Joshua, Warning Future Generations

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Joshua—Warning Future Generations

Text: Chapter 24

“If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord”

Sometimes we just do not take enough time in our lessons to cover the Books of the Bible. It seems that some one else decides what we need to learn. We do have some good manuals to learn by but we should also take the time to study on our own.

After all God does not ask us to study His Word, He actually commands us to study His Word and we are better for that reason.

And in our best interest it is best to have a Bible that is translated from the original text and not some Bible translated from scriptures passed down through the Catholic system!

The Apostle Paul said:

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, [but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling].

We know that Jesus is our example to learn by. Jesus taught the disciples the entire Word of God and wrote the New Testament with every word He spoke.

Jesus Christ is our pattern for humility.
Jesus Christ is our example of love.
Jesus Christ is our example of service to our brothers and sisters and to fellow man.
Jesus Christ is also our example of suffering.

Our lives must resemble Our Lord and Savior and if not how can we claim to be Christian?

Jesus Christ took on the form of a servant for our sake!

All our failures can be traced back to a lack of devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24  [He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings]: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Jesus Christ is the truth, the light, and He is life because Jesus Christ is the  ONLY way!

Jesus is life, and He is the source of Spiritual life until He comes back and to me and the signs we see daily, that will not be very much longer.

Joshua knew all these things in his day and Joshua was setting the example till the day He died. Joshua had met the Captain of the Hosts before the first battle at Jericho.

Joshua knew his life was coming to an end and he wanted to warn Israel to follow in his footsteps.

The Apostle Peter wrote:

2Pe 3:2  That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
2Pe 3:3  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

So let’s begin:

*****Jos 24:1  And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and [for their judges], and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

Shechem had already been the place of religious transactions in the history of their forefathers. It is at Shechem where Our Lord first appeared to Abraham.

It is at Shechem where Abraham built the first altar to the Lord.

It is at Shechem where Jacob built an altar on his return from Mesopotamia.

It is at Shechem where Jacob had had these words:

Gen 35:2  Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, [Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments]:

It was at Shechem which is the valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim where Israel were told of the Curses and the Blessings.

Shechem would soon be one of the cities of refuge.

We will see it was at Shechem where the Bones of Joseph would be buried.

AND, It is at a well near this city where Jesus had a conversation with a woman of Samaria.

Since the meaning of the word Shechem means “to rise up early and bear the load on our shoulders” these words are reflected in the Words of Jesus.

Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me”.

*****Jos 24:11  And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; [and I delivered them into your hand].

We may not know who wrote this last chapter of Joshua but we know who is speaking, it is Our Lord!

In these passages we will see reference to the Lord at least 20 times and to the word “serve” also many times. This is the lesson we need to learn!

The most important thing we can learn from our Lord is the fact that [He has chosen each believer]. God does not choose who will remain lost and who will be saved “but He knows”.

God will give everyone on this planet space to repent!

BUT, God did choose every believer to have a purpose “after salvation”!

Jesus said:

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, [but I have chosen you], and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

God will not refuse the things that are used to bring forth fruit for His Kingdom!

The same God who took Israel through the Red Sea also took them through the River Jordan and into their inheritance.

This is the same God that will take us through the wilderness of this life into our own inheritance!

The message Joshua had for Israel was this:

“If there was ever a nation in this world that should be obligated to keep the Laws of God, then that nation should be Israel for all He had done for them”.

And Spiritually speaking if there was ever a people that should be obligated to be obedient to the Word of God, it is all those that have been saved in this time of “Grace”.

We are certainly undeserving of these free gifts of God!

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

*****Jos 24:12  And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

Joshua had to remind this people that even though they had some small part in the defeat of all those enemies, “It was God who had won the victory for them”.

The hornet of the Bible was a vicious stinging wasp!

BUT the reference here is the absolute fear and terror of the Lord!

We are reminded of what Rahab said:

Jos 2:11  And [as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man], because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

God had promised this to Moses and had fulfilled it with Joshua.

Exo 23:27  [I will send my fear before thee], and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.
Exo 23:28  And [I will send hornets before thee], which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

Did God send hornets, sure He did, but most all invading armies are compared to bees:

Deu 1:44  And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, [as bees do,] and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.

Either way we see again that God always keeps His promises!

*****Jos 24:13  And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

Here again we see the goodness of God. God provides for His people. But we should also remember in God’s plan this was exactly what He had done when He first created this earth.

Gen 1:29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

God will always provide for His children:

David said:

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, [and verily thou shalt be fed].

The Jews took these things for granted and we can see this same thing happening to the Church.

The Jews drifted away from true worship and the Church is doing the same thing.

The truth is that “a grateful heart is a strong defence against the temptation’s of the devil”.

To the believer there is an even greater inheritance and it too comes by the “Grace of God”.

Jesus Himself has gone to prepare us a place:

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

*****Jos 24:14  Now therefore fear the LORD, and [serve him] in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

Therefore: Since God had done all these things mentioned from verse 1-13, they should love God enough to serve Him.

We find that word “serve” more than a dozen times in these passages.

To “serve” means to obey and then to be a doer of God’s Word. Let’s not miss the fact that this is a volunteering decision. God will never force anyone to be a servant. Nor will He force anyone to be obedient.

God just explains the consequences of our decisions!

If we serve Him we will have eternal life “but the wages of serving sin are death”.

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

We might not accept what The Lord says “but it is still the truth”.

Joshua made it very clear that we all must make a choice in life and the sooner the better off we are!

There is no middle ground!

In fact The Lord says that anyone that tries to be neutral makes Him sick.

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, [I will spue thee out of my mouth].

Though they disagree, even the Atheist serve a master!

Everyone on the face of this Earth worship something. If it is not the God of the Bible, Jehovah, “it is a false religion”!

Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

We can see the truth of this verse in the world we live in today.

We can see how this world we live in hates and despises the Lord Jesus Christ and that hatred is growing. Even the democrats “booed” God at their national convention and these are the people who think we should vote for

If I was even thinking of voting for one of them, this changed everything. I stand with Jehovah God, you boo Him you are my enemy!

Shame again on America!

*****Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: [but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD].

God has made His choice of what He will do in every situation! He has caused it to be written down for us! He has given us many great examples to see the truth of His Word!

This is the same choice that everyone from the time of Adam has had to make.

We are all presented with this choice!

We can serve the God of Creation and Our Redeemer, who is revealed to be Jesus Christ “or we can choose from the multiple choices that this world offers”.

Some have always tried to do both which is impossible!

That phrase “on the other side of the flood”  means the false religions that came about since the time of Nimrod.

There are many today who still serve the false deities of Nimrod, including the Muslim who serve the Old Moon God they call Allah, so well depicted on their flags and other things.

But there are shrines built to many other false things by many peoples.

Joshua had already made his choice!

National leaders have an obligation to be the example for the people that have placed them in such positions.

As the leaders make wrong choices, the nations they rule will always suffer.

We see this every day in America! To be quiet honest I don’t know how anyone who votes for such men can call themselves Christian and be obedient to the Word of God.

*****Jos 24:16  And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

When we forsake the Law of God which is to love Him with “all” our heart, body, mind and soul, [we are actually giving praise to Satan and his evil].

When we obey the Law of God then we will be made aware that we have enemies!

Pro 28:4  They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
Pro 28:5  Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things

We can see the truth in this scripture that evil men do not fear the judgment of God!

Man will always find something to worship but to ignore Jehovah, Our Lord, will bring destruction!

Pro 10:29  The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

It is God’s will that every living soul make serious choices about religion. Religion will send you to hell! To know the God of the Bible is to be free from religion and become a child of God.

World history proves over and over that sin has been the downfall of every nation!

*****Jos 24:17  For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
Jos 24:18  And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore [will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God].

When Our Lord accepts us into His family, our past sinful life is not remembered by Him.

Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

BUT, we need to take a look at where we came from. We need to look back on occasion to see what God has done in our lives.

Joshua was reminding the children of Israel of these things now.

We are still sinners that are saved by the “Grace of God” and we must accept the fact that it is not always easy to be righteous in the eyes of The Lord.

Our righteousness is still as filthy rags. We exist as the children of God based on the righteousness of Christ Jesus.

We must realize the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and just commit ourselves to Him!

God has proven who He is and all we need do is believe and then repent!

Today is the best day to accept the Savior for who He is!

*****Jos 24:19  And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

When the parents of these that stood before Joshua this day had stood before Moses many years earlier they had said:

Exo 19:8  And all the people answered together, and said, [All that the LORD hath spoken we will do]. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

It was only a few weeks from this that they talked Aaron into making that golden calf.

Joshua knew it was easy to make promises but it was something else to keep them!

When we make commitments to the Lord, He does not forget so easily.

Deu 23:21  When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; [and it would be sin in thee].

Again we can see that as these passages were a warning for Israel, they were also an example to the early church.

Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven

*****Jos 24:20  If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, [then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you], after that he hath done you good.

It should not be strange to us that many say they have come to the Lord and then think they can do exactly as they please.

