06 Joshua - 2017

Skip Heitzig

After forty years of wandering in the desert, the Israelites were ready to enter the Promised Land. The book of Joshua details the conflict, victory, and blessings they experienced as they conquered and divided their new homeland. In this verse-by-verse study, Skip Heitzig reveals the power of God and the victory that can be achieved by following His commands. We are challenged to "be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you" (Joshua 1:9).


Table of Contents

1 Joshua 1-2 Joshua 1-2
2 Joshua 3-4 Joshua 3-4
3 Joshua 5-6 Joshua 5-6
4 Joshua 7-8 Joshua 7-8
5 Joshua 9-10 Joshua 9-10
6 Joshua 11-12 Joshua 11-12
7 Joshua 13-14 Joshua 13-14
8 Joshua 15-17 Joshua 15-17
9 Joshua 18-21 Joshua 18-21
10 Joshua 20 Joshua 20 Review
11 Joshua 22 Joshua 22
12 Joshua 23-24 Joshua 23-24



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 1-2
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 1-2
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4172

After forty years of wandering in the desert, the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land. As we begin our study in the book of Joshua, we learn that though the Israelites had failed to trust in God's promises in the past, they were now ready to step out in faith and claim their covenant.


  1. Introduction
    1. The children of Israel neglected the basic exercise of trusting in God's promises
      1. God promised them a land they would occupy—a gift to them
      2. He expected them to hold onto that promise and apply it
      3. Instead of living in confidence, they lived in fear and did not go into the land (see Numbers 13:17-14:45)
        1. Because of this, they turned an eleven-day march into a forty-year meander
        2. They went from being worshipers to being wanderers
    2. That entire generation died, and the new generation was ready to enter the land
      1. Moses led the people to the plains of Moab, then he died
      2. Joshua took over for Moses
    3. The longest funeral march
      1. About 1.2 million people died during those years
      2. About eighty-five people per day
      3. Constant reminder that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)
    4. One of the great things about God is His stubborn love
      1. Moses told the new generation that God brought them out to bring them in (see Deuteronomy 6:23)
      2. God is committed to keeping His covenants
      3. If you are struggling, remember God always finishes what He starts (see Hebrews 12:2)
    5. This is a historical book
      1. History of how the twelve tribes of Israel had grown, wandered, and would occupy the land
      2. Two big themes: the people and the land
      3. Chapters 1-5: entering the land
      4. Chapters 6-12: conquering the land
      5. Chapters 13-24: distributing the land
    6. This is a practical book
      1. The Old Testament was the Bible that Jesus, Paul, and the apostles read from
      2. It is even practical for us
      3. The New Testament tells us about the Old Testament (see Romans 15:4)
      4. Joshua is one of the most relevant books about victorious Christian living
    7. This is a typical book
      1. The land of Canaan is a type of something
        1. Some people believe it is a type of heaven, with the crossing of the Jordan representing death
          1. If so, we will be very disappointed in heaven
          2. There is a lot of trouble, fighting, and judgment in the book of Joshua
            1. Heaven will be far better than this
            2. Philippians 1:23
        2. It represents the Christian life now in the Spirit
          1. Life of the Spirit followed by a second baptism
          2. The Israelites were symbolically baptized as they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground (see 1 Corinthians 10:2)
          3. Moses could not take them all the way to the Promised Land; only Joshua (Jesus) could (see Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16)
      2. Jesus and Joshua are the same name
        1. The name Joshua is the Hebrew name Yeshua
        2. That was Jesus' name growing up
        3. Joshua's name was originally Hoshea, meaning salvation
          1. Moses renamed him Yehoshua, meaning the Lord is salvation
          2. Moses saw the powerful working of God on his life
        4. Jesus is Iésous in Greek
        5. John 1:17
        6. He brings us into the fullness of the Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit
      3. Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel to the world (see Mark 16:15)
        1. He told them to wait until they were filled with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:4-5)
        2. They were filled with power on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2)
        3. How else do you explain Peter going from denying Jesus to preaching to thousands? (see Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:25-27)
  2. Joshua 1:1-9
    1. God's workmen die, but God's work never dies
      1. The work of God is done by the Word of God in the lives of the people of God
      2. They mourned after Moses' death
      3. When God buries His workers, He raises up new ones
    2. Joshua was Moses' assistant
      1. He was like a valet serving Moses
        1. Led the army of Israel (see Exodus 17:9-10, 13)
        2. Stood guard outside the special tent where Moses met with the Lord
      2. Prepared him for the greater role of serving the people
    3. God promised Israel a vast amount of land
      1. 300,000 square miles
      2. At their peak under King David and King Solomon, they only took 30,000
      3. God promised them a huge allotment, but they only took one-tenth
      4. You have to possess your possession (see Ephesians 1:3)
      5. This is exactly what Joshua and Caleb told the first generation of Israelites who refused to enter the land (see Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9)
    4. God gave them the land as a process (see Exodus 23:29-31)
      1. It didn't happen overnight; it happened little by little
      2. Give yourself time to live the victorious Christian life
      3. In the Christian life, there are no shortcuts; just keep walking in the Spirit
    5. The weight of filling Moses' shoes must have been overwhelming to Joshua
      1. God assured him He would be there
      2. God makes people great leaders and great servants
      3. The main character in the book of Joshua is not Joshua—it is Joshua's God
    6. The balance of living by faith
      1. Marriage between divine operation and human cooperation (see Philippians 2:12-13)
      2. Add to your faith by cooperating with God (see 2 Peter 1:3-8)
      3. God cares for the birds, and they aren't worried, but they also work hard and are diligent (see Matthew 6:26)
    7. Meditate on the Bible day and night
      1. You get good success by doing this
      2. Meditate literally refers to the low moaning of an animal chewing its cud; it's sometimes translated mutter
      3. The Word is something to be communicated to others and yourself (see 2 Timothy 4:2)
  3. Joshua 1:10-18
    1. Words of faith
      1. Joshua told them they were going to cross over
      2. No room for doubt
    2. They would cross over in three days
      1. They would have a whole new life
      2. Beautiful picture of the resurrection
        1. Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected in three days
        2. Similar to Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac (see Genesis 22:1-14)
          1. In Abraham's mind, his son was already dead
          2. On the third day, his son was delivered
    3. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh were required to help the rest of the nation take the land
      1. They had asked Moses to give them the land on the east side of the Jordan
      2. The deal was that they had to send their men to help the rest of their brethren take and settle the land
      3. It's always a problem when someone wants to go just to the edge of God's promises
        1. "Good enough"
        2. The most vulnerable tribes were the ones on the east
        3. They were the first to go into captivity
  4. Joshua 2
    1. Joshua sent two men to spy out the land of Jericho
      1. He had been a spy, too
        1. He had been one of twelve
        2. Of the twelve, only two gave a good report
      2. He knew he only needed two men of faith
    2. They came to the house of Rahab
      1. Rahab was a harlot
      2. She shows up in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 1:5)
        1. One of three women mentioned in His genealogy
        2. Ruth the Moabite
        3. Bathsheba (see Matthew 1:6)
      3. She shows up in the hall of faith (see Hebrews 11:31)
      4. Rahab believed in her heart and confessed with her mouth that Yahweh (the God of Israel) was the one true God
      5. This means she was saved (see Romans 10:9)
    3. Rahab said that terror filled the hearts of the people in her city because of the Israelites and what God had done for them
      1. In Numbers 13, the Israelites' hearts had been filled with terror because of the Canaanites (see vv. 31-33)
      2. God said the Canaanites would be terrified of the Israelites, and they were
      3. They did not take God into account
        1. If you serve a big God, any obstacle is small
        2. If you have a small God, your obstacles are huge
        3. Difficulty must always be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work
  5. Closing
    1. God is into salvaging people
      1. All it took for Rahab was faith
      2. 1 Timothy 1:12-13
    2. We become valuable and useful to God if we allow Him to restore us
Figures referenced: Alan Redpath, St. Francis

Works referenced: Victorious Christian Living, USA Today

Greek/Hebrew words: Hoshea, Iésous, Yahweh, Yehoshua

Cross references: Genesis 22:1-14; Exodus 17:9-10, 13; 23:29-31; Numbers 13:17-14:45; Deuteronomy 6:23; Matthew 1:5-6; 3:11; 6:26; 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; 16:15; Luke 3:16; 22:54-62; John 1:17; 18:25-27; Acts 1:4-5; 2; Romans 6:23; 10:9; 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:2; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 1:23; 2:12-13; 1 Timothy 1:12-13; 2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 11:31; 12:2; 2 Peter 1:3-8

Topic: Faith

Keywords: trust, promise, covenant, victory, baptism, Christian living, Holy Spirit, commission, Promised Land, faith, meditate, resurrection, salvage, restoration



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 3-4
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 3-4
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4181

As the Israelites rallied behind Joshua, they stepped out in faith to cross the Jordan River, following the priests who carried the ark of the covenant. As we continue this study in Joshua, we learn about their faith in the living God and the specific memorials they erected to commemorate the fulfillment of His promises.

faith, leadership, belief, obedience, Jordan River, ark of the covenant, tabernacle, fellowship, propitiation, sanctify, priests, living God, memorial, monument, children, fathers


