Lessons From Joshua

Joshua 1 (4/16/14)

April 16, 2014 • Benham Brothers

God commanded Joshua to cross the Jordan but He didn't tell him how. Joshua didn't wait for a plan - he moved toward obedience before he knew how. Joshua's focus was on the God of plans and not the plan of God. Luke 17:14-15 - Ten lepers were cleansed in their "going." Joshua 3:4 - He didn't know the plan, but he did know that God must go first! God gave him the plan only after he moved toward obedience. The Jordan River was at flood stage right now - the odds were stacked against them crossing it. Joshua could have gone first and got his men to start building rafts to get the people across. When the soles of the priests feet touched the Jordan the waters stopped several miles away in a town called Adam.

Joshua 1:7-9 (3/31/16)

March 31, 2016 • Benham Brothers

• Moses was dead - Joshua took over. • The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land. • God encouraged Joshua and the people with a very specific command: • Be Courageous, Hold to God's Word, Be Courageous. • He sandwiched His Word between the command to be courageous. • Like a PBJ in between two slices of bread. • God's Word apart from courage wasn't going to take the land, and being courageous apart from God's Word wouldn't do it either. • If we want to enter the land of promise for us it will take courage and God's Word. • God's Word apart from Courage makes a teacher. • God's Word with Courage makes a father (1 Corinthians 4:15)! • We need fathers today like Joshua. • Father’s speak it, think it, do it.

Joshua 2 (4/4/13)

April 4, 2013 • Benham Brothers

Rahab feared God more than Man If your lie is based on fear of God then it's ok, but no situation like that exists If Mercy wasn't owed to them then Truth wasn't either

Joshua 2:1 (4/2/15)

April 2, 2015 • Benham Brothers

Moses sent out spies, but so did Joshua. Here's the difference: Moses sent out spies out of a lack of faith - they did it out of curiosity to see what the land looked like. They were putting their toes in the water to see if they wanted to jump in. They weren't in a battle-ready mindset. Joshua sent out spies based upon faith - He was getting ready to attack Jericho and he was mapping out his attack. They were going to jump into the water, even though they didn't know how yet (Joshua 1:2). He wasn't going to wait for steps B-Z before he moved - he already had step A, and that was to simply GO! Joshua was battle-ready. This is how you can have two Christians "doing" the same thing, but one of them being motivated by fear and the other motivated by faith. You won't be able to tell the difference between the two until conflict arises. Only then will you be able to distinguish the warrior from the wimp. This is why he only sent 2 spies - he learned that the more that went the more likely they were to fear the people of Jericho. Joshua was going to take the place God had granted him - they were just spying out their route. Joshua 5:15 - God shows up to Joshua and says the same thing He said to Moses - "Take your shoes off." Essentially He was saying, "You wanna lead my people? Treat Me as Holy. Be reverent toward Me." Good leadership is good followship - Who are you following and how are you following Him? The test of Joshua's leadership came when God gave Him a "crazy" plan, just like He did Noah. He told him to march around Jericho with the priests in worship to the Lord. Out of reverence Joshua obeyed His leader and he became a great leader - the people followed.

Joshua 2:9 (7/5/23)

July 5, 2023 • Benham Brothers • Joshua 2:9

Satan wants you to operate in fear.  Fear is like the shadow of a mouse on a wall - it’s much bigger in your mind than it is in real life.  Anxiety is “projected” fear.  If you operate by fear, then you’ll never enter your place of rest and peace.  Your greatest blessing is found on the other side of your greatest fear.  Look what happened with the Israelites.  They were supposed to go into the Promised Land - a place of peace and rest and abundance.  But they refused to go in because of fear.  So they spent 40 years in the wilderness. Now, they’re about to go in - Jericho would be their first battle.  They sent spies, who met Rahab, who told them something crazy.  Vs 9-11 - “(Rehab) said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. 11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.”  For 40 years the Israelites feared the very people who were afraid of them!  EX: Most animals are more afraid of you than you are of them.  Fear is a matter of focus - it magnifies and intensifies.  The more you focus on the object of your fear it magnetizes in your mind (gets bigger) and your fear of it intensifies.  EX: The Israelite spies said they were like “grasshoppers” compared to those in Canaan.  But the more you focus on God the bigger He gets and the stronger your desire to obey and serve Him. The question is, when you see your future do you see your problem or God?  You can face your fear because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world!

