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The Northern Campaign

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2021 8:00 am

The Northern Campaign

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 9, 2021 8:00 am

If we're talking about salvation, God isn't interested in what you can do. He is interested in what He has done in Christ; what God calls on you to do is believe in Christ. Today on The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Boice asks.... Do you believe wholeheartedly, with all your life, soul, mind and strength?

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If were talking about salvation. God is interested in what you can do. He is interested in what he has done in Christ what God calls on you to do is believe today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce asks do you believe with all your heart, soul, mind and strength are welcome to Bible study. The radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act biblically.

Joshua believed God implicitly and he obeyed God utterly. This was the great strength of his life. We are all called to be. Joshua was in this way, listen to his story now from Joshua 11 and 12 were studying together the 10th, 11th and 12th chapters of the book of Joshua and these are the chapters which is like pointed out last week contain heart of the conquest of Canaan under Joshua, the first portion of the book has from the point of view of being an account of the battles move rather slowly. That's intentional, of course, dealing with other things.

The Bible is concerned more with attitudes and principles in theology than with the details of a conquest such as this so early chapters moved quite slowly and showing the principles upon which the people were cooperate and the dangers that confronted them. The sins that had to be confessed and forsaken. But here in these middle chapters 10, 11 and 12 that warfare, as it were gets underway in earnest, and where told of a campaign of Joshua hinder the South against a coalition of southern kings from a variety of hillside cities, fortresses, and then in chapters 11 and 12, especially in Chapter 11 were told of a campaign against the north, where similar coalition of kings gathered together to try and repulse this invasion out we already looked in some detail at the southern campaign the northern one is given an even less detailed than the southern one. And furthermore, it's similar in many respects were told at the very beginning of chapter 11 that there was a king in the north King of Hayes or his name was J been who saw what was happening and decided respond by getting together all of the forces at his disposal. Previous chapter, the king of Jerusalem had done the same thing, gathering together the kings of the various city states hillside fortresses of the South now J been the king of Hayes or decided to do this in the north so we set out a call to all of the cities that now was the time I had to get together and fight to be successful. Or else they were going to suffer. Obviously same fate that the cities that had already been destroyed before them and suffered so he was successful in his call. They amassed a great army and these gathered together at a place called the waters of Maryland.

This is a small lake. It's a short distance north of the Sea of Galilee Mayor. This great host of the kings of the north gathered together to fight against Joshua now as I say the account in Joshua 11 doesn't tell us a great deal about this, but there are some things that are perhaps interesting about it. Josephus writes in his account of the Jewish antiquities that this was an enormous army.

He says that there were 300,000 foot soldiers.

There were hundred thousand horsemen in the were 20,000 chariots. Now we don't know what is any substance to that are not as a matter fact, the bottom of my addition of Josephus. There's a little footnote that says these numbers are all imaginary. No numbers at all given in the Old Testament, medical horses, true, may be drunk. Josephus was ready to some kind of tradition about this. Whatever the case, this was a big battle and not only were there apparently large numbers gathered together was also a new element in the warfare, something that the Jewish soldiers had not encountered before and that was these chariots all the battles before this is been on foot against foot soldiers now suddenly there chariots pulled by horses capable not only of elevating the one who drove them and thought from them but also capable of dashing suddenly in the ranks of the advancing armies and scattering them in wrecking a great deal of havoc in their wake told that Joshua was made fearful by this sudden new bit of military intelligence, but he may have been because what we are told in the text is that the Lord came to strengthen them again. Verse six the Lord said to Joshua do not be afraid of them because by this time tomorrow I will handle all of them over to Israel slain Joshua was a man who believed God already seen that. So whether or not he had been fearful up to this point.

He certainly took courage.

He gathered his troops together. They were Gill gal down by the Jordan River. He marched north told about a five day March the marched north to encounter this new threat and then suddenly lapses the Don and his battle in the south of Gibeon falling upon them.

In the early morning when they least expected it, and he achieved great victory. This is probably although it doesn't say that explicitly the greatest of all the battles of Joshua's distinguished military career. Perhaps it was the bloodiest, more people slain a greater threat and consequently also a greater victory than anything else that happened before or would happen since the remainder of this chapter.

Then goes on to describe how Joshua took the entire land we saw the summary in chapter 10 we saw that it distinguished for different areas of the conquered.

