The very first verse of Joshua chapter 3 reads: “And Joshua rose early in the morning … and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.”
Joshua’s rising “early in the morning” latently suggests his leadership abilities. Eagerness, thoroughness, as well. The man is a “pacesetter.” (Also a picture of Jesus, however faintly, in this “early morning” practice. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35) In the above verses both Joshua and Jesus were at their “work” very early!
But the more I study Joshua, the more I see a host of similarities between the way the Book (of Joshua) presents him as a proto-type of Royalty! Nearly, as a “King!”
God never (in His Heart) wanted Israel to have a line of Kings, a dynasty. He longed rather for the Nation to be a “Theocracy,” one led (ruled) by their Lord (the God of Abraham).
(And Oh, how Israel PAID for the Kings she had … for the most part anyway. Disobedience, or at least doing “less” than God’s Will, is always costly!)
Joshua cast in the mold of a King?
(I am only implying that the Holy Spirit, the Real Author of all God’s inspired Word, is quite the Editor as well! God certainly COULD have provided Israel amazing leadership, using men like Joshua, without every having to declare or institute a worldly Monarchy!)
Joshua as King, an intriguing thought.
A “command” from God for all Israel’s Kings … “And it shall be, when he (the King of Israel) sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.” Deuteronomy 17:18-19, an emphasis on the Law, the Word of God!
Compare now Joshua commissioning: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee. 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.” Joshua 1:7-8, see the parallels?
READ IT “all the days of thy life,” to the Kings.
READ IT “day and night,” to Joshua!
This fact too …
In Deuteronomy 17:20 we read this clause: “that he (the King) turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left.” Faithfulness required, steadiness of purpose, complete obedience!
Now look at Joshua 1:7 again: “Joshua, turn not from it to the right hand or to the left.” Obey God’s Law incessantly!
In both Texts (the royal one in Deuteronomy and the Joshua one here) a promise is made to the obedient follower of God. The king … “to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” Wow! Then to Joshua the man of God: “that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” Wow again!
Folks, I am finding dozens (not exaggerating) of these “points” where Joshua looks kingly, a royal leader of Israel. Under God’s Command, Authority!
In fact, I may go further with this thought later in the Joshua series. Anything that helps set the context for a portion of Scripture can prove extremely beneficial.
The Lord willing, another Lesson tomorrow morning …
— Dr. Mike Bagwell