Joshua 2:15-21 (5/17/23)

May 17, 2023 • Benham Brothers • Joshua 2:15–21

We all know the story of Rahab’s great faith that saved her family.  But we don’t often think of some of the details surrounding it.  Backstory - Israel sent spies to Jericho, and found a God-fearing woman in Rahab.  She let them stay at her house, and she gave them intel on the city.  She then covered for them when the city leaders came looking.  She asked the men to spare her and her family when the Israelites came back to destroy the city.  Vs 17-20 - “Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19 If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them. 20 But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”  So these spies knew that a few days/weeks later Israel was going to destroy Jericho. What they didn’t know was how it would happen.   They had no clue that God was going to crumble the city wall - the very wall in which Rahab’s house was located.   Do you know that that means?  They had no idea that a house located within the wall would ultimately crumble to the ground, thus killing everyone inside.  Staying in her house, like they asked her to do, was the most dangerous place to be!!!   But check out what God did!  I read this online - there was a retaining wall about 15’ high around Jericho.  On top of that was a 6’ thick wall that was about 25’ high.   It was literally insurmountable.   There were also houses built into this 25’ high wall.  Rahab’s house was one of them.   Archaeologists discovered in the early 1900’s that the top wall in fact fell creating a ramp for the Israelites to walk up into Jericho.   However, they discovered a small section of this wall remained standing.   It was only about 8’ high, which is the typical ceiling height of a house!   Most believe this was Rahab’s house inside the wall!  Rahab’s faith ushered in a miracle that saved her entire family!

Joshua 3 (4/4/13)

April 4, 2013 • Benham Brothers

God said "Cross the Jordan" but they had no way to get across Our spirit says YES, our mind says NO We want to see B-Y, but God may have only given us A & Z The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, how can he understand his own way? Obedience!

Joshua 3:1-8 (4/7/16)

April 7, 2016 • Benham Brothers

• Josh 1:2 & 10-11 - God promised Joshua they would cross the Jordan, but He didn't give him a plan on how to do it. • In faith, Joshua began to move. • He was focused on the PERSON of God being faithful to deliver on His PROMISE, even though He didn't have a PLAN. • They got to the Jordan and camped - they didn't cross. Why? • Because he did not yet know God's plan. • Joshua told the priests to lead the way. Why? • Because he knew how God had led them in the past under Moses. • On the third day they started moving, and then God gave the plan! • Lesson (actively waiting): • 1) We need to move forward in faith when God speaks. • 2) We need to go at His pace. • 3) We need to let God lead us. • 4) We need to be ready for His plan in His time.

Joshua 3:7 (4/4/19)

April 4, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* If God was going to magnify Joshua on “this day” that means he was minimized on other days. * God was going to give Joshua a bigger platform because he was accustomed to a smaller one. * What did Joshua do to deserve this? * He was faithful! * His faithfulness on the small platform gave him the favor for a bigger one. * All of his other days prepared him for “this day.” * John the Baptist - “I must decrease so He can increase.”

Joshua 3:17 (5/24/23)

May 24, 2023 • Benham Brothers • Joshua 3:17, Joshua 4:1

The christian walk is one of gradual maturity.  Israel moving from Egypt into the Promised Land is an OT physical picture of a NT spiritual truth.  Backstory - they had just spent 40 years in the wilderness.  They had to “go get” the manna every morning in order to survive.  They had to work hard to provide for their family.  But then they entered the Promised Land and everything changed.  They now owned land and houses and farms that would provide for them.  The change took place when they crossed the Jordan.  A look into the original Hebrew gives us the clue.  Vs 17 - “The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” Vs 4:1 - “When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan…”  In vs 17, the Hebrew word for nation is “GOYIM.”  In vs 4:1, the Hebrew word for nation is “AM.”  On the wilderness side they are goyim, but on the Canaan side they are am.  GOYIM represents self-interest - people who are working toward their own agenda.  This isn’t necessarily wrong as it’s a powerful motivator.  The focus is our own needs - food, shelter, provision, survival.  AM represents those who embrace a larger purpose.  They are committed to each other and a part of a community.  Crossing the Jordan meant they didn’t have to focus on their own core needs anymore, and they could embrace God’s higher purpose of being a light to other nations.  The Hebrew text of vs 4:1 reads, “Until all goyim had finished…”  We are always to be a light to the world.  But in a practical sense, if we do a good enough job in our wilderness years (the years of preparation) we’ll be able to focus solely on the benefit of others for the sake of the kingdom.  We’ve found there are four phases of financial development:  Preparation  Production  Provision  Promotion  The goal is to get to that 4th phase where you don’t have to focus on your tangible needs anymore, and you can simply help others. 

Joshua 4:2 (5/31/23)

May 31, 2023 • Benham Brothers • Joshua 4:2

Leadership isn’t for everyone.  Only those who are willing to carry the stone!  Backstory - the Israelites had just crossed the Jordan in miraculous fashion.  Now they began a new chapter of their lives.  They were now in the Promised Land.  But before they took over, God wanted them to erect a memorial to serve as a reminder for future generations.  So Joshua chose 12 leaders to help w/this project.  Vs 2-7 - “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”  Get the picture:  Their camp was an 8 mile trip from the Jordan.  Joshua asked them each to go and pick up a boulder (probably 50-75 lbs) and put it on their shoulder.  Then walk the 8-mile trek to camp.  Leadership isn’t for everyone - it’s only for those willing to carry the stone!  It’s hard work, and you will get wore out - but it’s valuable work.  Look what these stones represented:  “"To an unbeliever, the heap of twelve stones was simply another stone pile; but to a believing Israelite, it was a constant reminder that Jehovah was his or her God, working His wonders on behalf of His people." (Wiersbe)  That's what leaders are supposed to do - remind people that Jehovah is God!   How about you - are you willing to carry the stone and point people to God?  

