BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7

Image result for joshua 7

Summary of Joshua 7:

The Israelite Achan disobeyed the Lord by taking some of the devoted things for himself instead of destroying them as ordered by the Joshua (Joshua 6:18), inciting the Lord’s anger.

Map of Ai
Map of Ai

Like with Jericho, Joshua ordered  spies to go to Ai to check out the region. The spies reported back that not all the men would be needed to defeat Ai, so only 3000 were sent. The Israelites were routed by the men of Ai, killing 36 Israelites. The Israelites were chased and the rest were destroyed.

Joshua, distraught over the loss, falls prostrate before the Ark of the Covenant and beseeches the Lord, lamenting the fact the Israelites had come so far only to be defeated. Joshua questions God as to why and points out how this damages the Lord’s name with their enemies.

The Lord informes Joshua of Achan’s sin and orders him to destroy the devoted things Achan has taken or He will forsake them.  The Lord tells Joshua to have the people consecrate themselves, and in the morning, he will destroy by fire whoever has the devoted things.

The Lord leads Joshua to Achan who confesses he took the devoted things. Joshua takes Achan to the Valley of Achor, stones him and his sons and daughters, and then burns them. The Lord then turned from His anger.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7

6) Joshua “tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there until evening.” Joshua questioned the Lord’s motives, wondering and praying to the Lord why did He deliver the Israelites only for them to be destroyed. He points out that now that the Canaanites have defeated Israel, the news will spread and the Lord’s name will be wiped out from the earth.

This prayer reveals that Joshua knows God well because he knows how much God wants unbelievers to fear His name. These battles are for God’s glory, not the Israelites. Joshua is close enough to God to be able to lay out his greatest fears before the Lord and question the Lord without fear of repercussions. Joshua and God are close.

7) God revealed to Joshua that someone had violated His covenant and stolen devoted things.  Israel had sinned and lied, and that’s the reason the Israelites lost to the Canaanites. God warns Joshua that He will no longer be with Israel unless the devoted things are destroyed. The Lord ordered Joshua to have the people prepare themselves, and He would reveal the thief and destroy him by fire along with all that belongs to him.

Achan admits he has sinned against the Lord and admits what he stole from the plunder. He reveals the hiding place of this treasure.

Joshua retrieves the stolen devoted things and spreads them out before the Lord. Joshua takes Achan and all that belongs to him (sons, daughters, cattle, donkeys, sheep, his tent, and all his material possessions) along with the stolen devoted things (silver, robe, and gold wedge). All of Israel stones the family and animals and burns them and everything else.

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: I have lost friends, jobs, esteem, respect, confidence, money, and time. I have lost self-confidence, replaced by a feeling of shame and guilt.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7:

This lesson reminded me of how we all pay for one person’s mistake, which has been since Adam and Eve bit the apple. I thought of all the laws created because of one person’s actions, all the rules we have to follow because of one person, and all the nonsensical things we have to do because of one person. And it reminded me of how this world has changed because everyone is afraid they’re going to get sued if anything goes wrong.

End Notes for BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 2, Day 3: Joshua 7:

The Israelites get cocky after Jericho. The conquered a city without firing an arrow. Now, Ai, the next target, is small and puny. The Israelites send a small army–and are thoroughly routed.

The conquering of Canaan by the Israelites was not for personal gain; it was to enact judgment on peoples who were unbelievers. By taking the devoted objects for personal gain, the Israelites were disobeying God and His plans.

Thirty-six men were more of a symbolic defeat. No men were lost at Jericho. With these men killed, it meant Israel could be defeated.

The tearing of clothes and dust upon the head is a sign of mourning: both for the 36 men and for God having forsaken them.

God wants us to be victorious; however, humans can still be defeated if we disobey God or choose evil over good. We always have a choice.

Sin can spread (1 Corinthians 5:6). It must be dealt with immediately and publicly to send a message. Especially when the sin is stealing from God himself!

