Friday, October 12, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 8

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 8 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…

8:1-2 – God told Joshua to take Ai by ambush, and they could take the plunder this time.

8:3 – Joshua chose 30,000 men and sent them at night. Why? Sneak attack? No, to plan and lay the trap.

8:4-8 – What a brilliant battle plan! Take a minute to sketch it out. What was similar about this plan to the taking of Jericho?

8:9 – The place of the ambush was set between Bethel and Ai. Joshua stayed with the people. At Jericho?

8:10-13 – Joshua marched to Ai, set the trap and entered the valley.

8:14-17 – Ai and Bethel pursued Israel and were led far from the city.

8:18-19 – The Lord used Joshua’s javelin to signal the ambush party to take Ai and burn it. Was Israel tempted to take Bethel, too?

8:20 – Ai knew they’d fallen into a trap. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Surrounded with nowhere to go? How did it feel? What did you do? What lesson(s) did you learn?

8:22-23 – Only the king of Ai was spared. Why? See verse 29. All of the men of Bethel are dead, too.

8:25 – 12,000 people of Ai died.

8:28 – heap of ruins – another monument? To what? What can happen when you obey God?

8:29 – He hung the king of Ai on a tree – cursed? For all to see? He only hung there until sunset, then was taken down, thrown at the city gate and covered with rocks. It is likely that only Israel saw him.

8:30-32 – Where have we seen this type of altar before?

8:30 – Mt. Ebal was where the curses were shouted from in Deuteronomy 11:29 (also see Deuteronomy 27 & 28).

The altar is described in Exodus 20:24-26.

This very altar is detailed in Deuteronomy 27.

8:34-35 – Joshua read all that Moses has written to the people after offering sacrifices on the altar. Joshua had the original – and at this point, probably the only – copy of the scriptures. This is the very first Torah, Tanakh, Bible! Perhaps written in Moses’ own hand…

• 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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