Job Argues His Case
Verses 1-4 – Job was confused, as we are when bad things start to happen. Job felt any argument that he could present was futile before an omniscient and omnipotent God. Job needed a mediator to arbitrate his case. We as believers today have just that–Jesus Christ!
Verse 9 – The Bear, Orion, and Pleiades are constellations.
Verses 10-12 – Job knows that God almighty does things that we as humans don’t even notice. The wonders He does can’t be numbered, so how could he question a God that is far beyond Job’s comprehension? How silly we must all sound when we ask, “God, what are you doing?”
Verses 15, 16 – Job felt like that if he did summon God to court, he wouldn’t be able to answer Him, only ask for mercy.
Verses 20, 21 – Job said even if he was innocent, his own mouth would condemn him. Although Job remained loyal to God, he became frustrated and impatient. Sound familiar? I have been there and done that. We ask, “God why won’t you hurry up and fix this?”
Verses 21-24 Job felt hopeless. Although he was certain of his innocence, he spoke as if God was a tyrant. His thinking now, God does not distinguish between the blameless and the wicked.
Verse 15 – This verse holds two very famous quotes: “…chose you this day whom you will serve…” “But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” The choice is yours (ours). Will you be led by the Spirit? The way we choose to live our lives will show others to whom we serve.
Verses 16-18, 21 – All the people boldly claimed that they would never forsake the Lord but, they didn’t keep that promise. That old saying, “Talk is cheap,” will come to pass soon enough. It’s easy to say we will follow God without compromise, but it’s much more important to live like it. Yet the people of Israel followed God throughout Joshua’s lifetime, which was a great tribute to Joshua’s faith in God and powerful leadership.
Verse 23 – To follow God requires destroying and putting away, completely out of your life anything that gets in the way of hindering your worship of God. Just to mention a few: greed, wrong priorities, jealousy, and prejudices.
Verses 24-26 – The purpose of the covenant between Israel and God was for Israel to become a holy nation that would influence the rest of the world for God. The conquest of Canaan was a means to accomplish that purpose, but Israel became preoccupied with the land and forgot about the Lord God. Does this sound familiar? Our purpose cannot be the facility we worship in or the stuff (things ) God has blessed us with. Our purpose has to always be, bringing people to Christ.
Verses 29-31 – The response of the whole nation during these years is a tribute to both Joshua’s leadership and to the God he faithfully served.
Verse 33 – Joshua and Eleazar (Aaron’s son) had died but not before laying before the people, the fundamentals of what it means to have faith in God. This covenant requires us to renounce the principles and practices of the culture around us that are hostile to Gods plan. This is to be done by binding ourselves together with others who have faith in God. There is power in numbers.
Verses 6-13 – Joshua knew the weak spots of the people. Before dying, he called the people together and gave commands to help them where they were most likely to slip. Whom we associate with and the relationships we have can also attempt to tempt us in our weak spots. Joshua’s entire instruction can be summarized in verse 8; “Hold fast to the Lord your God!” Joshua had been a living example of those words, and he wanted that to be his legacy. What will your legacy be to those you leave after you’re gone?
Verse s 12-16 – This chilling prediction about the consequences of intermarriage with the Canaanite nations eventually became a reality. The Book of Judges shows story after story of how Israel suffered because they did not follow God wholeheartedly. Our God was patient with Israel just as He is today with us as believers. However, let’s not confuse His patience with approval. Beware of desiring to have things your own way. You may just get it and have to suffer the consequences.
Joshua Challenges the Eastern Tribes
Verses 2-4 – In Numbers 32:20-22, these tribes were given the land on the east side of the Jordan. Before they settled down though they had to promise to help the other tribes to conquer the land on the west side of the Jordan. They did this. Now they were permitted to return to their families and build their city. Beware of the temptation to quit too early and leave God’s work undone.
Verse 5 – Joshua briefly restated the central message Moses gave the people in Deuteronomy. Obedience should be based on our love for God. If we know who we are in Christ, we will joyfully love and serve Him. Don’t let anything take your love away that you have developed for your Father.
