches Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

C. (Joshua 8:1-35) Regaining Lost Ground – the Spirit Succeeds Where the Flesh Failed

D. (Joshua 9:1-27) Rash Commitments – Deception Takes Advantage of Our Limited Perception

Spiritual Victory is Compromised When We Make Rash Commitments Apart from Seeking the Guidance of the Lord

E. (Joshua 10:1-27) Unlimited Divine Weapons and Resources –

We Can Rout Our Enemies By Relying on the Lord’s Unlimited Weapons and Resources

F. (Joshua 11:1-15) Victory in Obedience to the Lord’s Commands

God Provides the Victory When We Obey His Commands by Taking Courage and Taking Action in Faith

G. (Joshua 11:16 – 12:24) Summary of the Victorious Campaigns


A. (13:1-7) Joshua’s Final Clean-Up Instructions From the Lord – Specific Areas of Canaan Still Needed to be Conquered and Possessed

B. (Joshua 13:8-33) Earmarking Land for the Eastern Tribes (Reubenites and Gadites) -- Transjordan

C. (Joshua 14:1 – 19:51) Earmarking Land for the Western Tribes

D. (Joshua 20:1-9) Designation of the 6 Cities of Refuge

E. (Joshua 21:1-45) Designation of the 48 Levitical Cities

F. (Joshua 22:1-34) Dismissal of Eastern Tribes Back to Their Homes


A. (Joshua 23:1-16) Farewell Charge from Joshua – Call to Covenant Obedience

B. (Joshua 24:1-28) Final Review of Covenant History at Shechem

C. (Joshua 24:29-33) Epilogue – Association of Joshua’s Burial with those of Joseph and Eleazar –

All in the Promised Land as a Testimony to the Faithfulness of God


  • To understand the intensity of the spiritual warfare of the believer (both as an individual and corporately as a local church) and what faith steps we need to take to successfully engage the enemy and overcome all obstacles
  • To consecrate our hearts and then develop a commitment to courage and obedience in following the Lord’s battle plan
  • To appreciate that God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ as we step out in faith and trust Him rather than in our own resources
  • To learn lessons about spiritual leadership
  • To grow in our confidence that God is faithful to keep His promises
  • To take our sin seriously in the light of the holiness of God who cannot compromise with sin
  • To acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all the nations and over all the forces that would oppose His kingdom agenda
  • To expect God to accomplish great things


Dale Ralph Davis: The Book of Joshua contains at least four important theological themes which have practical values for today. First, the book is a lesson on the covenant faithfulness of Jehovah. The power of God was not only declared in covenant agreement, but also demonstrated. Secondly, the book demonstrates the importance of the written word of God (Josh. 1:8; 8:32-35; 23:6-16; 24:26-27). There was an authoritative body of written Scripture in the days of Joshua and this consisted of the books of Moses. There is no appeal to contemporary customs or oral tradition. Thirdly, the book points out the utter failure of human effort apart from divine directives. When Joshua and the children of Israel were faithful to God’s word and His will, there was victory. When they abandoned His will in favor of their own genius, there was failure and frustration. Finally, the book is a commentary of God’s holiness and His judgment of sin. The destruction of the cities of Canaan with their inhabitants was not merely to give Israel military control of the area, but it was, in effect, a judgment of God upon the wickedness of that land (cf. Gen. 15:16; Deut. 7:5-6).

John MacArthur: A keynote feature is God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promise of giving the Land to Abraham’s descendants (Ge 12:7; 15:18-21; 17:8). By His leading (cf. Joshua 5:14-6:2), they inhabited the territories E and W of the Jordan, and so the word “possess” appears nearly 20 times.....God wanted His people to possess the Land:

1) to keep His promise (Ge 12:7);

2) to set the stage for later developments in His kingdom plan (cf. Ge 17:8; 49:8-12), e.g., positioning Israel for events in the periods of the kings and prophets;

3) to punish peoples that were an affront to Him because of extreme sinfulness (Lev 18:25); and

4) to be a testimony to other peoples (Jos 2:9-11), as God’s covenant heart reached out to all nations (Ge 12:1-3).

John Rea: The very name “Joshua,” the Hebrew form of Jesus, means “Jehovah is salvation.” Thus the redemptive history of Israel’s entering and possessing Canaan illustrates the Christian’s spiritual experience of conflict, victory, and blessing in heavenly spheres through the mighty power of God. In Hebrews 4 the rest in Canaan from vain wilderness strivings is set forth as typical of our present spiritual rest in the finished work of Christ and in his continual intercession to enable us to conquer self and Satan.

Warren Wiersbe: The leading person in the Book of Joshua is not Joshua but the Lord Jehovah, the God of Joshua and of Israel. In all that Joshua did by faith, he desired to glorify the Lord. When the Jews crossed the Jordan River, Joshua reminded them that the living God was among them and would overcome their enemies (Josh. 3:10). Through Israel’s obedience, Joshua wanted all the people of the earth to know the Lord and fear Him (Joshua 4:23-24). In his “farewell addresses” to the leaders (Joshua 23) and to the nation (Joshua 24), Joshua gave God all the glory for what Israel had accomplished under his leadership.

Sermons on Joshua

Notes on the Book of Joshua

Book of Joshua

Resources Related to Joshua


Sermons, Homilies, Illustrations, Anecdotes

Commentary on Joshua
The Expositor's Bible


Expositor's Bible - If you can locate the six-volume edition of the Expositor’s Bible, buy it immediately! It takes up less space than the original fifty-volume set, and not everything in the original set is worth owning. Samuel H. Kellogg on Leviticus is a classic; so is Alexander Maclaren on the Psalms and on Colossians. —Warren W. Wiersbe, A Basic Library for Bible Students

This set, originally published in 1903, contains expositions by both conservative and liberal theologians. The most important works are by Dod (Genesis), Chadwick (Exodus and Mark), Kellogg (Leviticus), Blaikie (Joshua, I and II Samuel), Adeney (Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther), Maclaren (Psalms), Moule (Romans), Findlay (Galatians and Ephesians), Plummer (Pastoral Epistles and the Epistles of James and Jude), and Milligan (Revelation.) —Cyril J. Barber, The Minister’s Library

Additional Note: One of the commentaries recommended by Irving Jensen

Commentary on Joshua

Clarke (1760-1832) was Methodist, Wesleyan, Arminian, (e.g., Clarke "suggested that although God can know all future events, He chooses not to know some events beforehand" Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, page 808). He did not always interpret Scripture literally and so was amillennial (to quote Clarke on 1000 years - "I am satisfied that this period should not be taken literally" [see comment on Rev 20:4] - he interpreted Revelation as a Historicist) which led him to interpret the church as fulfilling many OT promises to Israel. Influential in development of doctrine of Entire Sanctification (or "Christian perfection"). Affirmed the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, but held a belief of "plenary dynamic inspiration" (idea of every thought inspired), thus falling short of "plenary verbal inspiration" (every single word inspired) (Bib. Sacra: Vol 125, p 163, 1968). In summary, a useful, respected commentary but as with all extra-Biblical resources you are advised to "Be a Berean!" Acts 17:11

Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown.

Published 1871



On the Book of Joshua

This was John Calvin's last written work in 1563 completed shortly before his death. David Howard notes that "It consistently engages the text and is filled with many good insights, even for today." (Evaluating Commentaries on Joshua)

Sermons on the Book of Joshua
"Claiming You Canaan"

Sermon Notes
On the Book of Joshua

Commentary Notes on Joshua
Conservative, Millennial


Follow that Dream:
Lessons for Women From Joshua

Study Notes
On the book of Joshua


Devotionals on Joshua
Back to the Bible

  • Joshua 1:1-9 Workmen Die, but God Lives
  • Joshua 1:10-18 Questionable Separation
  • Joshua 2:1-14 A Pagan Testifies
  • Joshua 2:15-24 Faith in Action
  • Joshua 3:1-8 Preparing to Move Out
  • Joshua 3:9-17 A Step of Faith
  • Joshua 4:1-11 Memorials of Faith
  • Joshua 4:12-24 A Place of Spiritual Resurrection
  • Joshua 5:1-15 Evidence of Separation
  • Joshua 6:1-14 A Key to Future Victories
  • Joshua 6:15-27 A Shout of Faith
  • Joshua 7:1-12 A Wrong Time to Pray
  • Joshua 7:13-26 Dealing With Sin
  • Joshua 8:10-30 New Orders and Methods
  • Joshua 9:1-15 Deciding Without Praying
  • Joshua 9:16-27 Learning From Mistakes
  • Joshua 10:1-15 God is Sovereign
  • Joshua 11:16-23 Possessing an Inheritance
  • Joshua 18:1-10 Failing to Appropriate
  • Joshua 23:1-8 Courageous in Godly Living
  • Joshua 23:9-13 The Way to Victory
  • Joshua 23:14-16 Not One Thing Has Failed
  • Joshua 24:1-13 All of Grace
  • Joshua 24:14,15 We Must Choose
  • Joshua 24:16-33 The People's Choice

The Bible History—Old Testament
Book of Joshua

58 pages

Bible Studies for Life

Teacher Helps on Joshua - Founders Ministries


Commentary on Joshua

Commentary on Joshua

Sermons on Joshua
Union Church

Commentary on Joshua

Peninsula Bible Church

A Home Given: Entering, Conquering, Settling Joshua Burnham, Andy
Hanging By a Thread Joshua 2:1-24, 6:1-27 Herminghaus, Judy
Faithful To The Finish Joshua 24:29-33 Goins, Doug
Commitment To The Covenant Joshua 24:1-28 Goins, Doug
Farewell At Shiloh Joshua 23:1-16 Goins, Doug
And When The Battle's Over Joshua 22:1-34 Goins, Doug
Cities Of The Levites Joshua 21:1-45 Goins, Doug
Cities Of Refuge Joshua 20:1-9 Goins, Doug
Initiative Or Inertia? Joshua 17:1-18, 18:1-28, 19:1-51 Goins, Doug
This Land Is Our Land Joshua 14:1-15, 15:1-63, 16:1-10 Goins, Doug
The Spoils Of Victory Joshua 13:1-33 Goins, Doug
The Final Conquest Joshua 11:1-23, 12:1-24 Goins, Doug
Victory At Gibeon Joshua 10:1-43 Goins, Doug
A Costly Lesson Joshua 9:1-27 Goins, Doug
Turning Defeat Into Victory Joshua 8:1-35 Goins, Doug
Learning From Losing Joshua 7:1-26 Goins, Doug
Faith Is The Victory Joshua 6:1-27 Goins, Doug
Conditioned For Conquest Joshua 5:1-15 Goins, Doug
The Two Memorials Joshua 4:1-24 Goins, Doug
Crossing The Jordan Joshua 3:7-17 Goins, Doug
Standing At The Jordan Joshua 3:1-6 Goins, Doug
An Unlikely Ancestor Joshua 2:1-24 Goins, Doug
Follow The Leader Joshua 1:10-18 Goins, Doug
A Hard Act To Follow Joshua 1:1-9 Goins, Doug
Joshua: A New Beginning Joshua Goins, Doug
Our Changeless Lord's Instructions On How To Use Teachable Moments Joshua 4:1-24 Ritchie, Ron
A Man to Match the Mountains Joshua 14:1-15, 15:1-63 Roper, Dave
Guilt and Freedom Joshua 5:1-15, 6:1-27 Roper, Dave
Learning from Losing Joshua 7:1-26 Roper, Dave
When Your Children Ask Joshua 4:1-9, 4:15-22 Roper, Dave
Joshua: Guidebook to Victory Joshua Stedman, Ray

Commentary on Joshua

Commentary on Joshua

Notes from Conservative, Evangelical, Millennial Perspective

Commentary on Joshua

Commentary on Joshua

Sermons on Joshua


Sunday School Study Plan for Kids
Bible Lessons 4 Kids

Selected Sermons on Joshua
Mp3's only

Addresses on Joshua

Popups for Scripture References

Relating to Joshua

Studies in the Life of Joshua

Commentary on the Old Testament

Spurgeon on Keil & Delitzsch: We cannot read Keil with pleasure, for we want spiritual meat, but yet it is most desirable for us to know what the text really means. Without indicating either the spiritual lesson or the moral of the history, Keil simply explains the facts, and in so doing aids the reader to realize them. We confess we should like something more. A work for the learned. It has received the highest commendations from competent scholars. But it is somewhat dull and formal.

Daily Bible Illustrations

Joshua Commentary

Joshua Commentary

John Lloyd examines the book of Joshua as a literal, prophetic, and spiritual history of the Jewish people. In The Book of Joshua: A Critical and Expository Commentary of the Hebrew Text, he explores the idea of Joshua as an archetype for the coming Messiah—and the journey to the promised land as a mirror for entry to heaven. (ED: Canaan is better depicted as the spiritual warfare of the believer, for Canaan was hardly "heaven" for the Israelites as they battled the Canaanites!) Lloyd’s commentary is divided into two parts: the conquest of the land and the division of the land. The verse-by-verse commentary comprises grammatical, exegetical, historical, and ethical notes that mine the depths of this early prophetic work. It also includes an index of geographical names. John Lloyd was the rector of Llanvapley, a village in Wales.

Note: Verse by verse analysis

Second Part: The Division of the Land of Canaan

Joshua Sermons


Thru the Bible - Joshua

Joshua - Click for individual mp3s (same as the links below but broken up into 58 mp3's)

on Joshua
Conservative, Evangelical



NET translation on the left and notes on on the right

On Joshua



ART Art and Pictures Related to Joshua




JIM BOMKAMP - Study Notes






JAMES GRAY - overview

Joshua 1 Joshua 3 Joshua 6 Joshua 9
Joshua 11 Joshua 13 Joshua 20 Joshua 23






I. Entering the Promised Land (Joshua 1:1–5:15)

II. Conquering the Promised Land (Joshua 6:1–12:24)

A. The Central Campaign (Joshua 6:1–8:35)

B. The Southern Campaign (Joshua 9:1–10:43)

C. The Northern Campaign (Joshua 11:1–15)

D. The Summary of Conquests (Joshua 11:16–12:24)

III. Distributing Portions in the Promised Land (Joshua 13:1–22:34)

A. Summary of Instructions (Joshua 13:1–33)

B. West of the Jordan (Joshua 14:1–19:51)

C. Cities of Refuge (Joshua 20:1–9)

D. Cities of the Levites (Joshua 21:1–45)

E. East of the Jordan (Joshua 22:1–34)

IV. Retaining the Promised Land (Joshua 23:1–24:28)

A. The First Speech by Joshua (Joshua 23:1–16)

B. The Second Speech by Joshua (Joshua 24:1–28)

V. Postscript (Joshua 24:29–33)



MAPS Maps Related to Joshua

EXCELLENT MAPS - PLEASE NOTE - Source is the Holman Bible Atlas (digital bookHardcover/Paperback version) copyrighted © 1998 B&H Publishing Group, used by permission, all rights reserved. This is one of the best resources for Bible maps as the maps also include helpful short descriptions of the events portrayed on the maps. Please do not download to be used on another website. Thank you.

BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR FREEDOM - multiple articles on Joshua


A.) GETTING READY FOR BATTLE (Joshua 1-5) Preparing for Conquest

B.) STIRRING UP THE ENEMY (Joshua 6-12) Conquering the Land

C.) FINISHING THE TASK (Joshua 13-24)  Dividing the Land

Joshua 1:1-5 The Mission: God's Purpose

Mobilizing God's People (Jos 1:10-18)

Victory over Strongholds (Joshua 6:1-27)

Effectively Dealing with Defeat & Despair (Joshua 7:1-15)

Reaching Beyond Mediocrity (Joshua 10:1-43) 

Finishing the Task (Joshua 13:1-33)

Obtaining a Greater Portion (Jos 21)

Other Related topic on Overcoming Failure

Other Articles on Biblical Leadership

Other Articles on Biblical Leadership











RAY STEDMAN - overviews of Joshua

  • Joshua: The Way to Victory: Joshua
  • Joshua: Guidebook to Victory (or listen to mp3) - Transcribed excerpt from the audio -  some of what Dr Stedman says in his introduction is for some reason NOT recorded in the associated transcript which is too bad. In these opening words there is a most incredible statement from one of the great Bible teachers of the twentieth century and thus it is transcribed to motivate you to listen to the full 45 minute audio (and not just read the transcript). Dr Stedman's opening words are especially insightful if you are thinking something like "O well this is just another one of those archaic Old Testament books and there is really nothing practical for living the Christian life in the twenty-first century." If that is your mindset, you could not be more wrong. Here are Dr Stedman's opening remarks which hopefully will motivate to study (or teach or preach) this great Old Testament book.

"And I wonder how many have been able to read through the book of Joshua are 2 hands! Anyone else? Well, when you meet Joshua up in heaven, you can explain to him why you did not have time. Joshua is the guidebook to victory. What a tremendous book. I think there is no book in the Bible that is so packed with helpful,practical lessons as the book of Joshua. No book has been more helpful to me in grasping the principles of spiritual life than the book of Joshua and this includes all the books of the New Testament as well! There's no book that's so challenging in its concepts and so thorough in its analysis of life than this book...if you know how to read it. There's a key of course to the book of Joshua as there is to every book of the Bible. That key is the pattern given to us in the New Testament, where Paul says "Now these things happened to them as an example (FOR US). What Israel went through in their actual historical experiences become figures, become patterns, metaphors that we can apply to the spiritual battles, the spiritual journey, the pilgrimage on which we are launched and they have an exact and accurate application to us." And if you read the books of the OT with this key in hand, it becomes a very vivid and a very fascinating book. I almost hesitate to begin this survey of the book of Joshua because I am so captured by the lessons involved in so many places through this book that I tend to bog down in details. It's hard to keep going in an overall survey. And I hope you'll bear with that we can get through the book in the time allotted to us, for my tendency is to stop and look more closely at some of these tremendous illustrations of the spiritual life. There are two books of the Old Testament that I would strongly recommend that every Christian master its message. These are two books that I particularly feel every young Christian ought to know. One is the book of Joshua and the other is the book of Daniel for these messages are primarily designed for young Christians as they are engaged in the first full impact in their battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. If you feel the force of the opposing powers; if the tremendous, subtle deceptiveness of the principalities and powers against which we are engaged have come upon you so that you sense that you are in the conflict (Ephesians. 6:12), I urge upon you the book of Joshua and the book of Daniel." (listen to the entire mp3.)









