Into the Promised Land – studies from the book of Joshua

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                                          Rev. E. Anderson

The book of Joshua is a good bible book for Christians to study for it gives illustration of, we, too, like Israel should learn to possess their inheritance that God has promised in Christ. There are lessons to learn for all. May you discovered much from the following notes.

 

INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE – THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

 

AN INTENSIFICATION OF CONFLICT AND CONQUEST

 

 

JOSHUA 11

 

PROVOCATION: The next stage of conquering and possessing the land arose because of the provocation created by Israel’s recent triumph –v1. The king of Hazor had heard the recent news and was profoundly disturbed, stirred and agitated. He was by no means happy over the offensive conduct by this invading power and force and deeply resented what was taking place. There was born within his a desire and will to see this new threat exterminated. Somehow, by all means, this fresh militant factor must be dealt a military blow that will silence it forever.

 

UNIFICATION/MULTIPLICATION: He felt that the best plan was to marshal all the other kings and man military man power to put an end to further progress. The best thing to do was to summon up all the numbers and strength of all the soldiers and fighting men from all the cities to wage immediate warfare. It was no time to sit back and hopefully trust that Israel would go away. In a remarkable way he was able to muster up a very strong, numerical army that was bigger than anything Israel had faced before. The response was quite amazing and there arose a power unit of men and machines that could wipe out the would-be possessors – v4.

 

INTIMIDATION: To have viewed that host as Joshua was called to do was most intimidatory. As they looked upon the numerical and material force of the enemy Israel could have been terribly mortified and weakened. As they appeared to make progress, it is obvious that things did not ease off when it came to battle, rather they became worse. Thankfully, they had been nerved by the Lord with regard to previous contests, but it still does not take away the issue of a much greater force and foe that now assailed. And further inspiration needed to flow.

 

CONFRONTATION: The Lord makes it clear that they needed to arise and face the new development and situation. It was not a case of running away or being satisfied by what had been accomplished. This was the  real heat in becoming possessors. This chapter reveals how things went and turned positively for God’s people.

 

1/. THE PROPHETIC WORD -v6

 

The Lord steps in and imparts a prophetic word that was purposed to encourage one and all. He did not sit back and do nothing. He was there to command and assure and make them ready in mind and spirit for the biggest engagement ever faced and to set them up for victory. In way was He intimidated or ill at ease because of the impending conflict. As a true general, the Lord heads and speaks to the host of Israel through Joshua and gives a great briefing and commanding lead. It does not have to say much but what is stated is adequate and inspiring.

 

There is the dealing with any negative mind or heart set: “Be not afraid because of them.” God puts them all in focus and realizes they are from a human and physical standpoint, represent a powerful force. It doesn’t matter what they appear to be when the Lord speaks He puts the spirit at rest in relation to all opposition. He has a way of releasing and removing any hang up with regard to any external, dominant unit. It is not a threat to God and should not be a threat to His servant and people.

 

Illustration: David and Goliath – 1 Samuel 17

 

There is declaring of the positive news of victory before it commences: “for tomorrow about this time..” They had seen how true the Lord had been in relation to past conflict and conquest so they could be prepared for a signal manifestation of Himself again amongst them in victory. He dares to affirm that not one would be standing and all the military factor of horses and chariots reduced to utter impotence.

 

2/. THE DYNAMIC WORK – vv7-22

 

There was undoubtedly a dynamic accomplishment within the space of the next twenty-four hours. There was a tremendous achievement brought to pass according to the prophetic word

 

Joshua believed and so went immediately ahead with the forces of Israel and moved with suddenness and swiftness –v7. There was no holding back when once the Lord had uttered His mind in such a positive manner. He was not slow on the uptake. If the enemy thought that Israel would be bemused and bewildered by their size and strength they were in for some shock treatment. An electrifying power and domination was in the Lord’s ranks that would not allow any delay.