Now here in Chapter 11. There are six or 16. Joshua took this entire land. The hill country that probably is the hill country to the south where he had already been the first thing mentioned were Jerusalem situated the negative that is the increasingly desolate area of the South going on down in the direction of Egypt, the whole region of Goshen. We don't know exactly where that area is Mrs. Moxley area of Egypt in the Delta where the people live during the years of the captivity, but it probably is a southern area may be a bit beyond and a gap perhaps down toward the shore, or some such thing. Western foothills. That is the region of Canaan that extended down toward the Mediterranean say the Alta.

That's the area that is east of the Jordan River. A fertile area, especially where there is irrigation and the mountains of Israel with her foothills. That is all the region to the north. Six different areas. He took them all were told he killed the kings he captured the city's status to sigh all of the major cities and so he succeeded that point in breaking all the resistance and subduing land in the next chapter, chapter 11, there's a review of all these battles.

This is a review not merely of what happened after Joshua had crossed the Jordan River with the troops but it is also a review of the battles that had taken place even before the crossing of the Jordan under the command of Moses while he was still living matter fact that chapter is divided into two parts thereof. The conquest of Moses lifted in the first part and then there are the conquests that God gave the people under Joshua very last portion of that chapter and this is the end of the first half of the book of Joshua has a listing of all the kings that were killed. Something like a checklist. I wonder if they really did post it this way sometimes. You know when you have a lot of work to do. You make a list of the things you have to do when you put it up on the corner of your desk or stick it on the door of the refrigerator and you begin to check things off. I wonder if Joshua didn't do something like that King of Jericho, one King of AI near Bethel, one King of Jerusalem won the king of Hebron, one one by one as he killed the rejectable often get down to the end of the list of 31 of them and assess.

31 kings all and so ended the conquest of the land of Canaan under the direction of Joshua son of God. It was a tremendous conquest. You put all these areas together, you find that it extends from Sidon in the north way to the north. It's and what we today call Lebanon way down Egypt's south of the Mediterranean on the west well into the desert on the east. It was all the land entirely. God promised that he was going to give the people when he first began to make those promises that Abraham repeated them throughout all the years but the patriarchs lived.

Now last week when we reach the end of our summation of the southern campaign.

I had to think for a bit about the characteristics of Joshua as a leader certainly has characteristics as a military leader.

But not only that also is a spiritual leader. The same principles that he put into play in his military campaigns are principles you and I need to put into spiritual campaigns and we looked at some of those together we saw in the first place of Joshua never seemed to allow short-term gains to turning back from long-range objectives. He knew what he was there to do. He was there to conquer the land subduing to do away with the kings and the armies of the cities, and even though he saw short-term things that might've been quite attractive at the time. He never turned aside what was a lesser objective.

I pointed out that you and I need to get a firm fix on that.

Probably one thing we need to do is make a list of priorities in our lives things that really are important as God teaches us what is important through his word, Holy Spirit reveals these priorities to us and we need to adhere to that we need to make a last ventilator on paper. Perhaps it's something we need to review regularly and then follow those things one by one. Joshua did that great model in that respect. Secondly, Joshua knew as he carried out the battle that not only did he need encouragement. God certainly provided it to him again again, assuring him that he had no need to be afraid that God would give victory.

Joshua also in the know that those who work with him needed to be given encouragement so you find examples of that again and again in the story we need to learn from that.

We don't do this Christian thing along when we're saved were not saved individualistically though we are saved one by one.

When were say were brought into the church, the body of Christ we are made members of his body, along with others also call upon the name of the Lord. We have to encourage them as they also have to encourage us.

Christian life has its ups and downs and fortunately God arranges it in such a way that when we're down somebody else usually is not.

We don't always look around to see who's out when we're down somebody in his end. One of the obligation of those who are not missing encourage those who were down and we find our selves encouraged by things are happening in the war on lies. We need to pass out. On the other side. Here again, Joshua is an example number three took no shortcuts and steady proceeded proceeded step-by-step.

In this task of conquering the land going to see as we look back on this with our next study that all in all this subjection of the hillside fortresses took seven years. That's a lot of fighting is longer than our world wars. Joshua nevertheless kept it up and that's the way we need to make progress in the Christian life step-by-step number 40 didn't allow for early errors to unsettle and we look to that a little bit. You made mistakes just as we do made a mistake. AI didn't consult God they suffered a defeat made a misjudgment in regard to the Gibeonites.

