Tuesday, November 27, 2018

00 JOSHUA – Claiming God's Promised Land – Intro and Outline

After Moses’ death the LORD told Joshua, “Cross this Jordan to the land! Be strong and courageous!” By faith God’s people conquered the fortified cities of the Canaanites (Josh 1-12). Their tribes divided the territory (Josh 13-22) and pledged to heed Joshua’s final exhortations and warnings (Josh 23-24). Like them, may we claim God’s promise through obedient faith!
To subscribe to this blog, enter your email address at the lower left corner of the page where it says, “FOLLOW BY EMAIL.” You'll get an email from FeedBurner. Just click the link inside it to confirm that you want to subscribe. To read the other lessons in this series, click on the "Joshua" label on this page.
“To Canaan’s Land I’m on my Way”
Centuries had passed since God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that their descendants would possess the land of Canaan. The Hebrews passed that promise down from generation to generation, even though its fulfillment was delayed by Egyptian slavery and Israelite unbelief. Joshua, born in Egypt and trained by Moses, took the reins of leadership after his mentor’s death. God’s repeated call challenged him to be strong, courageous, and unafraid. And he was. Note the transition as described in the first chapter.
Jos 1:1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. 3 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 “From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Let’s consider Joshua the man and then Joshua the book.
Joshua the Man
Born in Egyptian slavery. Of the tribe of Ephraim, key tribe in the North.
Moses’ attendant from his youth. Num 11:28
Groomed to succeed Moses as torch-bearer.
Orig. “Hoshea” (Heb. for “salvation”). Moses called him “Joshua” (“The LORD is salvation.”) Num 13:16
“Jesus” is the Greek equivalent of “Joshua.” Matt 1:21
Moses’ general vs. Amalekites. Ex 17:8-13
Moses’ servant up to Mt. Sinai. Ex 24:13; 32:17
A tribal leader, chosen as a spy. Num 13:1-16
Faithful with Caleb. Num 14:6-10, 28–30, 38
Outnumbered. Not yet a national leader.
Knew his place. “Second fiddle.”
Grew in influence over time.
Chosen. Num 27:15-23; Deut 31:14-15, 23; 34:9
Military, political, and spiritual leader.
A strategic genius re: battle. Plan and execute.
Quiet and assuming, yet assertive and brave.
Capable administrator. “Go-first” example.
Bridge-builder, maintaining harmony.
Spokesman and statesman. Motivator.
Type or shadow of Jesus Christ. Their names are the same (see above). Both brought salvation and rest. The Promised Land in Joshua’s time prefigured the Promised Land of heaven, where the “new Joshua,” Jesus, leads us. Heb 3-4
Great Themes in Joshua– Stephen J. Andrews
The Divine Warrior In the book of Joshua God engages in combat as a divine warrior on behalf of Israel. Just as God fought against the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Exod. 14:14), He now fights for them in Canaan (Josh. 10:14).
Holy War In battle, every living being and every piece of property is to be dedicated to the deity. Why would a loving God order the wholesale extermination of the nations living in the promised land? Critics of the Bible find fault with such extreme measures. However, Israel was commanded to drive out the nations living in the promised land because of their sinful abominations (Deut. 9:4–5; 18:9–14; 20:16–18). Those who reject God’s wrath against these disobedient Canaanites tend also to discount or deny the reality and eternal nature of hell. These are parallel, both reflecting the holiness and righteousness of God and the fact that sin is an abomination in His sight.
The Promised Land God had promised to give Israel “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exod. 3:8; Deut. 8:7–9; 11:8–12). The promise of land was conditional. God gave the land to Israel in its entirety, but Israel had to trust God and follow Him to occupy the gift. Israel’s tenure on the land was also based on faithful worship of God (Deut. 7:12–15). The penalty for worshiping other gods was to be driven from the land (Deut. 6:14–15; 8:19–20; 11:8–9, 17; 28:63).
The Covenant The covenant renewal ceremony of Josh. 24 has many similarities with the vassal-treaties formulated by the ancient Hittites. Both types of documents contain an introduction, a historical prologue, a set of stipulations, provisions for keeping the documents and for their public reading, a list of divine witnesses, and finally, curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience. Israel was to be faithful in keeping the covenant. Disobedience eventually brought about the exile.
