Joshua 1-4

Today we start in the exciting book of Joshua.

Joshua was originally call Hoshea, which means 'salvation'. Moses later changed his name to Joshua which means 'the Lord saves.'

One of the recurring themes in Joshua is to be strong and courageous. We will read this over and over again. Also, Joshua points out the leadership of God and how He goes ahead in battle.

Keep in mind as we read, God is proclaiming truths and promises all the time. 1:6, God tells Joshua, "be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land." It wasn't conditional. God said it WILL happen. Then He says, "for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Wow! That would certainly help to remove fear.

The one thing to point out with Rahab and the spies is the scarlet cord. Just like the blood on the doorposts in Egypt saved the firstborn, the scarlet cord will also bring salvation to those inside the house.

And we end with the crossing of the Jordan. The ark led the way. Once the priests stepped in, the water parted. 3:4 struck me a little funny. It says there was 1000 yards between the ark and the people. That's a HUGE gap. But it shows the reverence and holiness of the ark. Remember, the ark is a representation of God. The ark/God goes before and ahead of the Israelites.
Joshua 5-8:

5 - The circumcision is taking place because the Israelites had to clear themselves before God before entering the land. The had to reclaim their service to God. Strangely, Moses did not follow through with circumcision during the wanderings. Anyone know why this might be? I honestly don't, so if anyone has any answers or ideas, throw them out.

6 - The fall of Jericho is amazing. This is certainly a strange battle tactic. They are told to march for 6 days, and on the 7th day, march around 7 times. Here is another reference to 7 being completeness (is that a word?). In addition, there are 7 priests carrying the trumpets. Once again, we have the priests and the ark going first.

In studying, something I thought was interesting is the reasoning behind leaving the city alone. Jericho was a representation of the firstfruits. It was the first city God conquered in the Promised Land. It was to be left alone to be a remembrance that God gave them the land.

Joshua's little statement at the end of 6:26 is a prophecy to what will happen later. If you want a peek, read I Kings 16:34.

7 - Achan's sin shows how one person's sins can effect a whole community. The results of sin can be truly devastating. It also shows that ultimately, we are sinning against God. Achan thought he could hide what he did from human eyes, but God revealed the truth in the end. We can't hide from God.
LOL!!!  Yes, completeness is a real word.  

I have never enjoyed reading the Old Testament as much as I am now.  I find myself anxiously awaiting the next days readings.  This is truly a Blessing, as in the past I have found it a drudgery to do so.  For anyone out there who is experiencing difficulty in reading these scriptures, I say to you this, be persistant.  I believe that the reason I am beginning to enjoy it is this.....

....I made a committment in the beginning of this venture to do it.  I must confess I've had a couple of times where I slacked.  But in those times I was determined to not skip one chapter, and in those times found myself having to read many chapters in a day just to catch up.  But I knew I had made a committment to this forum and more importantly to God that I was going to follow this program.  It is my belief that because I am being faithful to my committment, God is Blessing me through these Chapters.  So if you're having a difficult time, I encourage you to just hang in there, and see what God does.

God Bless you all!!!
That is very similar to what happened to me the first time I read through the Bible. I had never really read/studied the Old Testament. Most everything seemed to focus on the New. In 1995, I committed to reading through the Bible in a year. I think I went over by a month, but I read through the entire Bible and learned a wealth of information. I used no study guides, commentaries, etc. It was totally Holy Spirit teaching. The OT suddenly jumped out and had relevance. It lays the foundation of who God is. How He protects those who obey Him. And is full of prophecies pointing to Christ.

When people tell me they don't like to read the OT, I have to mention my excitement for it. I want people's eyes to be open that there is real meat in there. It's not just a bunch of rules, regulations, names.

Joshua 9-11:

9 - Ooops. Joshua really messed up here. The Gibeonites tricked the Israelites. But the main issue is in 14. "The men of Israel did not inquire of the Lord." From this point, the Gibeonites are sort of a thorn in their side. We see how soon after, Israel came to their rescue. Just shows how important it is to come before God when making decisions.

10 & 11 - These chapters can be tough. They are bloody and violent. But they are the continual reminder of the need to purge/remove sin from our lives. God is wiping these people away because of their sins. He did not want the Israelites to get caught up in the same idolatry worship and misbehavior.

The stopping of the sun is a pretty cool little bit. I wonder what that must have been like. It's like something out of a sci-fi movie.
But God is Amazing.
Yeah God tends to like messing around with the sun, a lot doesn't he? King Hezekiah, he stopped the sun until his shadow had moved back fifteen steps. FREAKY. Then he paused it for this, and he tends to like eclipses as well. I mean, at 3 p.m. it got really dark when Jesus died. Kinda scary, I bet, to be out there in broad daylight when the sun suddenly goes dark.
Joshua 12 - 18:

OK. These are probably some of the toughest chapters to read. Do you agree? They tend to be somewhat meaningless, because we don't really have any context of where any of the cities/rivers/areas are located.

So, I decided to look up some names and just find out some information about stuff. Here's a random sampling of what I found out.

But first, to give a LITTLE bit of perspective, I found this map on the web of the allotments after the Conquest.

Who was Og, king of Bashan? He wan an Amorite king of the giant race of Rephaim. His kingdom was quite powerful. He had sixty cities. And Deut. 3:4-5 says "fortified with high walls, gates, and bars." That's powerful stuff, but the power of God broke through it.