God warns us all that even though He is a God of “Mercy”, a God of “Love”, and a God of “Comfort”, He Is Also A God Of “Judgment”!

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

*****Jos 24:21  And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

It is important to make a public announcement of our “Faith”.

It is the will of God that all of us take our “faith” serious. It should be a deliberate choice and we should then live godly lives based on the Word of God.

*****Jos 24:22  And Joshua said unto the people, [Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD], to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

As Christians we must remain steadfast in the Lord.

James wrote to the early church:

Jas 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But when we look to the Word of God:

Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

*****Jos 24:23  Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

There is no doubt that in a short time some of these of Israel had obtained some of the Idols of Canaan Land.

They had witnessed the power of God at the Jordan River and in many battles [but they still clung to false things].

Elijah asked them this same question:

1Ki 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, [How long halt ye between two opinions]? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

This has been a continuing thing throughout time. People say they believe then they return back to their old ways.

The Bible says:

Pro 26:11  As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

This sounds harsh but it is the truth.

There is no neutral ground for the Christian.

But this is a sign of the end times. We can see the truth of God’s judgment throughout the Old Testament and Our God does not change.

*****Jos 24:24  And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

Again this must come from the heart:

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

*****Jos 24:25  So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
Jos 24:26  And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

It is always good to remember what God has already done in our lives.

I don’t do it but I should keep a prayer journal but just as important we need to record the good things that God has done in our lives so we can look back on them in time of doubts.

It is good to remember the things the Lord has done and how we have responded to Him.

God will never leave us, [it is always us that moves away from Him].

The Holy Ghost made sure that we can read these things that happened to Israel.

God named Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt.

God named Joshua to lead Israel into the promised land.

God did not name anyone to succeed Joshua because “He would lead them the rest of the way if only they would follow”!

We already know that Israel did not follow and they are being judged for that now but this same Bible says that Jehovah the God of the Bible will regather them and reestablish them in their land!

Eze 36:24  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

*****Jos 24:29  And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Jos 24:30  And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.
Jos 24:31  And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

No doubt Israel had a great respect for Joshua.

But is the Lord [not Joshua] who is the key person in this Book of Joshua.

No doubt God has a special relationship with Israel but we must remember God used Israel to bring a blessing to all the nations on this Earth.

Gen 12:3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”.

I don’t know about the rest of the world but I do know the leaders of America have forgotten this promise of God and we suffer in America today because of it.

The basis of our “faith” is on our God who keeps His promises and He will keep this one too!

The Lord our God we serve will not tolerate sin which is why He sent the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is a foolish church that wanders in unbelief.

Our faith is based on the truth of the Gospel and the Words of Jesus should ring out to all.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Caleb, Fully Following God

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Caleb—Fully Following God

Text: Joshua 11-22

Our focus is on Chapter 14

What does it mean to follow God and who is this Caleb?

In the Book of Hebrews we learned that in these last days we are to listen to the Son of God and Jesus was His name here on this Earth.

The Son of God says:

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, [and few there be that find it].

This verse does not say that this straight gate is hard to find, it says that only a few will find it!

There is only one way to find this straight gate:

Rom 12:2  And [be not conformed to this world]: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Then to follow the Lord is too:

Mar 8:34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar 8:35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

To follow the Lord is to be like Him, and to be like Him is to be a true Christian:

1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

To be a Christian is to be different from those of this world we live in:

Act 11:26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. [And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch].

So who is this Caleb?

I may be mistaken but I do not believe you can find anything in the Bible that is bad about Caleb.

We first meet Caleb when Moses sent out the 12 spies. Only Caleb and Joshua give a good report to Moses in fact Caleb’s words were these:

Num 13:30  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; [for we are well able to overcome it].

Why was Caleb this way?

Num 14:24  [But my servant] Caleb, [because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully], him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

“Because he had another spirit and followed God fully”!

What a testimony!

Because of this testimony, Caleb, who was born a slave, who had been one the twelve spies and had “faith” in the Word of God was given his land by privilege!

Caleb had “faith to forget the past.
Caleb had “faith” to face the facts.
Caleb had “faith” to face the future.

So let’s begin:

*****Our text

Jos 14:1  And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.
Jos 14:2  By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe

The 9 and 1/2 tribes will possess their land by the drawing of the lot. Why was it done this way?

It had to appear that the division of the land was not brought about by men, and their private settlement of it; but by the “providence of God”.

Those men chosen to oversee this process were to witness the fairness of the casting of the lots.

(get picture of map)

How does this relate to the “Born Again” believer”?

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him [who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will]:

*****Jos 14:3  For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them.
Jos 14:4  For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance.
Jos 14:5  As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.

Under the laws of inheritance and the rites of the first born child, which was allotted to Joseph by Jacob, the two sons of Joseph each got an allotment.

It was Levi who was the ring leader of the selling of Joseph and he was left out of the drawing but still provided for by God Himself.

The Levites belong to the Lord:

Num 3:11  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 3:12  And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;

The Levites were assigned 48 cities but these cities were scattered throughout the other tribes. They were also given an area around those cities that are called “Suburbs”. This would be the open land  near those cities that could support the livestock that belonged to the Levites. There would be no owner of this land but grazing land only.

*****Jos 14:6  Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.

Caleb had wholly followed the Lord since escaping from Egypt.

The Lord had made a promise to Caleb and now Caleb was reminding Joshua of that promise.

Deu 1:35  Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
Deu 1:36  Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, [and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon], and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

*****Jos 14:7  Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.

More than 40 years had passed by in the life of Caleb and he was now over 80 years old and he knew the challenge that laid before him to fulfill this promise of the Lord.

When we study the Old Testament we are to learn from it. The exodus of Israel is in fact a “type” of the Christian, trials and tribulations in our walk of “faith”.

The lesson to learn here is that we are to be encouraged in our pilgrim journey and we can claim every promise that the Lord has made and every spiritual blessing that is available from the Lord.

To the church the Bible says:

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Caleb was more than 80 years old but he was not looking for a handout. The land he had been promised was still occupied and the occupants were the giants that all the other spies had been afraid of.

Caleb knew his strength was in the Lord and there was no doubt he would have the victory after all a promise had been made.

**A lesson we need to learn in this class is that “we are never to old to do a work for the Lord”.

There is no retirement from “trusting in the Lord”!

*****Jos 14:8  Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: [but I wholly followed the LORD my God].

We can see that Caleb knew the recipe for a long life. It is really very simple. We must wholly follow the Lord Our God.

That is Jehovah our Holy Trinity!

Caleb had never forgotten how a false report had caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years when he knew he could have already possessed this land and city called Hebron.

*****Jos 14:9  And Moses sware on that day, saying, [Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance], and thy children’s for ever, “because” [thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God].

Caleb respected the God appointed leader of Israel but he had been promised by Moses the land Abraham was so fond of and he simply made a request for Joshua to honor that request.

Num 14:24  But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land [whereinto he went]; and his seed shall possess it.

Because it was formerly in God’s promise, Caleb shows how he values the promise and insists on the mountain the Lord had spoken of.

As believers we must place great value on the things God has already given to us because of His promises.

What does God promise each believer? It begins with this promise.

Act 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive [forgiveness of sins, and inheritance] among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Tit 1:2  In hope of [eternal life], which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own [purpose] and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an [inheritance], being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Jas 2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of [the kingdom] which he hath promised to them that love him?

1Pe 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, [reserved in heaven] for you,

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may [be also glorified together].

Forgiveness, have purpose in this life, Eternal life in His  Kingdom, Eternal life in His Heaven, and also a “glorified body” like that of Jesus.

These are just part of our inheritance!

*****Jos 14:10  And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

First Caleb had been kept alive to fulfill his purpose.

If this is not your hope while you are still living then you are without hope.

I certainly want to fulfill the purpose God has for my life before He takes me home. Any other thing would be a failure in my service to My Lord.

Upon fulfilling His purpose for me then I want to immediately go home to Heaven.

We can also see that Israel had already been 5 years in the conquest of Canaan Land.

Let’s not miss that Caleb wanted to celebrate his birthday knowing that God was fulfilling a personal promise of giving him the land promised to him.

We can see God does make and keep some personal promises to us while we are living, “if we wholly follow Him”!

*****Jos 14:11  As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

God had maintained the strength of Caleb and also his life for those 45 years.

We can clearly see this as an example of God’s faithfulness to His children!

*****Jos 14:12  Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

Caleb had reverence for the place that Abraham cherished. The place where Sarah was buried. The place where Jacob was buried. The place where Isaac was buried.

Caleb was not about to allow some giant men to keep him from reclaiming this place that meant so much to him and to Israel.

He knew this would be no easy task but what Caleb knew the most was, that his strength came from the Lord!

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

*****Jos 14:13  And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
Jos 14:14  Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

Caleb had not made demands of Joshua and I believe Caleb would not have acted on his own if his request was not honored. Caleb had respect for God’s chosen man!

Caleb had volunteered for the hardest assignment of all and he was the only one to complete his job.