The Holy and Redeeming God In the book of Joshua, a holy and redeeming God is graciously at work on behalf of Joshua and Israel. God’s mercy is offered to non-Israelites as well. Both Rahab (6:17–25) and the Gibeonites (9:1–27) are brought within the covenant community.
A Rest for the People of God Joshua was to lead Israel into their inheritance, into their “rest” (1:13, 15; 11:23; 14:15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1). A faithful covenant relationship with God would secure a peaceful tenure on the land. Nevertheless, the rest provided by Joshua was temporary (Heb. 3:7–4:11). Soon after the death of Joshua, Israel would begin to serve the Canaanite gods and break the covenant relationship.
Outline and Overview – Stephen J. Andrews
Claiming the Land (1:1-5:15)
A.      After the Death of Moses (1:1a)
Moses had led Israel for forty years! How would this new nation survive without him?
B.      The Call of Joshua (1:1b-18)
As John C. Maxwell writes, “There is no success without a successor.” Furthermore, Joshua could not have succeeded Moses effectively without God’s and Moses’ clear endorsement. “AS I was with Moses, so I will be with you.”
C.      Rahab and the Spies (2:1-24)
Rahab, though a Canaanite harlot, responded to God in obedient faith. She became an ancestor of King David and of Jesus Himself (Matt 1). She illustrated the fact that “Faith without works is dead” (Jas 2).
D.     Crossing Over the Jordan (3:1-4:24)
God powerfully affirmed Joshua’s leadership by parting the Jordan River, as He had parted the Red Sea through Moses.
E.      Covenant Consecration at Gilgal (5:1-15)
Conquering the Land (6:1-12:24)
A.      The Capture of Jericho (6:1-27)
The fall of Jericho’s walls proved that the battle belongs to the LORD. Moreover, that victory may only be claimed by obedient faith.
B.      The Campaign at Ai (7:1-8:35)
Achan violated the ban by taking and hiding prohibited items from Jericho. His confession outlined the sin cycle. He said, “I saw. I coveted. I took. I hid.”
C.      Victory - Southern Coalition (9:1-10:43)
The Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the Israelites, who granted them covenant protection without first seeking God’s guidance. They kept their vow regardless and expanded their territory by overpowering the Gibenoites’ enemies.
D.     Victory - Northern Coalition (11:1-12:24)
Colonizing the Land (13:1-21:45)
A.      East of the Jordan (13:1-33)
B.      West of the Jordan, Part 1 (14:1-17:18)
C.      West of the Jordan, Part 2 (18:1-19:51)
D.     Cities of Refuge (20:1-9)
E.      Levitical Cities (21:1-45)
Consecrating the Land (22:1-24:33)
A.      The Disputed Altar (22:1-34)
Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built a replica altar, not for worship, but to serve as a reminder that they belonged to the new nation and its tribes beyond the Jordan River.
B.      Covenant Exhortations (23:1-16)
C.      Covenant Renewal at Shechem (24:1-33)
His Choice, Theirs, and Ours
Jos 24:14 “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

13 Hebrews 13 – Finishing Strong

What does it take to remain faithful to Jesus Christ, regardless of the pressures and temptations that his followers face? It takes love, confidence, contentment, compassion, and conviction. These are the very qualities we find highlighted in Heb 13, which ends this great letter by exhorting us to finish strong.
These are lesson notes, not written in a polished or finished manuscript form.
To see thumbnails of all posts on this blog:
To receive email notifications of future posts, enter your email address at the lower left corner of the page where it says, “FOLLOW BY EMAIL.” You'll get an email from FeedBurner. Just click the link inside it to confirm that you want to subscribe.
For the other lessons in this series, click on the "Hebrews - God's Better Way” label in the left column on this page, or click here. https://coryhcollins.blogspot.com/search/label/Hebrews%20-%20God%27s%20Better%20Way
Let’s continue the race motif from Heb 12 as we approach Heb 13. In order to win the race and cross the finish line, you must:
13:1-3 Help Your Teammates
13:4-7 Watch Your Relationships
13:8-14 Cling to the Christ
13:15-19 Check Your Bearings
13:20-25 Maintain Your Equipment
Help Your Teammates                    Heb 13:1-3
To Saints: LOVE – Heb 13:1
Heb 6:10 Love shown already in serving the saints
1 Pet 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart … (Is this a “lesser” form of love?)
1 Thess 4:9-10 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more …
Church = family. 1 Tim 5:1-2
To Strangers: SERVICE – Heb 13:2
From “love of brothers” (philadelphia) to “love of strangers” (philoxenias). Xenophobia: fear of strangers.
