Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 8:30-35

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:30-35

FACTS from verses 30-35:

30.  Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD

31. a. Just as Moses commanded Israel, as it is written in the book of the Law,

      b. an altar of uncut stones which no man has wielded a tool. 

32. He wrote on the stones the Law of Moses in the presence of Israel.

33. ALL Israel, elders, officers, judges, priests, stranger, native standing on both sides of the ark, half in front of Mt Gerizim and 1/2 in front of Mt Ebal just as Moses commanded to bless the people.

34. Then he read the words of the law, according to ALL that is written.

35. There was not a work of all Moses commanded which Joshua did not read.

LESSONS from verses 30-35: 

30.  Here Joshua and Israel have this huge win!  Israel has just faced the very people who had beaten them back a short time ago and they take back their honor! The people honor their promise to God to obey and then in their obedience they enjoy sweet victory.  So, Joshua, you have just beaten Ai, what a turnaround from your previous engagement! You not only beat them, you annihilated them! So, tell me, what are you and the Israelites going to do?  Are you going to Disneyland?  Where is the BIG celebration?  Instead of reveling in victory the way most people would, doing interviews and party hopping, Joshua leads the children of Israel on a march about 20 miles away.  In Deuteronomy chapters 27-28, when they reached the Promised Land, they were to build an altar to God in this very place.  Joshua knew God’s Word and knew the importance of immediate obedience.  Joshua led the people in obedient victory but also to immediate worship…. Joshua did not even take a day to whoop it up… they were focused on living lives focused on the One True God.

MY LESSON:  Keep your focus!  FOCUS Before the battle laying down my own plans for a great victory…. FOCUS during the battle on being careful to OBEY ALL… FOCUS after the battle (HARDEST OF ALL) giving ALL the glory and Worship back to God!  FOCUS off ME ON HIM! Sometimes we are most vulnerable right after a big win! (Joshua chapters 6-7)

31a. Joshua knew chapter and verse of where he was to go and what he was to do.  Joshua did not concern himself with having to know the why aspect.  God said it, so he did it.

MY LESSON: Be quick to obey because it is written. 

 31b.  Uncut stones.  The altar built is not about Joshua’s ego… that he can build a “rocking” altar.  The altar is not about the talents that any one has to bring to the dance… look what kind of intricate design I can build on this altar, it will be amazing and gorgeous and I will leave a sign at the base, so people know my abilities to make an altar of such magnificence and maybe I can have a little start up business here… NO… the altar is of uncut un wielded stones… ALL the focus, ALL the glory, ALL the honor goes to God. 

My Lesson: God is jealous for HIS GLORY… I need to stay out of it, but be careful to give it in the way He commands.  God uses the rough uncut things in the world to bring glory unto Himself and Himself alone.

32.  I need constant reminders of what God has said.  I need to go out of my way to remind myself, then remind myself and remind myself again of what God has said.  We are sheep, easily distracted and quick to forget.

33. Be careful to obey ALL…. again… no detail was overlooked or put aside, we tend to say things like:  “Well, who cares, so long as we are all there and I read such and such… it doesn’t matter who stands where, who is present and who isn’t”.  IT ALL MATTERS.  EVERYONE MATTERED to God.  Our presence in His presence according to His Word matters.  If one stranger or Levite stayed back in their tent, it would have mattered.  God’s Word is for everyone.  God has something to say to Everyone.  If we don’t show up, it’s noticed by God and it matters to God.

34-35.  Nothing taken out of context, nothing left out…. God’s Word is not a buffet, we can’t pick and choose what we want to hear and discard the rest… all is for our good and God’s glory.  I also like this, because this allows God to just have the platform, lets God speak for Himself!  God’s Word is convicting, exhorting, encouraging, reproving, rebuking, restoring, redeeming and loving all on its own without any added personal commentary. 

APPLICATIONS from verses 30-35:

30.   Am I quick to focus on God before the battle and during, but then after the victory is God a first thought or after thought?

31a.  Am I quick to obey or do I refuse to move until God graces me with the “why” of the situation?  Am I in God’s Word so that I have clarity of what He has called me to do?

31b.  Am I careful to obey God just as He said, or do I think maybe I should add some “needed flare” on my part to get the message across?  Do I try to tell God what parts of my life He can use and what parts He can’t use? (He can use the pretty parts…. not the rough uncut parts…)

32.  Am I reminding myself daily of what the Word of God says?

33. Have I ever fallen into the trap where I tell myself, “Well, if I’m not there it really won’t matter? No one will miss me?”  If God has laid on my heart to do something or be somewhere… He has something for me, to show me, share with me etc… so how many things have I missed because I discounted my presence at a certain place?

34-35.  When do I want to leave out the hard stuff and just focus on the blessings want or think I deserve?  How many times do I leave important things out because I don’t want to “offend” people? Or turn them “off” to the Gospel?  Do I realize that it is not my job to turn anyone “on” or “off” to the Gospel, but it is my responsibility to be obedient in ALL things?

