The text for this lesson is Joshua 3:1—5:12.
- At the Jordan River, led by Joshua, Israel left the desert and entered the Promised Land of milk and honey; in the water of our Baptism, led by Christ, we leave behind the desert of sin, death, and Satan and enter into our heavenly promised land.
- Law: In sin, I am ever-complaining and unrepentant, wearily wandering in the desert of death, determined to go my own way.
- Gospel: In Baptism, Christ lifts me from the grave, joins me to His own baptism and His own body, the Church, and leads me and the Church into the land of rest.
- Bible Words: Titus 3:5.
- Faith Words: Ark of the Covenant, Jordan River, Promised Land, tribe.
- Catechism: Holy Baptism
Context in Salvation History
Following the death and mysterious burial of Moses (Deuteronomy 34:1–12), Joshua now leads the nation. His name means “The Lord saves.” In Greek, his name would be “Jesus.” God has assured him that He is with him and Israel, even as He was with Moses. The miraculous stoppage of the Jordan’s waters and the Israelite’s traversal on dry ground is dramatic proof of this. It is a mini-exodus of sorts. Having crossed the river, the nation will next take up arms against the current inhabitants, who have fallen under God’s curse. Israel will be the divine instrument for uprooting the nations who have defiled the Holy Land.
Discussion Points and Questions
- Discuss the details, the context, and tell the story.
- Read Joshua 3:1–6. Note the importance of the Ark of the Covenant. What did the Ark represent?
- How do these instructions reflect the Israelites’ relationship with God?
- Read Joshua 3:14–17. What is the significance of the Jordan River?
- What is the role of the Ark of the Covenant during the crossing?
- Read Joshua 4:1–8. What was the purpose of this act commanded by God? How did it represent and end a new beginning? Are there memorial “sings” that you can identify at church? In the liturgy?
- Read Joshua 5:2–9. What was the significance of circumcision?
- Why was this an appropriate occasion for all of Israel to be circumcised?
- Read Joshua 5:10–12. What is the significance of the Israelites’ celebration of the Passover?
- What connections does this story have to other passages in God’s Word?
- (Genesis 7:1–8:22; Exodus 14:1–31; 2 Kings 5:1–27; Matthew 3:1–17) How is water used to make an end and a new beginning?
- (Exodus 12:1–51; 2 Chronicles 35:1–27; Luke 22:1–71) How do these passages concerning the Passover mark significant occasions in the restoration of God’s people to the life that God intended for them?
- The Israelites began a new life surrounded by symbol and ceremony. When do Christians begin their new life? What symbols and ceremonies surround this event? What part of this event is not symbolic?
- God instructed the Israelites to create a memorial to remember the day they entered their new life. How are Christians to do the same thing with respect to their Baptism?
Thank you for joining us once again and listening to this podcast. Next week, we will be discussing The Fall of Jericho. Please join us again next week!
Additional CPH Resources
|Moses and the Long Walk (59-1607)
This book retells the story of God’s People and their 40 years of wandering (Exodus 14–26; Numbers 14; Deutronomy 34:1-6; Joshua 1:9).
The Arch® Book series tells popular Bible stories through fun-to-read rhymes and bright illustrations. This well-loved series captures the attention of children, telling scripturally sound stories that are enjoyable and easy to remember.
|LifeLight: Joshua – Leader’s Guide (20-3618) and Enrichment Magazine (20-3619)Presented in nine sessions, this study is part of the LifeLight Bible study series of in-depth studies of Bible books. The goal of LifeLight is that through a regular program of in-depth personal and group study of Scripture, more and more Christian adults may grow in their personal faith in Jesus Christ.
|God’s Word for Today: Joshua (20-3606)
Behind the historical details and the epic battles recorded in the Book of Joshua lies a covenant of grace, God’s promise that He made with Abraham and his descendants forever. Although covering a time span of only about thirty years, the Book of Joshua points forward in time to another Joshua—Jesus of Nazareth—whose coming is significant forever. In both rite and event, Joshua both anticipates the fulfillment of Abraham’s promise in Christ. In this study you will learn:
Also available in a downloadable format (20-3607).
|People’s Bible Commentary: Joshua (12-8207)
Christ-centered Bible truths unfold as you read this complete series of commentaries designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment. These trustworthy commentaries help you comprehend what you’ve read in Scripture as well as apply it to your life.
These commentaries offer:
This series is an excellent companion text for Bible study leaders and for individual use.
|Concordia Commentary: Joshua (15-6004)
Joshua narrates Israel’s conquest and inheritance of the Promised Land in fulfillment of God’s gracious plan. Joshua prefigures Christ as he faithfully leads God’s people, like the church militant, through battle into triumph.
This commentary explores the history, culture, archaeology, and theology of the book to deepen faith in the victorious Savior of all peoples. It focuses on the faithfulness of God and how He kept His covenant promises, which are fulfilled in Christ. Throughout the commentary, the author’s intimate knowledge of the Holy Land and his experience as a missionary and pastor bring the biblical text to life.