Leviticus 22:1427:1527:19, and 27:31 each demonstrate that in Israel, if you wanted to keep something that belonged to God, you had to pay a 20% (one-fifth) penalty. This was the same amount required for restitution in theft (Leviticus 6:4-5).

The New Testament says giving should be regular and proportional (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), that it should be generous, purposeful, and cheerful (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). When we don’t give as God directs us, we must regard it as sin and repent of it.

What happened to ancient Israel cannot happen to us. Israel was under a covenant with God that said blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Jesus frees us from such a burden. However, if we want God to show up in our lives, we must obey Him, turn from sin, and walk in fellowship with God (1 John 1:6).

God showed mercy upon the Israelites by revealing their sin to them. They cannot act on their own power and self-reliance. God is in charge and is the power.

Was Achan’s Children Stoned?

Unlikely. They were guilty in that they probably knew Achan had stolen the goods since he buried the devoted things under his tent. However, the singular is used when referencing the person being stolen. When the plural is used, it’s probably referencing Achan’s possessions.

Once the sin was dealt with and the people’s hearts were conquered again by God, He went with the Israelites.

Theme of Joshua 7:

  • Obey God=victory
  • Disobey God=defeat

Image result for joshua 7

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 2, Day 3: Revelation’s Writer and Recipients

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

4a)  Matthew 4:21-22:  Here is where John was called by Jesus to be his disciple.

Matthew 17:1-3:  John witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus.

John 19: 25-27:  The “disciple whom he loved” is the apostle John.  Jesus told John to take care of his mother.

John 20: 1-10:  The “other disciple” here is the apostle John.  John reached Jesus’ tomb first and saw that he had risen

John 21: 20-25:  The disciple here is the apostle John.  It tells us John is the one who testifies to these things and wrote them down.

Acts 4:13:  The apostle John had been with Jesus.

1 John 1:1-3:  [Note:  This letter does not outright say John is the author.  It is assumed by scholars that John is the author of 1 John based on writing style and hints that put the odds in John’s favor–like here where the author says he has seen Jesus with his own eyes.  Still, there is no conclusive proof John wrote this letter.]

Assuming John is the author, the author here reveals he has heard, seen, and touched “the Word of life” which is Jesus.

[Again, the John who wrote Revelation is also assumed to be the apostle John, However, like in my POST where I laid out the arguments, it may have been a different John who wrote Revelation.  Keep that in mind.]

Revelation 1:1-2:  John is God’s servant who was sent an angel to reveal “the revelation of Jesus Christ” and this is the testimony of everything he saw–the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

b)  Obviously if the author of Revelation is the Apostle John, then he is trustworthy.  He was hand-picked by Jesus, walked with Jesus every day and saw the miracles he performed, was at Jesus’ transfiguration, wrote down writings and the testimony an angel had given him.  Why wouldn’t he be trustworthy?

All of Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) so even if this John is not the Apostle John he is trustworthy because God is trustworthy.

5a)  The recipients were suffering and poor, but loyal to the church and tested false apostles.  Some were about to face prison for their beliefs and possibly death but if they were faithful to the end, they’d receive the crown of life.

b)  Same.  People are the same no matter the time period as are believers.  We are called to suffer like Christ suffered and we may (and do) face persecution and death because of it.  It is not as prevalent as it was 2000 years ago, but it exists and for those of us in the Western world it takes different forms.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As I do anytime I study God’s word, I desire to know Him more, to love Him more, to be more like Him, to do His will for my life and gain insight into His will for my life, and to love others more.  In one word:  closer.

Conclusions:  It is clear from these passages BSF is taking the position that John the Apostle wrote Revelation.  This is probably true and most scholars agree.  Just keep in mind we are not 100% sure whom John of Revelation is.  In fact, modern scholars tend to call the author John of Patmos (great explanation HERE of why they believe the author is not John the Apostle) to distinguish him from John the Apostle.

