Reflect on the God or gods that was/were worshiped in your home growing up (ie. Jesus Christ, money, success, material possessions, status…). What did you see in your family that helped you? What didn’t help? What about your household today? What God or gods do your children, grandchildren, friends, and neighbours see you worshipping? Do you need to make a change today to be more fully devoted to serving the Lord Jesus Christ?
Read the summary of the allotment of land to Israel in Joshua 18:1-7. Notice that the tribe of Judah anchors Israel’s settlement in the south while the tribes of Ephriam and Manassah (house of Joseph) will be the first to receive allotment in the north. Both tribes are favoured. Why? Could it have something to do with the ancestors that bear their names (Read Genesis 37 to see Joseph and Judah in the same setting along with their brothers)?
Have you ever been treated with favoritism or been passed over because someone else was favoured? How does/did that affect you? What advantages and disadvantages are there for those who are favoured?
Read Joshua 10:12-15.
Notice God’s power over the sun.
Now read about the Amorite god of the sun in this Wikipedia article (only the 2nd paragraph).
Notice how Utu is depicted as emerging from a mountain, traveling across the earth, and then returning to a mountain hole (cave). He carries weapons, doles out justice, stands with one foot on a mountain, and he decides the fate of the dead.
Keeping the above themes/words in mind, read Joshua 10:16-28. What do you notice? What similarities are there between the Amorite kings and Utu? (Hint: caves, death, ‘one foot’…). What does this story reveal about Israel’s God when compared to one of the gods of the Amorites?
What were the Gibeonites thinking?
What were Joshua and Israel’s leaders thinking?
What were the Israelites thinking about their leader’s decisions?
Why didn’t Israel consult with God?
Read Deuteronomy 7:1-2 and Deuteronomy 20:10-15 to shed light on the complexity of the decision-making. Have you ever struggled to make a decision when you didn’t know all the facts? What role does time have on making good or bad decisions? What role does inquiring of God have on the decisions you make?