BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15

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Summary of Joshua 10:1-15:

The King of Jerusalem, Adoni-Zedek, heard about the Israelites’ conquering of Ai and Jericho and the peace treaty it had made with Gibeon. He gathered together 4 more kings of the Amorites–Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon– and attacked Gibeon, which was an important and large city.

The Gibeonites, now subjects of Israel, appealed to Joshua for help. He came up with his best fighting men from Gilgal. The Lord promised to deliver them into his hands. After marching all night, Joshua took the kings by surprise. The kings retreated and Joshua pursued them all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.

The Lord brought hail that killed many of the retreating army. Joshua asked for the sun to stand still and the moon to stop. God fulfilled Joshua’s prayer as a sign He was with Israel.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15:

3) Joshua took his entire army, his best fighting men included, and marched overnight to surprise the kings of the Amorites. God told Joshua “Do not be afraid; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.

4)  “The Lord threw them into [the Amorites] into confusion before Israel.” “The Lord hurled down large hailstorms down on them from the sky, killing more than swords.” God stopped the sun on the request of Joshua so the conquest would be complete. God is good. God keeps His promises. God wants His glory to be known. God fights for us. God has His ways and uses various methods to achieve His history.

5) Personal Question. My answer: If you pray, God is there, and He will guide and lead you. God will work miracles to help you if you have faith. Definition of integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness; the state of being whole and undivided.

I love the second definition of integrity. When Israel is together, of one mind and united in a cause, they are unbeatable. They act as one unit and are much stronger and a more formidable opponent. Also, the Israelites defend the Gibeonites because they do have a treaty. They are honoring their commitment to others.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15:

I love how the Lord doesn’t hold anything against Joshua; he is totally forgiven for his mistakes. We just saw Joshua disobey an order from God: don’t make treaties with the Canaanites. Now, when Joshua is called upon by the Gibeonites to help, he honors his word and God honors Joshua’s word as well as Joshua seeks the Lord here.

If God can let go of the past so easily, why can’t we?

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 2: Joshua 10:1-15:

Why the Military Coalition of the Southern Kings?

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The Israelites had brought the unique judgment of God against the Canaanites (Jericho and Ai) and did not take any plunder or profit from the cities. An Israelite army fighting for the glory of God and as a unique instrument of God’s judgment made everyone shake in their boots.

The previous victories across the middle of Canaan effectively separated Canaan between north and south. “Israel controlled the Benjaminite plateau, the crossroads between the hill country and the Judean wilderness. It provided access to the coastal plain and lowlands to the west via the Beth Horon pass.” (Hess)

“It has been conjectured that the Canaanitish kings assumed this name in imitation of that of the ancient patriarchal king of this city, Melchizedek, whose name signifies king of righteousness, or my righteous king: a supposition that is not improbable.” (Clarke)

Remember the Gibeonites surrendered because they honored the God of Israel, not because they couldn’t defend themselves.

The Southern Kings gathered forces much as Satan does today. The enemy will use all he has against us.

It was only the Southern kings because the northern kings were already occupied by Israel.  “Jerusalem’s leader wrote at least five letters to the Pharaoh regarding his town and its security. These letters, part of the collection known as the Armana letters, are longer and more literate than the contemporary missives of other Palestinian town leaders.” (Hess)

Jerusalem, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, and Hebron were important cities either for their location or for the trade routes associated with them.

Afraid to attack Israel directly, the kings attacked the Israelites’ subjects, the Gibeonites.

Why are the Israelites still at Gilgal?

  • Gilgal was the place of memorial (Joshua 4:20).
  • Gilgal was the place of radical obedience (Joshua 5:2-3).
  • Gilgal was the place where reproach was removed (Joshua 5:9).
  • Gilgal was the place of obedience and the remembrance of salvation (Joshua 5:10).
  • Gilgal was the place where the manna stopped, and they began to live off what the Promised Land provided (Joshua 5:11-12).
  • Gilgal was the place where they met Jesus Christ in a dramatic way, as commander of the LORD’s armies – and took of their sandals in reverence to holy ground (Joshua 5:13-15).

What Lessons do we Learn from the Gibeonites?

  • It’s okay to call for help. God is our protector. Cry out to Him.
  • God commanded Joshua not to fear because He would deliver. Fear is a sign of unbelief in God doing what He says He’ll do.

Allowing these Canaanite kings to wipe out the Gibeonites would have been a convenient way to get out of a vow that should not have been made, but they will have none of it.

We should have the same sense of honor. Though Joshua was only bound to not kill the Gibeonites himself (Joshua 9:15), he also felt obliged to fulfill the spirit of the vow he made to the Gibeonites.

Why were the Southern Kings taken by Surprise?

The Southern Kings didn’t believe the march was possible in that short of a time. The march from Gilgal to Gibeon involved a climb of 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) over a distance of about 20 miles (32 kilometers). This was eight to ten hours of hard marching all through the night.

God does His work, but He draws us into working with Him. Often God waits to see our initiative, our willingness to be a partner with Him before He does what only He can do.