This was to big a mountain for Israel to over come but to Caleb it was only one more obstacle in his way of of wholly following The Lord.

*****Jos 14:15  And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

It was the giants who had changed the name from Hebron to Kirjatharba but Caleb preferred the name Hebron.

Kirjatharba meant “city of four”.

Hebron means a “society of friendship” and that friendship is with the Lord.

Isa 41:8  But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Six times the Bible says that Caleb “wholly followed the Lord”.

There is no better recipe to a good life and to good health!

We are all engaged in a great conflict. Our greatest battle is with our inward self. When we overcome this our greatest obstacle we can achieve the things of God and then and then only will we also be a “Friend of God”!

What is our task?

1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Who will always give us victory?

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The world may ignore and reject Jesus Christ but the world will go down in defeat while those that love Him will win the victory and receive the promises of God.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Achan—Causing Confusion

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Achan—-Causing Confusion

Text Joshua 7-10

Focus Joshua 7:1-12, 19-26

What is a commandment? The words spoken from the One who has the authority to give commands!

It can be said the God gives us directions so that we can  live without sin in our lives.

So, who is our worst enemy?

We are our own worst enemy!

The culprit behind the majority of our sin is “covetousness”! This is a sin of the mind that goes unnoticed until it is uncovered by some action.

This may be the greatest handicap we have in our Christian walk.

In most cases we see everyone else as the enemy and ignore our own selves.

It is a fact that the Church is being wrecked from the inside and it is because of disobedience to the Word of God.

The truth is in the letters written to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation.

Satan is destroying the Church from the inside and not from the outside.

Let’s look at the steps of sin as we see the story of Achan.

He saw, He coveted, and He took and the entire Nation of Israel suffered for it!

We will never have the victory until we deal with the sin in our lives!

*****Jos 7:1  [But] the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: [for Achan], the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, [took of the accursed thing]: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

The last thing we read in chapter six was that “the Lord was with Joshua” and “his fame was sounded throughout all the country”.

Israel had captured Jericho and this gave them access to the the rest of Canaan Land.

The next fortified city would be Ai. This verse says that Israel had committed a trespass but in truth it was because of one man, Achan.

We can see the truth of how this relates to the church, the Body of Christ, in the words of the Apostle Paul.

1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

You know in our modern times here in America, one woman, Madeline Murray O’Hare brought an end to prayer in our public schools.

One person can still cause a nation to sin against God! One person can cause a community to suffer and one person in the House of God can cause the Church to suffer!

That accursed thing would be something that was devoted to a false god. It would also mean anything that Jehovah had commanded to be destroyed.

*****Jos 7:2  And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

Before Joshua moves forward to the next city, Ai the same as Hai in the Book of Genesis, he sends someone to spy on it.

Another way to read this verse would be to “Ai” that heap of ruins, which is beside “Bethhaven”, that place of nothingness, on the east side of Bethel “the House of God”.

Bethel was the place of Jacob’s vision, we call Jacob’s Ladder, and Joshua and Israel was well aware of this place.

Remember Joshua had the Books of Moses at this time and was commanded to know it.

*****Jos 7:3  And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.

The spies reported that Ai was small. Ai was a 16 mile march all uphill as the rise in terrain was about 3400 feet. These spies said a small force of 3000 men, that could travel light could easily defeat this city. They were correct in their assessment except one thing.

They were over confident in their own abilities and had become self reliant.

They had left out the most important part. They had not consulted with Jehovah God.

*****Jos 7:4  So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of
Ai.
Jos 7:5  And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

We must be very clear in our thinking, sin separates us from the will of God and if it is not sincerely repented of and put away, it will bring disaster. Not only to the sinner but to all those that are around them.

We see this every day in our own families!

It took this defeat for Israel and Joshua to realize they had left Jehovah out of the plan!

What does Jesus tell us all?

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:[ for without me ye can do nothing.]

This even gets more serious as we near the end times as Jesus says to the Church:

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

The greatest threat right now is the movement that is called Chris-lam that totally takes away the diety of Christ!

Prophesy is fulfilling right before our eyes!

*****Jos 7:6  And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.

Why is it that only after we suffer defeat in our lives, do we try to get serious with God?

Among the culture of that day, what Joshua did was a sign of violent grief and humiliation.

We must come humbly before the Lord.

Jas 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

*****Jos 7:7  And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!
Jos 7:8  O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!

Defeat brings doubt and discouragement. What Joshua should have realized is that this was a test. Maybe not so much for Joshua but surely for Israel.

Joshua was afraid that the Lord had forsaken Israel.

He was also afraid that the people of Canaan Land would loose their fear of God’s people and experience a revival.

Joshua knew that God’s name would not be great before the world if it was reported that Israel would flee before her enemies. Joshua was concerned for the honor of God even more that the fate of Israel.

In our modern day we can see that Israel has learned this lesson well. They do not flee from any enemy today.

*****Jos 7:9  For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?
Jos 7:10  And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?

The Lord will never be moved by grief when it is caused by a grievous sin! God will never be pleased by prayer when we go before Him and have not repented of our sin. Unanswered prayer is not always caused by the sin in our lives but it is the first place we should look.

It does no good to whine before the Lord and He is not ever pleased with a whiner.

God is also not pleased with any lack of faith.

The sin of Achan was a sin against Israel. Israel had broken again the covenant they had just made with the Lord.

Above all things Achan had committed sacrilege to Jehovah and theft and deceit to Israel!

What does God still tell the Church?

1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

We really never know for what reason it seems that some people leave this world early but we must know that this could be one of the reasons.

*****Jos 7:11  Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.

This is God speaking to Joshua.

Joshua could not have known that Achan had broken the covenant of God.

What was God’s command?

Jos 6:17  And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Jos 6:18  And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
Jos 6:19  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

Since Israel committed this sin, they made themselves accursed by the same Word of God. And the Lord will no longer be with them until this is settled.

*****Jos 7:12  Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, [because they were accursed]: [neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.]

Did the Lord stop loving Israel? NO

Why would God blame the whole nation?

Israel was no longer a ragtag bunch of tribes but one nation that depended on each other. We should not be bothered by this because it is the same message God gives to the church.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Here again we find the truth of this message in the Book of Revelation:

Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Here we see the Lord outside the Laodicean Church, no longer a part of the final Church age.

God’s message does not change as time passes by.

There is only one Gospel!

There is only one Word of God!

Sin will separate us from God in any age:

Isa 59:2  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

skip to verse 19

*****Jos 7:19  And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

What happened between verse 13-18 is hard to explain. The use of lots for making Divine decisions was a common practice but the decision itself was regarded as coming from the Lord.

Pro 16:33  The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

The guilt was placed on Achan of the tribe of Judah. Joshua urges Achan to make a full confession and Achan responds.

There is one thing that needs to be pointed, as we will see.

It is too late to confess your sin “if you wait till the day of judgment”!

*****Jos 7:20  And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
Jos 7:21  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Achan says: I saw, I coveted, and I took.

That Babylonish garment is called “a mantle of Shinar”. This was probably a royal garment that was woven our of gold according to Josephus.

The silver was probably not coins but in pieces. A common shekel was about “two fifths of an ounce”. Most coins were not around until around 500 BC.

Again it is too late to confess and repent on the day of judgment. Repentance will not be allowed at the White Throne Judgment!

Achan had clearly understood that all the spoils of Jericho were devoted to the Lord, so Achan had robbed God!

Achan had taken the wrong steps.

The Book of James tells us:

Jas 1:13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

It seems that it is always that look that gets us into trouble. Job knew this and here’s what he said:

Job 31:1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

That first look may not be our fault but that second one surely is and it will lead to sin.

There was nothing in Jericho that was to be considered “spoils of war” because they had already been dedicated to the Lord and they were the Lords.

Achan also made a serious mistake to think he could get away with what he did.

The Bible teaches us:

Num 32:23  But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: [and be sure your sin will find you out].

If Achan had waited till the destruction of Ai, he could have gathered all the spoils he could carry.

What does the Bible teach us all?

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; [and all these things shall be added unto you].

We not only need to get our attitude right, we must get our priorities right!

*****Jos 7:22  So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.
Jos 7:23  And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, [and laid them out before the LORD].

These things were devoted to the Lord by His own voice. They had to be presented back to the Lord for all Israel to see because the next step was judgment and all Israel would be witnesses to this blasphemy.

All Israel had to realize it was sin that separated them from Jehovah and it had to be sincerely repented of and put out of the way. If not it would surely bring destruction!

Not only to Achan but also to Israel.

*****Jos 7:24  And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.

Before we condemn what this verse says we should look at a couple of things.

1.) The law of Israel did not allow innocent family members to be punished for the sins of a relative.

2.) It would have been real hard for Achan to have stolen this much of God’s devoted things alone.

Deu 24:16  The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

Achan’s family must have been involved so all were guilty for none had repented. This whole family had turned from the living God and had given their hearts to things God said were accursed.

They were about to find out that it was not worth it!

The Valley of Achor in Hebrew means The valley of trouble”.

