Bible Study on Joshua: Summary of the Book of Joshua by Chapter
I am working through the Blue Letter Bible Chronological Plan and doing an in-depth study on each book of the Bible. I just finished studying the book of Joshua and wanted to share some life lessons from the Bible (aka life lessons from God).
The Bible has something about everything! And the books in the OT are not just biblical stories with moral lessons. They have glimpses of Jesus throughout, and that is my favorite part! With that being said, let’s get started on this bible study on Joshua!
Bible Study on Joshua 1: What lessons can we learn from Joshua in the Bible?
To start, let’s look at what the Bible tells us or shows us about Joshua. Who was Joshua? We know that…
- He was full of the spirit of wisdom (Deut. 34:9)
- Did not have a wife, but was “married” to the church — God’s people.
- Made it to the promised land from Egypt (from slavery to freedom).
- Was a victorious general (Exodus 17:9).
- Had a servant’s heart (Exodus 24:13, Numbers 11:28-29).
- Enjoyed being in God’s presence (Exodus 33:11).
- Joshua is a type of Christ. (His life resembles that of Jesus. Can you spot the similarities above?)
Something interesting is that Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua which is Joshua in English.
We read in Joshua 1:7-9 that God is talking to Joshua. He tells him that he needs to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid or dismayed because God was with him!
From now on, you will start to notice how the verses in Joshua not only applied to the people then, but apply to us now! Us Christians in our walk with God.
- Joshua had big shoes to fill (those of Moses). But God was reminding him of His presence and encouraging him on. He would take God’s people into the Promised Land with God’s leading.
- This also applies to us in our Christian walk. The Christian walk is NOT an easy one. We need to be “strong and of good courage” because we know that “small is the gate and narrow the road the leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). And Jesus tell us to enter His Kingdom we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).
Bible Study on Joshua 2
I may have forgotten to mention that this blog post will also be a brief summary on the book of Joshua by chapter while sharing the life lessons from the Bible.
Well, we know that God’s people were going to conquer this land, Jericho, because it was part of the land that God told them to inhabit. We know that God allowed them to go to war because those nations residing there were people who were doing despicable things against God: sacrificing children or one another, worshiping other gods, etc. These people were determined to kill God’s people. Ultimately, we are either with God or against Him.
We can also look at it like this from a current point of view: Satan has taken possession of this land, but the Redeemer is coming.
So, Joshua sends out 2 spies to check out the land (Joshua 2:1) and they arrive at Rahab’s house.
Now, let’s look at Rahab!
I didn’t know the depth of Rahab’s significance! Well, she demonstrates what the Christian walk is about:
- Jesus meeting us right where we are,
- denying ourselves and following Christ,
- laying down our lives for others,
because she says to the two spies that she knew all that God was doing for His people and she wanted salvation for her and her family! She became a traitor (she would have been killed if the king had known) to save the two spies.
Another interesting thing here is that what she says to the spies in Joshua 2:8-13 are the terms of salvation:
- Hearing the Word of God (v.8-10)
- Receiving it (v.11)
- Accepting and surrendering our lives to Him (v.12-13)
And something fun to point out is the following:
She hid the two spies or aka God’s messengers or those who have God’s Word. It brings to mind this verse: “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11. Did you catch that? 😉
Now, I was doing a bit of invastigating about her being a harlot because my NKJV bible says that the two spies “came to the house of a harlot named Rahab.”
And it may have been that they stayed there because this may have been a house where foreigners were known to stop and the spies could pass as any other foreigner. Hope this makes sense! The Bible isn’t clear here so we can’t really say for sure.
Moving on to a few more life lessons from the Bible…
Rahab didn’t know when Joshua and God’s people would take over her land, but she was prepared. She *immediately* did God’s will by tying the scarlet cord in the window (Joshua 2:21).
We need to remember to be like her here — doing God’s will immediately. Because we don’t know when Jesus will come back for us or when our last day will be, but we need to be ready!
Does this scarlet cord in the window remind you of something that happened a couple years back during the time of Moses?
During Passover, the red blood on the doorpost (Exodus 12:13-28) meant that everyone inside those homes would survive. Here, the red cord in the window meant everyone inside would survive.
👉🏻One life lesson from God here is that only those who are in the house – in the blood where the covenant is – will be saved. And we know whose blood that is…Jesus!
Bible study on Joshua 3
It was a miracle that God’s people were able to cross the Jordan. What is interesting is that the ark of the covenant, carried by the priests, stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan while the people crossed. See Joshua 3:17. Hopefully you can picture this, google it if you need to!
