BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37

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Summary 1 Samuel 25:14-44:

Abigail got wind of David’s request and how good he had been to them, guarding the sheep. Abigail decides to give David food without telling Nabal. She rides out to greet them as David is still seething over Nabal’s denial of his food request and is preparing to slaughter Nabal’s men.

Abigail prostrates herself before David, begging him to put the blame on her instead because her husband is a fool. She reasons with him to not kill them because then he’d have innocent bloodshed on his hands. David blesses her, saying she has saved him from killing all of Nabal’s men. Nabal dies. David marries Abigail. He had married Ahinoam of Jezreel as well but Michal had been given to another man.

Summary Psalm 37:

Don’t worry over evil people. Trust in God and He will give you the desires of your heart. Wait for the Lord. Refrain from evil. The Lord laughs at the wicked. The wicked will vanish and perish. Do good and the Lord will not forsake you. He will bless you.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

6) Part Personal Question. My answer: Abigail is intelligent and beautiful. She is selfless, willing to take on Nabal’s punishment. She cares for her employees to save them. She is humble, brave, and courageous. She is sacrificial. I’d like to be more caring, humble, and more sacrificial as well.

7) Part Personal Question. My answer: God sent Abigail to prevent David from doing something he’d regret and from sinning. Every day God extends mercy to me as I fail and am flippant with others, impatient, and mean sometimes.

8 ) Part personal question. My answer: God blesses the good and condemns the evil in His time. I need to be more patient with God and allow Him to give me the desires of my heart.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Leave it to a woman to diffuse a male ego. Abigail, knowing something bad is going to happen, goes to David and makes peace. David realizes how wrong he was and then marries Abigail, probably recognizing her intelligence, courage, and selflessness.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 14, Day 3: 1 Samuel 25:14-44 with Psalm 37:

Nabal’s servants read the handwriting on the wall. They knew that David would not take such an insult (theft, actually) lying down. For their own sake and for the sake of the household. they asked Abigail to do something, knowing Nabal would not (Proverbs 17:12).

The fact that Abigail was able to gather so much food so quickly shows how wealthy Nabal was. If this much food was on hand, it makes Nabal’s ungenerous reply to David all the worse.

In his angry, agitated state, something unexpected made David and his whole company come to an immediate stop: a great procession of gifts, and at the head of that procession, a beautiful woman bowing down before David. This had to make a startling impression on David.

What did Abigail do that saved her men?

  • Abigail came as a humble servant, not as a superior (as the beautiful, rich, and privileged often do).Image result for 1 samuel 25
  • Abigail acted quickly
  • Abigail took the blame on herself, knowing as a woman, David would punish her differently than Nabal
  • Abigail asked David’s permission to speak
  • Abigail told David he was about to make a mistake
  • Abigail brought gifts
  • Abigail asked for forgiveness
  • Abigail compliments David
  • Abigail told David to look at the bigger picture of what God has for him
  • Abigail tells David to act like a man close to God

What did Abigail do wrong in her interaction with David?

  • Abigail went to David without her husband’s consent
  • Abigail called her husband names and criticized him to others
  • Abigail insinuated Nabal should be killed
  • Abigail asked David to remember her
  • Abigail was not outstandingly submissive or respectful to her husband, Nabal.

Though there is no explanation in the Bible, perhaps Abigail’s behavior was justified because this was a life-or-death situation. If Abigail didn’t do what she did, then Nabal and scores of innocent men would die. But the point of the passage is how submissive and respectful Abigail is towards David, not Nabal.

The beauty of Abigail’s speech

  • Abigail focused David’s attention from Nabal back to God who could easily kill all of David’s enemies with a sling, referencing Goliath here.
  • Abigail lifted David up instead of beating him down. David was clearly in the wrong, and Abigail wanted to guide him into the right. But she didn’t do it by being negative, by emphasizing to David how wrong and angry and stupid he was – though in fact he was. Instead, Abigail emphasized David’s glorious calling and destiny, and the general integrity of his life, and simply asked him to consider if what his present course of action was consistent with that destiny and integrity.
  • Abigail is a marvelous model of “sweetly speaking submission.” Many Christian wives have the idea of “silent submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, but I won’t tell him. Submission means I should shut up.” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Other Christian wives have the idea of “sharply speaking submission.” They say, “I know my husband is wrong, and God has appointed me to tell him. And boy, will I!” That is wrong, and they should look to Abigail as an example. Abigail gives the right example – submission that speaks, but speaks sweetly instead of sharply.
  • Abigail’s submission to Nabal was not outstanding but her submission to David was. And David’s submission to the Lord was equally outstanding; by giving up the fight, he had to trust God to take care of Nabal.

What do we learn from Abigail?

  • Our hurt feelings never justify disobedience. When others sin against us, we may feel justified in sinning against them, but we are never justified by disobeying.
  • It is a great blessing when we are kept from sin.

David knew God sent Abigail and was speaking through her. How many Abigails do we have in our lives?

