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Week 5 Scripture: Joshua 9:1-27

At the beginning of the book of Joshua, God’s direction (with promise) to Joshua was: “Be careful to do according to all the law that Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall 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 good success.” Joshua is a prime example of hearing God’s commands and obeying them. This is why Joshua experienced good success and continued victory. He followed God’s divine instructions precisely and did not improvise or question those instructions. At least TWELVE times in the book of Joshua, the Lord commanded Joshua and Joshua fulfilled those commands.

God’s Instruction:

God had always instructed Joshua. God commanded and Joshua acted, following Moses, his father in the faith, leaving nothing undone (Josh 11:15). What heart condition did Joshua have that made him so successful? A heart of obedience that wanted to do God’s will. And the result? VICTORY & SUCCESS! And after each victory, Joshua acknowledged God. God gives us the tools, but we have to pick them up and use them. God shows us the path, but we have to walk in it.

Naturally, we are surprised in chapter 9 to find out that Joshua acts of his own accord. We are so accustomed to Joshua receiving precise instructions from the Lord and following them. Moses was Joshua’s mentor. Joshua would have known that Israel was not to make a covenant with any other nation in the land (Deut 7:2b-4). And he would have known that he should ask God for counsel. But we watch Joshua make a covenant with the Gibeonites. Once he realizes he’s been duped, he and the other rulers are afraid to retract the agreement.

God’s Promise:

Thankfully, God promises to use everything for good in our lives (Rom 8:28). Joshua learned a lesson and the Gibeonites escaped death; and although their new assignment was drudgery, they had the privilege of living in and among God’s presence and His people—brought out of darkness into light. Is this a picture of redemption?

God is still giving instructions…to us. It is up to us to follow them. It makes life so much easier when we do! When we obey, we experience victory. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psa 32:8)

Joshua Week 5 Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the difference in Joshua’s previous successes and how he handles the Gibeonites in chapter 9? (see Josh 9:14)
  2. What was the original motive and expectation of the Gibeonites? What was their outcome?
  3. Why was the pattern of success broken? How could Joshua have better handled this whole situation? “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach (shame, rebuke, criticism), and it will be given him” (Jam 1:5-8).
  4. How could the situation with the Gibeonites been avoided? Josh 9:14
  5. What is the primary lesson we learn from chapter 9 and how can we apply it to our life?