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Week 6 Scripture: Joshua 11 & 12

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Princess Bride. At a key point in the movie, Inigo Montoya tells the hero of the movie in his thick Spanish accent, “Let me ‘splain . . . No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” That’s what we have in Joshua chapters 11 and 12. These chapters serve as an interlude—a pause between the fighting for the Promised Land and the allocation of the Promised Land. They sum up everything that has happened in the book of Joshua up to that point.

Divide and Conquer:

God led Joshua and the Israelites in one of the greatest military campaigns of all time. It was a classic divide and conquer strategy. The Israelites first drove west and divided the Promised Land in half. In chapter 10, they then turned south and defeated the major cities there. Then, in chapter 11, we then see them turn north and defeat the major kings there, including the principal king in all of Canaan, Jabin, king of Hazor. Though the book of Joshua only takes 2 chapters to describe this campaign, scholars believe it took the Israelites 7 years to defeat the 31 kings listed in chapter 12. As we have seen, while the Israelites were dependent on God for these victories, they had the responsibility to be obedient to His instructions. They had to step out in faith and face the enemy. With the exception of the failure with the Gibeonites, Joshua and the Israelites were faithful to God’s instructions, and their reward was rest from war (Josh. 11:24).

A Beautiful Picture:

Sometimes, when we look at lists of people and places with names we can’t pronounce, it’s easy to just gloss over these passages and move on to something we find more interesting. But, when we do so, we can miss out on some deep spiritual truths. That can definitely be said of Joshua 11-12. Hidden away in Josh. 11:23-24, we have a beautiful picture of the gospel. Here we read that Joshua (the Hebrew version of the name Jesus) conquered all of Israel’s enemies, gave Israel an inheritance, and brought them peace. In the book of Ephesians, which is often compared to the book of Joshua, we see that Jesus Christ has done the same for us. He has conquered our enemies (sin and death), granted us an inheritance (eternity in heaven with Him), and brought us peace with God. (see Eph. 1:3-2:9).

Joshua Week 6 Discussion Questions:

  1. Let’s pause and reflect. How has God been speaking to you through our study of Joshua? What has been the most impactful statement or truth that you’ve gleaned through this study?
  2. Review Josh. 11:23-24 and Eph. 1:3-2:9. How do these passages compare to one another? How do we see the gospel described in each of these passages?
  3. As we will see in coming weeks, though the war was over, there were still individual battles to be fought. How does this compare with our lives as believers?