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Lesson No. 7—Be a Bible—Studying, Bible—Understanding Christian.

LESSON THEME:—JOSHUA

Joshua 1:1-9.

  • KEY WORD—”CONQUEST.”

  • KEY VERSEJoshua 1:6.

  • KEY PHRASE—”POSSESS YOUR SPIRITUAL POSSESSIONS.”

Home Readings.

The whole of Joshua or:—

NAME—This book is named for its author, the principal character—Joshua. He was born in Egypt in slavery and came out at the Exodus. All through the journeyings he was the co-labourer of Moses, ever loyal to his leader, and one of his most trusted and valiant captains.

AUTHOR—Joshua. The elders who outlived him wrote the account of his death. Time of writing about 1425 B. C. Events cover period 1450-1425 B. C.-25 years. From the crossing of the Jordan to the death of Joshua and the dividing of the land among the tribes.

PURPOSE—To give an account of the settlement of the children of Israel in Canaan thus proving the faithfulness of God in fulfilling the covenant with Abraham, that his seed should possess the land

It stands in somewhat the same relation to the Pentateuch as The Acts of the Apostles to the Gospels While the Pentateuch gives the origin and principles of Judaism and the Gospels those of Christianity, in the books of Joshua and of Acts we see these principles in action.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Spying.

  2. Crossing.

  3. Conquering.

  4. Retreating.

  5. Renewing.

  6. Dividing.

Great Fact I. Spying the Land.

Joshua 1; Joshua 2.

After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of unbelief, the Israelites came to the east side of the Jordan, and are about to cross over and possess the land. Joshua has succeeded Moses and is a man of great faith, courage and fidelity in the discharge of his leadership.

The Canaanites were the descendants of Canaan, one of the sons of Ham. They occupied Canaan and were utterly wicked and depraved and had fallen into heathenism and vice. God warned them in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah but they did not heed. He is now about to destroy them and give their land to Israel. Their destruction was both a punishment to them and a protection to other peoples around them.

Joshua, who had been one of the twelve spies, now sends two spies to view the land and particularly Jericho. Rahab, who had heard of the wonderful miracles wrought for Israel, prayed for mercy for herself and her father’s house, hid the spies, helped them over the city walls and placed scarlet rope in her window so that her home might be identified and spared when the city was destroyed.

LESSON—The scarlet line speaks of safety through sacrifice, Hebrew 9:19-22.

Rahab living in a condemned city was not saved by her character but by her faith.

Great Fact II. Crossing the Jordan.

Joshua 3; Joshua 4.

Guided now, not by the pillar of fire, but by the Ark (God’s presence remains with them although the sign of it has been withdrawn). Israel prepares to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. It was a momentous crisis in her history, so God, as at the Red Sea, dams back the water and the people pass over dry shod. As a memorial of this divine favour, Joshua. commanded a man of each tribe to take a rack from the bed of the river and set up the stones as a monument of thanksgiving.

LESSON—Gratitude in the Old Testament was testified by outward signs. There was circumcision, Passover, etc.—all memorials of God’s love. Memorials stir ‘LIP questions and prevent past history from sinking into oblivion. Thus our Independence and Thanksgiving days. The Lord’s Supper is our spiritual stone of remembrance. It was ordained to refresh our memories of, and warm your cold hearts to, Calvary.

Great Fact III. Conquering Enemies.

Joshua 5; Joshua 6.

Before advancing on Jericho, Israel was commanded to renew the covenant of circumcision with Jehovah, and to keep the Passover. How the blessed memories of this feast must have assured them of God’s presence and power against their present foes. Jericho is now besieged for seven days. Each day for six days the city was marched around by the fighting men preceded by the Ark carried by the priests.

On the seventh day the city was compassed seven times. The priests blew the trumpets, the people shouted, the walls of the city fell down and all of the inhabitants were destroyed except Rahab and her family. All Israel did was to carry out simply and faithfully the directions of God and they won a complete victory.

