Last Days Prophecy
Gospel Briefs of Deuteronomy and Joshua
Date written – 1350 B.C. Author – Moses
The word Deuteronomy means “Second law.” This is a speech given by Moses reminding them of the Laws GOD has given to them. The reason for this is because they are at the end of the 40 years and most of the people who rebelled in Numbers 14 had died. GOD promised that none of those who rebelled would make it to the Promised Land alive (14:20-25). Now their children were about to go into the Promised Land and Moses wants them to remember all the things GOD had commanded their fathers. What is interesting is that as Moses talks about all the events of the past he says “you did this” and “you did that” but it was their parents who had done all those things. Moses is identifying the children with their parents and warning them not to make the same mistakes their parents made, which resulted in their death in the wilderness. Deuteronomy ends with the death of Moses and the stage has been set for the Hebrews to enter the promised land in the next book, Joshua.
In the Book of Deuteronomy Moses writes a series of speeches to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab on the day before they entered the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. These speeches are for every member of the congregation of Israel, not just the religious. The purpose of Moses was to remind them of GOD’S law, and everything that GOD had done for them, and every Promise GOD made to them. Moses told them that their new life in the land of Canaan would be blessed OR cursed, depending on whether they walked after GOD and His law or not. These words were spoken to them on the 11th month of the final year of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, 40 years after they left Egypt.
In Moses’ first speech (1:1-4:43), Moses warns the people of Israel about the sins that had kept their fathers from entering the Promised Land. He continually encouraged them to obey GOD and reminds them about the events that took place in the 40 years of their wandering in the wilderness. He explained what happens when there are difficult situations and they choose NOT to trust the LORD, but instead act in stubbornness, doubt, fear and disobedience.
Moses’ second speech (4:44-26:19) goes into the details about the Law. It really is the main message here that Moses gives them, the first speech was more of an introduction and preparation for this message. It deals mainly with the legal aspects of the Law, moral, civil, and ceremonial. #1. It deals first with the 10 Commandments (Deut.5-11) and #2. the details behind GOD’S Law with an emphasis on following GOD’S statutes, religious ordinances, and living with one another as the people of GOD (Chapters 12-26).
Moses’ third speech (27:1-31:30) is mainly a message about the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Moses primarily directs his message to the elders, the priests, the Levites, and all the leaders who are responsible to carry out the ceremonies. The place chosen for the ceremonies was a spot in the center of the land of Israel where the first altar to God had been erected. Once they had crossed over the Jordan River, they were commanded to set up great stones on Mount Ebal, with the Law of GOD inscribed and to build a great altar. The 12 tribes of Israel were to be divided between the two hills. Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin were to gather themselves on Mt. Gerizim to recite the blessings which GOD promised them if they would obey Him. Across on Mt. Ebal, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali were to speak the curses which GOD had promised them if they were to disobey Him.
Moses finished his sermons and encouraged the people to follow Joshua, their new leader, to cross the Jordan and to take the land which had been promised to their father Abraham. Moses wrote down the Law in a book, gave it to the priests, who were to keep it as a perpetual reminder for the people of Israel (31:9-13). They were to read it every seventh year when the people assembled for the feast of Tabernacles.
God told Moses and Joshua to come before Him at the tabernacle and He told them of the future infidelity of the children of Israel and instructed Moses to leave the people a song as a witness against them which they were to learn. This song of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy 32 and it speaks about the blessings which GOD has bestowed on His people and the corrupt ways in which they responded to those blessings. Deuteronomy 33 speaks about Moses' blessing on the people and Deuteronomy 34 records a brief account of the death of Moses, the great leader of Israel.
Summary of the Book of Deuteronomy
(1). The First Address of Moses
Historical overview (Deut.1:6-3)
Appeal for commitment to GOD (Deut.4)
(2). The Second Address of Moses
GOD’S covenant with Israel (Deut.5:1-21)
A Message about the First Commandment (Deut.6-9:6)
A Survey of the Laws Given on Mount Sinai (Deut.9:7-10:11)
Reminders of GOD’S Laws (Deut.10:12-11)
(3). The Laws of GOD
Giving in to Idolatry (Deu.13)
Acceptable and Forbidden Foods (Deut.14:3-21)
Year of Release (Deut.15:1-11)
Releasing Slaves (Deut.15:12-18)
Firstlings of Cattle and Sheep (Deut.15:19-23)
Yearly Pilgrimage Feasts and Festivals (Deut.16:1-17)
Leaders of the Nation (Deut.16:18-28:22)
Right of Asylum (Deu.19)
Conduct of War (Deut.20; 21:10-14, 23:9-14)
Marriage and Family Life (Deut.21, 22, 24:1-4, 25:5-10)
Certain Humanitarian Regulations (Deut.21, 22, 24, 25)
Blessings and Curses on the People (Deut.27)
Results of Observance and Neglect (Deut.28)
(4). The Last Days of Moses
Third Address (Deut.29-30)
Last Words and Acts of Moses (Deut.31-33)
Death and Burial of Moses (Deut.34)
Date written - 1250 B.C. Author - Joshua
Here the people finally get to be in the Promised Land! The Book of Joshua tells the story of the invasion and the many battles that GOD’S people fought to take over the land. One of the things that stands out in Joshua is that when the people were doing their best to obey GOD, GOD gave them success . . . but when the people were disobedient, they were defeated in battle. One problem in Joshua is that they didn’t fully obey GOD and they left some people in the land. That would come back to haunt them over and over again (See the Book of Judges).