  1. Introduction
    1. There is no greater combination than a Spirit-filled leader surrounded by Spirit-filled people
      1. Joshua was surrounded by people who were willing to follow him wherever God told him to go
      2. A group of men and women whose hearts have been touched by God are unstoppable (see 1 Samuel 10:26)
      3. Joshua relied on leaders in the tribes and the people all being on the same page
    2. The people waited at the edge of the Jordan River, which was swollen by springtime rains
    3. They were there by faith and ready to go
    4. There's a difference between this crossing and the Red Sea crossing under Moses (see Exodus 14)
      1. Moses put his staff into the water and it parted
      2. The people at that time were able to watch the waters part before they crossed
      3. On this occasion, the priests had to step into the water before it parted
        1. A step of faith
        2. Passive faith won't take you very far
        3. Faith is not believing in spite of the evidence; it is obeying in spite of the consequence
        4. Abraham's faith motivated him to go into the land God told him to
        5. Faith is always accompanied by actions (see James 2:20-26)
  2. Joshua 3:1
    1. Joshua rose early
      1. He wanted to give the Lord the best part of the day
      2. Jesus rose early (see Mark 1:35)
    2. The Jordan River of today is different than that of ancient times
      1. It was deeper and wider
      2. Over the years, as population has increased and farms have siphoned water off it, it has become a shadow of its former self
    3. The Jordan River is completely below sea level
      1. It begins up north in Caesarea Philippi, where the Dan, Banias, and Hasbani rivers come together
      2. As the river descends south, it goes into the Hula Valley
        1. Waters of Merom
          1. A lake that existed in ancient times when the Jordan was much fuller (see Joshua 11:5-7)
          2. When Israel settled the land in 1948, they drained the lake because it had become a swampland
        2. In present day, it is filled with beautiful farmland
      3. The next body of water is the Sea of Galilee
      4. Next, the river empties into the Dead Sea
        1. 1,290 feet below sea level
        2. Water does not leave
        3. 30 percent salt solution
      5. The river valley was brought below sea level when two tectonic plates in the region shifted
        1. Nubian and Somalian plates
        2. The Syrian-African Rift Valley
        3. Stretches from Lebanon to Africa
  3. Joshua 3:2-6
    1. The purpose of the ark of the covenant
      1. The tabernacle was created as a place for God to have fellowship with the people based on a system of sacrifices
        1. A portable tent structure that had courts and furnishings
        2. Seventy-five feet wide and 150 feet long
        3. Altar for animal sacrifice
        4. Bronze washbasin used for cleansing
      2. Tabernacle proper
        1. Central sanctuary
        2. Fifteen feet wide by forty-five feet deep
        3. Holy Place
          1. Only priests could enter
          2. Fifteen feet wide by thirty feet deep
          3. Golden candlestick
          4. Showbread, one loaf for each tribe of Israel
          5. Altar of incense
        4. Holy of Holies
          1. Only the high priest could enter once a year on Yom Kippur
          2. Had to enter with blood
          3. Sprinkled blood on the ark of the covenant
      3. Ark of the covenant
        1. Forty-five inches long by twenty-seven inches wide by twenty-seven inches tall
        2. Made out of wood covered with gold
        3. The lid was solid gold with two cherubim with wings touching in the center
        4. The place God met with the high priest
      4. God created us for fellowship with Him
        1. He could not meet with the Israelites because of their sin (see Deuteronomy 5:29; Romans 3:23)
        2. On Yom Kippur, when the priest sprinkled the blood on the ark, it went from a judgment seat to a mercy seat
        3. God and man could fellowship over the blood of a victim that took the place of the sinner
      5. Propitiation (see Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10)
        1. Hilastérion = a sin offering, covering
          1. The word used in Hebrews 9:5 to refer to the mercy seat
          2. The place of propitiation
        2. A picture of God's presence
    2. They were to keep about 3,000 feet of space between the ark and the people following after it
      1. They were to revere the ark
      2. The Lord wants fellowship, but He is also to be revered and respected
      3. We come boldly, but respectfully
    3. "Sanctify yourselves" (v. 5)
      1. They were to wash themselves and put on clean clothes (see Exodus 19:10)
      2. Ritual cleansing (see Genesis 35:2; 2 Samuel 12:20)
    4. The priests were from the tribe of Levi
      1. The families of the Levites had different responsibilities in the tabernacle
      2. The Gershonites had to pack and carry the cloths of the tabernacle
      3. The sons of Merari had to pack and carry the infrastructure
      4. The Kohathites
        1. High priests came from this family
        2. In charge of all the holy implements, including the ark of the covenant
  4. Joshua 3:7-17
    1. The priests carrying the ark had to stand in the Jordan River
      1. Unlike at the Red Sea, they had to get their feet wet
      2. Sometimes God wants to see how deep your commitment runs
    2. Joshua referred to the Lord as the living God
      1. All the surrounding kingdoms had their own worship systems
      2. None of the gods they worshiped existed (see Psalm 115:3-7)
        1. A god who can be stolen is not a god worth worshiping (see Genesis 31:19-30)
        2. Elijah the prophet mocked the Baal worshipers (see 1 Kings 18:20-39)
      3. How different these are from God (see Joshua 1:5; Matthew 28:20)
    3. People try to explain the parting of the Jordan River as a natural occurrence
      1. Some say there was an earthquake that dammed up the river so they could cross
        1. This actually happened two separate times at this exact spot
          1. During the AD 1200s
          2. In 1927
        2. An earthquake caused the embankment to slide down and stop the river
        3. There are problems with this theory
          1. Neither of the other instances happened in the springtime during the flood season
          2. If there was an earthquake, their feet going in the water must have set it off
          3. You have to explain the waters being in a heap
          4. The riverbed would still be muddy
          5. As soon as they crossed, the waters resumed
      2. Once you get past Genesis 1:1, you can believe anything the Bible says
    4. 1,500 years later, John the Baptist came to this very spot and baptized people (see John 1:28)
      1. Bethabara means the house of passage or the place of crossing
      2. He baptized people for the remission of sin
  5. Joshua 4:1-10
    1. They set up a memorial of twelve stones before the Lord
      1. They camped at Gilgal
        1. It became a very important place to the children of Israel
        2. King Saul was crowned there (see 1 Samuel 11:15)
        3. King David was received back into his kingdom there (see 2 Samuel 19:41)
        4. Samuel the prophet included Gilgal in his teaching circuit
      2. God's monuments compared to men's monuments
        1. Men's monuments are grand and over the top
        2. God's monuments are simple because the story is more important than the monument
    2. Joshua set up a second memorial of stones in the midst of the Jordan River
      1. No one would see it once the waters flowed again
      2. God would see it, and Joshua would know it was there
      3. A place where they buried the past (see Romans 6:4)
    3. The memorial at Gilgal would be used as a teaching tool to the next generations about God's faithfulness
      1. God is all about passing down truth to the next generation (see Deuteronomy 6:7-9)
      2. The stones were to instruct them
  6. Joshua 4:11-24
    1. 40,000 men who were prepared for war crossed over to the plains of Jericho
      1. One-third of the standing army for the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh (see Numbers 26)
      2. Two-thirds stayed behind to protect the women and children
    2. It was springtime
      1. Tenth day of the first month, Nisan (see v. 19)
      2. The tenth of Nisan was the day the lambs were selected to be sacrificed for the Passover
      3. The fourteenth of Nisan was Passover, during which the lambs were sacrificed for the sins of the people
      4. Years later, Jesus stood at this very spot and presented Himself to the Jews as their Lamb
    3. Instruction to fathers
      1. Fathers were to impress and teach spiritual matters to their children (see Proverbs 22:6)
      2. So much of a child's wellbeing comes from the father's example and training
  7. Closing
    1. Sanctify yourself; watch God work tomorrow
    2. Take what you have and pass it down to your children
      1. Christianity is only one generation away from extinction
      2. Don't only train them; be an example to them
      3. Chanak = to train up, dedicate
Figures referenced: Dwight L. Moody

Greek/Hebrew words: chanak, hilastérion

Cross references: Genesis 1:1; 31:19-30; 35:2; Exodus 14; 19:10; Numbers 26; Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:7-9; Joshua 1:5; 11:5-7; 1 Samuel 10:26; 11:15; 2 Samuel 12:20; 19:41; 1 Kings 18:20-39; Psalm 115:3-7; Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 28:20; Mark 1:35; John 1:28; Romans 3:23, 25; 6:4; Hebrews 9:5; James 2:20-26; 1 John 2:2; 4:10

Topic: Faith

Keywords: faith, leadership, belief, obedience, Jordan River, ark of the covenant, tabernacle, fellowship, propitiation, sanctify, priests, living God, memorial, monument, children, fathers



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 5-6
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 5-6
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4183

After the Israelites crossed the Jordan river, they were invigorated and ready to take the land God promised them. But God required they worship Him before they went to war. After they were consecrated, the Lord fought and won the battle of Jericho for them, causing the walls to come crumbling down and allowing them to take the city.


