- What concerns do you have for the next generation in Hong Kong or in China?
TAKING IN: Understanding?
- What are the repeated words and ideas?
- How do you understand these descriptions in 23:1:
- “A long time afterward…” Why is this an important description? What had happened in the meantime?
- “…the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies…” Compare this with Judges 1. How do you understand this?
- How does Joshua’s command to the leaders compare to the command God gave to him in chapter 1?
- For what reason do Israel’s leaders need to “be very strong” (23:6)?
- The word “cling” (23:8) is the Hebrew word dabaq, the same word used in Genesis 2:24 to describe the husband-wife relationship. The word means to join together inseparably. What are the things that will threaten this union between Israel and her God? (Note: David used the same word in Psalm 63:8 to describe his relationship with God.)
- Observe the four verbs used to describe the prohibitions to Israel regarding the gods of the Canaanites: mention them, swear by them, serve them or bow down to them (23:7). What are the shades of meaning in each of these prohibitions?
- In this context, discuss together the positive command in 23:11. What does it mean to love God?
- The threat is that the nations would become “thorns” to the Israelites. This word is used again in Judges 2:3 and 2 Corinthians 12:7. Does this shed any light for you on what Paul meant by his thorn in the flesh?
- See verse 14. On what is their obedience to be based?
LIVING OUT: Applying
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Only the obedient believe.” What do you think about this statement?
- How does one cling to God on a daily basis?
- What did Jesus say was the biggest threat to our love for and allegiance to God?
- In light of Jesus’ teaching, how are we to continue to battle against those things that threaten our love for God?
- Joshua seems satisfied with his life (23:14). When it comes time for us to “go the way of all the earth,” what will be the reason for our satisfaction?
- How does Jesus fulfill this Scripture? (See especially Hebrews 2.)