Joshua leads the children of Israel to cross into the land (Josh. 1:1-5:12), they take it (Josh. 5:13-12:24); he divides it among the tribes (Josh. 13-22) and challenges them to obey and serve the LORD (Josh. 23-24).
After Moses dies, the LORD commissions Joshua to cross over the Jordan and lead His people into the Promised Land (Josh. 1:1-4). Promising victory, the LORD stresses that Joshua must consider the book of instruction given by Moses (Josh. 1:7-8). Joshua sends two spies into the first city, Jericho, and learns that “everyone who lives in the land is panicking” because of the them (Josh. 2:9). Reminiscent of the Red Sea some forty years earlier, the Israelites experience the Jordan River miraculously part and they are able to cross over on dry ground (Josh. 3:16-17).
After circumcising the men and celebrating Passover (Josh. 5:1-12), it is time to take the land. Joshua has an encounter with the LORD and he realizes that it would be GOD who will be the one to fight the battles (Josh. 5:13-15), which begins with the miraculous defeat of Jericho (Josh. 6). Following the LORD often became a problem for the Israelites, and this group is no different. Achan defies GOD’S command to commit all the plunder to Him (Josh. 6:18-19) by stealing some of it for himself and hiding it in his tent (Josh. 7). His severe judgement is a reminder that all sin, whether that of the Canaanite or the Israelite, will be dealt with properly. Numerous battles are won and the land is secured (Josh. 10-12).
Joshua divides the land as the LORD commanded, specifying boundaries and borders in chapters 13-22. To conclude, before Joshua dies, he pleads to the people, warning them and cautioning them to stay faithful to the LORD and avoid idolatry: Joshua 24:23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. (KJV)
The book of Joshua was written to teach us about the faithfulness of GOD and that He is able to give His people the victory when they trust in Him. It also shows us how severe His judgement is upon sin and disobedience.
The promise given to Abraham in Genesis 17:8 that His descendants would inherit Canaan has finally been fulfilled! GOD is faithful! As Joshua and the people trusted in Him, the LORD fought their battles. This happened at Jericho, where the only thing the Israelites did was march, blow trumpets and trust GOD. They never drew a sword, never shot an arrow, never threw a punch. They simply obeyed GOD!!! GOD gave them the victory. GOD even stopped the sun to give Joshua more time to defeat the five Amorite kings (Josh. 10:12-14). For those that disobey and commit themselves to vile practices, they will surely be destroyed. That is why the LORD GOD destroyed the Canaanites (Lev. 18:24-25) and even some of the Israelites (Josh. 7:24-26). The Israelites were GOD’S tool to deal with the defilement that was present in Canaan. If they defiled the land, Joshua reminds them, God would destroy them (Josh. 24:20).
Consider the following in the Book of Joshua
- GOD fulfills ALL His Promises.
- GOD had promised Abraham’s descendants that they would inherit the land of Canaan (Gen. 17:8). The Book of Joshua gloriously documents this Promise being fulfilled against all odds. From Abraham’s deception (Gen. 12:10-20), to the golden calf incident in the wilderness (Ex. 32), to the thievery and disobedience of Achan (Josh. 7), etc., GOD still kept His Covenant and gave the land to His people, in spite of their failures.
- GOD always fights for His people.
- The Book of Joshua is a Book of War. A few battles are documented, most are not. When the people trusted and obeyed, GOD fought their battles (Josh. 10:42). What seemed impossible a generation earlier, was now taking place: victory came for Joshua’s people. It was GOD who caused the walls of Jericho to fall (Josh. 6:1-21), It was GOD Who gave Joshua the winning strategy (Josh. 8:1), and it was GOD Who stopped the sun for Joshua to have more time (Josh. 10:12-13).
- Sin is always judged.
In Joshua Chapter 7, Achan’s sin caused GOD’S blessing upon the Israelites to be withheld in their following battle against the city of Ai, and the Israelites “were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them” (Josh.7:4-5). Thirty-six innocent men died because of Achan’s sin. He stole what was “an accursed thing,” thus bringing destruction on others. GOD explained to Joshua, “That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction” (Josh.7:12; 22:20). We are fools if we think that our sin affects only us. Disobedience often brings ruin even upon the innocent. Sin’s effects go far beyond the guilty sinner, sometimes haunting the sinner for years.