  1. Introduction
    1. The children of Israel came alive as they crossed the Jordan River into the land God promised them
    2. Led by Joshua
      1. Yeshua, translated Jesus
        1. God is salvation
        2. Interesting that this book shares a name with our Savior
      2. A servant of Moses
        1. Attended to Moses
        2. Leader of the Israelite army
          1. Born in Egypt
          2. One of only two who survived from the previous generation
      3. Up to this point, he had never led an attack against a fortified city
        1. When Joshua, Caleb, and the ten spies scouted the land, they noticed the walls of the cities were fortified (see Numbers 13)
        2. The army was not well-equipped
    3. They had one huge advantage: the fear factor
      1. The morale of the Canaanites was at an all-time low
      2. They had heard about the miraculous works of God (see Joshua 2:9-11)
    4. This was the perfect time to attack, but that wasn't God's plan
      1. Circumcision
      2. Celebration of the Passover
      3. Consecration before conquest
      4. God promised Joshua would have great success if he was obedient to God's plan (see Joshua 1:8)
  2. Joshua 5:1-9
    1. The hearts of the Canaanites were melted
      1. Previouslybecause of what happened at the Red Sea
      2. Presentlybecause of what happened at the Jordan River
        1. This was the last thing the Canaanites expected
        2. The Jordan River was at flood stage and impassable
        3. They thought they had weeks or even months to prepare
    2. Circumcision was part of the covenant God made with Abraham (see Genesis 17)
      1. God has made covenants throughout history
        1. With Noah, stating He would never again destroy the earth by flood; the token was the rainbow (see Genesis 9:8-17)
        2. With Moses concerning the Sabbath (see Exodus 16:23-30)
        3. In the New Testament, the token for our relationship with God is baptism
      2. On the eighth day, every male was to be circumcised
        1. Involves the organ of generation—life
        2. Symbolizes life lived after the flesh
        3. Humans are born into sin (see Psalm 51:5)
        4. Nothing should rule over you except for God
      3. Symbolic of something spiritual (see Deuteronomy 10:16)
        1. Outward symbol of inward reality that their hearts were trimmed away before God
        2. Serving the Lord only
    3. Joshua was most likely not prepared for this
      1. The city of Jericho sat atop a hill surrounded by a plain, so they knew the Israelites had just crossed over
      2. He probably thought God meant for them to sharpen their swords
      3. Consecration before conquest; worship before warfare
      4. Flint knives made of obsidian
        1. A knife freshly made from a rock is absolutely sterile
        2. Bacteria cannot live in a rock
    4. The men had not been circumcised along the way
      1. They could have forgotten, but probably not
      2. They could have been discouraged
        1. The older generation was dying off every day
        2. They probably just gave up
    5. They remained encamped for three days to allow the men to heal
      1. Circumcision of a grown man is vastly different than that of an infant
      2. The army was completely disabled
      3. See Genesis 34
    6. Moses did not make them get circumcised before they entered the land
      1. God gives and then asks (see Romans 12:1)
      2. He extends grace and mercy, then asks us to surrender to Him
  3. Joshua 5:10-12
    1. They kept the Passover
      1. This is only the third Passover they had ever kept in their history to this point (see Exodus 12; Numbers 9)
      2. This is the first time they kept it in the Promised Land
      3. This would have been a memory trigger to those who were children when the Israelites escaped Egypt
    2. This was the first time they ate the fruit of the Promised Land
      1. All the barley farmers had fled to Jericho
      2. This was a foretaste of what was to come (see Deuteronomy 8:7-10)
    3. The very next day, the manna stopped
      1. After forty years, they must have been tired of it
      2. It was healthy
        1. Manna had vitamins
        2. Nehemiah 9:21
      3. It was handy
        1. It could be ground and baked
        2. Very versatile
      4. When you mature in the Lord, you do not have to see to believe (see Romans 10:17)
  4. Joshua 5:13-15
    1. When Joshua saw the Man standing there, he immediately wanted to know if He was friend or foe
      1. Translators believe this was a theophany, or more specifically a christophany
        1. An appearance of the Lord in human form in the Old Testament
        2. Jesus Christ in a preincarnate form
        3. Genesis 18; 32:24-32; Exodus 3:1-4:17
      2. The Man was the Commander of the Lord's army
        1. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told Peter that He could command twelve legions of angels if He wanted (see Matthew 26:51-53)
        2. In the future battle of Armageddon
          1. Zechariah 14:1-4
          2. God fought for them in the battle of Jericho
    2. Public victories are the result of private visits with the Lord
      1. Worship before warfare
      2. You can always do more than pray after you've prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you've prayed
  5. Joshua 6:1-20
    1. God's instruction to Joshua
      1. March around the city one time each day for six days as the priests blow their trumpets
      2. On the seventh day, march around seven times, have the priests blow their trumpets, and have the people shout
      3. The walls would fall down
    2. Joshua instructed his army as the Lord said
      1. He instructed a small infantry to march in front of the ark of the covenant
      2. More armed men followed behind the ark
    3. Insight into the ways of God
      1. The ways of God can appear foolish (see 1 Corinthians 1:27)
      2. This was not a smart military campaign, but it was God's campaign
      3. You are mocked by the world because you follow the beat of God's drum
        1. The battle is not over yet
        2. Wait until the end
    4. A few things out of place biblically
      1. Priests were exempt from fighting; here they led the march
      2. The ark was never to be taken to battle (see 1 Samuel 4)
      3. The trumpets were made of rams' horns; during a war, they used silver trumpets
      4. If they marched for seven days, they were breaking the Sabbath
    5. Joshua instructed the soldiers not to make a sound with their voices until he told them to shout
    6. All the spoils of the city were to go to the treasury of the Lord
      1. They would be allowed to keep spoils from the next city they conquered
      2. The firstfruits belong to God
    7. This battle was not really even a battle
      1. Not really any fighting
      2. Just like the battle of Armageddon will be; Jesus will wipe out the enemies of God
  6. Joshua 6:21-27
    1. Rahab showed faith from the beginning (see Joshua 2)
    2. Joshua prophesied about what would happen if Jericho was rebuilt (see 1 Kings 16:34)
    3. The two spies who went to Jericho really went to save Rahab the harlot
      1. In the New Testament, Jesus met with a woman from Samaria, who came to faith (see John 4:3-42)
      2. Rahab put out a scarlet cord so the Israelites would spare her family
        1. Like at Passover, when the Israelites spread scarlet blood on their doorposts
        2. God commanded them to stay in the house when death passed over
        3. The spies told Rahab to stay in her house and she would be saved
    4. God wanted to save that one woman and her family
      1. The love of God is like the Amazon River flowing down to water one daisy
      2. He wants to bring refreshment to your soul
Figures referenced: Eli Cohen, John Knox, Mary Queen of Scots, Elvis Presley

Works referenced: "All Shook Up," Our Man in Damascus

Hebrew words: Yeshua

Cross references: Genesis 9:8-17; 17; 18; 32:24-32; 34; Exodus 3:1-4:17; 12; 16:23-30; Numbers 9; 13; Deuteronomy 8:7-10; 10:16; Joshua 1:8; 2; 1 Samuel 4; 1 Kings 16:34; Nehemiah 9:21; Psalm 51:5; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 26:51-53; John 4:3-42; Romans 10:17; 12:1; 1 Corinthians 1:27

Topic: Faith

Keywords: spies, war, circumcision, covenant, life, flesh, sin, consecration, worship, Passover, Promised Land, manna, theophany, christophany, Jericho, battle of Armageddon, prayer, ark of the covenant, Sabbath, faith, God's love



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 7-8
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 7-8
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4191

Flush with victory from the battle of Jericho, the Israelites were ready to continue conquering the Promised Land, but pride and sin caused them to flee before their enemies. In this message, we learn that we must constantly rely on God's power instead of our own strength if we want to be successful in our Christian walk.


  1. Introduction
    1. Up until now, we've studied the Sunday school stories of the book of Joshua
    2. Not many people are as familiar with the other happenings in the book
    3. The next part of the story includes failure
  2. Joshua 7:1-4
    1. The Lord was with Joshua, but… (see Joshua 6:27)
      1. The overcomers were overcome
      2. They expected what happened at Jericho to continue
    2. Joshua, on God's instruction, struck at the heart of Canaan
      1. Jericho, then Ai, Bethel, and Gibeon
      2. The strategy was to divide and conquer
    3. The children of Israel did something wrong
      1. The defeat came from inside the camp
      2. Achan took of the accursed things
    4. Joshua sent men to spy out Ai
      1. It's estimated that the population of this city was much smaller than Jericho
        1. They were flush with victory from Jericho
        2. The spies were overconfident
        3. Pride leads to prayerlessness
      2. Before the battle of Jericho, Joshua was visited by the Commander of the Lord's army (see Joshua 5:13-15)
        1. Christophany, a preincarnate visitation from Jesus Christ
        2. Joshua kneeled and prayed before the battle
    5. There is no mention of Joshua talking to the Lord before this battle
      1. You are most vulnerable when things are going well
      2. If you don't depend on the Lord, you will suffer defeat
  3. Joshua 7:5-26
    1. Fear makes your enemies seem larger than they are
      1. Fear stopped the Israelites from going into the land years earlier
      2. Pride makes your enemies look smaller than they are
      3. Their hearts melted just like the people of Jericho (see Joshua 2:10-11)
    2. Joshua's lamentation sounds suspiciously like the people when the twelve spies returned from scouting Canaan almost forty years earlier (see Numbers 13:25-14:4)
      1. How quick we are to blame God when things don't go our way
        1. We try to counsel God (see Romans 11:34)
        2. We are God's problem; we ought to lay our problems before Him
      2. Joshua should have started this battle in prayer (see Joshua 5:13-15)
        1. God would have told him there was sin in the camp
        2. God would have given him instruction
        3. If you fall before the Lord in dependence, you won't have to fall in defeat
    3. Accursed things (see Joshua 6:17-19)
      1. Achan = troublesome
      2. The firstfruits always belong to the Lord
        1. They could not keep any of the spoils of Jericho as it was consecrated to the Lord
        2. If you take something consecrated, it will become accursed
      3. You cannot sin in isolation
        1. Your behavior affects everyone; we sin or succeed together
        2. If one member of the body suffers, we all suffer (see 1 Corinthians 12:26)
    4. They figured out who had taken of the accursed things
      1. Possibly used the Urim and Thummin
        1. White and black stones that revealed the will of God
        2. God superintended this method
      2. Achan confessed, but it was not real repentance
    5. Achan's sin
      1. He took a Babylonian garment
        1. A status symbol in ancient times
        2. The best of the best
      2. He saw, coveted, and took
        1. Very similar to Adam and Eve's sin in the garden of Eden (see Genesis 3)
        2. There are distinct levels to yielding to temptation (see James 1:13-16)
        3. He rationalized his sin
        4. If he would have obeyed, God would have given him more (see Joshua 8:2)
    6. Punishment
      1. Achan and his entire family were punished
      2. The text suggests his family knew what he had done and were complicit
      3. Sometimes when God's people entered a new era, there was a severe reaction to an unholy action (see Leviticus 10:1-5; 2 Samuel 6:2-7; Acts 5:1-10)
      4. A divine consequence like this does not mean eternal condemnation
        1. We are to discern holy moments (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-30)
        2. God's mercy, that they not fall further into sin (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
  4. Joshua 8:1-35
    1. God told Joshua not to be afraid (see Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9)
      1. Perhaps Joshua thought he knew this truth already
      2. The circumstances of life blinded him to the truth that God was with him (see Philippians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:12)
    2. Joshua stretched out his spear for the duration of the battle
      1. Similar to what Moses did at the battle with the Amalekites
      2. Exodus 17:8-16
    3. Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal
      1. Next to Mount Gerizim
      2. Marks the geographic center of Israel
      3. This is where Abram had built an altar to the Lord (see Genesis 12:7)
    4. Joshua wrote the words of the Law as Moses had commanded (see Deuteronomy 27:1-6, 11-13)
      1. The tribes were divided in two, with six on each side
        1. Tribes who were from the sons Rachel and Leah bore Jacob
        2. Tribes who were from the sons born to Jacob from the handmaidens
      2. They shouted the blessings and cursings
      3. A national bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah
        1. Son or daughter becomes a son or daughter of the commandment
        2. Responsible for keeping the Law of God themselves
  5. Closing
    1. As Israel stood between the two mountains, we as believers stand between two mountains
      1. Mount Calvary and Mount of Olives
      2. Where Jesus died and where He will return
    2. There are blessings and cursings as well
      1. If we live for our own pleasures, we will be cursed
      2. If we live for Christ, we will be blessed
Cross references: Genesis 3; 12:7; Exodus 17:8-16; Leviticus 10:1-5; Numbers 13:25-14:4; Deuteronomy 27:1-6, 11-13; 31:6; Joshua 1:9; 2:10-11; 5:13-15; 6:17-19, 27; 2 Samuel 6:2-7; Acts 5:1-10; Romans 11:34; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 11:27-30; 12:26; Philippians 4:4; James 1:13-16; 2 Peter 1:12

