The book of Joshua is a book of new things: it features a new leader, a new generation of Israel, and a new land. Following their deliverance from Egypt under Moses, that generation of Israel did not trust God to deliver the promised land to them (Num 13-14; Deut 1). Their disbelief led to forty years in the wilderness, where they and Moses died (Deut 2, 34). Now under Joshua, the Lord gives Israel a new opportunity to enter into their inheritance.
Joshua tells the story of their entry, under Joshua, into the land God had promised Abraham and their ancestors. Joshua tells the story of real people, in real places, facing real problems. But the supreme theme, as ever in Scripture, is God: the goodness, graciousness and faithfulness of God; how God asks for and expects obedience; how God deals with less than perfect people who disobey, behave badly and fail to trust Him; how God keeps His promises; how God has the power to do the impossible.
Our stories may seem to have a very different context, but perhaps they are more similar than we think. For God is a God of new things, and is always offering us new beginnings. Our route to these new things is the same as it was for Israel: will we trust the Lord and obey Him, and so enter into all the good things that He promises us? Or will we doubt and disobey? But as with Israel, so too with our stories: our doubts and disobedience are not the defining features, instead it is the goodness, graciousness and faithfulness of God.
There are ten individual studies in this series. Not all chapters of Joshua will be studied. It would be beneficial for the group to read the whole of Joshua. It is possible to read the whole book in about one and a half hours.