*****Jos 7:25  And Joshua said, [Why hast thou troubled us?] the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.

We are to learn from these examples in the Old Testament. We can see many times that God will reveal His wrath in a very dramatic way.

God gave Israel a clear message that they could not take the Word of God lightly.

God means what He says and God does what He says!

We can act like liberals and think God will not punish sin but we would have to throw the Bible away because it teaches that there will be judgment for every disobedience!

Isa 65:10  And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, [and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in], for my people that have sought me.

The prophet Isaiah foretold that this valley of trouble would become a place of rest, probably during the Millennial Kingdom because Israel would then be obedient to the Word of God.

Hos 2:15  And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and [the valley of Achor for a door of hope]: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

The prophet Hosea said this valley of trouble would one day be a door of hope. Again because Israel would one day be obedient to the Word of God and her troubles over and Israel would never suffer defeat again because of her sin.

God gives the church this warning:

Rom 8:13  [For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die]: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, [the motions of sins], which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

We can think of these “motions of sin” as the passion of our flesh to commit sin.

And God says:

Rom 1:26  [For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections]: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

You will not find a happy Christian who will not deal with the sin in their life. Most all of them lead miserable lives.

*****Jos 7:26  And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. [So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger]. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.

That heap of stones was a reminder that God expects His people to obey His Word and we know that God does not change. He  stills has those same expectations for all His children!

We know God is love!

1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

But we also know that God has no tolerance for sin!

1Jn 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

When we surrender to the Lord, no defeat is permanent.

When we surrender to the Lord, no mistake we make is beyond remedy.

But we cannot carry unrepented sin and be close to God!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Captain Of The Host—Conquering Jericho

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Captain Of The Host

Conquering Jericho

Book of Joshua Chapters 5-6

Focus on: Joshua 5:13-15; 6:1-5, 15-25

There are many things that came to an end by the time we get to chapter 5 in our lessons. Joshua had made sure that the entire nation of Israel was obedient to the Lord by circumcision.

They had said they would obey the Lord and circumcision was the sign of that covenant.

Gen 17:11  And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; [and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you].

This had not taken place during the 40 years in the wilderness.

When they had crossed Jordan, “then the Manna had ceased” and they began to eat the old corn off the land.

But before we begin our lesson let’s look at what happened when the great miracle of crossing the Jordan happened.

Jos 5:1  And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, [heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over], [that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel].

We can be sure that since the River Jordan had been at flood stage these people had thought that they had more time to prepare for the coming war.

If it had not been clear to these enemies of God, “it should be now” as they could see with their own eyes that it was the God of Israel that was giving them the land.

You know it must be an awesome thing for those who have worshipped some fake deity, to realize that there is a real God who has awesome power.

Jehovah God of the Holy Trinity is truly an Awesome God!

No one can stand stand before His mighty  hand!

Psa 33:8  Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

If you want to have victory over an army then demoralize them and victory will come easier.

This is my biggest gripe with my fellow Americans.

When our soldiers are at war we must stand behind them 100%. If the moral of our troops falls to a lower lever then the Taliban and all our foreign enemies get an advantage that they should not have!

Our soldiers get careless and more of them get killed. War is not only fought with weapons but it is also fought in the mind of the soldier.

This happened when I was in Vietnam and it is happening today with our troops in Afghanistan.

Remember it is not a soldiers war. Wars are decided by national leaders and terrorists.

We must defend against the oppression of all people on this Earth.

But let’s move on.

What is an “Theophany”?

There are many examples of “special revelation” in the Bible. We know that God revealed Himself through dreams, and through visions and we know that God spoke to others audibly.

BUT, A “Theophany”  is a visible manifestation of the Living God.

We can only see these in the Old Testament because Our Lord Jesus is actually God in the flesh in the New Testament!

We can also say that a “Theophany” is the second person of the Holy Trinity who appears in human form.

We might ask how can we know?

Let’s see what takes place in our scriptures for today.

*****Jos 5:13  And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, [there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand]: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

We must clearly understand God will always draw near to His people when trials come. He had promised Joshua that He would be with him every step of the way and He fulfills all His promises.

BUT, As a good soldier Joshua confronted this stranger.

*****Jos 5:14  And he said, Nay; [but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.] And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

This stranger did not answer the question of Joshua except to say “No”.

We must be very clear, It is Israel and Joshua that will be used of God and not Joshua and Israel using God!

God again had come down to this earth to see that His will was done!

Later when we see those walls fall we may get a good idea of just how they fell in just the right direction and exactly at the right time.

Notice God does not try to explain Himself other to say that He was the “Captain” of the Host of the Lord.

As The “Captain” the Hebrew Word “sar” is used which means “the head person”.

The “Host” are an army. I could not pronounce the Hebrew Word so I did not try.

But this is not just any army. It is the Army of Jehovah!

L O R D means Jehovah, the Living God!

Did this captain bring this “Host” this army with Him?

The Bible says:

2Ki 6:15  And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
2Ki 6:16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
2Ki 6:17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

God’s angels are always near to Him.

The Bible says:

Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: [and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come].

How can we tell a Theophany of the Lord from an angel?

Joshua fell on his face to worship this “Captain” and he  was not rebuked for doing this.

Exo 20:1  And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2  I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3  [Thou shalt have no other gods before me].

Joshua would have been in deep sin to bow and worship anything but the Lord!

Compare this verse to this scripture in the Book of Revelation and the Apostle John.

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, [See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant], and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

This “Captain” allowed Joshua to worship so He was not an angel, nor a fellow servant already in Heaven because there were none. 

There are other clues to the identity of this “Captain”.

*****Jos 5:15  And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, [Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so].

Wherever God is at is Holy Ground. We should remember this as we realize that once we are saved and become a new creature and are then a living tabernacle of God.

Wherever God is at is Holy Ground and “we should be very careful where we take God” because He lives inside of us!

Compare this verse to this one in the Book of Exodus.

Exo 3:3  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Exo 3:4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
Exo 3:5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: [put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground].

We can be sure that our Pastors have already won many victories before they preach their sermons as they submit themselves in private to the Lord as Joshua and as Moses did, and we can help them with our fervent prayers for them.

Every Christian needs to remember who is in Command at all times. It is the “Captain” of the Host of Heaven!

Jesus said:

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].

All Joshua had to do now was listen to the plan of God.

Joshua did not need to make his own battle plan!

As servants of the Lord, that is the most important thing we need to realize.

It is God’s plan of salvation! We do not need another plan, we just need to get involved in His plan!

Jesus said:

Joh 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Jesus is our example. If He knew He could only do what He saw the Father do then we should do the same.

We need to see where the Father is working, “especially in the place of worship where He has assigned us”, that is the place where we need to get involved.

Whether it be teaching, working with the youth, in the choir, or going out to witness driving the church bus or working in the bomb squad in the nursery.

We all need to get involved in the work of God somewhere in His church!

*****Jos 6:1  Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

Why was Jericho shut up? They had witnessed the miracle crossing of the River Jordan and they had heard what happened at the Red Sea and what had happened to Egypt, and to the kings of the Amorites.

God was fulfilling another promise to Israel:

Exo 23:27  I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.

What was the symbol of that fear?

Exo 23:28  And [I will send hornets before thee], which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

God always keeps His promises.

We must not ever forget. The Book of Ephesians tells us we must wear the armor of God.

To be a Christian is to be at war with Satan and his evil. We are in a fight and our main weapon is the Word of God and Our Faith!

It is the Word of God that is our “hornet” and the Word of God stings because it is the truth!

This world we live in does not accept the truth and it stings them!

The main theme of the Bible is God’s Holy War on Satan!

God declared war on Satan just after the sin of Adam:

Gen 3:15  [And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed]; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

What is our  job in this war?

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, [to stand].

We have to take a stand against evil and the one who causes this evil!

Why has the church suffered so much in recent years?

It is because the church has become so much like the world that the world has no respect and certainly no fear of the church. We should hang our heads in shame!

It is the church that allowed prayer in school to cease.

It is the church that allows evolution to be taught in school.

And it is the church that has allowed our own government to take God out of Government when the writers of the Constitution said God must be included.

We have forgotten we are in a war and refuse to take a stand. Shame, shame, shame on us all!

*****Jos 6:2  And [the LORD said unto Joshua,] See, [I have given into thine hand Jericho], and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

Now we see another proof of this Captain. This verse says this Captain was the LORD! Jehovah Himself was the Captain!

Victory was given to Israel just like every other gift of God.

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

And Jesus said:

Joh 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

*****Jos 6:3  And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

Now comes the instructions!

Did Joshua have a plan to defeat Jericho? Joshua would never have come up with a plan like this given to him by the Lord.

God always knows what He will do!

Our responsibility is to wait on the Lord, listen to what He says and then just do it. The results will always be a victory!

We have three ways we can serve the Lord.

1.) We can make our own plans and hope for success.

2.) We can make our own plan and pray that God will bless that plan.

3.) We can pray to God for His plan and then try to do exactly what He says.

