Judges 7:2 says, “And the LORD said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'”
After living in defeat for so long, Israel had a desire to feel good about themselves. They should have instead chose to praise the LORD and find their identity in Him. When we understand God’s love and value of us, we won’t have an “esteem problem.”
Seven times it says Israel “did evil in the sight of the LORD” in the book of Judges, and seven times the LORD raised up a Judge to deliver them after they cried to out to Him.
During Deborah and Barack’s time, it appears the men had relinquished their responsibility as being godly leaders. Barak needed to be confronted about not going to fight; Deborah said to him in Judges 4:6, "Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, 'Go and deploy troops…” Then, he wouldn’t go unless Deborah would go to the war with him; this is a sad example of how the men were not willing to take responsibility and be brave leaders. The LORD allowed Deborah to go with him but there would be a "price" to pay; Deborah prophesied that his enemy would now be given into the hand of a woman.
Although Judges 4 shows the bad state Israel was in, it marked a turn around. Barak began to take his place and so did some other men. Deborah and Barak begin their song of praise in chapter 5 with these words: ""When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the LORD!"
Note on Judges 1:19: “So the LORD was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron.” The reason they could not drive them out was because of their lack of faith; it wasn’t that the LORD would not have given them victory (See Joshua 17:16-18).
In Judges 1:22-26 there is a story of how those of the house of Joseph gave mercy to one man of the city of Luz. In Deuteronomy 7:2, the Lord told Israel, “you shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.” After they gave him mercy Judges 1:26 says, “…the man went to the land of the Hittites, built a city, and called its name Luz.” When we don’t properly deal with what the Lord tells us to deal with, it will just pop up somewhere else. It probably felt like a good trade off at the time; they give one guy mercy so they don’t have to search for the secret entrance to the city, but it would not be a good trade off in the end.
Judges 2:10 says, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”
The generation that trusted the LORD to go into the Promised Land didn’t drive out all of their enemies. They also failed to rise up the next generation in the things of the LORD. Therefore, the next generation drifted from the LORD and began to serve the Baals. We need to take heed and keep our homes and churches free of things that could cause the next generation to be drawn from the LORD. Also, parents and churches need to fully bring the next generation into the things of God, teaching them the whole word of God and leading them into the presence of the LORD. Letting children “feast” on the things of the world and then giving them a watered down bible story isn’t going to bring good results.
When the tribes on the east of the Jordan built a replica altar, the other tribes thought it was for the purpose of revolting from the LORD, but it was for the purpose of reminding future generations who their God was. This is a good reminder to us not to assume why people do the things they do. Sometimes it may look obvious to us why people do the things they do, but we shouldn’t be wise in our own eyes and always give people the benefit of the doubt. Unless we fully understand, we shouldn’t judge heart motives of others.
“So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44) The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45) Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”
We must make God’s Word first place in our lives and first in our heart because the LORD will fulfill His Word; not one Word of God will ever fail.
Joshua 15:63 says, “As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.”
Israel could not drive out all the Jebusites out of Jerusalem at this time, but David would destroy them and make it his capital. It appears that David had his sights on the city for a long time. After he killed Goliath, the bible says he brought his head to Jerusalem. I guess he wanted to notify them of their future. It says in 1 Samuel 17:54, “David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem…”
Read Joshua 17:14-18 one more time,
“Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit, since we are a great people, inasmuch as the LORD has blessed us until now?" 15) So Joshua answered them, "If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you." 16) But the children of Joseph said, "The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel." 17) And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—saying, "You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, 18) but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong."”
The Bible speaks of “little faith,” “faith,” and “great faith.” Here the children of Joseph are showing little faith. They had faith to begin to take the land God had for them, but when circumstances looked a little bleaker they fell into doubt. “Little faith” is what Jesus said Peter had when he walked on the water, but began to sink after looking at the wind and waves. How often to Christians begin in faith but slip into doubt after circumstances began to look a little worse. Let your faith in God’s provision and grace for you rise to the occasion. Don’t be small in your thinking. Is the greatest problem or circumstance anyone has ever had too great for God to solve?
Joshua 18:1 says "Now the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there. And the land was subdued before them."
Note: They set the Tabernacle up in Shiloh until David took Jerusalem.
In Chapter 9, the Gibeonites trick Israel into thinking they are from very far away so they will make a covenant with them. Once again the problem is seen in verse 14; “but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.” It’s so important not to be wise in our own eyes, but to always seek the LORD’s will.
After the covenant was made, Israel would not break it even though they were tricked. This shows the power of covenant; once it was made, it could not be broken.
Joshua 5:13: “When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand…” Joshua confronted the pre-incarnate Christ as a man of war before going up to Jericho. As Joshua lay on his face worshiping with sandals off, the Lord gives Joshua direction for taking this first city in chapter 6:1-5.
Jericho was the first city the LORD was giving to Israel, therefore Jericho would be a “first fruits” offering to the LORD. They were to burn the city and bring the precious metals into the treasury of the LORD, not taking any of it for them self. They were able to take the plunder of future cities for themselves.
Joshua 6:25, in the King James Version says, “And Joshua (Yeshua) saved Rahab the harlot alive.” As God’s people join together in faith today, we will see cites taken for God and the “Rahab’s” will be saved by Yeshua.
I’ve heard it said that some of the greatest defeats happened after great victories. It is important we don’t lose humility after victory and loose the grace needed to win again. Israel took Jericho after the LORD gave them His instruction for taking it, but they first tried to take the city of Ai with their own plan. Yes, they were defeated because someone had taken of the “devoted things” in Jericho, but if they would have sought the LORD, He would have told them this.
Fear, dread, worry, panic, disbelief, fret, anxiety; these are the reactions of normal people to things that look daunting. The LORD has given us a “license” to be “strong and very courageous” no matter the situation because He is with us. He told Joshua in Joshua 1:5, “I will be with you… I will not leave you nor forsake you.” The words the Lord spoke to Joshua in Joshua chapter one, He echoes to His disciples in Matthew 28. He tells them in verses 19 and 20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,” then He says, “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Taking new ground means there will be opposition that looks bigger, greater and stronger than we are; we must remember He will fight for us and bring us to victory.
Hebrews 11:31 says, “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Rahab had the power to blow the whistle on the two spies and be a hero to her people, but she didn’t dare. Rahab knew her people had zero chance against the God of the Israelites, so she made the decision in her heart to become an Israelite. Her faith saved her family and herself.
Joshua is a type and foreshadow of Jesus Christ; Joshua chapter 3 is full of these foreshadows. The true Hebrew rendition of their names is the same: Yeshua. In verse one it sets the course for how they took the Promised Land; it says, “Joshua (Yeshua) rose early in the morning.” This is a picture of how Jesus rose early on the third day after His death, so we could come into the promised righteousness of God. In verse 16 it says the waters of the Jordan were held back all the way to the city of “Adam.” How powerful is that? When Jesus Christ rose from the dead, sin was taken care of all the way back to Adam!
The LORD knew the people in a time to come would turn to others gods and He would hide His face from them. This song was designed to “be a witness” against Israel; it was designed to prick their conscience after the curse of their sin came upon them. The LORD said in Deuteronomy 31:19 "Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.” What a powerful way to awaken a generation; by a prophetic song written generations in the past about the situation they would be in.
Psalm 91 is in today’s reading because Moses is the author of it. I love how he says in verse 2, “I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."” First we hear His Word; then hearing brings faith. Faith cause us to do what 2 Corinthians 4:13 says, “…since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED AND THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe and therefore speak.”
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan