Counseling Skills. One common duty of Church leadership is counseling
When you first commit your life to God, you might feel pretty much alone.
But, Jesus taught his disciples to pray by saying, “Our Father…” (Mt. 6:9). When we receive Christ as our Savior, we become the “children of God” (Jn. 1:12. If God is our Father and we are his children, then all other believers are our brothers and sisters. Jesus said that; “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mt. 12:50).
One of the purposes of these topics is to introduce you to the genealogy of your family. You and I are branches on a family tree.
In these topics, we will explore what it means to be part of God’s family. We will look into the potential of our life and discover the depth of relating that our God offers to each of us. We will learn about the impact that our relationship with God has upon us.
In the first topics, we looked at our need for both the secular and the spiritual. We delved into how God met people’s needs. We grew in our understanding of the ways in which God meets our own deep needs and we acquired a greater appreciation of how God meets deep needs through us.
All I Need to Know Phyllis C. Michael
Teach me, O Lord, to see Your love In every drop of rain; Teach me to feel Your presence near Yes, even when there’s pain. Teach me to praise Your name by faith Whatever comes my way, To know that midnight hours will fade Before the light of day. Teach me acceptance, Lord, I ask, Submission to your will, Not resignation – but the grace To seek Your wisdom still Teach me that wells some times run dry, That rivers overflow But You are always in control -That’s all I need to know.
Joshua Book Overview
|1446 b.c. (1280 b.c.)||Exodus from Egypt|
|1406 (1240)||Israelites enter Canaan|
|Conquest of Canaan
|1375 (1220)||Judges begin to rule|
|The Days of the Judges
|1050 (1045)||United kingdom under Saul
|1010||David becomes king|
|Purpose:||To give the history of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land|
|Author:||Joshua, except for the ending which may have been written by the high priest, Phinehas, an eyewitness to the events recounted there|
|Setting:||Canaan, also called the Promised Land, which occupied the same general geographical territory of modern-day Israel|
|Key Verse:||“‘Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God has given you’” (1:11).|
|Key People:||Joshua, Rahab, Achan, Phinehas, Eleazar|
|Key Places:||Jericho, Ai, Mount Ebal, Mount Gerizim, Gibeon, Gilgal, Shiloh, Shechem|
|Special Feature:||Out of over a million people, Joshua and Caleb were the only two who left Egypt and entered the Promised Land.|
May I describe a few battles?
Let’s say that you have a problem with a person – a rotten person. A scoundrel who has taken advantage of your kindness. Because of him you have less money, more headaches, and a bitter heart.
Let[‘s also say that you’ve got the goods on this guy. Caught him. Aha! Red-handed. You can turn him in. Make a spectacle. Get even and get out. Give him what he deserves.
But something won’t let you. A verse from your past tethers your heart. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. “I will repay.”
Within you the battle rages. Let vengeance be mine, Lord, Lord, you pray, just once. Let me get even. But the Word won’t let you. And with time, you drop your fists to your side and just trust.
Here’s another battle.
Let’s say you have a problem with money. Every month you just barely make it. Each paycheck is spent before it’s cashed. If just one month you could get a break. Just some cushion. That’s all you need.
Poof, your prayer is answered.
Unexpected bonus An extra month’s salary. Finally, some breathing room. First, pay off the credit card, next repay my sister, then get the bumper fixed, and … uh-oh – my giving. “Surely God doesn’t want me to give 10 percent of the bonus? I mean, I give every month …Surely, he’ll understand if I* use this for something else …”
But the words challenge faintly yet firmly, “Honor the Lord with the first fruits of your labor …” Within you the battle rages, One side says, “Believe.” The other, “Get real.” Finally a truce is called and a white flag is waved and a check is written and placed in the plate.
But even as you give, you confess, “Doesn’t make sense, but because you say so …”
Let’s go one more. This time let’s really stretch it . Let’s say you are a general. A general in the Israeli army. Moses is dead, the Jordan has been crossed, the mantle passed, and you are wearing it.
