By Henry Mahan
Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Joshua 1:1-9
The subject matter of the book of Joshua is Joshua's, taking upon himself, by divine commission, the government of the children of Israel after the death of Moses. In the whole affair, Joshua is a type of the Lord Jesus.
1. His name is Joshua
His name is Joshua--called in the New Testament Jesus (Acts 7:45; Heb. 4:8). His name, given by Moses, Jehoshua (Num. 13:16), means 'salvation.' Joshua is said to mean 'Jah (short for Jehovah), his help.' Moses received word from God, after the incident involving the striking of the rock (Num. 20:12), that he would not bring the congregation into the land of promise. That responsibility would fall upon Joshua. It is clear that Moses (whose very name is synonymous with the law) could never bring Israel into Canaan, anymore than the law can bring us to heaven (John 1:17). This is the work of Joshua (Jesus), our Saviour. Much importance is given to the name of our Redeemer; for his name indicates his character, his work, and his glory (Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:13; Phil. 2:9-11).
2. Joshua was for a time the servant of Moses.
He was under Moses, obeyed Moses, and did the will of Moses, as a good servant. Christ, our Lord, for a time was made of a woman, made under the law (Gal. 4:4). He took upon himself the form of a servant and became obedient in all things as our representative (Phil. 2:6-8; Rom. 5:19). Christ was subject to the law (both moral and ceremonial) in order that he might impute unto his people a perfect standing before the law (Heb. 2:16-18; Heb. 4:14-15).
3. Joshua was the governor and commander of Israel.
Vested with complete power and authority from God, he led Israel to victory and possession of the land. Our Lord Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. He has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18), he has all power over all flesh (John 17:2), and he must reign until he has the full salvation of all of his elect (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
4. Joshua led Israel into Canaan
Not into sight of it, but into it. So Christ effectually redeems all his people and will take them to glory (John 6:37-39; John 10:14-16, 27-30). What the law could not do, being weak through the flesh, Christ, our Joshua, has done (Rom. 8:3). Our inheritance is secured by and in Christ (1 Peter 1:3-5).
5. Joshua was a mighty conqueror.
He overcame and destroyed many kings and mighty men so that Israel could have peaceable possession of the land of Canaan. So our mighty conqueror, the Lord Jesus, overcame and totally destroyed the mighty rulers and enemies of our souls (Eph. 6:12). He defeated Satan, the king of evil. He conquered sin, which, like a tyrant, rules over the sons of men. He conquered death, the king of terrors (1 Cor. 3:21-23).
6. All of the good promises to Israel were fulfilled at the hands of Joshua.
So all the gracious promises of God to his elect are fulfilled in and by the Lord Jesus.
Rom. 4:21 - What he has promised, he is able to perform.
Phil. 3:21 - He is able to subdue all things unto himself.
II Tim. 1:12 - He is able to keep that which we have committed to him.
Heb. 7:25 - He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by him.
Jude 24 - He is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory.
7. Joshua was faithful and merciful to save Rahab, the harlot and her house that had the red cord hung out the window.
So Christ is merciful and faithful to save all sinners who express faith in his blood.
'Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus, ready, stands to save you,
full of pity, love, and power.
Let not conscience make you linger,
nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth
is to feel your need of him.'