The greatest type in the Old Testament is the history of the people of Israel, who typify the church, composed of the New Testament believers as God’s elect (1 Cor. 10:1-13). Coming after the five books of the law, the books of Moses, Joshua is the first book of the twelve books of Israel’s history, from Joshua to Esther. The twelve books of history are not concerned merely with history; they are a part of the divine revelation concerning God’s eternal economy, which concerns Christ as the embodiment of God and the church as the organic Body of Christ for the consummating of the New Jerusalem. The intrinsic revelation of the books of history in the Old Testament is to unveil to us how the eternal economy of God is carried out by His elect on the earth. The eternal economy of God is altogether concerning Christ and for Christ, mainly in the person of Christ and the kingdom of Christ. Regarding the person of Christ, the record of history in the Old Testament keeps a line of the genealogy of Christ for His coming through incarnation to be a man. Regarding the kingdom of Christ, the Old Testament history maintains a line on the kingdom of God for Christ to establish His divine kingdom on the earth. These two items form the governing line of the divine revelation in the books of the history of Israel.
To take possession of God’s promised land for Christ and to provide the proper persons to bring forth Christ into the human race are the spirit, the intrinsic significance, of the section of the Old Testament history in the three books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. In the book of Joshua the central thought is that God intended to fulfill the promise concerning the good land that Israel might have a place to carry out God’s economy, especially to keep the line of bringing in Christ to the earth through His incarnation.