Abigail reminded David of his destiny – to reign over Israel in righteousness and integrity. If David had slaughtered Nabal and his household, it would forever be a black mark against David among Israelites. They would forever wonder if they could really trust him. It might also seal his doom before Saul, because for the first time David would have given Saul a legitimate reason to hunt him down as a criminal.

Note Abigail also paid David what he was owed.

What do we learn from Nabal?

  • Nabal is a picture of the sinner who goes on rejecting God without regard to God’s coming judgment. It is certain that God will judge the sinner who continues to reject Him in His timing.
  • David did not need to avenge himself with his own hand; God was more than able to do it.

Jesus may have had Nabal in mind when He taught the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21). That parable describes a man who dies with everything – and nothing.

Wasn’t David already married when he marries Abigail?

No. David was not married to Michal because Saul had taken her away and given her to another man to spite David (David will get Michal back in 2 Samuel 3:13-16).

David never followed God’s will in his marriage life, causing him some of his greatest trials. Although God did not forbid multiple wives, it is not God’s ideal for men and women and His plan for oneness. David had many passions, one of them being women. He was never blessed by God because, in this respect, he was not a man after God’s own heart.

Commentary Psalm 37:

Verse 25 tells us that the author is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This Psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to man but to God, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

Why do the wicked prosper?

Many people “fret” or are jealous of the wicked who proper despite their evil. Asaph was bothered by this problem in Psalm 73. Here’s what Bible commentators have to say about the matter:

  • “The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might Image result for psalm 37say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.’” (Boice)
  • “To fret is to worry, to have the heart–burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law–breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire.” (Spurgeon)
  • Morgan wrote of this worry, this fret: “It is wrong; it is harmful; it is needless. Let the trusting wait. Events will justify the action.”
  • “It is as foolish as it is wicked to repine or be envious at the prosperity of others. Whether they are godly or ungodly, it is God who is the dispenser of the bounty they enjoy; and, most assuredly, he has a right to do what he will with his own. To be envious in such a case, is to arraign the providence of God.” (Clarke)

David gives the same answer Asaph came to in Psalm 73: any prosperity experienced by the workers of iniquity was only temporary.

“In the Middle East the lush spring vegetation may lose its beauty in a few days after a hot, dry desert wind (hamsin) has parched the land.” (VanGemeren)

We think of a wicked man eating a magnificent dinner while a godly man goes hungry. The wicked man eats anything and everything he wants, and his table is loaded as he enjoys his meal. Then we see the bigger picture: he eats his last meal on death row and in a moment will face terrible judgment.

How do we not worry about what evildoers are doing?

  • Trust God and do good for His glory. We can get distracted by looking at the prosperity of the wicked.
  • Enjoy the blessings God has given you.
  • Delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart
  • Wait on the Lord
  • Do not be angry
  • Our reward is eternal; the wicked’s reward is temporary

“The Hebrew for commit is literally ‘roll’, as though getting rid of a burden ( Joshua 5:9). But it comes to be used simply as a synonym for ‘entrust’ (Proverbs 16:3) or ‘trust’; cfPsalm 22:8.” (Kidner)

All evildoers shall be cut off, and the blessed shall inherit the world.

Jesus quoted verse 11 in the Sermon on the Mount, in the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). “It is right to say that Psalm 37 is an exposition of the third beatitude, even though it was written a thousand years before Jesus began his public ministry. It unfolds the character of the meek or trusting person in the face of the apparent prosperity of the wicked.” (Boice)

Why do the wicked plot against the just?

The wicked gnash their teeth, which shows the depth of their anger and hatred.

“If God can laugh at the wicked, shouldn’t we be able at least to refrain from being agitated by them?” (Boice)

The wicked will be broken; the righteous will be held by God.

Adam Clarke noted that some ancient manuscripts render verse 20 differently. “If we follow the Hebrew, it intimates that they shall consume as the fat of lambs. That is, as the fat is wholly consumed in sacrifices by the fire on the altar, so shall they consume away in the fire of God’s wrath.”

The wicked take; the righteous give.

The promise of earth-inheritance is repeated a three times.

How are the righteous rewarded?

  • God guides our steps
  • God delights in us (Romans 5:1-2).
  • God holds us up so we don’t fall

As we seek the Lord and delight in Him, we find our lives are the perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

Geber is the original word for good, and it properly signifies a strong man, a conqueror or hero; and it appears to be used here to show that even the most powerful must be supported by the Lord.

God provides for His people

This was David’s testimony after many years. He saw God’s faithfulness to His people and wanted a younger generation to also trust in Him, learning from David’s wisdom.

David knew that among his ancestors were some who left Israel, fearful in a time of famine (Ruth 1). When they returned after several disastrous years in Moab, they found the people of Bethlehem in Israel provided for. God knew how to take care of those who trusted in Him in times of famine, and has done so since then.