STEPHEN DRAY - 22 pages - nice summary

  • The Book of Joshua - includes all of the studies below on one page
  • The Book of Joshua - Part 1 (Joshua 1:1 thru Joshua 4:24)
  • The Book of Joshua - Part 2 (Joshua 5:1 thru Joshua 9:27 )
  • The Book of Joshua - Part 3 (Joshua 10:1 thru Joshua 19:51)
  • The Book of Joshua - Part 4 (Joshua 20:1 thru Joshua 24:33)



F R FAY Lange's Commentary

MAX FRAZIER - THE CONQUEST OF THE PROMISED LAND -  Devotional Commentary on Joshua

  • A REMEDY FOR FEAR Joshua 1:1-3
  • VICTORY AT JERICHO Joshua 6:2-5
  • THE PROBLEM WITH ACHAN Joshua 7:16-26
  • THE CONQUEST OF AI Joshua 8:1-29
  • THE PERIL OF DECEIT Joshua 9:3-15
  • AN INHERITANCE Joshua 13
  • CITIES OF REFUGE Joshua 20
  • HOW TO BECOME BLESSABLE Joshua 23:15-16
  • CHOICES Joshua 24


GENE GETZ - Short videos discussing principles taught in Joshua

  • Joshua; Principle #1; Josh. 1:1-5; p. 268 God's Personal Presence: No matter our circumstances in life, we are to rely on God's promise that He will never leave us or forsake us.Video
  • Joshua; Principle #2; Josh. 1:6-9; p. 268 Modeling and Teaching: In order to be successful, pastors and parents must both practice and teach the Word of God. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #3; Josh. 1:10-18; p. 269 Mutual Encouragement: We are to encourage spiritual leaders to lead with strength and courage. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #4; Josh. 2:1-7; p. 270 Salvation for All: We are to present the gospel to all people, regardless of the depth of their sin. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #5; Josh. 2:8-24; p. 271 Faith that Works: We are to test the validity of our salvation experience by our desire to do God's will. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #6; Josh. 3:1-11; p. 271 Honoring God: Though we are to honor one another, we are to glorify God above all. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #7; Josh. 3:12-4:24; p. 277 Family Memorials: We should create unique and natural ways to review with our children and grandchildren how God has met our needs and blessed us as an extended family. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #8; Josh. 5:1-9; p. 273 Identification with Christ: If we have put our faith in the Lord Jesus, we should be baptized to show that we have died with Christ and have been raised to a new life. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #9; Josh. 5:10-12; p. 274 The Lords Supper: If we have received the Lord Jesus as Savior, we should remember His sacrificial death by participating regularly in communion. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #10; Josh. 5:13-15; p. 275 Our Holy God: Even though we are able to enter God's awesome presence because of Christs sacrificial death, we are to remember that we are worshiping a holy God. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #11; Josh. 6:1-27; p. 276 God's Patience: We should let people know that Jesus Christ has delayed His second coming and the judgment to follow so that people will have an opportunity to repent and be saved. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #12; Josh. 7:1-5; p. 276 Seeking God's Will: We must avoid reverting to purely humanistic approaches when facing challenges in our lives. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #13; Josh. 7:6-12; p. 277 Acting Responsibly: We are to take full responsibility for our human failures rather that blaming God. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #14; Josh. 7:13-15; p. 278 God's Compassion: Though God must ultimately judge sin, we must understand that He is first and foremost a God of love and compassion. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #15; Josh. 7:16-26; p. 279 Hurting Innocent People: When we are tempted to deliberately and persistently violate God's will, we should consider how our sins will impact those closest to us. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #16; Josh. 8:1-29; p. 280 Forgiveness and Freedom: Even though we fail God miserable, we should confess our sins, repent, and be restored to our heavenly Father. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #17; Josh. 8:30-35; p. 280 Teaching God's Word: Spiritual leaders should take advantage of opportunities to review and communicate God's Word when people are the most teachable. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #18; Josh. 9:1-15; p. 281 Satanic Deception: We must be on guard against Satan, the father of liars. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #19; Josh. 9:16-27; p. 282 Handling Mistakes: There are times we must live with our mistakes, accepting the fact that we cannot correct something we did wrong by making another wrong decision. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #20; Josh. 10:1-15; p. 283 God's Sovereign Ways: Even though we make mistakes, we are to be encouraged that God can still achieve His divine and sovereign purposes in and through our lives. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #21; Josh. 14:6-15; p. 287 Rewards for Faithfulness: We are to serve God diligently, remembering that He will never forget our faithfulness. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #22; Josh. 21:43-45; p. 294 God's Promises: We are always to trust God to fulfill His unconditional promises. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #23; Josh. 22:1-34; p. 295 Avoiding Divisions: As members of Christ body, we are to do everything we can to avoid misunderstandings that lead to divisions and disunity. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #24; Josh. 23:1-16; p. 296 Finishing Well: To follow God fully throughout our time on earth, we must obey the Word of God and keep our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. Video
  • Joshua; Principle #25; Josh. 24:1-24; p. 297 Making Right Choices: To walk in God's will throughout our time on earth, we must deliberately choose to serve Him rather than the God's of this world. Video



TRENT HUNTER - 12 week study with notes - includes NT parallels, theological insights, application





I also highly recommend Chuck Smith's insightful overviews of the book of Joshua in which he discusses our great need for walking by the Spirit, using this book as an illustration.

G CAMPBELL MORGAN - brief expositional comments


HENRY MORRIS Defender's Study Bible Notes

Conservative notes from a well-known creationist. See right margin for links to available notes.

WILLIAM NEWELL - 20 page study -  lessons used at Union Bible Classes - Interesting - Check it out.

RICHARD PRATT - Commentary




  • Cycles of Revival 
    Excerpt -  The book of Judges provides tremendous help in understanding these cycles. Please note the pattern as established in chapter two. Stage One: The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the Elders who survived Joshua (Jdg 2:7). Stage Two: When Joshua died (Jdg 2:8), the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, serving the Baals and forsaking the Lord, the God of their fathers (Jdg 2:11-13).

ADRIAN ROGERS - sermon series on Joshua (audio only but you will not be disappointed!)

  • Joshua 1:1-9 - Possessing Your Possessions [#0441]
  • Joshua 1:10-18 A Call to Conquest [#0443]
  • Joshua 2 Transforming Power of the Gospel [#0445]
  • Joshua 2 The Scarlet Thread Through The Bible [#0446]
  • Joshua 3 The Day of Miracles [#0447]
  • Joshua 5 The Triumph of Faith [#0449]
  • Joshua 7 The Sin That Lost the War [#0451]
  • Joshua 8 The Valley of Decision [#0453]
  • Joshua 10 The Day the Sun Stood Still [#0455]
  • Joshua 14 Give Me This Mountain [#0459]
  • Joshua 17 Maximum Living [#0463]
  • Joshua 20 Christ, Our Refuge [#0461]







THIRDMILL.ORG - Course on the Book of Joshua - video, audio, transcripts

The Book of Joshua: An Introduction to Joshua

Introduces the book of Joshua, including what it meant for its original audience and what it means for us today.

The Book of Joshua: Victorious Conquest (1:1 - 12:24)

Addresses the original audience's challenges associated with warfare by drawing attention to Israel's extensive victory over the land of Canaan.

The Book of Joshua: Tribal Inheritances (13:1 - 22:34)

Explores how Joshua called the people of Israel to live together as heirs of the Promised Land.

The Book of Joshua: Covenant Loyalty (23:1 - 24:33)

Reveals the significance of Israel's call to be faithful to the terms of their covenant with God.















WOODROW KROLL - scroll down





WOODROW KROLL - scroll down










WOODROW KROLL- scroll down




Links below are from Miller's work - Devotional Hours with the Bible, Volume 2: Chapter 11 - Crossing the Jordan

WOODROW KROLL- scroll down





WOODROW KROLL- scroll down





WOODROW KROLL- scroll down





  • Ai and I
    Excerpt - The worst enemy you have is not your neighbor nor your bill collector, he is not your severest critic nor your most aggressive competitor. We can identify him without calling in the FBI to determine who he is. In fact, I trust we can apprehend and condemn him very shortly, thus giving you a victory over him. Your worst enemy is sitting in the seat with you at this moment. The enemy is yourself, as you have probably suspected. He occupies the same skin that you occupy. He uses the same brain you use in thinking his destructive thoughts. He uses the same hands that you use to perform his own deeds, and may I say to you that this enemy - your flesh - can do you more harm than anyone else; he is the greatest handicap you have in your daily Christian life.



WOODROW KROLL- scroll down




WOODROW KROLL- scroll down






RAYMOND SAXE - sermon notes


WOODROW KROLL- scroll down




WOODROW KROLL- scroll down






Our Daily Homily

Through the Bible Commentary

Joshua and the Land of Promise
Devotional commentary

Note: Be a Berean (Acts 17:11-note) as Meyer appeals to typology a number of times - see Typology - Study of Biblical types)

Living Water Commentary


Commentary on Joshua

Devotionals on Joshua
Radio Bible Class

NOTE: All of these devotionals are located here at the bottom of this page and arranged in the same order as the list below. 

  • Joshua 1:1-9  His Part - Our Part
  • Joshua 1:1- 9 Unlighted Paths
  • Joshua 1:1-9 Leadership Lessons
  • Joshua 1:1-9 Trust The Compass
  • Joshua 1:2 Inconvenient Or Important?
  • Joshua 1:2 Look Both Ways
  • Joshua 1:5 He’s Always With Us
  • Joshua 1:5 The Apprentice
  • Joshua 1:5 Much Trouble
  • Joshua 1:5 Mindless Prayer
  • Joshua 1:5 On Shoulders Of Giants
  • Joshua 1:5 He’s Always On The Bridge
  • Joshua 1:5 Strong and Courageous
  • Joshua 1:7 The Challenge of Transition
  • Joshua 1:8 The Way To Success
  • Joshua 1:8 Delight in the Book
  • Joshua 1:8 Recipe For Success
  • Joshua 1:9 Anchors In The Storm
  • Joshua 1:9  Equipped for the Task
  • Joshua 1:9 WALKING AWAY
  • Joshua 1:9 A Fresh Start
  • Joshua 2:1-14 Unexpected Help
  • Joshua 2:1-14 Three Tenses Of Trust
  • Joshua 2:1-14 Even Her?
  • Joshua 2:11 One Option We Don't Have
  • Joshua 2:11 Storytime
  • Joshua 2:11-14 Ready To Believe
  • Joshua 3:4
  • Joshua 3:1-11 Eyes To See
  • Joshua 3:1-13  Strange Territory
  • Joshua 3:4 Strange Territory
  • Joshua 3:14 Standing On The Edge
  • Joshua 3:14–4:7 Stones of Remembrance
  • Joshua 4:1-18 Questions
  • Joshua 4 The Stones
  • Joshua 4:1-9 Family Stories
  • Joshua 4:7 Rushmore Reminder
  • Joshua 5:14 God’s Plans
  • Joshua 5:13-15 CHOOSE YOUR SIDE
  • Joshua 5:13–6:5 Facing The Impossible
  • Joshua 6 Believing God
  • Joshua 6:1-5,20 The Bible Stands!
  • Joshua 6:5 Strange Guidance
  • Joshua 7:1 No Loose Laces
  • Joshua 7:1-13 What’s The Trouble?
  • Joshua 7:1,19-26 The Deadliest Disease
  • Joshua 7:1-6,19-26 Confession & Consequences
  • Joshua 7:11 - A Winning Strategy
  • Joshua 7:12 Destroying the Divides
  • Joshua 7:16-22 Here Comes The Boss!
  • Joshua 9:1-16 Can I Trust You?
  • Joshua 9:14-15 Moldy Bread
  • Joshua 10:14 Help from Heaven
  • Joshua 11:23  Entering Promised Land
  • Joshua 14:1-12 Older--And Wiser
  • Joshua 14:6-15 A Faithful Servant
  • Joshua 14:10 A 45-Year-Old Promise
  • Joshua 14:10–11 With God’s Help
  • Joshua 14:11 Grey Power
  • Joshua 21:45 Amazing Guide
  • Joshua 22:5 Ignoring God
  • Joshua 22:10-16,21-29 Urge To Jump
  • Joshua 22:34 Flawed Impressions
  • Joshua 22:10-34 Beware Of Jumping To Conclusions
  • Joshua 23:10 To Chase Or Be Chased
  • Joshua 24:15 D-Day
  • Joshua 24:1-25 Joshua's Challenge
  • Joshua 24:13 We Have Fruit!
  • Joshua 24:15 A Loud Fizzle
  • Joshua 24:15 Choose!
  • Joshua 24:15 It’s Your Choice
  • Joshua 24:15 Choosing Our Leader
  • Joshua 24:15 CHOOSE YOUR GOD
  • Joshua 24:15-24 One Small Choice
  • Joshua 24:21 The Definite Choice
  • Joshua 24:22-33  Still Climbing

Commentary on Joshua
The People's Bible

Rosscup: This work, later called Preaching Through the Bible (Baker Book House), is rich in its applications and exhortations, though often not particularly helpful for the reader who is looking for exposition that stays right with the text. Treatment of the texts is sermonic. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An annotated bibliography of selected works)

  • Source - Joshua Commentaries - has all the titles below. In the url link at top of page a quick way to get to a chapter is to simply substitute that chapter number for the #1 ( So if you want to go to chapter 24, replace the #1 with 24 (
  • Joshua Introduction - The Significance of Joshua
  • Joshua 1:1-9 The Man and His Call
  • Joshua 1:10-15 Aspects of Human Character
  • Joshua 1:16-18 Unanimity
  • Joshua 2 Spirit of Divine Providence
  • Joshua 2:11 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 3 The New Symbol
  • Joshua 3 Up to the Brink
  • Joshua 3:9 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 4 Memorial Stones
  • Joshua 4:15-24 Coming Up Out of Jordan
  • Joshua 4:23 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 5 Memorable Events
  • Joshua 5:13-15 Signs of the Times
  • Joshua 6 Discipline
  • Joshua 7 Hindered by Sin
  • Joshua 7 Curious Conjunctions
  • Joshua 7 Selected Notes on Valley of Achor, Achan
  • Joshua 7:13, 15 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 7:18 Achan a Representative Man
  • Joshua 8 The Taking of Ai Spiritualized
  • Joshua 8:31 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 9:2-27 The Gibeonites
  • Joshua 9 Selected Note on Gibeon
  • Joshua 10:11 The Lord's Artillery
  • Joshua 10:12-43 Five Modern Kings
  • Joshua 10:42 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 11 Types of Christian Warfare (Related Topic - Typology - Study of Biblical types)
  • Joshua 11:15 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 12, 13 A Recorded Life
  • Joshua 13:1 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 13:33 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 14 Caleb's Claim
  • Joshua 15-19 Distribution
  • Joshua 15-19 Distribution of the Land
  • Joshua 15:19 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 19:49 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 20-24 After Rest
  • Joshua 20:2 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 20:5 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 20:7 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 21:2, 43-44 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 21:45 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 22:16 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 24:15 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners
  • Joshua 24:27 Handfuls of Purpose for Gleaners

Sermons on Joshua

The Valley of Calamity Joshua 1:1-26 Michael A. Guido
On To Victory Now! Joshua 1:1-4 J. Mike Minnix
Live Courageously under the Precepts of God Joshua 1:9 Franklin L. Kirksey
Live Courageously in the Purpose of God Joshua 1:9 Franklin L. Kirksey
The Great Conquest Joshua 1:9-11 J. Gerald Harris
The Great Bailout! Joshua 2 J. Mike Minnix
Masterpiece of Mercy Joshua 2 Johnny Hunt
From the Wall of Shame to the Hall of Fame Joshua 2:1-7 J. Mike Minnix
Traveling Unknown Territory Joshua 3 Paul E. Brown
God's Dry Ground Joshua 3:1-17 J. Mike Minnix
Faith to Face Your Impossibilities Joshua 3:1-17 Michael Catt
Memorial Day: The Value of a Legacy Joshua 4:1-9 Alan Morris
Faithing Your Future Joshua 5:13-15 J. Mike Minnix
The Perilous Consequences of Secret Sin Joshua 7 Paul E. Brown
Perilous Progression of Secret Sin Joshua 7 Paul E. Brown
The Aching Achan Caused Joshua 7 J. Mike Minnix
Dealing Redemptively With Your Failures Joshua 7:5-6 Paul E. Brown
Vanquished or Victorious? Joshua 8:1-2 Vince Hefner
The Day The Sun Stood Still Joshua 10:12-14 Paul E. Brown
Give Me This Mountain! Joshua 14:6-12 J. Mike Minnix
I Think I'll Just Go With God Joshua 24:1-28 David E. Owen
I Think I'll Just Go With God Joshua 24:1-28 David E. Owen
Deacon Ordination Sermon Joshua 24:13-15 J. Gerald Harris
The Children in the Home - The Father's Role Joshua 24:14-15 J. Mike Minnix
What About Your Home? Joshua 24:14-15 Terry Trivette
As For Me And My House Joshua 24:15 J. Mike Minnix
The Kind of Father I Should Be Joshua 24:15 J. Mike Minnix
Whom Will You Choose To Serve? Joshua 24:15 W. A. Criswell

Commentary on Joshua

Gleanings In Joshua

  • Click here for all the titles listed below
  • Joshua Introduction - The Significance of Joshua
  • Joshua 1:1-9 The Great Commission
  • Joshua 1:10-18 The Response of Faith
  • Joshua 2:1-24 A Scarlet Cord
  • Joshua 3:1-6 Standing at the Jordan
  • Joshua 3:7-17 Crossing the Jordan
  • Joshua 4:1-24 The Two Memorials
  • Joshua 5:1-15 Symbols of Committal
  • Joshua 6:1-27 Victory at Jericho
  • Joshua 7:1-26 Sin, Defeat, Judgment
  • Joshua 8:1-35 The Conquest at Ai
  • Joshua 9:1-27 Honor Amidst Deception
  • Joshua 10:1-43 Victory at Gibeon
  • Joshua 11:1-12:24 The Final Conquest
  • Joshua 13:1-33 The Spoils of Victory
  • Joshua 14:1-16:10 The Division of the Land
  • Joshua 17:1-19:51 Indolence in Final Possession
  • Joshua 20:1-9 The Cities of Refuge
  • Joshua 21:1-45 The Levitical Cities
  • Joshua 22:1-34 Demobilization
  • Joshua 23:1-16 Farewell at Shiloh
  • Joshua 24:1-33 Valedictory
  • In Memoriam

Commentary on Joshua



Note that there are multiple homilies associated with each of the following expositions - simply scroll down the page to review the homilies.



Victorious Christian Living: Studies in the Book of Joshua (copy for purchase)

Comment - This book is actually a collection of sermons by Alan Redpath, with particular emphasis on applying the great truths in the book of Joshua to our daily Christian life. The links below are to the copy of the book that is available to borrow (for one hour or 14 days) at no charge from It is encrypted so you will not be able to copy and paste but all chapters are available to read. In addition you can even listen to the book  (I find the English male voice very pleasing and more natural sounding - select voice just below the open page you are reading. If you are wondering if this book is worth your time, take a moment and look at some of the reviews to see what others have said about this book. THIS  STUDY HAS WONDERFUL POINTS TO AID YOUR PREACHING AND TEACHING OF THIS GREAT BOOK! 

Note - You must "borrow" the book to read the follow chapters - it is free to borrow and collects no personal information. 