He didn't consult God so he was deceived by appearances allow these things to throw them off. Undoubtedly, the devil was there to say to him like you made a mistake made a bad mistake why your discredited. How could you ever hope to lead the people. Having made a mistake like that being such a sinner as you are now. Joshua undoubtedly confessed these things got it right with the Lord when he went on it and allow those things to determine from future usefulness in either should way. I pointed out the fifth place that he believed God implicitly and in the six place that he obeyed God utterly. Now it's a last point I'd like to look at just a little bit further. The reason I like to do that is because in the middle of this 11th chapter. There were now studying their this verse, which I think more than anything in the entire book summarizes the character of this man Joshua Joshua and some plaintiffs least as Nestorius told us was not a spectacular individual least didn't have a lot of spectacular experiences.

Moses his predecessor went up on the mountain and receive the law from God in the midst of thunder and lightning and when he came back down and were told that his face glowed with a trance furred effulgence of the glory of God. Nothing like that ever happened to Joshua Moses was the one who was able to march single-handedly into the presence of Pharaoh and with the direction of God speak the word of God and bring place in great numbers. Upon the Egyptians. Joshua never did anything like that were miracles.

Of course, but basically Joshua was soldier and he had what you might have to say was a plotting mentality of a soldier. He was told what to do when he did it, and his strength was found in that that is a great great thing and that's what this verse talks about Joshua 1115 says summarizing the character of this remarkable man as the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua and Joshua did it. He left nothing on Donald all that the Lord commanded Moses. Yes, at times in our lives when you and I would like to see the glory of God is able to reflect that others there's a sense in which we do that as Christians I know there are times when we like to be the channel of some miraculous thing in. Maybe that can happen from time to time. I don't know but you know most of us are called to be Joshua's where soldiers in the army of God and what were told to do is what Joshua did.

That is everything that God says to be a wonderful thing that could be said of us when we came to the end of our lives and people summed up what our lives have accomplished with the wonderful if they would say about us. Not all how brilliant he or she was all a spectacular moment. They had way back in 1986 or whatever that may be when sucking such a thing happen, but if they would say instead that person left nothing undone. All the Lord commanded him or her to do is an interesting feature of this that is worth pointing out that is what Joshua is commended for here is not obedience to what in a very direct way. Supernatural way. Joshua received from God. Joshua did receive word from God were told here in the story again and again God said certain things to him that somebody is commended for his commanded obeying what God told Moses, and Moses told Joshua it was a mediated assignment reason I say that's important is that that's the way we get our assignment God doesn't speak to us directly, but he speaks to us through the word having caused that to be written down by others, to whom he spoke directly. So when we put this over in our experience, we ought to be able to say we have left nothing on Donald all the Lord commanded us to do through Moses who wrote the Pentateuch were David who wrote the song writer say are Daniel or Ezekiel, who wrote their books are John and Matthew were blue or Paul or any other of the writers of Scripture left undone. Nothing all the things that he had been commanded to do while you say what what is it that we should do. Let me suggest a few things for you and then you fill in gaps that I leave out. I think in the first place. We think of what we should do that exchange that took place between Jesus and the people of his day, which is recorded in John six.

The people of seen them do a great miracle and feeding a large multitude, and they followed him around the lake they were trying to get them to do more and in the midst of their attempted political manipulation. I did have a very pertinent question. They said to him, what should we do that we might do the works of God.

Very interesting kind of question that is the question that people have. If they begin to think about spiritual things.

All what should we do that we might do works of God. You know, if you know that chapter. What Jesus reply was verses 28 and 29. He said this is the work of God, but you might believe on him whom you sent.

That's the site if you're talking about salvation. God is in interested in what you can do. First of all, God is interested in what is done in Christ what he calls upon you to do is believe in him, so I asked the question you're talking as we are tonight about Joshua leaving undone nothing of all the Lord commanded him to do.

I ask if you really believed on Jesus Christ because that is certainly what God has commanded you to do say well I personally believe is what were asking the text says that Joshua left nothing undone of all the Lord commanded him. The question is if you really believe you believe wholeheartedly, totally your whole life, soul, mind and strength and being is on the line. One thing that's wrong with so many people to attend so many churches is that they have in Christianity. They commonly pick and choose today.

Look at it more or less as a seminar that you attend in order to get what might be helpful in terms of your particular problem so they listen and they say well there's a principle that might work for me so they go out to try that helped a little bit sometimes because after all. Truth is frozen.

