For our "service" today, you can choose to follow along below here on the web page (below), or click the download links on the right side for printable versions of each of the elements of today's service.
Downloading and printing the study guide is recommended, if you're able, as it will allow you space to write/journal in response to some of the questions.
Join us at 10:00am, Sunday Morning, if you are able!
1) Bible Study Guide
Joshua 1-6 (prepared by Derrick Pack)
A) Introduction Good morning!
It is good to be able to join together in the Spirit in the Word, in song, and in prayer, even if for the time we are not able to meet in person.
At the beginning of the year, we started going through the Bible from cover to cover. If you would like to see where we are in the process, you can see on the website or directly on the spreadsheet we have online.
As the Lord would have it, we happen to have just started the book of Joshua this week in our yearly reading, and I think there are some very valuable things we can glean from the first 6 chapters of Joshua this morning, especially as we look at the world in which we live now.
Turn there, but before we begin… ...Take a moment before the Lord, rest in His presence:
Enjoy the rest, the break, the time alone with Him today.
Thank Him that He is sovereign over all
Ask Him to join your heart to His and to His Word
Ask Him to unite us in Spirit as we open the text together.
==================== Let’s go!Turn to the book of Joshua
Joshua 1 Read Joshua 1.
What phrase do you see pop up multiple times when God is speaking to Joshua (and even when the officers of the Reubenites and the Gadites)? Why do you think God repeated this so much?
What was Joshua supposed to be “strong and courageous” about? Why? (Remember the previous generation and their failure to enter the land)
(Review of a couple weeks back) Remember how we can look at the “big picture” of the history of Israel and see the Grand Narrative of God’s Gospel being spoken all throughout history. The history of Israel shows us “shadows” of God’s plan, echoing throughout history.
Turn to Heb. 3:8-4:13 and read through it briefly.
The “Promised Land” was a picture of “Rest” as read here. We are told that this “Rest” is still something we can enter, “As long as it is called ‘Today,’” (3:13). This “Rest” is being in close communion with God, wanting what He wants, hating what He hates, desiring what He desires.
But we can also miss out on this communion, this Rest.
Why did the first generation “miss out” on the Rest? (See Heb. 3:12-19)
(Back to Joshua 1)
With this in mind, why do you think God told Joshua (and the new generation) to “be strong and courageous?”
B) Fear In the world around us right now, there is much fear, everywhere. Some of it is founded on truth, some on speculation, some on false or mis-information. Many are afraid.
But whatis fear? And most importantly: what does the Bible say about it?
There are three primary categories or genres that come to my mind from Scripture that talk about “fear”:
We are commanded to “fear God” alone (Deut. 10:12; Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7, 8:13, 14:27; Ecc. 12:13; Matt. 10:28; 1 Pet. 2:17...and many more times!)
We are told not to fear when God is with us: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is. 41:10,13; Deut. 31:6; Ps. 56:4; Heb. 13:6)
We are told that God casts out the presence of fear from our hearts: “Perfect love casts out fear”/“we are not given a spirit of fear” (1 Jn. 4:18; 2 Tim. 1:7; Rom. 8:15)
When we fear something, we place that thing on the throne of the universe and allow it to dictate our happiness, our peace, our love, our finances, our joy (and many other areas).
(The obvious rhetorical question then): Why do you think God commands us to “fear Him alone?”
Only God deserves this place.And only when we allow Him to be there—when we “fear God alone”—do we experience true peace, true Rest.
Think again to Joshua, the Israelites, the failure of the first generation, and the journey the next generation is about to take into the Land, into the Rest. There were battles to fight, giants to engage, and cities to conquer, but still there is the promise of Rest in the MIDST of battle.
As we looked at a couple weeks back: Rest in this case is not the absence of conflict, but something God gives us in the midst of it, as He fights our battles.
Think about the Rest you are promised in Him, and consider the following questions:
Is He on the throne, or is something else?
Do you delight to “fear” God...and actually find comfort in this fear?
How might God be calling you to “be strong and courageous” in regards to this?
What is at stake (again, consider the strong warnings in Hebrews 3-4)?
Faith is the antonym of Unbelief. That’s why God delights in it so much (Heb. 11:1-2, 6)! Israel failed to enter Rest by unbelief—and we can too. But alternatively it’s also true: they could, and we can, enter by faith, as we trust His promises.
C) Living Out Our Faith In the next few chapters, we see what it looks like to step out in Faith, believe, and enter His rest. We also will see that simply saying we have faith is not enough: we must also demonstrate it.
God intends our faith to be accompanied by action. Not that we help God. But when we step out, THEN He loves to act.
Joshua 2: Rahab Here we find the story of Rahab.
What do you see of her faith? Who did she choose to fear? How did she act out her faith?
What of God’s heart do you see in her story?
Joshua 3: The Priests & the Jordan Read chapter 3, focusing especially on verses 13-16.
What can we learn about faith accompanied by action in this?
Does this remind you of any N.T. stories dealing with “stepping out” in faith? (hint: there was also water involved
Is there an area in your life you feel God calling you to “step out into the water” in? Can you see it leading you into deeper intimacy with Him (if not, question if it IS of Him). If so… What’s holding you back?
Joshua 4: Faith Leaves a Legacy After the people passed through on dry land, they were commanded to set up rocks and a memorial for remembrance.
Why does it appear God wanted them to do this (see vs. 21-24)?
What can you take away from this (when you have successfully passed through the waters of a trial in your life)?
