March 29th, 2020 | Joshua, Part II
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Welcome on behalf of Oak Grove Bible Fellowship!
Join us again this week as we conclude our study of Joshua from our homes! We've set this week up as a "blog" kind of format, so feel free to add comments and/or reflections to the Comments section below!
See the side bar for additional links for downloads of today's guide, or follow along below!
1)STUDY TIME IN THE WORD
Joshua 7-24 | Derrick Pack
I must say that I enjoyed last week, being able to know that we were still all fellowshipping in the Word, in prayer, and in song together in Spirit, even though apart physically.
We live in an unprecedented time right now, and each week the world seems to change dramatically more and more. It is exciting to see not just OGBF but also God’s Church world-wide finding ways to still worship Him in spite of this (I even heard of one church that rented out a drive-in movie theater and did church from their vehicles!)
What we miss is community. So I would encourage this: if you are doing this study in a group (of 2 or more), consider if there is someone you know who is alone this morning, maybe call (or video chat, if you’re tech savvy) and do the study together. If you are alone, call someone and ask if you can study or sing or pray with them. We are strongest as a community, so let’s not lose this.
Also… The study guide below is designed to hopefully go as deep as some of you would have time for; however, if you are unable to, or if you have small children who can’t focus too long, feel free to focus on one or more parts for Sunday. Consider going through it throughout the week as well, if you’re unable to finish Sunday.
One last thing: we are assuming that most of you are able to follow along with your yearly Bible Reading Plan. This week, we finished the book of Joshua and will be in Judges next week. If you have not been following along to date, now is a great time to join in and read daily with us. Go to ogbf.org/through-the-bible for links and instructions on how to follow along with us.
This Week’s Study
If you had a chance to join us last week, we looked at the first 6 chapters of Joshua. I realize that for some of you, this was a lengthy undertaking, and some of you may not have finished. That’s OK! Feel free, if you haven’t finished there, to wrap up last week’s lesson which you can access by clicking here: March 22nd, 2020.
This week, we are going to pull a few lessons out of the remainder of Joshua. We cannot touch on every point in the remainder of Joshua, but I hope we can look at a few overarching topics and take-aways. This has been a very convicting study for me personally, and I hope God speaks to you as well.
Turn to Joshua 7, but once more, before we begin…
...Take a moment before the Lord, take a deep breath and let it out slowly, come and rest in His presence:
Before we dig in, it would probably be good to watch the short overview video of Joshua by The Bible Project by clicking the link below. This is helpful for seeing the overall theme of Joshua (and fun to watch too!):
Quick Review of Joshua 1-6
Throughout the past few weeks, we have looked a lot at Hebrews 3-4 as complementary to this part of the narrative. There, the author is discussing “the Rest” of the Promised Land.
As we saw last week, it is important for us to remember: this is not a picture of heaven, but rather relational intimacy with God, dwelling in a unity of heart with Him where we are “at rest” as He fights our battles. It is the picture of the ideal Christian life, the “yoke of rest” Jesus promised (see Matt. 11:28-30).
As this new generation of Israelites prepared to enter the land, we saw last week some strong warnings.
Among these, some of the strongest warnings we saw both there and in the New Testament (Hebrews 3-4) had to deal with unbelief and fear. Remember: 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).
We are to “fear the Lord” alone, because only He deserves this place.
Hebrews 3:19 says, “We see they [the first generation that left Egypt] were unable to enter [the Rest] because of unbelief.” They didn’t believe God could give them the land. God wasn’t big enough for them. So they didn’t receive the Rest promised.
This week, we are going to see a warning about a second thing that can keep us from “entering the Rest”: disobedience. The author of Hebrews starts on this in chapter 4 (so keep a finger there too).
B) No Compromises
In Joshua 7, things start to change. They have just taken their first city, Jericho, in chapter 6. If I were one of the Israelites, I would be pretty pumped up right now!
They believed God, and He came through. They engaged the enemy, yes, but God fought the battle. This is what “rest” should look like! They are receiving exactly what God promised in Deut. 6:10-11: God has...
“[brought them] into the land that He swore to [their] fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give [them]—with great and good cities that [they] did not build, and houses full of all good things that [they] did not fill, and cisterns that [they] did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that [they] did not plant…”
But there was a warning Moses gave right after this in Deut. 6:12-15: “Take care lest you forget the Lord.” And, in verses 16-19, “You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God.” They were expected to love, fear, and obey the Lord. The were getting the belief/faith part, but faith was supposed to be accompanied with obedience.
