Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do You Look Any Different?

"...but that the world may know that I love the Father,
I do exactly as the Father commanded Me..." John 14:31

Here's my train of thought after reading John 14:

Why did Jesus obey the Father?

  • So that the world would know He loved the Father.

Why should we obey the Father?

  • So that the world would know we love the Father.

What does the world see when they look at me right now?

  • Good question...

Good works cannot produce salvation:
  • they cannot save you
  • they cannot earn God's favor
  • they cannot pay your debt
  • they cannot take anything off the total you owe

But they can produce a few things:
  • fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control)
  • blessing (choose to sin, choose to suffer - choose to obey, choose to be blessed)
  • faith (believing the Word of God and ACTING on it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result)
  • testimony (the world will know who you love by how you act)
Sometimes obeying God is difficult because we don't feel like doing what He wants us to do. As parents, we see that in our own children but we do not wait for them to feel like obeying - we expect it no matter how they feel. Why? Because we know that what we are asking them to do is in their best interest. When they obey, they are showing their love and trust in us.

This is the same concept with the Lord. When we obey, with or without feelings, we are showing God that we love and trust Him. We are also showing the world Who we love.

It is a good thing to slip into your neighbor's shoes and take a good look at yourself. Do you look any different than anybody else? What message do your actions give?

I just thought it was interesting that Jesus said His obedience to His Father was a testimony to the world. Remember, God the Father so loved the world that He gave His Son - His Son loved His Father so much that He obeyed.

So who do you love today?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Idol Destruction - Part II

It's as simple as taking off an old coat and putting on a new one. And it's simple because you don't have to do it in your own strength - you do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A few years ago before my daughter was married, I gave her then fiancee a new White Sox baseball cap. The one he had worn for years was well-loved and needed to be replaced - in the humble opinion of a mother. It was faded, ripped, dirty as all get out and I even thought at times it smelled like...sweaty forehead. He loved this hat, obviously, so I didn't just replace it with any old hat. I got the very same hat - same color, same design, everything was the same but without the smell, dirt and with a bit more vibrant colors. I will note, also, that it came somewhat faded, because that was the style.

Well, he forced a smile but struggled to let go of his best friend, the hat. Eventually, he did trade it out but it wasn't an easy process.

I share this because letting go of our idols can be almost as painful as Austin letting go of that hat. All he had to do was take it off and put the new one one. But he struggled to do so because he loved that old hat so much. Now, please hear me - his hat wasn't an idol or sin - I just want to get that straight. But taking off the old and putting on the new can be hard because we love our idols so much.

Ephesians 4 tells us that dealing with sin is a process - a process of identification in order to remove, renewal of your mind (a step many forget) and putting on something in the place of the old idol - not another idol, but a righteous replacement that fills the void of the idol or sin.

Now that you've identified your idol, you need to do a few things before you move on. First, repent - fall on your face before the Lord and say it out loud. Tell Him your sin, acknowledge that it is an offense to Him, thank Him for paying the price for it and ask His forgiveness.

Secondly, confess it - tell someone else. You need to hear yourself say it out loud again. Don't beat around the bush - tell it like it is and ask for accountability. You may need to ask forgiveness to someone because your idol has affected your relationship with them - then do it. Get that slate clean through confession.

Third, renew your mind in the Word. Immerse yourself in Bible study. Study the topic of your sin. Find out what God says needs to be in its place - I'll give you a hint. It starts with a J and ends with an ESUS! Figure out how to let Jesus fill that void - follow Him, imitate Him and vow never to put that idol back on that platform in your heart.

And finally, put on that new self - do away with the old and focus on the new. Physically and mentally fill that void. If you struggle with Facebook obsession, turn off the computer and use that time to study God's word or write thank you notes to friends and family whom you love. If your idol is food, choose to buffet your body instead of fill it. Get outside and start walking instead of grazing in the pantry. If your idol is bitterness, start praying for a distant relative or rake your neighbor's leaves, all the while quoting the scripture passage that you will have committed to memory.

Idol destruction takes effort. But you don't have to do this in your own strength - let the Lord guide you through His Word, through His Spirit, through godly counsel and friendships and through discipline. Yes, discipline.

Dear friends, tear down those idols. Do it today. Place Jesus back on that platform - let Him rule from the throne of your heart. Don't wait till you feel like it, but do it today. To God be the glory...

By the way, I think Austin may need another hat for Christmas, but don't tell him I said so...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Baby Fun!