Verses 11-34 – When the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar, the rest of Israel feared that these tribes were setting up their own religion against God. When Phinehas discovered the truth, only setting up a memorial rather than the pagan sacrifice, war was averted. We should too as Christians hear the whole story before reacting.
Verse 17 – For the story of how Israel turned away from God and began to worship Baal at Peor, see Numbers 25:1-18.
Verse 20 – For the story of Achan, a man who allowed greed to get the best of him, see chapter 7 of Joshua.
Verses 26-28 – This altar patterned after the altar of the Lord, was to remind the people that they all worshiped the same God.
The Conquest of Northern Canaan
Verses 1-5 – Apparently there were two kings named Jabin of Hazor. The other weaker king is mentioned in Judges 4:2, 3. The Jabin of this story however was quit powerful. He was able to get the alliance of dozens of kings to fight against Israel with him.
Verses 6-9 – The attack began south at the Sea of Galilee and went westward and north to Sidon before turning eastward to Misrephoth-maim, where it turned south along the Valley of Mizpah. Twice the scripture records how Israel struck them down as if to emphasize the complete success of the mission.
Verses 10-13 – Israel kept the captured cities intact, which Moses predicted in Deuteronomy 6:10-12, that Israel would live in cities they didn’t build. Hazor however was burned and all the men put to the sword. Hazor represented the wicked culture that Israel had come to destroy.
Verse 15 – Joshua carefully obeyed all the instructions given by God. We can’t always control what others do to us or how they treat us, but we can make the choice of following God’s standards and principles.
Verse 18 – It seems that the Israelites took all this land quickly, but in reality, it took 7 years. Just as our journey through life where victories are concerned, can take longer than we expected. It’s a process that happens over time. God is working out every part on our behalf. When you feel like giving up, know that God is working it all out for your good. Sometimes you won’t see this until it’s over.
Verse 19 – The Hivites, inhabitants of Gibeon were the only ones who made peace with the children of Israel. All the others went to war against them.
Verses 21, 22 – The Anakites were the tribes of the giants that the Israelite spies described when they gave their negative report on the Promised Land (Numbers 13, 14). Only the Anakim in Gaza, Gath, and Ashod were left. This is where Goliath of the Philistines was from in 1 Samuel 17:4, Gath).
Verse 23 – Now the land became the inheritance for the children of Israel. They went from battles to living in the Promised Land without war for a time.
Victory over the Amorites
Verses 5-8 – Fear of something or someone will cause us to hate it. These five kings were in fear of the Israelites so they wanted to destroy them. They knew the Gibeonites had made peace with them so they needed to destroy them also. Joshua was quick to respond to the Gibeonites cry for help even though they had deceived him. How quick are we to respond in help to someone who may have deceived us?
Verses 9, 10 – Joshua and his men marched all night. Would not they have been too tired to fight? God said He directed the enemy right into the path of the Israelites. This is one of our God’s greatest tactics, which is to cause the enemy to be confused and not realize they are trapped until it’s too late, and then they were on the run in retreat.
Verse 11 – By God using hailstones to wipe out Israel’s enemies, He showed others that God was sovereign overall, even nature.
Verses 12-14 – Joshua knew that he needed more daylight to completely defeat the Amorites. Therefore, Joshua asked God for a big miracle. Joshua knew the maker of heaven and earth could stop the sun from going down and He did. We hesitate too often to ask God for the big things in our lives. When we get the confidence that Joshua had in his day, we will see how it’s not beyond God’s capability to do the impossible!
Verse 13 – The Book of Jasher, also mentioned in 2 Samuel 1:18, was probably a collection of historical events.
Verse 19 – There were a few that escaped. The five kings ran and hid in a cave, but Joshua’s men rolled a huge stone in front of the cave entrance. Then they discovered a few more were headed towards the surrounding cities.
Verse 24 – Placing the foot on the neck of those captive was a common practice domination of their captives. These 5 kings had boasted against Israel.
