Sunday, June 26th, 2016
The book of Joshua records the culmination of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land. Here we see God fulfill His promise to give the land of Canaan to Jacob’s descendants. Joshua portrays the Lord as their general, the One who would lead His people in victorious battle if they would trust and obey.
God is the ultimate promise-keeper. As faithful and present as He was with Israel, so He is with us. “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Questions for this week:
- Read Chapter 5. Why do you think this generation needed to be circumcised (verse 4)? Originally, to be circumcised was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham. What would performing this act have shown God about the nation’s spiritual status?
- This chapter serves as a major pivot point in the story of God. What shift(s) do you see in relation to the nation of Israel? In your own words, connect the dots from Abraham to Joshua with an emphasis on God’s covenant promises.
- Read Exodus 12 (the first Passover). Here in Joshua 5, the people of Israel celebrate Passover again. Discuss the differences in mindsets between the first Passover and this one. (Hint: think of Israel still enslaved then versus on the brink of military conquest in Joshua 5). What was the purpose of having bread made faster without yeast and having their traveling gear on hand during the first Passover? What is the purpose of repeating that same attitude/mindset now?
- Look through Exodus 16. What was the purpose of manna? Why was it needed then? Discuss why God chose now (Joshua 5) to stop the manna. Why was the timing of this symbolic?
- What affect do you think stopping the manna might have had on the people of Israel? Might they have been fearful? Hopeful? Uncertain? Has God figuratively “stopped the manna” during a transitional time in your life? Discuss these times with your group.
- Compare the encounter of Joshua and the angel in Joshua 5 with Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3 and 4. What is similar? What is different about Moses’ response versus Joshua’s?