January 5, 2020 – January 11, 2020
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).
Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 369, 370, 375–378.
“In wicked Jericho the testimony of a heathen woman was, ‘The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath’ (Joshua 2:11). The knowledge of Jehovah that had thus come to her, proved her salvation.” Prophets and Kings, 369.
GUIDELINES FOR EFFICIENCY
- What shows that Joshua planned efficiently, as a man of action? Joshua 1:10–15. How should this inspire us today?
Note: “Well-defined plans should be freely presented to all whom they may concern, and it should be ascertained that they are understood. Then require of all those who are at the head of the various departments to cooperate in the execution of these plans. If this sure and radical method is properly adopted and followed up with interest and good will, it will avoid much work being done without any definite object, much useless friction.” Evangelism, 94.
“Let companies now be quickly organized to go out two and two, and labor in the Spirit of Christ, following His plans. Even though some Judas may introduce himself into the ranks of the workers, the Lord will care for the work. His angels will go before and prepare the way. Before this time, every large city should have heard the testing message, and thousands should have been brought to a knowledge of the truth. Wake up the churches, take the light from under the bushel.” Medical Ministry, 303.
WINNING CONFIDENCE AND SUPPORT
- How did the tribes on the east side of the Jordan assure Joshua of their confidence and support? Joshua 1:16, 17. What can we learn from this?
Note: “Christ would have His followers brought together in church capacity, observing order, having rules and discipline, and all subject one to another, esteeming others better than themselves. Union and confidence are essential to the prosperity of the church. If each member of the church feels at liberty to move independently of the others, taking his own peculiar course, how can the church be in any safety in the hour of danger and peril? The prosperity and very existence of a church depend upon the prompt, united action and mutual confidence of its members. When, at a critical time, one sounds the alarm of danger, there is need of prompt and active work, without stopping to question and canvass the whole subject from end to end, thus letting the enemy gain every advantage by delay, when united action might save many souls from perdition. …
“Confidence in our brethren is essential to the prosperity of the church; union of action is important in a religious crisis. One imprudent step, one careless action, may plunge the church into difficulties and trials from which it may not recover for years. One member of the church filled with unbelief may give an advantage to the great foe that will affect the prosperity of the entire church, and many souls may be lost as the result.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 445, 446.
- How did the people encourage Joshua? Joshua 1:18. How can we be inspired by this support of leadership?
Note: “Let us not discourage one another. Let us take hold unitedly to make every line of the Lord’s work a success. If someone comes to you and talks discouragingly about the work in one or another of our institutions, telling you that they are extravagant beyond measure, say to them, ‘I am sorry if that is so, but let us help them out if they are in difficulty.’ If you will speak thus you may avoid much of the evil that might result were you to withdraw your sympathy, and should you refuse to help those who, possibly, may have been misrepresented. Let us never discourage even those who have done wrong, by treating them as if they had committed against us an unpardonable sin.” Counsels on Health, 243.
ASSESSING THE CHALLENGE
- What step did Joshua take when facing the first obstacle in the journey? Joshua 2:1, first part.
Note: “The Israelites were still encamped on the east side of Jordan, which presented the first barrier to the occupation of Canaan. ‘Arise,’ had been the first message of God to Joshua, ‘go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them’ (Joshua 1:2). No instruction was given as to the way in which they were to make the passage. Joshua knew, however, that whatever God should command, He would make a way for His people to perform, and in this faith the intrepid leader at once began his arrangements for an advance.
“A few miles beyond the river, just opposite the place where the Israelites were encamped, was the large and strongly fortified city of Jericho. This city was virtually the key to the whole country, and it would present a formidable obstacle to the success of Israel. Joshua therefore sent two young men as spies to visit this city and ascertain something as to its population, its resources, and the strength of its fortifications.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482.
- Explain the state of mind of Jericho’s inhabitants and the protection given by Rahab at the peril of her life. Joshua 2:1, last part–9.
Note: “The terrible judgments of God which were visited upon the idolaters in the lands through which the children of Israel passed caused a fear and dread to fall upon all people living on the earth.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.
- What did Rahab recognize as the key to Israel’s strength? Joshua 2:10, 11.
Note: “Through the teaching of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite, … turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God were to unite themselves with His chosen people.” Prophets and Kings, 19.
A HEATHEN SOUL CONVERTED
- By what process did Rahab protect the men of God and in turn receive protection herself as well? Joshua 2:12–20. What does this teach us?
Note: “Those who are watching for souls, who devote themselves most fully to the salvation of the erring, are most surely working out their own salvation.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 607.
- What did the woman do to signify her agreement? Joshua 2:21. How important is cooperation in the work of God?
Note: “There is much said concerning the inefficiency of human effort, and yet the Lord does nothing for the salvation of the soul without the cooperation of man.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 217.
- What should we learn from the caution exercised by the spies? Joshua 2:22.
Note: “There are those who have a reckless spirit, which they term courage and bravery. They needlessly place themselves in scenes of danger and peril, thus exposing themselves to temptations out of which it would require a miracle of God to bring them unharmed and untainted. …
“God’s precious promises are not given to strengthen man in a presumptuous course or for him to rely upon when he rushes needlessly into danger. The Lord requires us to move with a humble dependence upon His providence. ‘It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps’ (Jeremiah 10:23, last part). In God is our prosperity and our life. Nothing can be done prosperously without the permission and blessing of God. He can set His hand to prosper and bless, or He can turn His hand against us. … We should exercise prudence, caution, and humility, and walk circumspectly toward them that are without.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 482.
HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT
- When the spies returned to the camp of Israel, what did they report to Joshua? Joshua 2:23, 24. How important is it to use encouraging words?
Note: “The bright and cheerful side of religion will be represented by all who are daily consecrated to God. We should not dishonor our Lord by a mournful relation of trials that appear grievous. All trials that are received as educators will produce joy. The whole religious life will be uplifting, elevating, ennobling, fragrant with good words and works: The enemy is well pleased to have souls depressed, downcast; he desires unbelievers to gain wrong impressions regarding the effect of our faith. But God desires the mind to take a higher level. He desires every soul to triumph in the keeping power of the Redeemer.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1183.
- When Jericho was later destroyed, how did the Israelites treat Rahab and her family? Joshua 6:21–23, 25. What shows the victory possible through faith, regardless of whatever sin we may have indulged? Hebrews 11:31.
Note: “The stronghold of sin is in the will. Put your will on God’s side of the question; place yourself no longer in the position of a sinner, a harlot. You may not see clearly how you will obtain deliverance from the sins which have been cherished, and strengthened with repetition. The only way is to confess your sins, forsake them, and believe that Jesus will pardon you.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 140, 141.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 In my missionary efforts, how can I imitate the efficiency of Joshua?
2 How can I imitate the support that the tribes gave to Joshua at the Jordan?
3 What is God’s plan for the “Rahabs” we may encounter on a daily basis?
4 Why are caution and prudence important virtues in perilous times?
5 How can my speech become more like the report the spies brought back?