The books of Joshua and Judges resemble different stretches of the same river. The Joshua stretch flows clear and strong. The people of Israel face challenges and experience solutions and victories. But the Judges stretch turns murky as the people create trouble by allowing the evil of the surrounding culture to pollute them. God is at work, though, in both stretches of river.In the Hebrew Scriptures, Joshua and Judges join the books of Samuel and Kings as 'former prophets'. As prophetic books, they aim to challenge, indict and inspire God's people. The authors drew from events of the past to challenge a later generation of God's people about the way to live before God, and they call us today to clear up our picture of God and then to adjust our lives accordingly.
The Revd Dr Steven D Mathewson is Senior Pastor of Dry Creek Bible Church in Belgrade, Montana, USA and is an Instructor at Montana Bible College. He is the author of The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative (Baker/Paternoster, 2002). He has written numerous articles and has contributed notes to The Quest Study Bible (Zondervan, 1994).