God has promised that you will take Jericho. But as you look at the city, you have to wonder … the walls are high, the people are armed. The challenge is great.
But God has a plan.
You can’t wait to hear it, “Surely, he’ll give us more soldiers , stronger weapons, mightier swords. His plan must include this and more.
So you sit and listen as God explains. As he talks you are stunned, “What? Walk around the city seven times, blow some trumpets and … Wait a minute, God, this doesn’t make sense.”
The Book of Joshua is a book of battles. A book for soldiers. A book for people who would dare win God’s way. What applied then, applies today. It is the faithful who conquer. Those who follow the strategy win, those who don’t – don’t.
Remember the childhood game “follow the leader”? The idea was to mimic the antics of the person in front of you in the line of boys and girls winding through the neighborhood. Being a follower was all right, but being leader was the most fun, creating imaginative routes and tasks for everyone else to copy. In real life, great leaders are rare. Often, men and women are elected or appointed to leadership positions, but then falter or fail to act. Others abuse their power to satisfy their egos, crushing their subjects and squandering resources. But without faithful, ethical, and effective leaders, people wander.
For 40 years, Israel had journeyed a circuitous route through the wilderness, but not because they were following their leader. Quite the opposite was true—with failing faith, they had refused to obey God and to conquer Canaan. So they wandered. Finally, the new generation was ready to cross the Jordan and possess the land. Having distinguished himself as a man of faith and courage (he and Caleb gave the minority scout report recorded in Numbers 13:30–14:9), Joshua was chosen to be Moses’ successor. This book records Joshua’s leadership of the people of God as they finish their march and conquer the Promised Land.
Joshua was a brilliant military leader and a strong spiritual influence. But the key to his success was his submission to God. When God spoke, Joshua listened and obeyed. Joshua’s obedience served as a model. As a result, Israel remained faithful to God throughout Joshua’s lifetime.
The book of Joshua is divided into two main parts. The first narrates the events surrounding the conquest of Canaan. After crossing the Jordan River on dry ground, the Israelites camped near the mighty city of Jericho. God commanded the people to conquer Jericho by marching around the city 13 times, blowing trumpets, and shouting. Because they followed God’s unique battle strategy, they won (chapter 6). After the destruction of Jericho, they set out against the small town of Ai. Their first attack was driven back because one of the Israelites (Achan) had sinned (chapter 7). After the men of Israel stoned Achan and his family—purging the community of its sin—the Israelites succeeded in capturing Ai (chapter 8). In their next battle against the Amorites, God even made the sun stand still to aid them in their victory (chapter 10). Finally, after defeating other assorted Canaanites led by Jabin and his allies (chapter 11), they possessed most of the land.
Part two of the book of Joshua records the assignment and settlement of the captured territory (chapters 13–22). The book concludes with Joshua’s farewell address and his death (chapters 23, 24).
Joshua was committed to obeying God, and this book is about obedience. Whether conquering enemies or settling the land, God’s people were required to do it God’s way. In his final message to the people, Joshua underscored the importance of obeying God. “So be very careful to love the Lord your God” (23:11), and “choose today whom you will serve.… But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (24:15). Read Joshua and make a fresh commitment to obey God today. Decide to follow your Lord wherever he leads and whatever it costs.
One of the greatest challenges facing leaders is to replace themselves, training others to become leaders. Many outstanding accomplishments have been started by someone with great ability whose life or career ended before the vision became reality. The fulfillment of that dream then became the responsibility of that person’s successor. Death is the ultimate deadline for leadership. One of the best tests of our leadership is our willingness and ability to train another for our position.
Moses made an excellent decision when he chose Joshua as his assistant. That choice was later confirmed by God himself when he instructed Moses to commission Joshua as his successor (Numbers 27:15–23). Joshua had played a key role in the exodus from Egypt. Introduced as the field general of Israel’s army, he was the only person allowed to accompany Moses partway up the mountain when Moses received the law. Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 among the 12 scouts to bring back an encouraging report after being sent into the Promised Land the first time. Other references show him to have been Moses’ constant shadow. His basic training was living with Moses—experiencing firsthand what it meant to lead God’s people. This was modeling at its best!
