Thursday, April 28, 2022

Entering the Promised Land (Joshua 1-6, 23-24)

Joshua the Prophet

READ Joshua 1:1-5

Who selected Joshua to lead Israel after Moses’ translation?

The Lord.

No committee or vote was involved.

 

READ Joshua 1:6-9

What is to be the key to Joshua’s success?

Know the word of the Lord as delivered to Moses in the scriptures.

Why is knowing the word of the Lord key?

If he knows the words or law, he can be obedient to the commandments.

If he is obedient to the commandments, he will be filled with light.

If he is filled with light, he will be able to enter into the rest of the Lord himself and receive his own covenant direct from the Lord’s mouth, as did Moses.

How does one learn the word of the Lord?

Find a true messenger and listen to their words; either an angel from heaven or a person on earth who knows the Lord through face to face interaction.

“Meditate therein” - ponder and pray over the words and concepts in scripture.

“Day and night” - this is not a cursory viewing or even a mammoth one-time project.

 

READ JS-History 1:74

How do the scriptures come alive to us?

When we seek after and receive the Holy Ghost.

And are filled with light.

Which is the mind of God (see LoF 5:2).

And spend time in the scriptures, pondering them and asking questions of them.

 

 

Crossing the Jordan River

READ Joshua 3:5, 10-13

Why is the Lord showing Israel a sign that He is among them?

He’s not - first they have to sanctify themselves, like before Sinai.

Signs follow those that believe - so if they have faith, the Lord will do His miracles.

 

READ Joshua 3:15-17

Why did the Priests have to step into the flooding Jordan River before the Lord parted the water?

It was a trial of faith for the priests, as much as it was for the people.

The Lord asks us to step out of the light and into the darkness - a step of faith - before He will act - otherwise it’s not faith.

 

 

The Walls of Jericho

READ Joshua 2:1-6, 9, 11 and Hebrews 11:31

Why did Rahab betray her people to help Israel?

She received a revelation regarding the fact that the Lord had given the land to Israel.

She exercised faith in that inspiration.

She was following The Lord.

 

READ Joshua 2:12-13, 15, 18

What was the true token Rahab asked of the spies?

The scarlet line or rope that was used to save them.

The word for line (“tiqvah” or teek-vuh) is everywhere else translated as the word “hope” - we exercise faith in the hope or promise we have been given by Christ when He gives us His testimony or word that He will save us.

The scarlet line was the symbol of that hope or promise; it was to be hung in Rahab’s window like the red blood of the Passover lamb which was likewise a symbol to the destroying angel to spare those inside because they had covenanted with the living God and had received a hope or promise of exaltation.

 

READ James 2:14-26

What sacrifice did Rahab make to seal this covenant of faith?

James uses this experience of Rahab’s to illustrate the principle that faith without works is dead.

She would have been dead - either from her people if they ever found out she had committed treason or from the invading Israelites if she had not displayed the “Passover covenant” of the red line in the window.

She did not just say “be ye safe” but put her life and the safety of her family on the line after having received the revelation from the Lord as to who Israel was to Him and what she needed to do to aid His work.

 

READ Joshua 6:1-6

What was the Lord saying to Joshua when He said, “see I have given into thy hand Jericho”, as it was still fully protected?

All things are before His face.

As a result, He is not a linear thinker or communicator.

His ways are truly not our ways.

He could, and did, destroy those solid stone walls with a blast of sound.

 

READ Joshua 6:17-18; Deuteronomy 7:2-5

Why was Israel commanded to destroy every living thing in Jericho but Rahab and her house?

The Canaanites were “accursed”.

Israel would become accursed if they took things that were accursed.

Israel will break their covenants if they marry outside of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Israel had to enter the Promised Land as a whole, sanctified people (that’s why they had to wait 40 years for the unfaithful to die - instead of just leaving them in the desert).

If Israel is personified as a single person, the impure elements within that person had to be purged before entering into the Rest of the Lord (promised land).

If Israel is personified as a single person, why would the Lord tell them to utterly destroy the people of Canaan? (see Exodus 4:22-23 as an example of personification)

We need to stop dabbling in Babylon but “go ye out”.

If we surround ourselves with unholiness, the chances of us being impacted is greater (see Lot in Sodom and Israel in Egypt).

If we become unholy, we will remain separated from the Lord, which is spiritual death.

Also, remember the story of Rahab - the Lord will spare all of those who receive Him (implying that the others in Canaan had chances to come unto Christ but didn’t take them - remember the prophet Balaam, who had never heard of Israel but knew God until he betrayed Him).

 

 

The Conquest of Canaan

READ Joshua 12:1, 7-8 and Judges 1:19-21

What modern event in the last 20 years does this “conquest of Canaan” remind you of?

George W. Bush landing on the aircraft carrier after the “conquest” of Iraq - “mission accomplished”; when in fact, it was really just beginning and was never really accomplished as ISIS later took over and the battle continued.

Why were the children of Israel not able to “accomplish” the “mission” of conquering the promised land?

The people of the land had more advanced technology (iron instead of bronze).

Canaanites were somewhat wealthier albeit in decline (trade, culture).

Israel continued the “strongman model” they began with Moses - see Joshua 1:16-18 - they seem to have a real distaste for interacting with the Lord individually and personally. 

If Canaan represents the Promised Land or the Rest of the Lord which is His presence, Israel cannot get there as a people anyway - they must “enter in” individually.

If these conditions are accurate, how did they get any success at all?

Direct intervention: they displayed some degree of righteousness and faith because by faith the walls of Jericho fell (Hebrews 11:30).

Inspiration which they followed: the Lord taught them how to fight in a way that would raise their probability of success; military intelligence - Rahab and Jericho (Joshua 2); logistics including when to attack so they could eat as they go and don’t have big supply lines (Joshua 3); guerilla tactics to avoid directly engaging the Canaanites chariots; neutralization of city defenses like Jericho (Joshua 2) and Bethel (Judg 1:22-26) through secret gates or physiological tricks; enticement of city defenders to leave their defenses by ruse like in Ai (Joshua 8); surprise attacks like at Gibeon (Joshua 10:9-10); night operations like at Ai and Merom (Joshua 11:7)

 

 

Choose You This Day

READ Joshua 24:15-16, 19-20

Is this a good reason not to seek to truly come unto Christ or serve Him?

No - by rejecting when He extends any blessing or opportunity to you, you are walking away from Him and eventually damning yourself.

What “hurt” will you do to yourself if you choose not to serve the Lord?

You will eventually meet Him and you will not be prepared to stand in His presence.

And ironically, you will hurt yourself in two ways: 1) being blinded by the glory of His light as you encounter Him unprepared, despite the fact that He is just existing – He is not “hurting” you (Mormon 9:3-6) and 2) the disappointment of not taking what Christ offered you freely will be a flame of fire and brimstone within your soul as you torment and condemn yourself for your folly.

 

We have no choice but to offer our whole souls on the altar of the Lord - it is an act of mercy and grace by the Lord to allow us to do so, as we are unworthy, and our whole souls are all that we have to sacrifice that is really ours to give.

 

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