Not for sure how 5c is related to 5a and 5b.  Filler if you ask me.

More On the Recipients of Revelation:  It has been about 60 years since Christ walked the earth.  Most of the original witnesses who saw Christ in the flesh are dead.  Only a few are left and the writings left behind by the apostles and others to testify to Jesus’ time here on earth.

This led to speculation and a cult who claimed Jesus did not come in the flesh.  Known as the Gnostics, they believed a physical body was intrinsically evil and denied the fact a pure, omnipotent God would take such a form.  Hence, some claimed Jesus was a phantom or that God left Jesus before he was crucified.

Hence, John is faced with setting the record straight of who Jesus is, what he did, and what he will do in the future.  He spoke in their language, using language and symbols they would understand.

For instance, in 1 John 1, all Christians would have understood “the Word”.  All Jews knew the Word to be God.  For Greeks, the Word (or Logos in Greek) meant the Reason or the organization and control of the universe.

With only a 60 year history, early Christians needed encouragement.  They needed clarification.  They needed hope.  Remember in the first century, most people didn’t make it to age 50, all did back-breaking physical labor to survive, 99% of them never left the town they were born in, and various gods and myths and monsters were real.  The unknown was terrifying.  And most everything outside of their little circle was unknown.

Early Christians needed a victory.  The answer is clear:  Jesus is the victory.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 2, Day 3: Acts 2:14-21 and Joel 2:28-32

Summary of passage:  Peter stood up the with the Eleven Apostles and told the confused crowd: we (the 120 and them) are not drunk.  Listen to Joel’s words:  God will pour out His Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the young men will see visions, old men will dream, the servants will prophesy and have the Spirit as well.  Wonders will appear in the heaven and signs will appear on earth such as blood, fire, and smoke.  The sun will be dark and the moon to blood before the day of the Lord when everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

Questions:

5a)  They stood up with Peter as he spoke.

b)  I don’t like how this question is phrased at all.  It implies that  we don’t stand up with our family, church, or business.  This is a matter of English grammar.  The question would be better if stated “If you followed the example of the Eleven disciples what difference would it make in your family, church, or business?”  Subtle but a big difference.

My answer:  Obviously, unity is better than being alone.  But it also depends on the matter you are standing behind. You stand behind those whom you believe are right.  You don’t stand by those whom you believe are wrong.  My answer would depend on what exactly I’m called on to support.

Again, a matter of grammar and what this question is asking.  It seems like everyone’s answer would be the same here so not sure what BSF is trying to accomplish with this.

6) The last days begin with Jesus’ death as this ushers in and makes possible the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Joel is speaking of after Jesus has arisen into Heaven then the Spirit will be outpoured.

7) The Spirit will be poured out on all people.  Everyone will prophesy, see visions, and dream.  God will show wonder in heaven and give signs on Earth (blood, fire, and billows of smoke).  Sun will turn to darkness and the Monn to blood.

8 ) It’s for everyone who accepts Christ as their Savior.  Romans 10:11-13  Paul is speaking.  “As the Scripture says (Isaiah 28:16) ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.  For there is no difference between Jes and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

9) The Second Coming of Jesus who will judge all mankind and deliver the remnant.

Revelation 6: 12-17:  “…the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned red, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth…For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Matthew 24:29-31:  “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken (Matthew quoting Isaiah 13:10; 34:4)…At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and…they will see the Son of Man coming….”

1 Thessalonians 5:2:   “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

Conclusions:  You can almost feel Peter endeavoring to make the people understand the significance of what has just happened; the passion in his voice; the excitement he is fighting to contain; the anger from being called a drunk. He quotes Joel, an Old Testament prophet, almost as an attempt to prove he’s not making this stuff up.  Great study of Joel as well.

End Note:  This site lists all of the places in the Bible where “the day of the Lord” is said:  http://www.gotquestions.org/day-of-the-Lord.html