This is not the idea that “God helps those who help themselves.” The idea is “God wants to draw His people into partnership with Him in seeing His work done.”

What Did the Hailstorm Signify?

  • God’s hand in the battle.Image result for joshua 10 hailstorm
  • For the Amorites who worshipped nature, they must have thought their gods had abandoned them.
  • In Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky suggested that this rain of hailstones was actually a sustained meteor show, the train of a comet. He also theorized that the passing of the comet was related to the next amazing work of God for Israel and Joshua.
  • God’s work is greater than man (Joshua’s) work.

Why Did Joshua Ask for the Sun to Stand Still?

  • Joshua wanted a complete victory and needed more time.
  • God would be glorified.
  •  God would be obeyed.
  •  God’s work would be continued without hindrance.
  •  God’s people would triumph.

How did the Sun Stand Still?

Beyond the reason, “Because God said so,” here are various scientific ideas:

  • A slowing of the earth’s rotation.
  • A tilting of the earth’s axis
  • A miracle of reflection of light
  • Simply the presence of God manifested in light.

In Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky suggested that the long day was caused by the near pass of a comet, that was powerful enough to tilt the axis of the earth. “The tilting of the axis could produce the visual effect of a retrogressing or arrested sun; a greater tilting, a multiple day or night.” [385] He also noted that there are records among the ancient Americans that speak of an extraordinarily long night in the same approximate time.

Fun Battle Fact of the Bible:

This is the first time in Joshua of a counterattack – the enemy initiating a battle against Israel. “Here for the first time Israel does not initiate the aggression but responds to an ally’s appeal.” (Hess)

What Does Joshua 10 Teach Us?

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 3, Day 2: John 2:1-12

Summary of passage:  Jesus performs the first of his miraculous signs the day after having called Philip and Nathanael.  He attends a wedding in Cana still in Galilee.  Jesus’ mother told Jesus there was no more wine.  Jesus replied his time has not yet come.  Still, Jesus told the servants to fill 6 stone water jars with water and hand them to the master of the banquet.  The water had been turned into wine.  He then goes to Capernaum with his mother, brothers, and disciples and stays for a few days.

Questions:

3a)  The wine ran out.  In ancient times, it was custom to feed guests until they were full.  To run out of wine would have been a major faux pas.  The newly married couple would forever feel shame and be known for what happened at their wedding day.  Wine was also a symbol of joy, so the subliminal message would have been “We’re not happy.”

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  No.  Not to jump the gun and be patient and wait for Jesus to make the first move.  That doesn’t mean not to ask.  It just means to be patient.  Mary looks at Jesus expectantly.  We should not expect things from Jesus.  All we are is in His grace alone.  We must remember that when life doesn’t go our way and we’re tempted to blame God.

4)  He performs the miracle anonymously and without pomp.  He doesn’t stand up and announce to the whole wedding party:  “Hey, everyone!  I’m about to turn water into wine.  Everyone look at me!”  No.  Jesus performs miracles with no expectations of acknowledgment or anything in return.

Jesus is showing how he’s better than the Old Covenant if you think of Jesus as the wine and the Old Covenant as the water (See End Notes for more detail on this).

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  It seems to indicate that the disciples believed in Jesus when they saw his glory through this first recorded miracle.  They believed before but this miracle deepens their faith just like ours is deepened when we see God in our lives.  Jesus is building up his men for their important work to come.

Conclusions:  Once Jesus decides it’s go time, it’s go time.  He doesn’t dilly-dally around and waste time.  He knows his time is limited here on earth.  This is a great lesson for us all.  Do God’s work for your life now.  You never know when you’ll be called home.

End Notes:  Note Jesus calls Mary “woman” and not mother.  There is a shift in their relationship as Jesus embarks on his plan for the world.  It’s like when our kids grow up.  We’re always parents, but we cut the cord and let our children make their own decisions.  This Greek word indicates this change between the two.

These are one of the few recorded words of Mary in the Bible.  Note what they are:  “Do whatever he tells you.”  What wisdom and advice for us today!

Jesus’ “hour” is his destiny of his death on the cross and John pictures Jesus moving towards it (John 7:6,8,30: 8:20).

The 6 stone jars show detail and show how Jesus uses what’s at hand.  He uses us right where we are today!

Note how Jesus didn’t just conjure up the water.  He uses man to aid him.  Like today when we’re called for Jesus’ work.  This is very typical in Jesus’ miracles and we’ll see this throughout the book of John.  Imagine the servants’ joy.  They didn’t do the miracle, but they shared in it’s joy.  They were blessed by obedience.

The master of the feast would have been angry if the wine ran out.  The servants showed courage in carrying the water to him.

Note how Jesus makes “choice wine”.  Jesus makes the best and goes above and beyond expectations.  We should expect the best when Jesus is involved.

Note Jesus’ first miracle is a miracle of conversion:  water to wine.  Old Testament law to New Testament law.  Cleansing from the blood of Jesus.  Old life to new life.  The water is God under the Old Covenant.  The wine is Jesus under the New Covenant.

