King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Chapters: Joshua 5-8
Message: Suffering For Righteousness
Hello My Friend,
I was very emotional yesterday, and can understand why God felt the need to keep me home alone and talking to Him most of the day. I was angry one moment, excited the next, nervous the next, sad the next, anxious the next. It had nothing to do with this pandemic, or the fact that everything is shut down and we cannot do so many things we take for granted. There is something very humbling and eye opening when we truly open our heart to God. I must have called His name a hundred times, saying nothing else, just waiting for Him to answer me and tell me that He knows why I was so emotional. Then I spent an hour in tears, telling God how much I failed Him, and why. When things happen that we do not understand, the first thing most faithful Christians do is go to God, confessing every sin that ever came to mind, even ones we already confessed. We cry out to God, wondering why He blessed us only to afflict us. Then a little voice pops in our head, “Get up! Pay attention, and you will understand!” So, Christian, stop thinking that it is all your fault, look around you, and God will show you what is really going on. “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” – I Peter 3:14-15.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:” Sanctify; to set apart, to cleanse, to purify or make holy. I was telling God this morning just how much I realize how deceitful my heart can be, and went down a list if things of why I was so unworthy to be used of Him. He proceeded to tell me that while I have made some foolish decisions a time or two, and suffered for it, I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. God does not use the ones who think they never sin, nor the ones who think they know everything about Him, He uses the ones who are willing to be used of Him. Joshua, was not perfect, but was faithful to God, he did his best to obey the Law, a law, he himself was learning. While awaiting the command from God on what to do next, God commanded that Joshua circumcise the new generation of males, afterward they observed the Passover.
“And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” – Joshua 5:9-15.
“This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.” Reproach; to upbraid; to suggest blame for anything. God took away any guilt, shame, or blame for not following the Law, in this case, not having the new generation circumcised while on their journey to the promised land. These were grown men, probably in their thirties and forties, circumcision was done when the baby boy was eight days old, and was used as a way to distinguish one of God’s people from the world. It was a physical sign of their being sanctified in the LORD. Now, we still need to be circumcised in order to be one of God’s people, and we are the second we receive Christ as our Saviour, meaning the foreskin of our heart has been removed through our faith in Him (Colossians 2:10-11). “neither had the children of Israel manna any more;” This was when God stopped sending manna down from heaven, and the people were left with the food of the land to provide for them. That bread was God’s way of showing them that He will always provide for them, and give them everything they need to survive while they are here. Those who complain that God does not take care of them, will not be taken care of because they cannot see how blessed they are with what they have. A man living on the streets will receive more from God than the one who ungratefully hoards everything, yet complains they have nothing (Luke 12:13-21).
“but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” This none other than, Jesus Christ, Himself, He is the one who stands before us, He is the one who leads His army of soldiers to follow God’s commands to victory. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” – I Corinthians 15:57-58.
Joshua, the Levites, and the army was about to see their labor pay off, they were given the instructions on how they were to conquer the first city in Canaan. They were to take seven priests, carrying the Ark before them, blowing seven trumpets, and march around the walls of the city one time for six days, and then seven times on the seventh day. The first day came, and the army of people did just as God commanded.
“And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.” – Joshua 6:6-13.
“passed on before the LORD,” The priests were right in front of the Ark, blowing their trumpets, not speaking a word. I imagine it must have been a strange sight, not to mention, the people of Jericho fearing what they were going to do. What God was doing was preparing His people for the coming of the LORD. He was with them, and He was going to show them that He was the one who will knock those walls down. The Ark is a picture of Christ, who is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-14). Before Christ returns there will be trumpets sounding just like these. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – I Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Following God’s commands may seem strange, and sometimes make absolutely no sense, but there is always a reason for what He asks us to do. God will never ask us to do something that goes against Scripture, or not capable of doing. So, the seventh day came, and the army of God marched around the walls seven times.
“And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” – Joshua 6:15-20,24-25.
“in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing,” They were allowed to take the spoils of the land to be used for His ministry, but they were not to take anything that was used for idol worship. “only Rahab the harlot shall live,” Those trumpets sounding also gave Rahab and her family time to get to safety before the attack. Even though we are in the midst of a battle, God protects us through it, and actually saves us from getting killed. Think about it, we are saved by grace through our faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, it does not matter what our past was like, once we accept Him as our Saviour we will be saved from the destruction of the world, even when we die and leave our earthly bodies (II Corinthians 5:8). “and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day;” Rehab turned from her false gods, left her life as a prostitute, married into the tribe of Judah, becoming an ancestor of King David, who would be the lineage from which Jesus would descend in the flesh. God can and does change the lives of every person that trusts in His mercy and grace. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14.
There is a saying, “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.”, Not everyone listened to the command from God not to take of the accursed things. One man, in particular, Achan, who not only caused himself to be destroyed, but thirty-six other men as well as they attempted to take on the small nation of Ai by themselves.
“But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel. And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” – Joshua 7:1-2,4-5,7,10-11,13.
“wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan,” Is that not our first response? And what was God’s answer? The same answer that He gives all of us for acting out when we question Him that way. “Joshua, Get thee up;” I will never forget when God told me, “Get Up!”, When life makes no sense, when people die and it makes no sense, when people are struck with some strange disease and it makes no sense, there is only one thing to do. Get up, clean yourself off, remove the accursed things, and watch God work. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” – II Corinthians 7:10-11.
Today’s Prayer: God, I will admit that there are some things that I just do not understand, but I am trusting You to reveal them to me when You see fit as I draw near to You. Lord, When my heart feels broken, when my soul feels crushed, when my body feels out of sorts, comfort me, give me peace, mend the wounds, and awaken my spirit. If there is any accused thing near me, tell me so that I can remove it, and get right with You. Cleanse me, sanctify me, remove any reproach, keep me pressing toward the mark of the high calling. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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