And too, the gold and silver Achan stole was stolen from GOD Himself. The precious metals were to be added to the treasury of the LORD, and when he stole them, Achan robbed GOD. Achan’s disobedience was also an insult to GOD’S holiness and His right to command His people in the manner He sees fit. Yet, GOD gave Achan a night to consider his sin and come to Him in repentance (Josh.7:13) . . . but, Achan did NOT take advantage of GOD’S mercy and patience. The gold and silver Achan coveted won out over his loyalty to GOD!
Joshua 7:24-25 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. (KJV)
Big question??? Why did God destroy Achan’s family? The Bible does not give us GOD’S reason for destroying Achan’s family, maybe Proverbs has the answer: Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. (KJV) Proverbs 15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. (KJV)
Quite possibly it was an object lesson to the rest of the nation, a lesson they learned after Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16) but which needed to be reinforced. Maybe Achan’s children had already begun to exhibit their father’s traits of covetousness, disobedience, and disrespect for GOD’S commands, and maybe they even helped Achan hide the things and were accomplices to the crime. We do not know. Only GOD knows!
There is no way for us to know all of GOD’S reasons for what seems to us His harsh punishment of Achan and his family. GOD does not always explain His reasoning to us, nor should He have to. The story of Achan and many other Bible stories give us more than adequate information to understand that GOD is Holy and that He is NOT to be disobeyed without risking disastrous penalties.
Serve the LORD.
In the very first verse of the first chapter, Moses, who has died, is described as “the LORD’S servant”. Joshua was Moses’ assistant, and is now commissioned as the new leader of the Israelites; he is GOD’S new servant, called to stay close to the LORD by meditating upon GOD’S Word. The Book ends with Joshua calling together all the people and urging them to choose whether or not they will serve the LORD. He vows his allegiance to GOD and firmly warns them about how easy it is to fall into idolatry.
How does this relate to us today?
We must remember that GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD! He raised up a nation from one man and brought them into their own land. His Promise to Abraham in Genesis was fulfilled in the Book of Joshua. We can trust Him; we can trust His written word and we can trust that He will complete the work that He has begun in us (Phil.1:6). God was/is patient and long-suffering. Along the way, there were many occasions of sin and failure, yet GOD’S Plan and Promise was in due course fulfilled.
In this short time we have here on Earth, we will have many battles. They will not necessarily be physical battles but we shall have times of intense conflict and struggle . . . physical and spiritual! In these times, we must remember Joshua and his trust in the LORD, as the walls of Jericho tumbled down amidst the shouts of GOD’S people (Josh. 6:20). GOD is able and willing to fight our battles for us . . . but we need to trust Him and do what Joshua did: stay close to GOD and His Word, day and night, don’t be afraid, and be strong and courageous (Josh. 1:8-9). GOD takes sin VERY seriously; and it comes with a high price tag, as Achan learned (Josh. 7). After all, the reason that the Canaanites were being defeated by God is because of their evil practices (Lev.18:24-25). We must fear (reverence) the LORD and NOT have a casual attitude toward sin. Dear one, SIN breaks our relationship with GOD. We can rejoice that we can find forgiveness when we turn to the LORD God and enter into a relationship with Him and His people, like Rahab (Josh. 6:17) and the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:24-27).
We are faced with a choice. We can serve the Lord, as Joshua and his family did (Josh. 24:15), or we can serve gods of our own choosing (fame, pleasure, prestige, power, wealth, etc.), as most of the Israelites eventually did (Judg.2:2). We must make is this choice daily. Choosing to serve the LORD means that we are choosing to meditate on His word, obey Him with our choices, and honor Him with our lives.
Seven things that will help you meditate on GOD’S Word:
- A quiet place and a place free from distractions.
- As you pray, and ask GOD to search your heart.
- To get into GOD’S Presence, praise, honor and worship Him.
- Read GOD’S Word and deeply consider what you are reading.
- Apply what you read in GOD’S Word, to your life.
- Allow the Word to renew your mind.
- Always thank the LORD for any and all blessings you receive from Him.
Is the Gospel in the Old Testament?
YES! It certainly is!
The GOSPEL is in the Old Testament
The Bible Helps us Better Understand GOD
Gospel Briefs in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers
Gospel Briefs in Deuteronomy and Joshua
Gospel Briefs in Judges and Ruth
Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings
Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Chronicles and Ezra
Gospel Briefs in Nehemiah and Esther
Gospel Briefs in Job and Psalms
Gospel Briefs in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song
Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 1-33
Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 34-66
Gospel Briefs in Jeremiah and Lamantations
Gospel Briefs in Ezekiel and Daniel
Gospel Briefs in Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah and Jonah
Gospel Briefs in Micah, Nahum, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah
Gospel Briefs in Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
The GOSPEL IS in the OLD Testament
The Gospel IS in Exodus Chapter 12
The Gospel IS in Isaiah Chapter 53
The Gospel IS in Psalm 90
The Gospel For the Jews IS in the Old Testament
The Gospel IS in Many Places in OT, Many rolls of JESUS!
The Gospel, Special Comments to OT Books
The Gospel, WHAT Does GOD want From YOU?
The Gospel, Which Is the Truth of the Gospel?