God’s Promises Fulfilled
Key Verse: “As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.”
AS WE BEGIN OUR STUDY, we are told that Moses had died and that Joshua, whose name signifies deliverer, or savior, became Israel’s leader by a direct commission from God. (Josh. 1:1,2) We are told, “The Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.”—Num. 27:18-20
Under him, they would win great victories and actually enter the land promised in the covenant. Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim, one of their leading family groups. (chap. 1:10) His family line included Elishama, who had been the captain of a large army that was formed from his own tribe soon after the exodus out of Egyptian bondage. (chap. 2:18) God promised that he would help Joshua to lead the children of Israel “unto the land which I do give to them.” (Josh. 1:2) The Heavenly Father further promised that he would guide Joshua and his people in the same manner that he had dealt with them through Moses. (Exod. 3:1-10) He would prove that the promises of the Heavenly Father were true by faithfully serving the Lord for more than 25 years.
Joshua had begun to prove his faithfulness to God through his years of service at Moses’ side. For this reason, he was the best-qualified man for the important task of leading God’s chosen people to their land of promise. The Lord would next outline the promised land, and he practically gave the very boundaries which would subsequently mark the possession of Israel at the close of David’s reign, and throughout that of Solomon. “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all of the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.”—Josh. 1:4
In speaking these words to Joshua, God was in a way reaffirming his desire for his people to enter into the land that he would give to them. At the same time, we should not lose sight of the fact that God had adopted the nation of Israel as his own, and had entered into a special covenant with them. For this reason, he was their real captain and leader—Moses, Joshua, and others being merely his representatives and mouthpieces.
God had high expectations for them because they were his chosen people, through whom eventually the whole world of mankind would have the opportunity to enter into their own promised land. “In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”—Gen. 28:14,15