Confrontation & deception of the enemies of God’s people: read your journal over the week/ Josh 9;

The tougher enemy of God’s people were not those enemies who attack you aligned with other kings, but those who come to you in disguise. Joshua and the whole leaders of God’s people have been deceived by them and made a treaty with them. Read your journal over the week and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you over the week’ and ‘How you’ve responded to God’s voice’ as well;

  • What has the Lord spoken to you about the vulnerability of our heart from the way Israeli leaders’ hearts got pupped up as they defeated their enemies?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your attitude toward those who show you rotten provision?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your inquiry of the Lord in times of consideration and decision?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your alertness and prayer among the rational people?
  • What is an application you need to carry out in life?

The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD: read Josh 9;

Has the whole nation forgotten to inquire of the Lord before making a treaty with the Gibeonites, who were their neighbors? Yes, they did.  The whole nation listened to their rational brain and forgot to inquire of the Lord. Are we among such rational generation?

  • What could we observe the heart Lord from the command to destroy them? Deut 20:16  However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
  • What must have caused such a hush but a clear direction for His people? See also Deut 20:18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.
  • What is the Lord telling us to be aware of the rational and humanistic trend of our culture? See also 1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
  • What is the Lord telling you about your consecration to the Lord?
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?

We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you: read Josh 9;

  • What could we observe the way the Gibeonites surrendered themselves to the hand of God /God’s people? See also Rom 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
  • What could we observe the way Joshua accepted and granted the security of their life as they surrender to God’s people?  See also Jn 6:37  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
  • What could we learn about the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as those Gibeonites received security instead of destruction? See also 2 Cor 5:18-19 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about His compassion/mercy to you?
  • How would you like to respond to His grace?

The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders: read Josh 9;

When Joshua allowed peace treaties made with the Gibeonites, who were their neighbors, they could not attack them to drive them out. The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders for they knew that they had done something wrong;

  • What could we observe the way they prepare themselves for the battle against their enemy? See also Josh 3:5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
  • What could we observe the consequence of the failure of consecration and decision by rational mind?  See also Gal 6:7-8  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
  • What could we learn from the example of the Psalmist about consecration? See also Ps 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your consecration these days?
  • What would you like to do in response to His voice?

We have sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them: read Josh 9;

They found out about the Gibeonites in three days that they were living nearby. But their leaders said that they had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, and they could not touch them now;

  • What could we observe the heart of God from the way He prohibited them from making a treaty with those people in Canaan? See also Deut 7:2  and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
  • What could we observe the way God is asking us to keep our word/oath if we spoke once? See also Ps 15:4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
  • What could we observe the heart of God from the way He warned them about their union with unbelievers? See also 2Cor 6:16-17  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your consecration? See also Jos 3:5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, because the LORD will do wonders among you tomorrow.”
  • What do you want to do in response to His word that you might see His amazing things in life?

So Joshua established peace with them (the Gibeonites) and made a treaty to let them live; read Josh 9;

The Gibeonites who were right there around the Israelites acted to deceive the Israelites to ask for a peace treaty with them. Joshua and the leaders of Israel sampled the provision they had and made a treaty without seeking the Lord;

  • What could we observe about Gibeon, which sought a peace treaty with Israel for their survival? See also Josh 10:2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters.
  • What could we observe the way Joshua and those leaders of the Israelites established peace with those Gibeonites? See also 2 Cor 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.
  • What could we observe the way they failed to stay on the path of God’s direction? See also Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your walk with Him? Ps 143:8  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?

They(six kings) came together to make war against Joshua and Israel: read Josh 9;

Those six kings of the region around Canaan got together to make war against Joshua and Israel together. They have heard that Israelites were victorious because of the power of their mighty God. But they went out together to destroy Israel;

  • What could we observe the way they must have heard of the work of the Lord for the Israelites? See also Deut 20:2-4
    2  When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.
    3  He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.
    4  For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
  • What could we observe the way they responded to the awesome work of the mighty God? See also Ps 2:1-3 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”
  • What could we observe the way God responded to those king’s attempts to fight against Himself?  See also Ps 2:4-6 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your attitude toward the king He established?
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai…”: read your journal over the week;

God is sending His people to those enemies who have beaten them. But God had given them instruction on how to go to war with a promise.  God promised that He has delivered them into their hand already. Read your journal over the week/ or Josh 8, and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you’ and ‘How you have responded to His voice as well’

  • What has the Lord spoken to you about why your enemy has defeated you?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about the way you need to believe in His promise?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about the impact of His covenant/promise in their battle/life?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about the way you build an altar for the Lord in life?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your sacrifice to the Lord?
  • What is an application you need to carry out in life?

Joshua read all the words of the law–the blessings and the curses–just as it is written in the Book of the Law: read Josh 8;

Joshua leads the nation to become a people of the covenant before the Lord of Israel. All the people stood on the mountain Ebal and Mountain Grisim to say Amen as the word of the Law of God read aloud;

  • What could we observe the way God called them to be His kingdom of the priest? See also Ex 19:4-5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
  • What could we learn about the importance of the reading of the word of the Lord to His people? See also Deut 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
  • What could we observe the impact of the word of the Lord in our life? See also Jn 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your abiding in His word these days?
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?

Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel: read Josh 8;

Joshua built an altar to the God of Israel at Mount Ebal as he stopped their military campaign and renewed the covenant relationship with God. For, their commitment to God is far more important than conquering of the land as their inheritance from the Lord;

  • What could we observe the way God had commanded them to build an altar through Moses long before they crossed the Jordan? See also Deut 27:4-5  And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I command you today, and coat them with plaster.  Build there an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool upon them.
  • What could we observe the heart of the Lord from the way they built an altar for the burnt offering to the Lord? See also  Heb 9:21-22  In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
  • What could we observe the way God asked them to build an altar with uncut stone or use an iron tool in the process?  See also Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–  not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your altar and offering to the Lord as a priority before anything?
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?