One way that God provides for the righteous and their descendants is through the ethic of hard work that belongs to the redeemed, who know that all things should be done heartily, as unto the LORD – including working for a living.

Image result for psalm 37Do Godly men and women have to beg?

This Psalm is a wisdom psalm very much like Proverbs. In the Bible’s wisdom literature often times general principles are presented in the absolute.

We also note that David simply wrote of his experience. That being said, God provides no matter what and one must ask if you are begging, are your exercising every option available to you.

God’s judgments descend to posterity, not just His mercies.

We see the repetition of the same promise in the same terms throughout verses 9, 11, 22, 29, 34. This is a reference to the new heavens and the new earth of Isaiah 66:172 Peter 3:13.

What character traits do the righteous possess?

  • Wisdom and just words
  • Knowledge and love of God’s word  (Jeremiah 31:33)

FUN FACT: For the fifth time in this Psalm, David promised the people of God that they would inherit the land. For the sixth time in this Psalm, David promised that the wicked would be cut off or cut down in some sense. Their coming doom was just as certain as the coming blessing and security of the righteous.

David used a green tree as a picture of the wicked in their prosperity. Psalm 1 uses a flourishing tree as a picture of the righteous. “Here it is used in reverse, the wicked being compared to a green tree which flourishes for a time but soon passes away and is seen no more.” (Boice)

Final thought from David: Trust in God.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8

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Summary 1 Samuel 8:

Samuel grew old and his sons, Joel and Abijah, did not walk in the ways of the Lord. Thus, the elders of Israel asked for a king. Samuel consulted God who said the Israelites were rejecting Him as king. God told the people what a king would do to them: take sons and make them serve in the army and go out and fight battles and die, to plow his ground, to reap his harvest, to make weapons and chariots, take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers, take their fields and give them to his attendants, take a tenth of their grain and the best of their cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and they themselves will become slaves.

The people did not listen to these warnings. They wanted a king so God relented.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:

12) The Israelites wanted a king because all the nations had a king. The cost of a king would be: take sons and make them serve in the army and go out and fight battles and die, to plow his ground, to reap his harvest, to make weapons and chariots, take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers, take their fields and give them to his attendants, take a tenth of their grain and the best of their cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and they themselves will become slaves.

13) God gives the people what they want for Free Will and let’s them suffer the consequences. The people are stubborn and insist on a king anyways. They still think they know better than God. They are followers.

14) They follow what society does. Let homosexuality slide, sins slide, and say sin is okay when it’s not. They don’t ask God like they should. They buy into society’s view of “doing what feels good.” This costs Christians their morals, values, self-esteem, and relationship with God. Christians have gone to the extreme of not saying anything against sin when we should speak up against sin.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:

It’s sad that the Israelites want a king for the shallow reason “cause everyone else does.” How often do we do this same thing? IPhone, technology, what everyone else has or does is what we want. But is it good for us?

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 5: 1 Samuel 8:

Samuel did the same thing as Eli: appointed his sons as judges (even though they were not from the tribe of Levi) and like Eli could not evaluate his sons fairly. He was blinded by love and emotion.

While it was wise for the elders of Israel to reject Samuel’s sons as leaders, it was wrong for them to ask for a king instead.

In itself, the desire to have a king was not bad. God knew one day Israel would have a king. 400 years before this God gave instructions to Israel about their future king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). A king was in God’s plan for Israel.

Yet, the reason Israel wanted a king was wrong. It’s flimsy at best.

What’s the difference between a judge and a king in the Bible?

  • A judge was a leader raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. When the crisis was over usually the judge went back to doing what he did before.
  • king not only held his office as king as long as he lived, he also passed his throne down to his descendants.
  • Judges did not make a “government.”
  • Kings establish a standing government with a bureaucracy, which can be both a blessing and a curse to any people.

In Judges 8 Gideon was offered the throne over Israel. He refused it saying, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you.” (Judges 8:23) This was the heart of all the judges, and why Israel went some 400 years in the Promised Land without a king.

What did Samuel do that we often don’t do?

  • Prayed
  • Laid his heart before the Lord
  • Asked for guidance

Why did God give Israel a king?

Image result for 1 samuel 8God would teach Israel through this. Sometimes when we insist on having something bad God will allow us to have it and then teach through it.

In many ways this was a matter of timing. God knew Israel would have a king, but He wanted to give the king in His timing. Because Israel demanded a king out of bad and carnal reasons, God will give them a bad and carnal king. Israel will get what they want and will hurt because of it. Just like the ark. It was not time for victory; God would teach them a lesson.

If you’re faithful to king in heaven, you don’t need a king on earth.

Telling the Israelites the consequences makes them fully accountable for their choice. A king would bring problems as much as he’d solve them.

God will give Israel “their king” – Saul. Later, after “their king” fails, God will give Israel “His king” – David.

Because we suppose that God ultimately wanted Israel to be a monarchy (based on Deuteronomy 17:14-20), we might even guess that if Israel did not forsake the LORD here, God would have made David the first human king of Israel.

