Saturday, October 1, 2011

Joshua 6-8 September 29, 2011

In a meeting with a small group of missionaries in China, Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship) reminded them that there were three ways to do God’s work:
“One is to make the best plans we can and carry them out to the best of our ability.
Two, carefully lay out our plans and determine to carry them through, we may even ask God to help us and to prosper us in connection with them.
Three, another way of working is to begin with God; to ask His plans, and to offer ourselves to Him to carry out His purposes.”
-- Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, Biography of James Hudson Taylor (London: China Inland Mission, 1965), p. 271.
God used the mistake in Joshua’s judgment to bring victory and recommitment.
“Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”― Henry Ford
"The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.“
Theodore Roosevelt
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks. 
Phillips Brooks
·        Siege of Jericho ~ Joshua 6
·        Sin in the Camp ~ Joshua 7
·        Success at Ai ~ Joshua 8:1-30
·        Sacrifice on Mt Ebal ~Josh. 8:30-35
Siege of Jericho ~ Joshua 6
God made the plan- 2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
Victory was guaranteed. God gave Joshua specific and detailed plans. The Ark of the Covenant was its proper place was in the middle of the procession. 6: 9 The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark.
The plan of God may seem foolish to the world: Joshua with his trumpets, Gideon with torches and pitcher, or David and his slingshot. 1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Joshua followed God’s plan without question. He delivered the orders to the people and they didn’t argue or complain about waiting 7 days to conquer Jericho. 6:16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!
Rahab saved  23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.  24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house.
Jericho was the first city that God delivered to the Israelites. This was considered a sacrifice to God the devoted things would be considered the first fruits.
 Exodus 23:19
“Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
Jericho was burned as a sacrifice to the LORD but also to protect God people from sickness and impurity. The area was known for its wickedness, perhaps plagued by social diseases. Note that also that Rahab’s family was kept outside the camp of Israel until they were purified.

*A television program preceding the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, impossible as that sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, "Left!" and "Right!" As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers' word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.
What a vivid picture of the Christian life! In this world, we are in reality blind about what course to take. We must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted--God Himself. His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.  Robert W. Sutton.
Sin in the Camp  JOSHUA 7
Perhaps overconfidence from the destruction Jericho and the fact that Ai was such a small town, or could it be pride from such a victory that Joshua did not seek the advice of the Lord. Joshua took the advice of the spies, 7:3“Not all the people will have to go up against Ai.  Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there.”   4 So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5 who killed about thirty-six of them.
Joshua is discouraged and downcast.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 “Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?”
His whining sound strangely similar to the people God bought out of Egypt.
God let him lay there in the dust until evening.  10 The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.  13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.
Warren Weirsbe reminds us the Holy Spirit did not dwell within mankind at this time and Joshua did not possess the gift of discernment. The LORD had to tell Him there was sin in the camp. Probably the priests used Urim and the Thummim in the breast piece of decision. Exodus 28
14-16. tribe by tribe clan by clan; family by family; man by man the LORD takes shall come forward
18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.  19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD,[d] the God of Israel, and give him the praise.[e] Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”  20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia,[f] two hundred shekels[g] of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels,[h] I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
23-26 Joshua, with all Israel, took Achan, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had. Everyone was stoned and then burned. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, called the Valley of Achor. Then the LORD turned from his fierce anger.
Imagine how Joshua felt when the offender was in his own family; shame, quilt, anger
*One day as I was shoveling out my son’s room, I found pieces of my costly clay pizza stone. When confronted Kurt admitted he had broken it banging frozen hamburger patties on it. That action was not covered in the warranty. It was not the broken stone that wounded my heart, but the fact that my son had hidden it from me.
What sins have we hidden from the LORD?
One day I smashed my finger and let an ugly word slip out of my mouth. My teenage son was horrified. “What would Tom Parnell think if he heard you say that?” he criticized. Tom was our youth minister at the time. “Son, it is not Tom I have to worry about! God heard every word I said and I must come before Him to ask forgiveness.”
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Success at Ai ~ Joshua 8:1-30
 1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”
 God encouraged Joshua now that sin was dealt with. This time Joshua listened to God and relayed the message to the men in detail.
18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out his javelin toward Ai. 19 As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.
25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai. 26 For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai. 27 But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the LORD had instructed Joshua.
If Achar had only been obedient and waited on God’s timing, he would had have abundant wealth and possessions.
Ps. 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
*Roger Staubach who led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in '71 admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn't call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations could he change the play (and he had better be right!). Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a "genius mind" when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team. Roger later said, "I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory."
Sacrifice at Mount Ebal CH. 8
 30 Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, 31 as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. (So man could not boast)On it they offered to the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.
The sacrifice was made Mount Ebal because a blood offering had to pay for their sins before they could be blessed.
32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua copied on stones the law of Moses, which he had written.  Deut.27:1-8 History tells us Kings would celebrate their greatness with records of their military victories written hugh rocks covered with plaster.
33 All Israel, aliens and citizens alike, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it—the priests, who were Levites.
Warren Wiersbe -Between the two mountains was a valley like a natural amphitheater so everyone could hear. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim  the mount of blessing stood children of Rachel and Leah (except for Reuben who had sinned against his father and  Zebulon) and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, Children of Bilhal and Zilpah handmaidens of Rachel and Leah.
As Joshua read the blessing the tribes at Mount Gerizim responded with a loud Amen which in Hebrew means “so be it.” When the curses were read the tribes at Mount Ebal shouted Amen.
 8: 34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them.
Galatians 3: 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”[d] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Throughout the Old Testament when the people were told to confess their sins, they had to offer a blood sacrifice to be redeemed.
Hebrews 7:27Unlike the other high priests, he (Christ)does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
*As Christians we make choices every day. The most important choice is who we putting our trust in?  Can I encourage you to put all your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and free you from the eternal consequences of your poor choices and wrong actions?  Jesus is the one who can help give us direction and purpose for our lives. If anyone wants to ask Jesus into their life, make sure you talk to someone in leadership straight after the lecture. Or drop a card in the prayer box and ask to set up a time to talk. PRAY