Friday, September 21, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 5

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 5 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…

5:1 – When the Amorite kings heard about what happened at the Jordan, their hearts melted – WOW! What a visual – and they were afraid of Israel. How would Joshua know this? How would the Amorite kings have heard about what happened at the Jordan in the first place? Scouts and spies?

5:2-3 – Then the Lord told Joshua to circumcise the Israelites, and he did.

Was the point of verse 1 to say that Israel would have no opposition for a time and be able to perform this surgery and have time to heal without fear of being attacked? Read Genesis 34 to see a time when this was actually used as a “battle” tactic.

Gibeath Haaraloth means hill of foreskins. Ick! Some resources say this sity was also known as Gilgal.

5:4-8 – None of the men born in the desert during the Exodus were circumcised. So Joshua performed the task and Israel camped until they were healed.

How many circumcisions were performed?

Why do you think God didn’t have Joshua circumcise Israel before setting out/crossing the Jordan? Remember, God’s timing is perfect! He used His act of power in stopping the flow of the Jordan to make the “kings” fear Him and Israel, which assured that the Israelite camp would be safe from attack and have time to heal from the procedure.

5:9 – The Lord rolled away the reproach of Egypt from Israel. The name Gilgal sounds like the Hebrew for “roll”.

5:10 – This is the first celebration of the Passover since one year after Israel was released from Egypt. So, this was the 3rd Passover celebrated by Israel. It was actually observed on the correct day. How many years had it been? 40?

5:11-12 – The day after the Passover, they ate some of the produce from the land and the day after that, the manna stopped. WOW! They ate manna for a long time.

5:13 – Joshua approaches a man with a sword near Jericho. How stupid! I mean, what bravery! Joshua truly was strong and courageous.

Would you have approached an armed man near an enemy city? Why or why not? Why do you think Joshua did approach him?

5:14 – This is so cool! I’ll bet Joshua was glad he did approach this man. He identifies himself as the commander of the army of the Lord! Whoa! Who is this? An angel? God the Father? A preincarnate Christ?

I’m leaning toward Christ, myself. Was His sword the Word of God?

5:15 – This verse is reminiscent of when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush. This commander is definitely God! This is holy ground. Joshua removed his shoes. I wonder if Joshua ever sat around a tent or campfire with Moses and heard the burning bush story, and that’s why he removed his shoes...

Think about this: Joshua saw Jesus’ face!

• 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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