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Joshua

The Bible Lives commentary on the book of Joshua.

Joshua 9

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Beware who you form friendships with, for they may be enemies in disguise... many traitors and enemies wear a benign smile and outward friendliness. Beware, too, of showing compassion to the enemies of God, when He does not show such compassion Himself. Also note how such enemies may not be given total freedom but must be subject to the people of God. That these things are not so today is to our shame and foolishness for allowing our enemies to gain ground, when, all along, they belong in a pit of evil, far away from God’s good grace and truth, and His people.

Verses 1&2

  1. And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;

  2. That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.

The people of Canaan who had not yet been beaten, decided to gather against Israel. The reasons would have been twofold – a desire not to end up like those of Ai and Jericho, and a need to get rid of this new force in the land. It is happening today, as homosexuals and Islamists gather to eradicate believers, because believers have God on their side and in their statements, and sinners hate God.

But, gathering evil forces together as one makes no difference. God still rules and is still Lord of evil men also. They can rally and fight, but God only allows what agrees with His demands and aims. Evil men already know this, and their fear of God drives them to insane lengths to be wicked, as if increasing their wickedness will somehow displace God’s will! Not so... their foolishness will drag them down and their many disputations make them appear to be what they are – stupid men with stupid aims.

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Joshua 8

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Here we see God’s word in action. The text is really a summary of how Christians should view God and life. When we obey we live and are blessed; when we disobey we die and lose blessings and are cursed. This is very plain.

The text also shows us that it is God Whose might beats the enemy, not us or our clever arguments or laws. When we obey, God shows us how to live and how to defeat the enemy, if that is His will. Sometimes it is not, at least in the timeframe we expect... God works in His own time, not ours.

Verses 1&2

  1. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:

  2. And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.

God does not hold grudges, nor does He extend suffering for the sake of it. When there is repentance, God grasps our hand immediately showing us His incredible mercy and grace. What we see in verse one is the situation today, when so many believers are at their wits’ end worrying about all kinds of problems and about the encroaching armies of wicked people who want them gone.

The same answer is for us today, as it was for Joshua and Israel: “Fear not, neither be thou dismayed...” God is with us, though to the human eye all is lost! God is in control and nothing happens except it is by His fiat. Even those things we personally see as a disaster... God is in control and whatever happens to His children is within His will. How we measure success and good must be in God’s language not our own. The main ingredient is not to fear or to worry about what is going to happen. It is all in His hands... even when we refuse to accept it and become depressed or anxious!

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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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