“…an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” (1 Pet. 1:4).
In the book of Joshua we are made to understand how our loving and living God wants us to possess by faith our great spiritual inheritance. When God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, He did so with the purpose of giving them the rich and fertile land of Canaan as their inheritance. Similarly the Lord Jesus Christ, not only forgives us our sins but also wants us to take our full share of the heavenly inheritance. (1 Pet 1:4). The apostle Paul refers to it as “the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12) and says in Eph. 1:14 that the Holy Spirit is given to us as an earnest of that inheritance.
The land of Canaan is a shadow of our spiritual inheritance of Christ. At that time Canaan was a fertile land with plenty of water and abundance of the best fruits. In Canaan everything was in abundance. That speaks of the fulness of God which we can enjoy in Christ Jesus according to Col. 2:9,10. God wants us to possess that fulness by faith. We receive eternal life as a gift, but our share in the inheritance has to be claimed and appropriated by faith day by day. A child born in a wealthy family automatically gets a claim on his portion of the family property. Similarly each believer born into the family of God has a claim on the heavenly inheritance. But it must be possessed by faith.
The story of Rahab, as recorded in Joshua chapter 2, teaches us how we can possess our inheritance by faith. Rahab being a heathen harlot had no right to the great inheritance which God wanted to give to the children of Israel. Surprisingly we find that this despised woman had real living faith in the great God of the Israelites. Rahab could say to the spies “for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (v.11). She even believed that the LORD had already given them the land. She saw by faith how God’s judgement would surely fall on Jericho and its inhabitants, and hence she claimed deliverance for herself and her family. At the moment she had no idea about her share in that inheritance. God not only delivered her from sinful life but also brought her into the holy and chosen generation. That is how she became the great grand-mother of David (Matt. 1:5), and eventually in the same line the Lord Jesus Christ was also born. Thus we see how first of all, by faith in the living and true God we can enjoy our inheritance.