God wanted to make Israel a special treasure to Me above all people… a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). God wanted to make Israel something special, and they wanted to be just like everyone else.

Themes of 1 Samuel 8:

  • When we resist God, we only hurt ourselves.
  • God gives us what we ask for sometimes even though it’s not good for us to teach us a lesson.
  • Christians are set apart for God and God’s purposes. Don’t be like everyone else.
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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11

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Summary of 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

Hannah praises God in her prayer as she leaves her son, Samuel. She boasts of God’s strength, His holiness, His omniscience, of how God feeds and raises up, He humbles and exalts, He silences the wicked, and God’s people prevail.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

6) Personal Question. My answer: God is faithful. His will prevails. He is in charge of who wins and loses and who He exalts or humbles. He is our Rock. I’m encouraged to stay faithful.

7) Part personal Question. My answer: Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac. God sacrificed Jesus. I’ll sacrifice whatever He tells me.

8 ) God will defeat those who come against Him. He will silence the wicked. He will give strength to the coming Kings of Israel. He is sending Jesus (the King and the Anointed) to conquer all. This is the time before the kings, so she must be speaking of Jesus here.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

Great prayer example for us all. Praising God. Listing His character and power. Thanking Him.

Another amazing video on 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

1 Samuel 1:28 ended, “So they worshipped the LORD there”. This song records the worship Hannah offered on the very day she left her little boy – her only child – at the tabernacle.

Hannah showed a depth of commitment and love for God that may humble us. On the day she made the biggest sacrifice of her life she rejoices in the LORD.

She could not rejoice in leaving her son. In the most desperate situations, when we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the LORD.

The horn is used often as a picture of strength in the Bible (Psalms 75:4-5 and 92:10). This is because the strength of an ox or a steer could be expressed in its horn. Hannah spoke of strength and power being exalted in the LORD.

What does the horn in the Bible signify?

  • Power
  • Might
  • Dominion

Hannah had a strong sense of vindication over her rival, Elkanah’s other wife named Peninnah. Peninnah cruelly brought Hannah low (1 Samuel 1:6-7), but now Hannah rejoiced because the LORD lifted her up.

Image result for 1 samuel 2We see a classic form of Hebrew poetry – repetitive parallelism–saying the same thing just differently.

  • “There is no one holy like the Lord.”
  • “There is no one besides you.”
  • “There is no Rock like our God.”

Hebrew poetry does not rhyme words by sound as much as it rhymes ideas. The ideas of the three lines of 1 Samuel 2:2 all rhyme together, having different words yet “sounding” the same.

Hannah had her rival in mind when she said not to talk so proudly. Pride can be expressed in many ways, but it usually is expressed by our words.

God humbles the strong, which He can change very quickly.

LORD can change our place quickly and exalt the weak (Luke 14:7-11).

Hannah knew she was barren because the LORD had closed her womb (1 Samuel 1:6). She knew God first set her low, and then brought her high. She could see the hand of the LORD in it all.

God is in control of the foundations of the earth.

God uses His power to set things right. It isn’t enough for us to believe God has this power. We must know He will use it for His glory and righteousness.

Who is “the king” and “the anointed”?

Hannah speaks of Jesus as the king and anointed one.

Fun Fact: This is the first place in the Bible where Jesus is referred to as the Messiah.

It’s MESSIAH in Hebrew, CHRIST in Greek, and ANOINTED in English.

Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist, quoted Hannah in Luke 1:69 when he prophetically called Jesus a horn of salvation, quoting from 1 Samuel 2:10. Mary the mother of Jesus quoted Hannah’s song often (Luke 1:46-55).

Young as he was, Samuel had a ministry to the LORD. Our young people can praise, serve, and please God too.

The Living Bible translates it well: And the child became the Lord’s helper.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 3: Skim Joshua 15-19

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Summary of Joshua 15:

The allotment of land for the tribe of Judah is laid out, which includes Hebron, the land Joshua gave to Caleb as his reward. Caleb drove out the Anakites from Hebron. He gave his daughter in marriage to whoever captured Kiriath Sepher in Debir. This was Othniel, son of Caleb’s brother. Judah cannot drive out the people in Jerusalem.

Summary of Joshua 16:

The allotment of land for Ephraim and Manasseh is laid out. However, they could not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer who became forced labor for the Israelites instead.

Summary of Joshua 17:

A continuation of the allotment of the land for the tribe of Manasseh. The daughters of the tribe of Manasseh also received an inheritance because there were no male heirs born. Again, the Israelites were unable to drive out the Canaanites in a few pockets, but did eventually force them into labor. Here, we see the first complaint as the people of Joseph (whose sons were Ephraim and Manasseh) claimed their portion of land given was too small. Joshua said to go and clear the forests then in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.Image result for map of promised land tribes land

The people complained again about how these people were superiorly armed with iron chariots. Joshua told them to quite underestimating their power. They have a huge army and can easily drive out the Canaanites in the forested hill country.

