Joshua: Courageous Discipleship

Ralph F. Wilson, 'Joshua' (2016), after Tissot, 'Othniel', transparent watercolor on paper, 14x18 in.
Ralph F. Wilson, 'Joshua' (2016), after Tissot, 'Othniel', transparent watercolor on paper, 14x18 in.

The Book of Joshua isn't politically correct. Instead of universal tolerance, it sees God offering the Promised Land to a particular people, the Israelites, and commanding them to displace its sinful residents by force. Yahweh is portrayed as a Mighty Warrior who gives victory to Israel, as well as the King who demands our complete submission and obedience.

The book also introduces us to men and women of faith, who find strength in the Lord to step up to their place in history. There's Rahab the prostitute, Caleb the old warrior, Othniel who conquers a city to win a bride, Acsah his wife who petitions her father for the deep wells their desert city will need, and Joshua himself, who learns that obedience God's bizarre battle plan to breach Jericho's walls brings about the city's fall with little need to fight.

For Christian disciples, the book offers a number of important lessons, vividly portrayed in the scenes displayed before us: submission and obedience to God as Leader, God's  faithfulness to his promises, listening for God's  direction rather than doing what seems right in our own eyes, the unlimited power of the Almighty God, and a call to reject the false gods and values of our culture; and to rather serve God wholeheartedly, committed to using the weapons of spiritual warfare outlined in the New Testament. The book concludes with Joshua's  final challenge:

"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve....
But as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)

Here's what is included in this study on the book of Joshua:

Introduction to the Book of Joshua

  1. Be Strong and Very Courageous (Joshua 1)
  2. Rahab Hides the Spies (Joshua 2)
  3. Entering the Promised Land (Joshua 3:1-5:12)
  4. The Walls Fall Down (Joshua 5:13-6:27)
  5. Sin in the Camp (Joshua 7-9)
  6. Possessing the Land (Joshua 10-22)
  7. Caleb: Give Me This Mountain (Joshua 14:6-15)
  8. As for Me and My House (Joshua 23-24)

References and Abbreviations
Maps for the Book of Joshua
Joshua and the Conquest - Paintings and Artwork
Reprint Guidelines
About the Author

I encourage you to sign up for this study that will begin the Friday, September 16, 2016.  Sign up now so you don't forget -- and invite your friends to do the same.

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
This is our 43rd online Bible study since 1996. If you've participated in one before, you know how God can use them in your life. If not, then you have a treat in store for you. This is an cross-denominational study designed to help you grow as a disciple of Christ. This study, now completely rewritten, was first used online in 1998. -- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson. About the leader.
Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better. The weekly lesson includes all the discussion questions for the week.
  • If you sign up for the daily questions version, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.

If you plan to use this study as the basis of a class or small group, feel free to download the free participant handout guides.

Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.