In the book of Judges, 2-3 million people crossed over the Jordan to an area a little larger than New Jersey. Two and a half of the 12 tribes had decided to stay on the east side of the Jordan as a place to settle, but they helped the other 9 and one half tribes to obtain access to the land that God had promised to them in Canaan.
Joshua was their leader to not only obtain settlement in the land that was inhabited by dangerous amoral ‘ites’, but also to apportion the land appropriately to each tribe. I had sort of skimmed through this book rather rapidly, but now am going back through it again because it really is more than an historical account. The book of Joshua is about leadership, in the ‘truth’ sense of the Word.
The great thing about Joshua is that he really leaned on God. The battle of Jericho is great example. Somebody should do a movie about every thing that lead up to the battle of Jericho and see how easily battles can be won when it is done God’s way. Whatever your thoughts on foreign policy, wouldn’t it be just great today, if people who call themselves leaders in world affairs, would understand Ephesians 6:12:
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Joshua understood who the enemy was. He had no illusions about his own abilities, he knew where his strength and wisdom came from. Read through chapters 3-6 to get all the juicy details.
As they were crossing over the Jordan to approach Jericho, we read in chapter 5:1:
5 And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.
People had heard about this group of people ahead of time and how God was with them. Their reputation had preceded them and they sure didn’t want to mess with them.