Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Chapter one of Joshua is on the taking of the good land. What is the intrinsic significance of chapter two? Apparently chapter two is on the spying out of the good land, but this is a natural concept. The real intrinsic significance of chapter two is that God gains the right person to bring forth Christ.
In studying the history and the prophecies in the Old Testament, we need to consider the full scope of the Scriptures concerning God’s eternal economy. The Bible begins with God’s creation, and it ends with Christ as the hub of the great wheel and with the New Jerusalem as the rim to manifest the Triune God for eternity. God’s eternal economy, therefore, consists mainly of two things—Christ and His counterpart for the enlargement, the increase, and the spreading of Christ. This counterpart of Christ will ultimately consummate in the New Jerusalem as the full expression of the Triune God for eternity. The intrinsic significance of the book of Joshua is the taking of the land, which typifies our gaining of Christ, plus the gaining of the proper persons to bring forth Christ that Christ might be spread and increased.
Chapter one of Joshua is concerned with the gaining of Christ, and chapter two, with the spreading of Christ, with the bringing forth of Christ to others. For the gaining of Christ, we need to be today’s Joshua, fighting the battle, taking the land, and enjoying Christ as our inheritance. For the spreading of Christ, we need to be today’s Rahab. Thus, we need to be both a Joshua and a Rahab.
A number of Bible teachers have pointed out that chapter one of Joshua typifies chapter one of Ephesians. Joshua 1 shows us that everything was ready. Israel had been prepared through God’s dealing with them for several hundred years in Egypt and for forty years in the wilderness. Israel had become a corporate Joshua, chosen, called, redeemed, saved, trained, prepared, and qualified by God. There in the plains of Moab they did not have any land or inheritance. They were ready to go on with God as one to take the land of Canaan, which typifies the rich, all-inclusive Christ.
In Ephesians 1, which is typified by Joshua 1, we can see that everything has been finished and completed and that every blessing in Christ is there in the heavenlies, waiting for God’s chosen, redeemed, and perfected people to take and enjoy as their inheritance. According to this chapter, we have been chosen by God to partake of His holy nature and we have been predestinated by God to have His life in order to become His sons (vv. 4-5). Furthermore, Christ’s redemption has brought us into Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God to be the realm in which and the element by which we can be made God’s inheritance (vv. 7, 11). Having been redeemed and having been put into Christ as the realm and the element, we are daily being reconstituted and transformed by this element to be a treasure for God’s inheritance. As we take Christ and enjoy Him as our inheritance, we become God’s inheritance. In addition, we have the sealing and the pledging of the Spirit (vv. 13-14). The Spirit’s sealing is the Spirit’s soaking and saturating of us in order to transform us. The Spirit’s pledging is the guarantee that God is our inheritance. On the one hand, we are God’s inheritance, sealed by His Spirit; on the other hand, God is our inheritance, guaranteed by the pledging of the Spirit.
Ephesians chapter two indicates that in the heavenlies there are different layers. Christ is in the highest layer, the third heaven, to be our everything as our good land. But there is a lower layer of the heavenlies—the air, where Satan as the ruler of the authority of the air is frustrating the people on earth from contacting God and from receiving Christ (v. 2). This is typified by the Canaanites, who were frustrating Israel from entering into the good land.
Ephesians 2 also tells us that we were once dead persons (vv. 1, 5), but then God made us, the chosen Rahabs, the enjoyers of Christ. In Ephesians 1 we see Joshua, the believers in Christ receiving all the blessings in Christ. But in Ephesians 2 we see Rahab, all the sinners who were wicked, evil, and dead. Nevertheless, God can perform His dynamic salvation through the redemption of Christ to save such sinners, to make such Rahabs the enjoyers of Christ.
How could Rahab, a Gentile harlot who had sold herself to sin to the uttermost, become a member of the chosen people of God? How could she receive Christ and then bring forth Christ to others for His increase? There was no other way but through faith. Faith comes from the hearing of the gospel. Today people need to hear the good news concerning what God has done through the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. People need to hear that everything has been finished and completed and that the all-inclusive Christ is in the heavens for them to receive. However, Satan and his powers in the air try to frustrate them from receiving Christ. The only way this situation can be overcome is by faith. This was Rahab’s experience. She heard what God had done for Israel in Egypt and in the wilderness, and she heard how God had defeated Sihon and Og, two strong kings who were the gate guards of Canaan. She heard the good news, and then she believed in the very God of Israel, wanting to be one among His people.
When the two spies came to Jericho, Rahab contacted them and hid them from those who were seeking them. There must have been a good communication between the spies and Rahab, and through this communication she became harmonious with them for God’s economy. When she asked them to deal kindly with her father’s house and deliver their lives from death, the spies told her to tie a line of scarlet thread in the window. According to the spies’ word, she hung the scarlet thread from her window as a sign for the salvation of herself and her entire household, typifying the household salvation of Christ through His redemption by His blood. This is a strong indication that the history in the book of Joshua is related to God’s eternal economy concerning Christ in His salvation through redemption.
Eventually Rahab the harlot became one of the excellent, prominent ancestors of Christ. This Canaanite woman married Salmon, a leader of the tribe of Judah, and through her union with this Jewish leader she became a part of Israel and brought forth Boaz, the great-grandfather of David. What an honor it is that Rahab’s name is included in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1! This is a strong sign that the history recorded in Joshua is in line with God’s eternal economy concerning Christ.
Let us now consider chapter two of Joshua in more detail.
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