STUDY GUIDE, WEEK 5, 2.3.19
PART 1. WHAT IS THE BIBLE ABOUT AND WHY I SHOULD TRUST IT?
4. Joshua: Into the Land
Terry started his sermon with a look into some of Mark Twain’s thoughts about God. Those thoughts were pretty dark and condemning of God. Obviously he was a man with deep hurts and longings.
Question: Can you remember what some of Twain’s thoughts were that Terry mentioned?
Twain’s anger and rejection of God drove his actions, what were some of those actions?
Have you ever encountered anyone like Twain before?
Answers: Dark writings… he felt that he represented all of humanity… he made all of life about himself… he ran his daughter off… he sought the praise of people even late into his life. It seems he allowed his own thoughts to sit in judgment on God and His word…rather than the opposite.
It’s okay if you’ve not encountered anyone like Mark Twain. It may even be hard to get your head wrapped around his way of thinking. However, it is important that we know that there are people in our world who do relate, and connect, with Twain’s view of God and the Christian worldview.
That’s why it’s important that we have confidence in the reality that is found in God’s word. “12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:12-13) Because of this truth, we can live strong and courageous lives rooted and established in Christ.
Summary Statement: We are spending the first quarter of this year doing an overview of the Bible to demonstrate its continuity and authority. Remember that our single objective this year is that, we would have confidence in the Bible, we would believe God’s word, understand it accurately, and take it deep into your life…so it shows up in your actions and attitudes more consistently. Like Joshua, you can be strong and courageous…BECAUSE the Lord is with you wherever you go.
Joshua is a book of transition where the people enter into the land promised to them by God.
Josh. 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua was called to lead his people into the Promise Land. Our passage is the charge the Lord gave to him.
Question: Even though God chose Joshua, Joshua would be responsible for his choices. Look back at our passage, what were those responsibilities? How was Joshua to carry out these responsibilities?
Answer: To be strong and courageous, be obedient, grab hold of God’s word, don’t be afraid, and don’t be discouraged.
As you read the passage, did you notice the balance between God’s sovereign choice and Joshua’s choice to step up and be courageous? Take a minute or two and talk about the balance/tension between the choices.
Note: Throughout the Scriptures, we find this tension between God’s sovereign plan and our responsibility to be faithful, obedient and courageous. This tension is not a math problem to be worked out—because the math doesn’t work—it is 1+1=1. The reality is, God is sovereign in our lives and we must choose to be faithful/courageous with our choices.
Question: If we are called to have courage, then we need to be able to define it. How would you define courage?
Answer: Courage is a choice…to act in spite of fear…to act against self-serving desires…for the good of others.
Have someone read verse 8-9 again. This time read it out loud. As it is read, have your group identify principles that can apply to us today.
Note: Theological principles are applicable to all of God’s people at all times. The theological principle, therefore, has meaning and application both to the ancient Biblical audience and to Christians today.
Answers: Principles: Internalize God’s Word; Obey God’s word—do it; the results of God’s word—Prosper and be successful.
Note: It is critical that we internalize God’s word. We must remember that wherever we go God is with us always! Prosperous and successfulness does not mean financial. It may include money…but in this case it meant success in obeying God and doing what he wants done…love people
Questions: How can we internalize God’s word? What can we do to remember that God is with us always? What results can we expect? What does it mean to prosper, and how is it different from worldly prosperity? Why does this difference matter?
Application/Challenge for us is: That we would grow in confidence, believing God’s word, understanding it accurately and taking it deep into our lives, so it shows up in our actions and attitudes more consistently. Will you evaluate the truth by your own current situation? Or
Will you evaluate your own current situation by the truth?
Prayer: Have your group take some time to pray for the Prepare and Enrich workshop. Pray that relationships would be strengthened and people would be encouraged.