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Posts Tagged ‘Joshua’

Our Wednesday night women’s Bible study group continued our study through the book of Joshua this week. We were on chapter 7 which I titled “The Battle at Ai – Part One”. The subtitle was “Sin in the Camp”. (Note: I have another blog post titled “Sin in the Camp” therefore this one is #2).

Looking back at the battle of Jericho we said that Jericho represented that type of battle where we are facing something we’ve never faced before. The Israelites had fought a few battles through the wilderness wanderings – but those were “normal” types of battles – hand to hand combat. Jericho, on the other hand, was a “walled city”. They’d never battled an enemy in a walled city before.

And sometimes we face battles and circumstances that we’ve never faced before either. We saw in chapter 6 how to fight such a battle as this.

Ai, however, represented a completely different type of battle. This represents a battle of the flesh. This is a picture of those types of battles that we go into thinking, “I can handle this… This will be ‘a piece of cake…’ There’s no need to pray about it or  bother God with this dinky battle. I’ll just take care of it…” And then we get routed and are forced to run from the enemy with our tails between our legs.

I shared a poem (of sorts) with the class titled “I saw a little worry” which describes how we can get caught up in thinking “I can handle this”. (To read “I Saw a Little Worry go to https://prayerlogue.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/i-saw-a-little-worry

The battle at Ai also shows us what happens when there is “sin in the camp” – and that is – we’re defeated before we even begin!

Read the last verse in Joshua 6, and then chapter 7 to discover what sin caused Israel’s defeat, and what God’s response was.

Is there sin in your life that is causing your defeat?

To read more on “Sin in the Camp” go to https://prayerlogue.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/sin-in-the-camp

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Joshua 24:15 is the favorite Bible verse of a lot of people, however an awful lot of people mutilate the verse and only use the parts they want.

In fact, many may not even realize that there is more to the verse than, “Choose this day whom you will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

The whole verse says:

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord , choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”

We reason that the gods their fathers served, or the Amorites are not relevant to us, but my friends they are SO relevant to us!

“The gods their fathers served…” Who are the “gods” your ancestors served? Prejudice? Greed? Abuse? Drugs? “Well, this is just the way I was raised…” we cry in excuse for our sins, but Joshua said to choose to serve your excuses or serve God.

Well what about those Amorites? It says “The Amorites in whose land you are living…” In whose land are you living? Who are your neighbors? Who are your coworkers? Who are your friends? Anyone around you who is not a servant of God, is an “Amorite”. So – will you serve the gods of those around you (sports, entertainment, fashion, reality tv, food, partying, drinking, drugs, etc) or will you serve the living God who proclaims, “Be holy, for I am holy”. The word “holy” does not mean “be perfect”. It means to be set apart. It means to be different.

Will you choose to be different from your past and your peers and serve God?

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In Joshua 7, the Israelites were defeated because there was “sin in the camp.” Are our churches being defeated because there is “sin in the camp”?

1 Peter 1:14-17 (in the Amplified Bible) says, [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].

But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.

For it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’. [Lev. 11:44, 45.]

And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].

We can go to all the “church growth” conferences we want to, but if there is “sin in the camp”; if there is known sin in any of our lives, we may be the very one that brings the defeat.

How sobering.

How did Joshua and the elders find where the “sin in the camp” was hidden? They examined each tribe, then each household, then each family, then each person until it was found.

What must we do? We must examine every part of our lives to see if we are harboring any secret sin.

O God! Remove the scales from my eyes that I may see my sin, confess it, and beg You to remove it from my life, that I may evermore serve You! In the name of my Saviour – Amen.

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Do you possess all the promises that God has made to you? The following came out of the East Knox Area Women’s Bible Study this week as we began our study on the book of Joshua. It’s not too late to join us if you live in the East Knox (TN) area, or don’t mind driving. E-mail me (see contact info) for more information.

 

 Joshua 1:3b-4 “Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you—from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.” (Emphasis added).

 

After Moses died God reminded Joshua that he would be the one leading the Children of Israel across the Jordan River into the “Promised Land.” In this passage God reminded Joshua where the geographic boundaries lay. (For a detailed description of the boundaries, from landmark to landmark, read Numbers 34:2-18). The whole of the Promised Land would encompass over 300,000 square miles.

However, the “Promised Land” never fully became the “PossessedLand.”

The most that the Israelites ever possessed was a mere 30,000 square miles – about 10%.

It wasn’t God’s fault. He gave it to them. They just never took it. The ownership of the land; the promise of the land was unconditional – however, the possession of the land was conditional – it was conditioned upon obeying what God told them to do.

The promise of the land was first given to Abraham in Genesis 13:14-17. God repeated the promise 3 more times to Abraham; He made the promise to Isaac and to Jacob (Genesis 15:18-21; 17:5-8; 26:3; 35:12); and made the same promise to Moses 3 times (Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34:3-5; and Deuteronomy 11:24). Are you getting the picture? This is not just a promise – it’s a done deal. “I have given it to you!”

So think about this – how many promises has God made to us that we haven’t made our own? I’ve studied the Bible for as long as I can remember – I know a lot of stuff about the Bible – but in the last year or so I’ve started studying the Bible in a new way – I’m looking for the promises.

There are more promises in the Bible than you can even imagine. So, how do we find them among the stories? We have to differentiate between “incidentals” and “promises”.

For instance, if you look at Jeremiah 1. In the first chapter of Jeremiah we read that Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin and that the word of the Lord came to him during the days of a certain king and lasted until the days of another king – these are incidentals. These just apply to Jeremiah. But, when God says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” we have to ask, “Did that just apply to Jeremiah? Or does it apply to us? It applies to us. It’s not so much a promise of “I will do something” but it’s a promise of God’s Sovereignty. He knew us before He formed us in our mother’s wombs. Wow.

If you’re new to looking for promises, read John 14. It is filled with more promises than we can shake a stick at – but how many of them do we really “possess”?

As Christians, we own – we’ve been given every promise in the Bible, but do we possess every promise in the Bible? How many of God’s promises strengthen us in our daily walk? They can’t strengthen us if we don’t take possession of them and make them our own.

 

 

Loving and gracious Father, You’ve given us promises galore, we just haven’t taken possession of them. Open our eyes to see them, open our hearts to receive them, and give us strength and courage to obey what You have called us to do.

When we are thirsty, You are the Living Water, but we have to drink it. When we are hungry, You are the Bread of Life, but we have to eat it. Satan has been defeated and the weight of sin has been borne, we just have to take it off our shoulders and lay it down at the foot of the cross. But, even when we haven’t taken possession of your promises, You still love us, and keep offering them. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

 

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