Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Joshua 13-22

Last week we saw many victories given to Joshua by God.  We saw God’s awesome power when He extended the daylight hours so Israel could have a complete victory over the enemy.  God heard Joshua’s prayer to reverse the natural order. 

Joshua 13:1-7 – More Land to be Taken

Joshua was old and well advanced in years.  He had conquered most of the land, but God told him that there were still large areas of land to be taken.  They would not need to fight for it.  God would do it for them.  They just needed to trust God.  God told Joshua to be sure to allocate this land to Israel and He had instructed.  Joshua was to divide up the land among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.  (Joshua 13:1-7)

Principle:  God will fight for His people.

When has God fought for you?
How has God conquered your enemies during your lifetime?

Joshua 13:8-33 – 14-19 – Joshua Divides the Land

The other half of the tribe of Manasseh, the Reubenites and the Gadites had already received their inheritance from Moses.  This land is described in verses 8-13.  Remember back in Num. 32 theses tribes were referred to as the Transjordan Tribes?  They decided they wanted to live east of the Jordan where the land was sufficient for their livestock.  However, they still would help the rest of Israel conquer Canaan.   Moses granted their request, if they promised to fight alongside the others.  They agreed and fought with Israel.  The Levites was not given any land, since their inheritance was the offerings to the Lord. (Joshua 14)  Remember they were the tribe of priests.

In verses 15-31 is the description of the land given to the tribe of Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. 

The next chapters are descriptions of the division of the land:
Joshua 14 – Allotment for Caleb
Joshua 15 – Allotment for Judah
Joshua 16-17 – Allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh
Joshua 18 – Allotment for Benjamin
Joshua 19 – Allotment for Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, and Joshua

There are several passages that describe the inheritance of the tribes of Israel.  When we read these in the light of God’s faithfulness, we are encouraged.  We, too have an inheritance.  There is a place reserved for every faithful Christian in God’s kingdom.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”John 14:1-3.

Will you receive the inheritance God has for you?
Will He call you His faithful servant?

Principle:  God has an inheritance for all of His faithful people.

Joshua 20 – Cities of Refuge

God told Joshua to designate cities of refuge as He had instructed Moses in Num. 35.  These cities were for anyone who killed a person accidentally.  They could flee to these cities for protection from those who wanted to take revenge.  They would wait there until trial.  Then if they were guilty they would be put to death by the high priest, but if innocent they would be freed.

These cities of refuge are like a picture of Jesus.  We are all guilty and have sinned, but we can go to Jesus as our refuge.  He will forgive us and keep us safe.  We must confess that we’ve sinned.  We don’t have to wait for death by the high priest.  Jesus who is our High Priest has already died for us and is now alive and intercedes for us with the Father.

Who is your High Priest?
Have you confessed your sins?

Principle:  Jesus who is our High Priest has already died for us and is now alive and intercedes for us with the Father.

Joshua 21 – Towns for the Levites

The Levites didn’t have land of their own.  They were chosen to serve the Lord.  They were teachers of the law and needed to live near all the people.  So each tribe gave some of their towns to the Levites. 

How do you provide for your pastor?
How do you share with God’s chosen leaders of your church?

Joshua 22 – Transjordan Tribes Return Home

Joshua told the tribes of Reubenites, the Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh that they had done all Moses had commanded and had obeyed Joshua in every way.  Now they could go home to be with their families.  They would not be living in the Promised Land, but living near their enemies.  He warned them to be careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses gave them.  They were to continue to walk in all the Lord’s ways, obey his commands, hold fast to him and serve Him with all their heart and soul.  Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way.  (Joshua 22:1-9) 

We live near enemies today.  They are all around us.  We need to continue to walk in God’s ways.  We need to obey His commands.  We need to hold fast and stand firm and not let the world’s ways influence us.  We are to love and serve God with all our heart, soul, and mind.  So stay on our knees and stay in the Word daily.  Go to Him in every situation, big or small.  He will fight your battles as He did for Joshua.  Remember God is always with us and will never leave.

How can you stand firm and hold fast to God and His ways?
Do you take every circumstance to Him?

Also if we want to have peace in the religious world today we must recognize God’s Word, the Bible, as the only authority for religious practices today.  We must respect God’s knowledge and always present the truth.

When the Transjordans came near the Jordan, they build an altar to show they still belonged to Israel and still worshipped the Lord.  Some of the other tribes didn’t understand why they built this altar.  They became angry and wanted to fight.  They thought the Transjordan Tribes built the altar to honor themselves and not God.  (Joshua 22:10-12)

Anger can be dangerous.  It can cause arguments and even wars.  We do foolish things when we are angry.  Israel’s leaders made a wise decision before they went to war.  They sent men to talk to the Transjordans and remind them of their history.  But the Transjordans explained that the altar was built so their children would worship with the rest of Israel.  They didn’t want to rest of Israel to say they had no part with the Lord since they were on the east side of the Jordan. (Joshua 22:13-25) 

They were at peace again and decided to build another altar to be a witness for all generations that they all will worship the Lord and will offer offerings.  This pleased everyone and there was no more talk of war.  (Joshua 22:26-34) 

When have you jumped to conclusions before you knew the facts?
What was the result?                               

Principle:  God is always with us and will never leave us.

Next week we will study Joshua 23-24.  See you here.


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