JOSHUA - Lesson 6: Resurrection Life
"...we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4
The crossing of the Jordan marked the end of the wilderness journey and a new beginning in the promised land. Here the people would find peace and rest -- if only they would trust God and His ways. For us this new beginning represents the choice to leave the struggling self-life and enter into the rest God offers all who will follow Him.
My Lord, how well you understand my human nature and my struggles in this world. You know how easily I forget the peace and rest you offer me in yourself. All too often I fail to give you the thanks that might have filled my heart with joy in your wonderful presence. Yet, how faithful you are to meet my true needs!
Now, as I study Joshua 4, open my eyes and show me the significance of your guidelines and how I might apply them to my own life. Help me remember -- point me to the memorial stones that will draw my heart back to you again and again!
1. Read Joshua 4:1-8. No one knows the time it took for more than a million people (including small children), with all their livestock and belongings, to cross the Jordan during its flood stage. What we do know is that God was guiding the process through Joshua in such a way that future generation would remember this momentous event. What were God's instructions to the twelve men?
2. Summarize the God-given answer to the question, “What do these stones mean to you?”
3. How would you answer the same question?
4. Read Joshua 4:9, 18 and Romans 6:4-11. Where did Joshua place the second set of twelve stones?
What would soon happen to those stones?
5. As you read Romans 6:4-11, ask God for to make these verses alive in your heart by His Spirit. If you have been "born again" through faith in Jesus Christ, what happened in you through His saving work on the cross?
6. Prayerfully consider how Joshua 4:9 and 18 illustrates the message of Romans 6:4-6. What New Testament event does this Old Testament event symbolize in your life?
7. Read Philippians 3:7-14. What is God telling us through Paul's heart in verses 7-10?
8. In order to enter fully into the spiritual riches of God's kingdom, there may be certain aspects of the old life that must be "buried in the waters of the Jordan." What are you willing in to lay aside (or take to the cross) so that you might enter into all that your Lord and King offers you?
9. How does Philippians 3:12-14 affirm the message of this second set of stones?
10. (optional) Read Joshua 4:14. What have you seen in Joshua's heart that might have caused God to chose him as a leader of all His people? How did He train His faithful servant and then honor Him? (Review Exodus 17:9-13; 24:12-13)
11. Read Joshua 4:15-18. Consider the timing of the river's flow. What human act coincided with the return of the flooding water? What does this miracle tell you about God and His ways?
12. Read Joshua 4:19-24. Once again, God tells His people to use a question to build truth and trust into the hearts of their children. What was the question this time?
13. What was the correct answer?
14. Why do both children and parents need such questions and answers? (Considering our human nature, what need does it meet in our lives?)
15. Read Psalm 103. How does this psalm affirm the above message?
16. What might God be saying to you through this psalm?
Next: Lesson 7-Circumcision and the Cross