Topic: Sin

Keywords: victory, overconfidence, failure, pride, christophany, prayer, enemy, defeat, fear, firstfruits, sin, Urim, Thummin, confess, punishment, blessing, curse



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 9-10
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 9-10
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4193

After the Battle of Ai, the Israelites should have learned to consult with and come to God with their decisions. But when the cunning Gibeonites pretended to be friends, the children of Israel once again forgot to pray. In this message, we learn about the importance of trusting God in all areas of our life.


  1. Introduction
    1. The children of Israel made it into the Promised Land
      1. God brought them out so He could bring them in to something else (see Deuteronomy 6:23)
      2. God always finishes what He starts (see Psalm 138:8; Hebrews 12:2)
    2. The Promised Land was also a problem land
      1. So it is with the Christian life
      2. We encourage each other
    3. The Israelites were in front of two mountains, shouting the blessings and cursings
      1. While they worshiped, the kings of Canaan were strategizing how to defeat them
      2. You may face a battle the minute you leave church
    4. Joshua's strategy
      1. Divide and conquer the middle section of the land
      2. Jericho, then Ai, Gibeon, and Bethel
      3. Then he would take the southern half and northern half
  2. Joshua 9:1-14
    1. The children of Israel had three main enemies when they entered the Promised Land
      1. Jericho—represented the world
      2. Ai—represented the flesh
      3. Gibeon—represented the Devil
        1. Satan is the Father of Lies
        2. Works off the premise that if you can't beat them, join them
        3. Resorts to treachery (see 1 Peter 5:8)
        4. Sometimes comes as a wolf in sheep's clothing (see 2 Corinthians 11:14)
    2. The Gibeonites mentioned what God did at Heshbon and Bashan
      1. Did not mention Jericho or Ai because it would blow their cover
      2. News traveled slowly in those days; they could not have known about it if they came from a far country
    3. It's interesting how the average Christian is duped by anyone who mentions God
      1. We look for our stars and musicians and politicians to mention God
      2. We must dig a little deeper
    4. Twofold problem
      1. The false pretenses of the Gibeonites
      2. The failure to pray of the Israelites
        1. If they would have sought the Lord, He could have given them counsel
        2. They instead made a logical deduction, but it was wrong (see James 4:2)
        3. We know to trust the Lord, but so often we fail to trust Him in all things (see Proverbs 3:5-6)
        4. God loves to hear from us and reveal Himself to us
  3. Joshua 9:15-27
    1. Joshua made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites
      1. God had instructed the Israelites to not make treaties with any of the inhabitants of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 7:2)
        1. Because of the iniquity of the Amorites (see Genesis 15:16)
        2. God gave them 420 years to turn from their iniquity and false gods and come to Him
        3. God was patient with them
      2. God had told the Israelites they would make treaties with foreigners who wanted to settle the land and live peacefully
      3. Before you form an alliance with anyone, consult the Lord
      4. There is a trend, particularly among young people, to look back to the early church leaders from the third and fourth century and camp on their teachings
        1. But that era was full of problems, as is any era of church history
        2. The only model we should look at is the book of Acts
        3. Jesus is the only one who matters (see Matthew 16:18)
    2. Their word was their bond
      1. Once you make a promise, you have to stick with it (see Proverbs 6:17-19)
      2. Our Enemy the Devil, like the Gibeonites, is clever (see 2 Corinthians 2:11)
        1. Many of us are ignorant of his devices
        2. He has had time to study human behavior
        3. Satanic strategy is overcome by divine proximity
          1. The closer you are to the Lord, the more aware of Satan's devices you will be
          2. Submit to the Lord (see James 4:7)
    3. Punishment
      1. The Gibeonites would be slaves to the Israelites as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of the Lord
        1. The current tabernacle
        2. The eventual temple in Jerusalem
      2. The point of destroying the inhabitants of Canaan was so that they would not defile the Israelites with their worship of false gods
        1. In the tabernacle, they would be exposed to the worship of God
        2. When Joshua apportioned the land, the land of the Gibeonites was given to the tribe of Benjamin (see Joshua 18)
        3. The city of Gibeon would become a Levitical city
        4. The tabernacle was placed in Gibeon (see 1 Chronicles 16:39)
        5. Some of the people who rebuilt Jerusalem were Gibeonites (see Nehemiah 3:7)
      3. When you make a mistake, make it work for you
        1. Grow from it
        2. Use it as your testimony to help other people
  4. Joshua 10:1-14
    1. The five kings in the region attacked Gibeon because they had made peace with Israel
      1. Gibeon was a big, formidable city
      2. They thought they would not be able to stop Israel's advancement unless they formed an alliance
      3. God allowed this to help Israel advance and accelerate their conquest
        1. Instead of fighting each kingdom individually, they would fight all of them in one day
        2. What seems to you to be an uh-oh moment could be an aha moment with the Lord
      4. Before you surrender, look up (see Romans 8:28)
    2. Headed for destruction, the Gibeonites turned to Joshua
      1. Joshua is the Old Testament form of the name Jesus
      2. They formed a covenant with him
      3. They believed a promise he made them
      4. They turned all their problems over to him and rested in the promise he made to them
      5. Similarly, we have a covenant with Jesus and can rest in that promise
    3. God won the battle before it even began
      1. This is why prophecy is easy for Him
      2. He already knows what is going to happen
    4. God is the subject
      1. God routed
      2. God killed
      3. God chased
      4. God struck
    5. God fights so much better than we fight
      1. He is more creative
      2. As people attack you, you can defend yourself, but it will wear you out
    6. God sent hailstones from heaven
      1. Only hit the bad guys
      2. God killed more of them than the children of Israel did
    7. The sun and moon stood still
      1. Some people think this was a localized event, like what happened in Egypt (see Exodus 10:21-23)
      2. Others say it never happened
      3. The ancient calendar seems to have changed around 701 BC
        1. Based on a 360-day year
        2. Around that time, the Romans added five and a half days to the year
        3. The Jewish calendar added a month that occurred seven times over nineteen years
      4. In virtually every culture in antiquity, there are writings of a long day that occurred in history
        1. Scientists discovered that it appears we're missing twenty-three hours and twenty minutes
        2. Verse 13 states the sun "did not hasten to go down for about a whole day" (emphasis added)
        3. About a whole day could very well be twenty-three hours and twenty minutes
      5. To lengthen your day, speak to the Son
  5. Joshua 10:15-43
    1. Joshua conquered all five kings and killed them
    2. Joshua conquered all the kingdoms in the south
      1. The edge of the sword
        1. We have the sword of the Spirit
        2. Know and memorize the Scripture
      2. They took all the kingdoms at one time
Figures referenced: Jacobus Arminius, John Calvin, Eusebius, Edward Charles Pickering, Huldrych Zwingli

Cross references: Genesis 15:16; Exodus 10:21-23; Deuteronomy 6:23; 7:2; Joshua 18; 1 Chronicles 16:39; Psalm 138:8; Proverbs 3:5-6; 6:17-19; Nehemiah 3:7; Matthew 16:18; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:14; Hebrews 12:2; James 4:2, 7; 1 Peter 5:8

Topic: Trust

Keywords: Promised Land, battles, enemies, the world, flesh, Devil, Satan, treachery, false pretense, trust, treaty, mistake, promise, covenant



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 11-12
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 11-12
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4195

As Joshua continued to lead the Israelites to victory over the kingdoms in the Promised Land, the inhabitants rallied together to stand against the Lord's people. But they did not account for the God factor: the Lord was with the Israelites and gave them victory in every battle they faced. In this message, we learn that though God is patient, there is a time when His judgment must eclipse His mercy.