Chapter 7 starts with a very saddening conjunction: “But…”
Right after Jericho, Israel goes on to it’s next conquest, Ai...or so it thinks. Something goes awry.
Read through Joshua 7, then journal on and/or discuss the following.
We have often sang the old hymn, “Trust and Obey.” How fitting it is that these two things go together! Trust—faith—coupled with obedience.God wants us to trust Him, but He also expects us to demonstrate this (NOTE: For more in depth study, consider the overall argument of the book of James. Take time to read through it end-to-end and consider the references to OT saints such as Abraham and the examples they set)
Again, remember that Rest is promised if we trust and obey.
We can often think our sin is just “between us and God.” But the lesson of Achan can show us sin can affect others around us as well.
(for personal reflection, doesn’t have to be discussion)
It has been said, “There is no such thing as ‘secret sin.’” How true this is, and how tragic, in a story like this. Yet there is grace for us, if we reach out and ask for forgiveness instead of waiting till the “last second” to see if we’re caught (as Achan did).
C) Joshua (character study)
As we look at the book of Joshua as a whole, we can learn a lot by looking at Joshua as a character and what he points to in the Grand Narrative.
(Assuming you’ve read through Joshua 7-24 this week)
Throughout Joshua, we see that, for the most part, under the leadership of Joshua, Israel took much of the land that they were supposed to.
Joshua stands out as an incredible man of God, leader, and zealot for God’s holiness. He learned from his teacher, Moses, and likely shared the same intimacy with God as Moses had (see Exodus 33:11).
Joshua’s name is actually, in Hebrew, very similar to what Jesus’ earthly name was, Yeshua. Where Moses, representative of the Law, could not bring us Rest (and neither can Law alone, as Galatians reminds us), we must have a leader, a Yeshua, to lead us in to fight and take the Land.
Good, but Still Not Enough
As far as I can tell (I may be wrong), there isn’t a sin ever attached to Joshua that we see in Scripture. That doesn’t mean he was WITHOUT sin, but he DID set a “blameless” example.
Turn to Hebrews 4 again and read vs. 1-10.
Even Joshua was unable to “give them rest” we read. Joshua was still only a type, not the true Messiah. He was not yet the Seed promised to Eve that would crush the serpent (cf. Gen. 3:15). Consider this as you answer the next few questions:
D) Longsuffering, but Not Forever
The last application I think we should consider has to do with the people of Canaan.
When we read this, we are tempted to think it severe or harsh for God to command so many to be “wiped out entirely.”
Yet remember the whole story:
With these things in mind, consider the Canaanites and compare them to the pre-flood world. They have also reached a “limit” with God, now at a point of horrific violence, sexual immorality, and even child sacrifice.
Read Genesis 15:12-16. We must remember: they had 400 years of grace given before “their iniquity was complete.”
In the Grand Narrative, God is now interacting with the Story, stepping in and keeping mankind from utterly and entirely self-destructing. But now He is traveling with this Israelite people, dwelling “in their midst,” and they are coming into a land polluted with wickedness.
We see a truth about God in this that points to the Grand Gospel Narrative throughout Scripture:
Read and meditate on the last part of Hebrews 4 to close (verses 11-16).
All of it points forward, albeit in “shadows,” to Jesus, our Messiah, our Redeemer, our Great High Priest.
2)SONGS OF WORSHIP
Spend some time in song and worship, responding to the above. Lyrics will be on the YouTube songs below (on all but one song), though there is a "hymnal" you can download and print off as well.
(prepared by Dan Reynolds)
As we are gathering together as couples, families, singles and maybe small groups, no matter what situation you find yourself in this Sunday morning understand that God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit LOVE you. They want to hear from you!!
In our Philosophy of Ministry we have an Identity Statement, and part of that Statement reflects on prayer:
“A devotion to prayer, for we are instructed to pray without ceasing. We understand that God answers prayer and that we are to pray in such a manner as to bring glory to our Heavenly Father.”
So today as you have a time of prayer, and you pray for your family and friends, your church family, your government and for those who are affected by our current international situation, consider some of the following things:
1) Thank God for who He is: an eternally loving God: John 17:24
2) Be humbled that God even listens to you: James 4:10
3) Ask for forgiveness: we all fail on a daily basis: Luke 18:10
4) That God’s will for your life be accomplished in you: Matthew 10:29-31
5) Recognize and believe that God’s plan is intact and will be accomplished: Ephesians 1:11
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you as you enjoy a time of prayer.
Click "Full Service Download" for combined study guide, list of songs, and prayer guide.
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