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

 

A NOTABLE RECORD AND TESTIMONY

 

 

JOSHUA 12

 

This is quite a significant and important chapter although it is not stating anything in terms of going forward and taking fresh territory. Nevertheless, it was a needful one at this particular juncture at this stage in their procedure and history. This is not simply a dry piece of documentation and historical narrative. It presents briefly an overall view of important factors.

 

A GOOD SUMMARY: It is, first of all, a good citation of what had taken place from the moment that they had decided to become possessors instead of being wanders in thew wilderness. It marks a vital change in their pilgrimage. Instead of languishing in despair and simply going round and round and getting nowhere it makes known that something notable had been accomplished. There is a witness to the fact that what could have been theirs 40 years previously was fact. The impossible had been achieved. Much is packed into these 24 verses that states all had been fulfilled.

 

A WORTHY AFFIRMATION: What is declared and revealed makes a glowing affirmation to tremendous doings and operations. Reading between the lines one cam imagine and realize that so much had quickly occurred that attests to outstanding feats of faith, courage and commitment. There is nothing negative written, only a victorious testimony of so much in tokens of victory. It speaks of triumph over all kind of factors

 

A THANKFUL RECOGNITION: In the recording of this within God’s Book is an appreciation that all this had come about because of the Lord being in the midst with them and acting mightily on their behalf. There would have been no record or testimony had He not played the cardinal role on their side. Internal evidence witnesses this fact.

 

“Fresh mercies must not drown the remembrance of former mercies, nor must the glory of the present instruments of good to the church be suffered to eclipse and diminish the just honour of those who have gone before them, and who were the blessings and ornaments of their day. Joshua’s services and achievements are confessedly great, but let not those under Moses be overlooked and forgotten, since God was the same who wrought both, and both put together proclaim him the Alpha and Omega of Israel’s great salvation.”         Matthew Henry

 

AN INSPIRED MOTIVATION: Possibly one of the reasons for this summary is to provide a healthy base further movements and future exercise. Things were not to remain static following this record. This was the foundation and bridgehead for what was to in what lay ahead. There was much more to be brought to pass.

 

What does it reveal and actually make known reading between the lines?

 

1/. IT DECLARES OF PEOPLE MASTERED – vv1,4,7,9-24

 

It is obvious that the entering into the land meant that their had to be a complete mastering of people and they were a formidable factor:

 

There were 31 kings/rulers to be dealt with and dominated – v24. They were principal men who knew what it was to possesses authority and ability and could marshal people as a unit and fighting force but each one had been successfully annihilated. It did not matter whether it was Sihon, king of the Amorites, Og, king of Bashan, Jabin, king of Hazor etc., each one became a victim in the march of conquest. All these seeming mighty monarchs had fallen and so had the kingdoms they represented..

 

There is also the mention of the giants –v4. In Numbers 13:28,33; Deut. 2:11; 3:11. These monstrous men that had loomed large on the horizon had been exterminated and were blotted out. Those that had once intimidated and been a massive threat were no more and no longer in the reckoning. Israel, through God, had proved that they were bigger than the giants and capable of a giant size operation. Now they could look back and note they were not on the scene in any damaging capacity.

 

2/. IT PROCLAIMS OF PLACES POSSESSED  – v8

 

All kind of places had had to be faced, negotiated, conquered and possessed. The Lord had said that “every place that the sole of your feet . . .” – 1:3 had truly been so. When these things are referred to they more or less are suggestive of certain factors because usual features.

 

It often meant the mountains; the high and difficult terrain and region had been overcome. Such could have been a problem factor, but there had been the will and readiness to address every hill and mountain of difficulty and scale those places that were tough going by divine help and inspiration.

 

The valleys and the plains, the low and seeming ordinary had been dominated in signification fashion. They had motored on through these areas and made them their own.

 

The places of refreshing and renewal, the springs were now their property and blessedness. In passing on in their victorious march they had served their purpose but now were to become permanent features of blessing.

