Joshua - Faithful Follower of God

Discover the secret to Joshua's successful leadership

Joshua in the Bible
Ai is Taken by Joshua by James Tissot. SuperStock / Getty Images

Joshua in the Bible began life in Egypt as a slave, under cruel Egyptian taskmasters, but he rose to become what of the greatest leaders of Israel through faithful obedience to God. As successor to Moses, Joshua led the people of Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan.

Joshua in the Bible

  • Known for: After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of Israel, successfully directing the Israelite army in its conquest of the Promised Land. He also served as an Old Testament type of Christ.
  • Bible References: Joshua is mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 17, 24, 32, 33; Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges 1:1-2:23; 1 Samuel 6:14-18; 1 Chronicles 7:27; Nehemiah 8:17; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:7-9.
  • Hometown: Joshua was born in Egypt, probably in the area named Goshen, in the northeast Nile delta. He was born a slave, like his fellow Hebrews.
  • Occupation: Egyptian slave, personal assistant of Moses, military commander, leader of Israel.
  • Father: Joshua’s father was Nun from the tribe of Ephraim.
  • Spouse: The Bible makes no mention of Joshua having a wife or children, another indication that Joshua represents a type of Christ.

Moses gave Hosea son of Nun his new name: Joshua (Yeshua in Hebrew), which means "the Lord is Salvation" or "Yahweh saves." This name selection was the first indicator that Joshua was a "type," or picture, of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Moses also gave the name as an acknowledgment that all Joshua's future victories would depend on God fighting the battle for him.

When Moses sent 12 spies to scout the land of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, believed the Israelites could conquer the land with God's help. Angry, God sent the Jews to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that unfaithful generation died. Of those spies, only Joshua and Caleb survived.

Before the Jews entered Canaan, Moses died and Joshua became his successor. Spies were sent into Jericho. Rahab, a prostitute, sheltered them and then helped them escape. They swore to protect Rahab and her family when their army invaded. To enter the land, the Jews had to cross the flooded Jordan River. When the priests and Levites carried the Ark of the Covenant into the river, the water stopped flowing. This miracle mirrored the one God had performed at the Red Sea.

The crossing of the Red Sea.
Painting. The crossing of the Red Sea. Pascal Deloche / Getty Images

Joshua followed God's strange instructions for the battle of Jericho. For six days the army marched around the city. On the seventh day, they marched seven times, shouted, and the walls fell down flat. The Israelites swarmed in, killing every living thing except Rahab and her family.

Because Joshua was obedient, God performed another miracle at the battle of Gibeon. He made the sun stand still in the sky for an entire day so the Israelites could wipe out their enemies completely.

Under Joshua's godly leadership, the Israelites conquered the land of Canaan. Joshua assigned a portion to each of the 12 tribes. Joshua died at the age of 110 and was buried at Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim.

Accomplishments of Joshua in the Bible

During the 40 years the Jewish people wandered in the wilderness, Joshua served as a faithful aide to Moses. Of 12 spies sent to scout out Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb had confidence in God, and only those two survived the desert ordeal to enter the Promised Land. Against overwhelming odds, Joshua led the Israelite army in its conquest of the Promised Land. He apportioned the land to the tribes and governed them for a time. Without a doubt, Joshua's greatest accomplishment in life was his unwavering loyalty and faith in God.

Some Bible scholars view Joshua as an Old Testament representation, or foreshadowing, of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. What Moses (who represented the law) was unable to do, Joshua (Yeshua) achieved when he successfully led the people of God out of the desert to conquer their enemies and enter the Promised Land. His accomplishments point to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross—the defeat of God's enemy, Satan, the setting free of all believers from captivity to sin, and the opening of the way into the "Promised Land" of eternity.


While serving Moses, Joshua was also an attentive student, learning much from the great leader. Joshua showed tremendous courage, despite the huge responsibility assigned to him. He was a brilliant military commander. Joshua prospered because he trusted God with every aspect of his life.

Moses And Joshua Before The Tabernacle
Moses and Joshua before the Tabernacle, ca 1896-1902. Found in the Collection of Jewish Museum, New York. Artist Tissot, James Jacques Joseph (1836-1902). Fine Art Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images


Before battle, Joshua always consulted God. Unfortunately, he did not do so when the people of Gibeon entered into a deceptive peace treaty with Israel. God had forbidden Israel to make treaties with any people in Canaan. If Joshua had sought God's guidance first, he would not have made this mistake.

Life Lessons

Obedience, faith, and dependence on God made Joshua one of Israel's strongest leaders. He provided a bold example for us to follow. Like us, Joshua was often besieged by other voices, but he chose to follow God, and he did it faithfully. Joshua took seriously the Ten Commandments and ordered the people of Israel to live by them as well.

Even though Joshua was not perfect, he proved that a life of obedience to God bears great rewards. Sin always has consequences. If we live according to God's Word, like Joshua, we will receive God's blessings.

Key Bible Verses

Joshua 1:7
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." (NIV)

Joshua 4:14
That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses. (NIV)

Joshua 10:13-14
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! (NIV)

Joshua 24:23-24
"Now then," said Joshua, "throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel." And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the Lord our God and obey him." (NIV)

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Your Citation
Zavada, Jack. "Joshua - Faithful Follower of God." Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, Zavada, Jack. (2020, August 26). Joshua - Faithful Follower of God. Retrieved from Zavada, Jack. "Joshua - Faithful Follower of God." Learn Religions. (accessed March 21, 2023).