  1. Introduction
    1. Joshua was a very skillful leader
      1. He had been waiting to enter the Promised Land for forty-five years
      2. He was part of the spy team that had scouted out the Promised Land years earlier (see Numbers 13)
      3. Marks of his military leadership
        1. His battles were all offensive
        2. The element of surprise
        3. Contingent of soldiers who would chase down the remnant of the enemy
    2. Three major divisions in the book of Joshua
      1. The entering of the land (chapters 1-5)
      2. The conquering of the land (chapters 6-12)
      3. The distribution of the land (chapters 13-24)
    3. Joshua completed a rigorous military campaign to divide the land in two
      1. He conquered the middle and southern half
      2. Then he turned his attention north
  2. Joshua 11
    1. The kings of the land heard about Israel's victories and were in panic mode
      1. The northern kings would have had a better chance had they joined the southern coalition
      2. Mount Hermon
        1. 10,000 feet
        2. Highest mountain in the Middle East
        3. Designates the far north
      3. Chinneroth
        1. Ancient name for the Sea of Galilee
        2. Modern name is Kinneret, which means a harp
        3. From above, it looks like a harp
        4. Greek rendering is the Lake of Gennesaret (see Luke 5:1)
      4. Waters of Merom
        1. Do not exist today
        2. Was north of the Sea of Galilee
        3. When Israel resettled the land in the 1940s, it was the Hula Valley
          1. Mosquito-ridden swampland
          2. Planted eucalyptus trees to drain the swamp
    2. God instructed Joshua not to be afraid
      1. God said this whenever Joshua was uncertain or uneasy
      2. All of the cities were rallying against him
    3. God delivered them into Joshua's hand
      1. Hamstrung the horses
        1. Sever a tendon in the leg
        2. Incapacitates the horse
        3. Can still be used for farming, but not for fighting
      2. Burned the chariots with fire
      3. Two reasons God told them to do this
        1. Horses were used in the Canaanites' worship system
        2. Israel could have been tempted to trust in their military instead of in God (see Psalm 20:7)
    4. Joshua destroyed Hazor
      1. Was God immoral in telling the Israelites to kill the Canaanites?
        1. The Canaanites committed the worst forms of immorality
        2. Bestiality and sacrificing their children
      2. Hazor was the capital of the northern kingdoms
        1. It was huge—200 acres
        2. Their destruction made them an example to everyone else
    5. God had been enormously patient with the Canaanites
      1. God waited 400 years before He brought Israel to judge them (see Genesis 15:13-16)
      2. God let their sin build up so high that His judgment eclipsed His mercy (see Genesis 6:3)
      3. They heard about all God had done for Israel
      4. Only Rahab believed and turned to God
    6. The Canaanites were not victims of God hardening their hearts
      1. Harden = to firm up
      2. Pharaoh hardened his heart, then God hardened it further (see Exodus 7:13-14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 34-35; 10:1, 20; 11:10)
        1. If Pharaoh would have softened his heart, God would have firmed up that decision
        2. God firmed up the choice Pharaoh made
      3. The Canaanites sinned not only against God's revelation, but also against nature (see Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:18-20)
      4. Space isn't limited in heaven (Matthew 7:13-14)
        1. There's limited space in people's hearts for heaven
        2. God honors the choices people make
    7. Forty-five years earlier, when the spies went into the land, they saw the giants of Anakim and were afraid (see Deuteronomy 9:2)
      1. Here, the Israelites killed all of them except those in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod
      2. This would come back to haunt them, because Goliath came from Gath (see 1 Samuel 17)
  3. Joshua 12
    1. A detailed catalog of the geography and biographies of the kingdoms and rulers of the land
    2. Land on the east side of the Jordan
      1. Og of Bashan
        1. A giant
        2. His bed was thirteen and a half feet long (see Deuteronomy 3:11)
      2. Given to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh
    3. West side of the Jordan
      1. Sixteen northern kings
      2. Fifteen southern kings
      3. Kings in those days ruled city-states
  4. Closing
    1. The kingdoms were conquered one by one
    2. You conquer your Christian life in the same way—one day at a time
      1. Many of us face tremendous battles in our lives
      2. Don't be afraid; trust in the Lord
      3. Be an offensive Christian (see James 4:7)
Figures referenced: Winston Churchill, Dr. V. Raymond Edman, Charles Spurgeon

Works referenced: The Wizard of Oz

Cross references: Genesis 6:3; 15:13-16; Exodus 7:13-14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 34-35; 10:1, 20; 11:10; Numbers 13; Deuteronomy 3:11; 9:2; 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 19:1-4; 20:7; Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 5:1; Romans 1:18-20; James 4:7

Topic: Battles

Keywords: leadership, military, fear, battles, Canaanites, judgment, God's patience, hardened heart, heaven, giants, trust



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 13-14
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 13-14
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4197

The time had come: after forty-five years, the Israelites had finally conquered the Promised Land. Though Joshua was an old man, he still had work to do. In this message, we learn that even in their old age, Joshua and Caleb continued to wholly follow the Lord and lead the children of Israel as they settled the land.


  1. Introduction
    1. Joshua was a common man with an uncommon work
      1. From the tribe of Ephraim
      2. A man of faith
      3. He had an uncommon task
        1. He directed the children of Israel to cross the Jordan River by God's provision
        2. He led the Israelites in the battle of Jericho, where God caused the walls to crumble
    2. Now in these chapters, he was a common man doing a common task
      1. He divided the land among the tribes of Israel
      2. God is a God of details
      3. The word land appears eighty-five times
      4. The word inherit or inheritance appears sixty times
  2. Joshua 13
    1. Joshua was about 100 years old
      1. He died at the age of 110 (see Joshua 24:29)
      2. God reminded him that he was old
    2. They had to settle the land
      1. It was not a land of rest (see Hebrews 4:1-10)
      2. There was much work ahead
      3. Joshua would not be there for the entire settlement of the land
        1. His work would be completed by others
        2. We may never finish the work we are called to do; others will complete what we start
        3. God buries His workman, but the work will go on
        4. In the New Testament, Stephen was killed, but God raised up Paul the apostle and others to continue his work (see Acts 7; 9)
    3. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh received their inheritance
      1. These tribes chose to settle on the east side of the Jordan River (see Numbers 32)
      2. It was beautiful, lush land that was good for livestock
      3. The fighting men helped conquer the rest of the land before they returned to their land
    4. The Levites were not given any land inheritance
      1. They were supported by the rest of the tribes so they could do the Lord's work in the temple
      2. Portions of the offerings were given to them as their food supply
      3. They received forty-eight cities scattered throughout the tribes
        1. This placed Levites in every tribe
        2. They could teach the Law to the people and encourage them in the Lord
      4. The Lord was their inheritance
        1. God told Abraham that He was his reward (see Genesis 15:1)
        2. They got the Lord of the land instead of the land of the Lord
        3. Those who are called to the ministry love the ministry to the extent that earthly things don't matter as much (see Matthew 6:20; 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25)
    5. It was not wise for the Reubenites, Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh to settle on the east side of the Jordan River
      1. There were no natural boundaries
      2. They did not have the same natural defenses
      3. Reuben was the firstborn son of Jacob
        1. The firstborn son would get a double portion of inheritance
        2. Reuben's tribe did not get a double portion
        3. Reuben had attempted to usurp Jacob as the patriarch of the family (see Genesis 35:22; 49:1-24)
      4. Joseph's family got a double portion instead
        1. Tribe of Ephraim
        2. Tribe of Manasseh
  3. Joshua 14
    1. Their inheritance was by lot
      1. Names were written on pottery and placed in an urn
      2. They were given land in proportion to their size—more people, more land
      3. Placement was by lot
    2. Caleb
      1. A Kenizzite
        1. Not originally part of the children of Israel
        2. When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, some Middle Eastern tribes joined them
      2. Caleb means bold, impetuous;Hebrew word for dog
        1. Was one of the twelve spies (see Numbers 13)
        2. Man of faith
        3. He knew the battle was never his to begin with; it was the Lord's
        4. The other ten spies saw big people and a little God; Joshua and Caleb saw a big God and therefore little people
      3. He was given an inheritance because he wholly followed the Lord
        1. He did not live in the past
          1. Some Christians get stuck in the past
          2. When we talk about our Christian experience, it's in the past tense
          3. We serve a living God, and He is still moving
        2. He viewed himself as useful for the kingdom of God
          1. Our culture does a disservice by marginalizing the older generations
          2. They have wisdom and experience to share
Figures referenced: Martin Luther, John Wycliffe

Cross references: Genesis 15:1; 35:22; 49:1-24; Numbers 13; 32; Joshua 24:29; Proverbs 19:14; Matthew 6:20; 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25; Acts 7; 9; Hebrews 4:1-10

Topic: Faith

Keywords: faith, Promised Land, details, inherit, inheritance, portion, work, Levites, lots, old, elderly



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 15-17
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 15-17
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4198

Though the Promised Land had been conquered, there was still much for Joshua and Caleb to do. The Israelites entered a period of restructuring as each tribe received their land allotments. In this message, we learn what pieces of land the tribes of Judah and Manasseh received, and we study the special allotment that was given to Caleb.


