Friday, June 10, 2011

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 12, 2011

(Obeying GOD’s word lead to true success and prosperity)
(Joshua 1:7-16)

The invasion and conquest of Canaan most likely took place, according to the biblical timeline, between 1406 and 1399 B.C., with Joshua’s farewell speech (Joshua 24:1-28) being given at the “Covenant Renewal Ceremony” circa 1385 B.C. The events recorded in the book of Joshua take place almost entirely in the land of Canaan, west of the Jordan River. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River opposite of Jericho, a highly strategic city that controlled all roads leading up into the central highlands of Canaan. They set up a “base” camp at Gilgal, from which Joshua launched two major military campaigns. The first campaign focused south on a coalition of Amorite kings in Jerusalem, Hebron, Jamut, Lachish, and Eglon. The other focused north against the more powerful Canaanite forces in Hazor, Madon, and other northern cities. These two major campaigns all but ended any organized Canaanite resistance. However, the Israelites still had to drive out any remaining Canaanites as they sought to expand their territories in later years.
In Joshua chapter 1, verses 7-8, Joshua is commanded by GOD to be strong and courageous, carefully obeying all the laws that HE had given to Moses before him. It is a command that is based on GOD’s power through HIS Word, and it indicated that a greater strength of character would be needed to obey GOD’s Word faithfully, than would be needed to win any military battle that he would soon undertake. Here in this passage, we see one of scripture’s earliest indications that man had available to him, a list of written laws of GOD, beyond those ten commandments, that Moses delivered to the people from Mount Sinai.
In order to enjoy prosperity and be successful in their conquest of Canaan, Joshua and the Israelites had to do three things in regards to scripture. First, GOD’s expectation from them was that HIS Word, not depart, from the mouths of HIS people. In other words, they were to persistently and consistently talk about the word of GOD to each other, including, and especially, to their children. Secondly, they were to meditate on GOD’s Word day and night, consistently keeping GOD in their thoughts, and, on their hearts. And thirdly, GOD expected that they were to do all, which HIS Laws called for them to do, obeying HIM fully by acting upon HIS Word, and incorporating its power into their everyday lives.
Joshua was able to demonstrate in a practical way, with his own life, how we in this generation, can also live, according to the Word of GOD. The way he lived clearly explains the success he had in his career as a father, a military leader, and, as a judge over his people. And in his farewell address to the people of Israel, he sought to pass on the formula of his success to the next generation. He urged them to live in submission to GOD at all times. Sadly, just as it has been in every generation since the foundation of this world, man would soon again stray away, from the righteous path that GOD continuously lays out before us.
Whenever a man goes his own way, he automatically and inevitably, moves farther and farther away from GOD, and in the end, the rift between he and GOD becomes so wide, that GOD is reduced to this obscure figure of whom he once knew, and of whom, then, he seeks only to avoid.
It has been proven over and over again, throughout our history, in fact, since the very dawn of creation, that, without GOD, man can’t do anything right, for too long. And the truth of the matter remains, that, GOD expects way more from us, in the form of commitment to HIM, than we’ve ever been able to, or willing to, deliver.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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