When I was in the army, a Captain brought orders, they did not bring request.

This was a test of Joshua’s obedience as much as it was a show of God’s Power!

Jos 6:4  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

First notice the four sevens. The seven means perfectness and completeness.

Those trumpets are called “shophars”.

The “shophar” was used for battle signals, for state occasions, and for religious festivals.

They were not used as musical instruments like the silver trumpets.

We must remember the children of Israel were not declaring war on Jericho. They were announcing the arrival of the first Jubilee to their new land!

They were proclaiming liberty for the land! The land no longer belonged to pagan gods, it belong to Israel and the God of Israel, who is Jehovah!

*****Jos 6:5  And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; [and the wall of the city shall fall down flat], and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

(show picture of the walls of Jericho)

I cannot imagine how Joshua felt as he heard this plan. He had already acknowledge this “Captain” as the Lord so it was time to go to war.

But we know that with all those sevens it meant that the Lord would finish what He started. 

We fail the Lord, when we do not understand that as Christians we don’t fight to get the victory, we fight because The Lord has already given us the victory!

We cannot loose in the end for we are on the winning side. (I love that song, “I’m On The Winning Side”)

The Lord has already fought “AND WON” the battle for our salvation!

We must now believe His PROMISES!

Those walls were going to fall down just like the Lord said and fall straight down so they could provide the means to get into that city.

(Find picture)

*****Jos 6:15  And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

Jericho was a small city of about 8 0r 9  total acres but we must remember it had taken a lot of patience to walk around this city quietly for six days and we can be sure they would have stayed out of range of the city archers.

They not only had patience but they had controlled their tongues for those six days.

Though the Bible does not say this was a Sabbath day we do know that they would march for seven days, so they had to march on a Sabbath day.

The Jew have always seemed to miss this lesson!

We can also see the words of Jesus were true when He said:

Mar 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mar 2:28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

We can only imagine what the people of Jericho were thinking in all this time. So the seventh day was something new for even them.

*****Jos 6:16  And it came to pass at the seventh time, [when the priests blew with the trumpets], Joshua said unto the people, [Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city].

It had taken a lot of “faith” for Israel to be so obedient to the Lord while not understanding the “Will of God”.

This day was recognized a a day of faith for the Body of Christ to learn from:

Heb 11:30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

It is still our “faith” where we get the victory!

It does not matter how impossible things look, there is nothing to hard for God!

God had these words for Moses that we all should remember:

Num 11:23  And the LORD said unto Moses, [Is the LORD’S hand waxed short?] (thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not).

Can we limit the power of God?

The children of Israel did on many occasions!

Psa 78:41  Yea, they turned back and tempted God, [and limited the Holy One of Israel].

It is our lack of  “faith” that limits the power of God.

Because God can do anything!

Luk 1:37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.

*****Jos 6:17  And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: [only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house], because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Jericho was the first of the Canaanite cities to be captured so it was devoted entirely to the Lord, the first fruits of victory.

Only Rahab and those that were with her in her home survived.

Archaeological evidence exists that tell us that there was a portion of a wall that remained standing in city of Jericho.

find picture:

It was portion of the lower city walls. This wall was 8 feet tall and had houses built against it just as those two spies described to Joshua.

There is no doubt in my mind that this was the house of Rahab.

Things that are devoted to the Lord are to be destroyed so that they cannot be used for any other purpose.

The city of Jericho was destroyed because of the wickedness of that city.

Lev 27:28  Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
Lev 27:29  None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.

Spiritually the city of Jericho, is a “type” of the “world we live in now”.

It was strong and looked to be unbeatable with it’s walls of protection but the conquest of this world can only come by our “faith”.

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even our faith].

Rahab and her family witnessed the power of God more closely than even these Jews, because she was in that house that was still standing, along with her family. Can you imagine “her faith” to watch as all those walls started to fall and her wall held firm?

*****Jos 6:18  And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, [lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it].

In other words. “Don’t Rob God”!

Any man that took any part of the spoils of Jericho would be robbing God.

The accursed thing was the entire city of Jericho, with all it’s possessions, and all it’s inhabitants.

If we remember Sodom we would know that if there had been at least ten righteous people in Jericho God would not have destroyed the city.

As we know and will study later there was a man that did not obey what God had said here. (Achan)

*****Jos 6:19  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

The Hebrew word “qodesh” is translated as consecrated in this verse and it appears 457 more times. 303 times it is translated as “Holy”, 55 times as “sanctuary”, 47 times as “most” in combination with holy or “most holy”,  30 times as holiness, 12 times as dedicated, 9 times as hallowed, and 1 time as “saints”.

God is serious when He says things are to be “consecrated” to Him!

Every “Born Again” child of God are “most holy” to Him and are to be set apart for His use!

Psa 4:3  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

*****Jos 6:20  So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Jos 6:21  And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

(picture)

There is enough evidence in archaeology to determine that these walls of Jericho fell exactly like it is described in the Word of God but that is not important. It is important that we trust the Word of God above all else.

What we can see is that there is nothing that these people of God did to cause this to happen.

It was their obedience to God’s plan that caused this to happen, along with their patience but most of all their “faith”.

All these things were witnessed by those of Jericho who died in their unbelief.

All Those that are in Hell have realized how they have failed immediately upon their arrival and that remnant that believed will always know the power of God.

This is in “type” the second coming of the Lord to claim Jerusalem as His throne at the time of the Millennial Kingdom.

We must remember it was Jesus Christ who overcame the World.

It is our job to follow the plan that is given to us by the “Captain”, Our Savior!

*****Jos 6:22  But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
Jos 6:23  And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

Only the believers were saved. We already know that it was the “faith” of Rahab that saved her. Joshua just sent someone to put a hedge of protection round about her and her family.

This is a lesson for all Gentiles to see:

Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

And

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

*****Jos 6:24  And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
Jos 6:25  And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

God destroyed this earth with water in the days of Noah. God will destroy this Earth with fire in the end!

Our world today is under the judgment of God and His judgment will one day come and that’s a fact and a promise to His Saints.

The people of this world have this time of “grace” that is known as the “Church Age”.

God will always be merciful but during the Millennial Kingdom, Our Lord will rule with a “rod of iron”.

This not the same as “grace”!

The people of this world have only a short time to repent, just as this city of Jericho but we already know that many will refuse till the end.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Our God is a “consuming fire” and a fire like this does not go out until all the fuel has been burned up!

There is a judgment coming and there is only one way to miss it!

There will not be a rebuilding by mankind of what God will destroy for only He is the “Creator”

Are we allowing the message of God to come into our heart.

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Priests—Leading By Faith

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Priests, Leading By Faith

Book of Joshua

Joshua 3:1-7, 10, 14-17; 4:14, 19-24

What is the omnipotence of God? It is the Almighty One, Jehovah, that rules this universe that He created!

This is not Allah, nor Mohammed, not any other false diety!

Psa 24:10  Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

In the Book of Hebrews we learned that the only way to approached the Lord Our God is by “faith”.

In the Book of Joshua we have already seen the “faith” of Joshua and the “faith of Rahab.

We will begin today to see how Jehovah, Our God increased the “faith” of an entire nation. 

These lessons are in the Bible for the Church to learn about “faith”.

We will either have victory over our flesh, or we will be overcome by our flesh but we should be well aware that God saved us to make us soldiers in His army and we must move forward by “faith” to receive our inheritance.

It was that time for the children of Israel. It was that time for Israel to move forward into the Promised Land!

How do we claim victory?

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even our faith].

It is our “faith” that will encourage every child of God to take a stand against the evil in this world!

*****Our Text:

Jos 3:1  And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

Crossing the River Jordan into the land of Canaan would be a major turning point in the “faith” of the nation of Israel.

It would take more “faith” at this crossing than at the Red Sea because at the Red Sea they escaped their enemy but at Jordan they would step onto a land their the enemy who would defend it to their death.

Shittim was an Acacia grove about 10 miles from the Jordan. It was probably only about 15 miles from Jericho. We can be sure that the King of Jericho knew what was going on and began his own preparations.

That word lodged meant that was not time to pitch the big tents. They were not going to be in that place very long.

*****Jos 3:2  And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
Jos 3:3  And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

We can be sure that just as soon as Joshua got that good report from those two spies he put things in motion. If the people of Jericho were that afraid of Israel then it was time to act.

When the Ark of the Covenant was in the Holy of Holies, no one could see the Ark except the High Priests but now the entire nation was to stay focused on it.

That Ark represented the Throne of God!

Jos 3:4  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

Two thousand cubits would equal 3000 feet or more than 1/2 mile.

This distance would allow the entire nation of Israel to see the Ark move forward.

We know that the Ark represented the Throne of God and it is our God that will lead us into all battles.

The Ark being in the front was for encouragement. As the Ark approached the river, then it was time to enter the Promised Land to Abraham.

Every “Born Again” child of God will be traveling in the wilderness even after being saved, since we do not know the way to Heaven we must follow the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way!