Summary of Joshua 18:

A gathering took place at Shiloh at the Tent of Meeting to divide up the rest of the land amongst the remaining tribes. Joshua appearing a bit aghast, asks those remaining why they haven’t taken over their share yet? Joshua is dividing the land into 7 parts once surveys are taken and will cast lots before God to divide them up. The tribe of Benjamin receives their lot.

Summary of Joshua 19:

The allotment of the land for the tribes of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, and Joshua are assigned. The Simeon’s inheritance was taken from Judah’s since Judah’s portion was huge and more than they needed. The Danites had trouble defeating the Canaanites in their territory alloted so they took Leshem instead, thus dividing themselves in the land.

Finally, Joshua himself received his inheritance–the town of Timnath Serah in Ephraim.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 3: Skim Joshua 15-19:

6) God includes these detailed lists of land boundaries, so there would be no doubt and no disputes amongst the Israelites in the future. It shows how God keeps His promises to His people by giving them the land He promised hundreds of years before. We see God reward both Caleb and Joshua with land for being the only two men of faith.

7) Caleb gives his daughter to the strongest warrior, ensuring a strong husband and her protection in the future. His daughter, Acsah, asked Caleb for land, and he gave it to her as well. The Lord also put in provisions for when a man does not have a son (see also Numbers 27:1-11 & Numbers 36), which would ensure the father’s name would not vanish. The daughters also had to marry within the clan so the land would stay within the original tribe’s hands. This ensures that every Israelite will possess the inheritance of his fathers. The Lord provides for those who ask and seek Him (Matthew 7:7).

8 ) The Manassites’ complained that their portion of land given was too small. Joshua said to go and clear the forests then in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites. The people complained again about how these people were superiorly armed with iron chariots. Joshua told them to quite underestimating their power. They have a huge army and can easily drive out the Canaanites in the forested hill country. In essence, they did not want to fight for the land; all they wanted was a free hand out.

Caleb, on the other hand, wanted to fight for his inheritance and his land and instead of asking for an unoccupied piece of land, Caleb asked for the hill country where the feared Anakites dwelled so he could drive them out himself. He relied on the Lord to do whole-heartedly what God said He would do.

Nothing is impossible with God. Have faith. He will guide you through the impossible every step of the way like He did with Caleb. God wants us to choose the good fight for Him and use God’s strength to spread the word and give God the glory. If we do, our rewards will be riches.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 3: Joshua 15-19:

We see God keep His promises, but the people still must do their part and continue to kick out the Canaanites. We see the difference in gratitude and ingratitude to what the people have been given with Caleb’s example and the example of the tribe of Manasseh and the tribe of Dan. Great reminder for us that although God provides, He doesn’t want us to sit idly by and not do anything.

[Note on “Skim”]: I believe this is the first time ever I have seen BSF tell us to “skim” a passage of the Bible. I don’t believe God wants us to just “skim” His word ever. If it’s in the Bible, it’s important, it’s there for a reason, and it’s for us from God. Please don’t “skim” anything. You may miss that one phrase that is exactly what God wants you to hear. Save skimming for the news.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 3: Joshua 15-19:

Joshua 15:

Caleb was not only a man of great and bold deeds (the driving out of the children of Anak), but also a man who encouraged others to great and bold deeds as we saw with the giving of his daughter in marriage. Anyone bold enough to conquer a city for a woman is in love indeed. Caleb’s daughter inherited his boldness. We see her asking for blessing and choice springs. You cannot receive unless you ask. (Matthew 7:7)

We begin to see and in Judges 1 how pockets of Canaanites remain. Albeit Jerusalem is on a hill, Judah should have been able to drive them out if they had had faith in God. Instead, David must do so (2 Samuel 5:6-10). These unconquered tribes will become thorns in Israel’s side.

Joshua 16:

We see again how within the Promised Land important work remains to be done and battles still to be fought (like in our own lives) as the Canaanites live in the land of Ephraim. Perhaps the Israelites wanted forced labor (to be lazy and not do the work themselves in essence). This does not justify their disobedience to God. If you can subject people to work for you, you can certainly conquer them completely, especially since Gezer was a city that Joshua had already conquered (Joshua 10:33 and Joshua 12:12).

Compromising God’s word and picking and choosing what to obey and not to obey is a sin. It’s the beginning of so much more and worse sins such as idolatry and immoral worship. This came to the people of Israel and the Canaanites are the reason why we see so many struggles in the days of the Judges.

Why did the Israelites allow some Canaanites to stay?

  • They wanted peace at any cost. Remember it took 7 long years to conquer the Promised Land. I’m sure many are weary of fighting.
  • They wanted wealth.

What do we Learn from the Israelites’ incomplete possession of the Promised Land?

