Joshua 21

Sunday Evening Bible Study

August 1, 1999

Introduction

The book of Joshua is a book about taking the Promised Land. The Israelites have been delivered from the slavery of Egypt, but before they can settle into what God wants to give them, they have to conquer the land.

The Promised Land is learning to receive all that God has for us in our personal lives - victory over sin, experiencing Godís peace, joy, love, power.

The first half of the book was about the battles involved in conquering the Promised Land. The second half, which weíre in now, is all about the division of the land among the tribes of Israel.

:1-42 Priests and Levites get their land

The tribe of Levi had been chosen by the Lord to serve in the tabernacle. As Godís servants, they would not get a giant tribal portion of land. God would be their inheritance. But thereís always a practical side to things, and the Levites needed a place to live. So each tribe gave the Levites a number of their cities, and the Levites were then spread through the entire nation.

:43-45 The Completed Work

:43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

Lesson

Possess what God has given you.

God has promised and given us many wonderful things.

But unless we "possess" them, they are of no value to us.

Salvation

(Rom 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God promised us salvation as a free gift.

But if you donít receive the gift and trust in Jesus as your Savior, itís of no value.

Holy Spirit

(Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

(Gal 5:16 KJV) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

God has promised us the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

But if we donít "walk" in the power of the Holy Spirit, there is no help.

Spiritual Gifts

(1 Cor 12:7 NASB) But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

But if we donít take possession and use the gifts God has for us, nobody is benefited.

:44 And the Lord gave them rest Ö

Lesson

Peace in the midst of anxiety

(Phil 4:6-7 NASB) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. {7} And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The problem is that too often we want to go to others to trust our problems to, instead of the Lord.

Go to the Lord first.

Illustration:

Mrs. Oswald Chambers once said of her husband, "Like all teachers of forceful personality, he constantly had people longing to pour out their intimate troubles to him. I remember at the close of one meeting a woman came up to him with the words, "Oh, Mr. Chambers, I feel I must tell you about myself.í As he led her away to a quiet corner, I resigned myself to a long wait; but he was back again in a few minutes. As we went home, I remarked on the speed with which he managed to free himself, and he replied, "I just asked her if she had ever told God all about herself. When she said she hadnít, I advised her to go home and pour out before Him as honestly as she could all her troubles, then see if she still needed or wanted to relate them to me.í" Chambers knew the importance of going directly to Jesus when faced with a special need or a trying situation.

:44 the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand

Lesson

Victory.

God promises victory in many areas of our lives:

Over Sin

Romans 6:14-AV For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

1Corinthians 10:13-AV There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

God promises to give us a way out of temptation. We have to take it.

Over Satan

1John 5:18-AV We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

James 4:7-AV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

You do not have to fear Satan. Jesus is on your side. Jesus is bigger. Claim your authority over Satan. You are a child of God.

Over Thoughts

(2 Cor 10:3-5 KJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: {4} (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) {5} Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Sometimes our greatest enemies lie right within our own mind. The way we think about things can lead us into continual patterns of defeat.

:45 There failed not ...

Lesson

God is faithful

You can depend on God. He keeps His promises.

God is not like others who will let you down.

We've all experienced the let downs that people leave us with.

People will fail you (it's just going to happen), but God won't

The Psalmist writes about even being rejected by your parents, but God still remains faithful.

Psalms 27:10-AV When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

"take me up" = "receive"

What if it looks as if God has forgotten me?

"I hear what youíre saying Richard, but the truth is, God has let me down, a lot."

1. God may be testing you

He wants us to learn how to walk by faith.

2Corinthians 5:7-AV (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Hezekiah Ė

(2 Chr 32:31 KJV) Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.

This may be hard to hear, but I think there are times when God is going to be silent simply because He wants to see how you react when you think Heís not around. Have you ever caught one of your children doing something while they thought that no one was watching? Donít you want your children to "behave" even when youíre not around?

2. It's possible that someone other than God broke their promise.

Namely, us. If God seems far away, guess who moved.

Sometimes the reason God seems so far away is because our own sin has come in the way between God and me.

Isaiah 59:1-2AV Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.

All through Israel's history, the problems they found themselves in were problems that they caused by their own sin.

The solution is not to pretend everything's okay. The solution isn't reached by blaming other people around you. The solution comes by admitting our sin and asking God for help.

3. Maybe God isnít finished yet.

(Phil 1:6 KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

(1 Th 5:24 KJV) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Sometimes itís simply our impatience. We want to quit before God is finished.

Think of Joseph sitting in prison, falsely accused of making a pass at his masterís wife. Life looked utterly hopeless. But it wasnít the end of the story yet.

(Rom 8:28 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.