June 12, 2022 – Joshua 1 – 2
Lesson Date: June 12, 2022
Focal Scripture Passage: Joshua 1:1 – 2:24
AIM: To lead students to discover God’s requirements for success and about a woman whose life was changed when she placed her trust in God, and to give them an opportunity to make a commitment to obey God and trust Jesus for salvation.
Before class: Read the notes on Joshua 1 – 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the words “Victory” and “Success” on the marker board or chalkboard. Have enough of the “Requirements for Success” handouts for your anticipated attendance.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the words “Victory” and “Success” written on the board. Ask them to suggest definitions for those words.
Tell the class that most of us don’t relate very well to the word “Victory” because we have never been involved in battle or serious conflict (the victories most of us have experienced have only been in games or friendly competitions). The word victory implies conquest of an enemy or overcoming some type of conflict.
Tell the students that war veterans appreciate the significance of the word victory, but the rest of us more readily relate to the word “Success.” Success is something everyone wants but few ever feel they have truly achieved. Our human DNA seems to be “hardwired” with a drive to succeed. Everyone wants to succeed.
Ask the following rhetorical questions:
- “How can you have success?”
- “What is true success?”
- “Did God ever tell us what it takes to be successful?”
- “If so, would you like to know what He said we must do to succeed?”
Tell the class in today’s lesson we will learn God’s formula for success. We will also learn about a woman who went from being a loser to a winner and what caused that amazing transformation. The title of today’s lesson is How to Have Success.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Review and Introduction to Joshua.
- Be sure everyone has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the death of Moses).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Deut. 31:12).
- Remind the class that the Israelites, some 2 million or more strong, were camped on the plains of Moab, just across the Jordan River from the city of Jericho (locate those places on the Map of the Promised Land).
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 1:1.
- Tell the class God appointed Joshua to succeed Moses as the new leader of the Israelites.
- God’s Instructions and Promises to Joshua.
- Read Joshua 1:2-5.
- Ask: “What instruction did God give Joshua in verse2?” (take the people across the Jordan River and possess the Promised Land).
- Explain the following:
- God originally promised this land to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:6-7).
- As verse 3 shows, God had repeated that promise to Moses many times.
- God’s words in verse 3, “that have I given unto you,” reveal that in His mind, Israel’s possession of the land was a done deal.
- Verse 4 describes the extent of the Promised Land.
- Tell the students in verse 5 God made three promises to Joshua.
- Ask: “What were those promises?”
- You will have victory over all your enemies.
- I will be with you like I was with Moses.
- I will never fail you or forsake you.
- Ask: “How do you think these wonderful promises made Joshua feel, as he prepared to lead the Israelites into unknown territory full of dangerous enemies?”
- Ask: “Has God ever made any similar promises to us?” (yes, one example is Matt. 28:20).
- Summarize: After Moses died, God told Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, promising victory and His unending presence.
- God’s Promise of Success.
- Give everyone a copy of the “Requirements for Success” handout.
- Explain that verses 2-5 contains the first of these requirements: Obey God’s Instructions.
- Stress the fact that there is no real success in life if we disobey God!
- Read Joshua 1:6-9.
- Ask: “In verse 7, what was Joshua told not to turn from?” (God’s Word – the Bible).
- Tell the class that in Joshua 1:8 we find the only time the word success appears in the Bible.
- Ask: “What three things was Joshua told to do with the Bible if he wanted success?” (keep it in his mouth, keep it in his mind, and let it control his behavior).
- The second requirement for success is found in these verses: Hold to God’s Word.
- Ask: “What did God tell Joshua three times in verses 6, 7, and 9?” (be strong and courageous).
- This is the third requirement for success: Be Strong and Courageous Whenever God’s on Your Side.
- Stress the fact that God is on our side whenever we obey
- Explain the following:
- Joshua told the leaders of the Israelites to get the people ready to cross the Jordan River within three days (even though they had no boat or bridge!).
- The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh had previously asked to settle on the east side of the Jordan River, on condition that they would help the other tribes conquer Canaan.
- Joshua reminded these tribes to fulfill their commitment.