The wilderness had not become a scene of pessimism but of passing through to finish the task that they had entered into. Even that was now their inheritance. But Matthew Henry makes good comment here:

 

“The various kinds of land that were found in this country, which contributed both to its pleasantness and to its fruitfulness, Jos 12:8.  There were mountains, not craggy, and rocky, and barren, which are frightful to the traveller and useless to the inhabitants, but fruitful hills, such as put forth precious things (De 33:15), which charmed the spectator’s eye and filled the owner’s hand. And valleys, not mossy and boggy, but covered with corn, Ps 65:13.  There were plains, and springs to water them; and even in that rich land there were wildernesses too, or forests, which were not so thickly inhabited as other parts, yet had towns and houses in them, but served as foils to set off the more pleasant and fruitful countries.”           Matthew Henry

 

3/. IT INDICATES OF PROBLEMS OVERCOME – v9

 

There had been numerous problems en-route and these people and places represented problems that had all been duly answered in remarkable ways. They never knew what they were going to encounter but time and circumstance would prove that Jehovah their God was up to every emergency and crisis.

 

There had been the matter of Jericho. The fall of this first city after crossing the Jordan symbolized His unique ability to provide a solution. Reflection just showed that He was quite capable of moving in and revealing incredible ways and means of maneuvers and triumph. What presented itself as a major poser to Joshua was of little significance to the Lord.

 

Ai that had been a scene of initial disaster had been subdued by the the direction and intervention of Jehovah in counsel. So had the final battle. Hazor, with his united front, had been sorted out and put out of existence. And so on.

 

4/. IT REVEALS OF POWERS SUBDUED

 

Behind all these kings and kingdoms were major, evil demonic powers that had made these wicked and vile nations. The reason for their removal was due to awful wickedness that dominated them. Israel was a means in God’s hands to administer the judgment due and at the same time enforce God’s power against the sinister, spiritual forces that had reduced these nations to such a state. The conquest of Canaan was not simply a natural and geographical factor. Jehovah had dealt a pulverizing blow against the kingdom of darkness. The land needed to be purge from all its monstrous evils and Israel was to be used to effect this.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Not a time for switching off. The real task was now to begin. The conquering was the step to possession and to possess it for God and His glory, to establish His Name and Kingdom.

 

Now they were to begin to rule and reign through their God. His people were to become a kingdom of kings and lords and reign in blessing and produce a life and life-style akin to Jehovah.

 

Now they were to extend the kingdom. There were to be no limits. Growth and expansion were much in mind.

 

Now they were to inherit and enjoy the blessing. It was opportune and meet for them to move into a fullness of joy and happiness in and through their God.

 

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Bereavement

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                                    Rev. David Womersley

FACING UP TO BEREAVEMENT

David Womersley

 

No. 3 People’s Reactions

 

My wife Bronwen had died peaceably at home.  There was so much to do before the funeral that there was no time to grieve.  That really started when all the relatives had gone and the house was suddenly very empty.  That is when you need Jehovah-Shammah – The LORD is there!

 

People’s reactions are very different and sometimes surprising. After the service on my first Sunday back at church, I went up to speak to a prominent lady in leadership who was chatting to two teenage girls. I said: “Hello!”   She turned to me. “Oh hello” she replied, looking rather flustered and immediately resumed her mundane conversation.  She obviously had no idea what to say.

 

I soon found out that there were many who seemed embarrassed or feared to wound you by talking about your loved one when, in reality, the opposite is true. You want to remember her; you want to talk about her. Some feel they ought to say something and then say foolish things. One person asked me at the funeral: “Will you be moving now?”!  Some expect you to bounce back after the funeral and resume life as normal. It doesn’t happen that way.  That is the very time when you need help and encouragement.  I found it difficult to make small talk.  I did not like to hang around after a meeting and just chat.  Yet I wanted people who also missed my loved one to talk about her, to tell a story or a joke they had shared together. 

 

It is a sad thing to have to say, but sometimes people “of the world” are more helpful.  Our two very friendly neighbours came and knelt by Bronwen’s bed the day before she died.  I stood at the door and overheard her whisper to them: “Look after David when I’m gone.”  One was a church goer and she replied fervently: “Yes, we will!”  The other, a non church goer said nothing but I spotted a tear running down her cheek. Yet, afterwards, it was the latter that would pop in, at first almost daily, to see how I was and to offer help. I did not see the church goer for weeks! As a child of God, never promise anything you can’t fulfil!