  • Obeying God is a marathon. It’s hard. It’s unglamourous. It’s a lot of work.
  • The Israelites fell short of what God had for them – Will you fall short as well?

Joshua 17:

It was highly unusual for women to receive an inheritance and why it’s mentioned here. It was more important that the land remain in the ancestral families than it was to follow this custom. Therefore, the daughters of Zelophehad could inherit their father’s land. This is a decision arrived at by Moses (Numbers 27:1-11) and expounded on by God (Numbers 36).

Manasseh failed like Ephraim to drive out the Canaanites (Joshua 16:10). The Israelites lacked determination and fortitude to do so.

Manasseh and Ephraim, large tribes, complain about the amount of land allotted to them. They have plenty of land, Joshua says. You just have to go and work to have it (clear the forests, etc). Joshua was a direct descendant of Joseph and one of them, so perhaps they thought he would show them favor.

Theme of Joshua 17: If you desire more, have faith first in where God has placed you and in what He has given you. More will surely come if you do so.

Joshua 18:

Why would the Israelites hesitate to take the Promised Land?

Note the hesitation on the Israelites part to go and take the land. Probably they are afraid; afraid of change. Maybe even a bit incredulous: really?  This is all ours? Also, remember these people have been wandering the wilderness for 40 years with never a real home, living out of tents and nomadic, so the idea of living in a real “home” is a foreign (and perhaps scary) concept for them.

Joshua 19:

Joshua received his share but at the very end. He received humbly and after everyone else was taken care of–just like Christ.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11

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Summary of Joshua 11:

When the Northern Kings heard of the complete destruction of the Southern kingdoms, they joined forces against the Israelites and met at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel. They were as numerous as the sands on the seashore. They also had a large number of horses and chariots.Image result for joshua 11 map of cities northern

Again, God encourages Joshua and tells him not to be afraid for He will deliver them, slain, into his hands. God tells the Israelites to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.

So the Israelites attack this huge army and defeated them. They chased them and slain all of them and hobbled their horses as the Lord directed.

Joshua returned to the city of Hazor and slaughtered everyone there as their king was the instigator of this attack upon Israel. He then totally destroyed all of the cities and kings that came against him as Moses had commanded. They did not burn any of the cities on their mounds. However, Joshua did all that Moses directed and killed everyone. All the plunder and livestock the Israelites kept for themselves.

Joshua continued the conquest of the Promised Land, taking the entire hill region, the Negev, Goshen, and more. All the kings and peoples were attacked and killed except for those living in Gibeon. The Lord had hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel so that they may face punishment.

Joshua took the entire land the Lord had promised, divided it up according to tribes, and rested from war.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11:

9) “Do not be afraid of them” and “hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” Joshua needed encouragement and direction from God (as we all do). The enemies were more advanced than the Israelites in terms of warfare since they had horses and chariots. So to ensure they wouldn’t fight them again, the horses were hobbled and chariots destroyed. God keeps His word and directs the Israelites exactly as needed.

10) The Anakalites were the reason the Israelites hadn’t entered the Promised Land sooner and were relegated to wandering the desert for 40 years. The Hebrews thought them to be descendants of the Nephilim, a powerful race who dominated the pre-Flood world (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33). When the twelve Israelite spies returned from exploring the Promised Land, they gave a frightening report of “people great and tall” whom they identified as the sons of Anak (Deuteronomy 9:2). The Israelites had finally conquered them.

11) Personal Question. My answer: None really. We all deserve death, and it’s only by God’s grace that we are still breathing today and saved by His Son, Jesus Christ. This is an evil world full of evil, violent people. God uses the sin that entered through Adam to punish His enemies. That is His prerogative, and we are to accept it without question. Furthermore, God has a reason for everything He does that is beyond our understanding.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11:

I love how God is always encouraging and always instructing His people. I love how even the impossible (the defeat of the Anakites) is possible through Him.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 3, Day 4: Joshua 11:

The Israelites are now the target due to their success. The same applies to our success on this side of heaven. There’s always someone jealous of you who’s looking to take you down.

The challenges facing the Israelites are increasing with a gigantic foe and superior weaponry. Same for us: we often find that the challenges facing us in our Christian life increase at each step. God uses each previous victory as a springboard for what we face in the future.

Fear was an issue for Joshua and the Israelites; hence, God’s encouragement.

Again, we see Joshua’s military boldness as he initiates the attack once again. I’m sure an army that size would expect the Israelites to high-tail it out of there, not attack.

What is Hamstringing and Why did God tell the Israelites to use It?

Hamstringing is just what it sounds like: cutting the hamstring muscle in the leg, hindering proper movement and effectively hobbling the animal. This was common on animals and on humans in ancient times. It was also extremely painful.

  • Hamstringing rendered the animals useless, so they couldn’t come against the Israelites again.
  • Horses and chariots were an advanced weapons of war that the Israelites would not master for hundreds of years. It was far easier to effectively erase the threat than learn how to use the threat.
  • This showed complete trust and faith in God as the Israelites did what God told them to do, and didn’t try to use the enemies’ tools for themselves.