Reminds us of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, right?
👉🏻But the important life lessons from God here is that He is a God of miracles! Just like God did these miracles for His people back then, He will do them for us today. If only we had more faith!
👉🏻We will cross difficulties, even death, but we will be blessed and cleansed on the other side.
👉🏻And that everyone has to pass before God’s law, meaning one day, we will too! See Romans 14:10-12, James 2:12, Revelation 20:12. What I mean with this one is that the ark had God’s Word. In the inside, the 10 commandments, and on the outside, the Torah. The people crossed passing the ark of the covenant – they passed before God’s law.
Joshua Chapter 4
This chapter is titled in my Bible as “The Memorial Stones.”
God told Joshua and His people to take 12 stones, one for every tribe, from the Jordan and make a memorial where they were lodging (Joshua 4:2-3).
He told them that this would be a “sign among you when your children ask in time to come…’What do these stones mean to you.’“
And that they would answer them “that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.”
It was a reminder that He kept His promises, and that He will continue keeping His promises into the future.
Sometimes, we forget fairly quickly how God supplies our needs and delivers us. (Psalm 119:16, 83, 93, 109).
👉🏻And this is a good lesson for us. How can we have His faithfulness visible for us to see, our future/current children, or our neighbors/visitors?
I never thought to have God’s Word hanging or placing a visible bible verse in my future home. But now, I definitely want to have His Word somewhere -or in multiple places- in our future home.
I want this to remind us and for others to see that our home serves the Lord and of His faithfulness to us.
Joshua Chapter 5
Remember this is a brief summary of the book of Joshua so I may not touch on every chapter. I will do my best!
Joshua Chapter 5 talks about the circumcision of some of the Israelites.
👉🏻The spiritual dimension of circumcision is that of the heart. This means being sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit and cutting away of the carnal nature.
👉🏻In other words, not living by the flesh, but by the Spirit.
See these verses: Deuteronomy 10:16 (Moses talks about the circumcision of the heart). Romans 2:29. Colossians 2:11.
Why study the Old Testament?
This may deserve its own blog post/video, but I will just mention it briefly here…
One bible verse addresses this question: 1 Corinthians 10:11. Hover over to read it!
The OT teaches us more about who God is and biblical lessons, which we’ve been seeing all along throughout this bible study on the book of Joshua. 😉
And I keep mentioning how the book of Joshua and our Christian walk go hand in hand.
Well, Joshua and the Promised Land are a symbolic representation of what is to come for us as we go into our promised land with our “Joshua” (Jesus).
Ok, back to our study on Chapter 5.
Now, let’s look at Joshua 5:13. Here Joshua asks the commander of the army of the Lord, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” Any guesses on who said something similar?
Jesus did! See Matthew 12:30! (hover over the verse to see it)
Are you wondering how I color code my Bible? I use my bible highlighting guide, here it is in case you want it, too!
Bible study on Joshua 6: The Destruction of Jericho
The walls of Jericho stood as an obstacle to the Promised Land for God’s people.
Could there be “walls” that stand as an obstacle to having a closer relationship with God, hindering our entrance into the Promised Land?
Do you want to have victory?
👉🏻If we want to have victory over these walls, we need to pour out our hearts to Jesus.
We need to share our sins, our struggles, our joys with Him regularly.
He can do miracles!
However, if we are living separated from His Word, we miss out on His blessings+miracles!
👉🏻If we struggle to obey Him, we have to tell Him and ask for His help! He is wanting+willing to help us!
👉🏻And we need to make a decision to be ALL IN for Jesus…DAILY!
Don’t forget He is loving and merciful!
See Isaiah 65:24 and 2 Peter 3:9.
Joshua Chapter 7: The defeat at Ai and the sin of Achan
A quick summary of Joshua 7. Joshua sent men to attack Ai, but they were defeated. Joshua started interceding in prayer for the people to see what was going on.
God had promised that they would have victory! Why didn’t they have victory over Ai?
God tells Joshua that “Israel has sinned” because “they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.” And that they needed to remove these things from among them.
The next day, Joshua narrowed the ‘perpetrator’ by tribe, by family, by household until they got to Achan.
The life lessons from God:
The people of God are a collective group, a body. The Lord’s prayer says: “give us” “forgive us” “lead us” “deliver us” (See Matthew 6:9-13). God told Joshua that “Israel had sinned” and “they had.” He never said “Achan did it” which tells us that…
👉🏻Our actions/choices can react with blessings or curses on others. We always have to think how can our choices affect God and His church.
