Thursday, October 18, 2007

GOD SPEAKS IN THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Here are some gleanings from my recent journey through the book of Joshua.

  • This book helps you understand why "land" is such a big issue for the nation of Israel. They lived for 400 years in Egypt away from their homeland and then another 40 years in the wilderness. 440 years without a home.
  • God's military strategy for Joshua--no survivors. Why? Because the 13th century BC culture was one of child sacrifice, sacred prostitution, practices that used children and virgins to manipulate the gods. There needed to be a total cleansing.
  • God promised the land to His people, with Joshua as the leader. What "land" is God promising to Chapin Baptist Church?
  • The key to success in fulfilling a vision--meditating on God's Word and obedience.
  • The people completely bought into the vision God gave Joshua.
  • God used a prostitute (Rahab) to accomplish His purposes (and even allowed her to serve a role in the messianic line).
  • We must consecrate ourselves before we will see miracles.
  • We must take the first step, a step of faith, before the miracles come.
  • There is great value in the people of God remembering key events that demonstrate the hand of God.
  • When the leader leads with obedience to God, the people respect the leader.
  • One of the interesting parts of Joshua's job descriptions was using stone knives to circumcise. Ouch! That was under the section "Perform other duties as assigned."
  • One sin in the camp can remove the blessings of God.
  • After the victory of Ai, an altar to God was built, giving Him all the credit.
  • Chapter 9--you better check with God before making decisions.
  • It's not wise to go up against the God of the universe. He can send hailstones bigger than bowling balls. He can even extend the hours of the day if He so chooses.
  • Joshua didn't completely wipe out Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. This came back to haunt the people of God later (Goliath was from Gath).
  • About Caleb, 85 years old: "He gave himself totally to God." That's the way I want to be when I'm 85.
  • Chapter after chapter about the distribution of the Holy Land to the people of God. Again, great evidence as to why Israel serves such an important role in history.
  • God lived up to His promise that He would restore all the land to Israel.
  • Chapter 22--great example of how to handle problems. The tribes went directly to some of the other tribes when they saw a possible problems. Instead of jumping to conclusions, gossipping, and attacking, they went directly to the source of the issue and got everything clarified. Oh, that all Christians would do the same. They used the bucket of water instead of gasoline.
  • We must engage our culture; but we must also guard our souls against its ungodly influences.
  • God's past blessings should always be a motivation for total commitment.
  • God's hand of judgment always falls on those to decide to serve other gods.

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