  1. Introduction
    1. Joshua was in charge of assigning the land allotments of the children of Israel
      1. Caleb was given a land allotment in Hebron
      2. Larger tribes were given larger allotments and small tribes were given less (see Numbers 26:53-56)
    2. Most of the twelve tribes settled on the west side of the Jordan River
      1. Typically, land allotments in families began with the eldest
      2. Judah was not the eldest son; Reuben was
        1. The tribe of Reuben wanted to settle on the east side of the Jordan River
        2. Reuben, by his behavior, lost the double portion birthright
      3. Judah was the fourth in line
        1. When the tribes would break down camp, Judah was the first tribe to leave
        2. First tribe called to war (see Genesis 49:8)
          1. Judah means praise
          2. The temple ended up in the tribal allotment of Judah
          3. Warrior tribe and kingly tribe
        3. The Messiah would come from this tribe
  2. Joshua 15
    1. The area of Judah was also known as Judea
      1. A beautiful piece of land, perfect for growing grapes
      2. This is the area the twelve spies were sent into (see Numbers 13)
    2. Valley of Achor
      1. Means trouble
      2. Was named after Achan (see Joshua 7)
      3. Will one day be a door of hope (see Hosea 2:14-15)
    3. Valley of Gehenna
      1. East of the temple mount
      2. Comes together with the Kidron Valley at a triangle
      3. Synonym for hell
        1. Where garbage was buried and burned
        2. Flame never died out
      4. Border of Judah
        1. After the reign of Solomon, the tribes split into two kingdoms
        2. Northern kingdom had ten tribes
        3. Southern kingdom had two tribes: Benjamin and Judah
        4. Part of Jerusalem is in Benjamin and part is in Judah
    4. Caleb's allotment
      1. Kirjath Arba
        1. Arba was the name of a local giant, one of the Anakim
        2. Also the number four
        3. Referred to as the Village of the Four to this day because four prominent people are buried there
          1. Adam—no real proof of this
          2. Abraham
          3. Isaac
          4. Jacob
        4. Abraham bought the cave to bury Sarah, and he was eventually buried there as well (see Genesis 23)
      2. Caleb drove out the giants
      3. He asked others to conquer the town of Kirjath Sepher
        1. Restructuring
        2. Offered his daughter's hand in marriage
        3. Othniel was a godly leader
          1. In Judges 3, he is the first of the judges listed
          2. He delivered Israel
    5. Lowlands
      1. One of the key geographical spots in the Holy Land
      2. Shephelah in Hebrew
      3. In ancient times, there were few coastal cities because there were no harbors
      4. There were many more cities in the lowlands because the soil was fertile
      5. There were many other cities in the mountainous regions because they could be protected (see Psalm 125:2)
      6. The Jordan Rift Valley was barren
    6. City of Salt
      1. Believed to be the ancient name for what would become Qumran
      2. Location of the Dead Sea Scrolls
    7. Jerusalem
      1. All the cities and villages of Judah totaled 122
      2. They took all but one: Jerusalem
      3. It was not conquered until the reign of King David (see 2 Samuel 5)
        1. Joab climbed up the water shaft to enter the city
        2. He became the chief of David's armies
  3. Joshua 16
    1. Joseph got the birthright instead of Reuben
    2. The descendants of his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, became individual tribes
      1. Both tribes received a land allotment
      2. Manasseh received part of the eastern side
      3. The town of Shiloh was in the land of Ephraim
        1. Where the tabernacle was erected
        2. Stayed there for 300 years
      4. They did not drive out the Canaanites
  4. Joshua 17
    1. Daughters of Zelophehad (see Numbers 27:1-11)
      1. Zelophehad died in the wilderness and had no sons
        1. His daughters came before Moses and asked that they be allotted land
        2. Moses gave them the same rights as sons would have been given
      2. God values women
        1. Ancient cultures, some of which still exist today, did not treat women well
        2. Four women are listed in Jesus' genealogy
        3. Galatians 3:28
        4. Jesus did not come to enslave women but to set them free
    2. Three hilly regions (see v. 11)
      1. Mount Gilboa
      2. Hill of Megiddo
      3. Hill of Moreh
    3. They did not completely drive out the Canaanites
      1. They put them to forced labor to make some money
      2. They settled for second best
      3. God has a grand plan for us, but some of us want to settle for second best (see John 7:38-39; 10:10)
        1. God will take you to the highest level you will go
        2. If you settle, God will allow it
    4. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh wanted more land
      1. Joshua told them to expand and settle the rest of their portion
      2. It is one thing to have the title deed to the land; it is another to take the land
      3. Part of our problem is that we do not possess our possessions
        1. Fear debilitates us
        2. Faith is contagious, but so is fear
        3. Psalm 27:1
  5. Closing
    1. As we run the race of faith, some are running to win
    2. Others are more about slowing the pace
    3. We are called to walk in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16)
Figures referenced: Jim Elliot

Cross references: Genesis 23; 49:8; Numbers 13; 26:53-56; 27:1-11; Joshua 7; Judges 3; 2 Samuel 5; Psalm 27:1; 125:2; Hosea 2:14-15; John 7:38-39; 10:10; Galatians 3:28; 5:16

Topic: Israel

Keywords: land allotments, tribes, Israelites, birthright, land of Israel, Jerusalem, temple mount, Holy Land, tabernacle, women, faith



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 18-21
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 18-21
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4204

There were seven tribes who had yet to receive their land allotments, and Joshua challenged them to occupy what God had given them. In this message, we learn about the allotments given to the remaining tribes, including the special cities given to the Levites.


  1. Introduction
    1. David recognized how small he was in the cosmic setting of the universe (see Psalm 8:3-4)
      1. There are 7.3 billion people who live on earth
      2. Earth rotates and makes its way around the sun
      3. The earth is small in relation to the universe
      4. The sun is much larger than the earth
      5. There are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way
      6. There are 100 billion other galaxies that exist
    2. The God who made all of that is intimately concerned with your life (see Psalm 139:18)
      1. God thinks good things about us (see Jeremiah 29:11)
      2. In Joshua, we get a detailed taste of the love God has for His people
    3. God is a God who loves His people with a covenant love
      1. Checed = favor
      2. Abiding love, a love covenant
  2. Joshua 18
    1. Shiloh was on a hill in Ephraim's tribal allotment
      1. The tabernacle was set up here
        1. Its first permanent location
        2. Stayed there for the next 369 years
        3. Center of worship and national community before it moved to Jerusalem
      2. After they crossed the Jordan, they set up headquarters at Gilgal, then moved to Shiloh
        1. It was not the place God had chosen for the tabernacle
        2. They probably moved it from the flatland for military reasons
    2. The tabernacle (see Exodus 25)
      1. The Israelites plundered the Egyptians before leaving Egypt
      2. God received an offering from them so they could build the tabernacle
      3. The tabernacle occupies more biblical real estate than any other subject in Scripture
        1. Creation: two chapters
        2. Tabernacle: fifty chapters
      4. The tabernacle was a model of heaven (see Hebrews 9:11)
    3. Seven tribes had yet to possess their land
      1. God gave them the land; they had to unwrap—or settle—it (see Joshua 1:3)
      2. You only occupy what you stand on
    4. Joshua sent twenty-one men to survey the land, dividing it into seven parts
      1. Joshua cast lots before the Lord
        1. Some believe they used the Urim and Thummim
        2. Some believe they used marked stones or pieces of wood
        3. It was done before the Lord (see Proverbs 16:33)
        4. God superintended this exercise
      2. Casting lots continued into the New Testament, but after the Holy Spirit came upon believers at Pentecost, they never did it again (see John 16:13)
    5. Tribal allotment of Benjamin
      1. A small tribe between Judah and Ephraim
        1. When the kingdom split, there began a rivalry between the tribes of Judah and Ephraim (see 1 Kings 12)
        2. The Benjamites became a buffer between the two
      2. There were significant cities within the tribe of Benjamin
        1. Jericho
        2. Ai
        3. Gibeon
        4. Jerusalem
        5. Jerusalem was shared between Benjamin and Judah
      3. The Benjamites became known as men of valor
        1. Jacob predicted this when he blessed his sons (see Genesis 49:27)
        2. Many warriors came from the tribe of Benjamin
        3. Kish, the father of Saul, came from this tribe
        4. Saul of Tarsus was a Benjamite (see Philippians 3:5)
      4. When the kingdom split, there were ten tribes in the north and two in the south
        1. The southern tribes were Judah and Benjamin
        2. Because they shared Jerusalem
  3. Joshua 19
    1. Tribal allotment of Simeon
      1. Judah was given a huge allotment, but Simeon was placed right in the middle of it
      2. Desert area
      3. Simeon and Levi were cursed by their father, Jacob (see Genesis 34; 49:5-7)
        1. Simeon got land in the center of Judah
        2. The Levites were scattered to Levitical cities
        3. It would eventually be a blessing
      4. When the kingdom split, the people of Simeon migrated north
        1. They were not ideologically a part of Judah
        2. They settled in the northern kingdom of Ephraim (see 2 Chronicles 15:9)
      5. They should have been loyal to David's house
        1. In 722 BC, the Assyrians came and took the northern tribes long before the southern tribes fell to the Babylonians
        2. Included the tribe of Simeon, which had moved
    2. Tribal allotment of Zebulun
      1. Zebulun was landlocked
      2. Jacob predicted they would be a haven for ships (see Genesis 49:13)
      3. There was one little strip of land that was by the sea
      4. North of Megiddo, east of Mount Carmel
    3. Tribal allotment of Issachar
      1. Issachar received the Valley of Jezreel
        1. Breadbasket of that entire part of the world
        2. Fertile land; anything could grow there
      2. The Valley of Jezreel also goes by the name Valley of Armageddon
        1. Has become a place where notable battles of civilizations have taken place
        2. The greatest battle of all will take place there in the future
    4. Tribal allotment of Asher
      1. Asher got land along the Mediterranean Sea
      2. They were in a position vulnerable to attack
      3. You don't hear a whole lot about the tribe of Asher until the New Testament
        1. Anna got to see Jesus as a baby (see Luke 2:36-38)
        2. She was one of the first people to proclaim Jesus as Israel's Messiah
    5. Tribal allotment of Naphtali
      1. Region of Galilee
      2. Would be called the Galilee of the Gentiles
        1. They got the brunt of attack on the west side of the Jordan River
        2. Many Gentiles settled there
      3. Subject of a messianic prophecy
        1. Isaiah 9:1-7
        2. This tribe would experience deliverance as Jesus set up His headquarters there
    6. Tribal allotment of Dan
      1. They were given an area called the Philistine country
      2. Samson was a Danite (see Judges 14-16)
      3. They never occupied the land because of the Philistines
      4. They moved up north to Laish
      5. The Jordan River starts in that region
    7. Joshua's allotment
      1. He made sure everyone was taken care of first
      2. He asked for the city of Timnath Serah
        1. It was barren wilderness
        2. The name means abundant provision
      3. Like Abraham and Lot (see Genesis 13:5-12)
        1. Abraham let Lot choose the better land
        2. Abraham took the leftovers
    8. About three-fourths of the Bible has to do with the tribes of Israel
      1. In the future, an angel will mark 144,000 people of the tribes of Israel
      2. They will come to faith in Christ through the testimony of the two witnesses
  4. Joshua 20
    1. Cities of refuge
      1. There were no prisons in those days
      2. Avenger of blood
    2. City of refuge was a place of judicial asylum
      1. Six cities were positioned so wherever you lived, you were no more than one day's journey from one
      2. Given a place to stay
  5. Joshua 21
    1. Levitical cities
      1. Forty-eight cities given to the Levites
      2. Common lands
      3. They were never more than ten miles away from anybody living anywhere
      4. The teachers of the law were in the midst of the children of Israel
    2. They possessed their possessions
      1. Everything God had promised them came to pass
      2. Beautiful example of God's promises
    3. Notable Levites
      1. Moses
        1. Trained to be next in line to the throne of Egypt
        2. Let it all go to suffer with his people (see Hebrews 11:23-26)
      2. Aaron the high priest
      3. Eli in 1 Samuel
      4. Ezra the scribe who partnered with Nehemiah to resettle Jerusalem
      5. John the Baptist
        1. Most notable Levite of all
        2. Jesus called him the greatest man ever born (see Matthew 11:11; Luke 7:28)
    4. The Levites got the Lord of the land
      1. Covenant of intimacy and service with the Lord
      2. The Lord was their inheritance
  6. Closing
    1. Regardless of what sins your parents or grandparents may have committed, it is time for you to turn the cursing into a blessing
      1. Let the Lord get a hold of you
      2. Watch what He can do in and through you
    2. You can be a blessing to others just like the Levites were to the rest of Israel
Figures referenced: Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Spurgeon

