LIFE-STUDY OF JOSHUA
AN INTRODUCTORY WORD
Scripture Reading: Josh. 1:1-2; Deut. 34:8-9; John 1:17; Col. 1:12; Eph. 3:8; Rom. 6:3-4a; Col. 2:20-21; Eph. 2:6; 6:12; Josh. 6:22-25; Ruth 4:21; Matt. 1:5
With this message we begin the life-study of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. My burden in the messages on these three books can be expressed by the following four statements:
1) Joshua led Israel to take the God-promised land that it might become the land of Immanuel (Josh. 1:6; Isa. 8:8).
- Immanuel /iˈmænjʊəl/ 以马内利
2) Elimelech swerved from the rest of the good land due to the trial of a punishing famine in the God-given land (Ruth 1:1-2).
- Elime’lech 以利米勒
- swerve /swɜːrv/ 偏离
3) Ruth, an alienated Moabitess, turned to Bethlehem, the place of the holy birth of Christ, and entered into the realm of the divine economy (Ruth 1:16, 19; Micah 5:2).
- alienated /ˈeɪliəneɪtɪd/ 受隔绝的
- Moabitess /’məuə,baitis/ 摩押女子
4) Boaz married Ruth and produced the royal house of David by Jehovah that Christ might be brought in for the accomplishment of God’s economy (Ruth 4:13, 21-22; Matt. 1:1, 5-6, 16).
- Boaz /ˈboæz/ 波阿斯
In studying the histories and prophecies of the Old Testament, we need the full scope, the full view, of the entire Scriptures concerning God’s eternal economy for Christ and the church, which consummates in the New Jerusalem. This will render us not only a broader view but also the deeper, intrinsic significance of God’s purpose in presenting to us the histories and giving us the prophecies of the Old Testament. The scope, the center, and the intrinsic significance of all the histories and the prophecies of the Old Testament must be Christ and His Body, which will ultimately consummate in the New Jerusalem for God’s eternal economy.
- scope /skoʊp/ 视野
- render /ˈrendər/ 提供
For God to accomplish such an eternal economy of His, He needed to create the heavens for the earth, and the earth for man (Zech. 12:1). God created man in His own image and after His likeness with a spirit for man to contact Him, receive Him, keep Him, and take Him as man’s life and content. It was very sad that this man got fallen from God and from God’s purpose for His economy.
However, out of fallen humankind God chose a man by the name of Abraham and his descendants and made them a particular people as His dear elect among all the nations (the Gentiles). It took God over four hundred years to produce, constitute, and form such an elect to replace the Adamic race for the fulfilling of His eternal economy. God brought such an elect of His through trials, sufferings, both in Egypt and in the wilderness that they might be trained, disciplined, and qualified to coordinate with Him in taking His promised land for Christ on this earth and in providing the proper persons to bring forth Christ into the human race.
- descendant /dɪˈsendənt/ 后裔
- elect /ɪˈlekt/ 选民
- Adamic race 亚当的族类
- discipline/ˈdɪsəplɪn/ 管教
- qualified/ˈkwɑːlɪfaɪd/ 合格的
- coordinate/koʊˈɔːrdɪneɪt/ 配合
To take possession of God’s promised land for Christ and to provide the proper persons to bring forth Christ into the human race are the two major points of the section of the history in the Old Testament in the three books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. These two main points, to take the land for Christ and to provide the bona fide ancestors for Christ, are the spirit of the history from Joshua to Ruth. They are the intrinsic significance of this section of the Old Testament history. We have to have a clear vision concerning this. Otherwise, our life-study on these three books will be in vain, just like the studies of so many historians, Bible students, and Scripture teachers, either Jewish or Christian.
- take possession of 据有
- section 段
- bona fide /ˌboʊnə ˈfaɪdi/ 真实的
- ancestor/ˈænsestər/ 先祖
- historian /hɪˈstɔːriən/ 历史家
If by the Lord’s mercy we see such a vision, this section of the history in the Old Testament will benefit us the same as the New Testament does. Such a vision will help us to see that the history of God’s people on earth is actually the history of the working God energizing among His chosen people in the Old Testament and even the history of the operating God energizing in His redeemed people and having them energize themselves together with Him for the accomplishment of His eternal economy concerning Christ and His increase, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem.
- benefit /ˈbenɪfɪt/ 受益
- energize/ˈenərdʒaɪz/ 奋力活动
- operate/ˈɑːpəreɪt/ 运行
- the operating God 运行的神
I hope that through the life-study of these three books we all will see and realize that our living, our daily walk, our schooling, our job, and our business must be a part of God’s history in His marvelous and excellent move on the earth today. To be a normal Christian, to be today’s overcomers, to answer the Lord’s present calling, and to meet the Lord’s present need in His recovery, it is altogether not sufficient simply to be a so-called good brother or good sister, attending the church meetings regularly, behaving rightly, and living a life which is somewhat perfect in the eyes of men. We need to be one with God in His history, moving, and energizing in His loving overcomers; that is, we need to be one with God in life, in living, and in our entire doing today on this earth! We need to write God’s today’s history! We need to march on as one with the energizing God! In Him! With Him! By Him! And for Him! We need to be vital, living, and active! We need to be today’s Joshuas and Calebs to take possession of the God-promised land for Christ that we may become His possession. We need to be today’s Ruths to turn to God’s economy, to enter into the land of Immanuel, and to marry ourselves to Christ that we may bring forth Christ to meet the need of men today. This should be the intrinsic life-study of these three books—Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. The issue of this life-study should be the gaining of the God-promised land for Christ and the bringing forth of the excellent Christ to meet today’s need of both God and men.