Why reach out to newcomers, guests, and people we do not know?
Heb 13:2 … entertained angels unawares … Gen 18:1-8
Lev 19:33-34 Treat the alien as the native, for …
Ps 23:5 Host (God Himself) sets a table for the weary …
Luke 10:33-35 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed …
Luke 14:12-14 When you give a dinner …
Matt 25:35 I was a stranger, and you welcomed me …
Service can turn strangers into friends … and saints.
To Sufferers: SYMPATHY
Heb 10:33-34 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
“… all the members suffer with it …”  1 Cor 12:26
Simply the Golden Rule.  Matt 7:12
‘Since you are in the body’ = because you can identify with pain and sorrow.
Like Jesus, we learn to sympathize only by entering into the struggles, suffering, and temptation of others.  Heb 4:14-16; 2:14-18
When we do so, we visit Jesus in prison. Matt 25:39-40
Watch Your Relationships  Heb 13:4-7
Four Heart Keys to Victory
1. MARRIAGE: Commitment
We are to honor marriage, as created and defined by God.
So we value, respect, reinforce, and support His design.
Marriage is the first building block of society, predating the community, the government, and even the church.
When marriage thrives, so does … (1 Tim 3)
Any attack on marriage is an attack on God, its author.
Honoring marriage means … Eph 5:22-33
Honoring and protecting its fruit: the unborn child.
Honoring marriage means first honoring my marriage.
1 Pet 3:7 “Grant [your wife] honor as a fellow heir …”
The “marriage bed” is God’s idea. Heb 13:4; Gen 2:24f
That makes it holy, sacred, and pure.
Not dirty, ugly, or “unspiritual.” 1 Cor 7
As we would not bring anything evil before God …
We will not bring anything immoral to the “marriage bed!”
Same-sex acts. (How could this be called “marriage?”)
Fornication: sex acts involving unmarried people.
Adultery, which dishonors at least one existing marriage.
Other perversions: incest, bestiality, pedophilia.
“God will judge the sexually immoral (pornos) and the adulterous.” Heb 13:4; 1 Cor 6:9-11 … pornos?
Gk., porneia – sexual immorality
Sexual relations outside of God’s design.
“Whoever divorces and remarries except for porneia …” Matt 19:1-9
Gk., pornos – one who practices such. Heb 13:4
Gk., porne – a prostitute, one hired for such. 1 Cor 6:16
Eng., pornography – the depiction of such, designed to stimulate desire and encourage such.
Pornography dishonors marriage – and destroys it.
2. MONEY: Contentment
From our view of marriage … to that of money.
From our love for people … to our non-love for money.
Love the brethren (13:1). Love the stranger (13:2). Do not love money (13:5)! Hmmm …
Do we love people and use things …
Or do we use people and love things?
Money: a fine servant, but a wicked master. Matt 6:19-24
Loving money: a root of all kinds of evils. 1 Tim 6:6-12
Greed: equivalent to idolatry. Col 3:5
Contentment: a learned state of mind in which there is nothing I lack, nothing I have to have, in order to feel satisfied. A sense of completeness and sufficiency.
2 Cor 12:7-10; Phil 4:11
3. The MASTER: Confidence
I’m content with what I have, because I’m content with who I have! And with what He has promised me!
From contentment to confidence!
Moses (at age 120) to Israel: Deut 31:1-8, esp. 31:6
God: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Ps 118:5-9, esp. 118:6
“The LORD is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Rom 8:31-39
4. MENTORS: Concentration
First, “Remember your leaders, those who taught you.”
How did they influence? What did they teach? Study their character and priorities. Record all you can.
Next, “Consider the outcome of their way of life.”
What is their “final destination?” What was their “way of life” that took them there?
