November 21, 2019
Last night, we talked about how the writer of Joshua (who is ultimate writing God’s inspired Word) crafts the book in such a way that the reader understands that Joshua is the new Moses. God uses Joshua to part the waters of the River Jordan, just like God had used Moses to part the waters of the Red Sea. We talked about how God was going to fulfill His promise to Abraham by giving the Israelites the land of Canaan. But first, the Israelites needed to rid the land of the Canaanites. At a crucial moment, just before the battle of Jericho, Joshua sees a man standing with a sword drawn. He asks the man, “Whose side are you on?” and the man replies, “Neither.” When Joshua asks him, “What’s our battle strategy?” the man replies, “worship, for you are on Holy ground!” Huh? How is that a battle strategy? We read on to find out.
In Joshua chapters 6-7, we looked at two contrasting battles. In the first, God commands the Israelites to do some pretty weird stuff… march around the walls of Jericho for days on end, blow trumpets, and speak no words. None the less, the Israelites act in FAITH, obeying what God said, and sure enough, the walls of the city fell and they won the battle. In chapter 7, Joshua sends spies to Ai and they come back saying that they should send fewer men into battle because it’ll be an easy win for the Israelites. But when the battle occurs, they are chased away, and Israelite men are killed. What do we learn from all that?
Well, we learn that God is His own army. He fights for no man, but rather, He fights for His own honor and glory. That’s why the Angel told Joshua to bow down. He was telling Joshua to make a choice, either give God the glory He deserves, or become His enemy. In chapter 6, the Israelites acted in faith. They did everything God commanded, and GOD WON the battle. In chapter 7, they do the opposite. They trust IN THEMSELVES, and they get whooped!
This led us to talk about how faith ALWAYS precedes obedience. Everything that we do that is disobedient to God is an act that’s done in faithlessness that God’s commands are good, right, and true. This is important for us to recognize as Christians. God desires that we TRUST Him, and out of that trust comes obedience. It is for this reason that we put our faith in Jesus. We could never win the battle against the tempter, and against sin… but Jesus won it for us! He is worthy of our worship, and out of love for Him, we aught to obey His word.
Here are some questions as you reflect on these things with your student(s):
- Do you think God cares more about obedience, or faith? Why?
- Think back on your week. What are three ways that you’ve disobeyed God this week? (Parents, you should answer this openly and honestly too. It’s good to share your sin and need for a savior with your kids!)
- Think about those particular instances of disobedience. How were those instances acts of unfaithfulness to God? In other words, what did you not believe about God that led to disobedience?
- Spend a little bit of time in prayer together, repenting of unfaithfulness and asking that God would help your unbelief.