  1. Joshua 1:2 The Goal of Christian Living 
  2. Joshua 1:9 The Man God Uses 
  3. Joshua 1:11 Counting the Cost 
  4. Joshua 3:11 The Royal Road to Blessing 


  5. Joshua 5:9 The Cross and the Christian
  6. Joshua 5:10 Preparing for the Battle
  7. Joshua 5:12 The Reward of Reality
  8. Joshua 6:33 Joshua Celebrating Victory
  9. Joshua 7:13 Setbacks-Their Cause and Cure
  10. Joshua 8:30 The Christian Law of Liberty
  11. Joshua 9:3 Enemy Strategy
  12. Joshua 10:25 Winning Through
  13. Joshua 11:23 The Fruit of Victory
  14. Joshua 13:1 Possessing Our Possessions


  15. Joshua 13:33 The Satisfied Life
  16. Joshua 14:14 The Disciple's Reward
  17. Joshua 17:18 Living to Capacity
  18. Joshua 18:3 Perils to Avoid
  19. Joshua 23:11 Principles to Follow
  20. Joshua 24:19 Power for Service


Sermons are Pdf transcripts each about 6 pages



  •   Possessing Your Possessions—Joshua 1:1–5, 7–9
  •   Claiming our Canaan—Joshua 1:1–8
  •   Facing a New Year—Joshua 1:1–8
  •   Conquering Canaan—Joshua 1:1–9
  •   God’s Plan for Your Prosperity—Joshua 1:1–9
  •   Success God’s Way, Part 1—Joshua 1:1–9
  •   God’s Way for a New Day—Joshua 1:1–11
  •   Ditches on the Holy Highway—Joshua 1:7–9
  •   God’s Call to Conquest—Joshua 1:10–11
  •   The Transforming Power of Faith—Joshua 2
  •   The Transforming Power of the Gospel—Joshua 2
  •   The Scarlet Thread Through the Bible—Joshua 2:18–24
  •   God’s Way for a New Day—Joshua 3
  •   Walking on Conquered Ground—Joshua 3
  •   Your Guide to the Great Unknown—Joshua 3
  •   The River of Miracles—Joshua 3:1–5
  •   Getting Ready for a Miracle—Joshua 3:3–10
  •   How to Arrive at Your Destination Without a Map—Joshua 3:3–13
  •   The Triumph of Faith—Joshua 5:13–15
  •   The Key to Unbroken Victory—Joshua 7
  •   The Sin That Lost a War—Joshua 7
  •   The Valley of Decision—Joshua 8:1–2
  •   The Day the Sun Stood Still—Joshua 10:12–14
  •   When Time Stands Still—Joshua 10:12–14
  •   When Time Stands Still—Joshua 10:12–14
  •   Don’t Stop Now—Joshua 12:7–24; 13:1–33
  •   How to Grow Older without Growing Colder—Joshua 13:1
  •   It’s Too Soon to Quit—Joshua 13:1
  •   Eighty-five-year-old Giant Killer—Joshua 14:6–12; 15:14–15
  •   How to Live on the Mountaintop—Joshua 14:6–12; 15:14–15
  •   Give Me This Mountain—Joshua 14:6–12
  •   Grasshoppers, Giants, and Gray Hairs—Joshua 14:6–14
  •   Higher Ground—Joshua 14:6–14
  •   Don’t Settle for Less Than God’s Best—Joshua 17:12–18
  •   Maximum Living—Joshua 17:12–18
  •   Christ, Our Refuge—Joshua 20:1–3
  •   Jesus, the Sinner’s Refuge—Joshua 20:1–3, 7–8
  •   Jesus, the Sinner’s Refuge—Joshua 20:1–3, 7–8
  •   Christ, Our City of Refuge—Joshua 20:1–9
  •   Christ, the Sinner’s Refuge—Joshua 20:1–9
  •   How to Maintain the Life of Victory—Joshua 24:11–23
  •   Men Needed—Joshua 24:14–15
  •   How to Keep Your Spiritual Health—Joshua 24:14–22

Sermon Notes

Calvary Chapel
Sermon Notes


NOTE: There are literally 1000's of sermons but the quality varies so please exercise a Berean mindset (Acts 17:11+). Check out the Pdf's which can be a useful source of preaching and teaching ideas but use discernment. Some of the Pdf's are just church bulletins, some are fill in the blanks as you follow the sermon, some are short outlines, some are more longer transcripts of the entire sermon. You have to search through these. I have given you a sample of the type of Pdf you might be able to find (see Joshua 1 below) 


Sermons Joshua

John Piper says that Horae Homileticae "is the best place to go for researching Simeon's theology. You can find his views on almost every key text in the Bible. He did not want to be labeled a Calvinist or an Arminian. He wanted to be Biblical through and through and give every text its due proportion, whether it sounded Arminian as it stands or Calvinistic. But he was known as an evangelical Calvinist, and rightly so. As I have read portions of his sermons on texts concerning election and effectual calling and perseverance he is uninhibited in his affirmation of what we would call the doctrines of grace… What Simeon experienced in the word was remarkable. And it is so utterly different from the counsel that we receive today that it is worth looking at." (Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering) (Bolding added)

Calvary Chapel
Sermon Notes and Commentary

Through the Bible (C2000 Series) - this series was recorded in the 1980's and while over 30 years old is literally packed with practical insights into how to live the Victorious Christian life based on the eternal truths and principles that are found in the Book of Joshua - highly recommended. This would make a great supplement to your personal through the Bible in a year reading program. Read and study (and meditate) on Joshua yourself first (using the principles of inductive Bible study). Then listen to Pastor Chuck's wonderful Spirit-filled, Christ exalting, Word centered, God glorifying discussion of the chapters you have studied and pondered. I can guarantee you will be edified, equipped and transformed by the Spirit (2Cor 3:18-note)!

Sermons on Joshua

Devotionals on Joshua

Morning and Evening and Faith's Checkbook

Book of Joshua

Notes on the book of Joshua

Joshua 1

Joshua 2

Joshua 3

Joshua 4

Joshua 5

Joshua 6

Joshua 7

Joshua 8

Joshua 9

Joshua 10

Joshua 11

Joshua 12

Joshua 13

Joshua 14

Joshua 15

Joshua 16

Joshua 17

Joshua 18

Joshua 19


Joshua 20

Joshua 21

Joshua 22

Joshua 23


Joshua 24


Sermon Notes


Click listing which includes audio files. The files below are transcripts which together are more than 200 pages of well done material preached expositionally.

on the book of Joshua

C H Spurgeon comments on John Trapp: Would it be possible to eulogise too much the incomparably sententious and suggestive folios of JOHN TRAPP? Since Mr. Dickinson has rendered them accessible,[7] I trust most of you have bought them. Trapp will be most valuable to men of discernment, to thoughtful men, to men who only want a start in a line of thought, and are then able to run alone. Trapp excels in witty stories on the one hand, and learned allusions on the other. You will not thoroughly enjoy him unless you can turn to the original, and yet a mere dunce at classics will prize him. His writings remind me of himself: he was a pastor, hence his holy practical remarks; he was the head of a public school, and everywhere we see his profound scholarship; he was for some time amid the guns and drums of a parliamentary garrison, and he gossips and tells queer anecdotes like a man used to a soldier's life; yet withal, he comments as if he had been nothing else but a commentator all his days. Some of his remarks are far fetched, and like the far fetched rarities of Solomon's Tarshish, there is much gold and silver, but there are also apes and peacocks. His criticisms would some of them be the cause of amusement in these days of greater scholarship; but for all that, he who shall excel Trapp had need rise very early in the morning. Trapp is my especial companion and treasure; I can read him when I am too weary for anything else. Trapp is salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, and all the other condiments. Put him on the table when you study, and when you have your dish ready, use him by way of spicing the whole thing. Yes, gentlemen, read Trapp certainly, and if you catch the infection of his consecrated humour, so much the better for your hearers.

Cross References to Joshua by chapter and verse
R A Torrey

John MacArthur: "The one book, apart from the Bible itself, that I value most in my studies."

Note: The best commentary on Scripture is Scripture (Compare Scripture with Scripture) and these cross references compiled by Torrey are the most comprehensive work of this type with over 500,000 entries. However, always check the context (Keep Context King) to make sure that the cross reference is referring to the same subject as the original Scripture. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said it this way - "The Scripture is to be its own interpreter or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture." See an example of the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture. See also Use of Cross-References - Martin Luther expressed this principle with the words, Scriptura sui ipsius interpres which is Latin for "Scripture is its own expositor" The Westminster Confession adds that "The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly." 

Devotionals on Joshua
Moody Bible

Commentary on Joshua

The Conquest and Settlement of the Promised Land

The Promise of the Land:
The Inheritance of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites

Note - This is not an evangelical writing but does have some interesting information from the perspective of an erudite Jewish writer, Moshe Weinfeld. Be a Berean - Acts 17:11+

The Promise of the Land

    The Taubman Professorship and Lectures
  expand section 1—  The Patriarchal Stories in the Light of Greek Foundation Stories
  expand section 2—  The Pattern of Israelite Settlement:  A Comparison with the Pattern of Greek Colonization
  collapse section 3—  The Borders of the Promised Land:  Two Views
  1—  From Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt
  2—  From the River of Egypt to the River Euphrates
  expand section The Status of Transjordan According to Deuteronomy
  The View of the Second Temple Period
  expand section 4—  Expulsion, Dispossession, and Extermination of the Pre-Israelite Population in the Biblical Sources
  expand section 5—  The Conquest of the Land of Canaan:  Reality and Ideology
  expand section 6—  The Conquest and Settlement According to the Different Accounts
    7—  Two Introductions to the Period of Judges
  expand section 8—  The Inheritance of the Land:  Privilege versus Obligation
  expand section 9—  The Covenantal Aspect of the Promise of the Land to Israel
  expand section Index of Texts
  expand section Index of Subjects
  expand section Index of Scholars

Commentary on Joshua


As I Was, So Will I Be By A.W. Tozer

For all things, God is the great Antecedent! Because He is, we are and everything else is. We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as always being there-and being there first! Joshua had this to learn. He had been so long the servant of God's servant Moses, and had with such assurance received God's word at his mouth, that Moses and the God of Moses had become blended in his thinking; so blended that he could hardly separate the two thoughts. By association they always appeared together in his mind. Now Moses is dead and lest the young Joshua be struck down with despair God spoke to assure him: "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee!" Moses was dead, but the God of Moses still lived! Nothing had changed and nothing had been lost, for nothing of God dies when a man of God dies. "As I was-so I will be." Only the Eternal God could say this!

The Blessedness of Obedience A.W. Tozer

It will take more than talk and prayer to bring revival. There must be a return to the Lord in practice before our prayers will be heard in heaven. We dare not continue to trouble God's way if we want Him to bless ours. Joshua sent his army up to conquer Ai, only to see them hurled back with bloody losses. He threw himself to the ground on his face before the Ark and complained to the Lord. The LORD said to Joshua,

"Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant . . . That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies . . . because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction" (Joshua 7:10-12).

If we are foolish enough to do it, we may spend the new year vainly begging God to send revival, while we blindly overlook His requirements and continue to break His laws. Or we can begin now to obey and learn the blessedness of obedience. The Word of God is before us. We have only to read and do what is written there and revival is assured. It will come as naturally as the harvest comes after the plowing and the planting.

Yes, this could be the year the revival comes. It's strictly up to us (ED: YES BUT ONLY AS WE ARE ENABLED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD).

The Will To Loyalty -  Oswald Chambers

'Choose you this day whom ye will serve.' Joshua 24:15

Will is the whole man active. I cannot give up my will, I must exercise it. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God's Spirit. When God gives a vision of truth it is never a question of what He will do, but of what we will do. The Lord has been putting before us all some big propositions, and the best thing to do is to remember what you did when you were touched by God before - the time when you were saved, or first saw Jesus, or realized some truth. It was easy then to yield allegiance to God; recall those moments now as the Spirit of God brings before you some new proposition.

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve." It is a deliberate calculation, not something into which you drift easily; and everything else is in abeyance until you decide. The proposition is between you and God; do not confer with flesh and blood about it. With every new proposition other people get more and more "out of it," that is where the strain comes. God allows the opinion of His saints to matter to you, and yet you are brought more and more out of the certainty that others understand the step you are taking. You have no business to find out where God is leading, the only thing God will explain to you is Himself.

Profess to Him - 'I will be loyal.' Immediately you choose to be loyal to Jesus Christ, you are a witness against yourself. Don't consult other Christians, but profess before Him - I will serve Thee. Will to be loyal - and give other people credit for being loyal too.

The Great Probing -  Oswald Chambers

"Ye cannot serve the Lord." Joshua 24:19

Have you the slightest reliance on anything other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you? That is what the probing means. It is quite true to say - "I cannot live a holy life," but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. "Ye cannot serve the Lord God"; but you can put yourself in the place where God's almighty power will come through you. Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?

"Nay, but we will serve the Lord." It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment. You say - But God can never have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can't mean me. It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better. The one who has something to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying - "I will serve the Lord."

We say - "If I really could believe!" The point is - If I really will believe. No wonder Jesus Christ lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. "And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." If we really believed that God meant what He said - what should we be like! Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?

Believing Before Seeing - Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

"The land which I do give them, even the children of Israel" (Joshua 1:2).

God here speaks in the immediate present. It is not something He is going to do, but something He does do, this moment. So faith ever speaks. So God ever gives. So He is meeting you today, in the present moment. This is the test of faith. So long as you are waiting for a thing, hoping for it, looking for it, you are not believing. It may be hope, it may be earnest desire, but it is not faith; for "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The command in regard to believing prayer is the present tense. "When ye pray, believe that ye receive the things that ye desire, and ye shall have them." Have we come to that moment? Have we met God in His everlasting NOW? --Joshua, by Simpson

True faith counts on God, and believes before it sees. Naturally, we want some evidence that our petition is granted before we believe; but when we walk by faith we need no other evidence than God's Word. He has spoken, and according to our faith it shall be done unto us. We shall see because we have believed, and this faith sustains us in the most trying places, when everything around us seems to contradict God's Word.

The Psalmist says, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living" (Ps. 27:13). He did not see as yet the Lord's answer to his prayers, but he believed to see; and this kept him from fainting.

If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We shall "laugh at impossibilities," we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and strengthens.

Have you been waiting upon God, dear troubled one, during long nights and weary days, and have feared that you were forgotten? Nay, lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on its way to you. --Life of Praise

Strength From the Sorrow - Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

"Now it came to pass after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spake unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now, therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people" (Joshua 1:1-2).

Sorrow came to you yesterday, and emptied your home. Your first impulse now is to give up, and sit down in despair amid the wrecks of your hopes. But you dare not do it. You are in the line of battle, and the crisis is at hand. To falter a moment would be to imperil some holy interest. Other lives would be harmed by your pausing, holy interests would suffer, should your hands be folded. You must not linger even to indulge your grief.

A distinguished general related this pathetic incident of his own experience in time of war. The general's son was a lieutenant of battery. An assault was in progress. The father was leading his division in a charge; as he pressed on in the field, suddenly his eye was caught by the sight of a dead battery-officer lying just before him. One glance showed him it was his own son. His fatherly impulse was to stop beside the loved form and give vent to his grief, but the duty of the moment demanded that he should press on in the charge; so, quickly snatching one hot kiss from the dead lips, he hastened away, leading his command in the assault.

Weeping inconsolably beside a grave can never give back love's banished treasure, nor can any blessing come out of such sadness. Sorrow makes deep scars; it writes its record ineffaceably on the heart which suffers. We really never get over our great griefs; we are never altogether the same after we have passed through them as we were before. Yet there is a humanizing and fertilizing influence in sorrow which has been rightly accepted and cheerfully borne. Indeed, they are poor who have never suffered, and have none of sorrow's marks upon them. The joy set before us should shine upon our grief as the sun shines through the clouds, glorifying them. God has so ordered, that in pressing on in duty we shall find the truest, richest comfort for ourselves. Sitting down to brood over our sorrows, the darkness deepens about us and creeps into our heart, and our strength changes to weakness. But, if we turn away from the gloom, and take up the tasks and duties to which God calls us, the light will come again, and we shall grow stronger.

      --J. R. Miller

      Thou knowest that through our tears
      Of hasty, selfish weeping
      Comes surer sin, and for our petty fears
      Of loss thou hast in keeping
      A greater gain than all of which we dreamed;
      Thou knowest that in grasping
      The bright possessions which so precious seemed
      We lose them; but if, clasping
      Thy faithful hand, we tread with steadfast feet
      The path of thy appointing,
      There waits for us a treasury of sweet
      Delight, royal anointing
      With oil of gladness and of strength.
      --Helen Hunt Jackson

Shout of Faith -  Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

"And when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him" (Joshua 6:5).

The shout of steadfast faith is in direct contrast to the moans of wavering faith, and to the wails of discouraged hearts. Among the many "secrets of the Lord," I do not know of any that is more valuable than the secret of this shout of faith. The Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour." He had not said, "I will give," but "I have given." It belonged to them already; and now they were called to take possession of it. But the great question was, How? It looked impossible, but the Lord declared His plan.

Now, no one can suppose for a moment that this shout caused the walls to fall. And yet the secret of their victory lay in just this shout, for it was the shout of a faith which dared, on the authority of God's Word alone, to claim a promised victory, while as yet there were no signs of this victory being accomplished. And according to their faith God did unto them; so that, when they shouted, He made the walls to fall.

God had declared that He had given them the city, and faith reckoned this to be true. And long centuries afterwards the Holy Ghost recorded this triumph of faith in Hebrews:

 "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days."--Hannah Whitall Smith.

      "Faith can never reach its consummation,
      Till the victor's thankful song we raise:
      In the glorious city of salvation,
      God has told us all the gates are praise."

Devotionals on Joshua

Following are from Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

Joshua 1:1-9  His Part - Our Part

"Arise, go over this Jordan… I will not leave you nor forsake you." - Joshua 1:2,5

Whenever the Lord assigns us a difficult task, He gives us what we need to carry it out. John Wesley


"Among the many difficulties of our early ministry, my brother Charles often said, 'If the Lord would give me wings, I'd fly.' I used to answer, 'If God bids me fly, I will trust Him for wings.'"

Today's Scripture tells us that Joshua was thrust into a position of great responsibility. No doubt

the enormity of the challenge before him made him tremble with fear. How could he ever follow such a

great leader as Moses? In his own strength it would be impossible to lead the people into the Promised Land. But along with the marching orders, the Lord gave him an assuring promise: "I will not leave you nor forsake you" (Josh. 1:5). Then He said, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (v. 9). Such reassurances were the backing Joshua needed.

If God has given you some special work to do that frightens you, it's your responsibility to jump at it.

It's up to the Lord to see you through. As you faithfully do your part, He will do His part. - R W De Haan

I'll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
O'er mountain, or plain, or sea;
I'll say what You want me to say, dear Lord,
I'll be what You want me to be.- Brown

Where God guides, God provides!

Joshua 1:1-9 Leadership Lessons

Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. — 1 Timothy 4:12

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

You are a leader. Yes, you! You may not be the president or manager of an organization, but you will be called on to lead others.

Do you teach Sunday school? You’re a leader. Are you a parent? You’re a leader. Have a job? You’re a leader. Have friends? You’re a leader.

No matter who you are, others are looking at you and being influenced by your example. As you think about this awesome responsibility, what should you do? Someone has said that a good leader is one who “knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Joshua was like that. He knew the way because God had told him. He went that way by being obedient to the Lord, and he showed the way by providing servant-leadership.

Look specifically at what God told Joshua:

  • * Be strong and courageous (v.6).
  • * Obey all of God’s laws for living (v.7).
  • * Think often about what God has said (v.8).
  • * Remember that God is with you (v.9).

We need to keep these lessons of leadership in mind, because people are following our example. If we learn them well, we will know, go, and show the way that pleases God—and we will be good leaders. By:  Dave Branon

Christians, remember you bear His dear name,
Your lives are for others to view;
Living examples—men praise you or blame
And measure the Savior by you.

Leaders who serve will serve as good leaders.

Joshua 1:1-9 Trust The Compass

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. —Psalm 32:8

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

An old sailor repeatedly got lost at sea, so his friends gave him a compass and urged him to use it. The next time he went out in his boat, he followed their advice and took the compass with him. But as usual he became hopelessly confused and was unable to find his way back. Finally he was rescued by his friends.

Disgusted and impatient with him, they asked, “Why didn’t you use that compass we gave you? You could have saved us a lot of trouble!”

The sailor responded, “I didn’t dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept pointing southeast.” He was so certain he knew which way was north that he stubbornly tried to force his own personal conviction on his compass.

After the death of Moses, God spoke to Joshua just before he led Israel into the Promised Land. The Lord reminded Joshua of His law and told him, “Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Josh. 1:7).

Those who follow God’s instructions and warnings are spared the waste of foolish wandering and the heartache of shipwreck and ruin. We must ask God to point the way. Then let’s trust the compass of His Word. By:  Richard DeHaan

All the way my Savior leads me—
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?

To know God's will, trust His Word.

Joshua 1:2 Inconvenient Or Important?

Go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them. — Joshua 1:2

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

Modern society emphasizes efficiency and convenience but minimizes interaction among people. For example, a person using the phone may hear recorded messages: “For account information, press 1.” “At the tone, leave a message.” “For flight information, press 2.”

Although we may think life would be easier if we didn’t have to deal with troublesome, time-consuming relationships, God calls us to operate from a different perspective. As followers of Christ, we are to remain in the people business.

When Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of Israel, God commanded him, “Arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving you” (Josh. 1:2). I might have questioned the Lord, “This group has a terrible track record. Wouldn’t it be easier to leave the complainers and second-guessers behind? Isn’t it my job to conquer the land?” But the Lord had said, “You and all this people.”

In God’s way of doing things, people are never a means to an end; they are the end. Inefficient and inconvenient? Frequently! Unimportant and unnecessary? Never!

Do we treat the people in our lives as inconveniences? Or as important individuals we need and love? By:  David C. McCasland

Important as your task may be,
That work you must fulfill;
Be sure you keep the human touch
If you would do God's will.

People are at the heart of God's heart.

