Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 25 - Joshua 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is Joshua 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In the previous chapter, we saw Joshua and the Israelites get right with God after a time of disobedience. Here, God encourages Joshua to be bold as he approaches his next battle.  He’s given careful instructions for how to implement the next attack (verses 1-8).  
  • In verses 9-29, Joshua leads his army to invade and conquer Ai.  There are some disturbing things in this report on the battle.  We need to remember that this was a different time, when these types of acts of war were (perhaps unfortunately) very normal.
  • In verses 30-34, Joshua builds an altar to honor God and the people all listen to the word of God read to them.  He and his army celebrate the work of God in the midst of this victorious battle.  

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • The words of God give life (see John 6:68), clarity (see Psalm 119:105), wisdom (see Psalm 73:24), and instruction (see 2 Timothy 3:16).  We must continually ingest the words of God (through reading the Bible and listening to sermons) as often as possible.
  • Central to being a Christian is the art of encouraging others (see Hebrews 3:13).  Our presence can be life changing for others.  Encouraging others through seasons of grief, victory, and preparation is a powerful way to love others (see Hebrews 10:24)
  • We must continually give the credit back to God for every good thing in our lives (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Every day we should make time to praise God for His work in our lives (see Philippians 4:4).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • How much time do you commit each week to read God’s word?  How can you become even more consistent in this?
  • Who are you actively encouraging right now?  With whom do you need to spend more time encouraging?
  • Take some time at the end of each day this week to thank God for his blessings and provision.