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Joshua Introduction

The books of Joshua and Judges present the early years of the nation of Israel. The Israelites had become a great number of people. They were divided into 12 groups or tribes. The book of Joshua tells how the tribes of Israel prepared to fight the people living in Canaan. It tells about the battles they win and lose. As the Israelites win their battles, they take over the land. Then the land is divided among the 12 tribes. And the Israelites make their homes in their new land.
But living in the land of Canaan isn’t easy for the Israelites. Their neighbors don’t know or love the one true God. The Israelites struggle with the way God wants them to live. Their leader, Joshua, asks the Israelites to promise to follow the way of life God taught them.
This story continues in the book of Judges. It tells the stories of 12 judges who lead the 12 tribes of Israel. And it tells about Israel’s struggle to keep their agreement with God.
The Israelites do not obey God’s laws, rules, and commands. Because they disobey God, the Israelites are conquered by other nations. The Israelites must live under the rules and commands of other people. Then the Israelites call out to God for help. God hears their prayers. God brings a person called a judge to save them. The judge leads the Israelites back to God. And the Israelites say they will follow God’s way of life. They follow God’s commands for a while. But then the Israelites forget their agreement with God and they forget his commands. So their problems begin all over again.
The Israelites continue to go their own way. They say no to God who is their true judge and ruler. As they continue to disobey God’s commands, their need for a king become clear. As the book of Judges ends, there are some important questions. Can Israel accomplish its calling to be God’s light to the nations around it? How can Israel find a good leader to help them do this?

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Joshua Introduction: NIrV





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