Joshua 18-21 (7)
Review Joshua 18-21.
1. As much detail as is provided in these four chapters, much more is omitted. Such as?
2. We must not miss the point of these chapters, and of the book of Joshua as a whole. Which is?
Think about it.
I think a good way to read these chapters is to put ourselves down in the midst of the people of Israel as these allotments were being made. The survey of the land was complete, and those who made it had first-hand knowledge of the terrain and the cities to be occupied. But the people could only imagine what those towns and villages were like, what the hills or fields looked like, and how many occupants remained to be displaced.
What would the people have been thinking as they heard their tribes called out, the boundaries of their land described, and the list of cities and villages read out? They would certainly have felt a mixture of excitement and anxiousness as they thought about entering one of those cities, deciding where they should live, and setting up their homes and workshops.
So many details left unsaid! Sometimes it’s in the things that are not revealed that we have the greatest opportunity to apply what is revealed to our own lives. Imagine yourself, first thing in the morning, rehearsing the events of the day ahead before the Lord in prayer – the places you’ll go, the people you’ll encounter there, the temptations or challenges likely to be present. What goes on in your mind as you think about claiming the promises of God, resisting and overcoming the enemies of the Lord, and laying hold on God’s blessings for all aspects of your life? Surely the same must have gone through the minds of those ancient Israelites as they thought about removing from Shiloh to begin securing and occupying the dwelling places God had promised.
The more attention we give to the details of our lives, the more reason we will find to give thanks to God, and the more likely we will be to serve Him in all the places and situations to which He sends us as His chosen and holy people.
Meditate and discuss.
1. How diligent are you each day to offer up the details of your day to the Lord in prayer? How might you improve in this?
2. What is your approach to planning the work you will do each day to lay hold on the promises of God?
3. How can believers help one another to be more faithful and diligent in working their Personal Mission Fields for the Lord?
“Whatever war the people undertook, in whatever direction they moved their standards, victory was prepared; nor was there any other delay or obstacle to their exterminating all their enemies than their own voluntary torpor. Wherefore, although they did not rout them all so as to make their possession clear, yet the truth of God came visibly forth, and was realized, inasmuch as they might have obtained what was remaining without any difficulty, had they been pleased to avail themselves of the victories offered to them.” John Calvin, Commentary on Joshua (1509-1564 AD)
Lord, more careful and consistent attention to detail is important if I am to give You the thanks and praise You deserve, and if I am to…
Pray Psalm 103.1-14.
Thank God for His promises and His faithfulness in granting you His blessings. Seek more of His presence, promises, and power as you rejoice in His goodness and prepare for the day ahead.
Psalm 103.1-14 (Old 100th: All Creatures That on Earth Do Dwell)
O my soul, bless the Lord’s great Name! His many benefits proclaim:
He pardons sins and heals disease, and from the pit grants us release.
With mercy rich and steadfast love He satisfies us from above,
Revives our youth, works righteousness, and justice serves for the oppressed.
His ways to Moses He made known; to Israel His great works were shown.
The Lord is full of mercy sweet, and with His favor does us meet.
To anger He but slowly goes; abounding love to us He shows.
He will not always scold nor chide; His anger will not e’er abide.
Our sins He casts from us away; He shows compassion every day.
He knows our frame, that we are dust, so on His goodness let us trust.
T. M. Moore
The seven lessons in this week’s study in the book of Joshua, and all previous weeks, are available as free downloads by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).