Joshua 1:2 Look Both Ways

READ: Joshua 1:1-9

Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise. —Joshua 1:2

During our church's annual New Year's Eve Communion service, we say this prayer together: "Father, we surrender this past year and give it up to You. We give You our failures, our regrets, and our disappointments, for we have no more use for them. Make us now a new people, forgetting what lies behind and pressing on toward that which lies ahead of us.

"We give You all our hopes and dreams for the future. Purify them by Your Spirit so that our wills shall truly reflect Your will for us.

"As we stand on the threshold of another year, encourage us by our successes of the past, challenge us by the power of Your Word, and guide us by the presence of Your Holy Spirit."

In every transition, it's good to look both ways. When Joshua assumed leadership of Israel, God told him to consider the past and the future: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them" (Joshua 1:2). Then He promised, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you… Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (vv.5,9).

With confidence in God, we can look back and look ahead, then walk boldly into a new year.—David C. McCasland

Forgive us, Lord, for failures past,
Then help us start anew
With strength and courage to obey
And closely follow You. —Sper

The victories of the past give courage for the future.

Joshua 1:2,5 His Part—Our Part

Arise, go over this Jordan . . . . I will not leave you nor forsake you. — Joshua 1:2,5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

Whenever the Lord assigns us a difficult task, He gives us what we need to carry it out. John Wesley wrote, “Among the many difficulties of our early ministry, my brother Charles often said, ‘If the Lord would give me wings, I’d fly.’ I used to answer, ‘If God bids me fly, I will trust Him for the wings.'”

Today’s Scripture tells us that Joshua was thrust into a position of great responsibility. No doubt the enormity of the challenge before him made him tremble with fear. How could he ever follow such a great leader as Moses? In his own strength it would be impossible to lead the people into the Promised Land. But along with the marching orders, the Lord gave him an assuring promise: “I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). Then He said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (v.9). Such reassurances were the backing Joshua needed.

If God has given you some special work to do that frightens you, it’s your responsibility to jump at it. It’s up to the Lord to see you through. As you faithfully do your part, He will do His part. By:  Richard DeHaan

I'll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
O'er mountain, or plain, or sea;
I'll say what You want me to say, dear Lord,
I'll be what You want me to be.

Where God guides, God provides!

Joshua 1:5 He’s Always With Us

Read: Joshua 1:1-9 | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. —Joshua 1:5

The children of Israel faced what seemed to be a severe crisis. Moses, their leader, had just died. What would they do? Who would lead them? Would they now perish in the wilderness?

Of course not! Although Moses had died, God certainly was not dead! He told the new leader, Joshua, exactly what to do next: “Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people” (Josh. 1:2). Then the Lord spoke these words of assurance to Joshua: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage” (vv.5-6).

Yes, Moses was dead, but God was still alive. And His plans for the nation of Israel would go on.

What a comfort that is for us today! Even though troubling crises arise, great leaders fall, precious loved ones die, and all human help and comforts fail, God is not dead. He is always with us.

Are you weighed down with the cares of life—lonely, discouraged, and despondent? Remember, our trust is in the living God. As He was with Moses, Joshua, and the children of Israel, so He is with us. Look to Him today for guidance, and experience His abiding peace. By Richard DeHaan 

Our loving God is always near,
Forever by our side;
He’ll bring us comfort in our fear
And peace that will abide.

When we have nothing left but God, we find that God is enough.

Joshua 1:5 The Apprentice

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. — Joshua 1:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-7

When some employers were asked what makes a good apprentice, they responded that they seek to hire “someone who wants to learn.”

In the Bible, a good example of an apprentice is Joshua. We remember Joshua for marching around the wall of Jericho. He also had some important responsibilities as a spy (Num. 13:16) and as a warrior (Ex. 17:10). But he was often in the shadow of someone else—Moses. For 40 years, Joshua served as Moses’ assistant, aide, and apprentice (Ex. 24:13).

God takes His own time to prepare us for service. Sometimes that period of waiting is as valuable as learning all the needed strategies and goals. Joshua observed Moses’ faith in God. He learned what it meant to be humble (Num. 12:3), how to take instruction (Ex. 17:10), and how to be a true servant of God (Josh. 1:1; 24:29). Even a display of Moses’ temper (Num. 20:7-12) was an opportunity to watch and learn. By spending time with Moses, Joshua learned things that couldn’t be learned from a book.

Joshua’s own time to lead was coming. And when it came, he was able to trust God’s promise to him: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

People who become great leaders
Sometimes need to learn
How to serve and follow others—
Then they’ll get their turn.

A person who is not willing to follow is not prepared to lead.

Joshua 1:5 Much Trouble

I will not leave you nor forsake you. — Joshua 1:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-7

A young boy named Riley started a fight with Avery on the school playground after a soccer match. The teacher broke it up, and both boys were sent to the principal’s office. Later, Avery said, “And of course, like always, we both got in trouble.” But he shared that he learned a lesson: “God is always with us, even if we get in as much trouble as this.”

The nation of Israel was in big trouble. Yet the Lord promised the nation’s new leader: “I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). Joshua was taking over leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death, just before they were to enter the Promised Land. Trouble was on the horizon with numerous military campaigns against their enemies coming up (8:3; 9:1-2). Without God’s presence, they couldn’t begin to acquire the land.

Joshua had a strong faith in the Lord, as seen when he spied out the land of Canaan (Num. 14:6-9). But God graciously gave him the reminder as he took over the leadership role that he could be courageous because of His presence. He promises the same to His children today (Heb. 13:5-6).

It’s a comforting lesson for God’s children of all ages to know: The Lord is always with us. Even when we’re in “as much trouble as this.” By:  Anne Cetas

Dear Lord, we’re so thankful to be Your children,
and that You’ll never leave us.
Help us to hold on to that promise when
trouble seems to threaten on every side. Amen.

When troubles call on you, call on God.

Joshua 1:5 Mindless Prayer

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. — Joshua 1:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

Sometimes I am ashamed of my prayers. Too often I hear myself using familiar phrases that are more like mindless filler than thoughtful, intimate interaction. One phrase that annoys me, and that I think might offend God, is “Lord, be with me.” In Scripture, God has already promised not to leave me.

God made this promise to Joshua just before he led the Israelites into the Promised Land (Josh. 1:5). The author of Hebrews later claimed it for all believers: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (13:5). In both cases, the context indicates that God’s presence has to do with giving us the power to carry out His will, not our own will, which is generally what I have in mind in my prayers.

Perhaps a better prayer would be something like this: “Lord, thank You for Your indwelling Spirit who is willing and able to direct me in the ways You want me to go. May I not take You where You don’t want to go. May I not enlist You to do my will, but humbly submit to doing Yours.”

When we are doing God’s will, He will be with us even without our asking. If we’re not doing His will, we need to ask for His forgiveness, change our course, and follow Him. By:  Julie Ackerman Link

God Himself is with thee—
Thy Savior, Keeper, Friend;
And He will not forsake thee,
Nor leave thee to life’s end.
—J. D. Smith

May our prayers not be mindless, but instead mindful of God’s will.

Joshua 1:5 On Shoulders Of Giants

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. — Joshua 1:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

Giants hold a special place in our lore—both historical and literary. From the real giant Goliath to the fictional giant of Jack and the Beanstalk fame, we are fascinated by these larger-than-life characters.

Sometimes we use the word giant to honor ordinary-size people who have done extraordinary things. One example is the 17th-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton. A committed Christian, he credited his success to other “giants” who had gone before. “If I have seen a little further,” he said, “it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Indeed, Newton became a giant on whose shoulders later scientists stood—even as they used his observations in the conquest of space flight.

When God commanded Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, Joshua certainly had a giant’s shoulders to stand on. He had watched Moses’ leadership for 40 years, and now he would put what he had learned into action.

Joshua had another advantage—his walk with God sustained his life’s mission. Therefore, he had both Moses’ example and God’s promised presence as he led Israel.

Looking for help as you face the future? Look for a giant to follow. And never underestimate the importance of your walk with God. By:  Dennis Fisher

There is a destiny that makes us brothers: None goes his way alone; All that we send into the lives of others Comes back into our own. —Markham

A good example is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

Joshua 1:5 He’s Always On The Bridge

I will not leave you nor forsake you. — Joshua 1:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

My friend Ralph had the thrilling experience of going on a short cruise on the aircraft carrier USS Kennedy. He saw jet fighters take off, land, and demonstrate maneuvers. He was told that whenever the planes are taking off or landing—dangerous operations—the captain watches from the bridge. Even if the planes are flying continually, he stays on the bridge, cat-napping between runs if necessary. So each time a pilot takes off or lands on the deck, he knows that his captain is always on duty.

In today’s Scripture reading, when it was time for Joshua to take over as leader of Israel, he needed reassurance that God would be with him as He had been with Moses. The Israelites knew that Moses had divine direction during their wilderness journey because God led them by a pillar of fire and a cloud.

But what about Joshua? God promised him, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). Joshua could lead Israel with the absolute confidence that God was always watching over him.

Wherever we are, whatever bold endeavor we are involved in, or whatever spiritual battle we may face, we have the confidence that God is with us. What’s more, He guides, protects, and leads us. He’s always on the bridge! By:  David C. Egner

Joshua 1:5 Strong and Courageous

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 1:1–9

Each night, as young Caleb closed his eyes, he felt the darkness envelop him. The silence of his room was regularly suspended by the creaking of the wooden house in Costa Rica. Then the bats in the attic became more active. His mother had put a nightlight in his room, but the young boy still feared the dark. One night Caleb’s dad posted a Bible verse on the footboard of his bed. It read: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; . . . for the Lord your God will be with you” (Joshua 1:9). Caleb began to read those words each night—and he left that promise from God on his footboard until he went away to college.

In Joshua 1, we read of the transition of leadership to Joshua after Moses died. The command to “be strong and courageous” was repeated several times to Joshua and the Israelites to emphasize its importance (vv. 6–7, 9). Surely, they felt trepidation as they faced an uncertain future, but God reassuringly said, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (v. 5).

It’s natural to have fears, but it’s detrimental to our physical and spiritual health to live in a state of constant fear. Just as God encouraged His servants of old, we too can be strong and courageous because of the One who promises to always be with us. By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

What are your deepest and most persistent fears? How can meditating on God’s promises help you overcome your fear and anxiety?

Faithful Father, thank You that You’re always with me. Help me to remember Your promises and to trust in You when I’m afraid.

Joshua 1:7 The Challenge of Transition

Be strong and very courageous. —Joshua 1:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 1:6-11

After former professional athlete Chris Sanders suffered a career-ending injury, he told a group of military veterans that although he had never experienced combat, “I understand the pressures of transitions.”

Whether it’s the loss of a job, the loss of a marriage, a serious illness, or a financial setback, every major change brings challenges. The former athlete told the soldiers that the key to success when you are transitioning into a new way of living is to reach out and get help.

The book of Joshua is recommended reading whenever we find ourselves in transition. After 40 years of wandering and setbacks, God’s people were poised to enter the Promised Land. Moses, their great leader, had died, and Joshua, his assistant, was in charge.

God told Joshua to “be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Josh. 1:7). God’s words of direction were to be the bedrock of Joshua’s leadership in every situation.

The Lord’s charge and promise to Joshua apply to us as well: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (v. 9).

He is with us in every transition. By:  David C. McCasland

Father, I’m bringing You my trials and frustrations. You know each and every detail. Please comfort me as only You can, and provide exactly what I need for today. Help me give my unfulfilled expectations to You, trusting You’re working out a plan for me.

God remains faithful in every change.

Joshua 1:8 The Way To Success

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it . . . . Then you will have good success. —Joshua 1:8

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

During the Chinese New Year it is customary for hongbaos (small red envelopes containing money) to be given away. When parents give hongbaos to their children, it is also to wish them prosperity and success. Knowing that this sincere wish is insufficient, however, they also remind their children to study hard. Chinese people generally believe that a good education is the key to one’s success in life.

In Joshua 1, God told Joshua that his ways could prosper as he assumed Moses’ leadership role. But he and the people needed to display courage in the face of stiff opposition as they entered the Promised Land (v.6). God promised to give them success if they heeded His “Book of the Law” (v.8).

Believers today also need to live according to God’s Word if we are to enjoy success in our spiritual walk. The Bible contains not only the do’s and don’ts for living but also records the life experiences of those who pleased or displeased God.

We, like Joshua, have God’s promise that He will be with us always (v.9; Matt. 28:20). That should give us strength to face the challenges and difficulties that inevitably arise as we seek to please Him. By:  Albert Lee

Be strong! It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not—fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song. 

When facing a crisis, trust God and move forward.

Joshua 1:8 Recipe For Success

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night . . . . Then you will have good success. —Joshua 1:8

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

Wrinkled noses and puckered lips—sometimes this is my family’s reaction to my cooking, especially when I’m trying something new in the kitchen. Recently, I had a breakthrough with a unique version of macaroni and cheese. I jotted down the ingredients and tucked the recipe away for future reference. Without that set of instructions, I knew the next batch would be a flop.

Without God’s instructions, Joshua would have failed at leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. The first step was to “be strong and of good courage” (Josh. 1:6). Next, he was to continually meditate on the Book of the Law, and finally, he was to do everything it said. As long as Joshua followed the directions, God promised him “good success” (v.8).

God’s “recipe for success” can work for us too, but His idea of success has little to do with money, popularity, or even good health. In the original Hebrew, “then you will have good success” means “then you will act wisely.” Just as God called Joshua to walk in wisdom, He wants us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise” (Eph. 5:15).

As we take courage in the Lord, feast on His Word, and obey Him, we have a recipe for godly success that’s better than anything we could cook up on our own. By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

You will surely find at the journey’s end,
Whatever the world may afford,
That things fade away, and success is seen
In the life that has served the Lord.

Obedience to God’s Word is the recipe for spiritual success.

Joshua 1:8 Delight in the Book

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night. Joshua 1:8

Today's Scripture & Insight:Joshua 1:1–9

Tsundoku. It’s the word I’ve always needed! A Japanese term, it refers to the stack of books on a bedside table waiting to be read. Books offer the potential for learning or an escape to a different time or place, and I long for the delights and insights found within their pages. So, the stack remains.

The idea that we can find enjoyment and help in a book is even more true for the book of books—the Bible. I see the encouragement to immerse oneself in Scripture in God’s instructions to Joshua, the newly appointed leader of Israel, commissioned to lead them into the land promised to the Israelites (Joshua 1:8).

Knowing the difficulty ahead, God assured Joshua, “I will be with you” (v. 5). His help would come, in part, through Joshua’s obedience to God’s commands. So God instructed him to “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it” (v. 8). Although Joshua had the Book of the Law, he needed to regularly search it to gain insight and understanding into who God is and His will for His people.

Do you need instruction, truth, or encouragement for your day? As we take time to read, obey, and find nourishment through Scripture, we can savor all that’s contained in its pages (2 Timothy 3:16). By:  Lisa M. Samra

What are the most common issues that keep you from opening Scripture? How might you commit to reading more this week?

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your guidance through Scripture. Help us to desire more and more to hear from You in all the ways You speak.

Joshua 1:9 Anchors In The Storm

The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 1:1-9

When Matt and Jessica tried to navigate their sailboat into a Florida inlet during Hurricane Sandy, the craft ran aground. As the waves crashed around them, they quickly dropped anchor. It held the sailboat in place until they could be rescued. They said that if they had not put down the anchor, “We would have lost our boat for sure.” Without the anchor, the relentless waves would have smashed the vessel onto the shore.

We need anchors that hold us secure in our spiritual lives as well. When God called Joshua to lead His people after Moses’ death, He gave him anchors of promise he could rely on in troubled times. The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. . . . The Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:5,9). God also gave Joshua and His people the “Book of the Law” to study and observe (vv.7-8). That, and God’s presence, were anchors the Israelites could rely on as they faced many challenges.

When we’re in the middle of suffering or when doubts start threatening our faith, what are our anchors? We could start with Joshua 1:5. Although our faith may feel weak, if it’s anchored in God’s promises and presence, He will safely hold us. By:  Anne Cetas

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

When we feel the stress of the storm we learn the strength of the anchor.

Joshua 1:9  Equipped for the Task

"Be strong and of good courage; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I was in England during World War II working as a surgical technician in an army hospital when I heard the shocking radio announcement: "Franklin Delano Roosevelt is dead!" I was saddened and troubled. Was Vice President Harry Truman qualified to be President?

I was relieved when I heard him say that he felt as if an enormous weight had fallen on his shoulders and that he desired people everywhere to pray for him. This reassured me that he humbly recognized his inadequacies and his need for God's help.

Few of us will ever be thrust into a position of leadership with duties of that magnitude, but most of us know the feeling of inadequacy in the face of great responsibility we are about to assume. It might be that of taking on a new job, getting a promotion at work, choosing a spouse, becoming a parent, or accepting a new ministry in Sunday school or church.

When we face a new challenge, we can take courage from the Lord's words to Joshua (1:9). We can accept our opportunity as from Him and believe that He will give us all we need to do it well. If we meditate on His Word, obey it, prayerfully rely on Him, and work diligently, He will do the rest. He will equip us for the task.—H. V. Lugt

The Lord will give you help and strength
For work He bids you do:
To serve Him from a heart of love
Is all He asks of you.

God's call to a task includes His strength to complete it.

Joshua 1:9 Unlighted Paths

The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 1:1–9

As we ventured home from a family vacation, the road took us through some desolate parts of central Oregon. For nearly two hours after dusk we drove through deep canyons and across desert plateaus. Fewer than twenty sets of headlights punctuated the darkness. Eventually the moon rose on the horizon, visible to us when the road crested hills but eclipsed when we traveled through the lowlands. My daughter remarked on its light, calling it a reminder of God’s presence. I asked whether she needed to see it to know He was there. She replied, “No, but it sure helps.”

After Moses’s death, Joshua inherited leadership of the Israelites and was charged to take God’s chosen people into the Promised Land. Despite his divine commission, Joshua must have felt challenged by the daunting nature of his task. God graciously offered Joshua assurance to be with him on the journey ahead (Josh. 1:9).

The road of life often travels through uncharted territory. We voyage through seasons when the path ahead isn’t clearly visible. God’s plan may not always be apparent to us, but He has promised to be with us “always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). What greater assurance could we hope for, no matter what uncertainty or challenge we might face? Even when the path is unlit, the Light is with us. By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Lord, thank You for being near me even when I cannot see You. Please comfort me with Your presence.

God is with us even when we can’t see Him.


The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. —Joshua 1:9

After winning a bronze medal in   the 2004 Olympics in Athens, wrestler Rulon Gardner took off his shoes, placed them in the centre of the mat and walked away in tears. Through that symbolic act, Gardner announced his retirement from the sport that had defined his life for many years.

Times of walking away come to all of us, and they can be emotionally wrenching. A loved one ‘walks away’ in death. A child moves away from home. We leave a job or a community, and it feels as if we’ve left everything behind. Yet when we know the Lord, we never have to walk into an unknown future alone.

Allyson Felix, a 3 time gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games, talks about how she copes with difficulty and loss. “The most important lesson that I have learned is to trust God in every circumstance . . . God is always in control and He will never leave us.” God Himself has promised this very truth. In the Bible He says, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9), and this is true for us today—God doesn’t walk away.

During our most difficult times, our stability comes from the presence and peace of God. He goes with us so we can walk into the future with confidence. David C. McCasland


Joshua 1:9 A Fresh Start

Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

Today's Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

They stand in the cold by the thousands in Times Square, New York City. What draws them to that place? There’s no sporting event or rock concert. There’s just a huge lighted ball that drops down a pole on top of a building. It takes only a few seconds, and it hardly seems worth fighting traffic and subway crunch to see—except that it happens on New Year’s Eve.

Why have we created a holiday over such a nonevent? Other holidays celebrate famous birthdays or historical milestones or something. New Year’s Eve just celebrates the passage of time. We make such a fuss because it signals the end of an old era and the beginning of a new one. The old year’s problems and struggles become a dim memory when we think of getting a fresh start.