👉🏻The next biblical lesson here is that we think we are hiding things, but the Bible tells us different!
“…all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him…” Hebrews 4:13.
“…your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23.
“…nothing covered that will not be revealed…” Luke 12:2-3.
👉🏻There is no such thing as secret sins. We have to reflect: are we more concerned with how God sees us or how others see us?
👉🏻God is clear. He can’t be with us when we are holding on to “accursed” things. And when He isn’t with us, we can’t have victory!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37.
👉🏻If we want God to be with us, we need to relinquish those things that keep us from Him. Remember: we are His children, His creation, His temple.
👉🏻Something to ponder: Have we allowed anything in our church or in our home which is keeping us from victory?
Bible study on Joshua 9
Brief summary of the book of Joshua chapter 9:
The Gibeonites knew about God’s people conquering Jericho and Ai. And “they worked craftily and pretended to be ambassadors” (Joshua 9:3).
So, they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their feet and old garment on themselves, and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy (Joshua 9:4-5).
The Gibeonites told Joshua that they had come from afar (Joshua 9:9), which wasn’t true – they lived nearby!
They knew they were next to be defeated and this was how they pleaded for mercy!
However, God’s people didn’t seek counsel from the Lord on this. Joshua made peace with the Gibeonites and made a covenant with them to let them live (Joshua 9:14-15).
Life lessons from the Bible, and parallels with Jesus and salvation:
- The Gibeonites represent the lost who know they are lost. Like us, they present themselves with filthy garments. Zechariah 3:4, Isaiah 64:6.
- Jesus didn’t turn away anyone who thought they were too bad, but people were rejected who thought themselves too good. See the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14.
- They were allowed to live after finding out their deception. The rulers said: “Let them live” (Joshua 9:21) — the gospel is about eternal life.
- They were able to live with them and were given jobs amongst God’s people: woodcutters for the fire and water carriers. What is interesting here is that it represents the essence of the gospel: John 3:5 = Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
- Recall that at Pentecost (Acts 2), the Spirit descended as of fire.
- And the Gibeonites continued serving alongside God’s people = you can read about them in Nehemiah 3, helping to build Jerusalem.
👉🏻We are accepted as God’s people and just like we serve God now, we will continue to serve God in heaven. See Revelation 7:15.
Now, don’t see this as a chore or think about it in how we view the word “servant” now-a-days.
Isaiah 55 says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.”
See Psalm 84:10.
👉🏻Are you looking forward to those days we can serve God free of…. sin, worries, health issues, sadness, etc….? I know I am!
Joshua 10: More parallels with Jesus and salvation
This one will be brief, but I hope you can see the parallels:
1. Joshua 10:6 says, “…come up to us quickly, save us and help us”
This is our prayer to Jesus now!
2. Joshua 10:9 says, “Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly”
Jesus is coming suddenly – see Mark 13:36.
3. Joshua 10:11 says, “…that the Lord case down large hailstones”
Hail will come down from heaven nearing His coming – see Revelation 16:21, Job 38:22.
4. Joshua 10:12 says, “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon”
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars that tell us He is coming! See Luke 21:25, Revelation 12.
Bible study on Joshua 24
In Joshua 24, we read Joshua’s last words to God’s people.
He is telling them to choose whom they will serve.
👉🏻Serving God is a choice! This means…
- Getting earlier than normal to read our Bibles first thing…that’s a choice for God.
- Putting things off on our to do list and get behind bc of prioritizing bible study…that’s a choice for God.
- Lending someone a hand when it inconveniences us…that’s a choice for God.
- If instead of being fearful of the unknown and worrying, we begin to meditate on God’s goodness and faithfulness…that’s a choice for God.
- Rebuking the negative thoughts about God…that’s a choice for God.
👉🏻So, throughout your day, see where you can choose God!
Concluding thoughts on this bible study on the book of Joshua:
I guess you can say after this bible study on Joshua that it is a biblical story with many moral lessons!
I feel so sad that many people don’t really put much emphasis on the book of Joshua…. Some people see it as only a children’s story, but as we saw, it is more than that! Not only does it have life lessons from God, but it has parallels with the life of Jesus!
Did you enjoy it as much as I did?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!
Other bible study blog posts:
Lessons from a hypocrite: an example
How to use color coding to study the Bible