 

The Lord showed His hand and ability by delivering the whole host into their hand –v8. This is what made the great difference. They had no covering or protection but were weakened and completely exposed to the hosts of Israel. Though in the minority they took on the majority and wiped the floor with them. There was no way that they were going to allow any ascendancy at all to this powerful confederacy but see them utterly routed. Armed with the word and might of the Lord they chased and smote the foe until there was not one left – v11. They not only fought on the battlefield they moved in on Hazor the principal instigator of the conflict and devastated it –vv10,11. The other people of the other places were smitten but the places preserved for habitation. This major battle signaled the major move forward to the intention of divine purpose. The Lord proved to His people they could take on anyone and anything and win the day.

 

3/. THE HISTORIC WONDER – vv15,16, 23

 

That day and its victory indicated a significant and outstanding wonder. After this supreme hour of conquest certain factors begin to stand out of note and worth. They created history that day.

 

The promise that the Lord had made Abraham centuries before had come to literal fulfillment – Genesis 15:13-21. He who had foreknown all the way not only for Abraham and his offspring could effectively achieve what He had spoken. He was no liar and neither did He lack the power or commitment to bring to fruition. As Joshua and the forces succeeded that day they could witness the truth of God and His Word.

 

There was the accomplishing all that the Lord had commanded Moses – vv15,23. Joshua had proved a worthy successor and also proved that what had been initiated by God through Moses was safely and securely affected. Deliverance from Egypt had not been enough nor the coming through the wilderness. It was all-important that they become possessors and Israel showed she could see fulfillment as long as she responded to the Lord’s commands. His Lordship had to be established at all times. As this was so the plan of God for them was realized.

 

Now it would be time to enter into and enjoy the fruit of all their labour and conflict. The land would have rest from war –v23 and a divine blessing and prosperity would begin.

 

CONCLUSION

 

This intense and major battle was to be the end in some measure of conflict. As they saw this one through with the help of the Lord, a new era was to commence that they had been envisaging and looking forward to. The greatest contest is so often the prelude to moving in on a vast inheritance of untold good.

 

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The Armour of God

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                                 Valerie Balzan

This is a new series being presented by Valerie Balzan who is on the Leadership Team at Liveseed International Church, Qormi, Malta.  The Christian believer is called upon to wear the divine armour that the Lord has provided and know what each piece is for in the contest with Satan and the evil agencies under his control. There is a spiritual war on and every Christian soldier must be fully armed and trained for battle and experience supreme conquest

 

THE ARMOUR OF GOD – Part – 6

 

The Breastplate of Righteousness (Section B “No Man is an Island”)

 

Text: Ephesians 6:10-18

 

The Church of Jesus Christ today is very different from the way it was in its earliest days. The Jewish people always had a clear sense of being a spiritual community. Even though they were grouped into twelve tribes they knew that together they made up one people. Unfortunately as we have become cut off from our Jewish roots, the community of Christ has splintered into many groups. This has also affected the way we view sin. We say that it only affects ourselves. But if one person sins in a family it soon affects all the family. Similarly each person’s sin affects the nation.

 

If each Christian would have a zeal for holiness, then it would greatly impact their nation. One minister said that if every believer in the United States of America would refuse to go to movies containing offensive language and explicit sex, then the film industry would soon have to change its films – Psalm 101:3.  People get numbed by the familiarity of the unrighteousness of the world. We lose our sense of high calling and we fail to remember that we are called to leave a legacy for our sons and daughters.

 

Many nations once had a thriving spiritual life which affected the laws their governments made and their sense of right living. People valued having a good conscience. But the churches lost their zeal and intimacy with the Lord and with that, their sense of righteousness. No wonder that the Bible says that “Judgment must begins at the house of God” – 1 Peter 4:17.  We are called to be salt and light to our nations. We are called to live an honest and holy life before our neighbours, work colleagues, and families. We are also called to speak out against ungodliness. The Bible says that God will judge nations so let us rise up and do our part to try and ensure that our nation will find favour in God’s sight. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.” When King David fell into sin the prophet Nathan rebuked him and said “By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” – 2 Samuel 12:14.  We should be concerned for the honour of the Lord’s Name.

