Joshua and Judges: Discovering the value of what we have in Christ; Jos 18.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Discovering the value of what we have in Christ; Jos 18.  


Announcements / opening prayer:  



Seven tribes procrastinate the settlement of their land and Joshua has to force the issue when he shouldn't have had to. The tribes show immediately that they fail to see the importance of what they are doing in taking this land. God is delivering His people so that salvation will come to all mankind.


From the promise to Abraham to the rulership of Joseph in Egypt to the captivity in Egypt to the Passover to the wilderness to the conquering of the land we find here the culmination of one of the parts of the greatest covenant ever made and they are dragging their feet.


Israel is a warning for every CA believer. Search out the value of what you have in Christ.


EPH 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints


EPH 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.


EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,


Unfathomable is an interesting Greek word which is made up of the noun for "footprint" or "track" with the prefix for "out" and also the prefix for "not". It means unable to trace out or unsearchable. It means that you have a glimpse but you cannot clearly see it all or where it is going and this is an apt description of the riches and ways of Christ.


ROM 11:33-34

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!


EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,


EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;


EPH 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.


The mystery has been brought to the light and every CA believer should clearly see it, and if he does, he will manifest it to the world.


COL 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.


"Now": 'If ever I have been disposed to repine at my lot, if ever I have felt my cross almost too heavy to bear, yet now, — now, when I contemplate the lavish wealth of God's mercy — now when I see all the glory of bearing a part in this magnificent work — my sorrow is turned into joy.' [Lightfoot]


There is nothing lacking in the expiatory sufferings of Christ on the cross. Paul is referring to the sufferings prior to that. His sufferings endured in His humiliation, sufferings for righteousness' sake, sufferings incurred through exhausting service, heart-sufferings due to the opposition of sinners, and sufferings which were the result of persecution. The church is called to suffer for His name's sake and she must because she is revealing Christ and salvation to the world. As they persecuted Him they will persecute her.


Each believer who suffers for Christ's name sake is adding to the cup of suffering for righteousness sake which will be filled by the end of the age.


COL 1:25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,


COL 1:26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints,


COL 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.


COL 1:28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.


We proclaim Him and find the courage and power to do so in all situations because He indwells each of us, giving us the hope (confidence of future) of seeing, walking in, and revealing His glory.


When you are searching for courage, remember this. Christ is in you. This has to be one of the most astounding gifts given to the believer. Hope is happy, confident expectation of the future, and why not when Christ is in you. He never leaves you. The Catholic church's doctrine of transubstantiation is incorrect.


COL 1:29 And for this purpose [not for rewards or power or wealth or recognition] also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.


If the tribes marched into their lands with the power and glory of God and soundly defeated those who resisted them and offered the truth of Jehovah to all, they would mightily proclaim His name.


When the survey was completed and the report given to Joshua, the final lot was taken.


The lot fell in the order: Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan.


Let's skip down to Simeon's lot.


JOS 19:9 The inheritance of the sons of Simeon was taken from the portion of the sons of Judah, for the share of the sons of Judah was too large for them; so the sons of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of Judah's inheritance.


We don't hear of any complaints by Judah over this decision to lose some of their land.


This allotment was the fulfillment of the curse pronounced by Jacob upon Simeon and Levi. Levi's was fulfilled in another way.


GEN 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brothers [had the same mother - Leah]; Their swords are implements of violence.


These brothers attacked the city of Shechem after the prince of the land forcibly took their sister Dinah and lay with her.


GEN 49:6 "Let my soul not enter into their council;

Let not my glory be united with their assembly;

Because in their anger they slew men,

And in their self-will they lamed oxen.


GEN 49:7 "Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

And their wrath, for it is cruel.

I will disperse them in Jacob,

And scatter them in Israel.


After settling the promised land over four hundred years later we see this prophecy perfectly fulfilled in Simeon and Levi.


[back to Jos 19]

Joshua 19 describes the borders and the cities that were allotted to each tribe. The last to draw a lot was Dan and interestingly Dan was formed by Judah giving up some of its northern towns, and Ephraim some of its southern towns so as to furnish them with a territory proportionate to their number.


As the great leader, Joshua takes his allotment only after everyone else has gotten theirs.


JOS 19:49 When they finished apportioning the land for inheritance by its borders, the sons of Israel gave an inheritance in their midst to Joshua the son of Nun.


JOS 19:50 In accordance with the command of the Lord they gave him the city for which he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and settled in it.


Once all the land was given as an inheritance, Joshua receives his own inheritance, Timnath-serah.


Timnath-serah stood upon two mountains in the land of Ephraim, Joshua's tribe. He built the city and settled in it until his death.


This land was likely given to him by God at the same time that Caleb received his inheritance from the Lord since they were to the two good spies.


Joshua waits until all others are served before he takes what is his. He loves the Lord and his neighbor.


JOS 19:51 These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot in Shiloh before the Lord, at the doorway of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land.


It is finally done. What was promised to Abraham 400 years earlier has finally come to pass. In all of our study so far, the Exodus and the wars of Joshua, is there any doubt that this monumental and historic accomplishment had anything to do with anyone besides God alone?


GEN 15:12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him.


GEN 15:13 And God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.


GEN 15:14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions.


GEN 15:15 And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.


GEN 15:16 Then in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."


GEN 15:17 And it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.


The stove, is a cylindrical fire-pot, such as is used in the dwelling-houses of the East. The phenomenon, which passed through the pieces as they lay opposite to one another, resembled such a smoking stove, from which a fiery torch, or brilliant flame, was streaming forth. In this symbol Jehovah manifested Himself to Abram, just as He afterwards did to the people of Israel in the pillar of cloud and fire. Passing through the pieces, He ratified the covenant which He made with Abram. His glory was enveloped in fire and smoke, both symbols of God's wrath, which He would bring up on the Egyptians and the Canaanites. To establish and give reality to the covenant to be concluded with Abram, Jehovah would have to pass through the seed of Abram when oppressed by the Egyptians and threatened with destruction, and to execute judgment upon their oppressors.


The Lord alone passed through the pieces as a symbol of the unconditional covenant with Abraham. It was common for both parties to pass through when making a covenant, but this one depends on God alone.


GEN 15:18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,


"To your descendants I have given this land,

From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:


GEN 15:19 the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite


GEN 15:20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim


GEN 15:21 and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite."



This would have to go down as one of the greatest events in human history. Unfortunately, the subsequent generations would not understand this.


Next God instructs Joshua on setting up cities designated as refuges so that criminal justice can be fairly carried out in the land.


God provides protection from revenge for the unintentional manslayer by allotting six towns as places of refuge.


After the distribution of the land by lot among the tribes of Israel, six towns were set apart as Moses had instructed them to do in NUM 35:9-15 and DEU 19:1-13, as places of refuge for those who have unintentionally killed another man.


Places of refuge were promised by God at Sinai.


EXO 21:12-13 "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.


EXO 21:13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee."


JOS 20:1 Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying,


JOS 20:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses,


JOS 20:3 that the manslayer who kills any person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood.


JOS 20:4 'And he shall flee to one of these cities, and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and state his case in the hearing of the elders of that city; and they shall take him into the city to them and give him a place, so that he may dwell among them.


These towns (6) were to serve for a refuge from the avenger of blood, that the manslayer might not die before he had taken his trial in the presence of the congregation.


The number of cities was fixed at six, three on the east side of the Jordan, and three on the west side in the land of Canaan, to which both the children of Israel, and also the foreigners and settlers who were dwelling among them, might flee.


map: six cities of refuge