- This is the fourth requirement for success: Fulfill Your Commitments.
- Tell the students the people promised to follow Joshua, on two conditions.
- Ask: “According to the last part of verses 17 and 18, what were those two conditions?” (the Lord be with thee; be strong and courageous).
- Ask: “What did they say would be the penalty for disobeying Joshua?” (death).
- The fifth requirement for success is Follow Godly Leaders.
- Summarize: God promised to give Joshua and the Israelites success if they obeyed Him, clung to His Word, were strong and courageous, fulfilled their commitments, and followed their godly leaders.
- A Horrible Life Transformed.
- Read Joshua 2:1.
- Explain the following:
- Joshua sent two spies into Jericho (locate on the Map of the Promised Land), which would be the Israelites’ first military obstacle after crossing the Jordan.
- God directed the two men to the house of a harlot named Rahab.
- It seems strange to us for the men to hide in a harlot’s house, but foreign travelers might not attract much attention in such a place.
- Rahab’s house was a good place to gather information, and its location on the city wall (verse 15) made escape possible.
- Read Joshua 2:2-7.
- Ask: “What happened?” (the king of Jericho learned of the spies’ presence, but Rahab hid them).
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 2:8-11.
- Ask: “What did Rahab know about the Israelites?” (God had given them the land, miraculously delivered them, and given them victory, and the God of the Israelites was the true God of heaven and earth).
- Stress the fact that the sinful, pagan Rahab recognized the Lord for who He really is.
- Ask a volunteer to read Joshua 2:12-14.
- Ask: “What agreement did Rahab and the spies make?” (she would keep their secret and protect them if they would promise safety for her and her family).
- The last requirement for success is found in these verses: Repent of Your Sin and Entrust Your Life to Jesus. That is what Rahab did.
- Read Joshua 2:15-22.
- Explain the following:
- Rahab helped the men escape by using a scarlet cord to lower them from her window on the city wall.
- They promised safety to everyone in her house, if the scarlet cord was tied in her window when the Israelites attacked.
- This scarlet cord reminds us of the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses us from sin and delivers us from God’s judgment.
- Just as the cord was Rahab’s security in the face of certain death, the blood of Jesus is our only security in the face of physical and spiritual attack.
- Read Joshua 2:23-24.
- Ask: “What did the spies tell Joshua?” (the Lord had delivered the land into their hands and the people were terrified of them).
- Tell the class when the Israelites followed and obeyed God, their enemies were afraid of them.
- Summarize: Rahab was a sinful woman who trusted the Lord for salvation, making her a truly successful person.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that Joshua had success because he obeyed God, and Rahab was a loser who found success by repenting of her sin and trusting God. Review the truths discovered today by reading the six “Requirements for Success” on the handout. Ask the students how each of the six points apply to us today.
Tell the class the following:
- As a result of her trust in God, Rahab and her family were saved from death.
- She and her family lived among the Israelites permanently ( 6:25).
- Rahab appears in the genealogy of King David and of Jesus Christ ( 1:5).
- Hebrews 11:31 names Rahab as one of the heroes of the faith.
- James 2:25 cites her as an example of one whose faith was evidenced by her works.
Tell the students we can learn the following truths from the story of Rahab:
- Rahab’s inclusion in the Bible reminds us that God can SAVE anyone who turns to Him in faith, regardless of their sinful background.
- The fact that God used Rahab to protect the spies tells us that God can USE anyone who turns to Him in faith.
- We may feel that our sinful past disqualifies us from serving the Lord, but if we are sincerely repentant and have turned away from our sin, we can serve God.
Ask: “Do you want success and victory? If you do, the things on your handout are God’s requirements. Are you willing to repent of your sin, including the sin of trying to do things your way, and commit to following God’s instructions?”
Urge everyone to confess and commit to God right now. Encourage any who are lost to turn from their sin and trust Jesus Christ, just as Rahab did. Lead a closing prayer of commitment.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Joshua 1:8. Tell the class that deciding to obey God today won’t make any lasting difference in their lives if they do not follow through with that commitment tomorrow and every day thereafter. Encourage them to keep their handout and follow its instructions every day.
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