LESSON 48 – The Trick, The Sun Stands Still and Various Battles – Joshua 9-24

Discussion

Note: We will only be looking at several passages in this section. Don’t try to read through the whole book while doing this lesson! High school students should, however, read the whole book on their own.

  • Joshua 9. This chapter opens with a list of people groups that are banding together to defeat the Israelites. However, there is one group that believes they won’t survive a battle against the Israelites and they have come up with a “ruse”.
    • Have your children describe the deception of the Gibeonites to you after reading verses 3-13. (Look up Gibeon on the map – It’s only a few miles west of Ai!) The people of Gibeon put on their oldest clothes, got dusty and dirty and showed up at the camp of Israel. They made it look like that they had been traveling for days, instead of just a few miles.  {Note: Deut. 7:1,2; 20:10-15 makes provision for Israel to make peace with far-off countries, but not with the nearby Canaanites. Evidently the Gibeonites had read the Law!]
    • What did Israel not do before coming to a conclusion about the Gibeonites? (vs. 14 – They didn’t ask God what to do.)
    • Based  observations alone, what foolish thing did Joshua do? (vs. 15 – made a treaty with them that promised that Israel would not harm them.) Three days after the treaty is signed they found out that the Gibeonites live right next door!  This causes a problem. God has told the Israelites they were to wipe out all of the wicked Canaanites, but Joshua has just made a promised they won’t harm them.
    • How do they “solve” the problem? (9:20,21.  Israel won’t kill the Gibeonites, but they will be required to be the slaves ofIsrael, gathering and cutting wood, etc. The people of Israel were angry at being tricked into sparing the Gibeonites – now that an ungodly people group right at their door and there’s nothing they can do about it!  Joshua let the agreement stand.
  • Joshua 10:1-19. The treaty with the Gibeonites immediately starts to be an irritant. Their pact with them makes them the protectors of the Gibeonites.
    • Why do they ask for help in 9:6? (There is a 5 king coalition that is preparing to attack them because they were angry over the defection of the Gibeonites. Before their surrender they were considered some of the best fighting soldiers in the land.)
    • What two amazing miracles does God perform to help Israel defeat the armies of these 5 kings? (vs.  First hailstones rained down and killed more men than had died in battle. Next in answer to Joshua’s prayer, the sun does not move for nearly 24 hours!) {Note: for those of you dads who are interested in finding more out about this miracle, check out: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i3/longday.asp. The Answers in Genesis website has a good article on this.}
  • Joshua 12-22 details the division of the land between the twelve tribes. There is a copy of a map at the end of this lesson that shows the location of each tribe.
    • What tribe is missing and why? (Levi is because they were to spread out over all the tribes and help lead the people to the Lord.)   In chapter 24 we have the farewell message of Joshua to Israel. He is 110.
    • What advice does he give the people? (24:14-15. Fear the Lord, serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away your gods, Serve the Lord, Chose who you will obey. Joshua says that he and his household will serve God.) The land has been settled; the 12 tribes are in their new homes, the Levites are spread around to minister to the people and read them the Law. There is one problem, though.
    • Read Joshua 13:1. (They had not completely wiped out their enemies. There were pockets of them everywhere.) The incomplete obedience of the people who conquered Canaan will be a problem for Israel for many years to come. In fact the Book of Judges, which we will start next week, details these difficulties over and over!

Application

  • Jericho gave us a picture of the world and how we are to shun its temptations, Ai was a lesson in turning away from fleshly pleasure. So it is fitting that the Gibeonites teach us that deception is a trademark of the enemy, Satan. He lays traps for us.
  • What deceptions face your child in today’s world? Ask them what are the lies that they hear on television, movies, books, friends, etc. (Possible answers: you are the most important person in your life; you gotta look out for #1; women have no value as wives and mothers; If I don’t look out for myself, then no one will; you won’t be happy unless you have this toy, car, computer, person – the list goes on and on; you have a right to be comfortable and not have to face difficult people; etc.) What is the way to combat the lies of Satan?See Eph. 6:10-20. Point out to your child that having Bible lessons like you are doing right now is one of the best ways.  Learn what the truth is, then you can spot a lie.  Come up with some Biblical principles that teach the opposite of the ones your children mentioned above. For example, the idea that you have to look out for number #1 is negated by Phil. 2:4, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” Or Matthew 20:16: “”So the last shall be first, and the first last.”
  • The enemy in Joshua represents spiritual opposition today. Just as the northern coalition of the unholy enemy forces outnumbered the army of Israel, so the spiritual opposition we face in the world today appears to be superior to our small Christian community. We are afraid because we think we are outnumbered, but God is with us.
  • Read 2 Timothy 1:7. Israel trusted in the Lord, not in capturing the enemy or their own military strength.
  • See Psalm 20:7. Do you trust God for the victory?

Digging Deeper

Do a study on Joshua’s long day and the differing views of what happened. Next to Jonah and the big fish, this miracle has come under the most attack by unbelievers.  Write a paragraph about how you think this phenomenon was accomplished. Try these sites for starters: http://sunnyokanagan.com/joshua/, http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-a001.html