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Just who is this God fellow anyway? What purpose does he serve in Joshua?
Wow, those are some great questions you just asked. Here are some answers.
In Joshua. God is a warrior god. Sounds pretty cool right? Yahweh (God's name, in case you forgot) is a god that fights among his people, delivering them to victory and glory so long as they follow all his rules. Sounds a bit like a football coach, right? Don't football players turn to their coach for guidance in a game? And how does a team win? If they follow the coach's plays, or rules if you will. God and the Israelites are no different. Here's a breakdown for you:
Moving in the same vein, praying to God before a sporting event is not unusual. See: Tim Tebow. To broaden that out a bit, praying to God before any undertaking is part of the religious experience. The Book of Joshua, focusing on war, is teaching us about one of the foundations of any religion: praying to a deity for guidance and support.
Like playdough, God is malleable for any purpose. Need a father? Check. Need a friend? Check. Need an unbeatable warrior to give you strength? Check.