God as Warrior in Joshua

What does Joshua teach us about God's character as a warrior for his people?

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Asking about how to learn or what to learn about God's character as a warrior for his people in the book of Joshua is an important question because from the beginning of the book, in chapter 1, we see God giving instructions to Joshua to prepare for the war and prepare the people for the war. Here we see God as the military leader, the commander-in-chief of the army, the marshal who lays out the strategies for his people. Not only this, we also see through the entire book and through the wars in which Joshua led the people, we see God's authority and sovereignty over the events. And we see that every step the people took was by an order and clear instruction from the Lord. So, not only did the Lord call Joshua to prepare the people, but he also was the one who laid out the plan and instructed the people on how to move. Additionally, we see the Lord himself fighting for his people. The Lord is the military leader, the warrior who leads his people in victory, because he has the mighty hand over all the events. Victory was related to the obedience of the people. When the people disobeyed the Lord — like what happened with Achan the son of Carmi — we see that there is punishment and condemnation because of disobedience. It's important to the Lord, as a fighting warrior, that his people be committed and consistent in their obedience, loyalty, and faithfulness to him. So, because God is the leader and Lord over events, victory is guaranteed, even if the people disobey, because the Lord corrects this disobedience. Once more, he comes to assert victory, and victory, as I said, is related to the obedience of the people and their faithfulness and loyalty to the Lord. The image of God's character as a mighty warrior is repeated in various places in the Bible. One of the best and most magnificent texts, or the most comprehensive text that shows the image of God as a warrior, is found in Revelation, the book of Revelation, when it talks about Christ who is sitting on a white horse. In his second coming, he is coming to launch a war against the ungodly, among either angels or human beings, and he will accomplish the victory he inaugurated on the cross, and he will provide this victory to all his faithful followers who faithfully obeyed his commands. As a result, because the Lord is a warrior, he is just, he never oppresses, and victory is always guaranteed through the Lord, because he is the military leader who puts strategies in place and accomplishes them by his mighty hand, which has the absolute authority.

Answer by Rev. Sherif Gendy

Rev. Sherif Gendy is Director of Arabic Production at Third Millennium Ministries.