*****Jos 3:5  And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

To “Sanctify” means to prepare themselves. Though it gives us the image of ritual washing, it did not always mean to physically bathe.

In this verse it meant that it was time to make “a new beginning”.

In the New Testament we find these words:

2Co 7:1  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

This gives us the idea of what Joshua was telling Israel.

This promise was that the Lord would do wonders among them.

As He had at the Red Sea so He would at the River Jordan!

In other words:

Psa 77:13  Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
Psa 77:14  Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

*****Jos 3:6  And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.

We must remember the River Jordan at this time was in full flood stage.

If those priest did not have enough “faith” to step into that raging river then the battle was already lost!

They would have to get their feet wet before the Lord would open the waters.

The Lord moves with “faith”!

Not only were they to step into the water they were to stand in the bed of that river until all of Israel crossed over.

The Red Sea was divided. The flow River Jordan was totally stopped.

*****Jos 3:7  And the LORD said unto Joshua, [This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel], that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
Jos 3:8  And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.

The people had to realize that God was working through Joshua just as He did through Moses.

God uses people to get His work done.

God had to show Israel that just as He had been with Moses, He would be with Joshua. This nation needed one leader and not many.

Just as Joshua was that one leader, Our Lord Jesus Christ is that One who will lead us all into Heaven.

There is no other way!

Our lesson skips down to verse 10.

*****Jos 3:10  And Joshua said, [Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you], and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

From atop the walls of Jericho the flow of the river Jordan could be observed.

This miracle gave encouragement to Israel but certainly caused discouragement to those of Jericho and whoever else might be spying on Israel.

We can be sure that those of Jericho had felt secure thinking that no one could cross Jordan at that point for many more weeks until the flood waters ceased to flow.

skip down to verse 14.

*****Jos 3:14  And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
Jos 3:15  And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
Jos 3:16  That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: [and the people passed over right against Jericho].
Jos 3:17  And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, [and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan].

When God did these miracles He wanted people to see them. We already know the Jordan could be viewed from Jericho and it is certain that spies had been sent from other places.

When the feet of these priests touched that water during the spring flood season and that water was cut off like a knife it made this miracle more spectacular.

Psa 33:8  Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

We must remember unless we step out by “faith”, and get our feet wet spiritually, we will not make any progress in living for Christ!

Each step these priest took the waters opened up before them. They stopped in the midst of the river and all of Israel passed by them.

We can see another “type” in these scriptures:

This is a picture of of each believer claiming the inheritance that is in Christ Jesus!

As Joshua is a “type” of Christ, he lead God’s people into their planned inheritance, Jesus does the same for the Church, the Body of Christ.

1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

When we sit on the pews and refuse to get our feet wet in the work of the Lord, we will send our Christian lives wandering aimlessly in the wilderness of this world.

We can never stand still in our Christian life we must be moving forward at all times!

skip to 4:14

*****Jos 4:14  On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

This miracle gave Joshua the confidence he needed to be a great leader of God’s people. This also showed the people that God was going to work through Joshua as He had through Moses.

That word “magnify” as used in our verse means “to establish, or to cause to be respected”. It has a somewhat different meaning in our day.

That word “feared” does not mean that God intended these people to be afraid of Joshua.

No good leader needs the fear of people to be followed!

It also means they showed respect for the man God had chosen. If they respected Joshua, it would be because they had respect for the Word of God!

God must sometimes replace leaders but God’s work must go forward!

This great miracle also showed Israel that they would have the victory and those of Jericho that they would suffer defeat.

In our day the secular world may deny God but we can be sure that in the back of their minds they still worry that God will have His victory and they fight with the strength of Satan but we know that Satan is already a loser!

skip to verse 4:19

*****Jos 4:19  And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

Exactly 40 years earlier Israel had selected a lamb for there first passover:

Exo 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

We now see that the passover lamb again was taken from the flocks marking the entrance into the promised land.

We know that the number 40 symbolizes probation or punishment or temptation, “testing”.

The 40 days of rain, the 40 days Moses was on Mount Sinai, Moses spent 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in Midian and now the 40 years of wilderness wandering. Elijah had a 40 days, Jonah had a 40 days and Our Lord Jesus had a 40 days of fasting.

The number 40 makes a good Bible study.

In “type” The Lord Jesus, “our Joshua”, passed through the Jordan of death, opening the Kingdom of Heaven to all that will believe!

The name “Gilgal” in this verse means a circle of stones!

Joshua wanted to preserve the memory of their entrance into the promised land.

God later in chapter five said the meaning of Gilgal was “removed the disgrace of” or “removed the reproach of”!

*****Jos 4:20  And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

This monument at Gilgal would remind these Jews that God had opened the River Jordan and that they had walked on dry ground into the promised land.

Israel had crossed Jordan on dry ground here that meant a safe crossing.

God made Adam from the dust of the ground and gave him life. Israel was coming out of the wilderness and from “this dry ground” into a new life.

As sinners we were once “in the dry ground of this sinful world” but after knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior “all we need do is wash our feet from walking in the this dry and sinful world”.

Joh 13:10  Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

And of course we need to help one another.

Joh 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; [ye also ought to wash one another’s feet].

*****Jos 4:21  And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
Jos 4:22  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

These Jews had made a break from their past.

They were never again to desire a return to the bondage of slavery.

They had placed a monument in that dry river bed that reminded them that their old life was buried out of sight.

They were now to walk in a newness of life.

What words did the Holy Ghost give to the Apostle Paul?

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

It is easy to see how this crossing of the River Jordan can teach us the significance of Our Savior.

*****Jos 4:23  For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

Just as any of the future children of these that had crossed this river had to accept “by faith” what God had done on this day, we must accept by “faith” the work of the Lord Jesus Christ whom we have never seen.

The Bible says:

Joh 20:27  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Joh 20:28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Joh 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: [blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.]

*****Jos 4:24  That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

We will see as we move forward in our lessons that the news of this crossing of the Jordan does indeed cause panic among the rulers and the kings of Canaan land.

We can be sure that those of Jericho were able to view these things from a distance.

It was God that was giving this land to the children of Israel.

God brings us out of our sinful life so He can bring us into a newness of life and He did this through His Son Jesus.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We must surrender ourselves to the Lord, step out in faith, and God will open the doors of Heaven itself for our future and make our days better here on Earth.

Deu 11:21  That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, [as the days of heaven upon the earth].

Jesus Christ will show us just a little piece of Heaven while we are still on this Earth if we only trust Him!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Trusting God’s Plan Of Salvation—Rahab

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Trusting God’s Salvation

Rahab

Text: Book of Joshua Chapter 2

Our Focus 2:1-15, 18

Trusting in God’s Salvation.

That word “trusting” spiritually speaking means “to rely on”. We must rely on God for our “salvation”. The only thing we provide to Him is a sinner in need of salvation.

That word “trusting” is used only 1 time in the Bible:

Psa 112:7  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, [trusting in the LORD].

When our hearts are fixed and we trust in the Lord(Jehovah) we can be saved!

The Hebrew word “batach” that was translated to the word “trusting” in this verse of Psalms, is used 120 times in the Bible, but not again as the word “trusting”.

“Batach” means we must have “confidence” in the Word of God.

We have just finished a study in the Book of Hebrews and we saw this same Rahab in Chapter 11 in what is called the Wall of Faith.

Heb 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab [perished not with them that believed not], when she had received the spies with peace.

Rahab had faith in the Word of God. Rahab trusted in the Word of God!

There were only two women that were mentioned in Hebrews 11.

Sarah, who was a godly woman.

And, Rahab who had been an ungodly woman.

The fact remains that we are all sinners saved by the “Grace of God”!

Rahab had worshipped pagan gods and sold her own body for money.

Rahab had absolutely nothing in common with Sarah except her “faith”.

James,  when he was inspired to write by the Holy Ghost, even compares the “faith” of the Harlot Rahab, to that of Abraham:

Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
 
Jas 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
 
Jas 2:25  [Likewise] also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, [so faith without works is dead also].

These are the works that follow the “faith” of the believer!

A true saving “faith” always proves itself by good works!

[Rahab was saved by her faith and not by her works] but she also made it into the ancestry of the Messiah, the Son of God in the flesh, Jesus!

Mat 1:5  [And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab]; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

This same Boaz married Ruth in another chapter in God’s Word.

So we see that God can use anyone and from any walk in life.
 
Jehovah God is truly no respecter of persons!

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. [But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:]
Rom 5:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, [even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.]
 
The Bible proves to us that God will choose the most unlikely people to have a part in His Work by His “Grace”!

So let’s begin:

*****Jos 2:1  And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. [And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there].

Moses had sent out 12 spies and they were unfaithful at least all but two. This same Joshua, and Caleb.

Jericho was about 7 or 8 miles from the river of Jordan.

There is no telling what goes through the minds of the reader when they see this passage and read where these two men went straight to the house of a harlot.

But we should consider, if these two spies had gone to a regular inn they would have been more noticeable as strangers in the land, and they were trying to avoid this at all cost.

But what we should concentrate on is the fact that God had already prepared this Rahab to receive His people!