It must have been something like that for the Israelites who stood with Joshua and looked at the new era ahead of them (Joshua 1:1-9). Behind them were 40 years of wandering in the desert. Ahead was a land of milk and honey. And best of all, they had God’s promise that He would be with them.

As we stand with our back to the past 12 months and our face toward the new year, we can have hope because we too can be sure of God’s help. That makes the prospect of a new year worth celebrating! By:  Dave Branon

Though I know not what awaits me—
What the future has in store,
Yet I know that God is faithful,
For I've proved Him oft before.

We can trust our all-knowing God for the unknown future.

Joshua 2:1-14 Three Tenses Of Trust

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. — Hebrews 11:31

Today's Scripture: Joshua 2:1-14

Rahab had a remarkable faith. Although it seemed incredible that Joshua’s unequipped army would be able to break down or scale the walls of Jericho, she remembered what God had done for the Israelites in the past. So she put her trust in Israel’s God by protecting the spies, and by staking her future on the hope that God would do what seemed impossible. Her trust in God involved the past, the present, and the future.

I have ministered to suffering and dying believers who have handled their pain with serenity and who faced death with hope. Some may consider such people naive or gullible, but they do so because they don’t know the three tenses of trust.

Concerning the past, we know that God has proven His love and power, especially in giving His Son to die for our salvation (Rom. 5:8) and in bringing Him back to life (Rom. 1:4). In the present, He speaks to us through His Word (Heb. 1:1-4), hears our prayers (Mt. 7:7-11), and provides grace in our trials (2 Cor. 1:3-4). For the future, He promises that we will live with Him forever (1 Th. 4:17).

Remember, trust involves three tenses. Reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past and present. You’ll have good reason to trust Him for the future. What a wonderful God!   Herbert Vander Lugt

In the past the Lord has helped us,
Guiding, loving all the way;
Let us therefore trust His promise:
Grace sufficient for each day!

Feeling tense about the future?
Remember that God is always present.

Joshua 2:1-14 Even Her?

Was not Rahab the harlot also justified? — James 2:25

Today's Scripture: Joshua 2:1-14

Imagine looking through your family tree and finding this description of your ancestor: “A prostitute, she harbored enemies of the government in her house. When she was confronted by the authorities, she lied about it.”

What would you do about her? Hide her story from anyone inquiring about your family? Or spotlight and praise her in the legends of your family’s story?

Meet Rahab. If what we read about her in Joshua 2 were all we knew, we might lump her in with all of the other renegades and bad examples in the Bible. But her story doesn’t stop there. Matthew 1:5-6 reveals that she was King David’s great-great grandmother—and that she was in the lineage of our Savior, Jesus. And there’s more. Hebrews 11:31 names Rahab as a woman of faith who was saved from the fall of Jericho (see Josh. 6:17). And in James 2:25, her works of rescue were given as evidence of her righteous faith.

God’s love is amazing that way. He can take people with a bad reputation, transform their lives, and turn them into examples of His love and forgiveness. If you think you’re too bad to be forgiven or if you know someone else who feels that way, read about Rahab and rejoice. If God can turn her into a beacon of righteousness, there’s hope for all of us.:  Dave Branon

Redemption’s price our Savior paid
When all our sins on Him were laid;
He took our guilt, He bore our shame
That we may glorify His name.
—D. DeHaan

Whether our sins are great or small, Jesus is able to forgive them all.

Joshua 2:4 Unexpected Help

The woman took the two men and hid them. — Joshua 2:4

Today's Scripture: Joshua 2:1-14

In 1803, Thomas Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to lead an expedition across an unexplored America to the Pacific coast. The expedition was called “Corps of Discovery”—and it lived up to its name. It cataloged 300 new species, identified nearly 50 Indian tribes, and traversed terrain that had never been seen by Europeans.

They were joined along the way by a French fur trader and his wife Sacajawea. They soon found her to be invaluable as an interpreter and guide.

During the trip, Sacajawea was reunited with her family. Her older brother had become the tribe’s chief, and he helped them acquire horses and a map of the uncharted West. Without Sacajawea’s and her brother’s unexpected help, the expedition may not have succeeded.

The Bible tells of an expedition that also received unexpected help. The Israelites had sent spies into Jericho, a city in the land promised to them. Rahab agreed to ensure their escape in exchange for her family’s protection when Jericho fell. In this way the sovereign God of grace used her to prepare the way for a victory in Israel’s conquest and settlement of the Promised Land.

Are you in the middle of a challenge? Remember, God can provide help from unexpected sources. By:  Dennis Fisher

When trials seem impossible
And we can’t face the day,
The Lord extends His helping hand
And makes for us a way.

When there seems to be no way, God can make a way.

Joshua 2:11 One Option We Don't Have

The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. — Joshua 2:11

Today's Scripture: Joshua 2:1-14

James A. Meads Jr. began his sermon with this statement: “The reason you and I cannot ignore God can be stated in one word: Israel. No other nation has been known as a ‘chosen people.’ No other nation has as much to say about the love, the patience, and the anger of God. Through Israel, God has given the world an object lesson about His nature.”

Centuries ago, Jericho’s king might have said, “Israel is coming—so what!” But we read that when he and his people heard what God had done at the Red Sea, and that two Amorite kings had been destroyed, the hearts of the people “melted” (Joshua 2:10-11).

Jericho’s king had at least two options, however. He could flee for his life, or he could repent, believe in God, and plead for His mercy. That’s what Rahab did, and she and her family were spared (vv.12-13). But the one option the king didn’t have was to ignore Israel, and therefore he couldn’t ignore God.

Many people seem to get along well without God. But just as the world today can’t ignore Israel, so also it can’t ignore Jesus Christ, who came from Israel. As the One who created the universe, He is God (Colossians 1:15-17). As the One who died on Calvary’s cross, He is the world’s Savior and Redeemer (vv.13-14). Trust Him to save you today.  By:  Dennis J. DeHaan

We can't ignore God's only Son,
He is the Lord, the Holy One;
He is the source of life and grace,
The One who died and took our place. 

Everyone must face God as Savior or as Judge.

Joshua 2:11 Storytime

The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. — Joshua 2:11

Today's Scripture: Joshua 2:1-14

Did you ever wonder why Rahab, the prostitute who lived in the pagan city of Jericho, opened her home to the Israelite spies? And what gave her the courage to name the God of Israel as her own?

This unlikeliest of conversions was prompted by the stories she had heard about the reality and power of God. Though thoroughly steeped in paganism and immorality, her heart was drawn to God. As she told the spies, “We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites” (Josh. 2:10).

Under normal circumstances, the highly fortified city of Jericho would have been virtually unconquerable. Yet it became vulnerable because of the compelling stories of God’s power. Long before God’s people arrived, the self-sufficient pride of this hostile culture dissolved in fear when faced with those who belonged to the God they had heard so much about (v.11). And within the walls, one pagan heart turned to receive the God of Israel and played a strategic role in Israel’s stunning victory.

Let’s boldly tell the stories of God’s greatness. You never know whose heart may be ready to respond! By:  Joe Stowell

Christ is coming, over the world victorious—
Power and glory unto the Lord belong:
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness!
Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song. 

Don’t be shy; tell the stories of God’s greatness.

Joshua 2:11 Ready To Believe

The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. —Joshua 2:11

Today's Scripture: Joshua 2:1-14

The story of Rahab, a harlot in Jericho, is puzzling. She welcomed the spies from Israel, hid them on her roof, and helped them escape. Then her own life was spared and she was honored by becoming part of the family line of the Messiah (Mt. 1:5). Why did God choose her?

I found some insights about Rahab in a prayer letter from Mary Tapley, who works with Campus Crusade for Christ. Mary wrote, “She proved to be a woman that God had completely prepared to put her faith in Him. She was already convinced of His existence and knew of His character (Josh. 2:11). When the spies came to her house, she immediately allied herself with God.”

In her letter, Mary then told about witnessing to her new friend, Bliss. When she first talked with her about Jesus, Mary moved cautiously, not wanting to scare her away. But Bliss was ready, and before that initial conversation was over she asked Mary, “Will you teach me how to become a Christian?” In a few moments she was on her knees, asking Jesus to forgive her sins and become her Savior.

Rahab was ready, and Bliss was ready. Around you may be people who are ready to trust in Christ. Maybe all they need is a word from you! By:  David C. Egner

Take control of my words today,
May they tell of Your great love;
And may the story of Your grace
Turn some heart to You above.

You can never speak to the wrong person about Christ.

Joshua 3:4

"You have not passed this way before" (Joshua 3:4).

When I was a boy, the flame of adventure burned brightly in my soul, filling my life with anticipation. I loved to read stories about pioneers who ventured into the unknown, and I still remember these words of Rudyard Kipling:

"There is no sense in going further—it's the edge of civilization,

So they said, and I believed it—

Till a voice, as bad as conscience, rang interminable changes

On one everlasting whisper day and night repeated—

Something hidden. Go and find it.

Go and look behind the Ranges—

Something lost behind the Ranges.

Lost and waiting for you. Go!"

Although I still like to try new things, I have lost some of my adventurous spirit as I've grown older, and I find myself feeling a bit uneasy as I draw closer to retirement, old age, and death. It's natural, I believe, to feel a mixture of fear and anticipation as we face the un­known. But as I trust God and keep walking with Him, I find that fear diminishes and my longing for heaven grows stronger.

The Israelites undoubtedly felt both uneasiness and eagerness as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. Knowing this, Joshua told them to follow the ark, the symbol of God's presence. The people leading the column were to stay far enough behind the ark so that those in the rear could see it. By trusting God and obeying Him, their fear dissolved and their sense of anticipation grew stronger. And it still works that way today. —H. V. Lugt

Faith keeps the sails of life filled with the breath of heaven.

Joshua 3:1-11 Eyes To See

I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land. —Psalm 143:6

Today's Scripture: Joshua 3:1-11

My first glimpse of the Promised Land from the hills of Moab was disappointing. “Did this look a lot different when the Israelites got here?” I asked our guide as we looked toward Jericho. I was expecting a dramatic contrast from the east side of the Jordan. “No,” she answered. “It has looked the same for thousands of years.”

I rephrased the question. “What did the Israelites see when they got here?” “The biggest oasis on the face of the whole earth,” she replied.

Then I understood. I had ridden across the barren desert in the luxury of an air-conditioned bus stocked with cold bottled water. To me, an oasis was nothing spectacular. The Israelites had spent years wandering in a hot, dry desert. To them, the sprawling patch of pale green in the hazy distance meant refreshing, life-sustaining water. They were parched; I was refreshed. They were exhausted; I was rested. They had spent 40 years getting there; I had spent 4 hours.

Like an oasis, God’s goodness is found in dry and difficult places. How often, I wonder, do we fail to see His goodness because our spiritual senses have been dulled by comfort. Sometimes God’s gifts are seen more clearly when we are tired and thirsty. May we always thirst for Him (Ps. 143:6). By:  Julie Ackerman Link

Dear Lord, may our desire for You be like that of
a deer panting for cold, refreshing water. Please
don’t allow comfort or worldly success to keep us
from seeing You in every detail of our lives.

Jesus is the only fountain who can satisfy the thirsty soul.

Joshua 3:1-13  Strange Territory

"You have not passed this way before." - Joshua 3:4

When our son Stephen was eight, he was invited to stay overnight at a cousin's house. It was his first time away from home and it all sounded like an exciting adventure. But when we got ready to leave, he started getting that homesick feeling! With tears glistening in his eyes and his voice quavering, he cried, "Mommy, I don't feel so good. I'd better go home with you."

My wife responded, "It's up to you, but I know you'd have a good time."

"But Mommy," Stephen whimpered, "they said they were going to climb a big hill tomorrow, and I've never been there before."

We too can become fearful sometimes as we look ahead because we've "never been there before." But just as the Lord took care of Joshua and Israel (Josh. 3), He will take care of us.

Perhaps right now you are anxious about some new and untried pathway on which the Lord is leading you. Then listen to God's Word and take courage: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye" (Ps. 32:8).

Place your hand by faith in your heavenly Father's hand, and let Him lead the way.-- R. W. De Haan

I have promised you My presence
With you everywhere you go;
I will never, never leave you
As you travel here below.
- Rose

God does not ask us to go where He does not lead.

Joshua 3:14 Standing On The Edge

[The Israelites] set out . . . to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before [them]. — Joshua 3:14

Today's Scripture: Joshua 3:9-17

My little girl stood apprehensively at the pool’s edge. As a nonswimmer, she was just learning to become comfortable in the water. Her instructor waited in the pool with outstretched arms. As my daughter hesitated, I saw the questions in her eyes: Will you catch me? What will happen if my head goes under?

The Israelites may have wondered what would happen when they crossed the Jordan River. Could they trust God to make dry ground appear in the riverbed? Was God guiding their new leader, Joshua, as He had led Moses? Would God help His people defeat the threatening Canaanites who lived just across the river?

To learn the answers to these questions, the Israelites had to engage in a test of faith—they had to act. So they “set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before [them]” (v.14). Exercising their faith allowed them to see that God was with them. He was still directing Joshua, and He would help them settle in Canaan (vv.7,10,17).

If you are facing a test of faith, you too can move forward based on God’s character and His unfailing promises. Relying on Him will help you move from where you are to where He wants you to be.:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Lord, we’re prone to quickly forget Your goodness
and care for us. May we trust You today and
into the new year—whatever uncertainties we
face. You are the God who can be trusted.

Fear fades when we trust our Father.

Joshua 3:14–4:7 Stones of Remembrance

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced. Psalm 105:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 3:14–4:7

Some mornings when I go online, Facebook shows me “memories”—things I’ve posted on that day in previous years. These memories, such as photos from my brother’s wedding or a video of my daughter playing with my grandmother, usually make me smile. But sometimes they have a more profound emotional effect. When I see a note about a visit to my brother-in-law during his chemotherapy or a picture of the staples across my mother’s scalp after her brain surgery three years ago, I am reminded of God’s faithful presence during difficult circumstances. These Facebook memories nudge me towards prayer and gratitude.

All of us are prone to forget the things God has done for us. We need reminders. When Joshua led God’s people towards their new home, they had to cross the Jordan River (Joshua 3:15–16). God parted the waters, and His people walked through on dry land (v. 17). To create a memorial of this miracle, they took twelve stones from the middle of the riverbed and stacked them on the other side (4:3, 6–7). When others asked what the stones meant, God’s people would tell the story of what God had done that day.

Physical reminders of God’s faithfulness in the past can remind us to trust Him in the present—and with the future. By:  Amy Peterson

God, thank You for Your faithfulness to me over many years! Help me to trust You with the present and the future as well.

How can you create physical, daily reminders of God’s faithfulness to you? Share it with us in the comment section at

Joshua 4:7 Family Stories

These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever. —Joshua 4:7

Today's Scripture: Joshua 4:1-9

In her book The Shelter of Each Other, Mary Pipher gives advice on rebuilding troubled families. She explores how today’s children sometimes overuse TV and video games to the exclusion of informal instruction received from extended family.

She gives an example of a family reunion where the youngsters are given a video to watch in the back room so the adults can talk undisturbed. Dr. Pipher believes this diversion actually deprives kids. Children need to mix with the older generation so they can hear the stories of aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents. This helps them learn from those who have gone before them.

The Old Testament places a high value on children being taught their spiritual heritage. After God parted the waters of the Jordan River, Joshua was instructed to take 12 stones from the river to create a memorial for future generations. “When your children ask . . . ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off. . . . And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever” (Josh. 4:6-7).

We need spiritual interaction between generations. Remember, Bible stories are often family stories. And our children need them and us.By:  Dennis Fisher

Joshua 4:1-18 Questions

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks. —1 Peter 3:15

Today's Scripture: Joshua 4:1-18

A young boy was in a church service with his grandfather. Full of curiosity, the boy kept asking, “What does that mean?” Grandpa quietly explained everything that was going on. When the minister began his sermon, he took off his watch and placed it on the podium. The boy whispered, “What does that mean”? Grandpa, who had heard many long sermons that sent the service into overtime, answered, “Not a thing, sonny. Not a thing.”

That’s a funny story, but there’s a serious side to it. The boy’s barrage of questions may have irritated some people, but the grandfather knew that children have an inquisitive nature that makes them open to spiritual truth.

According to today’s Bible reading, Joshua knew that too. He knew that children of future generations would ask about the pile of stones in the Jordan River. So he told parents to use the opportunity to tell how God had miraculously parted the waters of the Jordan (Josh. 4:6-7).

Since questions can open the door for us to witness about our faith, we should invite them from children or adults. If we are friendly, moral, kind, and peaceful under pressure, people will notice. And some will even ask how we can live this way. Then we will have the opportunity to share with them the life-changing message of the gospel. By:  Herbert Vander Lugt

Lord, help us live in such a way
That people ask and want to know
How they can have real joy and peace
While living in a world of woe.

God gave you a message to share—don't keep it to yourself!

Joshua 4:21-22 The Stones

When your children ask . . . “What are these stones?” then you shall let [them] know, saying, “Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land.” — Joshua 4:21-22

Today's Scripture: Joshua 4

Not long ago, our friends had a gathering at their house and invited a group of people who were all music lovers. Kevin and Ilse, who are both gifted musicians, requested that each person or couple bring a rock for a fire pit that was often the site for their evening musical jams. But they didn’t want just plain ol’ rocks. They asked that each one be marked with a name or date or event that indicated how or when everyone had become friends.

God felt that the Israelites needed a reminder of an amazing event in their lives. Although the Jordan River had been at flood stage, the Israelites had been able to cross over on dry ground because God had stopped the water from flowing (Josh. 3:13-17). Something similar had happened years before in an escape from Egypt (see Ex. 14:21-31). On this occasion, however, God instructed His people to build a memorial of stones so that in the future when children would ask about the stones, parents could remind them of the mighty hand of God (Josh. 4:23-24).

As God continually cared for the Israelites, He continues to provide for us today. What “stones of remembrance” will you use to remind your children, grandchildren—and even yourself—of the evidence of God’s might? By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

God’s faithfulness we’ve known throughout the years,
His oneness with us in our joys and tears;
So many times the Lord has helped us through,
Has answered prayer and given strength anew.
—F. Hess

Remembering God’s goodness is a good cure for doubt.

Joshua 4:7 Rushmore Reminder

These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever. — Joshua 4:7

Today's Scripture: Joshua 4:1-24

In 1941, sculptor Gutzon Borglum completed his work on Mount Rushmore. The 60-foot-high granite heads of four US Presidents now stand like sentinels of democracy over the Black Hills of South Dakota. The imposing likenesses of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt remind visitors of our nation’s heritage and history.

God told Israel’s leader, Joshua, to take 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River for a similar purpose (Josh. 4:1-7,20-24). The Lord wanted future generations to have a memorial to their national history. He wanted them to remember that as He parted the Red Sea to get them out of Egypt, He also parted the Jordan to get them into the Promised Land. He wanted them to live not only in the present, but with the reminder of the values, faith, and experiences of their founding fathers: Moses, Aaron, and Joshua.

God understands our human nature and knows that “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” occurs all too often in our spiritual lives. We need physical reminders of spiritual truths. We need to pile up stones, write journals, and tell family stories to help us remember the miracle of God’s provisions that neither we nor our children can afford to forget. By:  Mart DeHaan

Think About It
How has God shown Himself to be faithful to you and your family in the past? How can you make sure you'll remember? With whom can you talk about it today?

Precious memories of yesterday can be precious moments today.


That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty. —Joshua 4:24

Recently I realised that all of the photos and mementos in my office represent the past. I considered removing them, but wondered if those reminders of people, places and events might serve some purpose beyond happy memories. To avoid being bogged down in the ‘yesterdays’ of life, I needed to discover the value of those items for today and tomorrow.

When God’s people crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, He told their leader, Joshua, to choose 12 men. Each of the men was to take a stone from the middle of the river, and carry it to their campsite that night (Josh. 4:1-5). Joshua set up the stones as a memorial so that when future generations asked, “What do these stones mean to you?” they could tell them about God’s faithfulness in holding back the water while they crossed (vv.6-7).

