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Sensational Success

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1)  4-27-08…AM…SBC  2) 

“Sensational Success”

Introductory Material to Joshua

Introduction:

1-      If the Book of Joshua were fiction, we might accept it as an exciting adventure story; but the book conveys the real history and revelation of God and we must never forget that

2-      God called Joshua to be a general and to lead the army of Israel in holy conquest of the Promised land.[1]

3-      But the author’s intention in writing is not on Joshua or his military accomplishments

-          the author’s main intention is to show us how God made good on His promises to the Patriarchs

-          it is on the faithfulness of God

4-      In this book we will be confronted with our faith in God

-          we will be confronted with our obedience to the commands that He has given to us

-          we will be confronted with our own fear of God

-          we will be confronted with a battle going on for our heart

-          we will be confronted with the questions of “How big is your God?”

2Timothy 2:3-4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.[2]

-          in this book we will be confronted with glorifying God

-          you will be confronted with your own civilian pursuits vs. your heavenly pursuits

Let’s begin with the only appropriate act I can think of

 

Let’s bow for prayer and ask God for His Sovereign direction during this study.

1)      Bible Geography

A-    Globe

B-    Israel close up

C-    Promised land before conquest

2)    A General Survey of the Book of Joshua

A-    Authorship

                                                              i.      The book is anonymous.

                                                            ii.      Most see it as written by Joshua with someone else writing about his death (24:29-33)

                                                          iii.      Joshua undoubtedly wrote portions of the book: 24:26[3]

                                                          iv.      The important thing to recognize is that the identification of the author is not vital to the study of the Book

Transition:  What is more germane to the book is what genre of Scripture is

B-    Narrative Genre - Place in the OT – First of twelve books of history

1-    The Bible contains more of the type of writing called “narratives” than any other type of writing in the Bible

a-      40% of the Bible is in the narrative form[4] or story form

b-      the stories of the Bible are not like other stories – Goldie Locks, Little Red Riding Hood

c-      God’s stories are given to show that God is at work among His creation and among His people

·         the biggest offense of Islam and the Koran is that you have a knowable God

d-     God’s stories glorify Him and give us illustrations of how we can glorify Him with our lives

Ø     Many character studies come from narrative Scripture can be a great source of learning and teaching

Ø     Let us never forget that the main character is always God

-          It is not a revelation of David, Samuel, Noah or Abraham

-          It is a revelation about God

 

2-      Three levels of Narratives

a- top - God’s universal plan being worked out in creation (Redemptive History- fixing Genesis 3)

b- middle – key aspects that center on Israel  (call of Abram, the Exodus, the Exile)

c- bottom – the individual stories that make up the other two levels  (Joseph being sold to Egypt)

NOTE:     When Jesus spoke in John 5:39 of Scripture bearing witness to Him he was talking about the top level of God’s Redemptive Plan – not each and every individual story teaching about Him

C-    Outline of Joshua

1- Four sequential sections tells the story of the Promised Land

a-      Entry into the Land                ch 1-5

b-      Fighting for the Land                         ch 6-12

c-      Dividing the Land                  ch 13-22:9

d-      Living in the Land                 ch 22:10-24

D-    Dispensational Controls

1. Why do we need to be concerned at the distinction in this era of time?

    Answer:       Because it is good hermeneutics – consistent with a literal and plain interpretation

Because all students find distinct eras in the Bible – can range from many to few

·         old and new testament

·         animal sacrifices and the blood of Christ – making a distinction

·         worship on Sunday and not Saturday

·         every student of the Bible recognizes distinct eras in the Bible

Ø     we understand this in our own history as well – Colonial times, Revolutionary times, The Depression, Civil Rights

Ø     this time is different then the church age that is established by grace and not law (Romans)

 

2. The book of Joshua falls into the distinct era or dispensation of the Mosaic Law

a.       through Moses the Law was given

b.      commandments covering all phases of life and activity

c.       this Law reveals God’s purpose of stewardship to the people living in this era or dispensation

d.      this dispensation is recognized to cover from Moses until the death of Christ          (Ex 19-Acts 1)

e.       Israel was responsible to do all of the Law (James 2:10)

f.       Israel was to be a steward of God’s world by obeying His laws and commands

g.      The judgements of this era came from a lack of obedience to God’s commands

E-     Key Verses

1.      Joshua 1:4-5

a-      God’s promise to Israel is given here in v4

b-      The intent here is not to give the specific boundaries of the land[5] but a general summary

c-      v5 is the spiritual climax and highlight of the first part of God’s charge to Joshua. [6]

d-     God’s presence would accompany Joshua just as it had Moses.[7]

2.      Joshua 1:8

a-      obeying God’s instructions is the key to Joshua’s success

b-      the key to Joshua’s success was not about military matters but about spiritual matters

c-      this is also a universal principle for you and I today

3.      Joshua 11:23

a-      This verse brings the entire first section of the book to a close[8] - Entry into to the Land  (ch 1-12)

b-      It functions as a “hinge” verse, looking back to summarize the conquests and looking forward to anticipate the inheritance of the land.[9]

3)      Joshua – God’s Servant                     

A-    His name means “Jehovah is Salvation” and reflects the source of Israel’s success

1- the name “Jesus” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name “Joshua”

B- His Character               Deuteronomy 34:9

1-      His fear of God led to His obedience to God’s Word

2-      Joshua 24:14-15

 

a-      Joshua was urgently impressing on the people what they should do.[10]

b-      Joshua took his stand clearly and unambiguously on the Lord’s side.[11]

c-      Joshua laid out for Israel the choice, but he did not threaten them or try to coerce them.[12]

d-     The choice was simple, and he set an example by his own choice.[13]

Conclusion:

  1. The book of Joshua is the story of the Promised Land being won

    1. the success of the people is recorded as conditional on their relationship with God

  1. In a variety of ways we will see in the book of Joshua that Israel was made to see that it was not by their own valor and strength that they were delivered the Promise Land[14]  
    1. it was Jehovah’s right hand and mighty arm which secured the victory for them
    2. Canaan did not become theirs so much by their own prowess as by a Divine Gift

Application:               How big is your God?

 

Is He big enough to…

·         Save your Soul

·         To be trusted

  1. challenges to the readers (us) – what we can know  

a-      When God speaks His word can be relied upon

b-      When He Promises, God’s people can expect fulfillment no matter how unlikely it may seem

c-      God’s people should be encouraged by the book of Joshua to rely on the faithfulness of God

Ø      In his farewell speech to the American Congress, April 19, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur said, “In war there is no substitute for victory.” General Joshua would have agreed with him; and in his book, he shows us the way to victory—by faith.[15]  Would you be willing to follow?


----

[1]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 1:1.

[2]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 2 Ti 2:4.

[3]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 29.

[4] Fee & Steward, 78.

[5]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 83.

[6]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 83.

[7]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 83.

[8]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 275.

[9]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 276.

[10]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 435.

[11]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 436.

[12]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 436.

[13]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 436.

[14] Pink, Gleanings in Joshua: p20.

[15]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 1:1.

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