Hebrew words: checed

Cross references: Genesis 13:5-12; 34; 49:5-7, 13, 27; Exodus 25; Joshua 1:3; Judges 14-16; 1 Samuel; 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 15:9; Psalm 8:3-4; 139:18; Proverbs 16:33; Isaiah 9:1-7; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 11:11; Luke 2:36-38; 7:28; John 16:13; Philippians 3:5; Hebrews 9:11; 11:23-26

Topic: Israel

Keywords: God's love, tribal allotments, Israel, tribes, tabernacle, occupy, Urim and Thummim, casting lots, blessing, curse, messianic prophecy, provision, city of refuge, Levitical cities, Levites



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 20 Review
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 20
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4206

God made special provision for the tribe of Levi. Though they did not receive a land allotment, they did receive special cities, including cities of refuge that are a representation of Jesus Christ. In this message, we learn the historical and spiritual significance of these special cities.


  1. Introduction
    1. 2,000 years ago, Jesus took the Lord's Supper with His friends
      1. At Passover
      2. He didn't say for them to make a monument or pilgrimage; instead He told them to make a meal in remembrance of Him
      3. He took an old meal and gave it new meaning
      4. It was a priority in the early church (see Acts 2:42)
    2. There was one tribe that did not get their section of land—the Levites
      1. They were given forty-eight Levitical cities
      2. Each tribe had four Levitical cities in them
    3. There were six cities of refuge
      1. For political asylum
      2. Three on the western side of the Jordan River and three on the eastern side
  2. Joshua 20
    1. Cities of refuge
      1. Those who had unintentionally killed someone could find asylum so their case could be heard
      2. Fair trial done by the Levites
    2. Avenger of blood
      1. Goel = kinsman-redeemer
      2. A member of the family with several roles
        1. If land was lost because the family became poor, he could buy it back
        2. If a member of the family became a slave, he could buy them back
        3. If his brother's wife was widowed and left without children, he could marry her to carry on the family name
        4. If a member of his family was killed, he could pursue and kill the perpetrator if the perpetrator was found guilty by the Levites
    3. The law of exact retribution
      1. Common law used by several ancient societies
      2. Lex talionis
      3. Eye for an eye (see Exodus 21:23-25)
      4. God prescribed this law because it is human nature to go beyond what is just
      5. Jesus said forgiveness, not vengeance, is the highest value (see Matthew 5:38-41)
      6. We should strive to be a refuge of forgiveness
    4. The cities of refuge were ironic
      1. It was ironic that these cities existed at all
      2. Levi and Simeon killed the men of Shechem (see Genesis 34)
        1. On his deathbed, their father Jacob said their people would be scattered (see Genesis 49:5-7)
        2. If God were just and not merciful, the tribe of Levi would not have existed (life for life)
        3. Because it existed, it would have made the Levites gracious and understanding
      3. Let's make our congregation filled with people who are known for their forgiveness
      4. We have been forgiven, so we are forgiving people
    5. The cities of refuge are prophetic
      1. They are a type of Jesus Christ
      2. They were accessible (see Deuteronomy 19)
        1. Roads were specifically built to these cities
        2. The roads were twice as wide as normal roads
        3. At every major crossroad, a sign pointed to a city of refuge
        4. Jesus is accessible and ready to receive people
      3. They were available
        1. The gates were unlocked at all times
        2. No matter the time of day or night, you could get in
        3. They were built on hills so they could easily be seen
        4. Jesus is always available, always within reach (see John 6:37)
      4. They were universal
        1. They were not just for the Israelites (see v. 9)
        2. Protection was usually offered only to the citizens of a society
        3. In Israel, the cities of refuge were for everyone
        4. Jesus is universal (see John 3:16)
      5. They were irreplaceable
        1. There was no other place you could go for refuge
        2. If you chose not to go, you would be pursued by someone who would take your life
        3. All of mankind is being pursued by an unrelenting Enemy: the Devil (see John 10:10)
        4. Jesus is irreplaceable as a Savior
      6. They were relational
        1. You had to remain in the city of refuge until the high priest died
          1. Like an ancient statute of limitations
          2. The avenger of blood could not come after you once the high priest died
        2. Jesus is our refuge and High Priest
          1. Hebrews 6:18-20
          2. He died for us and gave us freedom
    6. Here's where the analogy breaks down: cities of refuge were only for people who were not guilty
      1. Jesus is for guilty people
      2. We are all guilty before God (see Romans 3:23)
      3. The new covenant is for guilty people (see Romans 5:8)
      4. Jesus, God's Son, was crucified on the cross for our sins so we could become His sons and daughters
Works referenced: The Godfather

Hebrew words: goel

Cross references: Genesis 34; 49:5-7; Exodus 21:23-25; Deuteronomy 19; Matthew 5:38-41; John 3:16; 6:37; 10:10; Acts 2:42; Romans 3:23; 5:8; Hebrews 6:18-20

Topic: Mercy

Keywords: cities of refuge, avenger of blood, murder, asylum, kinsman-redeemer, law of exact retribution, lex talionis, mercy, justice, forgiveness, Levites, high priest



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 22
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 22
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4208

Joshua released the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh to return to the eastern side of the Jordan River so they could settle their land after helping the rest of their brethren conquer their inheritance. But a misunderstanding almost plunged the nation into civil war. In this message, we learn the consequences of gossip.


  1. Introduction
    1. One of the most painful things in life is to be misunderstood
      1. When you are misunderstood by someone, you really have no recourse
      2. It's difficult to be confronted by someone who doesn't have all the facts
    2. Elements of a misunderstanding
      1. An act or word done or said with the best of intentions
      2. An offense that is taken by another party
      3. Gossip happens about the act and offense
        1. The matter that should be dealt with privately is taken public
        2. It can get so out of hand that it develops a life of its own
    3. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had made a deal with Moses to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River (see Numbers 32)
      1. They were granted this land on one condition: they had to help the rest of the tribes conquer their lands
      2. They were on the western side of the Jordan for seven years
  2. Joshua 22:1-8
    1. They kept the charge of the Lord their God
      1. They did what they were supposed to do
        1. Joshua commended them
        2. The people of God acted like the people of God
        3. They were obedient
      2. We are called to follow the Lord, not perfectly, but obediently
        1. Obedience to God proves you have a relationship with Him
        2. Obedience does not produce a relationship with Him, but proves the relationship you already have with Him (see John 14:15)
      3. Obedience is the hard part of the Christian life
        1. Enthusiasm is always easier than obedience
        2. James 1:22-24
    2. Every Christian parent who's had a child move away wonders if that child will drift away
      1. This must have been the same feeling Joshua had as the tribes moved across the river
      2. Though their military obligations were fulfilled, their spiritual obligations were not
      3. The Lord wants your joyful, willful obedience
        1. There is a difference between obedience and compliance
        2. Compliance is doing something because you have to
        3. Obedience is doing it because you want to
        4. Jonah complied with God (see Jonah 1-4)
        5. Jacob obeyed (see Genesis 29:20)
    3. Joshua instructed them to share their spoils of war with their families when they returned
      1. Not only did they sacrifice by going to war for their brethren; they sacrificed seeing their families
      2. Their families also sacrificed by sending their men to wage war for the other tribes for seven years
      3. This principle is reinforced in 1 Samuel 30:24-25
        1. David conquered Ziklag because the Amalekites had attacked it
        2. When he won, some of the soldiers refused to share their spoils with those who stayed behind
        3. David made a law that those who went to war and those who stayed behind received the same amount of the spoils
      4. This is also reiterated in the New Testament in the body of Christ
        1. There is one body with one head—Christ—and many parts (see 1 Corinthians 12)
        2. No body part is worth less than any other
  3. Joshua 22:9-20
    1. The two and a half tribes built a great, impressive altar by the Jordan River
      1. Perhaps they began to sense the isolation that would be theirs when they got to their land
        1. Perhaps they thought the rest of Israel would forget about them
        2. Perhaps this altar was a symbol of the unity of the tribes of Israel
        3. Not an altar for worship, but an altar for remembrance
      2. Someone in the other tribes misread the meaning of the altar
    2. The children of Israel gathered together to go to war against the two and a half tribes
      1. Moses had given a commandment called the law of the central sanctuary (see Deuteronomy 12)
        1. This law meant that the worship of one God should be done at one altar and one place
        2. First at Gilgal, then at Shiloh, then eventually at Jerusalem
        3. There were not to be multiple altars around the country
      2. Many conflicts begin with hearsay
        1. God commanded us not to gossip (see Leviticus 19:16)
        2. So many misunderstandings begin with gossip
      3. When someone brings gossip to you, ask:
        1. What is the reason you are telling me this?
        2. Where did you get the information from?
        3. Have you talked directly with that person yet? (see Matthew 18)
        4. Have you really checked your facts?
        5. Can I quote you on that?
    3. The children of Israel accused their brethren of treachery
      1. The Hebrew word for treachery (maal) is the same word in verse 20 that is translated trespass
      2. Their approach was very accusative
      3. They assumed the worse
        1. We all hear things and draw conclusions about what we hear
        2. Our assumption is only based on the facts we have heard
        3. Assumption is the lowest form of communication
      4. Phinehas had a very good reputation
        1. He was righteous, zealous, and very judicial (see Numbers 25)
        2. He was known for upholding the law of the Lord
      5. Phinehas recalled their history
        1. Reminding them of Balaam (see Numbers 25)
          1. Reminding them of the plague of the Lord
          2. The children of Israel knew that God takes idolatry very seriously
        2. Reminding them of Achan (see Joshua 7)
          1. He reminded them that though one man sinned, everyone faced the punishment
          2. A disobedient child of God is a menace to those around them
  4. Joshua 22:21-34
    1. The two and a half tribes invoked the name of the Lord
      1. 'Ělōhîm 'êl Yahweh
      2. Strong way of saying they were calling God in to witness
    2. They explained that they did not build the altar out of disobedience, but out of reverence
      1. They did it to remind the children of Israel that there was unity of faith in God and unity of camaraderie and fellowship
      2. It was still a bad idea
        1. God never told them to build that altar
        2. It just caused confusion
      3. There is liberal theology in churches around the world
        1. It strays away from the fundamental truths of Christianity
        2. There's no room for the cross of Jesus Christ
        3. Thus, no salvation
    3. This pleased the children of Israel and they did not make war against their brethren
  5. Closing
    1. This account is detailed so that we might learn from it (see Romans 15:4)
    2. Principles for community and for getting along with others
      1. Be watchful for flagrant mistakes
      2. Be careful not to judge motives
      3. Be truthful in discussing the matter
      4. Be gentle in your method and approach
        1. Proverbs 15:1; Ephesians 4:32
        2. We should wash each other's feet as Jesus did (see John 13:3-5)
Works referenced: Cool Hand Luke
Hebrew words: 'Elohim 'el Yahweh, maal
Cross references: Genesis 29:20; Leviticus 19:16; Numbers 25; 32; Deuteronomy 12; Joshua 7; 1 Samuel 30:24-25; Proverbs 15:1; Jonah 1-4; Matthew 18; John 13:3-5; 14:15; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:32; James 1:22-24

