Excerpt from “The 14 Eras” booklet by Iva May
The Conquest Era
Joshua (Approximately 50 years)
Under Joshua, God delivered the land into the hands of His people. He divided the land into twelve sections and led Israel to conquer the peoples of the land. God used Joshua to fulfill the promise that He had made to Abraham regarding the land of Canaan in Genesis 15.
Joshua’s encounter with the Commander of the army of the LORD prepared him to lead Israel. During the early days of his leadership he built an altar to the Lord, gathered Israel, and read the Book of the Law to the entire assembly.
Israel’s first battle (at Jericho) offered the nation an opportunity to see God demonstrate His power. God met with Joshua and gave Him precise instructions for taking the city—instructions that made no sense and required faith on his part. God had Israel march around the city walls for seven days and caused the walls to collapse at the sound of His people’s shout on the seventh day. Out of this large walled city only one woman and her family were saved. Rahab exhibited extraordinary faith in the God of Israel because she had heard of His exploits for Israel to dry up the Red Sea as they left Egypt, provide for them in the wilderness for forty years, and protect them from the people on the other side of the Jordan River.
After conquering most of the Canaanites Joshua divides the land of Canaan among the twelve tribes.
Joshua loved God; he began his leadership role by exalting the Book of the Law of Moses (1:8) and celebrating the Passover (5:10), and ended his leadership by reciting Israel’s history and God’s faithfulness. He recorded His final exhortation in the Book of the Law of God (24:26). He lived his life in the shadow of God’s Word. Joshua was faithful in his task and as long as Joshua was alive, the people followed the Lord. After he died, they began to worship the idols of the people who had lived in the land, and they turned away from God.
What does the Conquest Era reveal about God? God Speaks
• God links Bible literacy to the spiritual vitality of Israel (1:8).
• God establishes Himself as the Commander of the army of Israel.
• God gives instruction that require faith in Him and demand obedience from them.
• God exhibits His power as He parts the Jordan River and destroys Jericho in a most unusual way.
• God protects Rahab and her family when she places her trust in Him.
• God destroys Achan and his family for Achan’s disobedience.
• God holds the sun in place while Joshua battles to protect the Gibeonites.
• God divides the land of Canaan among the twelve tribes.
• Godly leaders must mentor next-generation leaders by exalting Bible literacy and trust in the Living God. The majority of God’s people are followers and need strong godly leaders to prevent them from drifting and disobeying God.
• God rescues people who put their trust in Him, even if they are from pagan nations.
• God allows His people to encounter enemies to teach them to rely upon Him and to demonstrate His power.