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Small Group Guide:
Open with prayer.
Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?
If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.
In this portion of God’s Word, Joshua has a big task ahead of him. He has to lead the Israelites to overtake Jericho. God gives him some counterintuitive instructions on how to lead the Israelites to accomplish this. By taking a look at this story, we can learn how we can tackle the strongholds in our lives.
When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, 2 and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west, 3 to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. 5 And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
- 1. Don’t be taken aback by life’s challenges
And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”
- 2. Remember what God has done
So Joshua took all that land, the hill country and all the Negeb and all the land of Goshen and the lowland and the Arabah and the hill country of Israel and its lowland 17 from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them and put them to death. 18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle. 20 For it was the Lord‘s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the Lord commanded Moses.
- 3. Have a long-term mindset
And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. 22 There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain. 23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.
- 3. Trust in God to provide you with rest
- In chapters 1-10 in book of Joshua, the Israelites face 3 major battles (Jericho, Ai, and the Southern Kingdoms), each with its own unique challenges. At the beginning of chapter 11, we see yet again another major battle that will have to be fought. This is the longest battle in the book of Joshua (see 11:18). Even so, instead of becoming discouraged, frustrated, and disengaged in his leadership, Joshua seems to have a remarkable amount of passion, strategy, and resilience in his leadership. This is especially noteworthy because of Joshua’s age (probably somewhere in his 70’s). What do you think made it possible for Joshua to have this amount of desire to fulfill God’s calling so well?
- Read Psalm 1 and John 15:1-11. Joshua surely must have abided in the Lord to have the amount of resilience that he had. How well do you do that in your life?
- Keeping in mind your answer from question #2, how can you abide in Christ better?
- Read Joshua 11:23. At the end of the conquest of the promised land, God gave Israel rest from war. If you abide in Christ, how might He offer you His rest?
- What is your biggest take away about how this passage affects your life? What do you need to work on? Who can you share this with and ask you to keep you accountable to accomplishing this?
Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:
Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?