Hebrew History Lesson 7
We continue our studies this week as Israel prepares to cross Jordan
I. Joshua is Commissioned
.We see God giving Joshua the command to go over this Jordan in Joshua Chapter 1.
Josh 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
Josh 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
Josh 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
Josh 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
Josh 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Last week we ended our study with the death of Moses. What a great honor to be called a servant of God like we see God calling him in verse 2. While a great leader and a true man of God, Moses was not allowed to enter into Canaan due to his disobedience to God concerning the time he smote the rock rather than speaking to the rock to bring forth water for the children of Israel. God honored him, and after the time of mourning was completed, Joshua is commanded to take the people over. Note how that if Joshua served the Lord like Moses, God promises that no man would be able to stand against him. What a promise and we all know that what God promises, He delivers.
We see in verses 10 and 11 that within 3 days, the people would enter in and posess the land that God had gave them.
Josh 1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
Josh 1:11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
God tells them to prepare their victuals and they would pass over this Jordan River into the promised land. I think it is good when we prepare for whatever God would have us to do. If it be helping our fellow man, telling others about the Gospel, being a missionary in a foreign land, whatever task puts in front of us to do, we should do it heartily and be prepared.
II. The 2 spies are sent out.
Note that in the second chapter of Joshua, we see the spies being sent out and they come to Rahab the Harlots house.
Josh 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
Josh 2:2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.
I wondered as I prepared this lesson how many of us would have been willing to go and stay at a harlots house. It would seem totally wrong just thinking about it, but if God directs you to a certain place, you should not shun the help of anyone. God used lots of people who were far from perfect, and he is still doing that today. The key issue in our lives is to accept the sovereign hand of God, and do what he wants and how he wants it done.
Jesus gave the disciples instructions on how to go out, and we need to go out ourselves on faith. It may seem difficult today, but God works all things to his own way of perfect righteousness.
Luke 10:5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
Luke 10:6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Luke 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Luke 10:10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
Luke 10:11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Notice how that the woman, Rahab had knowledge of Gods plan.
Josh 2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
Josh 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
Josh 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
God used this women of the night to take care of his own people. We know that God uses the base and weak things of the world to do his work to confound the wise. We know that Rahab got saved, and she is one of the unusual ones found in the lineage of Christ. Always remember that no matter what your past has been, God can save you, and then he can truly use you in his work.
The people were commanded to follow the ark.
Josh 3:1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
Josh 3:2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
Josh 3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
The ark was very special to the people, and they were to look to it and go after it. We know that they had learned after the mishap of the one man dying by moving the cart the wrong way, that the Levites were the only ones to move it. How we do things for God is important, and we need to be sure to do it exactly as God desires it to be done.
Josh 4:1 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
Josh 4:2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
Josh 4:3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
Josh 4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
Josh 4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
Josh 4:6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
We see that they were to take 1 man out of every tride and to prepare a memorial. Those 12 stones were placed in the Jordan on the west side.
Josh 4:19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
We see that the crossed over Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. This city was the headquarters of the military of the children of Israel.
Did the coming across Jordan affect the Kings of that land?
Josh 5:1 And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.
It certainly did affect them. When God fights your battles, those that know you begin to fear. Much without God is truly nothing, but little with God is truly much. Id rather have God on my side fighting the day to day battles of life than to have all the riches of this world. They all pass away, but God goes on forever and never forgets His children.
We see the central campaign beginning in Joshua 6.
Josh 6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
Josh 6:2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
Josh 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
Josh 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
Josh 6:5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
We see that God gave them instructions on how to conquer Jericho, and the people believed God and set out to do the thing as it was given to do.
The Southern campaign of taking the land was called the Amorite League, while the northern campaign was referred to as the Canaanite league. Joshua was a great man of war, and it is recorded that he defeated 31 different kings in these conquests. When a man or woman does things Gods way, God truly honors that person and gives them great victory in their life.
After coming into the land, God allows them to build him a house that could be moved. A much greater place than the ark of the convenant, but still something that could be moved if need be.
Josh 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
God made the promise in chapter 1 that no man would be able to stand against Joshua if he followed the Lord with a true heart. And we see as always that God stands by His Word. Oh for men and women to be like God and to always do what we say. But our tendency is to fail to stand good on our promises. As we grow older in the Lord, I believe that a child of God that is seeking Gods Will will automatically tend to gravitate towards God and attempt to know him better and be more like Him. Paul had that desire in the New Testament.
Phil 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Phil 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Phil 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Josh 18:10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.
From verse 10 on down through Chapter 18, we see the various tribes having their land designated to them. We see that Joshua was at Shiloh when he cast the lots and divided the land for the first 7 tribes.
Reuben, Gad, and the one half tribe of Manasseh inherited the land on the east side of Jordan.
Josh 13:7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
Josh 13:8 With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;
We see the tribe of Judah appropriated the area between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. (This included the city of Jerusalem.
Josh 15:1 This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast.
We know that this was important, since Bethlehem was the city Christ was to be born in. We know he was a descendant of the tribe of Judah. The prophecy of his birth location is found in Micah 5:2
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
In Joshua 16:1 and 17:18, we find that two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and the one half tribe of Manasseh. The land given to them was between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
Josh 16:1 And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel.
Josh 17:18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.
Simeons tribe was given the land south of Judah while the tribes of Benjamin and Dan received the land north of Judah. North of Manasseh, beginning with the Megiddo valley and Mt. Carmel, the lines of Issachar, Zebulum, Asher, and Nepthali received their possession. We know that the battle of Armageddon will most like be fought in this valley of Megiddo one day in the tribulation period, and the blood will flow up the bits of the horses mouths.
The tribe of Levi received no allotment of territory, and this was due to them being responsible for the religious services throughout the land, so they were dispersed with each tribe. Many times those that are in the work of God do not always get the best of possessions, but they will be crowned with much glory. When Jesus returns, he will return with many crowns for those who have sacrificed for God.
2 Tim 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
There were set up 6 cities of refuge. God allowed these to be set up to give people who had accidentally killed someone to flee unto so that the revenger of blood could not put them to death unless they left that city of refuge. If they faithfully stayed in that city until the High Priest died, they could go back to their home and the revenger of blood could not touch them. However, if they left the city before the priest died, the revenger of blood could kill him. We find three of these cities of refuge east of Jordan, and 3 west of Jordan.
Those east of Jordan were Bezer in Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead, and Golan in Bashan in the area of Manessah.
Josh 20:8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
The cities of refuge west of Jordan were Kedesh in Naphtali, Shechem in Ephraim, and Hebron in Judah.
Josh 20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Rev 7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
We notice in these verses that there is no mention of the tribes of Dan and Ephraim, but the names of Joseph and Levi were substituted. There is little doubt that these 2 tribes, Dan and Ephraim, will go through the tribulation period unprotected because they were guilty of permitting Jeroboam to setup golden caves to be worshipped. One was placed in Dan, the other in Bethel.
1 Ki 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
1 Ki 12:26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
1 Ki 12:27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
1 Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
1 Ki 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
1 Ki 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
God warned the people against such sins, and the penalty of disobeying God is severe.
Deu 29:18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
Deu 29:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
Deu 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
Deu 29:21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:
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