Verse 25 – The same God, who empowered Joshua, will and does help us as the All Mighty Provider into all victory. Reminding ourselves this will give us courage for the challenges that lie ahead in our lives.
Verse 32 – Notice, after every battle and victory, scripture gives all the credit to the Lord. When you’re tempted after a big success in your life to take the credit, don’t forget who deserves the true credit. We can’t do anything without our Jesus on our side. He is the One who fights our battles.
Verses 4-43 – Joshua took full authority and leadership in destroying the wickedness in the Land. He was quick and swift to follow all God’s instructions. Sometimes our victories are delayed because either we don’t understand or we choose to ignore how important obedience is.
Verses 1-6 – The news about Israel’s victory was widespread. The kings in that area decided to unite and come against the Israelites all except the Gibionites. They had decided to deceive the Israelites and join them so they wouldn’t be destroyed.
Verse 7 – The connection of Gibion with the Hivites implies that this group may have been a recent addition to the region.
Verse 8 – This verse implies that the Gibionites wanted a relationship with the Israelites.
Verses 9, 10 – This confession of the Gibionites resemble what Rahab had said. Their expression of faith in God was based on the work of God in Egypt and against Sihon and Og.
Verses 14-17 – God had specifically instructed Israel not to make any treaties with the inhabitants of Canaan (Exodus 23:32; 43:12; Numbers 33:55; Deuteronomy 7:2; 20:17, 18).But they were deceived into believing these men were from afar off. Why? Because scripture states, they did not seek God’s counsel.
Verses 19, 20 – God had commanded that oaths be kept therefore there was no attack on the city of Gibion (Leviticus 5:4; 27:2, 28).
Verse 21 – Deuteronomy 29:11 implied that foreigners living in the land of Israel should fulfill the roles of woodcutters and water carriers. In ancient days, people often offered themselves as slaves in order to save their lives.
Defeat at Ai
Verse 1 – God was very plain in verses 6:17-19 about destroying “everything!” The accursed thing or (devoted things some versions say) is referring to clothing, livestock, inhabitants and objects such as gold and silver and any of the other plunder that God said to destroy. It was not only the attitude of, “Well, it’s going to be thrown out anyway, so I’ll just put it to good use.” It was a deliberate defiance of God’s command (see Deuteronomy 20:16-18).
Verses 2-5 – So Joshua sends out spies; the spies come back and say, “We can take them, because they are few.” The Israelite’s go to attack and are chased out and some were killed. Now all of Israel is scared.
Verse 6 – Joshua, the elders, and most of Israel are confused by the defeat after such a huge victory of Jericho. As we should today, Joshua humbled himself and went before God to get His wisdom and guidance about what had just happened.
Verses 7-9 – I didn’t read anywhere that Joshua consulted God before they attacked Ai. Could it be that after that great victory he might have had a smidgen of pride in thinking, “piece of cake, I got this one Lord!” Too often, we rely on our own skills and talents to handle the small stuff and only go to God for the big things. When the obstacles seem too big we cry out to God for help. Joshua didn’t understand what had happened, so he poured out his heart to God. It will do us no good to hide our true feelings when praying to the All Mighty. God is all-knowing and all-powerful.
I remember Moses praying the same way as Joshua did when he said, “Then what will you do for Your great name?” (This was when God was about to wipe-out the Israelite’s in Exodus 32:12 and Numbers 14:13-19). I’ve asked God the same thing in a crises; “What will happen to my testimony that I have for others about who You are if you don’t help me?” I really don’t think God is worried about His reputation as we are about ours. Even when we mess up, God is still God All by Himself.
Victory at Jericho
Verse 1 – Now, here is one of the oldest cities built, thousands of years before Joshua was even born, with walls all around, some 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. Guards stood on top of these walls and could look out for miles. It was invincible, so they thought. It had been shut up with no one coming in or going out ever since they heard of the Israelite’s coming across the Jordan.
The Canaanites saw Israel’s God as one of their nature god’s and a war-god because He had parted the Jordan and defeated Sihon and OG. They never even considered Him a fortress God who could prevail against a walled city.
