In my last series on Where’s Jesus I worked through Genesis and Exodus. I was extremely blessed in my own reflections upon how the work of Christ was foreshadowed or hinted at in the Word of God. This time I would like to work through the books of Joshua and Judges.
As a book title, Joshua means The Lord saves. So we would expect the stories contained within this historical book to enlighten us on what salvation is and we will not be disappointed. But like all the previous posts in this series, the physical salvations the Israelites experience are simply precursors to the great salvation that humanity would experience in Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:21 we are told who and what this great salvation will be:
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All the salvation stories in the Old Testament pale in comparison to this one of redemption from sin, but they serve to whet the appetite of longing. In the first nine verses God continues to work out his saving plan for Israel by preparing them to enter into the Promised Land and he does so with a great promise:
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)
In fact this promise to be with God is repeated again in verse 9. Here is the nugget of salvation which can be drawn forth from the Scriptures. God is planning a salvation for his people where his presence is never separated from them. He desires to personally lead them each day into victory. He wants to be their God and for them to be his people, a people who
obey all the law…[who] do not let this Book of the law depart from [their] mouth; [and] meditate on it day and night, so that [they] can be careful to do everything written in it. (Joshua 1:7-8)
As a Christian isn’t this our desire too? Don’t we want to be doers of the Law of God? Don’t we want to truly love our Lord and our neighbor? Don’t we want to meditate always upon the Lord’s love letter to us? Certainly, but we know that our experience of life doesn’t always seem so.
Well, the beauty of the gospel is that this is our experience in Christ. He has promised to be present in our lives through the power of the Spirit. He has promised to write his law on our hearts. And through the Spirit, uniting us to Christ, we are declared to be people who keep the Law. We keep the law not because of strict obedience, but because of Christ’s perfect obedience to the law and the truth that the Spirit will not lead us into anything contrary to what has already been revealed. What a wonderful salvation to enter into a kingdom that never ends. Truly The Lord Saves!
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
““This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33)
“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:6)