As followers of Christ, it’s good for us to have evidence of God’s help in the past. Those mementos remind us that His faithfulness continues today, and we can follow Him confidently into the future. Our ‘stones’ may also help others know that God’s hand is mighty, as they encourage us to fear the Lord our God forever (v.24).

The memories of what God has done for us can become building blocks for today and tomorrow. David C. McCasland


Joshua 5:14 God’s Plans

What do you want your servant to do? (nlt) Joshua 5:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 5:13–6:2

An army officer may have an overall plan, but before each battle he has to receive and give out new instructions. Joshua, a leader of the Israelites, had to learn this lesson. After God’s people spent 40 years in the wilderness, God chose Joshua to lead them into the land He had promised to them.

The first stronghold they faced was the city of Jericho. Before the battle, Joshua saw the “commander of the Lord’s army” (probably the Lord Himself) standing opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. Joshua fell on his face and worshiped. In other words, he recognized God’s greatness and his own smallness. Then he asked, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” (Josh. 5:14). Joshua experienced victory at Jericho because he followed the Lord’s instructions.

On another occasion, however, Joshua and his people “did not inquire of the Lord” (9:14). As a result, they were deceived into making a peace treaty with the people of Gibeon, enemies in the land of Canaan. This displeased the Lord (vv. 3-26).

We too are dependent on the Lord as we face life’s struggles. He longs for us to come near to Him today in humility. And He’ll be there again for us tomorrow.  Keila Ochoa

In what area do you need God’s guidance today? Ask God to lead the way.

Share your response to this question on or

Spiritual victory comes to those who humble themselves and seek God’s will.

Joshua 5:13-15 CHOOSE YOUR SIDE

Whose side are you on?

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”

So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so. —Joshua 5:13-15

This man Joshua has been likened to the first SAS soldier! Joshua started out as a brave young soldier and eventually ended up as a great leader. He led the army of Israel (God’s people in the Old Testament) into battle and, in this story, against the fortified city of Jericho.

Before this fight God spoke to Joshua through the commander of His own heavenly armies. Joshua saw he had his sword drawn, so naturally he shouted the standard ‘Who goes there?’ challenge. He wanted to know if God was on his side. The response was remarkable. “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

Whose side was the commander on? Not Joshua’s or Jericho’s. He was on God’s side—the point being that Joshua should be as well. It wasn’t a case of God being on Joshua’s side, but Joshua being on God’s side. Joshua realised his allegiance to God was more important than his allegiance to his country, so he fell on his face, saying, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” When Joshua showed this submission to God above all others, he was told he was on ‘holy ground’, and was accepted into God’s presence.

Being on God’s side

We can ask the same question of God when we have to go into battle: is God on our side? What if He is for the other side? The truth is, as Joshua realised, that for every one of us who gives our lives to God, we will be fully accepted by Him forever, and He will always be on our side. God doesn’t support countries, movements or organisations. He is the God of His people (those who trust Jesus):

In [Jesus] you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance (a place in heaven). —Ephesians 1:13-14

When we give our lives to Jesus and trust His death to pay for our sin and His resurrection to give us new life with God, we are “sealed” by the Holy Spirit “who is the guarantee of our inheritance”. We know that God is on our side, because He has marked us as His own possession, and we are sealed so that we can’t lose this standing with Him.

No matter what stands we may have to make or battles we may have to fight, let us make sure that first and foremost we belong to God. When we do, we know He will be with us forever, and that we have a guaranteed place in heaven when we die.

Joshua 6  Believing God

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down… Hebrews 11:30

In the story about Joshua and the city of Jericho, we have a most vivid illustration of faith. God commanded Joshua to gather all the men of war and have them march around Jericho once a day for six days. Then, on the seventh day, they were to com­pass the city seven times, after which the priests were to blow with the trumpets and all the people were to shout with a great shout. The Lord promised Joshua that if they did this, the walls of the city would fall down flat.

Have you ever tried to put yourself in Joshua's place, and imagine how you would have reacted to such a command? When the Lord gave him these instructions, do you suppose Joshua re­sponded: "Lord, that's a reasonable thing to do. In fact, I'm rather ashamed of myself that I didn't devise such a brilliant plan in the first place. It really makes a lot of sense." Of course, he said nothing of the kind, simply because God's command was not a "reasonable" one to Joshua's mind. That is, he couldn't take out his "slide rule" and calculate scientifically that the predicted results would necessarily follow such actions. And yet, even though some would have ruled it an insane plan thus to attempt the conquest of Jericho, Joshua obeyed God anyway, simply because he had faith! Yes, he was willing to rely on the word of the Lord, despite the fact that it seemed contrary to his own understanding of things. That's what God expects of us today. He wants us to believe His Word — to accept the Bible record in its entirety — whether we can comprehend it or not. There is much in the Book we cannot explain: for example, the Trinity, the vir­gin birth, Christ's substitutionary death, His resurrection, and His coming again; yet we believe these things with all our heart just because God says so! Remember, without such faith it is impos­sible to please God (Heb. 11:6).

Joshua 6:2 Facing The Impossible

See! I have given Jericho into your hand. — Joshua 6:2

Today's Scripture: Joshua 5:13–6:5

In 2008, house values were tumbling in the United Kingdom. But 2 weeks after my husband and I put our home of 40 years on the market, a buyer offered us a good price and we agreed to a sale. Soon our builders started work on the house I had inherited, which would be our new home. But a few days before the sale of our old home was finalized, our buyer pulled out. We were devastated. Now we owned two properties—one whose value was tumbling rapidly, and the other a virtual ruin that we could neither sell nor move into. Until we found a new buyer, we had no money to pay the builder. It was an impossible situation.

When Joshua faced Jericho, a fortified city in lockdown, he may have felt as if he was facing an impossible situation (Josh. 5:13–6:27). But then a Man with a drawn sword appeared to him. Some theologians think the Man was Jesus Himself. Joshua anxiously asked if He would be backing the Israelites or their enemies in the forthcoming battle. “‘Neither one,’ he replied. ‘I am the commander of the Lord’s army’” (5:14 nlt). Joshua bowed in worship before he took another step. He still didn’t know how Jericho would be delivered into his hand, but he listened to God and worshiped Him. Then he obeyed the Lord’s instructions and the impossible happened. By:  Marion Stroud

Dear Lord, often when I am faced with an impossible situation I choose worry rather than trust. Help me to trust You and to remember that nothing is too hard for You.

Nothing is impossible for the Lord.

Joshua 6:5 Strange Guidance

All the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. — Joshua 6:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 6:1-5

Are you troubled because the goals you want to reach always seem to elude you? Do you sometimes wonder how the path you are walking can be God’s way, when you seem to be going only in circles and one obstacle after another blocks your progress? If you have placed your life in God’s hands, trust Him completely.

The strange, roundabout march of Joshua illustrates that God sometimes accomplishes His purposes in mysterious ways. He may not lead us in obvious paths when He intends to show His power.

Scottish pastor and author George Matheson (1842-1906) wrote, “There are times when I get work to do, the good of which I cannot see. Sometimes . . . there is put into my hands a trumpet when I think it should be a sword. Sometimes I am sent on a long circuitous march when I am expecting to be retained for the assault. These moments are very hard for me. . . . Help me at such moments, O Lord, to say, ‘One step enough for me’!”

We are not to ask, “Why the long march when we could be fighting the battle?” “Why the noisy trumpet?” It is enough to know that God is leading. Although we cannot always see the promised land, yet we may trust the guidance of the promised Hand. By:  Henry G. Bosch

Keep Thou my feet;
I do not ask to see
The distant scene—
One step enough for me!

It is better to walk with God by faith than to go alone by sight.

Joshua 6:1-5,20 The Bible Stands!

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. — Hebrews 11:30

Today's Scripture: Joshua 6:1-5,20

Unbelievers have long scoffed at the biblical story of the fall of the ancient city of Jericho. That’s why I was delighted to see this headline on the front page of the newspaper:


The Associated Press article began, “The walls of Jericho did come tumbling down as recounted in the Bible, according to an archaeological study.” Archaeologist Bryant G. Wood of the University of Toronto said, “When we compare the archaeological evidence at Jericho with the biblical narrative describing the Israelite destruction of Jericho, we find remarkable agreement.” Wood noted that the Bible places the event after spring harvest and indicates that the Israelites burned the city—both facts confirmed by the archaeological remains. Once again, archaeology bears testimony to the truthfulness of Scripture.

Our belief in the authenticity of the Bible does not depend on scientific research but on its claim to be God’s Word. As 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” We can therefore have complete confidence in what it says.

It’s a fact—the walls of Jericho did indeed fall. The Bible stands!

By:  Richard DeHaan

Joshua 7:1 No Loose Laces

The children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan . . . took of the accursed things. —Joshua 7:1

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:1-12

One person’s actions can affect an entire group. This truth became clear to journalist Sebastian Junger as he followed a platoon of soldiers. Junger watched a soldier accost another soldier whose bootlaces were trailing on the ground. He didn’t confront him out of concern for his fashion. He confronted him because his loose laces put the entire platoon at risk—he couldn’t be counted on not to trip and fall at a crucial moment. Junger realized that what happens to one happens to everyone.

Achan’s “bootlaces were loose,” and we learn from his story that sin is never private. After the great victory at Jericho, God gave Joshua specific instructions on how to deal with the city and its loot (Josh. 6:18). The people were to “abstain from the accursed things” and to put all the silver and gold “into the treasury of the Lord” (vv.18-19). But they disobeyed his command to them (7:1). The interesting thing is, not all of Israel sinned; only one person did—Achan. But because of his actions, everyone was affected and God was dishonored.

As followers of Jesus, we belong to one another and our individual actions can impact the entire body and God’s name. Let’s “tie up our laces” so that we may individually and together give God the honor He deserves. By:  Marvin Williams

Lord, we know our sin is never private, though we
may try to hide it. Help us to remember that we
belong to You and to one another and that what we do
individually grieves You and impacts fellow Christians.

Private sins will inevitably have public impact.

Joshua 7:1-13 What’s The Trouble?

Be sure your sin will find you out. — Numbers 32:23

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:1-13

There was something wrong with my lawn. I couldn’t see what the trouble was, but I knew something was causing damage.

After investigating, I discovered the problem: moles. Those voracious little bug-eaters were crawling around just under the surface of my previously well-groomed lawn looking for food and wreaking havoc on my grass.

The children of Israel also had a problem with a hidden cause (Josh. 7). They were experiencing trouble, and they couldn’t figure out why. There was something hidden from their view that was causing serious damage.

The trouble became noticeable when Joshua sent 3,000 troops to attack Ai. Although that should have been a sufficient army to defeat Ai’s small force, the opposite happened. Ai routed the Israelites, killing 36 of them and chasing them back where they came from. Joshua had no idea why this trouble had come. Then God explained the hidden problem: One of his men, Achan, had violated a clear command and had stolen some “accursed things” from Jericho (Josh. 7:11). Only when that hidden sin was discovered and taken care of could Israel have victory.

Hidden sin does great damage. We need to bring it to the surface and deal with it—or face certain defeat. By:  Dave Branon

Dear Lord, I don’t want anything in my life to
hinder my fellowship with You. You know what’s
in my heart. Reveal any areas of my life that are
not pleasing to You and forgive me. Amen.

Confession to God ensures forgiveness.

Joshua 7:1,19-26 The Deadliest Disease

[Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, . . . and by His stripes we are healed. — Isaiah 53:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:1,19-26

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was identified in 2003 in Vietnam. By the time it was brought under control, SARS had spread globally and killed nearly 800 people. One reason for the high mortality rate was that the virus was not recognized initially. But once recognized and understood, SARS was contained.

An even more dangerous disease is on the loose in our world—sin. It too is difficult to bring under control because many people do not recognize its deadliness. And many dispute the Bible’s diagnosis of sin.

In Joshua 7, we read the tragic story of Achan. We may recoil at the extreme way God dealt with him. Against God’s command, he had taken some of the spoils from Jericho and hid them in his tent (v.21). He and his entire family paid with their lives (v.25).

Thankfully, God does not deal with us in that way. If He did, none of us would remain alive. Yet we must never underestimate sin’s deadliness. It sent Christ to the cross for us.

Like SARS, the first step to deal with sin is to recognize it for what it is. Receive with gratitude the gift of eternal life. Then “put to death your members which are on the earth”—the selfish things that displease God (Col. 3:5). That’s the way to deal with our deadliest disease. By:  C. P. Hia

The Remedy for Sin Have you received Christ’s gift of salvation? He died for your sins and rose from the dead. He offers forgiveness to all who believe in Him (Rom. 10:9).

Sin is a heart disease that can be cured only by the Great Physician.

Joshua 7:1-6,19-26 Confession & Consequences

I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. — Psalm 32:5

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:1-6,19-26

She brutally murdered two people in 1983, but in prison Karla Tucker confessed her sins to God and became a vibrant Christian. Many people hoped her transformation would persuade legal authorities to change her punishment to life imprisonment. But the courts rejected all appeals, and her execution was carried out in 1998.

I thought about Karla as I was reading the tragic story of Achan. I was impressed by his confession: “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done” (Joshua 7:20). Those words make me think it possible that he, like King David many years later (Psalm 32:5), was forgiven by God. But Achan’s sin had caused the death of 36 Israelites (Joshua 7:5), and he had to pay the penalty for his actions.

Even after we have received God’s forgiveness, we may still have to face the consequences of our sin. If we have lied, mistreated someone, behaved irresponsibly, damaged someone’s property, or broken a law of the land, we still must do our best to make right any wrongs we have committed.

Yes, it’s wonderful to know we’re forgiven when we confess our sins to God. But that doesn’t mean we’re exempt from all of sin’s consequences. That’s why confessing sin is good, but saying no to sin is even better. By:  Herbert Vander Lugt

We love You, Lord, and want to do
What's pleasing in Your sight;
Help us to fear sin's consequence,
So we will do what's right.

Sin brings fear, but confession brings freedom.

Joshua 7:11 - A Winning Strategy

Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant. — Joshua 7:11

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:1-13

During my days as a high school basketball coach, I made a huge mistake. I sent some of my players to scout an opponent. They returned with this report: We can take those guys easily. Overconfident, we lost to that team. Does that sound familiar? To me, it sounds like the situation at Ai when Joshua sent out his scouts, who misjudged their opponent’s strength.

But there was more to the defeat at Ai than bad scouting. Israel lost the battle and 36 soldiers for several reasons that I think we can learn from.

Shortly before the loss at Ai, Joshua led his army successfully against Jericho because he knew God’s plan of attack. But there is no mention of Joshua consulting God before Ai. Prior to the battle of Jericho, the men had consecrated themselves to God (Josh. 5:2-8). Before Ai—nothing is said about Joshua’s men preparing themselves spiritually. The reason the Bible gives for the Israelites’ loss is sin in the camp. Achan had stolen from the spoils of Jericho (7:1). They could not defeat Ai until the sin was confessed and the people had consecrated themselves (7:16-26). Then God gave them a plan for victory (8:1-7).

A winning strategy for our daily battles: confessing our sin and living in the power that God provides. By:  Dave Branon

Dear Lord, before I go off into the battle today,
forgive me of my sin and lead me in the path You
want me to go. I want to serve You. Empower me
to live for You and Your will. Amen.

Purity in the heart produces power in the life.

Joshua 7:12 Destroying the Divides

I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. Joshua 7:12

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:1–12

A writing deadline loomed over me, while the argument I had with my husband earlier that morning swirled through my mind. I stared at the blinking cursor, fingertips resting on the keyboard. He was wrong too, Lord.

When the computer screen went black, my reflection scowled. My unacknowledged wrongs were doing more than hindering the work before me. They were straining my relationship with my husband and my God.

I grabbed my cell phone, swallowed my pride, and asked for forgiveness. Savoring the peace of reconciliation when my spouse apologized as well, I thanked God and finished my article on time.

The Israelites experienced the pain of personal sin and joy of restoration. Joshua warned God’s people not to enrich themselves in the battle for Jericho (Josh. 6:18), but Achan stole captured items and hid them in his tent (7:1). Only after his sin was exposed and dealt with (vv. 4–12) did the nation enjoy reconciliation with their God.

Like Achan, we don’t always consider how “tucking sin into our tents” turns our hearts from God and impacts those around us. Acknowledging Jesus as Lord, admitting our sin, and seeking forgiveness provides the foundation for healthy and faithful relationships with God and others. By submitting to our loving Creator and Sustainer daily, we can serve Him and enjoy His presence—together. By:  Xochitl Dixon

Lord, please help us recognize, confess, and turn away from our sin, so that we can nurture loving relationships with You and others. 

God can purge our hearts of the sin that destroys our intimacy with Him and others.

Joshua 7:16-22 Here Comes The Boss!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9

Today's Scripture: Joshua 7:16-22

A number of computer games come with a special feature called the “Boss Key.” If you’re playing a game when you’re supposed to be working, and someone (like the boss) walks into your office, you quickly strike the Boss Key. Your computer screen changes immediately, hiding what you’ve been doing.

Trying to hide from others when we’ve done something wrong comes naturally. We may feel guilty, but our desire to avoid admitting our responsibility is often stronger than our guilt.

Achan tried to hide his sin. He had stolen silver and gold and hidden it in his tent (Josh. 7:20-21). But when the Israelites were defeated in battle, the Lord told their leader Joshua that the loss was due to sin in the camp (vv.11-12). The Lord identified Achan as the one who had sinned. And even though Achan confessed, he and his family were executed (v.25).

We may not understand why God dealt so harshly with Achan’s sin, but we do know He was instructing His people in His holiness and their need for obedience to His commands (Ex. 20:17).

If you’ve been disobedient, it’s time to come out of hiding. God is lovingly calling you and offering His cleansing, forgiveness, and restoration.By:  Anne Cetas

O Lord, help me to come to You
When I would rather hide my sin;
Give me the courage to confess
So I can be made clean within.

Confession is the key that opens the door to forgiveness.

Joshua 9:1-16 Can I Trust You?

The Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. — 1 Chronicles 28:9

Today's Scripture: Joshua 9:1-16

According to lie-detection experts, “Our natural tendency is to trust people.” However, not everyone is trustworthy all the time. Signs that someone may be lying include fidgeting, lack of eye contact, and noticeable pauses in speaking. Even with these clues, experts warn that it is still quite tough to tell deceivers from honest people.

Joshua needed to know if he could trust the Gibeonites. When they discovered that God wanted him to get rid of some neighboring nations (Josh. 9:24), they pretended to be from a faraway land. They arrived in worn-out tunics and patched sandals, claiming, “Our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey” (v.13). The Israelites were suspicious (v.7), but they “did not ask counsel of the Lord” (v.14); and Joshua unwisely made a peace treaty with the deceivers.

Many want to gain our trust: salespeople, financial advisors, or estranged family members. If we wonder: “Can I trust you?” we shouldn’t decide quickly, based only on what seems right to us. It’s better to seek counsel from God’s Word (Ps. 119:105), godly people (Prov. 11:14), and God Himself (James 1:5). Wisdom from above will help us decide who to trust. By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Protect us from deceivers, Lord,
Who lie and plot to take
Advantage of us and confuse
Decisions we must make.

A desire for discernment is God’s call to prayer.

Joshua 9:14-15 Moldy Bread

They did not ask counsel of the Lord. So Joshua made peace with them. — Joshua 9:14-15

Today's Scripture: Joshua 9:1-16

Joshua had just won two astounding victories, destroying both Jericho and Ai through the power of the Lord. The Gibeonites knew they would be next, so in fear they resorted to trickery to save their lives. They put on old clothes, took moldy bread with them, and made their way to the camp of Israel.

Joshua and the elders were completely taken in by the ruse. Without consulting the Lord, they entered into a covenant with the enemies of Israel whom God had told them to destroy.