Who is your Moses? Who is your Joshua? You are part of the chain of God’s ongoing work in the world. You are modeling yourself after others, and others are patterning their lives after you. How important is God to those you want to be like? Do those who are watching you see God reflected in every area of your life? Ask God to lead you to a trustworthy Moses. Ask him to make you a good Joshua.
@Strengths and accomplishments
w Moses’ assistant and successor
w One of only two adults who experienced Egyptian slavery and lived to enter the Promised Land
w Led the Israelites into their God-given homeland
w Brilliant military strategist
w Faithful to ask God’s direction in the challenges he faced
@Lessons from his life
w Effective leadership is often the product of good preparation and encouragement
w The persons after whom we pattern ourselves will have a definite effect on us
w A person committed to God provides the best model for us
w Where: Egypt, the wilderness of Sinai, and Canaan (the Promised Land)
w Occupations: Special assistant to Moses, warrior, leader
w Relative: Father: Nun
w Contemporaries: Moses, Caleb, Miriam, Aaron
“So Moses did as the Lord commanded and presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to his responsibilities, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses” (Numbers 27:22, 23).
Joshua is also mentioned in Exodus 17:9–14; 24:13; 32:17; 33:11; Numbers 11:28; 13; 14; 26:65; 27:18–23; 32:11–12, 28; 34:17; Deuteronomy 1:38; 3:21, 28; 31:3, 7, 14, 23; 34:9; the book of Joshua; Judges 2:6–9; and 1 Kings 16:34.
|Take the Land|
|God told Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land (also called Canaan) and conquer it. This was not an act of imperialism or aggression but an act of judgment. here are some of the earlier passages in the Bible where God promised to give this land to the Israelites and the reasons for doing so.|
|Genesis 12:1-3||God promised to bless Abraham and make his descendants into a great nation|
|Genesis 15:16||God would choose the right time for Israel to enter Canaan, because the nations living there then would be wicked and ripe for judgment (their sin would run its course)|
|Genesis 17:7, 8||God promised to give all the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants|
|Exodus 33:1-3||God promised to help the Israelites drive out all the evil nations from Canaan|
|Deuteronomy 4:5-8||The Israelites were to be an example of right living to the whole world; this would not work if they intermingled with the wicked Canaanites|
|Deuteronomy 7:1-5||The Israelites were to utterly wipe out the Canaanites because of their wickedness and because of Israel’s call to purity|
|Deuteronomy 12:2||The Israelites were to completely destroy the Canaanite altars so nothing would tempt them away from worshiping God alone|
|A. Entering the Promised Land (1:1–5:12)
1. Joshua leads the nation
2. Crossing the Jordan
|Joshua demonstrated his faith in God as he took up the challenge to lead the nation. The Israelites reaffirmed their commitment to God by obediently setting out across the Jordan River to possess the land. As we live the Christian life, we need to cross over from the old life to the new, put off our selfish desires, and press on to possess all God has planned for us. Like Joshua and Israel, we need courageous faith to live the new life.|
|B. Conquering the Promised Land (5:13–12:24)
1. Joshua attacks the center of the land
2. Joshua attacks the southern kings
3. Joshua attacks the northern kings
4. Summary of conquests
|Joshua and his army moved from city to city, cleansing the land of its wickedness by destroying every trace of idol worship. Conflict with evil is inevitable, and we should be as merciless as Israel in destroying sin in our lives.|
|C. Dividing the Promised Land (13:1–24:33)
1. The tribes receive their land
2. Special cities are set aside
3. Eastern tribes return home
4. Joshua’s farewell to the leaders
|Joshua urged the Israelites to continue to follow the Lord and worship him alone. The people had seen God deliver them from many enemies and miraculously provide for all their needs, but they were prone to wander from the Lord. Even though we may have experienced God at work in our lives, we, too, must continually renew our commitment to obey him above all other authority and to worship him alone.|