Guess who had twins for the night last night? Yep, you guessed it. They were absolute dolls and their mom and dad didn't even reprimand us when we admitted that we heard them cry at eleven and got them up to play for an hour! It's too hard to resist...

Norah has developed a sense of humor - this is her smile when you pull the camera out lately. Plus she likes to ham it cute!

This is our beautiful Ashley - it is not easy to tell them apart at times, but she has a very serious disposition right now. I think it's to offset the clowning around that her sister does. It will be interesting to see if they trade roles in the future. That's what my twins would do...

And finally a big smile from our little clown, Norah. It's hard not to smile when you see that!

Idol Destruction

I struggle to imagine this scene - just a few months after the climatic conclusion of the plagues in Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea, Israel is worshipping at the feet of a golden calf. Moses had disappeared on the mountain to receive instructions from God, but the length of his absence had shaken the faith of the people. Actually, he had only been gone 40 days, and considering they didn't make this idol overnight, their disobedience was a lot quicker than I think we realize.

So why a golden calf? Because idol worship was all they knew. It was what they had grown up with - the idol worship of the Egyptians had rubbed off on the Israelites. It became comforting and acceptable to the children of God.

So, look at your idol list. How many of your idols have you grown up with? Do you see your sin as being a mirror image of your parents' sin? Or worse than that, look at your children. Do you see your sin and your idol worship being developed in their lives? Scary.

What did Moses do when he saw the idol? He tore it down. Actually, he tore it down, ground it up, poured it into the Israelites' water source and forced them to drink it. Wow. Tough.

What did Gideon do to the idols in his father's town? He tore it down.

What did Josiah do to the pagan temples when he became king? He tore it down.

What did God do when the Philistines took the ark of the covenant from Israel and placed it in the house of Dagon, their false god? He tore it down.

Do you see a theme here? Once you've identified the idols in your life, you've GOT to deal with them.

There's another example from the Old Testament, but it's not a good one. When Jacob packed up his two wives and their handmaidens and his children to head back to Israel, one of his wives stole her father's idols and hid them. On the outside she acted as if she was in complete submission to the God of her husband, but secretly she longed for the protection of her father's idols.

Hiding your idols is not enough. Putting them in the basement isn't tearing them down. If you've ever seen the movie Fireproof, I love the scene where the main character takes his computer out of his house, puts it in the garbage and then takes a bat to it. You see, even in the garbage can there was a temptation to retrieve it. But once the bat had done its work, there was nothing left to run to - complete destruction.

Unfortunately most of us believe that we can manage our idol worship with the idol still in the house. Especially if it is housed in a computer or television. It would be too costly to deal with that idol and others would be affected, as if the cost of idol worship isn't high enough and others aren't affected by it already...

So how exactly do we facilitate the destruction of our idols?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Idol Identification

"Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:23

In order to deal with your personal idols, you have to be able to identify them. Most of us have convinced ourselves that we are not idol worshippers, which means we have justified and classified our idols as spiritually acceptable. Our idols are second nature to us - we don't even realize that we are worshipping and sacrificing to them on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Idol identification is where we have to start. Here are a few questions to answer to get started:
  • What would make you happy?
  • Where do you look for security, meaning, happiness, fulfillment, joy or comfort?
  • What do you see as your "rights"?
  • What do you pray for?
  • What do you fear? What do you tend to worry about?
  • What fills your mind during the day?
  • What would those closest to you say is your greatest desire?
Your answers to these questions are important, so it is vital that you are honest with yourself. As you search your own heart, you need to be able to honestly assess what drives you - do godly desires drive you or are they self-centered? How do your answers above define your view of God?

Next, you need to think through what would be potential idols in your life. Here is a list to look through - pick which would be the top three that are important to you:
  • Performance - desire to please others or self
  • Good Health
  • Love of Money
  • Success
  • Fairness
  • Pain-free life
  • Christian marriage - desire for improvement
  • A Christian husband
  • A baby
  • Physical Appearance
  • Being Respected
  • Being Self-Sufficient
  • Athletics - participation or passion for a sport
  • Hobbies
  • Worldly Pleasures (alcohol, drugs, sex, food, etc.)
  • Being in Control
  • Meeting Goals
  • Children's achievements
  • Having your needs met
Once you have chosen three potential idols from this list, ask yourself these three questions:
  1. Am I willing to sin to get this?
  2. Am I willing to sin if I think I am going to lose this?
  3. Do I turn to this as a refuge and comfort instead of going to God?
Your answers to these questions will reveal whether or not this is an idol in your life. For example, let's say that physical appearance is very important to you. You believe that unless you are fit and trim, beautifully dressed with stylish hair, you will not be successful in life. You won't find a husband and you won't get the job you desire.

