I throughly enjoyed preaching on Joshua 1:1-9 yesterday.
4 things to ponder:
1) What would it feel like to follow the man who became the greatest leader of a millennium? (see Deut 34)
2) What Moses says to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31 is almost identical to what YAHWEH (the LORD) says in Joshua 1 after Moses death. What does this say about revelation, the need for personal confirmation of truth, and Moses’ extraordinary ability to hear utterly accurately from God and thus the authority of what Jesus called the ‘Books of Moses’ – the five books of the Pentateuch from Genesis to Deuteronomy?
3) What does it say about the book of Joshua that the instructions God gives Joshua are so similar to the ones Jesus gives the disciples… be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid, don’t let the book of the law depart from your mouth, my presence will go with you, becomes: take heart little flock, do not be afraid, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished, the Holy Spirit the comforter will remind you of everything I have taught you, surely I am with you to the very end of the age.
4) How many other leaders in Scripture and in history have finished as well as Joshua? Joshua 24:31: “Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.”
5) and finally for the theologians: if Joshua is commanded to read the book of the law, and this passage has any validity at all, the Book of the Law has to have been written down before then – clearly by Moses (albeit with some editing into final form some centuries later – e.g. Deut 34). Moses had received a fabulous Egyptian education (cf Act 7:22), all of Scripture assumes his authorship of the Pentateuch – see Ex 17:14, Num 33.2; Rom 10:5 – and Jesus does the same: e.g. John 5: 46 ‘For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me’. The argument that there was no writing at the time of Moses seems so spurious. The entire 10 commandment tradition – God wrote on tablets of stone – required a considerable amount of words to be written down by God and read by Moses. If he could read that, with his education surely he could write some more. If you reject the historicity of the 10 commandments and go against Christ in saying Moses didn’t author the book of the law it seems to me that you are basing your faith on some very shaky starting points…. and who was it who said the wise man built his house upon the rock?