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What do we learn from the complete annihilation of the Enemy?

  • Israelites had complete faith and obedience in God.
  • Judgement was complete.
  • Canaanites were completely and totally unable to be redeemed and thus deserving of just punishment.

What is the “hardening of the hearts”?

The hardening of men’s hearts is when God gives man up to the sin that is in his heart (Romans 1:24-28). There was no grace shown to the Canaanites.

Who were the Anakites?

The last tribe to be defeated by the Israelites, the Anakites had prevented Israel from entering the Promised Land 40 years prior. They fall easily. God saves them for last as the Israelites needed supreme confidence to defeat them.

What do we Learn from the Anakites?

  • God knows how to manage the battles in our life.
  • Total surrender to God’s will is our response. Sometimes we have to fight last what we think is first.

Fun Fact of the Bible:

The giant Goliath is an Anakite from the descendants of the Nephilim. Goliath comes from the city of Gath some five hundred years later (1 Samuel 17:4).

Similarities between Judges 1 and Joshua 1-11

Judges 1 summarizes the incidents recorded in Joshua, but from a different point of view. Joshua presents the campaign as highly successful; Judges shows that many military goals were never achieved. One possible explanation: Joshua presented the wars as a series of raids on territory and did not include the “mopping up” and settlement process. Judges shows that, after the Israelites divided up the land, they proved fall less successful in the second phase of conquest.

This ends section 1 of the Book of Joshua as mission has been accomplished with the defeat and occupation of the Promised Land. Obviously, not every town and city had been conquered. That was left up to the individual tribes to accomplish within their individual territories.

Theme of Joshua 11:

Same with Jesus: he defeated the enemy, but we still must claim what is ours.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 2, Day 2: Joshua 5:13-6:27

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Summary of Joshua 5:13-6:27:

As Joshua is preparing to take Jericho, a man holding a sword appears before him. This man identifies himself as the commander of the Lord’s army. Joshua prostrates himself, while the man tells him to take off his sandals for he is standing on holy ground.

Summary of Joshua 6:

The Lord spoke to Joshua and told him how to take Jericho, which had now retreated behind their city walls. The Lord tells Joshua to march around the city one time with all of his men for 6 days. Have 7 priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the 7th day, march around the city 7 times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When the priests give a loud blast on the trumpet, have everyone shout and then the walls will collapse and you can just walk in and take the city.

So the people obeyed Joshua’s orders and did exactly as the Lord had commanded. On the 7th day, Joshua commands the people to shout and take the city that the Lord has given them, but to spare Rahab and all who are with her in house. He also warns the people not to take the devoted things or they will be destroyed. All the silver, gold, bronze, and iron (the devoted things) are sacred to the Lord and must go into His treasury.

The Israelites devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed everything and everything–every man, woman, child, cattle, sheep and donkeys. Rahab was escorted safely out of the city by the two spies whom she saved and placed into a camp near Israel’s camp. Then the whole city was burned to the ground, excepting the silver, gold, bronze, and iron, which went into the Lord’s treasury. Rahab lived amongst the Israelites all of her days.

Image result for battle of jerichoJoshua cursed the city never to be re-built. The Lord was with Joshua and his fame spread.

BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 2, Day 2: Joshua 5:13-6:27

3) Joshua met a man with a sword in his hand who identified himself as the commander of the Lord’s army. The man is acting on the Lord’s orders to appear before Joshua. He is following a command and is therefore indifferent to whatever is happening in Joshua’s world.

4a) The Lord encourages Joshua, saying that Jericho is already his. He has delivered it into his hands along with the king and all the fighting men. Thus, Joshua’s faith and courage would be bolstered, and his trust grown deeper roots. God wants us to succeed. He is a loving God who encourages and cares for His people.

b) This is one of the most unique “battle” strategies ever. To begin with, there was no battle. The men marched around the city, blew some trumpets, the walls fell down, and Jericho was taken. The Israelites I’m sure were confused and wondering what was the purpose of this. The residents of Jericho must have thought the Israelites were insane and wondered what was wrong with them.

5a) God ordered Joshua to kill every living thing inside the walls of Jericho except Rahab and her family who were congregated inside her home because she had saved the lives of the two spies. God ordered the people killed as judgment upon them for their sins against the Lord–namely unbelief, worshipping other gods, and the so-called religious traditions they practice such as burning their sons and daughters as sacrifices to these false gods. The land was burned because even the land was defiled.

b) Personal Question. My answer: This is a perfect example of why so-called “innocent” people are killed and slaughtered.  None of us are innocent. We are all guilty of sin and deserve death. When what seems to us senseless killings (floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, or wars against each other) all serves a purpose in God’s plans for us. That’s why bad things happen to “good” people. None of us are good.