LESSON—Spiritual victories are won by ways and means that seem utterly foolish to the wisdom of the world, 1 Corinthians 1:17-29. The walls of Jericho like the hindrances in our life are terrifying but they cannot withstand the Lord and Ills power.

Great Fact IV. Retreating from Ai.

Joshua 7; Joshua 8.

Joshua now sends his men against a much smaller and weaker place—Ai, only to retreat in sore confusion. There is a traitor in the camp—Achan who, although forbidden to do so, bad taken a goodly Babylonish garment, 200 shekels Of silver and a wedge of gold from the spoils of Jericho, bringing disaster upon himself and others.

LESSON—Unjudged and unforgiven sin in the believer or in the churches causes much weakness and injury. We need to pray, Psalm 139:23-24.

Great Fact V. Renewing the War.

Joshua 9; Joshua 10; Joshua 11; Joshua 12.

The second time in battle, Israel triumphs over Ai, makes a treaty with the Gibeonites who played a trick on them, and routs the allied army of five kings with the help of a great hail storm and miraculously prolonged daylight. When Joshua said the sun stood still it is his way of stating the phenomenon that, in answer to the prayer, God stopped the earth from rotating on its axis for 24 hours. Prof. Totten of Yale has published calculations to show that one day in the earth’s history was 48 hours long. Mark 11:23-24.

The name Jerusalem is mentioned for the (first time in the Bible. It has since become the most famous place in the world and the Crusaders shed rivers of blood trying to capture it.

The kings of the north formed a second confederacy but in divine might Joshua overcomes them all, and the land rested from war.

LESSON—The destruction of the Canaanites is a foreshadowing of the great destruction that shall surely come upon the wicked.

Great Fact VI. Dividing the Land.

Joshua 12; Joshua 13; Joshua 14; Joshua 15; Joshua 16; Joshua 17; Joshua 18;
Joshua 19; Joshua 20; Joshua 21; Joshua 22; Joshua 23; Joshua 24.

Nine and one-half tribes have their portion on the west side of the Jordan, and, two and one-half on the east side. (Reubenites and Gadites and half tribe of Manasseh.)

The Cities of Refuge mentioned in Numbers and Deuteronomy are now set up. “Then the Lord gave them rest and victory.” “There failed not ought of any good thing the Lord had spoken.” All God’s promises will in due time be made good. After eight years rest in the land Joshua, knowing the time of his departure is at hand, calls the people together and exhorts them to be faithful, and warns them of the results of apostasy.

The covenant is again renewed, and Joshua in memorable words calls upon Israel “To choose you this day whom you will serve.”

He stands a noble and sublime figure among them, and gives his testimony “That as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” At the age of 110 Joshua died. What a tribute to him that it is said “and Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua.”

LESSON—In view of all that God has done for us we ought reverently and heartily to pledge ourselves to serve the Lord. Canaan with all its treasures speak to us of the Christian’s present inheritance. Victory must come before enjoyment.

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Why was this book named Joshua?

  2. Where was he born, and in what capacity did he serve Jesus?

  3. Give the purpose of the book.

  4. How much of the ‘book did you read last week?

  5. Tell the relationship of the book of Joshua to the Pentateuch.

  6. Give the key word and key verse.

  7. Name the great facts.

  8. What two ends were served by the destruction of the Canaanites.

  9. What did Rahab do for the two spies?

  10. Of what does the scarlet line speak?

  11. By what is Israel now guided?

  12. What sort of memorial was set up?

  13. How was gratitude expressed in the O. T.

  14. What is our spiritual stone of remembrance?

  15. Tell how Jericho was besieged.

  16. How are scriptural victories often won?

  17. Who was a traitor at Ai, and what did he do?

  18. Could the God who made the sun make it give prolonged light?

  19. What city is now mentioned for the first time?

  20. How many tribes settled on east, and which on west?

  21. What tribute was paid to Joshua?

  22. What, ought we to pledge ourselves to do?

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