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  • Cornerstone Church

Conquest and Compassion





Last week concluded the life of Moses, and began the leadership of Joshua. The book of Joshua is the first of twelve historical books to follow. These books record the nation of Israel in relationship to the land God promised to Abraham to give them. The previous reading finished with the story of the walls of Jericho miraculously falling as the Israelites followed God’s instructions to march around the city for seven days. While victory belonged to the LORD, the Israelites' obedience really did matter. The story of Rahab the prostitute was also connected with the city of Jericho. This showed us God’s grace to outsiders who, based on their faith in God, are saved. Notice this week that God commands the Israelites to continue to drive out the inhabitants of the land. This is rooted in their moral corruption, and God does not want the Israelites to be associated. Any tribe that stayed was subject to the penalty of death rather than displacement. The nation of Israel will begin to realize the promise given to Abraham regarding the land, seeing the bigger picture.

 


Each week, as you take in the Bible, find some friends to talk it out. You can follow this simple guide to help. First, R.E.A.D. and P.R.A.Y. on your own. Then, meet with friends to share what you've learned.


R - Repeated words

E - Examine and mark

A - Ask what you learn about God

D - Do if there is anything to do


P - Praise

R - Repent

A - Ask

Y - Yield 


Bible Plan Reading - Week 20



START IT.

We're reading the Bible together in 2024. Specifically, we're taking a journey into how the story of the Bible unfolded in the Old Testament. If we get the big picture, we get the story the Bible is trying to tell us. From Sunday's message or The Big Picture Bible Reading Plan this week in the book of Joshua, what is impacting you the most? Was there a word, phrase, Bible verse, or theme that impacted you?


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STUDY IT.

Read Genesis 12:1-3, Exodus 6:2-4, Exodus 19:6, Deuteronomy 28:1, Deuteronomy 29:24-28, and Deuteronomy 28:63. Does Israel escape punishment for disobedience to the LORD? How does blessing or punishment achieve God’s purposes of Israel being a witness to the nations about His righteousness, justice, goodness, etc.?

 

 

Read Joshua 5:13-14. Who was going to win the victory for Israel? Read Joshua 7:4-5. What was the reason for the defeat according to 7:1? If God was going to win the victory, how does this story show that obedience did or did not matter? How is this important considering the big picture in the above questions?

 

 

Read Joshua 6:17-18. What was to be devoted to destruction in the city of Jericho? Read Joshua 8:2. What is devoted to destruction after the failure in disobedience at Jericho? How is this surprising? What does this tell us about God’s grace to sinners?

 

 

Read Joshua 7:24-26. What was the punishment for Achan’s disobedience, as well as his family who was involved in the conspiracy? Read Joshua 8:21-22. What was the punishment for the inhabitants of Ai who fought against Israel rather than submitting to God’s plan to give the Israelites the land?

 

 

Read Joshua 9:3, 24-27. In Joshua 2:8-14 and 6:22-25 we see Rahab’s faith in the God of Israel and aligning with His purposes. We also see this in the Gibeonites. How do these two stories reflect the promise to Abraham to bless all nations? How does this reflect Jesus’ salvation for the world rather than just the Jewish nation? (Joshua 10 shows God’s faithfulness to the Jews and the Gibeonites in a miraculous way)



​​SHARE IT.

How has the story in Joshua been shocking so far, or have you noticed something in the text you previously had not?

 

Like God's people in Joshua 7, what problem are you having that you could do something about? Where are you not acting where you can?


Where are you trying to control something that is not yours to control? How are you taking seriously the sin in your life that previously you have let slide? How are you being more obedient today in response to God’s salvation of your soul through faith in Christ?

 

There have always been evil spiritual forces trying to defeat the plan of God throughout different periods in history. (see Genesis 3:4-5, Genesis 6:4-8, Zechariah 12:3,10, Revelation 20:7-10) How has God overcome those evil forces? What role is God playing right now to overcome in your life?


Read Ephesians 6:10-13. How are you “taking up” the armor of God today? Have you been leaving some part of armor on the floor?



FINAL THOUGHT

It is incredible to see the scope and patience of God’s plan over time. After hundreds of years, God has is fulfilling His promise to give his people a land. This is despite the disobedience and evil spiritual forces trying to defeat God’s plan through giants, wickedness, and the worship of other deities. God’s plan is for Israel to be a witness and bring forth a blessing to the nations as a testimony to God’s goodness and holiness. However, the unclean cannot dwell with the clean, no matter what people group. God continues to promise that if the Israelites were obedient then blessings would continue. God reveals to Moses that the Israelites would not be obedient, but instead gives them a song to sing as a hope after they were punished. God continually points to Christ coming to tie together all these prophecies and promises. Philippians 2:8 states that Jesus “being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Keeping in mind the story so far in the Old Testament, we know the end of the story. Colossians 1:26-27 states, “To (the Saints, believers in Christ) God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles (Non-Jewish people) are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” God in the flesh would " tabernacle" (dwell) with His people. He would become the sacrifice, in order that we might have eternal life and fellowship with Him. Christ became the ultimate Jew, the perfect fulfillment of the Law, that would break open the way for all people to be God’s people as promised to Abraham thousands of years prior. Christ in you, hope of glory, is a mystery worth gazing into for eternity to come.

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