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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 12: Invasion of the Promised Land

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 12: Invasion of the Promised Land

Weekly memory verse:

Job 19:25 – “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.”

Weekly hymn:

This is My Father’s World (free download)

Weekly catechism:

How can you glorify God?

I can glorify God by loving him and doing what he commands.

Day 56: The Fall of Jericho

Reading: Joshua 5:13–6:27

Notes

Chapter 5, Verse 13. A man. This is a Christophany—a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God.

Summary

If the people had any doubt that God would keep his promise and give them the land, this miraculous defeat of Jericho proved God’s power. No natural explanation can account for what happened here. Only God’s power could have destroyed the walls and protected Rahab and her household at the same time.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think Christ appeared to Joshua?
  2. Why do you think God commanded them to march around Jericho?
  3. Who did God save Rahab and her family?

Day 57: The Sin of Achan

Reading: Joshua 7:1–8:35

Notes

Chapter 7, Verse 24. Sons and Daughters. These must have been adult children who helped to cover their father’s sin and were thus culpable of his actions.

Chapter 8, Verse 32. Wrote. By rewriting the law, Joshua was renewing the covenant Moses had made with Yahweh.

Summary

Achan’s disobedience to God’s clear commands resulted in his own punishment and consequences for his family. Sin is never only individual and private; it always results in pain for others as well, most of all God himself.

READ
What Is Propitiation?

Discussion Questions

  1. What did God’s punishment of Achan signify to the people?
  2. What did the initial defeat and eventual victory show about the true cause of victory and defeat?
  3. Why is their value in God’s people renewing their covenant with him?

Day 58: Treaty and Conquest

Reading: Joshua 9:1–10:43

Notes

Chapter 9, Verse 15. Peace. This treaty with the Gibeonites was direct disobedience to the command God had given to destroy all the inhabitants of the land. Israel never fully obeys God, and this causes problems for them during their entire existence.

Chapter 10, Verse 11. Hailstones. These hailstones were clearly miraculous.

Verse 12. Sun. Some try to explain this away as simply a poetic expression or an eclipse, but taking all over verses 12–14 into account (“There has been no day like it”), it is best to simply take this at face value—this was another supernatural work of God.

Verse 13. Book of Jashar. This appears to be a book of songs recording the military victories of Israel.

Summary

God had promised the land to Israel and had clearly demonstrated his power and willingness to supernaturally fulfill that promise. God displayed this in his miraculous care for them in the wilderness, in parting the Jordan River, in defeating Jericho, and in sending hail and stopping the sun. Yet Joshua nevertheless fell into the trap of the Gibeonites and made peace with them in contradiction with God’s commands and without consulting him in prayer. He should have trusted in God and not relied on his own, earthly wisdom.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think Joshua made the treaty with the Gibeonites against God’s commands?
  2. What did God’s sending of hail and stopping the sun reveal about him?
  3. What are some ways you fail to trust God and instead trust in your own wisdom?
READ
Not in My House: Reminding Ourselves of 2 John 10–11

Day 59: Settling in the Land

Reading: Joshua 14:1–15; 23:1–24:33

Notes

Chapter 14, Verse 10. Eighty-five years old. Since Caleb was 40 years old at Kadesh Barnea (v. 7) and that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 38 years, then conquering the Land took seven years.

Chapter 24, Verse 8. Amorites. Sometimes this term refers to all the inhabitants of Canaan, and other times it refers to a particular tribe within the land.

Verse 29. One hundred and ten years old. This was approximately 1383 bc (see 14:7–10).

Summary

Joshua’s retelling of Israel’s history and renewal of the covenant with Yahweh reinforces the central biblical truth that obedience brings blessing, while disobedience brings punishment, even for the people of God. God will never forsake his everlasting promises, but he will chasten those whom he loves. Therefore, God’s people must regularly recommit themselves to the Lord, choose whom they will serve, and affirm that they “will serve the Lord” (24:15).

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways did the Israelites obey the commands of God? In what ways did they disobey?
  2. What is the responsibility for one of God’s people?
  3. In what ways can you commit to God that you will serve him?

Day 60: Job

Reading: Job 1:1–22, 42:1–17; Psalm 49

Notes

Job 1, Verse 1. Job. The events of this narrative likely occurred during the patriarchal period, sometime between the Tower of Babel and either before or contemporaneously with Abraham. The book’s author is unknown, but could have been Moses (since Uz was adjacent to Midian), Solomon (because of similarity of content with Ecclesiastes), or one of the prophets (there are some reasons to believe this was written during or after the exile).

READ
The Cry of the Spirit and Sons in Galatians 4:6

Verse 6. Sons of God. Refers to angels (see 38:7, Pss 29:1; 89:7; Dan 3:25).

Summary

God is sovereign and in control of all things, even the works of Satan. This should give us great confidence in God, motivating us to trust in him regardless of the circumstances. We may never know fully why God allows tragedies in our lives, but we can be sure that he has a purpose and that his ways are always good.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did God allow Satan to bring tragedy upon Job?
  2. Is it ever right to question God?
  3. Has any tragedy ever occurred in your life, and you didn’t know why God allowed it? How should you respond in such situations?
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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children.

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