We will see that she received, lodged, sheltered, and protected the messengers of God.

What did Jesus tell his disciples that He sent out  as messengers to the people?

Mat 10:11  And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Mat 10:12  And when ye come into an house, salute it.

God prepares the hearts of those that will receive His messengers!

We need to realize that not one Missionary would accomplish anything unless God has prepared some to receive them.

This is the very reason no one can have their own plan for missions but “we must be obedient to God’s call” and to the place God has called.

These spies may have been led to this house because it was situated on the wall itself but there can be no doubt that they had been directed there by God Himself!

*****Jos 2:2  And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.

Even though these two spies had entered Jericho in the evening just before the gates were closed they had not gone unnoticed.

As this passage unfolds we will see that these men of Jericho have themselves been watching Israel for all the 40 years that they were in the wilderness.

They were very aware of their presence near the river Jordan!

They were also very aware that Israel had been promised this land known as Canaan Land.

*****Jos 2:3  And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

Rahab had to take her life into her own hands when she had welcomed God’s people into her home.

Since these two men represented God’s people, and she was not afraid to offer her help, she was not about to give them to this king.

If the king discovered her deception it could have meant her death.

*****Jos 2:4  And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, [There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: ]

When is a lie a real lie?

When situations arise that go against the teachings of God, which is this case,  what would the words of Jesus be?

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

We must obey the Word of God even over those of our own governments at times!

Rahab had demonstrated her “faith” by being obedient to the Word of God. How could she now just give up those she had taken in?

It is never OK to go against the Word of God even if it means we have to go against the laws of man!

“We never have the right to cause the death of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, just to protect ourselves”!

We must remember who we serve!

Rahab’s “faith” was not hidden. She took her stand for the Lord God Almighty. Those two spies could readily tell she was a “believer”.
 
*****Jos 2:5  And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.

We can see the Rahab willingly took part in the work and the safety of the spies. We can also see that Rahab was well known to these men sent of the king because he had no problem in believing what she had said.

The question is always asked, Did God sanction Rahab’s lie? I believe He did.
 
We might also ask, Did God sanction those who hid the Jews during World War II? I believe He did.

We support a missionary who smuggles Bibles into China.

Does God sanction the deceit of Bible smugglers who are lying to the Chinese government officials in order to get the Word of God into the hands of Chinese Christians? I believe He does.

The Apostle Peter and the Apostle John broke the law of the land.

Did God sanction the breaking of those laws?

Act 4:18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20  [For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.]
 
Does God sanction the telling of lies? NO

Does God place His Word above all manmade law? That answer is YES!

This called taking a stand on the Word of God!

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, [to stand.]
 
*****Jos 2:6  But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
 
Flax is the plant that is processed to make linen.

The Canaanites were familiar with the use of linen, as evidenced in our scripture. BUT, We can see that this Rahab also worked to make a living in an honest way by making linen cloth.

The ancient method of processing flax into linen included soaking the flax and then laying it out to dry.

The flat roofs of these homes made it the ideal place dry this flax and Rahab had a large stack of these plants drying on her roof.

It also made it the ideal place to hide these spies at this time.

*****Jos 2:7  And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.

Rahab had been so convincing that these men of the king left in hot pursuit of the spies. But we can see they shut the gate of the city and probably posted guards to make sure they could not return.

We can also see that these men of Jericho searched all the way back to the river Jordan to a place (the fords) where they knew it was the easiest place to cross the river especially during the flooding season. (The time of the barley harvest).

We should know that the harvest of the barley and the flax happened at the same time!

*****Jos 2:8  And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
Jos 2:9  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

Before these two spies had a chance to sleep Rahab came and explained her faith to them.

We should immediately notice that Rahab showed more faith in the Lord than the ten of the spies that were sent out by Moses.

We have just spent some time in the Book of Hebrews but it said of Rahab:

Heb 11:31  “By faith” [the harlot Rahab] perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

We can see the truth of that scripture as we read the Book of Joshua!

Her “faith” was based on facts!

To the church God says:

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So what had Rahab heard about Israel?

*****Jos 2:10  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

It had been 40 years since God had parted the Red Sea for the escape of Israel but it was still believed as a fact in Jericho.

The defeat of the two kings, Sihon and Og were things that had happened more recently and Jericho was well aware of army of God.

We should also notice that God had allowed 40 more years for the Canaanites to change their ways but they had not.

Remember what God had told Abraham:

Gen 15:16  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

God had revealed Himself, not only to Israel but also to the known world and given them time to repent AND,  It did not happen!

God has made it very clear to all the world, in the New Testament:

Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

How long will God wait before He comes in judgment?

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

*****Jos 2:11  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

What is the power of conviction that brings “faith”?

Rahab was living in a pagan culture and had never heard the Word of God.

Rahab had not seen the first miracle.

Rahab had “only heard” how the mightiest nation on Earth at that time Egypt, had been humbled by Jehovah God, the I Am, of the Bible.

Rahab had “only heard” how Egypt had been humbled because Pharaoh refused the demands of Jehovah.

Rahab had “only heard” how Jehovah had redeemed poor, slaves from bondage.

Rahab had “only heard” how Jehovah had parted the Red Sea.

Rahab had “only heard” how the most mighty army in the world of that time had been destroyed.

Rahab had “only heard” how these slaves had wandered in the wilderness until they also were humbled by this Jehovah.

Rahab had “only heard” how these redeemed slaves had somehow conquered Sihon and Og of the Amorites.

Now Rahab could see that this bunch of redeemed people were camped near the river Jordan and were poised to conquer Canaan Land.

Rahab knew that she had never witnessed any things like these of her pagan gods!

SO, Rahab believed the things she had heard and Rahab stood alone against all her countrymen!

Do we wonder why Rahab was mentioned in the New Testament?

Those words the LORD your God mean “Jehovah the Holy Trinity”.

He is the God of Heaven above and also the God of the Earth beneath that Heaven!

This is why it is called “faith”!

What did the Apostle Paul write to the Romans?

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, [Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed].

How could we ever question the salvation of Rahab?

You know it is past time that Christians should stand against our own government!

Maybe not in the act of war but surely in the truth of the Word of God!

*****Jos 2:12  Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, [since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house,] and give me a true token:

Rahab prayed to be a part of God’s chosen people!

Rahab had realized the “Grace and Mercy” of this Holy God and she wanted to be a part of Him and also her family.

Once we know the Lord as our Savior, we need to do all we can to help our families know the same.

Rahab realized that Jehovah had a personal relationship with Israel and He was no respecter of persons for He cared even for the poor and for slaves.

Rahab realized that God also loved the stranger!

*****Jos 2:13  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
Jos 2:14  And the men answered her, Our life for yours, [if ye utter not this our business]. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.
 
Rahab wanted a guarantee.

These two men of Israel:

1.) They pledged their word.

2.) They pledged their lives that they would not break their word.

This was being like Christ before Christ came into the world.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has pledged Himself as the “guarantor of a better covenant”.

Heb 7:22  By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Jesus Christ died for us all and that included Rahab and her family but more important “He lives”, so our salvation is secure!

Heb 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Rahab also had to make a promise.

Rahab had to promise not to tell of their agreement.

All of Jericho already knew why the spies were sent. Rahab would have jeopardized her own safety if she told anyone else what had happened and also that of her family if she did not bring them into her house.

*****Jos 2:15  Then she let them down by a cord through the window: [for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall].

We can be sure that it was not that cord that is our lesson here but it is the color of that cord which is a “type” of the “Blood” of Jesus.

Jos 2:16  And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.
Jos 2:17  And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
Jos 2:18  Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

Rahab made sure that these two men of Israel understood the directions she had given to their pursuers and gave them different instructions.

Jas 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Jas 2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James gives us this example of good works “after faith”, which brought salvation.

BUT, This thin scarlet line was Rahab’s only hope of deliverance for her and her family.

We can be sure that the color of this line is given to us of the New Testament to remind us of the blood of Jesus.

To Israel it would be a reminder of the blood sprinkled post of their homes in Egypt the day of the passover, when the death angel was to pass over.

We need to be clear. Rahab and her family would be saved by her “faith in God” to deliver her and not faith in some red rope.

The fact that she hung the rope was a sign of her “faith”!

Rahab was a woman of great courage. She would have to tell her family of the coming destruction and the promised salvation.

Jehovah God had put His fear all over Canaan Land.

This was good news and a great assurance for Joshua!

*****Jos 2:24  And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.

Rahab found her place in Israel. She was married to Salmon and their son was Boaz, whom we will study when we get to the Book of Ruth.

Their son was Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David the most loved king of Israel.

It is the line of David that leads us the Mary and Joseph the God selected parents of the Holy Ghost delivered Son of God who we call the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rahab’s name will live forever as an ancestor of Jesus Christ!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Joshua, Guiding The Nation of Israel

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Joshua, Guiding The Nation

Book of Joshua Chapter 1

Focus 1:1-11

In assembling the 66 books of the Bible it was obvious that the Book of Joshua should follow the Pentateuch.
There are many that believe that these first 6 books of the Bible are a fabricated history of Israel but in over 4000 years no one has proven them to be that way.     In fact archaeological finds have confirmed the majority of God’s Word as the truth, though this should not be important to the believer.