The wine was after the water, from the water, and better from the water–all indicative of Jesus.  This first sign points to the redemption of creation from all its trials, allowing the wine of joy to flow fully as the prophets had announced (Isiah 35:1-2; Joel 3;18; Amos 9:13).

John always refers to Jesus’ miracles as “signs”, which speaks to the action not the marvel.  There are 7 signs in the book of John (the number of completion), which reveal Jesus’ glory and point to the completion of salvation.  The large catch of fish is in the epilogue.

Map of Cana HERE

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 2: Acts 3-4

Summary of passages:  Acts 3:  Peter and John were heading to the temple to pray when they ran into a crippled beggar.  He asked them for money and Peter exclaimed, “Look at us!”  The beggar did and Peter said he would give the man what he had and told him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  He pulled him to his feet and the beggar began to jump around and praise God.  The people who saw the beggar were filled with awe at what had happened to him.

All the people were astonished and came running to Peter and John.  Peter asks them why they stare at them as if they were the ones to heal the man.  It was through Jesus, the one you disowned and killed and God raised again, by faith in Jesus that this man walks.

God fulfilled his prophecies.  Repent, turn to God so your sins can be wiped clean.  Jesus will remain in heaven until the time of restoration.  Peter quotes Moses and Abraham who spoke of Jesus, telling the people to listen and turn from your wicked ways.

Acts 4:  The priests and the Sadducees arrest Peter and John because they were teaching people Jesus rose from the dead.  But many heard and more were converted.

The next day the pair was brought before the Sanhedrin (a group resembling the group Jesus was brought before) and asked by what power they healed.  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ whom you killed that this man is healed.  Salvation is found only in Jesus.

The learned men were astonished these so-called unschooled, ordinary men could heal.  They could do nothing since everyone had seen the man healed.  The Sanhedrin want to stop them from speaking in Jesus’ name but when they asked Peter and John to stop, they refused. Reluctantly, the two were let go since they could not deny a miracle had taken place.

Peter and John returned and prayed, saying “God, you made it all; you proclaimed through David how the rulers gather against you but they did what you had decided beforehand.  So enable us to speak your word with boldness and to heal through Jesus.  God filled them with the Holy Spirit.

All the believers shared their possessions.  The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.  No one went without.

Questions:

3)  1) You must have faith to give faith.  Peter says, “What I have I give you.” (Acts 3:6)  Peter takes the man by the hand and he walks.  Peter had faith in Jesus and gave it to the man.

2) Once you have faith you must use it and proclaim it.  “He jumped to his feet and began to walk.  He walked, jumped, and praised God.” (Acts 3:8)  Once Jesus is in your heart you must use it to follow God’s plan for you.  John 10:10  “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

3) “Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17  Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus.  When  you hear or read the word of God you are healed in many ways just like this man was when he heard the name of Jesus.

4) From Ephesians 2:8, God’s grace saves us and the Holy Spirit prompts us to do good works.  The crippled beggar was healed because God chose to heal him through his grace.  The beggar believed and Peter believed and God chose to reward them because He loved them and loves us.

4a)  The name of Jesus is powerful.  It heals (3:6).

Jesus is referred to as God’s servant (3:13); the Holy and Righteous One (3:14); the author of life (3:15); Peter explains “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given complete healing” (3:16); God’s holy servant (4:27, 30)

b) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (4:12)

5) The were astonished and confounded how unschooled, ordinary men could perform such miracles.  They had been with Jesus and performed an indisputable miracle.  All the rulers could do was threaten them.  They could not harm them for they were now loved by the people.

6a)  They praised God and listed his accomplishments (“you made the heaven and the earth and the sea”).  They quoted God’s words (Psalm 2:1,2).  They told God what was happening through telling him the travesties that were occurring against him and Jesus (conspiring against him).  They recognized it was God’s will and said so (verse 28). Finally, they asked for what they wanted (consider the threats and stretch out your hand and perform miracles in Jesus’ name).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m trying to say “your will, not mine” more.  I praise God for His goodness and His goodness in my life.  Then ask for what I want in a humble way if it is God’s will and in His timing.

7)  They shared what they had with others and each had a good heart (one for God).  They testified to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was showered on them.  No one was in need for those that had gave when needed or gave to those who could give to those needy.

Conclusions:  Challenging lesson that’s for sure.  Question 3 I think will get a lot of you thinking.  I also liked the prayer model.  It’s something we all know but it’s hard to remember in the rush we have in our lives to take the time and pray properly when we do pray.

That being said, I think ultimately God doesn’t care how you pray.  Even if it’s just, “God, help me” it’s something, which is better than nothing.  For God knows your heart and what you mean even when you don’t or can’t say it.

I enjoyed the various names Jesus is called.  It’s helpful for me to remember exactly what he has done for us. Sometimes the word Jesus is not enough.  He’s talked about so often we can become immune almost to his power. The phrases “God’s holy servant” and “author of life” emphasizes just exactly who Jesus is and the power he has in our lives.