Are you willing to sin to stay thin? Do you deprive your body of food to achieve this goal? Have you possibly developed an eating disorder in order to maintain what you believe is the body that would make you most successful? When your weight is the right number, is that a comfort to you? Does it throw your day off when that number moves up? How often are you weighing yourself or looking in the mirror?

Being healthy and taking care of oneself is not sin, in and of itself. Most of our idols start out with good intentions, but because we were made to worship - add that to our sinful flesh and we end up worshipping our desires over the One who made us.

So, now that you've identified a potential idol or two in your life, what should you do next?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Idol Worship

When I was sixteen years old my parents took me to Thailand. It was an eye-opening trip for me. Yes, I saw great poverty - children swimming, bathing and drinking dirty river water beside bloated, dead pigs - but the poverty wasn't the shock. The idol worship was.

Buddhism is the religion of choice in Thailand and amidst the incredible poverty were lavishly decorated temples, housing Buddha images cared for by priests. I can remember going on a boat ride down a river (that's where I saw the children and pigs) and, in the middle of what we would call worn-out, wooden shanties, a golden spire would arise high into the sky, indicating a temple where the poor could bring their last pennies to purchase gold leaf to rub on the Buddha's tummy.

If you walked up to one of the temples, you would see a shrine filled with food - the people would offer food to Buddha before they fed their own families. Needless to say, the priests were well fed and the children were starving.

But the people were relentless in their worship. The picture above is of the Emerald Buddha, an idol actually made of jade and clothed in gold, that sits atop a platform in a temple. The temple is massive and ornate. The Buddha is only about 24 inches high, but the faithful buddhists will make long journeys to come and worship at the base of this platform. It was really shocking to see - the faithfulness of a nation to a false worship system.

I can remember thinking that Christians in America were not this zealous. I thought that if all believers could see the passion of the buddhists, they would be shamed into sobering up about their walk with Christ. But at least we didn't worship idols...

Thirty years later, I've come to the realization that I was wrong. We do worship idols. They're just not visible - they are mental idols. They are tiny, little images that we set up on a high platform in our hearts. Daily we sit at the base of the platform and worship the idol.

For some of us it is the longing for what we did not have - a loving father, a safe childhood, a stable home life. For others of us, it is a longing for what we want right now - an attentive, faithful husband, a better job, an education, a different shaped body, a clear complexion, a closet full of attractive clothes, a new car. And still, for others it is a longing for a specific future - a house, a husband and babies, an easy life, notoriety, retirement.

Idols of the heart - and boy, do we relentlessly worship these idols. As believers, we have learned how to set our minds on the things above - not on Jesus but on that high platform. We justify our desires by acting like God wants these things for us as well - if they are good things, why wouldn't He want them for us? So we fixate, we pine away, we long for, we pray for, we focus on and justify our actions by denying the idol exists.

It may be small, but it still has a powerful effect on us. These desires of the heart, when placed on anything other than Jesus, are idols. Ultimately idol worship produces frustration, aggression, anger, depression, sorrow and melancholy. Some of us attain our idols but the worship doesn't stop there because idols never satisfy. So we replace them with another longing - a more fulfilling one - and then we pursue that one. It's a terrible cycle and because it's housed in our hearts, we think no one sees what we are worshipping.

But God sees and others see and the only person we're fooling is ourselves.

So, when it comes to idol worship, what should we do?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Notes for Lesson 10

Lesson 10 – Judges – Gideon, Ruth


I. The Time of the Judges – 1406 B.C. until 1050 B.C.

A. Background

· The Cycle of Judges:

· Sin – the people would _____fall______ into sin

· Servitude – God would send a nation to ______oppress____ His people

· Supplication – when it was really bad, the people would __cry_ _out___ to God for help

· Salvation – God would raise up a __judge___ to bring salvation

· Silence – the people would ____continue____ on in obedience but soon fall into sin

B. Why did Israel struggle so much?

1. ___Disobedience_______ – failure to drive out the Canaanites (Judges 1:19,20,35)

2. ___Idolatry________ (2:12)

3. _____Intermarriage____with the Canaanites (3:5,6)