If Christianity is true even if you don't believe in Christ. Somewhere along the line, or some true principles which if you practice will help. Certainly, if you shun Seddon go for righteousness. You have less trouble in your life that you would otherwise be paid treat things like that.

And of course I hear about Jesus and asked him, and say to them while you believe the Jesus is the son of God and the Savior they wouldn't exactly say no, they don't believe that most good people to sort of, but I don't believe it enough to change their life and follow with just a sign.

Please understand this it in the biblical sense. I don't believe all you see if you believe Jesus is the son of God and the Savior by very definition he is Lord and you must follow.

If you're not following them. You're not really believing in that personal sense that he is the Lord so I encourage you to do. First of all, is if you have heard these things if you been toying with her. That's all right Begin someplace but if you been toying with these things and listen to picking and choosing inside. Well, maybe sometime I'll go a little further, but not quite yet. Forget that what was said of Joshua will be true of you that they left nothing on Donald all that was required concerning belief in Jesus Christ involved, so make it the determination of your heart that you're going to receive him as your Savior. Following is Lord now wholeheartedly and forever. That's the first way I'd apply this second thing is this in Matthew 28 very end of that chapter where we have the great commission were told that if we believe on Jesus.

Then we have an obligation to tell other people about it time to time as I study this. I'm impressed with different parts of the great commission. Sometimes I am impressed with the introduction to it that tells us about Christ's authority as the basis upon which everything else is set all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Sometimes I'm impressed with the reference to teaching their to go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of some of the Holy Spirit and they are to teach everything that Christ is commandment I'm impressed with that because the real emphasis of the verses upon that go is this the participle would be properly translated as saying as you go. Make sure you teach so that's a valid emphasis. But you know when I think of that great commission in terms of this verse and Joshua.

What impresses me is the word all or everything I were told to do in the great commission is to teach them to obey all or everything that I have commanded you. That's the nature of our witness. One of the problems of our Christianity today is that we do precisely the opposite of that. We have in Christianity. The same thing that is true in our Western world that is a reductionist mentality.

We are mentally lazy. We don't want to come to grapple with thing in its completeness, and so we look for simple ways to kinda get a hold of it and think that because we understand a simple principle or two about it when we no longer is to know about that are education trains is that way sort of a reader's digest approach to the classics don't really have to read them. You just have to kinda know what it's about, or the way the students talk about today. They say on it reading.

I've seen the movie we think is long as we just can't know what it's about. Somehow we got it and we do that with the gospel is true much of our teaching and evangelism is geared to giving us a simple presentation of the faith we want to make is so simple anyone can grasp it in a blessing to make it simple and not anybody can grasp what the graph is a very simple thing gospel is greater when that Jesus didn't say get together. Now when I'm gone, and all planning sessions to feel your way to see how simply you can present my teachings so that people can understand them without difficulty say that all said, going to the whole world and teach them everything I commanded you everything that's a lot you don't believe you try to do it. I started to teach. John takes me eight years before I get to the end and then I decide I got to the I'm done. I really cannot do it again and decide limited about Matthew. That's even harder and and I know I'm never going to get Ezekiel and allow my you see our reductionism keeps us and we think will and our failure keeps us from doing what we really are commanded to do our job should be not to make the principles of the gospel so simplistic that anyone can understand them and reject because a course of that simplistic they hardly mean anything anyway but this all live so embodying, so talk about and so discuss the great themes of Scripture that people's minds are staggered at what Christianity consists of and they say I never even thought of that before. Tell me more, and if you have people saying that you tell me more, you find that you go back to the Bible to find the more that you have to tell them and their questions lead you on in your answers help them grow in the faith.

So I leave that before you as a challenge is not only that we are to believe in Jesus Christ. Wholeheartedly, having believed in him or to make the whole message of the gospel known to those among whom we live and circulated to do that we have to know what we have to make it a lifelong study you do that you emulate this man Joshua in that respect. The third thing I would emphasize if Joshua was to be our model as it were, to do good works. I think here of Ephesians 2, verse 10 early part of that passage talks with Udall about the kind of works that are not acceptable to God for salvation is the sort of efforts to achieve righteousness to come out our own sinful natures. It says, for by grace are you saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast that immediately after having said that, that passage goes on to say, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in your Christian God has ordained good works for you to do. The question in this context is are you doing this not only are you doing those are you doing all of those. Or to put it in the exact words of this text are you leaving nothing on Don all those good works of God has commanded you to do. I know that we get tired in our service.

