The book of Joshua tells how the Israelites capture the rest of the land of Canaan—the land God had promised to their ancestor Abraham.
Joshua succeeds Moses as the leader of Israel. Like Moses, he tells the people what God wants them to do. In the course of the military campaign, the Israelites discover that victory depends on obeying God.
When they obey God, they are successful. When they try to fight in their own strength, they fail.
The hero of the book is Joshua, whose name means ‘The Lord Saves’! This is the same name as ‘Jesus’ in the New Testament. Joshua is a worthy successor to Moses, listening to God and leading the people in much the same way.
He has a difficult task, because the land of Canaan cannot be conquered by military might. It can only be captured through a venture of faith. The disobedience of even a single person can lead to disaster for everyone. Above all, there is to be no compromise with the pagan nations who live in Canaan, or their gross fertility gods.
At the end of his life, Joshua commits himself and his family to obey God—and challenges all the tribes of Israel to do the same.