Who was Sihon? Another Amorite king. Moses asked for Sihon's permission to allow the Israelites the pass through his kingdom. Sihon refused, so the Israelites defeated him.

13:20 mentions Beth Peor. This was where Moses gave his final farewell. Essentially what we read in Deuteronomy. References can be found in Deut. 3:29 and 4:44-46.

14:13 Caleb receives Hebron. Abraham had lived in this vicinity at one time. This is where he bought a field and used it as a family burial ground. The twelve spies explored this area and stated it was inhabitated by the Anakites. It was eventually conquered by Caleb. Later, David is anointed king of Judah and king of Israel there.

17:11 mentions Endor. This name has always stuck out to me because it's the name of the planet the Ewoks lived on in Return of the Jedi. Can you tell I'm a Star Wars fan? It's not too far from Mt. Tabor. Unfortunately, I can't find too much information except that the Canaanites were never removed from there (which is stated right in this chapter). Also, we will read later in 1 Samuel about Saul visiting the medium of Endor. Well, this is where she is from, and she is most likely from this Canaanite people.

Well, any particular places you want me to look up?

Just a closing statement. The part regarding Joseph and his children is interesting. At first they are referenced as Joseph (not Manasseh and/or Ephraim). But they are complaining their allotment is not big enough. So what happens? Joshua essentially gives two allotments because in reality, Joseph really IS two tribes.
Ultima, the cross must have been a freaky day. I can't even imagine what the darkness must have been like.

Hey all. I'm gonna be out for a few days. I'll be visiting a friend this weekend, so I'm not sure if I'll be writing anything until I get back.
Okay. I'm not much on geography. So what I'd like to see, if at all possible, is a map of Iraq in comparison with a map of Biblical times. In other words, I would be interested in seeing if any of the lands we have been reading about in Deut. and Joshua are related to the land we are now battling on in Iraq. Are we now touching soil, in this war that is mentioned in either of these books of the Bible? I hope you understand what I am asking, and hope you can answer or produce a map that I can view side by side, as I know some of the cities names have been changed over time. Thanks for all your help SSquared. God Bless you all.
Question: WHERE IS GOG AND MAGOG? I read the names in Twain's Prince and the Pauper, guardians at the gate of the castle, like statues. What are the countries represented by those two...
Sorry. The word "Og" reminded me is all.
Yeah, and that darkness must have just added to the unspoken guilt that crowd probably felt strangled by. Eesh.
Glad you're taking a break, hopefully this'll give me a chance to catch up and jump in :).

Song of the Post: "Sorma - Auoma"
Lady Kajun
Here's some links for youMaps of Jesus' Ministry
Map of the promised land
Modern Israel
Isreal's growth in this century
Various conquerors of Isreal

This link is for powerpoint files of maps used for sermons but they do offer a view of their maps as image files

This maps are nice, they overlay the current Isreal over the historical version (current borders are red )
The Divided Kingdom
Isreal under David
Big list of different maps

Hope these are helpful, but to answer your question, yes and no, portions of Iraq are part of the promised land, but not all of it.
I'm back.  And had a great trip.  I've got a lot of typing to do tonight.  

Lady Kajun, Kidan's link to 'Map of the Promised Land' is a great map.  It shows the complete area of what God has promised Israel.  Israel has never even come close to it.  But you can see, as was Promised, it does get into Iraq.

As far as Deuteronomy and Joshua, the battles and territory stick pretty close to the west side of the map.  The Israelites came into the land from the east side of the Jordan River.  Two and a half of the tribes remained east of the river, but even this area hugs pretty closely to the Jordan.  The rest of the tribes took the land west of the Jordan.

Ultima, Gog and Magog are best left for another time when we actually read about them.  But my understanding of them has been more of a Revelation/End times thing.  I think at this point, we can only take a guess as to who they are referring to.  Although there is some possibility of some particular king, I think it is all speculation and no one really knows for sure.

Kidan, thanks for the map links. It is very helpful to have a map when discussing/reading these chapters. They definitely help in giving a perspective on things.
Yes Kidan, thank you very much.  The promised land map is the best one I've seen yet, to give me some clarity on what we're seeing take place in this war we're currently in.  I thought some of you might be interested in hearing some of these teachings I was also led to.  Have you ever heard of Perry Stone?  Quite interesting material.

God's News

Snoop around a bit and look in the archives for Perry Stone's tapings.  Very interesting listening.
Well, I was hoping to get some stuff up last night, but I was gone over the weekend, and after putting my kids
to bed, I was totally wiped out and fell asleep. So I will just write something real quick about the closing
chapters of Joshua.

In Chapter 22, the Eastern tribes are accused of setting up a place of worship on the East side of the Jordan. The significance is the tabernacle (and later the temple) is supposed to be the ONLY place of sacrifice. After
talking it over, everyone realized it was set up as a memorial. Memorials are very important. They are

reminders of significant events from the past. One thing I want to start doing is creating unique ways to
memorialize certain events in my family's life. It may not always be an altar or monument. But it can be a
poem, a picture, etc.

The closing of Joshua is very interesting (especially when you know what will happen in Judges). In 24:21, the Israelites shout "No! We will server the Lord." There is confidence. In fact, just in 19, Joshua states,
"You are not able to serve the Lord", a statement reflecting Israel's overconfidence. Just remember these
words as we look at Judges.