Can we count on God to keep his promises?

Thousands of years ago God promised Abraham, "I will make you into a great nation" (Ge 12:2). "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates" (Ge 15:18). These same promises were renewed with each generation of Abraham's descendants, but hundreds of years passed and his children still had no land to call their own. Even worse, they lived as slaves for four hundred years and wandered in the desert forty years after that. They hardly qualified as a great nation!

The book of Joshua is the story of God making good on his promises. It tells how Israel entered and conquered the land God had promised them. In fact, God's faithfulness is so complete that at the end of the book we hear this proclamation: "You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed" (Jos 23:14).

Can we count on God to keep his promises? The answer from Joshua is a resounding yes! God is utterly dependable, and we can trust him completely. Joshua is a book for those whose prayers seem to go unanswered, for those who wonder if God is really alive and active, and for those who desire fresh assurance of God's dependability.

Joshua is also a fast-paced book. In it we share the excitement of the Israelites, who through God's power saw a river dry up and a city wall tumble. We watch them face overwhelming odds and emerge victorious.

The book of Joshua picks up the story of Israel's history after the death of Moses and carries it through the entry, conquest and division of the Promised Land. The events recorded began around 1406 B.C. and ended about twenty-four years later.

Although the author of the book is not identified, the traditional view is that it was written by Joshua himself, with a few additions made by Eleazar or Phinehas (for example, the reference to Joshua's death in 24:29-30). However, some scholars believe that the book may have been written by a younger contemporary of Joshua, and still others think it was not written until the beginning of the monarchy by someone who had access to various records of the actual events.