Joshua Lesson 9

Overcoming the Challenges of Life: Remaining Focused on Life’s Important Things

Joshua Chapters 7 and 8

 

  1. Ask the group to discuss what a camilian is. Then discuss, “if there is such abhorrence for deceit in relationships, why do so many engage in it”?
  2. Finding out about the sin of Achian in the camp of Israel is a bit like discovering Judas among the disciples.  Yet, there are some rich and encouraging lessons to learn. First, let’s review the context of the situation:
    1. The Israelites had a wonderful and encouraging victory at Jericho; it was God led and God won.  We clearly see in this story how God gives us victories and leads us to overcome the challenges in our life.
    2. Note what God said in Joshua 6:18-19.
    3. Achan had a better idea; translated-“the rules don’t apply to me”. Know anyone like that?
    4. We also see Joshua engage in some “leader whining” to God. Anyone guilty of whining? Please note what God said, in essence, to Joshua–“Stand up and knock it off”.  Reminds me of my drill sergeant. God then went on to tell Joshua—“What are you doing on your face? Take care of my business! Cleanse your camp of those devoted to destroying my plan.”
  3. Discussion Questions:
    1. Could God’s advice to Joshua apply to us? How?
    2. Consider the statement in Joshua 7:1 that “God’s anger burned against Israel”. Discuss what may cause God’s anger to burn toward each of us today (individually, as a church, as a nation) and the future consequences you can foresee when it does.
  4. Recognize the things that can cause us to lose our focus
    1. This passage clearly shows that Sin in our lives separates us from God and can cause us to lose focus.
    2. Un repented sin leads to disobedience, leads to judgment and breaks unity between God and man.
    3. Continuing to do the work of God when there is un repented sin does not restore our focus.
  5. God’s Personal Advice to each of us for Remaining Focused on Life’s Important Things
    1. Stay close to God through consistent prayer life and Bible reading.
      1. Note how Joshua gave instructions in vs 2-4 as if there was no problem. He believed the “captain of the host was continuing to be with them”—not realizing that sin had already separated God’s blessing from Joshua and the people.
      2. Doing the work of God is no guarantee of having God’s continual presence and help. Stay close to him and be cleansed of sin in our life to be assured of his presence.
    2. Discussion Question- So does this teach about the condition of our hearts in relation to God pleasing, faithful service offered in his name?  Can we hold grudges or harbor anger and still work acceptably in the sight of God?
  6. God’s advice to remain focused (continued)
    1. Stay Pure in Body.
    2. This passage teaches that the attitude of one person can affect the health of the body’s life. I Cor 5:6-7 or I Cor 12:26.
    3. The passage is a clear call for purity within the Body of Christ.
    4. Note the role of repentance and cleansing in bringing God’s guidance in time of need. Look at 7: 10-15. After Christ, we see his blood as cleansing (and re cleansing us) as we daily seek him.
    5. Discussion Question – Why do you suppose that repentant prayer is often the last resort rather than the first in times of need for God’s guidance in our lives?
  7. Be Aware of Disobedience – Lessons from the Monument
    1. We need to be constantly aware of the potential for un repented sin in our lives and the danger of being guilty of offending God.
    2. We need the presence and strength of God daily for every battle we face in life, not just every one we think we can’t handle on our own. Consider Paul’s attitude toward self confidence    2 Cor 12: 9-11.
    3. God expects us to be aware of the potential for sin to affect a brother and prayerfully encourage all to saving repentance and to preserve the unity of body life.
    4. Discussion Question:  There is a lesson here that “God doesn’t expect us to “go along with the crowd” even when we know something is wrong. Discuss why it is so hard to say, “this is wrong-I’ll not have a part in it?”
    5. There is a day coming when all mankind will stand before God and give an account of our past.
    6. Don’t miss closing with this Discussion Question:  Read Psalms 103: 11-12 and discuss the confidence we can have as repentant believers when we stand before the judgment seat.
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