We either accept God’s Word as true or we cannot be saved!

As we deal in “types” in the Old Testament, we will see that the name Joshua is equivalent to Jesus in the New Testament.

They both mean: “Jehovah is Savior”!

Who wrote the Book of Joshua?

Jos 24:25  So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
Jos 24:26  [And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God], and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
Jos 24:27  And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; [for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God].

The New Testament accepts the Book of Joshua as history of the nation of Israel:

The Book of Hebrews

Heb 11:30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
Heb 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

The Book of Matthew

Mat 1:5  And Salmon begat Booz of [Rachab[; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

The Book of Hebrews

Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, [I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee].

Compare to Joshua

Jos 1:5  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: [as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.]

The Book of Hebrews

Who led Israel into the Promised Land?

Heb 4:8  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

We see the Greek form of the name Joshua in this verse and we can also know that it will be Jesus Christ who will lead His people into the Promised Land of Heaven itself! (“another day”)

Our Savior will lead all His children into the New Jerusalem.

Rev 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Our Text:

*****Jos 1:1  Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
Jos 1:2  Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

While Moses was still living Joshua was designated to be the one to replace him at his death and Moses explained this to the people.

Deu 1:37  Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
Deu 1:38  But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

In our verse we now see that the Lord now makes a personal request to Joshua.

You know Joshua could have still answered with no!

We see that Moses was still listed as a servant. To be honest to be called a “servant of God” especially by God Himself, is the greatest title in the Bible. To be a “servant of God” is even better than to be a “minister of God”.

Heb 3:5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
Heb 3:6  But Christ as a son over his own house; [whose house are we], if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Just as Moses was a servant to the children of Israel, Jesus Christ is Servant to the House of God and all that believe on Him, are the House of God!

It was not until the death of Moses at 120 years of age that Joshua was to take the lead of this people.

Deu 34:7  And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: [his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.]
Deu 34:8  And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
Deu 34:9  And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The children of Israel were still camped in the “plains of Moab” which were on the east side of Jordan. This is part of what is known as the Jordan Valley. A place called Shittim.

That name “Jordan” is used 197 times in the Bible but only one time do we see river connected with it!

Mar 1:5  And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him [in the river of Jordan], confessing their sins.

Even here it is referred to as the river in the Jordan Valley.

The prophet Joel includes this valley in his prophecy:

Joe 3:17  So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
Joe 3:18  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, [and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD], and [shall water the valley of Shittim].

Spiritually speaking, “the river of life” will flow at the entrance to the Promised Land of New Jerusalem.

Jesus Christ is our “River of Life” and it is He that flows to all that believe on Him to give eternal life.

*****Jos 1:3  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, [that have I given unto you], as I said unto Moses.

We can see that this is not some new plan of God. Those words “that I have  given you”, refer to the fact that it has always been God’s plan from the beginning.

Whosoever that lives on the land of Israel besides Israel have always been trespassers on that land. This includes those of today and the Canaanites and all those others mentioned at this time of Joshua.

God commissioned Joshua to do 3 things:

1.) Lead Israel into the “Promised Land”.
2.) Defeat all the enemy that was already there.
3.) Claim the inheritance God had given to them.

What has Jesus Christ done for us all?

1.) He has defeated our enemy, Satan.
2.) He has claimed the inheritance for all that believe on Him.
3.) He will lead us all into the true Promised Land of God the New Heaven and the New Jerusalem.

God’s people do not need an explanation of God’s plan!
God’s people just need to have “faith” in God’s promises and follow God’s plan!

*****Jos 1:4  From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

The promised land to the Jew extended from the southern desert to the great Lebanon mountains of the north, and from the Euphrates River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. This was the promise God made to Abraham.

Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Because of their disobedience the children of Israel have never taken all that land except for a short time in the rule of King David.

1Ch 18:3  And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.

We must see that the fulfillment of this promise to Abraham will not be fulfilled until some time in the future.

There are many references to the Hittites in the Bible but no one believed they existed until 10,000 clay tablets were found at a ruin of an ancient city of Turkey called Boghaz-Koy.

Boghazkoy is the site of a major Hittite capital called Hattusas, in what is now Turkey, some 100 kilometers from the Black Sea and 150 miles from Ankara. Occupied between about 1600 and 1200 BC.

The Hittites are descendants of Heth who was the prominent son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. It is because of Canaan’s many sons that the land of promise was called Canaan Land.

*****Jos 1:5  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: [I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee].

We have already studied the flood of Noah’s day. This was a worldwide catastrophe!

We have already studied the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This was a local catastrophe!

We will now see the first time God will use people to bring  judgment to the wicked!

What had God told Abraham?

Gen 15:16  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Many times it looks like evil people get away with things indefinitely, but God always has a timetable for everything. When the right time has come, the evil will be judged and God’s justice will prevail.

God will never forsake His children and it is certain that God will never forsake them when they are used in His judgment of other nations.

Rom 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

We know that God used other nations in His judgment of Israel because they became like these of Canaan after a short period of time because they did not get rid of all the evil of that land.

We know that God the Son will one day return to bring judgment on this world and all evil will be done away with!

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

*****Jos 1:6  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Jos 1:7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

What we see here is that before God could fulfill His promises Joshua had to have “faith”!

He had to have enough responsibility in him to know that these things could only be accomplished in the way God chose.

Joshua had God’s promise but he still had to put forth the effort in believing and following the Word of God.

God’s promises are His tool to get us involved in His plan!

So when we are used of God, we should say:

Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*****Jos 1:8  [This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth]; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

There are many that teach that the Word of God was actually written many years after the death of these great leaders of Israel.

But what do you do with this verse?

God’s people were commanded to obey God’s written law just as we are today. We have the same written Word of God as Joshua had. It has now been completed but even Joshua had the written Word. This was not just a written record of the History of Israel but it was the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God!

God shows us here in this scripture that it is not only important to have His written Word but it is very important to take the time to read, study, and meditate on the Word of God daily and even at night!

We must make God’s Word a part of us!

The very first song of praise in the Bible explains this for us.

Psa 1:1  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

We know that in the end times we are in now people are loosing the hunger for the Word of God. We must not loose our delight in the Word of God!

The Hebrew word translated “meditate” means to “mutter”.

It was a Jewish practise to read the Word of God out loud even if they were not alone. God gave us one mouth but He gave us two ears.

Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deu 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu 6:6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deu 6:8  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Deu 6:9  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

*****Jos 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, [neither be thou dismayed]: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

The message of God never changes. We see what God told Joshua.

What did God tell Mary the mother of Our Lord?

Luk 1:37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.

What does God tell every believer?

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, [to stand].

Not even the Devil can penetrate the armor of God unless God allows it!

Just like Joshua every child of God has a divine commission and God will supply the things needed to face our enemies and to make sure His Will Is Done!

When we are sent of God, He will provide!

*****Jos 1:10  Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
Jos 1:11  Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Once we understand the calling of God, it is time to prepare to be obedient. It was time for God’s people to claim His promises.

When we recognize the “Spiritual” bond between us and our Lord it is time to get moving!

Jesus said:

Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Joh 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Our first place to work is where we see the Lord working already. To many of us this is our local church. It is only when we will get involved in God’s plan that He may call us or direct us in another work.

If we see God working somewhere in our community, then get involved there. If we hear God mentioned in our work place then get involve there.

Jesus also said:

Joh 4:34  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Joh 4:35  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Israel’s ownership of the land of Palestine is unconditional!

BUT, Israel had to take the land and then be obedient to the Lord to remain on that land!

They needed to prepare only three days of meals for they would soon then be eating off the Land of Promise and the Manna would cease to come.

Notice Joshua did not try to second guess the plan of God, Joshua just got in God’s plan. God had opened up the Red Sea so the River Jordan would be small in comparison to that.

Joshua reminded the those that were promised land on this side of Jordan of their covenant with Moses.

Those 2 and one half tribes kept their promise but it was a concession on Moses part to allow them to live out side the Promised land. This is now the nation of Jordan.

It is with these that we can see the future thoughts of mankind.

They thought it better to make a good living with the grass lands for their cattle than to make a new life in the promised land of God!

They place fortune before family!

They made sure they were far from the place of worship!

They are a “type” of borderline believers in the Bible.

They were willing to serve the Lord for a set time but when they felt that time to be over they went back to the things they wanted to do.

God says:

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Pro 16:25  There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Four times in this chapter we see the words “be strong and of good courage”.

God gives us His free gift of salvation if we only believe on Him!

But we must take that first step toward Him in “Faith”.

We must then be strong in His Word and have courage.

Courage is that quality of mind that enables us to encounter the dangers of this world and the difficulties of living as a Christian, with boldness enough to take a stand for God and then “to stand”.

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

It is God’s Power that is endless, not our own!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!