Just a little more intro stuff…
As I look toward our study in Joshua, let me point out some interesting things we will find. Joshua was born into slavery and rose to become a great military leader and commander. He was a soldier, a servant, a spy, and a successor. The secret of Joshua’s success was his faith in the Word of God (Joshua 1:7-9), its commandments and its promises. Joshua obeyed God in everything and led the people into their new awaited land.
The book of Joshua records battles, defeats, sins, and failures. It also illustrates how believers today can bid good-bye to the old life and enter into their rich inheritance in Jesus Christ. It explains how we can face off with our enemies and defeat them, and how to claim for ourselves all that we have in Jesus Christ. We will see how Joshua is really a foretelling of what is ours in Christ. Like the land of plenty He promised the Israelites, God has promised us a fruitful life that we can enjoy as well.
In addition to gleaning from the book of Joshua, we will also look at Joshua the man. Why did God choose him? What made Joshua a perfect warrior and leader?
So, let’s begin by looking at God’s plan in motion…
Please read our key verse Exodus 3:8.
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…
Before we delve into Joshua, it’s important we gain some background information first. This will set the stage for our study.
The book of Genesis records the beginning of God’s chosen people. It begins with the creation and concludes with Jacob and his family arriving in Egypt because of a severe famine in their homeland. It was here they multiplied and became enslaved for four hundred years.
Now, summarize the events of Israel’s early years in Egypt based on Exodus 1:1-7.
The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all. We read that they were fruitful and multiplied greatly and the land was filled with them (Exodus 1:7). This was truly the beginning of God’s promise to Abraham: “I will confirm my covenant between me and you and you will greatly increase your numbers” (Genesis 17:2).
Before they arrived in Egypt, the chosen people of God had a limited understanding of their God.
The greater knowledge would come later, when they were dwelling in the desert. Still, four hundred years is a long time for a nation to become immersed in another culture. I wonder if, over time, they strayed from their religious practices and fell into the Egyptian culture and worshiped their foreign gods.
Write down what you think it was like for the Israelites living in Egypt. What do you envision?
While the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, they also became slaves for four decades. As time went on, a new king in Egypt came to power—a king who did not know Joseph and one who seemed to have little concern for God’s people. Eventually, he made life unbearable for the Israelites (Exodus 1:8-10).
According to Exodus 1:10, why did the Egyptians make life difficult for God’s people?
What kinds of difficulties did God’s people face (Exodus 1:11-14)?
What else do you learn about their life in Egypt from Exodus 1:15-21?
Without a doubt, the Israelites were stuck. Miserable. And the king of Egypt didn’t care about them. They were struggling to survive under such harsh conditions.
That’s a perfect picture of slavery.
Anything that has master over you is slavery.
What truth is found in Galatians 5:1?
What title does Paul give himself in Philippians 1:1?
The insight I gather from the previous verses is that I do not have to live as a slave because Jesus died for my freedom. But being a slave—or servant—to Jesus is a different thing all together.
Allowing sin, bondage, my past, fear, pride, or human nature to rule over me prevents me from enjoying the full life I was meant to have in Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
So, letting Jesus be master over me puts me on a pathway of victory.
Which master will you choose? What is your plan of action?
Stay tuned for next week’s lesson…
Love and Blessings,