July 3, 2022 – Joshua 10 – 11
Lesson Date: July 3, 2022
Focal Scripture Passage: Joshua 10:8-27; 11:1-23
AIM: To lead students to discover from the experiences of Joshua and the Israelites that obedience to God results in victory, and to examine themselves for areas of disobedience so they can confess and repent of those sins.
Before class: Read the notes on Joshua 10 – 12 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Have enough copies of the “Some Things God has Told Us to Do” handout for your anticipated attendance. Write the following “formula” on the marker board or chalkboard:
99% Obedience = Disobedience
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the “formula” written on the board. Ask for their reaction to it. Ask if they believe it is true.
Point out Jericho on the Map of the Promised Land. Ask: “How did the Israelites defeat Jericho? What was their method of attack?” (they marched around the city once a day for six days, then marched around it seven times on the seventh day; then they blew a trumpet and shouted, and the walls of the city fell down flat). Ask: “Did Joshua obey God’s instructions?” (yes).
Ask: “Did every one of the Israelites obey God’s commands completely?” (no, Achan took for himself some things God told them not to take). Ask: “What happened as a result of Achan’s sin?” (Israel suffered a disheartening and humiliating defeat at Ai, in which 36 of their fighting men died; locate Ai on the Map of the Promised Land).
Tell the class that the Israelites had about 600,000 fighting men. All but one of them obeyed God’s instructions completely. Stress the fact that one man’s disobedience brought defeat.
Explain that in chapter 8, the Israelites obeyed God explicitly and won a great victory at Ai. In chapter 9, however, they were deceived into making a peace treaty with the people of Gibeon (locate on the Map of the Promised Land). This happened because Joshua failed to ask God for direction.
Tell the class that Joshua and the Israelites had learned some costly lessons about the price of disobedience and compromise. They didn’t want to continue paying the price for disobeying God, so they tried to obey Him fully. The title of today’s lesson is Victory Through Obedience.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Obedience Brought Miraculous Victory.
- Explain the following:
- Five Canaanite kings heard about the treaty the Gibeonites made with the Israelites.
- Angered by this and fearful of the Israelites, the five kings joined together to attack Gibeon.
- The Gibeonites sent word to Joshua asking for help.
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 10:8.
- Ask: “What did God say to Joshua?” (don’t be afraid of these kings because I have delivered them into your hands: they will not be able to stand against you).
- Read Joshua 10:9-10.
- Ask: “What happened when the Israelites attacked the coalition of five kings and their combined armies?” (they not only defeated them at Gibeon, but they also chased them through three other towns – a total of about 32 miles; locate Beth-horon, Azekah, and Makkedah on the Map of the Promised Land).
- Tell the class that because of Joshua’s obedience, God did two more miraculous things to help Israel.
- Read Joshua 10:11-14.
- Ask: “According to verse 11, what did God do to Israel’s fleeing enemies?” (caused great hailstones to fall on them, killing even more with the hailstones than Israel killed with their swords).
- Ask: “What bold request did Joshua make of God in verse 12?” (he asked Him to make the sun stand still, thus lengthening the day so they could complete their victory).
- Ask: “What did God do?” (He made the sun stand still, just as Joshua asked).
- Tell the class that Joshua’s soldiers captured the kings who led the enemy coalition.
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 10:24-27.
- Ask: “According to verse 24, what did Joshua tell his captains to do to the five kings?” (put their feet on the kings’ necks, a gesture symbolizing complete domination and victory).
- Ask: “According to verse 25, what lesson did Joshua want his military commanders to learn?” (not to be afraid or discouraged, but to be strong and courageous because God promised to subdue all their enemies just as He had done to these five kings).
- Summarize: When Israel obeyed God they were blessed with miraculous victories. God wanted them to remember this lesson when they faced future enemies.
- Explain the following:
- Obedience Brought More Victories.
- Explain the following:
- The rest of chapter 10 describes Joshua’s campaign to subdue the southern part of the Promised Land.
- God had already given the land to the Israelites (Josh. 1:13); but He required them to fight battles to claim it.
- God wanted the Israelites to kill all the residents of the land (Num. 33:50-53).
- After completing the conquest of southern Canaan, Joshua’s army returned to their camp at Gilgal in central Canaan (locate on the Map of the Promised Land).
- Joshua 11:1-5 says that a coalition of northern kings came together to fight the Israelites (locate Hazor, Madon, Achshaph, and Dor on the Map of the Promised Land).
- Read Joshua 11:6.
- Ask: “What’s the first thing God told Joshua?” (don’t be afraid).
- Ask: “What promise did God make to Joshua?” (within a day you will kill all the enemy and even destroy their horses and chariots).
- Read Joshua 11:7-9.
- Ask: “Did Joshua obey God?” (yes).
- Ask: “Did God keep His promises?” (yes).
- Tell the class that verses 10-15 tell about Israel’s conquest of the rest of the northern Promised Land.
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 11:12, 15.
- Stress the fact that all of this was done in obedience to God’s commands given through Moses (Num. 33:52-53; Deut. 7:1-2, 20:16-17).
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 11:20.
- Ask: “Why did the various Canaanite kings attack the Israelites?” (God hardened their hearts, causing them to attack Israel, so the Israelites could destroy them).
- Tell the class that God used the Israelites to bring His judgment upon the pagans of Canaan.
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 11:23.
- Ask: “How much of the land did the Israelites take?” (all of it).
- Explain that after bloody fighting in which Israel conquered central, southern, and northern Canaan, the land rested from warfare.
- Tell the students chapter 12 is a listing of all the kings Israel defeated.
- Summarize: As the Israelites obediently followed God’s leadership, He enabled them to conquer the entire Promised Land.
- Explain the following:
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that when Joshua and the Israelites disobeyed God or compromised with the enemy they suffered defeat, humiliation, discouragement, delay, and loss of promised blessings. On the other hand, when they fully obeyed God they enjoyed victory, blessings, confidence, and peace. Tell the class the main truth from this lesson is that obedience brings victory.
Remind the students that God had already promised victory even before Israel fought their battles. Ask: “Did the Israelites still have to fight the battles, even though God had already promised them victory?” (yes). Stress the fact that the promise of victory does not necessarily mean the absence of battle.
Tell the class these truths still apply to our lives today. When we disobey God we experience defeat, humiliation, discouragement, delay, and loss of promised blessings. On the other hand, when we obey God we experience victory, confidence, blessings, and peace. We must remember, however, that there will still be battles to be fought even when we obey God.
Ask: “Are you obeying God fully?” Give everyone a copy of the “Some Things God has Told Us to Do” handout.
Read through the list. If time permits, read the scripture verses referenced on the list. After reading each item on the list, ask: “Are you obeying God in that area?” Stress the fact that obedience brings victory, but disobedience results in defeat.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Tell them God wants them to be obedient people who enjoy His blessings. Urge everyone to privately confess their sins of disobedience and ask God to help them obey Him in all areas. Stress the fact that if anyone present does not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, the first things they must obey are God’s commands to repent of their sins and trust Jesus for salvation. Voice a closing prayer of confession and commitment.
CONCLUSION: Encourage everyone to take definite steps this week to correct any areas of disobedience. Tell them to obey God in all things, whether it feels good or not!
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