Joshua and the Promised Land
Deuteronomy 2:7 – For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
The Old Testament – A Brief Overview
Joshua and the Conquest of Canaan
hen Israel finally crossed over the Jordan River (on dry land) and entered Canaan and celebrated their first Passover in the promised land. God spoke to Joshua and made him a strong leader.
Joshua 1:5-6 “. . . 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, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.”
The sins of the Canaanites were at the boiling point and Joshua was to completely destroy them lest Israel inherits their evil ways. Some of the abominations happening in the land were temple prostitution, father and son committing sexual acts with the same prostitute, child sacrifice, homosexuality, idolatry, and on and on. God spoke about their evil ways throughout the entire Old Testament.
Leviticus 18:25-30 ‘For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. ‘You shall, therefore, keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you ‘for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), ‘lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
‘For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.'”
Deuteronomy 18:9-22 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, “or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. “For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.
The inhabitants of Canaan were terrified. The first city they conquered was Jericho. It was a miracle when the trumpets were blown, the walls fell.
Joshua 6:20 “So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.”
Under Joshua, the Israelites conquered the entire country (Joshua 21). The only defeat was at Ai, where an Israelite named Achan disobeyed God’s orders. In 7 years they defeated 31 kings in the land. Joshua divided the land among the 12 tribes of Israel as God directed.
Joshua was a great leader but he made 2 fatal mistakes. First, he failed to completely defeat the Canaanites (especially the Philistines, Amalekites, and Midianites), and second, he failed to wipe out completely the filthy and idolatrous fertility cults of the land. Joshua’s failure to cut this cancer completely out of society resulted in disastrous times for about the next 400 years of Hebrew history.