|Success||God gave success to the Israelites when they obeyed his master plan, not when they followed their own desires. Victory came when they trusted in him rather than in their military power, money, muscle, or mental capacity.||God’s work done in God’s way will bring his success. The standard for success, however, is not to be set by the society around us but by God’s Word. We must adjust our minds to God’s way of thinking in order to see his standard for success.|
|Faith||The Israelites demonstrated their faith by trusting God daily to save and guide them. By noticing how God fulfilled his promises in the past, they developed strong confidence that he would be faithful in the future.||Our strength to do God’s work comes from trusting him. His promises reassure us of his love and that he will be there to guide us in the decisions and struggles we face. Faith begins with believing he can be trusted.|
|Guidance||God gave instructions to Israel for every aspect of their lives. His law guided their daily living, and his specific marching orders gave them victory in battle.||Guidance from God for daily living can be found in his Word. By staying in touch with God, we will have the needed wisdom to meet the great challenges of life.|
|Leadership||Joshua was an example of an excellent leader. He was confident in God’s strength, courageous in the face of opposition, and willing to seek God’s advice.||To be a strong leader like Joshua, we must be ready to listen and to move quickly when God instructs us. Once we have his instructions, we must be diligent in carrying them out. Strong leaders are led by God.|
|Conquest||God commanded his people to conquer the Canaanites and take all their land. Completing this mission would have fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham and brought judgment on the evil people living there. Unfortunately, Israel never finished the job.||The Israelites were faithful in accomplishing their mission at first, but their commitment faltered. To love God means more than being enthusiastic about him. We must complete all the work he gives us and apply his instructions to every corner of our lives.|
Key Places in Joshua
1 Acacia The story of Joshua begins with the Israelites camping at Acacia. The Israelites under Joshua were ready to enter and conquer Canaan. But before the nation moved out, Joshua received instructions from God (1:1-18).
2 Jordan River The entire nation prepared to cross this river, which was swollen from spring rains. After the spies returned from Jericho with a positive report, Joshua prepared the priests and people for a miracle. As the priests carried the Ark into the Jordan River, the water stopped flowing, and the entire nation crossed on dry ground into the Promised Land (2:1–4:24).
3 Gilgal After crossing the Jordan River, the Israelites camped at Gilgal, where they renewed their commitment to God and celebrated the Passover, the festival commemorating their deliverance from Egypt (see Exodus). As Joshua made plans for the attack on Jericho, an angel appeared to him (5:1-15).
4 Jericho The walled city of Jericho seemed a formidable enemy. But when Joshua followed God’s plans, the great walls were no obstacle. The city was conquered with only the obedient marching of the people (6:1-27).
5 Ai Victory could not continue without obedience to God. That is why the disobedience of one man, Achan, brought defeat to the entire nation in the first battle against Ai. But once the sin was recognized and punished, God told Joshua to take heart and try Ai once again. This time the city was taken (7:1–8:29).
6 The Mountains of Ebal and Gerizim After the defeat of Ai, Joshua built an altar at Mount Ebal. Then the people divided themselves, half at the foot of Mount Ebal, half at the foot of Mount Gerizim. The priests stood between the mountains holding the Ark of the Covenant as Joshua read God’s law to all the people (8:30-35).
7 Gibeon It was just after the Israelites reaffirmed their covenant with God that their leaders made a major mistake in judgment: They were tricked into making a peace treaty with the city of Gibeon. The Gibeonites pretended that they had traveled a long distance and asked the Israelites for a treaty. The leaders made the agreement without consulting God. The trick was soon discovered, but because the treaty had been made, Israel could not go back on its word. As a result, the Gibeonites saved their own lives, but they were forced to become Israel’s slaves (9:1-27).