4. Not ______heeding______the judges (2:17)

5. Turning away from God after the ____death_____ of a judge (2:19)

C. List of Judges: (name of judge - years of oppression/years of rest)

· Othniel 8 years/40 years

· Ehud 18 years/80 years

· Shamgar not given

· Deborah 20 years/40 years

· Gideon 7 years/40 years

· Abimelech ruled over Israel 3 years, was self-appointed, not by God

· Tola judged 23 years

· Jair judged 22 years

· Jephthah 18 years/judged 6 years

· Ibzan judged 7 years

· Elon judged 10 years

· Abdon judged 8 years

· Samson 40 years/judged 20 years

II. Gideon – Judges 6-8

A. Gideon’s calling

B. The First Action – Judges 6:25-35

C. The Assurance – Judges 6:36-40

D. The Second Action – Judges 7

III. Ruth

A. The Background – Ruth 1

B. Kinsman Redeemer – Ruth 2-4

· Role of the Kinsman Redeemer:

1. He would buy back ___land_____ that the family had sold

2. He would provide an ___heir___ for the deceased relative by marrying the widow and producing a child

3. He would buy back a family member sold into ____slavery______

4. He would ___avenge_______ a relative who had been murdered by killing the murderer

C. Theological truths in the story of Ruth

1. God’s redemptive plan __extended____ beyond the Jews to the Gentiles

2. The book of Ruth shows that ____women_____ are co-heirs with men of God’s saving grace

3. The book of Ruth portrays the ____virtuous____ woman of Proverbs 31

4. The book of Ruth shows God’s _____sovereign_____ involvement (1:6; 4:13)

5. Ruth, along with Tamar and Rahab, and Bathsheba are in Jesus’ genealogy

6. Boaz is a ____type______ of Christ as the Kinsman Redeemer

7. David’s throne is traced back to ____Judah___, to which it was prophesied (Genesis 49:8-12)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Parenting Highlights

It was a great conference - information overload! It's strange being on the other end of the spectrum, children grown and starting families of their own. Sitting through this conference, I can't go back and do it over again to get it right. There were many things Dave and I, by God's grace, did well, but also many that we failed. I guess at the end of the day, I am so grateful for God's redeeming love. Because I am not perfect, He came to die for me. If I had been a perfect parent, what need would there be for a savior? I guess the gospel itself implies each of our deepest needs...and parents are not exempt. But, thanks be to God, we have His Spirit, His instruction and His power to change!

If you need some assistance in parenting (and who doesn't?) I highly recommend this DVD series - Getting to the Heart of Parenting by Paul David Tripp. It is five hours of well spent time. Buy it online and watch it with your spouse or small group. Or ask if you can show it at church - it's powerfully life changing!

Below are a few highlights from the series:
  • Your job is to give awe of God to your child - they are hard-wired to give awe to something. But you cannot give away that which you do not have. You need to personally live in awe of God - a human who does not live in awe of God is profoundly disadvantaged
  • As a parent, if you don't deal with your own heart first, you will tend to turn moments of ministry into moments of anger, you will personalize what is not personal (make it all about you), you'll be adversarial in your response (not "me-for-you" but "me-against-you"), and you'll settle with quick, situational solutions that don't get to the heart of the matter - no wisdom, no insight
  • Children are never more creative than when they are in rebellion
  • Lies found within a child's heart - autonomy - I have the right to be my own authority, and self-sufficiency - I have everything I need to be functional on my own - refusal to accept neediness and dependency
  • Children find joy, not in what is right but in what they want
  • You do not define character - God does
  • Failure may be the necessary path to the development of character
As you can see, there were many, many thought provoking statements in the conference, and this is just a taste. Again, I highly recommend this to any parent of any aged child - even grown ones! Yes, my children are for the most part out of the home, but the relationship is still there - it is my desire to continue to love them as God would have me love, which includes occasional moments of parenting still. And in addition to my family, there are others in the church who need this encouragement and teaching. As believers, we need to know God's plan for our lives, live it out and encourage others with His Word.

What a day...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Harder Than Ever?

Is parenting harder today than it ever has been? Well, give me a minute before I answer that question...

Recently I have heard these facts and stories:
  • a family in the area has chosen not to name their newborn until the child grows old enough to choose it's gender identity
  • thirty states in America have made spanking illegal
  • on average in America, 50% of first marriages, 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce
  • 40% of all births are to unwed mothers
  • 2,800 teenage girls become pregnant every 24 hours
  • 15,000 teenagers use drugs for the first time every 24 hours
  • 72% of moms with children over one year old work outside of the home
  • Divorce is more disrupting to children than death
I guess I could go on, but you get the point. The American family is in crisis. Marriages are falling apart, sex and drugs have seeped into families through their teens, and broken and blended families are the status du jour for most children.

