Chapter 10 will bring to a conclusion the southern conquest of Canaan. Joshua’s strategy in conquering Canaan was quite simple- make an initial, decisive thrust to the center of Canaan (Jericho and Ai, Gibeon), then turn to the south and destroy the southern cities (ch. 10), and finally turn to the north and destroy the northern cities (ch. 11ff).
As we conclude this morning our brief (5-part) study through the book of Joshua, we note that there are a number of significant differences between OT Israel and the NT church. Here at GBBC, we are dispensational in our theology, which means that as we study the Scriptures, we see that God did not interact with mankind in identical ways throughout history. God has a unique relationship with the NT church, compared to his relationship with OT Israel- the two entities, Israel and the church, are distinctly different. OT Israel was a covenantal, constitutional, theocratic state, fighting actual physical battles for their sovereign territory. Furthermore, as Israel walked in righteous obedience to God, they were promised material success and peace with surrounding nations- hence the many OT promises of peace and prosperity for obedient Jews.
The NT church is significantly different. We are not promised earthly peace and prosperity; the disciples of Jesus are not to pursue earthly wealth and comfort, but rather spiritual reward through fidelity to God. Furthermore, our lack of earthly peace, and ongoing spiritual conflict, constantly remind us that our true home is not here on this earth, but rather in the eternal and spiritual presence of God.
So while we understand the differences between OT Israel and the NT church, there are some similarities, which is why we study these OT texts. We are engaged in a great spiritual war, and the God who showed his power in a physical sense to Israel will demonstrate that same triumphant power in a spiritual sense on the behalf of his NT covenant people, the church. We observe these principles in two panels in our study this morning.