I have been studying the book of Joshua again and reflecting on names. There is great beauty just below the surface of Scripture and today I’ve been mulling over one such example as I looked at the meaning behind a few names.
Here are the small gems of today (in the giant treasure trove of Scripture) so that you can reflect on them too:
Joshua is the man who led the Israelites into the Promised Land, into the physical land of Israel (Joshua 1). His name was originally Hoshea, or Oshea, which means “deliverer”. Given that he led the conquest this sounds appropriate, but Moses did not think so. Moses changed his name to Joshua (Numbers 13:16), which means “Jehovah saved” or “Yahweh delivered”.
Isn’t that beautiful? It wasn’t by his strength that Joshua took the land, but by God’s power and might.
Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:43-45)
The treasure does not stop there. The Greek form of Joshua is Jesus! So just as Joshua led the people into the physical land of promise, Jesus is the way into the spiritual land of promise. Jesus is our redeemer. He is the One who saves and gives life. He will bring His people into lasting spiritual rest.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? . . . Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.“ (John 14:1-2,6)
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:8-11)
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:12-13)