I noticed an interesting thing. The people who get tiredness. I think are those who were not doing a whole lot of the people who seem to go on from strength to strength. It seems to me I could be wrong and this seems to make those that are doing a great deal. We talk about this and even secular terms that sort of truism to say you want to get something done given to a busy man is not time to fool around with it or let it say that too many other things to think about, so he doesn't get done right away and I wonder if that ought not to be true. Many of us as Christians. It's not that we don't know that their good works to do. Of course we do. How can you have a Sunday like this in talk about the abortion problem in American speak practically about things or are to be done and I know that their good works to do in that area or in any other area we don't have any difficulty knowing what good works are due to our difficulty is that we leave them on Don son. Even though we don't tend to do them weekly to do that with some date and then as St. Augustine once said about his resolutions to do better.

My soon became never as the days go on and the opportunities are lost know Jesus said when he was talking to the people of his day.I believe about imputed righteousness, but actual righteous deeds except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will nowise enter into the kingdom of heaven we always think of that in terms of imputed righteousness because we say well that's the basis on which you go to heaven but I don't think that's true when he's talking about actual days because he's comparing them with the actual deeds of the Pharisees, who were noted for good deeds. What he saying is that if you really are a justified man or woman in my righteousness really has been imputed to you. If you have been made spiritually alive, regenerated by the Holy Spirit. There will be such a power in you and such a desire to please God, that your good deeds will exceed the good deeds of the scribes and the Pharisees on thing that bothers me about the church today is that the church is so much like the world where people turn the believers and say there is something different about them. Nobody else is like that.

I don't mean to say that doesn't happen. It does many cases where it happens in some of the problem when it doesn't happen is that people really don't want to admit it but I don't want to come close about the Christians to see what they really do do I know all of that but at the same time.

I wonder if all large part of the problem is and send us we really are not radically distinguished by our desire to obey Jesus Christ and do the deeds that he did.

I can't tell you what those dates for you are not your master Jesus Christ as your master, but I asked the question in this area. Can it be said of you as it was said of Joshua. He left nothing on Don all the Lord had commanded.

I get one final application in the second chapter of Philippians, Paul is talking about working out your salvation with fear and trembling on his work today and where to work it out and then he says toward the end of that, giving glory to God, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure, interesting phrases, and that his good pleasure. I think it means precisely what says that which is pleasing to God. Well pleasing and so I ask are you doing everything in your life that you know of to please God. That's a little bit more hearsay than just doing good deeds are just witnessing you can do those things even in a grumpy manner and all the way some of our Bible colleges do it, you have to witness the 10 people this week by God or Satan you start checking them off the king of Jerusalem, 11, and so on. And when you got to tell you say wow I got it for this week and you're glad but you really are doing it to please God. I wonder if we really do try to please that has to do with attitudes as it was small things, specially small things we love the big things because other people see the big things of the small things Jesus talked about prayer. You know, he said don't go out and pray with people can see.

But going to your closet private pray. Make your needs known to your heavenly father asked the question in relation to that which pleases God.

Can it be said of you as it was said of Joshua.

He left nothing on Don of all the Lord commanded. This time, but desires I just have a simple conclusion and it's in the nature I think of an explanation on the question I raise is this why don't we do these things. Why is this is set of Joshua not said Thomas why is it not true of us.

Why do we leave nothing undone.

All that the Lord commands.

I think the answer is that we haven't stopped doing a lot of the things that God has commanded us not to do you know how the prayer book talks about sin. One of the great collects of confession Lord we have done those things we ought not to have done and we have left undone. Those things which we ought to have gone and there is no health in us the reasons we don't do the things we should do is that we are doing the things we should not be doing until we confess the sin which is a barrier between ourselves and God.

We do not find ourselves in that spiritual state that says Lord God lists of what happens. I want to do everything that you command a we confess the sin and be blessed as Joshua was spray father less study to our hearts. We don't know always what we should do because we don't know your word well enough and were not close enough to you but give us a spirit heart that says yes that is what I want. So begin to teach us and give us grace to search your will and ways out. Not that we might toy with your commandments has some remote possibility that we might do what we find recorded to do for Jesus.

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