 

What a lesson to us who love the Lord and who believe in the eternal hope of heaven.  Surely, we are the ones who should comfort and sustain and learn to say the right things.  Why not call for a few minutes, just to be there.   

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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 Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

 

Text: Ephesians 6:10-18

 

The shoes that a Roman soldier wore were actually sandals made of leather which had a heavy studded sole which gave him stability, and then they were tied in place by strips of decorated leather which were wound round the ankle and up part of the leg. This gave him balance and forward momentum. His shoes prevented him from slipping and sliding all over the place. Like the breastplate and the girdle, they were to be worn at all times when he was on duty. When the battle cry went up, a Roman soldier in his garrison would run into the armoury and pick up his helmet, shield and sword. He had to be prepared at all times and this is a great lesson for us to learn in our spiritual lives. As a soldier had to look after his armour and repair it when it needed it so must we be watchful to make sure that the various aspects of our spiritual life are healthy – that we are moving in righteousness, truth, holiness and the anointing.

 

he shoes of God’s peace will keep you standing when all around are slipping spiritually. If you don’t have a peace about going to a certain place; then don’t go there. You need to seek God’s peace whenever you are making decisions. Avoid anything and anybody that causes you to lose your peace. Having the girdle of truth on means that you know what is right to do – you are aware of the truth in every situation. Keeping on the shoes of God’s peace goes hand in hand with that girdle. Isaiah 5:27b says “Nor will the belt of their loins be looses, nor the strap of their sandals be broken” Keep yourself in a good state of spiritual repair – stay close to Jesus and anchored in His words. Never get into any situation where God is not honoured or where you lose your peace. Disobedience also causes us to lose our peace. We will know that we have done wrong. Let us imitate the children of Israel who were quick to obey the Lord when He told them in Exodus 12:11 to eat the Passover “with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it with haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.” They had to be in a state of readiness in order to receive complete deliverance.

 

Shoes also speak of foundation. We need to check ourselves from time to time. Are we still standing on the Rock of Christ? When the soldiers engaged in hand-to-hand combat they were trained to make sure their feet were anchored properly. Ask yourself now, are your spiritual feet anchored  on the foundation of Christ? Is He truly Lord of your life, or maybe just your Saviour? Is He the only God enthroned upon your heart? 1 Corinthians 3:11. What are you like when you are under pressure? Are you firm and resolute in your faith?

 

Is Paul also talking about evangelisation in verse 15? No. Although Paul was a powerful evangelist and passionate about sharing the gospel with whosoever was ready to listen, he is not speaking about that here. The apostle Paul held a high view of scripture and he calls us to be like him. Today we see many Christian leaders who are now doubting the reliability of scripture. They are no longer able to lead others in the truth. We have seen how leaders have let satan use them to destroy the faith of many people. But we must also check ourselves. Do we really stand on the truths of the Bible? Do we firmly believe that it is the Word of Truth? Do we believe that Jesus is God who clothed Himself with humanity in order to come and teach us the way to the Father – the way of salvation? Do we rest our faith on His atoning sacrifice on Calvary? Do we believe in His resurrection and in His second coming? Do we believe in the Trinity? If we are not sure of these truths then we can never fight against the enemy for if we do he will already have the advantage.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:15 says “Therefore brethren, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you” If you let your faith slide, then you will soon find that your walk slides too.

 

Also the Greek word translated as “peace” in this verse is “eirene” which doesn’t mean an absence of conflict. Rather it is the peace that results from harmony and unity. The verse tells us that evangelism will be truly effective when Christians go out as a united front. This, however, only comes when we have individual unity with Christ and that is obtained in the secret place of prayer and intimacy. It affects all around us.

 

Further Study

 

Colossians 3:15,16   Ephesians 4:15   2Timothy 2:15   Psalm 119:97-105   1 Samuel 2:9   1 Peter 1:23-25

 

 

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