Verses 2-5 – God told Joshua that his enemy was already defeated. Sound familiar? Christians also fight against a defeated enemy. Our enemy is Satan, defeated by Christ (Romans 8:37-39; Hebrews 2:14, 15; 1 John 3:8). We should never walk around in fear when battling the enemy, feeling paralyzed, helpless. Through Christ’ power and what He’s already done, the victory is ours. Let’s look at what God told Joshua to do, how he was to take the city; this battle would be clear when it was over that God had done it, not Israel’s military army. The priest carried the Ark, not the soldiers. This strange (to Israel) military maneuver was a test of Israel’s faith to trust All Mighty God, completely. These blasts of the trumpets were the same trumpets used in their religious festivals to remind them their victory came from the Lord (Numbers 10:9).
Verse 10 – The only noise coming from this army would be the blasts of the trumpets until the day Joshua would tell them to shout. For 6 days, the Israelite’s marched around Jericho’s walls, one time a day, priest blowing the trumpets and no one saying a word.
Verse 15 – On the seventh day, God’s number for perfection, and the conclusion of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they marched around the city 7 times.
Verse 16 – This shout was a war cry!
Verses 17-19 – Joshua said all who are in the city except Rahab and her household were to be destroyed; the livestock, the idols, everything except the precious metals that were to go into the Lords treasury.
Verses 20, 21 – God was carrying out severe judgment against the wickedness of the Canaanites. This judgment required that everything be destroyed (Deuteronomy 12:2, 3; 12-18). This threat to the right kind of living that God required had to be fully removed, if not, it would affect the Israelite’s like a cancerous growth. Rahab and her household were saved because she had helped the spies and her faith in the Living God of Israel. The silver and gold were not kept to enrich the people but would beautify the tabernacle of God. Does this sound familiar with Christian living? God doesn’t want us distracted with anything that would keep us from accomplishing His purpose for our lives.
Verse 26 – This curse was fulfilled in 1 Kings 16:34, when Hiel, rebuilt Jericho and consequently lost his oldest and youngest sons.
The Canaanites Fear Israel
Verse 1 – The Amorites and Canaanites were the two major groups living in Canaan. The Canaanites worshiped many gods but their favorite was Baal. Sad to say the Israelite’s turned to Baal several times after entering Canaan. Worshiping these false gods’s brought down the Israelite’s. The tables are turned now; the Israelite’s spent 39 years in the desert because they were terrified of the Canaanites, now the Canaanites were terrified of them. Let’s not ever underestimate God that He can make our opposition disappear. God can and does cause the attitudes to change from those who oppose His will.
Verses 2, 3 – Only Israel used circumcision as a sign to a covenant with God. Others circumcised to show entering into adulthood. A reference to once again, means that many men of this generation had not been circumcised.
Verse 9 – Gilgal was Israel’s camp and their temporary center of government and worship, while their invasion of Canaan took place. Gilgal also was the place where king, Saul was crowned (1 Samuel 11:14, 15).
Verse 10 – This is where Israel celebrated Passover for the first time in the new land.
Verses 11, 12 – The day after Passover the Israelite’s ate the produce of the land, no more manna. God had provided food for the Israelite’s 40 years while wandering in the desert and here again provides food from the land He had given them. Sometimes we pray for things that are well within our reach and we just don’t see it. Ask God for wisdom, energy, and motivation to see what He has provided.
The Commander of the Lord Appears
Verses 13-15 – Can you imagine, having so much courage, because you know God is on your side, that you would walk up to a man with a sword drawn and ask who’s side he is on? I imagine this high-ranking angle was no small man either. He must have been very threatening looking, but Joshua walked right up to him. Then the angle answered and said, “I’m the Commander of the Lord’s army!” People like to boast that they have seen angles, but I sincerely think it would majorly unsettle them for a good while if they truly have seen an angle. Joshua showed respect for God and this angle by removing his shoes. How can we today show respect for our God; by our attitude and actions. Is our attitude right towards God and others? Is our actions right in front and behind others? Some still take their shoes off when entering someone’s home out of respect for the homeowner to this day.