LESSON 44 – Joshua: A New Leader for Israel – Joshua 1-2


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LESSON 44 – Joshua: A New Leader for Israel – Joshua 1-2


The author of Joshua is not clearly identified, but Josh. 24:26 seems to indicate it was Joshua himself. It covers a 25 year period and describes the conquest and settlement of Canaan by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua and by the power of God. The three most important people in this book are Joshua, Caleb and Rahab.

  • Joshua 1
    • Why do you think that God has to tell Joshua that Moses is dead? (1:2. Because Moses died away from everyone and God buried him. The Israelites only knew that he was missing.)
    • What does God promise Joshua in 1:5,6? (That no one would be able to conquer Joshua for his whole life; Just like God was with Moses, He would be with Joshua, He will never leave Joshua or or forsake him.)
    • What specific things does God tell Joshua he is to do as the leader of Israel? (1:6-9 – be strong, courageous, be careful to obey God, don’t deviate from the law in any way so they can be successful and prosperous, don’t be discouraged, God is with him)
    • What commands does Joshua give the people in 1:10,11? (Get ready – in 3 days we’ll be crossing the Jordan River.) [Note: in verses 12-15 Joshua reminds the tribes of Reuben, Manasseh and Gad of their promise to cross over into Jordan and help in the fight. In previous passages in Numbers areas on the east of the Jordan were conquered and these regions would belong to those three tribes. In return for this they had to promise to help fight with the rest of the 12 tribes rather than start to settle in right away.]
    • What promise did the people make to Joshua? (1:10-18. We will do whatever you command. Just like we obey Moses, we’ll obey you. We’ll put to death those that don’t obey you. Only be strong and courageous.)
  • Joshua 2 – Joshua decides to send spies across the river to scope out the area, especially Jericho.
    • Who do they stay with? (vs 2 – a prostitute named Rahab) The king of Jericho finds out about the spies and sends a message to Rahab.
    • What does he say and how does she respond? (2:2-5. He tells her to hand over the spies. She lies and says that they are gone. She encourages the king to run after them and he might catch them.)
    • Where were the spies actually located? (on her roof hidden under stalks of flax) The king’s men ran out of the city in pursuit and the gates were shut.
    • What does Rahab know about God and the Israelites? (2:8-11. That their God was powerful and had given their land to the Jews. She knew that her country would fall before Almighty God. She had heard about all the things that had happened in Egypt and the miracles God had given them. She acknowledge the fears of the people at finding out about the complete annihilation of Sihon and Og. Their God was the God of heaven and earth. She recognized that the Lord was the One True God.)
    • What does she ask the spies to promise to do?  (2:12-13. Save her and her family when they take over the city. Give her a sure sign that her family would be saved.)
    • What do the spies tell her? (2:14. Since she had saved their lives, they would save hers.  If she would help them, they would see that she and her family would be kept safe.)
    • How did Rahab get them out of town? (15-16. Her house was located in the wall of the city. She let them out through a window of her house and down the wall. She told them to go into the hills, wait three days until the posse looking for them came back and then to go back across the river to Joshua.)
    • What did the spies give her and what was she to do with it? (2:17-20. A scarlet cord. She was to get all of her family into her house and let the cord out of the window, indicating where they were.  Those who left the house would die, but all who stayed with her would be protected. If she told the king about them, they would be released from their promise.) As soon as the spies left, Rahab tied the cord to the window, though it will be some time before the Israelites conquer Jericho.
    • What report did the spies give to Joshua when they got back? (2:22-24. That God had shown them that they would be victorious over Jericho and the whole land. People were melting with fear because of them.)


  • Why do you think the phrase “be strong and courageous is repeated 4 times in this chapter (it was also in the book of Deut.)? (possible answers:  The Israelites are going to war. They have reason to fear because of the giants and walled cities of Canaan. However, they are not to fear because God has promised to be with them. The people and Joshua need God’s encouragement as they embark on the conquest.) When the spies come to Jericho to look it over, they somehow come into contact with a woman named Rahab. We are not told how these men meet up with her, but we do see possibly why. It lies in her attitude towards the people of Israel. Review the things that she says about God and the people of God in 2:10-11.  The works of God are known to the king of Jericho and the other inhabitants as well.
  • How is Rahab’s attitude different than theirs?  (possible answers: she takes the stories seriously. She believes that she is going to die unless she turns to God. She has faith in the one true God and places her life into the hands of the spies.) Look up Mt. 1:5, Heb. 11:31 and James 2:25.
  • What do these passages reveal to us about Rahab? (She marries Salmon – possibly one of the spies – and becomes the great grandmother of David and as such is an ancestor of Jesus. Her faith in God was evidenced by her aiding the spies and keeping them from the king.) God honors Rahab in several ways for her faith. She becomes part of the line of Christ and her courage and faith are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments.
  • So, was it okay that Rahab lied to the king’s men when they came? Isn’t lying prohibited by the 10 Commandments? The king was asking Rahab to turn over the spies and if she trusted in God she could not do this.  It would be a breach of her faith. God commends her for saving the spies. How can we condemn her?  Peter and John do not obey the priests when they are told to stop telling about Jesus. In the same way, Rahab refuses to give over the spies.  We may not understand every part of this story, but we do know it is a beautiful picture of grace.  This pagan, sinful woman becomes part of Jesus’ family both literally and spiritually. And she in turn goes to her family and helps save them as well.  Are we reaching out to our family as Rahab did? Do you have unsaved family members? Then you need to be telling them about the love and salvation that Jesus gives, just like Rahab told her family about the scarlet thread. They each had to believe as well. If they weren’t in the room with Rahab when the walls fall, they will perish. Pray for family members today – that they would come to Christ. Pray that you could be a Rahab to them.

Digging Deeper

  1. The area of the Promised Land that is described in Joshua 1:4 is not the area conquered by Joshua or is it all in the part that Solomon controlled later at the height of the Jewish Empire. Israel never has occupied the all of the Promised Land that God gave them.  What is God’s plan for Israel? Are there some things that God won’t make good on in the Abrahamic Covenant because of their sin? Read Romans 11 and give a summary on how God will deal with the nation of Israel.
  2. Rahab humbled herself and turned to God. She also was concerned about her family. Do you have a Rahab-like faith and concern for your family? God honored her faith and saved her whole family. Are you concerned about the spiritual walk of your family members? How do you serve them and show them God’s love? Give 5 ways that you can grow in your love for your family. Are all of them believers? Remember, God honors the faith and concern for the salvation of our families. Discuss your relationship with your family, tell how you love them and end by giving the list of the ways you purpose to grow in your love for them.