Friday, January 04, 2013

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 20

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 20 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…

20:1 – Joshua spent time with the Lord. Good life lesson: know the Lord for yourself. Don’t rely on someone else’s relationship with Him. Joshua didn’t base his relationship with God on Moses’ relationship with Him.

20:2 – The cities of refuge are about to be named. See Numbers 35:9-34.

20:3 – The purpose of the cities of refuge.

20:4 – The offender would plead his case to the elders at the city’s gate.

20:6 – The congregation will judge the manslayer. Who makes up the congregation?

When the high priest dies, the manslayer may return to his hometown. There is only one high priest.

20:7-8 – These aren’t beautiful places of sanctuary. Getting to them would be difficult. I wonder why each tribal land didn’t have a city of refuge. Because God commanded Moses to establish six cities from those given to the Levites in Numbers 35:6-7.

20:7 – The cities of refuge in the hill country are:

Kadesh from Naphtali’s lands.

Shechem (“shoulder, back”) from the lands of Ephraim. This city was built on the shoulder of Mount Ebal.

Kiriath-Arba (Hebron) from Judah’s inheritance.

20:8 – The cities of refuge in the wilderness are:

Bezer (“inaccessible”) from Reuben’s lands.

Ramoth from the lands of Gad.

Golan (“circle”) from Manasseh’s inheritance.

20:9 – the avenger of blood – who is he? Where else have you read about him?

• 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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