Summary: (1-2) The Lord commands Joshua to lead the people into the land. Joshua sends two spies to Jericho, where Rahab hides them from king of Jericho. (6-9) The Israelites marched around Jericho and the overtook and destroyed it. The Israelites run from the men of Ai and turn their backs on the Lord. Through the Lord, Joshua picks out those who have coveted and the people stoned them. The Israelites tricked Ai and burned their city and killed everyone of them. Joshua is tricked into a covenant with the inhabitants of Gibeon. (23-24) Joshua encourages and commands the people to be obedient and stay faithful to the Lord. Joshua goes over Israel's history and commands the people to serve the Lord only.
Response: In Chapter 1, one reoccurring phrase is "Be strong and courageous". I don't think that the Lord would have repeated this if things were going to be easy. It is also cool that the Lord is saying that no matter what, the people can find strength and courage in the Lord. I have always been fond of the women in the Old Testament. The story of Rahab is comforting to read because the Lord used a harlot for his purposes. Here, the Lord uses the bad for the good. In 2:11, the power and glory of the Lord is displayed. The people's hearts melted and Rahab could not deny that the Lord was the almighty God above all things. It is hard to read and understand the destruction that the Lord commands. But what is so cool, is that among this destruction and anger, there is grace. God saved Rahab, a sinful woman. She recognized the glory and the power of the Lord. Chapter 7 is crazy! I was not expecting an end like that. In today's world we are so grace minded that it is hard to wrap my head around the will of God being for them to be stoned by the people. Chapter 8 is similar to chapter 7 in that the people seem ruthless. Violence and hate seem to run through these chapters. Chapter 23 is very encouraging and instills a good fear. Joshua reminds the people that God has been faithful and to not turn away from Him because He will punish them accordingly.