Topic: Confrontation

Keywords: misunderstanding, confrontation, gossip, obedience, compliance, altar, hearsay, treachery, trespass, assumption, idolatry



SERIES: 06 Joshua - 2017
MESSAGE: Joshua 23-24
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 23-24
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4213

At the end of Joshua's life, he had a final commission for the children of Israel. After recounting what God had done for them, he challenged them to continue serving the Lord. As we conclude our study in the book of Joshua, we learn the importance of obeying God's instruction.


  1. Introduction
    1. The land covenant was and is extremely important to the people of Israel
      1. Began with God's covenant with Abraham
      2. Genesis 12:1-3; 15:5, 12-14
    2. It took them seven years to conquer the land and another thirteen to occupy it
      1. They went from nomads to conquerors
      2. From wanderers to workers, warriors, and worshipers in a brand new land
    3. Joshua had a final commission for the Israelites
      1. Like the children of Israel, our Christian growth is taking the promises God has given us and making them ours
      2. We have to believe the promises
      3. We are called to walk in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25)
  2. Joshua 23
    1. Joshua was old
      1. We have seen this before (see Joshua 13:1)
      2. He was 110 years old
      3. He knew it was time to change leadership (see Joshua 1:1-2)
    2. It's not about the servant; it's always about the Master
      1. God always buries His workers, but His work goes on
      2. Just as God sent Joshua when Moses died, He sent others to lead when it was time for Joshua to die
    3. The book of the law of Moses
      1. Canon = list of books we consider to be the inspired works of Scripture
        1. One of the first canons is the first five books of the Bible
        2. The very first canon was the Ten Commandments
        3. The book of Joshua was later added to the books of the law
        4. Then the works of the prophets were added
      2. They were very strict about what could be added; there were tests to determine what books could be added
        1. It had to be authoritative
        2. It had to be received and recognized by the Jewish people or the church as having authority
        3. It had to be transformative
        4. The book of Malachi was the last time God spoke in the Old Testament, and it was recognized as such in Jewish history
    4. The Lord fought for them
      1. Settling Canaan was no small task
        1. The land consisted of walled cities
        2. The Israelites were not prepared for that kind of warfare
      2. God was prepared
        1. The battle of Jericho (see Joshua 6)
        2. He was with them
      3. The Lord is with us as well
        1. The New Testament opens with the promise that God is with us (see Matthew 1:23)
        2. The book of Matthew closes with the promise of God being with us (see Matthew 28:20)
    5. Joshua commanded them to love God
      1. Most people do not view love as an act of the will but as a byproduct of an emotion
      2. Love is a choice, and sometimes you need the choice to pull the feelings along
      3. Consequences of disobedience
        1. Defeat
        2. Discomfort
        3. Disgrace
      4. Joshua acknowledged that they had followed the Lord up to that point, but warned them to continue to do so
        1. You can take the Christian out of the world, but the hard part is taking the world out of the Christian
        2. After they left Egypt, for forty years Egypt was still in their hearts
        3. Separate yourself from the world (see 2 Corinthians 6:17)
          1. Not referring to a monastery
          2. Instead, you are a missionary (see John 17:15)
          3. God wants us to be in the world but not of the world
    6. God keeps all His promises
      1. God inspired all of Scripture (see 2 Timothy 3:16)
      2. He keeps all the good promises, but also all of the bad ones (see Deuteronomy 28:15-68)
      3. Though God promised the land as an unconditional covenant, their tenure in the land was conditional on their following Him (see Jeremiah 31)
        1. God would remove certain generations that were disobedient from the land and then bring them back at a later time
        2. 722 BC: Israel was conquered by the Assyrians because they succumbed to idolatry
        3. 605, 597, and 586 BC: Israel was assaulted and taken into captivity by the Babylonians
        4. 165 BC: Antiochus Epiphanes and the Syrian hoards marched into Jerusalem
        5. AD 70: The Romans destroyed Jerusalem
      4. God always brought them back
        1. They have been back since May of 1948
        2. God will eventually bring them back for good (see Isaiah 11:11)
  3. Joshua 24
    1. This chapter is a historical review
      1. In Jewish storytelling, they like to weave history throughout the story to bring them up to the present day and age (see Acts 7)
        1. What God did through the patriarchs
        2. What God did in Egypt
        3. What God did in the wilderness
        4. What God did in getting them across the Jordan into the land
      2. Three bodies of water are mentioned in relationship to their separation
        1. Euphrates River—on the other side was Sumerian culture
        2. Red Sea—on the other side was Egypt
        3. Jordan River—on both sides were the Canaanites
    2. Abraham and the patriarchs
      1. From Ur of the Chaldeans
        1. City of Ur
          1. Southern Iraq
          2. Center of civilization at the time
          3. Animism and polytheism
        2. Abraham's father was a dealer of idols
      2. God pulled Abraham out of that system to serve Him
        1. Not very different from the New Testament (see 1 Thessalonians 1:9)
        2. We have all turned from idols to follow God
          1. We essentially worshiped ourselves
          2. We turned to repentance
      3. The land did not go to the descendants of Esau, but of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
        1. To Esau, God gave the mountains of Seir
        2. He too had twelve sons and twelve tribes
        3. There is much debate about who owns the land that is Israel
        4. God owns the land
      4. Wandering in the wilderness
        1. They wandered for forty years
        2. The journey would have only taken eleven days (see Deuteronomy 1:2)
    3. The hornet
      1. God promised, through Moses, that He would send the hornet (see Deuteronomy 7:20)
      2. There are several possibilities of what this means
        1. God literally sent hornets to the enemies
        2. God sent a despair on the enemy so that they just gave up
        3. God could have sent a plague against the enemy
        4. The hornet could refer to the angel of the Lord
      3. There are so many accounts throughout history of the Jews being outnumbered but still receiving the victory
    4.  Serve the Lord
      1. After showing them what God had done, Joshua instructed them to serve Him (see Romans 12:1-2)
        1. Look at what God has done in your life and then add a "Therefore, serve the Lord"
        2. Elijah did this same thing years later (see 1 Kings 18:20-39)
      2. Your spiritual commitment should affect all the other relationships in your life
        1. As the families go, so goes the nation
        2. If the family unit is broken up, the nation is broken
    5. Joshua set a stone as a witness lest the people deny the Lord
      1. Luke 19:40
      2. A symbol of their commitment to serve the Lord
    6. Comparison of Joshua and Moses
      1. The children of Israel could not inherit the land under Moses
        1. The law could never bring them in
        2. The land was a gift
      2. Joshua completed what Moses started, but he did not contradict it
      3. Jesus came to complete the law and fulfill it, but He did not contradict it (see Matthew 5:17)
        1. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
        2. Jesus did for us what Joshua did for the Israelites
        3. It is interesting that the names Joshua and Jesus are the same
          1. Joshua is Hebrew
          2. Jesus is Greek
      4. The book of Revelation is the complementary book of Joshua
        1. Under Joshua, they took the land and their enemies were destroyed
        2. In Revelation, the Lamb of God will take the title deed to the earth and give it to the Father
Figures referenced: Martin Luther, Hudson Taylor
Cross references: Genesis 12:1-3; 15:5, 12-14; Deuteronomy 1:2; 7:20; 28:15-68; Joshua 1:1-2; 6; 13:1; 1 Kings 18:20-39; Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 31; Matthew 1:23; 5:17; 28:20; Luke 19:40; John 17:15; Acts 7; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Galatians 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16

Topic: Serving God

Keywords: Promised Land, Israel, covenant, God's promises, leadership, Scripture, canon, love, faithfulness, patriarchs, idols, serving God, grace

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