Friday, September 14, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 4

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 4 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…

4:1-2 – When Israel crossed the river, the Lord told Joshua to choose 12 men (1 from each tribe) to select a stone from the middle of the Jordan where the priests stood and carry them to where they would camp.

4:5 – stone on his shoulder – this would be a really large rock if it had to be carried this way.

4:6-7 – The stones would serve as a memorial.

How do you commemorate important events in your life? What sort of events do you make an effort to remember? What is the last significant moment with God that you have memorialized?

4:8-9 – The Israelites did as Joshua commanded and Joshua set up the stones.

4:10-11 – The priests stayed in the middle of the river until all the people crossed. Then they came out.

4:12-13 – About 40,000 armed men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in front of the rest of the people as Moses instructed in Numbers 32:29. According to the census of Numbers 26, how many men were in these tribes? Reuben – 43,730; Gad – 40,500; Manasseh – 52,700. If they only sent 40,000 men to conquer the land, how much protection does that offer their families remaining in this land?

Why continue to refer to Manasseh as a half-tribe? To distinguish this generation from the sons of Israel?

4:13 – before the Lord – before the ark?

4:14 – That day endeared Joshua to Israel and they respected him as they did Moses. Why? Because God promised in verse 7 to prove that He was with Joshua. Also, check out verses 15-18.

4:15-18 – The Lord told Joshua to command the priests to come out of the river. Joshua obeyed, as did the priests. As soon as their feet touched dry ground, the river resumed its flood stage flow! This proves again that God is with Joshua as stated in 3:7.

Close your eyes. Imagine this visual. Imagine the sound! How would you have felt if you were an eye-witness to this event?

4:19 – the tenth of Nisan. This would have been the day the Passover lamb was selected. Israel camped at Gilgal. No mention of lambs.

4:20-22 – This is where Joshua set up the 12 stones to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan.

4:23-24 – God dried up the Jordan so that people might know His power and so Israel would all be in awe of Him. What do you know about God’s power?

• 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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