So, is parenting harder than ever? Or are we just parenting more poorly than ever?

Well, I think most would agree that sin is abounding. We live in an incredibly selfish society, not just outside of the church but inside as well. And truth be known, the demise of marriage can be almost single-handedly given credit for the failure of parenting, but I have to admit - lately I have seen great parenting crises in stable families - no divorce, Christian households, no step-anythings - but still major parenting issues.

So, what in the world is going on?

My nephew Charlie once told me that common sense is very rare - as a matter of fact, he calls it "uncommon sense" because so few people have it. There's a lot of truth in that statement. I don't know if parenting is more difficult today or if parent's are simply caving to the world's lies to disregard the instruction of the Word of God or if it's because parents just don't have that "uncommon sense" anymore.

But between the Disney mentality of "parents are stupid, kids are always right - so don't listen to your parents" that is promoted in every children's show on t.v., to the physical display of anger seen in children slapping and hitting their parents in the foyer of church, to the absolute exhaustion of the moms I know, to the cutting, gender confusion, depression and rebellion in the local high schoolers and the increase of sexual activity outside of marriage in teens and young adults, I am completely at a loss...

...but for Jesus.

Parents, there is hope. His name is Jesus.

Kids, your life doesn't have to be chaos. Come rest in Jesus.

Mom, Jesus knows how difficult it is to manage that unruly child. Don't give up. Do it His way.

Dad, Jesus wants you to be the head of your house. He wants you to model sacrificial love and fatherly discipline. He wants you to be like Him.

This weekend, we are hosting a parenting conference at church. We have over thirty families signed up to hear five hours worth of truth from the Word of God. Please pray with me for these parents. This weekend could be life-changing for them and their children, if they choose to submit to His Word.

But coming is the first step, and so many of them are coming.

Praise the Lord and may Jesus Christ be glorified this weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Day of Christ Jesus

"For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

In the opening words of the book of Philippians, Paul encourages this young church in their faith by giving thanks to the Lord for them and telling them that he is confident that God would continue to work in their lives until the day of Christ Jesus. So my question this morning is this: When is the day of Christ Jesus?

Well, considering that this letter was written after Jesus ascended into heaven, the particular day Paul is referring to is not the day Jesus died or the day He resurrected. Contextually that wouldn't make sense. So there is a future day that is considered the day of Christ Jesus, agreed?

The Old Testament sheds light on this topic through a concept called the "Day of the Lord." If you did a word search on this phrase and read the passages containing it, you would find that the Day of the Lord is a terrible day of wrath that was prophesied would come upon the world. It is a day of darkness and trembling, a day when the sun refuses to shine and the earth quakes like never before. It is the day when God Almighty brings His holy wrath upon sinful man and shakes the earth to its core. Upon closer examination, you would find that it is not a 24 hour day, but a time period of great destruction.

And it's not an isolated concept. You will find it in the writings of Isaiah, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Ezekiel and Malachi. It is also not isolated to just the Old Testament.

Moving into the New Testament, not only is it called the Day of the Lord, but Paul in I Corinthians 5:5 adds the name of Jesus to it - "I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." Now that the Messiah has been revealed and the church has been established, we know who the "Lord" is - it's Jesus.

In the first letter to the church at Thessolonica, Paul connects two very important future events. In chapter four, he describes the gathering of the believers in the air to forever be with the Lord - today we call this the rapture. In chapter five, he goes on to explain that the day of the Lord and the gathering are simultaneous events. The day of salvation for the church and the day of great destruction have the same starting point. So the Lord removes His church and brings judgment in one fell swoop.

This is a point of great dissension in the church today, as the prevalent teaching says that the church is raptured or gathered long before the Day of the Lord begins. But this is wishful thinking on the part of believers, for Jesus Himself warned of great persecution and tribulation in His teaching on the last days in Matthew 24. Knowing that the wrath of judgment would not fall on His children, Jesus still warned that great difficulty would come before His return.

Now, let's get back to this Philippians verse. If the day of Christ Jesus is the Day of the Lord, then this verse harmonizes Jesus teaching in Matthew 24 and Paul's teaching in I Thessalonians. You see, Paul is encouraging this young congregation that God would faithfully continue to perfecting them, sanctifying them, right up until the Day of the Lord occurs, the day when the church is gathered as a bride to be joined with the Groom, and the wrath of God would then fall on the unregenerate world.

