For 40-plus years God used ten core laws, peculiar ceremonies, stern warnings, and divine retribution to drag his children through the wilderness and into the promised land. Under Moses the deal was, “You obey me, and I will be there for you. You don’t obey me, and you will have hell to pay.” It was the standard agreement. But something changed with Joshua. On a hallowed plain between sacred hills, Joshua restated the agreement between God and his people. It was different this time and signaled a covenant shift. God was done with the children of Israel. He wanted faithful grown-ups. With the trumpets of Jericho fading from their memories and the real estate parceled out, Joshua gave people permission to go their own way if they wanted to. He spoke only for himself and tilted the covenant away from compliance toward commitment.
“If serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Joshua lived up to his own name. He didn’t dictate terms. He delivered on promises. In Hebrew his name is Yeshua. In Greek his name is Yesous. In English his name is Jesus. And it means, “God delivers.” Joshua set the example and committed himself to the promise of a namesake who would come to deliver all people from their sins.