- altogether 完全地
- sufficient /səˈfɪʃnt/ 足够
- so-called 所谓的
- march on /mɑːrtʃ/ 前进
- the energizing God 奋力活动的神
- possession/pəˈzeʃn/ 产业
- issue 结果
- bring forth 生出
In light of the foregoing, let us now begin our life-study of the book of Joshua.
- In light of 在…的亮光中
I. THE FIRST BOOK OF THE TWELVE BOOKS OF HISTORY
Joshua is the first book of the twelve books of history from Joshua to Esther. The Bible begins with the five books of the law, the books of Moses, and then, starting with Joshua, the Bible continues with the twelve books of history.
II. THE WRITER
The writer of the book of Joshua was Joshua (1:1), whose name means “Jehovah Savior,” or “the salvation of Jehovah” (Num. 13:16).
III. THE TIME
The time of the writing of this book was 1451-1426 B.C.
IV. THE PLACE
The place of the writing of the book of Joshua was the plains of Moab (Deut. 34:8-9).
- plain/pleɪn/ 平原
- Moab /ˈmoʊæb/ 摩押
V. THE CONTENT
The content of the book of Joshua is that Joshua led the children of Israel to enter the promised land and to take it, possess it, allot it, and enjoy it. The sequence here is quite significant. First, the children of Israel entered the promised land, and then they possessed it and occupied it. Following this, the land was allotted, apportioned, to each tribe in a particular way. Then they enjoyed the land.
- possess/pəˈzes/ 占有
- allot /əˈlɑːt/ 拈阄分配
- sequence/ˈsiːkwəns/ 次序
- occupy/ˈɑːkjupaɪ/ 占据
- apportion/əˈpɔːrʃn/ 分配
- tribe /traɪb/ 支派
- in a particular way 用特别的方法
VI. THE TYPES OF CHRIST
In the book of Joshua there are two types of Christ— Joshua and the good land.
- type 【名】预表
The first type of Christ in this book is Joshua himself. The Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name Joshua is Jesus (Heb. 4:8; Acts 7:45). Joshua typifies Christ and grace (Christ) replacing the law (Moses—Josh. 1:2a; John 1:17). It was when Moses the lawgiver died that Joshua came in (Deut. 34:8-9) to bring the people into the good land (Josh. 1:6), typifying the Lord Jesus bringing the people of God into rest, into the enjoyment of the all-inclusive Christ.
- equivalent /ɪˈkwɪvələnt/ 对等的东西
- lawgiver 颁赐律法者
B. The Good Land
The other type of Christ in the book of Joshua is the good land with all its riches (Deut. 8:7-10) typifying the God-given Christ with all His unsearchable riches (Col. 1:12; Eph. 3:8).
VII. THE TYPES RELATED TO CHRIST
The book of Joshua also reveals two types related to Christ.
A. Israel’s Possessing and Enjoying
the Promised Land
The first of the types related to Christ is Israel’s possessing and enjoying the promised land. This typifies the believers’ practical experience of the riches of the blessings in Christ as revealed in the book of Ephesians.
1. Israel’s Crossing of the River Jordan
Israel’s crossing of the river Jordan typifies the believers’ experience of the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3-4a; Col. 2:20), not the believers’ physical death.
- physical death 肉身的死
2. Israel’s Entering into the Good Land
Israel’s entering into the good land typifies the believers’ experience of taking over the heavenlies, where Satan and his power of darkness are (Eph. 2:6; 6:12), not the believers’ going to heaven after their death. This is all related to Israel’s possessing and enjoying the good land.
- take over 占领
- the heavenlies 诸天界
B. The Scarlet Thread
through Which Rahab the Harlot Was Saved
The second type related to Christ is the scarlet thread through which Rahab the harlot was saved (Josh. 2:17-19; 6:17, 22-23, 25; Heb. 11:31; James 2:25). This scarlet thread typifies the blood of Christ by which the believers are redeemed (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
- scarlet thread /ˈskɑːrlət θred/ 朱红线绳
- Rahab 喇合
- harlot /ˈhɑːrlət/ 妓女
VIII. ISRAEL’S TAKING POSSESSION OF THE GOOD LAND
BEING IN THE LINE OF BRINGING FORTH CHRIST
Israel’s taking possession of the good land was in the line of bringing forth Christ by gaining two females—Rahab and Ruth. These two women play a crucial part in the bringing in of Christ. Rahab as the mother of Boaz became one of the ancestors of Christ (Josh. 2:1-21; 6:22-25; Matt. 1:5a). Ruth was another ancestor of Christ (Ruth 4:21; Matt. 1:5b). She was the wife of Boaz and the great-grandmother of David. Matthew 1:1 says, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David.” Hence, Matthew is linked to Ruth and is the continuation of Ruth concerning the bringing in of Christ.
- female /ˈfiːmeɪl/ 女性
- play 扮演
- ancestor /ˈænsestər/ 先祖
- great-grandmother 曾祖母
- link 连接
- continuation /kənˌtɪnjuˈeɪʃn/ 继续
IX. THE CENTRAL THOUGHT
The central thought of the book of Joshua is that God intended to fulfill the promise concerning the good land that Israel might have a place to carry out God’s economy, especially to keep the line of bringing in Christ to the earth through His incarnation in humanity. This book is quite wonderful in this main purpose of Israel’s occupying and possessing the good land for the carrying out of God’s economy.
- intend 想要
- carry out 执行
X. THE SECTIONS
The book of Joshua has four sections: entering into the good land (chs. 1—5), taking possession of the good land (chs. 6—12), allotting the good land (chs. 13—22), and Joshua’s departure (chs. 23—24).
- section 分段
- departure /dɪˈpɑːrtʃər/ 离世