Want to go there, too? Then, “Imitate their faith.”
If you believe what they believed, and do what they did, you will arrive where they have gone!
Ask to be mentored. Offer to mentor.
2 Tim 2:2
If we have the right relationship to …
MARRIAGE:        Commitment
MONEY:               Contentment
The MASTER:      Confidence
MENTORS:                    Concentration
By God’s grace we will win this race!
Cling to the Christ                 Heb 13:8-14
Jesus Christ has not, does not, and will not change!
Yesterday: Heb 5 - He suffered “in the days of his flesh …”
We must remember and reflect.
Today: Heb 7-9 - He reigns and ministers as high priest.
We must “hear his voice” and obey.
Forever: Heb 10 - “In a little while he is coming.”
We must anticipate and prepare.
So we must not get “carried away!”
Warnings against “diverse and strange teachings.”
Predictions that Christians would fall away from the faith.
Acts 20:29-32; 1 Tim 4:1-5; 2 Pet 2:1-3; Jude 1:1-4; Rev 2:14-15, 20
In the NT period, emphasis on Jewish food laws.
Simon Peter’s triple vision of the sheet. Acts 10
It was hard to give up such deeply imbedded practices.
But food could not cleanse the conscience. Heb 9:9-10
It is grace, not food (restrictions), that truly nourishes.
Jesus: Man is defiled, not by what goes in (hands, food), but by what comes out (of the heart). Mark 7:14-23
After the completion of the NT:
AD 150> Changes in church organization; “bishop” over other elders, over the local church … “archbishops” …
AD 325> Council of Nicea, then other councils > “strange and diverse teachings,” such as …
Holy water, sprinkling, for infants, celibacy, Purgatory, penance, transubstantiation, indulgences, veneration of statues, prayers to Mary, candles and bells and musical instruments, clerical clothing, confession to priests, etc.
AD 606 Boniface III named as “Pope” (“Holy Father”)
AD 1870 Papal infallibility (“ex cathedra”)
AD 1950 Assumption (taking up) of Mary to heaven
We have a superior altar.
In the OT, priests ate the meat sacrificed on the altar.
Lev 7:6-7; 1 Cor 10:18
But the tabernacle priests could not eat the sin offering from the Day of Atonement. It was burned outside the camp. Lev 16:27
Like that goat, Jesus also had to suffer outside the gate.
So we must also go outside the camp.
That’s where his blood was shed.
That’s where he sanctified us.
He was shamed and disgraced, led away to die.
We must bear his reproach with him.
Are we ashamed? We dare not be!
Are we trying to “fit in?” Or to “stand out?”
We have a lasting city, but it’s not here.
If we go “outside the camp” to share Jesus’ reproach, what do we actually lose?
Nothing! Because nothing we give up here will last.
“That man is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose.” John Elliott
So we seek the city that is to come.
Heb 11:8-10 Abraham was looking.
Heb 11:13-16 “All these” who died in faith were seeking.
Heb 12:22 The city of the living God, Mt. Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.
Do you want to go?
Will you leave the camp, meet Jesus outside the gate, and bear the reproach he endured?
Luke 9:23-26
Yesterday, today, and forever.
Yesterday: Jesus suffered outside the gate.
Today:       We go to him there and bear his reproach.
Forever:     We seek the city that is to come.
Check Your Bearings            Heb 13:15-19
Because of Jesus’ …
Past Cross – Heb 13:12
Present Call – Heb 13:13
Future City – Heb 13:14
“Therefore, let us!”
NORTH (Upward): Praise and Confession
Our “sacrifice:” joyful, continual, thankful worship!
Declaring the power, majesty, glory, and grace of God!
Through Him (emphatic), Jesus as High Priest.
Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks. 1 Thess 5:16-18
That’s the “true north” aim that directs ALL of life.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him …” Prov 3:5-6
Every problem we face – every problem – is the result of moving the compass, even slightly.
The fruit of lips (Hos 14:2) – We cannot help speaking, sharing, and singing. Acts 4:20; 2 Cor 4:13-14
“The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” Matt 12:34
EAST (Outward): Doing Good and Sharing
These two are twins, born of the same spirit. “Sacrifices.”
