Preliminary Thoughts on Preaching the Book of Joshua

Tuesday is for Preaching

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I’m working on a ten messages series from the book of Joshua.  Haven’t gotten to the Hebrew yet. Have just done some of the preliminary work.

  • read the text in two translations
  • finished a book chart
  • took note of major big picture issues (key chapters, key verses, key phrases)
  • noted all of the different names, titles, terms and metaphors for God in the book (20, by the way)
  • 12 chapters highlighting the settlement of the land
  • 12 chapters highlighting the division of the land to the tribes
  • started to grapple with the whole concept of “things devoted to destruction”
  • gotten a new picture of the seriousness of holiness to God

Tomorrow I will begin the process of trying to divide the whole into 10 preachable portions. (Not sure it can be done.) Later in the week I will begin to delve into the Hebrew of chapter one which I know will comprise one message.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep (too hot). So 1-2 AM, found me in the living room under a light with the cat at my feet, me reading chapter one.

Discovery: 10 commands in verses 6-9  (check Hebrew for verb forms)
–Be strong and courageous (6)
–Only be strong and courageous (7)
–Be careful to do all (7)
–Do not turn to the right or left (7)
–This book shall not depart from your mouth (8)
–You shall meditate on it day and night (8)
–Being careful to do it (8)
–Be strong and courageous (9)
–Do not be freighted (9)
–(do not be) dismayed (9)

Discovery: “Be strong and courageous” stated in five different ways/times by God to Joshua
Discovery: “Be strong and courageous” repeated by Israel to Joshua in verse 18
Oddity: Joshua doesn’t say it to the people in verses 10-15

Results (if they do the ten commands):

  1. They will inherit the land (6)
  2. They will have good success (7)
  3. They will make their way prosperous (8)  [Check all the Hebrew]

Promises of God’s presence: vs. 5, 9
God is giving the land to Israel: vs. 2-5, 11, 13, 15

Getting ahead of myself but … two outlines of content, not homiletical outlines.

Outline One: The Presence of God Creates Courage  (1:1-18)

  1. In Joshua 1: 10-15
  2. In Israel 1:16-18

Outline Two: The Presence of God Motivates Movement (even after great loss)

  1. 1:1-9       Moses is dead, but I am with you–Go.
  2. 1:10-15   Moses is dead, but God is with us–Go.
  3. 1:16-18   Moses is dead, only let God be with you as he was with Moses–We will go.

Can’t wait to dig into the book.

3 thoughts on “Preliminary Thoughts on Preaching the Book of Joshua

  1. Prof,

    Good to see how your process works! I’m happy to see that you are preaching through Joshua. It’s a great book, and it is sadly overlooked in by many preachers. You’re probably stacked for resources, but if you need any further material on the “herem” passages, I have a good article from an intensive Hebrew class I took this summer. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Matt, aren’t you supposed to be on vacation? Thanks for the input. I will take a look at your divisions.

      Myron, I’m just Marty now. Class is over. Would love to see what you have on the Herem.


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