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Joshua

The Bible Lives commentary on the book of Joshua.

Joshua 7

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This account is far more serious than most readers will admit. It spells out that the sin of one of God’s people brought God’s anger against the whole of Israel. Do you really think this is not happening today? How many so-called church ‘leaders’, preachers and pastors commit sin that is known to everyone? How many Christians listen to lies and believe in bad doctrine, which is itself a sin? How many have social discourse with pagan believers, pretending that God will not blame them for it?

Friends, we are in a far worse situation than the one we now read about... here is the sin of one man affecting the entire nation. So many of God’s people today are going astray, that His punishment is being put upon us daily! It is our own fault. So, read this carefully and repent immediately; our woes are our own fault.

On some occasions in my ministry I have been impressed by a burden from God. Over the past year or so, this has resulted in issuing dire warnings to believers. In this chapter I see such a warning, to all Christians. Time is very short, and enemies are massing on all sides. It is not the enemies that are my concern, but those who claim to be believers and yet have a superficial view of God’s glory and demands.

We are in the end times, and most do not see we have been swallowed into the belly of the Beast. Just as Jonah was coughed out of the fish, so we must seek God’s help to scramble out of the belly of our greatest enemy – Satan. His friends, also our enemies, are not just willing, they are already activated and surrounding us with their wickedness. But, believers are slow to understand, and to recognise they are in grave danger.

This chapter underlines this danger with the blood of Jesus Christ. Did He save us so we could hide away, or live a diluted form of holiness? No. Being owned by the Lord requires us to live every moment of every day as His servant. And our behaviour and minds must reflect it strongly. Primarily, we are not here to obey our employers, or the government, or our friends, or even our spouses.

We are to obey God, Who saved us. I cannot over-emphasise just how important this chapter is, though I know many will not get to grips with its message and will treat it as just another bit of paper to read. God help them if they look upon it so lightly, for in doing so they will not even notice the enemy coming to destroy them on their own doorstep...

“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.” (Isaiah 49:1) 

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Joshua 6

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In this chapter we see the hallmarks of a miracle – the prophecy, and the precise enactment in the stated time and manner. Not all things we think are wondrous are miracles; all true miracles follow the biblical pattern (as described in my book showing why the plagues on Egypt were true miracles). I urge readers to look at this event in real time, for it is a real event. Read it as a mere story and the sense of it will elude you.

Verse 1

  1. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

From the time the Israelites entered Canaan east of Jordan, the rest of Canaan was terrified, and rightly so, for they saw God at work. Thus, Jericho, a great territorial prize, was “straitly shut up”. Though the verb cagar means that Jericho had bolted its gates and the people hid behind the formidable walls, it also means to surrender. When a city locks itself up in this way it shows an inner spirit of surrender, a people waiting to be beaten; they were already defeated in their minds and hearts.

So, for a few weeks no-one entered the city, nor did any leave it, for fear of being killed. This was possible because the city had its own water source, a spring on its east side. Archaeological evidence seems to suggest the spring also ran under the walls to the exterior, so the spring that watered Jericho also helped to water the massive camp of Israel.

Verses 2-5

  1. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

  2. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

  3. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

  4. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

 

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Joshua 5

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Do you know when God is acting in your life? Do you recognise it when He does? Or, is your expectation so low, you would not recognise God even if He stood before you? Few believers today actually portray true belief and faith! As a result they see little or nothing of God. It is true that as I write the world is under a dark cloud. Yet, even so, the Lord rules and is soon to rid us of our enemies and His.

Joshua saw the Lord because he obeyed. Excitement was in the air. Is this what you see in your circumstance and life? If not, you are looking away from Jericho and cannot see your Saviour, though He is in plain sight.

Verse 1

  1. And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.

We see that the “kings of the Amorites... in the side of Jordan westward...” were greatly afraid of the Israelites, because of the Jordan miracle. You might wonder if the text is wrong about the location of the kings; after all, were they not vanquished on the EAST side of the Jordan? Yes, two kings were destroyed along with the Amorites in the east. But, there was more to it...

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Joshua 4

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The book of Joshua, amongst others, challenges the minds and hearts of so many who call themselves Christians. Modern Christians try to stay quiet, rather than speak of God’s greatness and His miraculous power. This is because their faith is on a knife-edge, and they are afraid to appear to be ‘stupid’ or of low intelligence.

This is why unbelievers think Christians have nothing to say. And even if they do, they agree with pseudo-science and self-professing intellectuals. I have a PhD, which proves something about my intelligence. Many I know also have PhDs in a variety of disciplines. None of us is stupid or of low intellect. So, we do not hide it and will challenge those loud-mouths who try to challenge us! Will you do so to hold your own and speak out for the Lord? You do not need a PhD, just truth and a willing heart.

Verses 1-3

  1. And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,

  2. Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,

  3. And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

The people crossed the Jordan on a dry river bed. When all had passed over God spoke to Joshua about the 12 men previously chosen from the tribes as representatives. Each man was to pick up a large stone from the river bed and to bring it to the dry land on the West of the river. This was where the tribes would sleep for the night. It means the Israelites were now very close to Jericho, and could easily be seen from the walls, bringing terror to the inhabitants.

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Joshua 3

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The people of Israel had already experienced God’s mercy, by defeating the Amorites who opposed them. Now they were to live through a great miracle, the stopping of the river Jordan. This would be followed by yet other miracles. In this the people saw God in action, and came to see that Joshua was indeed God’s man. If you know a man is of God, listen to him, insofar as he teaches God’s word and his actions are true, for this is what we must all do.

Verse 1

  1. And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

The actual time scale is not given here: Joshua arose early in the morning sometime after receiving the report from the two spies. Any consequent activity after that would have taken a great deal of logistics and planning, unless God Himself gave Joshua direct commands to act straight away. All the tribes moved on to the east bank of the Jordan, by the crossing points, and erected their tents for a short stay.

Very often God can instruct us to do this or that without us knowing what comes next, or what to do. He will then give further instructions at a later date, maybe to commit to action instantly, even if we have no humanly logical reasons to do so – it comes down to trust in God.

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