Joshua 4:14 (3/30/17)

March 30, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* The NLT has a great translation of this verse. * "That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses." * Joshua had proven a faithful servant, then a faithful commander, now a faithful leader of the nation. * This paved the way for God to do something miraculous for him. * Two things every person will require if they want to be a leader: * 1) Faithfulness - be faithful right where God has placed you, in all the little things. * 2) Favor - God’s favor. * Joshua couldn’t have parted the Jordan - only God could have done that.

Joshua 5-10 (4/8/21)

April 8, 2021 • Benham Brothers

Joshua 5-10 - Principles For Entering a New Season * God’s way of leading is through seasons. * Noun: A period of time associated with an activity. * In agriculture, the activity is “growth.” * In sports, the activity is football, basketball, etc. * Verb: * To give more flavor to food (make things taste good). * To treat so as to prepare it for use (make wood suitable for use as timber by adjusting its moisture content to that of the environment in which it will be used). * To make fit by experience (a seasoned veteran). * It was time for the Israelites to enter a new season where they would experience blessing like never before. * But they would have to fight in order to get it. * These fights taught them a lot, and “seasoned” them to handle the new opportunities that would be available in their new land. * We’re going to look at the first four battles and the principles they learned. * Before any fight, the first principle was: * Principle of the Past - Don’t rely on what worked in the past - allow God to change things for the present (no more manna). * Principle of Provision - Provision is made possible through work (not called to live in the miraculous). * Battle #1 - Jericho (Joshua 5-6) * Principle of Purity - Circumcise first - get rid of the junk in your life. * Principle of the Plan - Follow God’s plan (no matter how crazy). * Principle of the Priest - Let your “priest” take the lead. * Principle of Power - Worship precedes warfare. * Principle of Protection - If you do what’s right, God will protect (Rahab). * Principle of Piety - Giving God your first and best shows your devotion to Him. * Battle #2 - Ai (Joshua 7-8) * they only sent 3k men and 36 died * * Principle of Decision - Before you act, ASK! * Principle of Discernment - Your lack of discernment is pointing to something you need to get right. * Principle of Defeat - Sin renders you powerless in life (root it out). * Principle of Direction - Upon repentance, God will turn things around for your benefit (He’ll use your past failures for present victories - ambush). * Principle of Delayed Gratification - Good things come to those who wait (Achan). * Battle #3 - Gibeon (Joshua 9) * Gibeonites tricked Joshua * * * He failed the Principle of Decision “again.” He didn’t ask God. * Principle of Peace - You can’t make friends with those who are enemies of God. * Principle of Partiality - God’s justice doesn’t play favorites (Lev 19:15). * Principle of People - People will always complain, but good leaders want grumbling today rather than later. * Principle of the Pivot - Make your mistakes work for you (slaves) * Battle #4 - Five Kings (Joshua 10) * Principle of Fight - Enemies unite when you’re on God’s side (When you fight God’s battles, He joins forces with you). * Principle of Faithfulness - The miraculous follows faithfulness (hailstones & sun stood still). * Principle of Fatigue - When you’re tired, watch what God does (hailstones). * Principle of Fortification - The things that kill others won’t touch you (hailstones only hit the enemy). * Principle of Faith - Prayer of faith lines up w/God’s will (sun stood still). * Principle of Authority (Joshua 11:15) Joshua did everything Moses commanded, who did everything God commanded (he stayed under authority and therefore maintained power) * Result - They defeated 31 kings! (Joshua 12 - mentions Sihon and Og first!)

Joshua 5:2 (3/30/17)

March 30, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* The Israelites had just crossed the Jordan with the command to fight. * Yet right at the moment the probably thought God would say, “Charge!” He told them something different. * He commanded them to circumcise themselves. * Do what? Before they were to use a knife on the enemy they had to use it on themselves. * They had to cut their junk! * They had to handle their business before they could take care of business! * If they disregarded God’s command because it didn’t make sense it would have been disastrous for them. * Obedience to God’s command to circumcise themselves was more important than their ability to fight. * We must circumcise our hearts and remove the junk before we go out and fight the enemy.

Joshua 5:12 (3/29/18)

March 29, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* The manna was done and now the Israelites were to feed themselves differently. * Part of maturing is how you feed yourself. * This is about WHAT and HOW: * WHAT: * Babies are fed milk. Crawlers are fed baby food. Toddlers are fed a mix of both. * Adolescents eat what tastes good, teens start to think about it more, adults fully embrace healthy lifestyles. * HOW: * Babies, crawlers, and toddlers don’t feed themselves - mom and dad have to do that. * Adolescents and teens can eat on their own, but they don’t prepare it. * Adults have to shop, fix, and eat their own food. * The same is true with our spiritual walk. * WHAT are you eating and HOW are you eating it? * Eating a steady diet of your own choice of music and lots of TV? You’re being a kid. * Do you require a preacher to explain everything to you or are you capable of studying things on your own?