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Joshua 14:6-15 1
6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’ 10 “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.

img177Background

Joshua along with Judges recount the story of Israel’s settlement in the land of Canaan and their first couple of centuries in the land. The first half of Joshua describes the actual entry of the Israelites into the land and the early battles for control of key cities (1-12). The second half of the book details how the land was divided among the tribes of Israel (13-22), as well as a concluding covenant ceremony in which the people committed themselves to the worship of God (23-24).

As the Israelites left Egypt on their exodus, Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to scout out the land of Canaan. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who had confidence that God would give Israel the land of Canaan despite its formidable inhabitants. Because of their faith God allowed Joshua and Caleb to enter the promised land, but he vowed that the others of Joshua’s generation would die in the wilderness. God instructed Moses to designate Joshua as his successor. Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land.

2Caleb’s request is, “Give me this mountain,” or Hebron, because it was formerly in God’s promise to him, and he would let Israel knows how much he valued the promise. Those who live by faith value that which is given by God’s promise, far above what is given by his providence only. It was now in the Anakims’ possession, and Caleb would let Israel know how little he feared the enemy, and that he would encourage them to push on their conquests. Caleb answered to his name, which signifies “all heart.” Hebron was settled on Caleb and his heirs, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Happy are we if we follow him. Singular piety shall be crowned with singular favor.

Biblical Truths 3

Verses 6-9 You can also read this story in Numbers 13:26-33 and Deuteronomy 1:34-36. Caleb was one of the 12 men that Moses sent in secret to look at the promised land. Only Joshua and Caleb brought good news back (Numbers 13). Caleb had faith that God would provide. Moses made a promise to Caleb. Caleb would possess some of the promised land for himself.
Verses 10-12 Caleb had waited 45 years to receive his land. He did not ask for an easy task. He asked for mountains to climb and Anakites to defeat. (Anakites were giants among men.)
Verse 13-15 Joshua gave Caleb the land near Hebron. (See Joshua 21:11-12.) Hebron is in the mountains. And Hebron was the place where the Anakites lived. So, the Israelites had to defeat the Anakites first – see Joshua 11:21. Sometimes we have to wait a long time before God answers our prayers. But we are never too old to work for God.

Items for Discussion

  • This story has many messages: Which ones speak to you?
  • How should those who are older receive this message?
  • God made the promise – What are the things that Caleb had to do in order to receive his land?
  • What was required of Joshua is relevant today – how?
  • How can those who are older, who have carried their faith and obedience to God, use their stories to build the faith of others?
  • This might be entitled “A Story of Faith and Patience.” How are the two, faith and patience, interrelated?

 

Revelations 3:20
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Background

Revelation is the last book of the Bible. The purpose of Revelation appears to have been to give the new Christians hope in the midst of their persecutions. It reveals the person of Jesus Christ. Revelation is written in a writing style called apocalyptic literature, an ancient style of writing using much imagery and was usually written in the name of an ancient hero. The title of the book Apokalupsis (The Revelation) means to uncover, to unveil. The message given to John was visual. The visions included many signs and symbols that even John didn’t understand. He used illustrations to describe these things. The events in Revelations are not necessarily chronological.

There are Two Major Sections of Revelation: Things that are (Chapters 1 – 3) and things to come (Chapters 4 – 22). Revelation was written in the format of an epistle. Its beginning occurs at 1:4 after a brief introduction (1:1-3) and had the same opening sequence as all of Paul’s letters, James, Peter, and Jude. The closing of Revelation is similar to all of Paul’s letters and Hebrews. It is important to consider that Revelation was a letter written to a specific group of Christians (to the seven churches), addressing specific needs.

Our verse is part of the section, entitled “THE LETTER TO LAODICEA (3:14-21)” Laodicea was a very wealthy city during Roman times. It was the ancient capital of the province Phrygia. It was a part of a tri-city metropolitan area which included Colossae and Hierapolis. It was widely known for its banks, medical school, and textile industry. It lacked a good water supply, and therefore its water came from a mountain about five miles away and was nasty because it traveled through stone pipes. The physicians at Laodicea developed an ointment for the ears and powder for the eyes (These were called salves). The physicians were loyal to Asklepios, the serpent God, as in Pergamum. It was a center for emperor worship.

Bible Truths

Jesus corrects who he loves. All they have to do is repent. Since Jesus says that he was on the outside knocking, we can conclude that the church was probably not gathering in Jesus’ name or for worship of God (Matthew 18:20). The church may have been a social club for the rich and famous (both actual and perceived) and the proud as some churches are today. Matthew 18:20 says “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Jesus would be among the two or three. We can apply this by saying that Jesus would be among the people that are gathered in His name in a whole congregation. Those who overcome would participate with Jesus in His sovereignty (See Ephesians 2:6).

Items for Discussion

  • Using the imagery of someone at a door, what are the responsibilities of each party, the one outside and the one inside?
  • What do you do when you hear a knock?
  • A Door and knock are both figures of speech. Neither the door nor the knock are literal. What is Jesus seeking?
  • The word “If “ is used: maybe the person inside the house will hear and maybe he will not hear. The issue is not recognition of the voice, but hearing the voice. Why do so many not hear?
  • Jesus uses a metaphor. Reciprocal dining. How would fellowship differ between standing at the door and talking and extending an invitation to dinner?

Discussion Challenge

  • How do we make sure those we love hear the “knock?”

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=6&c=14
  3. http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/joshua-lbw.htm
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