Joshua 5: God Goes Before Us Look at chapter 5 verse 1. Recall the first generation that failed to enter because they feared the inhabitants of the land, and contrast it to what you see of those same inhabitants here. When Israel finally believed, and acted out on that belief to enter, those same “giants” in the land “melted for fear” of the God of Israel.
What does this say to you, in regards to the “giants” you may be fearing, preventing you from entering the Rest God has for you?
What does this tell you of God’s heart regarding those giants?
Look at vs. 13-15.
Do you see any similarities between vs. 15 and Moses’s call (Ex. 5:5)? What does this tell us about this Man standing before Joshua?
What is so profound about the way the Commander of the Lord’s army responds to Joshua’s question in verse 13b? What’s the significance?
How does this speak to you, in regards to engaging the “giants” in your life?
Joshua 6: Engage the Enemy (even if it doesn’t make sense) Try to read through the manner in which God tells the Israelites to conquer Jericho in chapter 6 as if it’s the first time, or as if you’re an Israelite hearing this as God’s “battle strategy” for taking their first city.
Be honest… What would you think? Does this make any sense? What do you think God was teaching them?
What is the lesson for us? Find some ways to apply this personally.
D) Closing It is easy to fall into fear when the world is falling apart. But be careful what you fear! It becomes the “god” of your heart. Only One deserves that place. And...He is more concerned about defeating the things that come against you than you know. His heart is not just concerned about your physical safety (though He is), but even more importantly, the “giants” that war against your soul: your spiritual safety. Against these God has a jealous hatred and rage, fueled by love.
And for these battles: God can’t wait to show off His power in our lives! He loves the impossible situations, because it gives Him a chance to demonstrate His power (remember also reading Luke 1:37 this week!)
But...He wants us to step out and engage the impossible first; this is “our part.” When we do, He is ready to rush in and do wondrous things, for “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15; Zech. 4:6)
As you finish this part of our “service,” spend some time in prayer asking God to show you His heart; then ask Him where He might want you to step out in faith...and then purpose to do it! (And don’t be afraid to ask for accountability on it too.)
2) SONGS & MUSIC
Spend some time in song and worship, responding to the above. Lyrics will be on the YouTube links below. If you'd like chords or sheet music, see below the video or download from the sidebar above.
For those interested, sheet music for each song is linked below (in the key of the online songs).
Today we have gathered as a family in unusual way, not because we wanted to, but because we felt compelled to: For one another, for the families of the victims of Coronavirus, for worker who at this moment working tirelessly to save lives, and for those in authorities making laws to guide our nation during this dark hour. Yes, the faith of our nation has been shaken; the freedom we love and cherished have been restricted as we found ourselves quarantined in our homes, and our cities shut down because of deadly virus. In the midst of these crisis comes the question, “Where is God? How could this happen? What can we do? Remember as children of God our prayers will be, that the will of God would be in our nation and maybe open our hearts to understand God more than we knew Him before..
Please follow this prayer guide as you’re led in your group or family and pray for our nation…
1. First let’s remember we have hope; thank God for this.
(Psalm 46:1-3) “od is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.”
(Isaiah 41:10) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”
(Psalm 91:5-10) “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes, shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
2. Pray for God’s forgiveness upon our nation: (2 Chron. 7:14). A plague of this magnitude that has visited the entire nations may be a wakeup call for us to think about our own sinful disobedience toward God. Today there are so many legislatures enacted by various leaders of our nation in opposition to God.
When we aren’t sure, God please help us to be calm, as You’re Sovereign in all. With so much information and misinformation, with it difficult to discern what is truth, we pray that You will help us to understand what Your purposes are for our nation, starting from our local church and down to our neighbor.
We all know that prayer is something that does not need social contact as global Christian Families. As we come together today, let’s confess our sins to God, ask Him to forgive us including our leaders.
3. Pray for all workers, Departments, & Agencies: For those who are in the forefront of this deadly virus, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technologists and technicians, therapists, specialists, administrative and support staff in hospitals, workers in food stores, drivers, airliners, law enforcement personnel, and all our schools and teachers that are struggling at this time. That COVID-19 will bring out the good in humanity as well as our need for God. Pray for all these workers engaging in great sacrifice. Pray for love and grace, not judgment, against people accused of being the bearers of the disease or those who are vulnerable. Pray that the church shines the love of Christ and uses this global pandemic as an opportunity.
4. Let’s pray for the bereaved families: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, close to 13,000 have died and over 300,000 been infected. The pain of loss is unbearable; families continue to mourn as they bury their loved ones. In many ways, it seems our nation and even our world has come to a full stop in a blink of an eye. Pray that God will ease this pain in our nations.
Many are also without work (or potentially will be) following the economic crisis created by this. Be in prayer for individuals and families who will not have a place of work to return to when this is finished. Be in prayer for small businesses not equipped to outlast something of this magnitude.
5. Let’s pray for one another: This situation also calls for our signs of faith, hope, and love. We need one another now as family and friends. It is not God’s desire that we stay apart as a church body, so pray for unity and wisdom in how and when to meet again. Pray that we can stay united in Spirit, even when apart in the flesh (Col. 2:5).
Pray this can be a refinement, not just for Oak Grove Bible Fellowship, but for the Church around the world, especially in areas known for affluence, comfort, and ease.
And pray for Church leaders and pastors, not just at OGBF, but everywhere. Difficult decisions must be made and much weighs on their shoulders. They need the upholding and wisdom of God and encouragement of the Body.
At end thank God for answering your prayers in Jesus name, Amen!