LESSON 5 (Joshua) – FLC SMALL GROUP
GATHER (5 min)
Thank everyone for coming. Introduce any new people that may be joining for the first time.
CHECK-IN (10 min)
Go around the room and invite participants share a high and/or low this week in their family.
READ SCRIPTURE (5 min)
Ask two volunteers to read aloud the following scriptures:
Have Volunteer 1 read the following Joshua 1: 1-6, 10-11, 16-17:
Pr. Craig says: “In today’s readings we hear about the success of the leader who followed Moses, a man by the name of Joshua. After Joshua dies, God’s people become unfaithful again and because of this they fall out of God’s favor. New leaders called the Judges help bring people back to faith for a while, but ultimately, they go back to worshiping their old gods. In the end, God remains loyal and tests his people to see if they will do the same.”
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.
Have Volunteer 2 read the following: Joshua 24: 1, 14-18
1 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. 14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! 17 It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. 18 And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”
Have Volunteer 3 read the following: Judges 2:6-7, 10-23
Pr. Craig says, “It’s interesting after a great period of faithfulness from God’s people under Moses and then Joshua, after that generation died off, scripture tells us an entirely new generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. It’s shocking to think that after witnessing so many great and powerful life-saving miracles and life-changing blessings that after a few years an entire society of people would just completely abandon the idea of God. In one sense, that kind of feels like what we are going through now in the early 21st century. I think we can draw hope from God’s loyalty to us when we wander and hope for society to turn back to God.”
6 After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. 7 The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
20 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.” 23 The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.
OPTIONAL: WATCH SERMON ON YOUTUBE OR LISTEN TO SERMON PODCAST (12 min)
You may want to watch the previous week’s sermon together on the YouTube app of your TV or listen to the brand new audio podcast on your phone available on FLC’s website.
REFLECT ON THE PREVIOUS WEEK (30-45 min)
Have a conversation with your group about what you just read, anything from the past week’s sermon that grabbed any group members’ attention, or about anything from the week’s reading. Questions to consider…
You may watch the video of Bible teacher John Walton explaining the themes of Ruth.
CLOSE (5 min)
Thank your participants for coming. Remind them of the next meeting time and discuss any details that need planning.