 

We should also remember that each piece of the armour that our text tells us to put on, is in fact, a part of the spiritual character of Jesus. Jesus was entirely focussed on interacting with and pleasing His Father. The very intimacy He enjoyed with His Father protected Jesus from falling into unrighteousness. Lovers don’t easily sin against one another. He also lived “light” – He didn’t hold onto worldly things. When He died He left nothing.  He could use things such as a few loaves and fishes, an ass and its colt, the home of Lazarus and his sisters, etc, without possessing them. He sent out His disciples with the advice to only take one coat and not to bother about taking a bag or money. Why was that? They were soldiers in a spiritual battle and to be overloaded was to be already defeated. Living light didn’t mean that they didn’t have the means to be over-comers. 2 Peter 1:3 says “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.”  2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The words “sound mind” can also be written as “discipline” A disciplined believer is always a righteous believer. A disciplined believer can say “No” to temptation and sin. The disciples were to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” – Matthew 6:33. This should be a great incentive to seeking righteousness. Anyone who is serious about being used by the Lord in planting the kingdom of God on earth and who knows that this can only be done when we have the breastplate of righteousness in place, can rest in the knowledge that God will Himself make sure that we lack for nothing. We do our part and He does His.

 

2 Timothy 4:8 declares “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness.” This should give us confidence knowing that righteousness brings its reward. To the natural man, protection is a security camera or a rifle hidden in a drawer, but to the believer our protection is a person – the Lord Jesus Christ! In Exodus 14:20 we read of how the children of Israel were in a place of great danger with no avenue of escape. But the Lord placed Himself between them and the Egyptians and as He covered them they escaped through the Red Sea. Proverbs 11:19 says “Righteousness leads to life”- Jesus then says in the New Covenant “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10 – so the rewards of righteousness just get better and better – a crown – protection – abundant life!

 

Further study

Romans 6:16    2 Corinthians 6:7     Philippians 3:9     Isaiah 61:10     Psalm 11: 7     2 Corinthians 9:10

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Dave’s Snippets

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                                             Dr. David Allen

WHAT IS LOVE?

 English is a wonderful and rich language and its literature is much read and admired   throughout the world.  That being the case, it is puzzling that we have only one word for   “love”; and it has to serve for many situations and usages. We love strawberry jam and the Sunday roast; we love our family and our pets; we love foreign travel and exotic places; we love music; above all, we “love the Lord”. Love has to be used for some of the finest things and also for some of the basest.

 

Fortunately the Greek, the language of the New Testament, has a number of words for our English single one: agapē, phileo and eros. Our Greek scholars and translators have provided us with their useful meanings.

 

Agapē is the love God uses for mankind, as   in John 3:16. Phileo  refers to the love  of  friendship or fellowship; and, finally, Eros gives us  the word  erotic and particularly  sexual  love, though  its root-meaning  is “longing”. Throughout Scripture all aspects appear:  The Song of Solomon is a beautiful evocation of erotic love; the devotionof   David and Jonathan portrays committed friendship; Agapē is God’s love for mankind and the word was used early on for  the love-feast of Christians.

 

Obviously not all of us can master Hebrew and Greek, but we should not make the mistake of believing that study is unprofitable. In the early days of the Pentecostal Movement some used to speak of “death by degrees” and discouraged intelligent people from study beyond the elementary stages because they might therefore lose their faith and fervour.  Fortunately those days have gone.  Scholarship placed on the altar of service can only disseminate true knowledge.

 

One final word: Some of our senior preachers, including some no longer with us, would have loved  to pursue further study –  poverty and circumstances  prevented them – but we should be deeply grateful that they “burnt the midnight oil” for the benefit of all of us.        

 

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