“And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” – Joshua 1:10-11
God told Joshua that Israel’s salvation depended on his obedience (Joshua 1:7-8). And the Holy Spirit wants us to know that Joshua was obedient. Right after He recorded the charge that Joshua received from the LORD, He tells us that Joshua commanded the officers of the people to tell Israel to get ready to enter Canaan.
It says that Joshua told Israel that they were going to pass over the Jordan and take possession of the land within three days. But when you compare that with the story of the spies that Joshua sent to Canaan, in the next chapter, you’ll recognize that Joshua probably sent the spies to Jericho before he gave Israel the command to get ready.
What do we make of that? Is it a mistake in the Bible? Is the Holy Spirit misleading us? We have to remember that the book of Joshua is prophecy. The purpose of this book is to tell the story of God’s work for the salvation of His people. God had made it clear that Israel would only inherit the land if Joshua was obedient. And the Spirit says, Praise God! Joshua, the instrument of Israel’s salvation, was careful to do exactly what God commanded him to do! The Holy Spirit has given us the New Testament gospels for the very same reason: they are the record of our Savior’s perfect obedience, and they are the foundation of our faith in Him to be our perfect Savior.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for His Word, and in particular, for the gospels’ record of Christ’s obedience, and ask the Holy Spirit to encourage you in faith through His Word.