THE PROMISED LAND

The Conquest of Canaan

Because of his sin at Kadesh, Moses is not allowed to enter the land of Canaan, Numbers 20:1-12. God chooses Moses' assistant, Joshua, to lead the people in the conquest of the land, Numbers 27:12-23.

The Book of Joshua describes the campaigns by which the Canaanites were defeated, and the Israelites took the land which God had promised. This book contains such familiar events as Rahab hiding the spies (chapter 2); the destruction of Jericho (chapter 6); and the day the sun stood still (10:1-15). Throughout it all, it is abundantly clear that God is with His people, and that victory depends upon Him. By the time Joshua finished his work, we are told that Jehovah had fulfilled the promise of land which He had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (21:43-45; people who are looking for this promise to be fulfilled in our time are more than a little late!). Joshua's statement to the people, recorded in 24:15, is an encouragement to God-fearing people to this day. Joshua's name means "Jehovah saves." The New Testament version of this same name is "Jesus." Just as Joshua led God's people to the physical land of milk and honey, so Jesus leads God's spiritual people to the eternal land of abundance, peace, and joy, John 14:1-4.

The Period of Judges

This entire period is summarized in Judges 2:7-23. The judges include such well-known names as Gideon (Judges 6-8) and Samson (chapters 13-16). It is a dark time, because the people largely ignore God's law, and follow their own ideas of right and wrong, 21:25.