Friday, August 31, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 2

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 2 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…

2:1-24 – demonstrated faith is remembered. (Bad Girls – Higgs)

2:1 – Joshua secretly sent 2 spies from Shittim. Who were they a secret from? What is the significance of them being from Shittim?

“Shittim” is the Hebrew word for acacia trees. Israel was blessed by Balaam, here. See Numbers 22-24. Israel sinned with Moabite and Midianite women, here. See Numbers 25. Joshua was named Moses’ successor, here. See Deuteronomy 34:9.

Their instruction was to look over the land, especially Jericho. This was how they met Rahab the prostitute. Some scholars say she was an innkeeper, not a prostitute. Her house was probably right inside the city gate – the first place the spies came to. Good location for her business. A brothel may have been less busy than a boardinghouse if their standards were similar to today.

2:2 – Who was the king of Jericho? Not really a king, but a chief local government official.

Did someone see the spies? Why would they suspect the men to be Israelite spies? Did they know who the Israelites were? They had been wandering on the other side of the Jordan for 40 years. It almost sounds like inside information. Did these men look different? Were the men of Shittim actually Israelites?

2:3 – The king sent a message to Rahab to turn in the spies.

2:4-7 – Rahab hid the spies and told the messengers that they left. When the messengers left to pursue the spies, the gate was shut behind them. The gate of the house? Or the gate of the city of Jericho? They headed toward the Jordan River, so the city gate would have been shut behind them. I wonder if they ran into the entire nation of Israel awaiting the report from the spies. Apparently not, since the spies hide in the hills to avoid them in 2:22.

2:9 – How did Rahab know the Lord? How did she know that He gave the land to Israel?

2:10 – Rahab confirms that her “people” knew the story of the Red Sea parting (Exodus 14:21-31) and about the victories over Og and Sihon (Numbers 21:21-35). How might they have heard these stories? If she were an innkeeper, and her house was right inside the city gate, it would make sense that travelers would stop at her home and talk about what they had seen and heard. Were “her people” the citizens of Jericho? Or Rahab’s family?

2:11 – When the people heard the stories, they feared the Israelites because of the power of the Lord.

2:12 – our past doesn’t determine our future. (Bad Girls – Higgs)

Is there anything in your past that you haven’t given to God and released? Give it to Him right now and let it go.

Rahab wanted the spies to promise her that they would repay her kindness by sparing her family from death when Israel conquered Jericho. She asked them for a sure sign.

2:13 – She wanted the lives of her father, mother, brothers, sisters and their families spared. Obviously, she knew (and perhaps so did the people of Jericho) that Israel would annihilate everyone in Jericho when they conquered it. Remember, she knew of Israel’s victories.

When did the Lord give the instruction to take the land and spare no one? How could Rahab know about this?

2:14 – The spies swore to protect her life for her protection of theirs.

2:15 – Rahab lowered them outside of the city through her window. Remember the gates were locked behind the king’s messengers. She was very strong, very smart and very resourceful.

2:16 – Rahab sent the spies in a different direction than the messengers went.

Three days – how did she know how long it would take the messengers to return? Did she know where they would go to search for the spies?

2:17-19 – The spies made their oath conditional upon three things: her tying a scarlet cord in the window, bringing her family into her house and keeping them inside. The third condition appears in verse 20.

Notice they named the conditions after she lowered them to the ground. Why? Did they not trust her?

What identifies you as a Christian to others?

2:17-18 – This is reminiscent of the first Passover when the angel saw the blood on the door posts of the Israelite homes and left those inside alone. See Exodus 12.

2:20 – The third condition of Rahab’s protection was that she had to remain silent about the spies.

2:21 – She agreed to the conditions, sent them away and tied the cord in the window.

2:22 – The spies stayed in the hills 3 days while the messengers searched for them along the road.

2:23 – The spies returned to Joshua across the river and told him all that happened.

2:24 – They affirmed that the Lord gave them the land and the people were afraid.

• 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?

1 comment:

Julie Lessman said...

HA, STACEY!!! LOVE the sticky-note idea as I am a true sticky-note queen in my family and actually use them in and for my prayer journal as well. :)

I know that you have been a part of one of my blog tours in the past, so I wanted to contact you to see if you would be interested again.
I am putting together a blog tour for my upcoming e-book, A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story, which is actually the prequel for the Marcy and Patrick O'Connor, the parents in my Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series. If you think you would like to participate, please contact me through my website as I do not know your last name or have your e-mail, okay?

Thanks SO much!!