This verse does not say "...will perfect it up until six or seven years before the day of Christ Jesus." No, it says "...will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." God will perfect His work in His children right up until the day He brings His wrath upon the earth. At that point, His church is gathered to Him, new bodies are given and the corrupt flesh of this present earth is removed eternally and the work of restoration is perfected, completed.

Just something to chew on this morning...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Notes from Lesson Nine and CORRECTION!!!

Lesson 9 - Joshua


I. Conquest of the Land – 1400 B.C.

A. Background – Deuteronomy 34

· Moses was given the Law and throughout the scriptures, Moses represents the Law:

o Luke 2:22

o Luke 24:44

o John 1:17

o John 1:45

o John 7:19

o John 7:23

o Acts 15:5

o I Cor. 9:9

o Hebrews 10:28

· Joshua is given the torch – the time had come to enter the Land

· It wouldn’t be easy – it would be by __FORCE_____ - force plus OBEDIENCE

· Leviticus 18:24-30 – the land had become defiled

B. Joshua – Joshua 1

1. His qualifications:

o Led a battle in the wilderness against the Amalekites and was _____Successful_____ – Exodus 17:9-14

o Joshua was an ___assistant_______to Moses – he went up on the mountain with Moses – Exodus 24:13

o He had been Moses’ attendant since ______youth____ – Numbers 11:28

o Moses changed Joshua’s name from Hosea (salvation) to Joshua (the Lord saves) – Numbers 13:16

o He was one of the original 12 spies who was faithful to God’s promise – he saw things through _____spiritual_____ eyes – Numbers 14:6-10, 30,38

o Joshua was ______indwelled_______ by the Holy Spirit – Numbers 27:18

o Joshua was ___commissioned______ by God to assist Moses – Numbers 27:18-23

o Joshua followed the Lord ___fully____ – Numbers 32:12

o Joshua was commissioned to _____replace______ Moses – Deuteronomy 31:23

o Joshua was filled with the spirit of ____wisdom____ – Deuteronomy 34:9

2. God’s words to Joshua – Joshua 1:1-9

· v. 2 – arise and get going – I am giving them to you

· v. 3 – Every place – I have given it to you (100% word)

· v. 4 – God describes boundaries – will be your territory

· v. 5 – No one is able to stand/I will be with you/I will not fail or forsake you

· v. 6 – be strong and courageous – you SHALL give the people their lands which I SWORE to their fathers to give them

· v. 7 – be very strong and courageous – be obedient and you will have success

· v. 8 – Stay in the Word (book of the Law? The Pentateuch) – meditate on it – obey it – and you will be successful

· v. 9 – be strong and courageous – God is with you wherever you go

3. Joshua’s response – v. 10-18 - ____immediate_____ obedience

C. Jericho – Joshua 2,6

D. Ai – Joshua 6,7

E. The rest of the conquest – Joshua 9-12

o Joshua 9-12 – Joshua systematically marched through the land, conquering the mountainous cities in the south and then in the north

o After 7 years, the defeat of Canaan was complete, though it wasn’t finished – the Canaanites would not be completely gone until the time of King David

o Joshua 10 – the central campaign – in battling Gibeon, God made the sun stand still and Joshua decimated the allied Canaanite armies

o Joshua 9-10 – southern portion

o Joshua 11-12 – northern portion

o The key to their victories was complete obedience to the Lord’s command – Joshua 10:38-43 give a taste of their success

II. Dividing the Land – Joshua 13-20

· Each tribe is given a portion of the land

· Levi is not given land – why?

· Cities of Refuge – Joshua 20

· Joshua’s farewell address – Joshua 22-24


Here's reason number 475 to read Kristen's blog - because when I make a mistake in the lesson, I can correct it here on the blog! This morning, with such a simple, short lesson, I botched up a detail. I said that Joshua won a battle by having his arms raised and the sun stood still from Joshua 10. In truth, I combined two stories. In Joshua 10, the Lord did make the sun stand still for Joshua to give him victory, but the story about the rod above the head was about Moses. Joshua was fighting the Amalekites, and Hur and Aaron held Moses' arms with his staff over his head to give Joshua the victory. That story is found in Exodus 17. So sorry about the poor teaching...sometimes I get off my notes and my details get jumbled...