(I taught 5 lessons at a kids camp recently and wanted to get them online for anyone to use. I’ll try to get them formatted better soon. ~ Anthony)
We’ve learned so much the past few days! In the last lesson, we learned the God gives us the victory when we obey Him and follow Him. He can give us victory in small situations when we choose to follow Him, and He can give us victories in BIG situations when we choose to follow Him and His will. What is the ultimate victory God offers to us?
Victory over death! Because Jesus died for us, He offers us a victory over death and into eternal life. In doing that, He also offers us a different life here on earth right? He offers us a hope that non-Christians don’t have. Not just hope for eternity, but also hope in every situation. He has our good in mind because we love Him. In every situation that seems lost, He is our hope!
Now let’s look at the last chapter in Joshua, chapter 24:
1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.
2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau Mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
5 I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.
6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.
7 And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
Verses 1 through 7 go over all that God had done for the Israelites up to Joshua’s time as leader. All of these events point to Israel eventually taking the Promised Land. In the same way, God uses the WHOLE BIBLE to point us to Jesus.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
~ Matthew 5:17-18
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
~ Psalm 119:105
Here Joshua is reminding them of all that God had brought them through to get them here. Starting with Abraham’s father Terah, he reminds them that they are children of the Promise. They are here because God called them out, and He called them to be different. God calls us as Christians to be different too.
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
~ 2 Timothy 2:21
God calls us to be set apart as holy. We are different from the world because God is working inside us to make us different! That’s awesome! I don’t want to be the guy that I used to be. When we are different, that means we are different IN JESUS. When Paul says to Timothy that we are “useful to the master of the house”, that is because we are allowing God to work in us and through us. Paul also says that if we are “cleansed” (that means we are made clean in Jesus) then we are ready for God to use us. Are you guys ready?
Now Joshua recounts for them some of the things God brought them through under Joshua’s time in leadership.
8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.
9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:
10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
11 And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.
12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.
13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.
God gave them victory again and again and again and again and again. Against the Amorites, Balak of the Moabites, the men of Jericho, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Jebusites, the Amorites again.
God – and only God – can give you victory in your life. In any trouble you have, God is your help. There’s a song on the radio that says (basically) any trouble you have, when you don’t know the words to say, just say ‘Jesus’. There is so much truth in that!
When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
There is power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words won’t come cause you’re too afraid to pray
Just say Jesus
Whisper it now, or shout it out
However it comes out, He hears your cry
Out of nowhere He will come
You gotta believe it
He will rescue you
Just call out to the way, the truth, the life
When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
God says that Jesus and the Holy Spirit work on our behalf. Just say ‘Jesus!’
And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’
~ Acts 2:21
In Joshua Chapter 2 we read how God required that the ark of the covenant was to go before the Israelites as the crossed over the Jordan River on dry ground. Remember that the ark symbolized God going before them to prepare the way for them. God went before them and made the water stand up in a heap. God went before them and made the ground dry for them to walk on. God goes before you and I as well as we walk in the life to prepare our way when we don’t even know He is doing the work ahead of time!
The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.
Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lord your God. Deut 9:3
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deut 31:6, 8
The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.
~ Isaiah 42:13
I love knowing that! It is such a comfort to me. It reminds me of the story in the book of Exodus when Moses and the Hebrews had left Egypt. Pharaoh had decided to chase after them and slaughter them. The Hebrews raced ahead and came up against the Red Sea.
God knew they would be blocked off there at the water. It wasn’t a surprise to Him. But God does the work for us!
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because [there were] no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 [Is] not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For [it had been] better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
~ Exodus 14:10-14
God will fight for you. God will do the work. God will prepare the way for you. God will go ahead of you.
14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.
19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.
22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.
24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.
29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.
31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.
Joshua challenges the Israelites saying:
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
He’s saying “YOU CHOOSE!” BUT AS FOR ME AND MY FAMILY, WE ARE GOING TO SERVE GOD!”
The Israelites respond FOUR TIMES and they affirm that “we will serve the LORD!”
(verses 16-18, 21, 22, and verse 24)
The Jews had no idea what was in store for them. They had some hard, hard stuff coming. They had fought many battles already and would fight many, many more. Satan would continue to attack the Jews and try to cause them to stumble and fall.
Here we see Joshua set up a monument, another memorial stone in verse 26:
“Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.”
He put it right there by the sanctuary where they would remember the covenant and the commitment they made to serve God. Remember your covenant, your commitment, to serve God. Remember your stone, the one you picked out? Keep that as a memorial (if you ever lose it, I have plenty more!) and it will help you to remember.
You will all have some tough things coming, some things that Satan will use to try to tear you away from God.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
Remember, call out to Jesus, just say “Jesus” and remember your faith. Hold onto it no matter what happens. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.