Shortly after Israel's great victory at Jericho, they turn their attention to conquering Ai. And things take a drastic turn. Israel is soundly defeated. God graciously reveals that Israel has been defeated because of their sin and He prescribes a way for them to be restored and for God's favor to rest on them again.
After entering the Promise Land, Israel prepares to begin taking possession of the land starting in Jericho. Before the battle, Joshua encounters the Commander of the army of the LORD. He has come to give this land as God promised, to Israel. If Israel will obey the LORD, the LORD will fight for them and victory is assured.
n the opening Chapters of Joshua we have seen Israel–under Joshua's leadership–cross the Jordan river and take their first steps into Canaan. In Joshua 5:1-12, Israel is on the brink of the conquest of Canaan, however their priority is not military preparedness, but spiritual preparedness. In these verses, we will witness this latest generation of Israel pause to reaffirm their covenantal relationship with God.
As Israel crosses over the Jordan River and enters the promise land, God demonstrates his mighty and unparalleled power. He parts the Jordan River as He previously parted the Red Sea and brings his people safely into the land. In so doing, Israel's exodus is complete. God has redeemed them and delivered them into the promise land.
Joshua chapter 2 is an incredible story in which we see God's mercy extending beyond Israel to people of the surrounding nations. God desires that all nations be saved. And here we see his salvation come to a Canaanite woman.
This morning we begin a new sermon series in the book of Joshua. Joshua begins where Deuteronomy ends, with the death of Moses. And although Moses has died, God's promises live on. God chooses Joshua to lead Israel into the promise land and take possession of it. And in giving them this land, God fulfills his covenant promise to Abraham and blesses Israel with rest on all sides. Even though this rest will eventually be spoiled by their sin, the book of Joshua points us to another 'Yeshua' who leads his people into eternal rest.