LESSON SERIES

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Joshua
 
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  The Sun Stands Still
 

1. Give It Your All

Joshua 10:1-9
1 Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and were living near them.
2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters.
3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon.
4 "Come up and help me attack Gibeon," he said, "because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites."
5 Then the five kings of the Amorites--the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon--joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: "Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us."
7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men.
8 The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."
9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise.


C: Five kings and their armies were about to attack Gibeon. They had made a treaty with Israel. Now in their time of trouble, they asked Joshua for help. Joshua could have said, "You tricked us before. Now you must pay." But instead, he took his whole army, and the best fighting men (v.7). God told them not to be afraid (v.8). And they marched all-night to help the Gibeonites (v.9). They gave 100% to God.

Q: Think about it. Have you been giving God 100%? Do you give your contribution? Do you come on time to meetings? Are you trying hard to follow-up and bring visitors? Are you working hard at having great friendships? Do you get up early in the morning to pray?

2. God Helps His Friends

Joshua 10:10-11
10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.


Q: How did God defeat the enemy? [Many fell in the battle. And many more were killed from hailstones falling from the sky (v.11).]

C: When we work hard for God, he works hard for us. He gives us unexpected victories that we never worked to achieve. God is looking for friends, to trust him and work with him as a team. Let's make sure that we're his friends!

3. Great Prayers of Faith

Joshua 10:12-15
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.


Q: What did Joshua do during the battle? [He prayed for the sun and the moon to stop moving in the sky. He did this so that they would have time to win the battle on that day.]

C: Joshua prayed this amazing prayer in front of all of Israel (v.12). Everyone heard it. People would have laughed at him if God had not answered him. But God did answer him. God stopped the sun in the middle of the sky for one day (v.13). God listened to a man!

C: When we pray, specifically, and believing, God hears us. Let us decide to pray in faith. Let's imagine the victories before they occur, and then ask God to do it. Let's keep on praying until the victories come.

4. Go Until the Job Is Done

Joshua 10:16-19
16 Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah.
17 When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah,
18 he said, "Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it.
19 But don't stop! Pursue your enemies, attack them from the rear and don't let them reach their cities, for the LORD your God has given them into your hand."


C: In verse 16, we can see that some of the kings had run away and hidden themselves. This is the way politicians behave they hide away to avoid trouble while their followers are being killed. Joshua locked them in a cave (v.18), and he kept following the rest of the Amorite army. He said, "don't stop!" God wants us to go until the job is done. Sometimes we have a victory in our spiritual lives. Maybe we have a great quiet time. Or we bring some visitors. Or we are fruitful. But then we stop working for God. We quit too early. We stop trying to build friendships, and things start to slip.

C: As a group, let's make sure that we keep going until the job is done. God wants this group to double this year, and to start a new group in another location. Let's make that our aim, and let's never quit until God does it!

5. God Is With Us When We Obey

Joshua 10:25-26
25 Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight."
26 Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening.


C: In verses 25-26, Joshua gave them the usual encouragement: "do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, be strong and courageous." He was always telling this to the people. It is easy to get discouraged or afraid. And Joshua inspired them, saying that God would treat all their enemies like the 5 kings. One way we can get confident is to look at the victories God has already given us, and realise that he will keep on doing great things.

Q: What are some great victories that God has done in your life, or in this group, or in the church?

C: We must remember these victories, and realise

Joshua 10:40-43
40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon.
42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.


C: Joshua defeated everyone in the hill country (v.40). He did exactly what God had said, leaving no survivors (v.40). {If the people are curious, you can explain, "There is a reason why God commanded this.

Deuteronomy 20:16-18
16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
17 Completely destroy them--the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--as the LORD your God has commanded you.
18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.


C: Here we can see that if Joshua had left survivors, they would have taught the Israelites to sin. And so many innocent people would have suffered and died because of murder, child sacrifice, and the other practises of the Canaanites. Sometimes, to save lives in the long run, in the Old Testament, God commanded Israel to wipe out its enemies. Of course, today, we are not violent as disciples, but we love our enemies and pray for them."

In Joshua 10:42, we see that they were victorious because God fought on their side. God is with us when we obey him. He blesses us because we trust his words. Let's make sure that we live this way, obeying God's every command, because we trust him.

Conclusion

We saw how God did miracles for the Israelites. They gave their all, and they depended on God, and so he worked in a powerful way.