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BFF Update July 12, 2006

A Life Commentary on the Book of Joshua

– The Conquest of the Land –

Joshua's call to mobilization


Book of Joshua

Purpose of Joshua

God’s good purposes can always be gloriously fulfilled when we
faithfully trust and obey Him.

The Book of Joshua is not merely about how one brave and godly man led God's people into the Promised Land but on how God works in and through His people to accomplish His greater purposes. Joshua is not only to be admired but to be imitated. God was not just making a home for His people but readying them to accompany Him on His great mission.

As one reads through the Book of Joshua, one is amazed as to what is discussed and what is left out. Many things like details of the battles are left blank while certain acts such as the sins of Achan and the need to be circumcised are included. Although the Book of Joshua is a history of God's people as they came out of Egypt, it is a specially written history to help us understand how God works in the lives of His people today .

I. Getting Ready For Battle (Joshua 1-5)            Preparing For the Conquests
II. Stirring Up the Enemy  (Joshua 6-12)            Conquering the Land
III. Finishing The Task (Joshua 13-24) Dividing the Land

I. Getting Ready For Battle (Joshua 1-5)

Preparing For the Conquests

Chapters 1-5 of Joshua was written to show how God readied His people to rightly live for Him. God was training them how to respond to Him, how to listen to authorities, how to trust Him and, of course, how to obey Him. They desperately needed to learn how to fight God's way and to trust Him even when their knowledge or senses told them otherwise. The key to understanding these battles and victories is wholly dependent upon God's presence with them. When they left God and hid their sin, they saw defeat. But when in faith they stepped forward in faith, God mightily moved and brought tremendous victories.

We dare not stand still. There remains a life of battles ahead each of us. Are we too busy having children, getting married, being transferred, researching, etc. so that we have forgot to focus on His mission? Are you ready to step over the Jordan and be used by God? As God’s people, let us arise to the great task which He has given to us! Let us be readied to serve the great King!

Mobilizing God's People (Joshua 1:10-18) Powerpoint
Joshua 1:10-18: Introduction to Moblizing God's People
Joshua 1:10-11: A. Communicates God’s Will
Joshua 1:12-15: B. Demands Total Participation
Joshua 1:16-18: C. Responds With A Clear Commitment
Joshua 1:10-18: Bible Study Questions

II. Stirring Up the Enemy  (Joshua 6-12)

Conquering the Land

God is always more ready to accomplish His plan than we are to participate in it (Joshua 11:20). God has a whole set of plans to quickly and effectively complete His plans. God, though, fights differently than man. Training to win requires that we do things God’s ways. We need to trust Him. If we rely on our methods, we will surely fail. They failed at the battle of Ai not only because of Achan’s greed but because Joshua did not pray and seek God’s will.

God already has His plans on how to eliminate these enemies. These main campaigns lasted seven long years. The Lord records three major campaigns. The enemy would use any trick to get their way. The Gibeonites deceived Israel.

Other kingdoms ganged up on them. Although the battles almost always seemed a sure defeat for Israel, God led the Israelites to victory each time through their faithful leader of Joshua. These battles surprisingly only comprise 4 of the 22 chapters in Joshua. The victory was always certain. God's people only needed to learn how to do things God's ways, no matter how threatening the enemy seemed to be. Don’t be afraid; just obey!

Victory over Strongholds (Joshua 6:1-27) Powerpoint
Joshua 6:1-27 The Lesson from Jericho
Joshua 6:1 Our Need for God's Power
Joshua 6:2-5 Our Discovery of God's Solutions
Joshua 6:6-27 Our Participation in God's Victory
Joshua 6:1-27 Summary: You can win too!
Joshua 6:1-27 Bible Study Questions

Effectively Dealing with Defeat & Despair (Joshua 7:1-15) Powerpoint
Joshua 7:1-15: Learning about Defeat and Failures
Joshua 7:1-5: Falling into Failure
Joshua 7:6-10: Staying in Disgrace
Joshua 7:11-15: Road to Recovery
Joshua 7:1-15: Bible Study Questions

Reaching Beyond Mediocrity (Joshua 10:1-43) Powerpoint
– The Day the Sun Stood in the Sky –
Skepticism and Higher Bible Criticism
Joshua 10:12-14 Interpretations of 'Sun stood in the sky.'
Joshua 10:12-14 Purpose of Recording the Miracle
Joshua 10:1-11: A. Joshua's Sincere Obedience
Joshua 10:12-43: B. Joshua's Quest for God's Best
Joshua 10:1-43: Bible Study Questions

III. Finishing The Task (Joshua 13-24)

Dividing the Land

We often get confused between winning the battle and winning the fight (war). Our shortsightedness causes us focus on our self-interests. The real war is how one lives after the so-called battles are won. The most dangerous times are after victories are won. And it is precisely here that the Israelites failed.

The Lord had them divide up the land. The point of this exercise was to prepare each tribe to live under the Lord’s leadership. Up to this point, they relied on Joshua’s faith to win. Now. they had to rely on their own faith. If they trusted Him and obeyed His Word, they would do well. If not, they would bring trouble into their future. Once they received their inheritance, they were responsible to clear off the many enemies still hanging about (see Judges 1).

Finishing the Task (Joshua 13:1-33)
Joshua 13: Introduction: 3 Unexplainables
Joshua 13:1 Passes on the Vision
Joshua 13:2-5 Knows the Need
Joshua 13:6 Lives by Faith
Joshua 13:7-33 Distributes the Responsibility
Joshua 13:1-33 Bible Study Questions
Obtaining a Greater Portion (Joshua 21)
Joshua 21 Introduction: A Greater Deal
Joshua 21:1-7 A Special Calling
Joshua 21:8-42 A Special Service
Joshua 21:43-45 A Special Promise
Joshua 21 Bible Study Questions

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell