God’s Choice of Joshua to Succeed Moses

KEY VERSE: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’’ —Joshua 1:9


THE GROOMING OF Joshua to be a leader of the nation of Israel began soon after they had left Egypt. After passing through their first crisis of no water and no food, when the Lord supplied both miraculously, they were attacked by the Amalekites. Joshua was chosen to recruit an army to fight against them, and eventually gained the victory. (Exod. 17:8-15) This is our introduction to Joshua. His capability as a general of a fighting army was remarkable since none of the Israelites had been in a position to develop such skills as slaves in Egypt.

The next reference to Joshua is in Exodus 24:13. Moses had been bidden by God to ascend Mt. Sinai to receive the tables of the Law. He took Joshua with him, while Aaron, Hur, and the elders stayed with the people. Joshua accompanied Moses on assignments such as speaking with God (Exod. 33:11; Num. 11:28), because the Lord had confidence in him. It was Joshua, along with Caleb, who only brought back a good report of all the twelve spies who had been sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan. These two older Israelites later were the only ones permitted to enter the land of Canaan.—Num. 26:65

Moses was told by God to view the Promised Land from a high mountain and then to be prepared to die. (Num. 27:12-23) Before doing this he was to commission Joshua as his successor. Joshua stood before Eleazer, the High Priest and the before the entire assembly.

The Book of Joshua begins with God telling Joshua to go forth and possess the Promised Land. “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.” (Josh. 1:2) After repeating the promises given to Moses and admonishing Joshua to observe all the Law given by God through Moses, he said: “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”—Josh. 1:8,9

Joshua was faithful in striving to keep the Law, and in trusting in Jehovah. As a consequence he won great victories, conquering the enemies in the land. Joshua means ‘deliverer’ or ‘savior’. He typified Jesus, who with the church, will constitute the Great Deliverer who will lead mankind in the millennial kingdom to overcome the enemies of their flesh, and to ultimately reach perfection.

Since Moses did not lead the people into the Land of Promise, but rather a new leader—Joshua—had this honor, could signify that the Law Covenant would not bring anyone into God’s kingdom of righteousness to perfection. A Savior who establishes a New Covenant with the nation of Israel and all the Gentiles is necessary. Jesus is that Deliverer.

Another picture provided by Joshua’s leadership into the Promised Land belongs to the Gospel Age and the development of the Church. This class at this time is to fight against every fleshly tendency in order to gain the heavenly Canaan. This they can do successfully only by following their leader, Jesus.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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