Friday, September 28, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 6

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 6 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…

6:1 – Jericho’s gates were locked because of the Israelites. How did news travel so quickly back then?

6:2-5 – God told Joshua that Jericho was Israel’s. He instructed Joshua to march around the city once a day for 6 days and on the 7th day, march around the city 7 times while the priests carrying ram’s horns before the ark blow the trumpets. When the priests sound a long blast, have the people shout and the walls will fall so Israel can take the city. WOW! God really does work in mysterious ways.

Worship is a powerful weapon! Want the devil to flee from you? Worship Jesus!

6:6-7 – Joshua conveyed the instructions to Israel. I wonder what they thought of this. Were they tempted to grumble at how crazy this sounded? It wasn’t recorded that they did grumble, so I’m guessing they didn’t especially since they obeyed the instruction immediately.

6:8-11 – As soon as Joshua finished speaking, the priests headed out! The ark followed. An armed guard went before the trumpeters and a rear guard followed the ark. They circled Jericho once and went back to camp.

What obedience! I want to be this obedient. How about you? What unconventional instructions has the Lord given you? Did you obey Him?

What was the distance around Jericho?

6:12-14 – Early the next day, they repeated the process. They did this for 6 days.

They were excited, I’m sure. The day before, they set out as soon as Joshua finished speaking. They didn’t question when they were supposed to begin. They took off! The remaining days, they rose early. They wanted to see the wall fall down. They wanted to see God at work – especially after the Jordan thing. They wanted to start taking their land. Perhaps this was Ephraim, Gad and Manasseh who led the charge so they could return to their families faster?

Do you anticipate seeing God at work in your life? What can you do to gain a bit of this Israelite perspective?

6:15-16 – They got up at daybreak on the 7th day (again, excited and anticipating – this was it!) and marched. During the 7th lap, the priests blew the long blast and Joshua gave the command to shout.

6:17-19 – Joshua gave Israel warnings about not harming Rahab and not touching devoted things. They were to save the gold and silver for the Lord.

6:18 – “keep away from the devoted things.”

6:20 – Seeing this actually happen must have been amazing!

6:21 – How did Israel devote the city to the Lord? ESV says Israel devoted the city to destruction.

Israel destroyed every living thing except Rahab’s household.

6:22 – Joshua instructed the spies to go and get Rahab and her people.

6:23 – The spies are identified as young men. They got all of Rahab’s relatives and secured them outside of Israel’s camp to protect them. Also to protect Israel from being tainted by their presence? Why keep them separated?

6:24-25 – The city was burned. The gold, silver, bronze and iron were taken to the treasury of the Lord’s house.

6:25 – Rahab’s family was spared and she lives among the Israelites because of her faithful service to the Lord and Israel. What happened to being kept outside of Israel’s camp in verse 23?

Rahab married an Israelite named Salmon. One of the spies, perhaps? Her son’s name was Boaz. Does that name sound familiar? Check out the book of Ruth. Rahab and Ruth are both mentioned prominently in another family tree. Read Matthew 1:5.

6:26 – Joshua curses whoever tries to rebuild Jericho. 1 Kings 16:34 tells of Joshua’s curse coming to pass during the reign of Ahab against a man named Hiel of Bethel.

6:27 – The Lord was with Joshua.

His fame spread. Whose? The Lord’s or Joshua’s? Both. The Lord is with Joshua, so when miraculous things like the Jordan River or the collapse of Jericho’s walls happen, God and His servant are given credit. Does this happen to you? Be sure to point people back to God when they sing your praises.

• 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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