Friday, August 24, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 1

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Joshua, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Stay strong and very courageous. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 1 of the Old Testament book of Joshua. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

This is the perfect book to study after examining the life of Moses in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. If you don’t have time to study the life of Moses and how he brought Israel to the very edge of the promised land, see the following passages for a synopsis of Joshua’s involvement in Moses’ story: Exodus 17:8-13; 24:12-13; 32:17; Numbers 13:1-16, 25-14:10, 26-38; Deuteronomy 32:44; 34:1-12. Then study the book of Joshua to watch how God gave the land He promised to Israel.

1:1-2 – After Moses’ death, the Lord broke the news to Joshua.

1:2 – The Lord tells Joshua to prepare Israel to cross the Jordan.

1:3 – God was giving them everyplace they set their feet. I would take off running!

1:4 – Maps the land out.

Perhaps it would benefit you to get a copy of a map and mark out what you learn in this book.

1:5 – No one would be able to stand against Joshua because the Lord would be with Joshua as He was with Moses – face-to-face? In chapter 5, yes, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I believe this is talking about intimate communion.

God will never leave or forsake Joshua.

1:6 – Why would Joshua need to be strong and courageous to lead the people to inherit the land? Think about how the people rebelled against Moses.

1:7 – Why be strong and very courageous with regard to obeying everything God commands?

Obedience is a condition of success.

1:8 – Meditate on the Word of God day and night! Meditation leads to learning, which enables us to obey. What methods do you used to meditate on scripture?

Be careful to obey its teachings. Obedience leads to prosperity and success.

What is your definition of success? How does it differ from God’s definition?

1:9 – Don’t be afraid or discouraged because the Lord will be with you wherever you go.

What might have terrified Joshua?

Why might he have become discouraged?

This is the third mention to be strong and courageous.

Where would you go if you had the guarantee of God’s presence? Do you have that guarantee?

1:10 – Officers of the people? Military?

Was Joshua Commander-in-chief?

1:11 – Why would they cross the Jordan in three days? Would it take that long to get there? Or that long to prepare?

1:12-15 – Why did the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh get special instructions? Read Numbers 32:1-5. Reuben and Gad actually asked not to go into the promised land, but take land on this side of the Jordan River.

Just a thought: Moses wasn’t allowed to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. I wonder if these tribes wanted to remain near him?

1:14-15 – These tribes were to fight until the Lord gave their brother Israelites their land.

1:14 – Why did they need to cross ahead of their brothers? Did they need to prove that they would fight for their brothers’ land? If there were casualties, they would certainly come from these groups.

1:15 – After Israel had taken possession of the land these tribes may return to their families on the opposite side of the Jordan River.

1:16 – They answer Joshua as Israel used to answer Moses: “Whatever you have commanded, we will do…” I wonder if Joshua was skeptical about their obedience.

1:17 – They say they will obey Joshua as they did Moses. Another red flag!

1:18 – They back these previous statements up saying that rebels will be put to death. Does this seem a bit extreme? In light of the Pentateuch, no.

This is the 4th call to be strong and courageous.

• The book of Joshua teaches us many things including the fact that we must pursue a relationship with the Lord for ourselves rather than leaning on others’ relationships with Him. Joshua followed Moses as leader of Israel, after all. What have you learned and applied to your life from today’s reading that will help you persevere in your relationship with Christ?
• How do you observe God proving to Israel that He is with Joshua as He was with Moses in today’s text? How does it apply to your own life and relationship with Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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