I see several spiritual lessons in this account. If we put human reasoning before divine guidance, walking by sight rather than by faith, we are sure to err! We should dread the “moldy bread” of Satan’s deceptive strategies much more than the “lion’s roar” of his frontal attacks. Even though we have met the more obvious assaults of the enemy with victories like those of Jericho and Ai, overconfidence can lead us into a trap. If we are governed by the authority of the Word and put our total dependence in the power of the Spirit, we will not be easily caught in Satan’s web.

Remember to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). And watch out for moldy bread! By:  Henry G. Bosch

Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole.

To avoid sin's tragedy learn Satan's strategy.

Joshua 10:14 Help from Heaven

Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Joshua 10:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 10:6–15

SOS, the Morse code signal, was created in 1905 because sailors needed a way to indicate extreme distress. The signal gained renown in 1910 when used by the sinking steamer Kentucky, saving all forty-six people aboard.

While SOS may be a more recent invention, the urgent cry for help is as old as humanity. We hear it often in the Old Testament story of Joshua, who faced opposition from fellow Israelites (Joshua 9:18) and challenging terrain (3:15–17) for more than fourteen years as the Israelites slowly conquered and settled the land God had promised them. During this struggle “the Lord was with Joshua” (6:27).

In Joshua 10, the Israelites go to the aid of the Gibeonites, allies of Israel who were being attacked by five kings. Joshua knew that he needed the Lord’s help to defeat so many powerful enemies (v. 12). God responded with a hailstorm, even stopping the sun in the middle of the sky to give Israel more time to defeat the enemy. Joshua 10:14 recounts, “Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!”

If you are in the midst of a challenging situation, you can send out an SOS to God. Although help will look different than the assistance Joshua received, perhaps help comes through an unexpected job, an understanding doctor, or peace in the midst of grief. Be encouraged that these are ways He is responding to your call for help and fighting for you. By:  Lisa M. Samra

Thank You, Father, for walking with me on this difficult journey and hearing me when I cry out to You.

As we cry out to God for help, we can trust that He will be with us.

Joshua 11:23  Entering Promised Land

So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Loin had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel (Joshua 11:23).

Writing to a new generation after World War 1, Winston Churchill challenged,

"You have not an hour to lose… Don't be content with things as they are. `The earth is yours and the fullness thereof.' Enter your inheritance; accept your responsibility."

God gave Israel the land of Palestine as their inheritance. He first promised it to Abraham, and He reconfirmed His pledge to others throughout Old Testament times.

In addition to whatever land he owned, the Jewish man would pass on his possessions to his children. Only the priests and Levites owned neither land nor possessions; their inheritance was the Lord.

In the Old Testament, a person had rights to an inheritance only through the death of a parent or relative. Under Roman law of New Testament times, a person became an heir at birth, though he might not receive a full inheritance until a family member died.

In Jesus Christ, the truths about inheritance from both testaments reached their pinnacle: He died that we might enter our inheritance; and He gave us a second birth that we might accept our responsibility

Joshua 14:1-12 Older—And Wiser

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. — Psalm 90:12

Today's Scripture: Joshua 14:1-12

The younger members of the congregation wondered why Gaylord, who was 78, agreed to serve another 3-year term as elder. Some advised him to take it easy; he had already contributed more than his share of energy to the church.

Little did they know that the pastor and board members were delighted when Gaylord said yes. The church was facing some tough issues. When difficult decisions needed to be made, his wisdom and insight were invaluable. And few people knew that he diligently prayed every day on behalf of the people and ministries of the church.

Older saints are often wiser saints, and they can make an enormous contribution by picking a sphere of service that matches their energy and experience. In our Bible reading for today, 85-year-old Caleb (one of the spies who had been sent out by Moses into the Promised Land) showed remarkable faith and courage when he asked for the difficult-to-attack high ground as his inheritance (Joshua 14:12).

Sure, you may be getting older, but you’re experienced. And if you’ve been walking with Christ, you’re wiser. As you carefully and prayerfully choose your place of ministry, you can make a big difference in the spiritual and physical welfare of your congregation.  —  David C. Egner

O Lord, I'll seek the wisdom of Your Word
And value it above the price of gold;
I'll store it in my mind and in my heart,
And draw upon its treasure when I'm old.

As God adds years to your life, ask Him to add life to your years.

Joshua 14:6-15 A Faithful Servant

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 14:6-15

Madaleno is a bricklayer. From Monday to Thursday he builds walls and repairs roofs. He is quiet, reliable, and hardworking. Then from Friday to Sunday he goes up to the mountains to teach the Word of God. Madaleno speaks Nahuatl (a Mexican dialect), so he can easily communicate the good news of Jesus to the people in that region. At age 70, he still works with his hands building houses, but he also works to build the family of God.

His life has been threatened several times. He has slept under the stars and faced death from car accidents and falls. He has been kicked out of towns. But he thinks that God has called him to do what he does, and he serves happily. Believing that people need to know the Lord, he relies on God for the strength he needs.

Madaleno’s faithfulness reminds me of the faithfulness of Caleb and Joshua, two of the men Moses sent to explore the Promised Land and report back to the Israelites (Num. 13; Josh. 14:6-13). Their companions were afraid of the people who lived there, but Caleb and Joshua trusted in God and believed He would help them conquer the land.

The work entrusted to us may be different than Madaleno’s or Caleb’s and Joshua’s. But our confidence can be the same. In reaching out to others, we rely not on ourselves but on the strength of our God. By:  Keila Ochoa

Where has God placed you to serve? Are you being faithful?

We grow strong when we serve the Lord.

Joshua 14:10–11 With God’s Help

So here I am today, eighty-five years old! . . . I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Joshua 14:10–11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 14:7–15

As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed more joint pain, especially when cold weather hits. Some days, I feel less like a conqueror and more like someone conquered by the challenges of becoming a senior citizen.

That’s why my hero is an older man named Caleb—the former spy sent by Moses to scout out Canaan, the Promised Land (Num. 13–14). After the other spies gave an unfavorable report, Caleb and Joshua were the only spies out of the twelve whom God favored to enter Canaan. Now, in Joshua 14, the time for Caleb to receive his portion of land had come. But there were enemies still to drive out. Not content to retire and leave the battle to the younger generation, Caleb declared, “You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Josh. 14:12).

“The Lord helping me.” That’s the kind of mindset that kept Caleb battle-ready. He focused on God’s power, not his own, nor on his advanced age. God would help him do whatever needed to be done.

Most of us don’t think of taking on anything monumental when we reach a certain age. But we can still do great things for God, no matter how old we are. When Caleb-sized opportunities come our way, we don’t have to shy away from them. With the Lord helping us, we can conquer! By:  Linda Washington

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the strength to get through each day. Help me to do Your will.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Joshua 14:10 A 45-Year-Old Promise

The Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses. — Joshua 14:10

Today's Scripture: Joshua 14:6-13

Nola Ochs, a student at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, took a break from her studies recently to celebrate her 95th birthday. She began attending college at Fort Hays in 1930 but didn’t graduate. When she realized she was only a few credits away from earning her degree, she returned to the university in 2006. Nola is not going to let her age prevent her from honoring a commitment over 76 years ago to finish her education.

In Joshua 14 we read that Caleb did not allow his advancing age to prevent him from believing that God would still honor His promise given 45 years earlier (vv.10-12). As one of the original scouts sent into the Promised Land, he saw large cities inhabited by powerful people of great stature (Num. 13:28-33).

But Caleb was faithful to God and believed He would help the Israelites conquer the land (14:6-9). At 85 years of age, Caleb was still physically strong and his faith unwavering. He trusted that God would help him to conquer the land, even though it still had giants. So Joshua blessed Caleb with his portion of the land, fulfilling God’s 45-year-old promise.

Like Caleb, we must not allow age, our personal giants, or yet-unfulfilled promises to prevent us from believing that God still honors His word to us. By:  Marvin Williams

If God’s creation helps us see
What wonders He can do,
Then we can trust His promises,
For they are always true. 
—D. De Haan

Every promise of God comes with His personal guarantee.

Joshua 14:11 Grey Power

Just as my strength was then, so now is my strength. — Joshua 14:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 14:6-12

Dutch artist Yoni Lefevre created a project called “Grey Power” to show the vitality of the aging generation in the Netherlands. She asked local schoolchildren to sketch their grandparents. Lefevre wanted to show an “honest and pure view” of older people, and she believed children could help supply this. The youngsters’ drawings reflected a fresh and lively perspective of their elders—grandmas and grandpas were shown playing tennis, gardening, painting, and more!

Caleb, of ancient Israel, was vital into his senior years. As a young man, he infiltrated the Promised Land before the Israelites conquered it. Caleb believed God would help his nation defeat the Canaanites, but the other spies disagreed (Josh. 14:8). Because of Caleb’s faith, God miraculously sustained his life for 45 years so he might survive the wilderness wanderings and enter the Promised Land. When it was finally time to enter Canaan, 85-year-old Caleb said, “Just as my strength was then, so now is my strength” (v. 11). With God’s help, Caleb successfully claimed his share of the land (Num. 14:24).

God does not forget about us as we grow older. Although our bodies age and our health may fail, God’s Holy Spirit renews us inwardly each day (2 Cor. 4:16). He makes it possible for our lives to have significance at every stage and every age.  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Heavenly Father, I know that my physical strength and health can fail. But I pray that You will continually renew me spiritually so I can serve You faithfully as long as I live.

With God’s strength behind you and His arms beneath you, you can face whatever lies ahead of you.

Joshua 20:1-9 True Shelter

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 20:1-9

In March 2014 a tribal conflict broke out in my hometown area, forcing my father’s household, along with other refugees, to take cover in the region’s capital city. Throughout history, people who have felt unsafe in their homelands have traveled to other places searching for safety and something better.

As I visited and talked with people from my hometown, I thought of the cities of refuge in Joshua 20:1-9. These were cities designated as places of safety for those fleeing from “relatives seeking revenge” in the case of an accidental killing (v. 3 nlt). They offered peace and protection.

People today still seek places of refuge, although for a variety of reasons. But as needed as these sanctuaries are, supplying shelter and food, they cannot completely meet the needs of refugees and fugitives. That rest is found only in God. Those who walk with God find true shelter and the safest protection in Him. When ancient Israel was sent into exile, the Lord said, “I have been a sanctuary [safe haven] for them in the countries where they have gone” (Ezek. 11:16).

With the psalmist, we can say confidently to the Lord, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (32:7). By:  Lawrence Darmani

Father, thank You for being a rock to which we can flee and that no matter where we are or in what circumstances we find ourselves, You are there with us. Help us to remember that even in the darkest of nights, You are our strong tower.

Nothing can shake those who are secure in God’s hands.

Joshua 21:45 Amazing Guide

Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken. — Joshua 21:45

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 1:1-9

When actors and actresses make a movie, it’s the director who sees the “big picture” and the overall direction. Actress Marion Cotillard admits she didn’t understand everything the director was doing in one of her recent films. She said, “I found it very interesting to allow myself to be lost, because I knew that I had this amazing guide. . . . You abandon yourself for a story and a director that will make it all work.”

I think Joshua could have said something similar about the director of his life. In today’s Scripture passage, the newly commissioned leader of Israel is standing at the threshold of the Promised Land. More than 2 million Israelites are looking to him to lead them. How would he do it? God didn’t give him a detailed script, but He gave him the assurance that He would go with him.

God said, “I will be with you. I will not leave you” (Josh. 1:5). He commanded Joshua to study and practice everything written in His Word (vv.7-8), and He promised to be with Joshua wherever he went. Joshua responded with complete devotion and surrender to his amazing Guide, and “not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken” (21:45).

We too can abandon ourselves to our Director and rest in His faithfulness. By:  Poh Fang Chia

Joshua 24:21 The Definite Choice

We will serve the Lord! — Joshua 24:21

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:15-24

Coming from someone who used to value ancestral gods, my 90-year-old father’s statement near the end of his life was remarkable: “When I die,” he spoke laboriously, “nobody should do anything other than what the church will do. No soothsaying, no ancestral sacrifices, no rituals. As my life is in the hands of Jesus Christ, so shall my death be!”

My father chose the path of Christ in his old age when he invited Jesus into his life as Savior. His contemporaries mocked him: “An old man like you shouldn’t be going to church!” But my father’s choice to follow and worship the true God was definite, like the people Joshua addressed.

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” Joshua challenged them. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15). Their response was resolute—they chose to worship the Lord. Even after Joshua warned them to count the cost (vv.19-20), they still resolved to follow the Lord, recalling His deliverance, provision, and protection (vv.16-17,21).

Such a confident choice, however, calls for equally confident actions, as Joshua strongly reminded them: “Put away the foreign gods . . . and incline your heart to the Lord” (v.23). Have you made a choice to live for God? By:  Lawrence Darmani

Teach me all it means, Lord, to choose You. I want my words, actions, and attitudes to show the love for You that I have in my heart. You are worthy of far more than I could ever do.

A definite choice demands definite actions.

He leadeth me! O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Faith never knows where it is being led;
it knows and loves the One who is leading.
—Oswald Chambers

Joshua 22:5 Ignoring God

Love the LORD your God, . . . walk in all His ways, . . . keep His commandments. — Joshua 22:5

Today's Scripture: Psalm 63:1-8

As a former high school teacher and occasional college instructor, I had this recurring thought: How terrible it would be to stand up in front of a classroom of students and have no one pay attention—to talk and have no one listen, to give instructions and have the students ignore them.

None of us enjoys being ignored. If we’re in a conversation with a friend, it hurts to have our words disregarded. If we’re in a store looking for help, it’s irritating to be ignored by the clerks. When we’re struggling with a problem, it’s painful when no one offers to help.

Imagine, then, how it must grieve God when we ignore Him. Think of how His heart of love must break when, despite the fact that He dwells within us through the Holy Spirit, we act as if He’s not there. Or consider how He must feel when His guidelines contained in the Book He gave us are ignored.

Let’s be careful not to ignore God. In ways large and small, let’s keep Him in our thoughts moment by moment. We do that by reading the inspired writings He has given us; by spending time in prayer and listening for His still, small voice; by thinking about His presence; by serving others in His name. May we be able to say with the psalmist, “My soul follows close behind You” (Ps 63:8). By:  Dave Branon

We can’t ignore God’s only Son,
He is the Lord, the Holy One;
He is the source of life and grace,
The One who died and took our place.

He is a fool who ignores God.

Joshua 22:10-34 Beware Of Jumping To Conclusions

Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. — Ecclesiastes 7:9

Today's Scripture: Joshua 22:10-34

The e-mail contained nothing but Bible verses, and it came from someone I didn’t know very well at a time when there was disagreement among members of a church committee I was on. I assumed that the verses were aimed at me in an accusing way, and I was angry that someone who didn’t know all the issues involved would use Scripture to attack me.

Before I could retaliate, my husband, Jay, suggested I give her the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worst. “Perhaps there’s an innocent explanation,” he said. I couldn’t imagine what it would be, but I followed his advice and called. “Thank you so much for calling,” she said. “My computer has a virus and it spewed out e-mails using pieces of our Sunday school lesson to random people in my address book.” Gulp. I’m thankful that God used Jay to keep me from creating a problem where none existed.

By jumping to a conclusion that was logical but untrue, I came dangerously close to unnecessary conflict. The Israelites did the same thing. They were ready to go to war because they wrongly assumed that the altar built by their brothers was a sign of rebellion against God (Josh. 22:9-34). To avoid making wrong judgments, we must be careful to get the facts right. By:  Julie Ackerman Link

When you’re forming your opinions,
Do it carefully—go slow;
Hasty judgments oft are followed
By regretting—that I know.

To avoid an embarrassing fall, don’t jump to a wrong conclusion.

Joshua 22:10-16,21-29 Urge To Jump

If you hear someone . . . saying, “Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants,” . . . then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. —Deut. 13:12-14

Today's Scripture: Joshua 22:10-16,21-29

In April 2006, a stuntman tried to jump from the top of the Empire State Building. At the last minute, authorities restrained him and charged him with reckless endangerment. After a judge had looked carefully at all the facts, he dismissed the charges, noting that the accused had taken steps to ensure the safety of others. With a parachute strapped to his back, Jeb Corliss had safely made 3,000 previous jumps, including leaps from the 1,483-foot Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Eiffel Tower.

As extreme as Corliss’ sport is, it is safer than the kind of leap that almost took place in Joshua 22. Israel had just engaged in a 7-year conquest of Canaan. Suddenly, an alarming rumor raised the possibility of civil war. Word spread that the families who settled east of the Jordan River had built an idolatrous altar (v.10).

A national catastrophe was averted that day, only because someone took time to investigate the facts and listen to both sides of the issue (vv.16-29). A terrible, costly misunderstanding was avoided. The wisdom of God was honored (v.31). Our loving Lord taught His people that the cost of listening is not nearly as great as the cost of jumping to wrong conclusions.  Mart DeHaan

Lest judgment should be based on wrong conclusion,
Distinguish right from vain and carnal pleading;
The world is rife with error and confusion;
Rely alone on God the Spirit’s leading. 

Jumping to wrong conclusions is one of the greatest of all dangers.

Joshua 22:34 Flawed Impressions

It is a witness between us that the LORD is God. — Joshua 22:34

Today's Scripture: Joshua 22:10-34

Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice is the story of an upper-middle-class Englishwoman named Lizzy Bennet who is pursued by Mr. Darcy, a brooding and complex man of great wealth. Lizzy’s first impression of Mr. Darcy was that he was arrogant, introverted, and self-serving. So when he declares his love for her, she rejects him. Later, when she learns of his many secret acts of kindness for others, Lizzy admits that she had been wrong about Mr. Darcy and agrees to marry him.

Joshua 22 records another instance of flawed first impressions. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had built an altar near the Jordan. When the other tribes learned about this, they were enraged (vv.9-12) because God had commanded that He alone be worshiped and that sacrifices be performed only in the tabernacle (Ex. 20:3; Lev. 17:8-9). They saw the building of this altar as an act of apostasy. Fortunately, Phinehas the priest led a delegation to find out why they had built the altar (Josh. 22:13-33). They were told that it was a memorial of unity for all the tribes under the one God of Israel (v.34).

Often our first impressions can be wrong. Open communication, however, can correct misunderstandings that are created by our own pride and prejudice. By:  Dennis Fisher

Don’t judge too quickly what you see;
Treat lightly first impression;
Misunderstandings multiply
Without communication.

First impressions often lead to wrong conclusions.

Joshua 23:10 To Chase Or Be Chased

One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you. — Joshua 23:10

Today's Scripture: Joshua 23:1-13

I once saw a monarch butterfly turn the tables on a bird. The monarch actually chased the bird away! It was a strange sight, but understandable. This species has been protected by its Creator with a taste that makes birds sick. My guess is that it can courageously chase birds—while other kinds of butterflies are being chased.

The Lord has also equipped His children so we can be courageous in a hostile world. Although the foes we face may seem to be more powerful, we can resist them because of God’s special provision. This doesn’t mean He always protects His children from physical injury or even death. But when a child of God works together with God and does His will, he is unconquerable until his work on earth is done.

How do we find the protection that helps us “chase away” the enemy? By trusting and obeying God. Joshua told God’s people that if they would obey the Lord, no one could stand against them (Josh. 23:10). The same God who fought for them will also fight for us. He will strengthen us to meet any challenge when we are doing what He wants us to do in the way He wants us to do it (Phil. 4:13).

Yes, the Lord will give us courage as we draw strength from Him each day. By:  Mart DeHaan

Though evil may surround us,
We need not fear defeat;
For when God fights the battle,
Our enemies retreat.

To trust is to triumph, for the battle is the Lord's.

Joshua 24:15 D-Day

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. — Joshua 24:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 24:2,13-18

Recently I asked my older sister, Mary Ann, if she remembered when our family moved into the house where we lived for many years. She replied, “You were about 9 months old, and I remember that Mother and Daddy stayed up all night packing boxes and listening to the radio. It was June 6, 1944, and they were listening to live coverage of the Normandy Invasion.”

