Tuesday, 25 May 2010
New Focus - Initial Thoughts On Joshua
Fratres: I have a great love of the Sacred Scriptures, where the will of God is communicated to men. The written word of God contains a fountain of heavenly wisdom, where Christ is proclaimed in both Testaments, and which is a rich source of inspiration for the faithful. It is my intention this year to delve into the sacred depths of the Bible, to renew and enrich my Catholic Faith. For someone who claims such love, my knowledge of the events and beautiful pearls found within is severely lacking and shameful. It is now time to rectify this.
One must start somewhere, and I chose quite randomly the Book of Joshua. The Blessed Doctor of Grace stated, “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New Testament”, so I believe it will be most fruitful if I read and meditate at length on the books before Christ, and search for prophecies and types of our Divine Lord.
The servant of the Lord, Moses has passed away and his place is taken by Joshua, his 'adjutant'. Is this a mere historical event with no significance for us Christians? In fact, this passing and new occupation of a position of authority actually manifests the relationship of the Old and New Testaments. Moses who proclaimed the Old Law, sinned and was not permitted by God to enter into the land that the Lord had promised to the Patriarchs. The holy man could only see into the land from afar. Joshua is the common English translation of the name in Hebrew 'Yehoshuah', and in the Septuagint version, the name is translated as 'Iesous', where we get the name of 'Jesus'. Joshua was the one who overcome the limits of Moses and brought the people of God into the promised land, and is a type of our Divine Lord. The Old Law of Moses, although good and perfect for its intended purpose (to dispose men to accept Christ at the appointed time), was greatly limited in leading men 'into all truth'.
In the very first chapter, the Father vows, 'I will be with you as I was with Moses; I will not leave you or desert you' (5). Do we not immediately recognise in that pledge the saying of our Lord that He 'will not leave you orphans' (Jn 14:18) or that He is 'with you all days, even to the consummation of the world'. (MT 28:20).
Before the land flowing with milk and honey can be entered into, the river Jordan must be crossed. Jordan was the place where our Lord was baptised, and for us to enter into the Heavenly Kingdom, a land that can not ever be taken from us (unlike the region of earthly inheritance, we must be born again of water and the Spirit (Jn 3:5). The Father announces that He is with them, yet our Lord in the incarnation not only stoops down to aid us, but shares the very ground we walk upon by assuming a passable human nature and walks ahead of us, sanctifying the waters.