Conclusions to BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 2, Day 2: Joshua 5:13-6:27:

Who doesn’t love this story? I would have loved to have been there to see such a sight, and I would have wondered what on earth these crazy people were smoking to be marching around a city and blowing trumpets. It’s such a classic tale of complete and utter trust in the Lord. Note no Israelite is killed as far as we know. The city was taken without a fight. That by itself is a miracle.

End Notes to BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 2, Day 2: Joshua 5:13-6:27:

We know that this man, standing before Joshua, was God. Although the man identifies himself as the Commander of the army of the LORD, leading some to say this may have been an angel (Revelation 12:7), angels are never worshipped (Revelation 22:8-9). Furthermore, Joshua calls the angel “My Lord” and removes his sandals like Moses did at the burning bush (Exodus 3:5).

Army of the Lord does imply that this was an army of angels.

Some Biblical scholars speculate this could have been Jesus in bodily form, which we know he existed from the very beginning, so this could be possible (Genesis 18:16-3332:24-30, and Judges 13:1-23).

The whole point of this section of Joshua 5 is to show that Joshua is obeying God whole-heartedly and submitting to God’s will and not his own. With the army of the Lord on our side, how can we lose?

Why did God appear before Joshua?

God appeared to instruct Joshua on the very important taking of Jericho and, as we’ll see, it was such an unlikely scenario that it could have only come from God. God came to make sure Joshua was completely committed to Him–a lesson for our own lives. Are you completely and totally committed to whatever God tells you to do?

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Joshua 6: The Fall of Jericho

The City of Jericho:

Before, the Israelites have only had promises from God. Now it’s time to deliver. And God starts with the hardest first. Jericho, a formidable city, might possibly mean “city of the moon god.” It was located 5 miles west of the Jordan River and 7 miles north of the Dead Sea. It’s climate is tropical and in ancient times date palm trees flourished there as well as balsam, from which medicine was extracted. Today, banana groves grow, fed from springs of water, a green oasis in the middle of the dry Jordan rift area. It’s capture was the key to the invasion of the central hill country.

In the New Testament, its location shifted south a few miles. It yielded a large revenue to the royal family and Herod the Great’s winter palace was built here. The road from Jordan to Jerusalem passed through Jericho, making it a stopping place for Galilean pilgrims to Jerusalem who traveled this way to avoid contamination by the Samaritans.

Jesus passed through Jericho on a number of occasions (Mark 10:46-52; Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 19:1-10; Luke Image result for city of jericho10:29-37).

Fun Fact about City of Jericho:

Archaeology supports a city at Jericho since the seventh to sixth millennia BC, which puts Jericho as one of the oldest cities known–having existed 5000 years before Abraham.

Many archaeological digs have been conducted over the years to determine if Jericho actually existed. Some scholars believe it did, but Jericho was a much smaller fort. Evidence has been eaten away by the elements. So much digging has been done that the likelihood we’ll ever know remains doubtful.

God tests their faith first by having the city fall by the most unconventional of means. It required total faith by Joshua and total faith by all of the Israelites. Again, we see how God’s people have to do something; God just doesn’t give them the city.

Normally, the ark of the covenant does not go into battle. This was so the people know God was with them.

Key Points of the Battle of Jericho:

  • Joshua acted immediately, without delay.
  • The Israelties were open to attack as they marched around the city.
  • The Israelites had to be patient and persistent as they had to march for 6 days, doing something that required absolute faith.
  • The fall takes place on the 7th day, so the Israelites would have had to march on a Sabbath. Note how God does things in 7 days, the number of spiritual perfection (Creation, sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat, etc.)
  • All the valuables are set aside for God as Jericho is the first fruits.
  • Everyone (except Rahab and her family) in Jericho is destroyed because they are in total rebellion against God.
  • Israel took what God gave: the city.

When the wall fell, were the Israelites surprised? I’m sure the people of Jericho were shocked. How often are we surprised when God fulfills His promises?

Slaughtering everyone is a harsh penalty. But the Canaanites were in spiritual disobedience and this was their judgment. God chose His people to enact the penalty. Sometimes, He does the consequences like in Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25).

We know that Jericho had heard about the God of Israel (Joshua 2:8-11), but only Rahab responded. Thus, she is rewarded with her life. Scholars say Joshua was written at the time these events occurred because of the line “she [Rahab] lives among the Israelites to this day.

Joshua’s curse in Joshua 6:26 was fulfilled literally when a man attempted to rebuild the city of Jericho in the days of King Ahab (1 Kings 16:34).

Themes of Joshua 6 and What We Learn from the Battle of Jericho:

  • Faith: Joshua and Israel believe God’s commands
  • Obedience: Joshua and Israel follow God’s commands.
  • Courage: Joshua and Israel execute God’s commands.

All while trumpets are the weapons, not swords.

Like we saw with the 10 plagues of Egypt, God is declaring war on all of Canaan who are wicked (Deuteronomy 9:5) and had forfeited their right to the land 400 years prior (Genesis 15:16).