8 Valley of Aijalon The king of Jerusalem was very angry at Gibeon for making a peace treaty with the Israelites. He gathered armies from four other cities to attack the city. Gibeon summoned Joshua for help. Joshua took immediate action. Leaving Gilgal, he attacked the coalition by surprise. As the battle waged on and moved into the valley of Aijalon, Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still until the enemy could be destroyed (10:1-43).
9 Hazor Up north in Hazor, King Jabin mobilized the kings of the surrounding cities to unite and crush Israel. But God gave Joshua and Israel victory (11:1-23).
10 Shiloh After the armies of Canaan were conquered, Israel gathered at Shiloh to set up the Tabernacle. This movable building had been the nation’s center of worship during their years of wandering. The seven tribes who had not received their land were given their allotments (18:1–19:51).
11 Shechem Before Joshua died he called the entire nation together at Shechem to remind them that it was God who had given them their land and that only with God’s help could they keep it. The people vowed to follow God. As long as Joshua was alive, the land was at rest from war and trouble
1 My child, if you co-sign a loan for a friend or guarantee the debt of someone you hardly know—2if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said—3quick, get out of it if you possibly can! You have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased. 4Don’t put it off. Do it now! Don’t rest until you do. 5Save yourself like a deer escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net.
6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! 7Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, 8they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 9But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson: 10A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—11and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
12 Here is a description of worthless and wicked people: They are constant liars, 13 signaling their true intentions to their friends by making signs with their eyes and feet and fingers. 14 Their perverted hearts plot evil. They stir up trouble constantly. 15 But they will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond all hope of healing.
16 There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord among brothers.
20 My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. 21Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22Wherever you walk, their counsel can lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up in the morning, they will advise you. 23For these commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you. The correction of discipline is the way to life.
24 These commands and this teaching will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of an adulterous woman. 25 Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coyness seduce you. 26For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, and sleeping with another man’s wife may cost you your very life. 27Can a man scoop fire into his lap and not be burned? 28Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? 29So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished.
30Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. 31But if he is caught, he will be fined seven times as much as he stole, even if it means selling everything in his house to pay it back.
32But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. 33Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot. His shame will never be erased. 34For the woman’s husband will be furious in his jealousy, and he will have no mercy in his day of vengeance. 35There is no compensation or bribe that will satisfy him.
These verses are not a plea against generosity, but against overextending one’s financial resources and acting in irresponsible ways that could lead to poverty. It is important to maintain a balance between generosity and good stewardship. God wants us to help our friends and the needy, but he does not promise to cover the costs of every unwise commitment we make. We should also act responsibly so that our family does not suffer.
Those last few moments of sleep are delicious; we savor them as we resist beginning another workday. But Proverbs warns against giving in to the temptation of laziness, of sleeping instead of working. This does not mean we should never rest: God gave the Jews the Sabbath, a weekly day of rest and restoration. But we should not rest when we should be working. The ant is used as an example because it utilizes its energy and resources economically. If laziness turns us from our responsibilities, poverty may soon bar us from the legitimate rest we should enjoy. (See also the chart “Diligence and Laziness.”)
It is natural and good for children, as they grow toward adulthood, to become increasingly independent of their parents. Young adults, however, should take care not to turn a deaf ear to their parents—to reject their advice just when it is needed most. If you are struggling with a decision or looking for insight, check with your parents or other older adults who know you well. Their years of experience may have given them the wisdom you seek.
Regard lust as a warning sign of danger ahead. When you notice that you are attracted to a person of the opposite sex or preoccupied with thoughts of him or her, your desires may lead you to sin. Ask God to help you change your desires before you are drawn into sin.
Some people argue that it is all right to break God’s law against sexual sin if nobody gets hurt. In truth, somebody always gets hurt. In the case of adultery, spouses are devastated; children are scarred. Even if the partners escape disease and unwanted pregnancy, they may lose their ability to fulfill commitments, to feel sexual desire, to trust, and to be entirely open with another person. God’s laws are not arbitrary. They do not forbid good, clean fun; rather, they warn us against destroying ourselves through unwise actions or running ahead of God’s timetable.