Jesus “went about doing good.” Acts 10:38
“God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor 9:7
Paradox: givers get more pleasure than takers or keepers.
Sharing = “What’s mine is ours. You may use it freely. ”
Koinonia = partnership, fellowship, having in common.
Relieves stress. Brings joy, peace, and contentment …
         For both of us!
More than that –
I am offering God a well-pleasing sacrifice.
Phil 4:17-18
When I am pointed upward, I will share outward.
SOUTH (Under): Obedience and Submission
Not a suggestion, but a commandment. Reason given:
Only then can leaders watch over and give account.
That’s why you “associate” with a home cong’n. Acts 9:26
Leadership: church parallels family. 1 Tim 3:4, 5, 12
Same issues. Trust. Respect. Communication. Support.
Young people, we feel VERY responsible to God for you.
We are imperfect, yet entrusted with … accountable for …
Secret tip: you can have a much happier family, just by making your parents’ job more pleasant!
Another secret tip: you can get better parents, just by encouraging and helping the ones you now have!
Apply these principles to the church.
Let’s all improve, together, starting with me!
1 Pet 5:1-5 Elders, then younger ones, then all.
WEST (Beside): Prayer and Fellowship
An inspired leader’s request: “Pray for us.” Perhaps Paul?
Col 4:2-4; 2 Thess 3:1-2; Rom 15:30-33
         We are sure that our conscience is clear …
         because we wish to act honorably in all things.
         But I miss you and want to see you! (“We” = “I.”)
         So I urge you more excessively to pray!
“Be restored” suggests he had been in their midst before.
Was he in prison, maybe with Timothy? Heb 13:23
Whatever his situation, think about yours.
If you were forced to be away from God’s people for any length of time …
And then you were able to come back …
Check Your Bearings!
NORTH (Upward): Praise and Confession
EAST (Outward): Doing Good and Sharing
SOUTH (Under): Obedience and Submission
WEST (Beside): Prayer and Fellowship
And Run to Win!
Maintain Your Equipment   Heb 13:20-25
1. Prayer: May God Equip You – 13:20-21
“Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.”
Proof: resurrection – If God did that, he can do this.
Matt 16:5-12; Rom 8:32; Eph 1:15-23
Power: blood – “May he … by the blood … equip you.”
Jesus as “mega” shepherd – for his own. John 10; 1 Pet 5
Nurturing. Caring. Leading. Defending.
Katartizo (< “artisan”): equip, mend nets (Matt 4:21), restore (Gal 6:1; 1 Pet 5:10), complete (1 Thess 3:10).
Equip with what? Equip for what? 2 Tim 3:16-17
Threefold result:
         He works in us. Phil 2:12-13
         We do what pleases him. Col 1:10
         He receives the glory. 1 Cor 10:31
Leaders equip saints for ministry. Eph 4:11-16
2. Exhortation: May You Heed the Word – 13:22
The entire book of Hebrews: a “word of exhortation.”
Hang in there! Pay closer attention! Don’t be deceived by sin! Encourage one another as the Day approaches! Prepare to enter the “promised land!” Approach the throne with confidence! Go from milk to meat! Become teachers! Don’t fall away! Don’t forsake the assembly! Imitate the heroes of faith! Run the race with endurance! Learn from God’s discipline!
Now he exhorts us to “bear with” that exhortation.
And he says, “I have written to you briefly.”
Question: What will we do with all this exhortation?
3. Reminder: May You Greet the Saints – 13:23-24
When war veterans come home: honor, thanks, parade!
Wounded. Weary. Shell-shocked. Victims of PTSD.
Timothy released (from prison). Heb 10:32-34; 13:3
What a reunion! What a celebration!
The author (Paul?) calls Timothy “our brother.”
Remember the author’s prayer. Heb 13:19
Common to close a letter by sending greetings.
From the author to all the leaders and saints.
From the Italians who are now with the author.
(Maybe to Jewish Christians, persecuted in Rome.)
4. Closing: May God’s Grace be With You – 13:25
Not “the Force!” Not “the odds!” Not “good luck!”
God’s grace purchases and offers the prize.
God’s grace energizes and enables the runner.
God’s grace lifts and restores the fallen.
God’s grace calls and invites the lost.
Let’s run to win!