Summary: How to keep your integrity despite the difficulty of your circumstances
Unit 6 – Integrity (Being Honest and Just in Everything I think about, believe and do)
Lesson 13 – Joshua’s Choice – Numb. 13:1-14:38; Joshua 1:1-8; Josh. 24:15
For The Teacher’s Preparation
1. Aim: To lead the people to an awareness of how they can make honest, right and God pleasing decisions despite their circumstances
2. Explanation of the Aim: Decisions that require great faith in God are often not popular with the majority of people. Moreover, most of the great men and women of God have been misunderstood. The only men, sent in to Canaan who gave a report prompted by faith in God’s ability to help them overcome the enemy, were Joshua and Caleb. All of the rest of the spies were so overcome by their fear of the enemies that they allowed their perceptions of truth to become distorted. When the Lord calls us to serve Him, He always supplies us with whatever is needed to complete His will. The will of God never leads you where the grace of God is insufficient for any challenge. Allow the Lord to help you teach the people how to make decisions that are based on great faith, love and truth instead of fear. Use the lives of Joshua and Caleb as fine examples for how to make courageous, truthful and God pleasing decisions.
3. The Bible Story: (Numbers 13:1-14:38) In our lesson we are shown a contrast between unbelieving people who are led by their fear versus people who based their decisions upon great faith in a God who is greater than any problem. When the Lord told Moses to send men to explore Canaan which He promised to give to Israel ten of the men returned to say, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” (Numb 13:31) However, Caleb and Joshua said, “WE should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numb 13:30) Our life is determined by the kind of decisions we make in times of crisis.
Unfortunately, the majority of the people listened to the ten doubting spies and began to grumble against Moses. Paul wrote in Phil. 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling or complaining that you may be people of God above reproach.” Wisely, Moses interceded for the people to the Lord begging Him to forgive the sins of the unbelieving masses. Yet, because God is a just God, the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. Nevertheless, not one of the men who disobeyed me and tested me ten times will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. But my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to and his descendants will inherit it.” (Numb 13:20-24) God assures us that there are consequences for each of our decisions.
4. The INTRODUCTION helps the people contrast the differences between someone who lives by fear versus people who base their decisions on faith in God’s promises. On the blackboard ask the people to describe a person who tends to live by fear versus a person who makes decisions based on a strong belief in God’s promises. The BIBLE STORY focuses on how God blesses the few who live by faith in His faithfulness versus the vast majority who are so afraid of being hurt that they neglect to take courageous steps forward in the footsteps of great people of faith. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES is designed to help the people identify areas of their life where they can stop living by fear and choose to base more of their decisions on God’s promises. Specific promises from God’s words will be discussed and some possible applications in small groups.
CLASS TIME (Begin With Prayer)
Ask the people to describe a person who lives by fear more than by faith in a God who is greater than any problems. Read Joshua 1:1-9. Ask the people to list some of the commandments that God gives Joshua. Describe the character qualities that a person must have in order to receive the Lord’s blessings. What are some of the reasons that God is unable to bless and use people who live more by their fears than by faith?
The Bible Story (Numbers 13:1-14:38)
5. In our lesson we are shown a contrast between unbelieving people who are led by their fear versus people who based their decisions upon great faith in a God who is greater than any problem. When the Lord told Moses to send men to explore Canaan which He promised to give to Israel ten of the men returned to say, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” (Numb 13:31) However, Caleb and Joshua said, “WE should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numb 13:30) Our life is determined by the kind of decisions we make in times of crisis. The Spirit of God empowers, strengthens and supernaturally enables us to do things that are impossible to do with our own human abilities. Caleb and Joshua chose to believe that God could use the Israelite people to take possession of the land of Canaan based on His promise. When individuals focus more on the problems of their circumstances than on the Lord’s mighty power they always fail. Great faith involves putting our entire trust, confidence and decision-making powers in the hands of God. The Lord multiplies the people with courageous faith but frustrates the fearful, unbelieving and skeptics.