Joshua Lesson 8

Overcoming Life’s Challenges of Life: God Leads in Ways We don’t Understand; Just Follow

Joshua 6:1-27

 

  1. Ask the class to discuss the role of a “Drill Sergeant”.   The writer’s Drill Sergeant told us the first day, you may not like me at times, but do what I say. I am trying to keep you from getting killed”.
  2. God’s Way of directing our paths is always right, and we should follow it, even when we don’t understand.
    1. “You have heard it said, You shall Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Matt 5:43-44.
    2. “if your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, if he is thirsty, give him water to drink” Prov 25:21.
    3. God has perfect knowledge.  Job 36:4. We don’t. Even when we don’t understand, he does!  God knows and has “perfect knowledge”, and is preparing us for “eternity”.  2 Tim 3:17.
  3. Read Joshua 6:  1-7 and discuss why God would direct Joshua and the Jews to march around the city for seven days in a certain rhythm and pattern.
    1. Was there any apparent military strategy you see from this Godly guidance? Discuss.
    2. What was the significance of carrying the Ark around Jericho?
    3. Review Joshua 2:8-14 regarding the discussion between Rahab and the two spies.
  4. Discussion Questions:
    1. Note that Rahab, despite a sinful background, had the faith and spiritual discernment to recognize the “things that are of God”.  Yet, there is very little military significance of the Rahab account with the Jericho victory, so ask the group to discuss why God chose to include this passage.
    2. Look at 6:17-18 and discuss the significance and vital importance of “God remembering his promises”.
    3. Note the caution in Joshua 6:18 that paves the way for Lesson 9. Discuss what is “consecrated to the Lord today”.   This reminds me of some (media evangelists) who earn an exorbitant living from off the tithe of those of modest means).
  5. The story of Rahab, a harlot, and how she ended up in an honored position in the Biblical lineage of our Lord is introduced in this familiar Joshua passage. Some have opined about how someone of such a disreputable background could be so prominently recognized. Others mentioned that her lie to the king of Jericho is a further dis-qualifier. I view this passage as a wonderful encouragement to all “sinful believers”.  By the way, that includes “all of us”. Let’s deal with a few of the wonderful life lessons from this passage.
    1. Rahab demonstrated a wonderful example of a believer’s faith. She, like many residents of Jericho had heard the stories of how God providentially enabled the Jews to leave Egyptian bondage, crossed the Red Sea and then 40 years later also miraculously crossed the Jordan River.  She was a Canaanite who clearly believed in the God of the Jews!  Joshua 6:14
    2. Review the account of the two spies in Jericho (Joshua 2:1-4). Notice how God led the two spies to the believer Rahab’s house, where she protected them from the King’s soldiers.  He still leads us today!
    3. Regarding Rahab’s lie –she did! The question is not, does God condone it (he doesn’t Exodus 20:16) and unrepentant liars will spend eternity in hell (Rev 21:8) unless repentance is involved but does God forgive it? He absolutely does!
    4. It is interesting the spies did NOT ask Rahab to lie for them and it does not appear they had any knowledge of it. In fact, James 2:25 commends her for her faith in receiving the spies and sending them another way, not in lying. God recognized her for her faith, not her lying. Praise God that he does the same for us, while forgiving us for our sins! She was saved for her faith not for lying. God does the same for us! Note in Genesis 12:20 Abraham lied but in James 2:23 is commended for his faith.  Note that beloved King David, committed adultery, had the husband of the woman involved killed in battle, and was later referred to “a man after God’s own heart”. 1 Sam 13:14. Take away message: God doesn’t condone our sins; he forgives them when we confess and then forgets the sin (removing it as far as the east is from the west). Psalms 103:12! Praise God!
    5. Finally, note that there is continuity in the Lord’s word and his work. The same spies who visited Rahab in Jericho were allowed to go bring her and her family out of Jericho, before the City was destroyed. Joshua 6:23.
  6. Discussion Questions:
    1. Why do some Godly Christian folks have such a hard time forgiving and forgetting the sins of others?  Example: Preachers who commit adultery while serving in an active ministry?
    2. In light of what we have mentioned here, discuss productive and practical ways for the church to promote “restoration and recovery” ministries for those who have engaged in visible sin.
    3. Discuss how we can practice the “Spirit’s Leading” with grace and forgiveness, whether we understand a situation another brother or sister is dealing with or not?
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