Today marks the 70th anniversary of what has become known as D-Day—a military term for the day on which a planned operation will begin. Over the years, D-Day has also come to mean a moment of decision or commitment in our personal lives.

At one point in ancient Israel, their leader Joshua, now an old man, challenged the people to another kind of D-Day. After years of struggle to possess their inheritance in the land God had promised them, Joshua urged them to faithfully serve the One who had been so faithful to them (Josh. 24). “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” he said. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (v.15).

The day we decide to follow the Savior is the greatest turning point in our life. And each day after, we can joyfully renew our commitment to serve Him.:  David C. McCasland

Lord, what a privilege it is to say “yes” to You each
day. Thank You for loving me and forgiving me.
Guide me in all my choices today and
help me to serve You faithfully.

Life’s biggest decision is what you do with Jesus.

Joshua 24:1-25 Joshua's Challenge

Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God. — Joshua 24:23

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:1-25

Call it the Showdown at Shechem. Joshua gathered the people of Israel at this town so he could give them the challenge of their lives.

Aware of their interest in the history of their forefathers, Joshua began with a dramatic recounting of things past. He told how God had spared them from Terah’s homeland to Jericho.

As Joshua talked, the people must have relived in their minds the exciting stories they had heard from their grandparents—the plagues in Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, and all the battles with surrounding enemies.

But more humbling than all those instances of God’s intervention must have been the reminder that despite God’s goodness, the people were still worshiping the false gods of their forefathers.

Joshua’s challenge to the Israelites was not about the past. It was about the future. He challenged them to worship only the one true God. Because “He is a jealous God” (Josh. 24:19), the Lord will not tolerate worship of any other.

We too have seen God work—both miraculously in giving us eternal life, and more routinely in His daily care. So in gratitude to the Lord, let’s cast aside our “false gods”—anything that competes with our devotion to Him—and incline our heart toward the only true God.  Dave Branon

O Lord, help us to recognize
Your sole authority;
And may our worship of You be
A high priority.

Your heart cannot feel at home with a foreign god.

Joshua 24:13 We Have Fruit!

I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build. Joshua 24:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 24:2,8-14

The young mother sighed as she scraped together lunch for her 3-year-old daughter. Spying the empty fruit basket on the table in their tiny kitchen, she sighed and said aloud, “If we just had a basket of fruit, I would feel rich!” Her little girl overheard her.

Weeks passed. God sustained the small family. Still, the struggling mom worried. Then one day her little girl bounded into the kitchen. “Look, Mommy, we’re rich!” she exclaimed, pointing at the full fruit basket on the table. Nothing had changed except that the family had purchased a bag of apples.

When Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, was about to die, he shared a message from the Lord that recounted all God had done for them. And he noted, “You lived in the wilderness for a long time” (Josh. 24:7). Then he said, “[God] gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant” (v. 13). Joshua set up a large stone to remind Israel of God’s provision (v. 26).

Like the Israelites, after a time of challenge and scarcity, that family now lives in a different place and enjoys fruit trees in a spacious yard, planted years earlier by a previous owner. If you visit them, you’ll find a bowl of fruit in their kitchen. It reminds them of God’s goodness and how a 3-year-old infused her family with faith, joy, and perspective.:  Tim Gustafson

Thank God for how He has provided in the past. Thank Him for what He will do. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Then trust Him.

Remembering God’s provision for yesterday gives hope and strength for today.

Joshua 24:15 A Loud Fizzle

"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Abe Lincoln told the story of a blacksmith who heated a piece of iron in the forge, not knowing what he was going to make. At first he thought of shaping it into a horseshoe but changed his mind. After hammering on the iron for a while, he decided to try to make it into something else. By this time the metal was no longer malleable. Holding it up with his tongs and looking at it with disgust, the blacksmith tossed it into a vat of water. "Well," he shrugged, "at least I can make a fizzle out of it!"

Joshua would have seen an important lesson in that story. He knew that a meaningful life must have clear purpose. "Choose!" he urged his followers. If you're not going to live for God, then decide against Him. If you are going to live for God, then let your life reflect that decision. But whatever you do, decide! Joshua made it clear that he and his family had made their choice to serve the Lord (24:15).For him, life was not an amusement park but an arena where important decisions had to be made.

What about you? If you don't choose to trust Christ and serve Him, all you will have to show for the living of your days will be a loud fizzle.-- Haddon W. Robinson

Joyfully enlisting
By Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord's side,
Savior, we are Thine.- Havergal

If you decide not to choose,
you've already made the wrong choice.

Joshua 24:15 Choose!

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. — Joshua 24:15

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:14-28

All of us have times when we’d like to be completely free to do whatever we want. We long to break out of our restricting circumstances. But total freedom or complete independence is never an option for us. The Bible declares that we are servants by nature, even though we might not realize it.

I read about some slave-making ants of the Amazon that illustrate man’s predicament. Hundreds of these ants periodically swarm out of their nest to capture neighboring colonies of weaker ants. After destroying resisting defenders, they carry off cocoons containing the larvae of worker ants. When these “captured children” hatch, they assume that they are part of the family and launch into the tasks they were born to do. They never realize that they are forced-labor victims of the enemy.

Just as these little creatures are captives from the time of their birth, so we enter the world enslaved to sin and Satan. But there is a solution. By turning to Christ in faith, we are released from the condemnation of sin. Then by the Holy Spirit’s power we can begin serving the Lord.

We are all servants. Our decision, as Joshua pointed out, is not whether we will serve, but whom. By:  M.R. DeHaan

The freedom to choose is a gift from the Lord,
He wants you to serve Him of your own accord;
Right now He is calling for you to decide
To give Him your talents and serve by His side.

True freedom is found in submission to Christ.

Joshua 24:15 It’s Your Choice

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. — Joshua 24:15

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:1-15

As Joshua was nearing the end of his life, he gathered the children of Israel together at Shechem. And there, from the lips of a man who was close to death, came an appeal that throughout the centuries has moved the hearts of many. Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15).

This challenge, viewed in the light of the New Testament, suggests three outstanding lessons in regard to our salvation. First, we must make a choice between God and the devil. To refuse Christ leaves us automatically on the devil’s side. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matt. 12:30).

Second, this choice is a personal matter. Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves . . . whom you will serve.” Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can be born again and made a child of God. But we must do the believing for ourselves.

Third, there is an urgency in this charge. “Choose for yourselves this day,” not next month, not a week from today, not tomorrow, but this day.

Have you made that all-important choice? Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? If not, do so right now! Remember, the choice is yours. By:  Richard DeHaan

Salvation is available
For everyone to choose;
But if we do not take it now,
That choice we just might lose.

Now is the time to choose the Lord—later may never come.

Joshua 24:15 Choosing Our Leader

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. — Joshua 24:15

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:14-25

Today, millions of people in the United States will cast their votes for a slate of political leaders, including President. After months of campaign speeches, television ads, and debates, each voter has the opportunity to say to one candidate, “I choose you.” Not everyone’s favorite will win, but every voter has a choice.

Unlike a political election in which the majority rules, each of us is given the opportunity to select our personal leader each day. In the spiritual election deep within our hearts, our choice will stand no matter what others may decide.

After many years in the Promised Land of Canaan, the aged Joshua called the people of Israel together and issued this challenge: “If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). In a great collective response, the people said, “We will serve the Lord!” (v.21).

Everyone serves some kind of god. Whom will we choose to have rule in our hearts today? By:  David C. McCasland

Thy will I choose; I give to Thee
All of the life Thou gavest me;
Thy will I choose, no life I ask
Except to do Thy given task.

Each day we choose the one we will follow in life.

Joshua 24:15 CHOOSE YOUR GOD

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15

I recently saw an advert for an online game based on Greek mythology. It involved armies, mythological gods, heroes and quests. What got my attention was the description of how to get the game started. You go online to register, choose your god, then build your empire.

Wow! “Choose your god”. Those words, though presented casually in the advert, struck me as being one of the most dangerous things about our world. In a game it may be insignificant what ‘god’ you choose; but in the real world that choice has eternal consequences.

To a generation of Israelites surrounded by the gods of their day, Joshua declared that they must choose their god—but it must not be done in a casual way. He set the example as he said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

Today, as in the days of Joshua, there are many options. But there is only one wise choice—the true God. Joshua made the right choice. “We will serve the Lord.”Bill Crowder


Joshua 24:15 One Small Choice

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:15-24

As a boy, my father often played violin in the local symphony. This budding young talent continued improving into his high school years.

Then one day he decided to join his buddies in a harmless prank. As they raced through the school hallways and out the door, my dad hurried to follow them. The door slammed just as he reached it. His left hand smashed the glass of the door—severing the tendons to three fingers. All the doctors could do was tie the tendons in knots, rendering his fingers useless and taking the violin out of his life forever.

I wonder how Dad’s life might have been different had he not made that one small choice. “What-ifs” have dubious merit—we can always second-guess ourselves. But we cannot underestimate the impact of our choices. One choice can produce lifelong consequences, for good or bad.

Joshua’s counsel is a good place to start. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” he told Israel. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

Serving God will not always be the easy choice. But it is a choice that brings the kind of consequence we can live with. By:  Bill Crowder

I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth—
He is the living way.

What you will be tomorrow depends on the choices you make today.

Joshua 24:21 The Definite Choice

We will serve the Lord! — Joshua 24:21

Today's Scripture: Joshua 24:15-24

Coming from someone who used to value ancestral gods, my 90-year-old father’s statement near the end of his life was remarkable: “When I die,” he spoke laboriously, “nobody should do anything other than what the church will do. No soothsaying, no ancestral sacrifices, no rituals. As my life is in the hands of Jesus Christ, so shall my death be!”

My father chose the path of Christ in his old age when he invited Jesus into his life as Savior. His contemporaries mocked him: “An old man like you shouldn’t be going to church!” But my father’s choice to follow and worship the true God was definite, like the people Joshua addressed.

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” Joshua challenged them. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15). Their response was resolute—they chose to worship the Lord. Even after Joshua warned them to count the cost (vv.19-20), they still resolved to follow the Lord, recalling His deliverance, provision, and protection (vv.16-17,21).

Such a confident choice, however, calls for equally confident actions, as Joshua strongly reminded them: “Put away the foreign gods . . . and incline your heart to the Lord” (v.23). Have you made a choice to live for God? By:  Lawrence Darmani

Teach me all it means, Lord, to choose You. I want my words, actions, and attitudes to show the love for You that I have in my heart. You are worthy of far more than I could ever do.

A definite choice demands definite actions.

Joshua 24:22-33  Still Climbing

"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." - Hebrews 12:1

Few experiences match the challenge and exhilaration of mountain climbing. Those who participate in this exercise of endurance and skill like to compare peaks and share experiences. When European climbers get together to swap stories, they often tell of passing a certain grave along the trail to one famous peak. On the inscription: HE DIED CLIMBING.

To me, mountain climbing is a picture of the life of faith. Throughout our lives we are to continue moving upward -- learning more about God, growing in our relationship with Christ, becoming stronger in our battle with temptation, pushing ahead in telling the lost about Christ.

The author of Hebrews put it this way: "Let us run with endurance." The words "with endurance" may be translated "with perseverance," or more commonly, "to the end."

Joshua was just such a man of God. His "climb" began in Egypt and ended in the Promised Land. He won great battles. We are told that "Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua" (Josh. 24:31). At the

close of his life, Joshua was still urging Israel to serve God faithfully (V. 23).

Lord Jesus, help us to serve You faithfully. May we still be climbing to the very end. -- D C Egner

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a glimpse of glory bright;
But still I'll pray till heaven I've found,
"Lord, lead me on to higher ground."-- Oatman

Faith grows stronger as we climb higher.

Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

Joshua 1:5
He Never Fails
Faith's Checkbook

“I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”—Joshua 1:5

THIS word to Joshua is often quoted; it is the basis of that New Testament word, “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Beloved, a life of warfare is before us, but the Lord of Hosts is with us. Are we called to lead a great but fickle people? This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that we shall need. Have we to contend with cunning and powerful enemies? Here is strength and valor, prowess and victory. Have we a vast heritage to win? By this sign we shall achieve our purpose: the Lord Himself is with us.

It would be woe to us indeed if Jehovah could fail us but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one occasion will the Lord desert us. Happen what may, He will be at our side. Friends drop from us; their help is but an April shower. But God is faithful, Jesus is the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us.

Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds may gather, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail, and, as He will not forsake me neither will I forsake Him. Oh, for a restful faith!

Joshua 1:7
“Only be thou strong and very courageous.” — Joshua 1:7
Morning and Evening

Our God’s tender love for his servants makes him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without carefulness, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with, but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord loveth not to see our countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should come into the king’s court dressed in mourning: this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are; but still he would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonour his God. Besides, what a bad example it is. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads amongst the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Saviour, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you: but cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, labour is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in joy; therefore, dear reader, “be thou strong, and very courageous.”

Joshua 1:7
Rules for Prosperity (from Faith's Checkbook)

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”—Joshua 1:7

YES, the Lord will be with us in our holy war, but He demands of us that we strictly follow His rules. Our victories will very much depend upon our obeying Him with all our heart, throwing strength and courage into the actions of our faith. If we are half-hearted, we cannot expect more than half a blessing.

We must obey the Lord with care and thoughtfulness. “Observe to do” is the phrase used, and it is full of meaning. This is referred to every part of the divine will; we must obey with universal readiness. Our rule of conduct is “according to all the law.” We may not pick and choose, but we must take the Lord’s commands as they come, one and all. In all this we must go on with exactness and constancy. Ours is to be a straightforward course, which bends neither to the right nor to the left. We are not to err by being more rigid than the law, nor turn out of levity to a more free and easy way. With such obedience there will come spiritual prosperity. O Lord, help us to see if it be not even so! We shall not test thy promise in vain.

Joshua 2:21
“She bound the scarlet line in the window.” — Joshua 2:21
Morning and Evening

Rahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient. To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lord’s will, even though some of his commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his own way the two ordinances of believers’ baptism and the Lord’s Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying of a thread, if that be matter of command.

This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my window, so that my trust can never be removed? Or can I look out towards the Dead Sea of my sins, or the Jerusalem of my hopes, without seeing the blood, and seeing all things in connection with its blessed power? The passer-by can see a cord of so conspicuous a colour, if it hangs from the window: it will be well for me if my life makes the efficacy of the atonement conspicuous to all onlookers. What is there to be ashamed of? Let men or devils gaze if they will, the blood is my boast and my song. My soul, there is One who will see that scarlet line, even when from weakness of faith thou canst not see it thyself; Jehovah, the Avenger, will see it and pass over thee. Jericho’s walls fell flat: Rahab’s house was on the wall, and yet it stood unmoved; my nature is built into the wall of humanity, and yet when destruction smites the race, I shall be secure. My soul, tie the scarlet thread in the window afresh, and rest in peace.

Joshua 5:12
“They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” — Joshua 5:12
Morning and Evening

Israel’s weary wanderings were all over, and the promised rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may be thy case or mine. Joyful is the prospect, and if faith be in active exercise, it will yield unalloyed delight. To be with Jesus in the rest which remaineth for the people of God, is a cheering hope indeed, and to expect this glory so soon is a double bliss. Unbelief shudders at the Jordan which still rolls between us and the goodly land, but let us rest assured that we have already experienced more ills than death at its worst can cause us. Let us banish every fearful thought, and rejoice with exceeding great joy, in the prospect that this year we shall begin to be “for ever with the Lord.”

A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do service for their Lord. If this should fall to our lot, there is no reason why the New Year’s text should not still be true. “We who have believed do enter into rest.” The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance; he gives us “glory begun below.” In heaven they are secure, and so are we preserve in Christ Jesus; there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and this is not denied to us; they rest in his love, and we have perfect peace in him: they hymn his praise, and it is our privilege to bless him too. We will this year gather celestial fruits on earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like the garden of the Lord. Man did eat angels’ food of old, and why not now? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan this year!

Joshua 6:26
“Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho.” — Joshua 6:26
Morning and Evening

Since he was cursed who rebuilt Jericho, much more the man who labours to restore Popery among us. In our fathers’ days the gigantic walls of Popery fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed system upon its old foundation. O Lord, be pleased to thwart their unrighteous endeavours, and pull down every stone which they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to foster the spirit of Popery, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world. This last can be done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by decided testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined towards the errors of Rome; we must instruct the young in gospel truth, and tell them of the black doings of Popery in the olden times. We must aid in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for priests, like owls, hate daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of the priestcraft. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the Pope’s bane and poison? Are we casting abroad good, sound gospel writings? Luther once said, “The devil hates goose quills” and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands who will read this short word this night will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord’s glory shall speed among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What will you do?

Joshua 17:18
Divine Expulsion
Faith's Checkbook

“Thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.”—Joshua 17:18

IT is a great encouragement to valor to be assured of victory, for then a man goes forth to war in confidence and ventures where else he had been afraid to go. Our warfare is with evil within us and around us, and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to get the victory, and that we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are not riding for a fall, but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God in its omnipotence is put forth for the overflow of evil in every form, hence the certainty of triumph.

Certain of our sins find chariots of iron in our constitution—our former habits, our associations, and our occupations. Nevertheless we must overcome them. They are very strong, and in reference to them, we are very weak; yet in the name of God we must master them, and we will. If one sin has dominion of us, we are not the Lord’s free men. A man who is held by only one chain is still a captive. There is no going to heaven with one sin ruling within us, for of the saints it is said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Up, then, and slay every Canaanite, and break to shivers every chariot of iron! The Lord of hosts is with us, and who shall resist His sin-destroying power?

Joshua 20:3
“Your refuge from the avenger of blood.” — Joshua 20:3
Morning and Evening

It is said that in the land of Canaan, cities of refuge were so arranged, that any man might reach one of them within half a day at the utmost. Even so the word of our salvation is near to us; Jesus is a present Saviour, and the way to him is short; it is but a simple renunciation of our own merit, and a laying hold of Jesus, to be our all in all. With regard to the roads to the city of refuge, we are told that they were strictly preserved, every river was bridged, and every obstruction removed, so that the man who fled might find an easy passage to the city. Once a year the elders went along the roads and saw to their order, so that nothing might impede the flight of any one, and cause him, through delay, to be overtaken and slain. How graciously do the promises of the gospel remove stumbling blocks from the way! Wherever there were by-roads and turnings, there were fixed up hand-posts, with the inscription upon them—“To the city of refuge!” This is a picture of the road to Christ Jesus. It is no roundabout road of the law; it is no obeying this, that, and the other; it is a straight road: “Believe, and live.” It is a road so hard, that no self-righteous man can ever tread it, but so easy, that every sinner, who knows himself to be a sinner may by it find his way to heaven. No sooner did the man-slayer reach the outworks of the city than he was safe; it was not necessary for him to pass far within the walls, but the suburbs themselves were sufficient protection. Learn hence, that if you do but touch the hem of Christ’s garment, you shall be made whole; if you do but lay hold upon him with “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” you are safe.

“A little genuine grace ensures
The death of all our sins.”

Only waste no time, loiter not by the way, for the avenger of blood is swift of foot; and it may be he is at your heels at this still hour of eventide.

Joshua 23:10
One a Majority!
Faith's Checkbook

“One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.”—Joshua 23:10

WHY count heads? One man with God is a majority though there be a thousand on the other side. Sometimes our helpers may be too many for God to work with them, as was the case with Gideon, who could do nothing till he had increased his forces by thinning out their numbers. But the Lord’s hosts are never too few. When God would found a nation, He called Abram alone and blessed him. When He would vanquish proud Pharaoh, He used no armies but only Moses and Aaron. The “one man ministry,” as certain wise men call it, has been far more used of the Lord than trained bands with their officers. Did all the Israelites together slay so many as Samson alone? Saul and his hosts slew their thousands, but David his ten thousands.

he Lord can give the enemy long odds and yet vanquish him. If we have faith, we have God with us; and what are multitudes of men? One shepherd’s dog can drive before him a great flock of sheep. If the Lord sent thee, O my brother, His strength will accomplish His divine purpose. Wherefore, rely on the promise, and be very courageous.



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).