The book of Joshua describes Israel’s entrance into the land and the initial stages of its conquest. The repossession of the earth was to begin with the conquest of the land God promised to Abraham and his seed.
The outline of the book is set forth in the opening 9 verses of chapter one. God charges Joshua to bring Israel into the land, conquer it, divide it for an inheritance, and keep the covenant in the land. The book records Joshua doing these very four things.
Joshua knew God’s plan and purpose with Israel, as well as Satan’s plan of evil. As Israel entered the land, he reminded them of who they were in God’s plan and what the land was all about. Yet he knew that God’s kingdom would not be set up at this time. Therefore, Joshua placed the memorial stones in the Jordan River, marking the very place where the true “Joshua,” the Lord Jesus Christ, will likewise cross Jordan when He comes to conquer the land and establish the kingdom.
The final section of Joshua records the admonition and charge that Joshua gave Israel now that they were in the land. The special admonition was given in view of signs of rebelliousness that Joshua saw among the people. He reminded them that the curses of the Law contract were in store for them if they departed from the Lord. The Five Courses of Punishment set forth in Leviticus 26 would begin to come upon them if they did not cleave to the Lord.
Joshua exposed the inclination of their hearts by what he said. He also forced it into their consciences by charging them to “choose this day” which course they were going to pursue. In all this he allowed them to honestly see that seeds of rebelliousness were sown among them, that they were beginning to take root, and would soon grow. By making a covenant with them, he held them responsible for rooting out the apostasy before it could grow.
It is significant that the book of Joshua ends with these words. Because the rebellion Joshua feared took hold shortly after his death.