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 1-6

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
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11 thoughts on “Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 8:30-35”

  1. Good morning! I actually had my homework done yesterday! Aren’t I the special one. Alas, though, I have lost my partner in study but it’s good for her: she got the job we had been praying for. ☺

    Here are my thoughts about this week’s passage.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

  2. Oops! Let’s try this again:

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

    v. 30 Joshua continued doing what he had been commanded to do. He didn’t stop following the law after his latest victory. There was still work to do.

    v. 31 Specific instructions were left for Joshua. He had to find an untouched place for the offerings and sacrifices to be put upon. We cannot go forward on soiled rocks. Fire then blood (from the sacrifices) were placed on the altar.

    v. 32 Joshua wrote a copy of the law of Moses on this sacrificial stone. He did this in front of Israel. It must’ve been a long task! The law of Moses is quite lengthy.

    v. 33 All were standing. No rest for the weary! These strangers that have been newly introduced must be from other kingdoms who had seen how God created the victory over Ai. People are always watching to see what God’s people, the church, will do.

    v. 34 Joshua then read the law to the people. Although they had watched him, many perhaps were not schooled in the art of reading and writing. “How will I know if no man will teach me?” (Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. )
    The good, the bad, and the ugly were all spoken of.

    v. 35 Nothing was held back. They were told the same truths, the same promises, and told of the same consequences. The children and strangers might have heard this for the first time so nothing was to be left out.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?

    v. 30 Do I quit obeying, following, studying the scriptures after I have been awarded a victory? Do I go on my merry little way and forget that there is still work that needs to be done?

    v. 31 What specific instructions have been left for me? I too need to go to unspoiled territories and stop trying to move forward on tainted land. Like my former church? My former group that I was a part of? Even though these may have been redeemed I am to move forward. How will I move forward?

    v. 32 How do I need to present the gospel to my “next generation”? Do I need to write it out, spell it out in front of my new audience? Do I need to model it so that others too will see my vision that I believe is from God?

    v. 33 When do I stand? I am so lazy! When have I put myself out for Christ’s sake? Others are watching. How will they know how to respond, to react if we Christians don’t model the correct behavior?

    v. 34 Am I a teacher? Have I been equipped with the tools to lead others to You?

    v. 35 Your story, God, has not changed. From the beginning, You had a plan. Do I tend to just choose the best parts to share? The children need to hear, as do the strangers. Will You help me, God, to hold Your truths, Your consequences, Your mercies, and Your grace for the world to see?

  3. LOVE IT STEPH!

    I know for me I like to revel in the victory you know? Like good for me! haha… but alas, I think that is when I am most vulnerable for attack… you know? More reason to be on my toes. 🙂 I like the fact of you reminding us that we serve in the wide open, whether we like it or not…. we can either be a good example…. or the not so good example… 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. I tried posting this last night but something didn’t work. Thank goodness I had saved it. Let me try this again.

    It’s great to be able to come to this site and get so much great insight! I’ve been off line for a while so I was eager to get back to this study. I sensed God wanting to teach me something with these verses. I love getting other reflections on these verses. Thanks, Ladies!
    Here are my thoughts:

    Facts:
    v.30 Joshua built an altar, as Moses had commanded.
    v.31 “an altar of whole stone over which no man has wielded an iron tool” (Deut.27:5) They offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
    v.32 In the presence of Israel, Joshua wrote a copy of the law of Moses.
    v.33 All Israel, elders, officers, & judges stood on either side of the ark before the priests, the stranger as well. Half in front of Mt. Gerizim & half in front of Mt. Ebal, as Moses had commanded before. That they should bless the people.
    v.34 Joshua read all the law, the blessings & cursings.
    v.35 Not a word of all Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly, the woman, the little ones, & the strangers.

    Lessons:
    v.30 Joshua was doing what he had been commanded to do when they first crossed over. Joshua had great respect for Moses be even greater reverence for God.
    v.31 The stones were made by God, formed by Him, and not touched by human hands. The people worshiped and praised God at the altar.
    v.32 Everyone was a witness to the event. I can remember things better when I write them down. Writing Scripture is a good memorization technique. Joshua did this in front of everyone. It would be there for later generations and future use.
    v.33 The ark was in the center just as God is in the center of our lives. The stranger was included. God is no respecter of persons. This was carried out in front of the mountains where their voices would be stronger and sound clearer. Anyone, even enemies, would be able to hear and see them.
    v.34 The law points out God’s promises(blessings) for obedience and the consequences(cursings) for disobedience.
    v.35 All of the law was read and heard by all of them.

    Applications:
    God deserves to be high and lifted up, worshiped and praised. Do I let my everyday routine interfere with the praise and worship God deserves? Do I come to His altar each day first thing to receive His blessings and to thank Him for the victories?
    Am I searching for those who need to receive a blessing from God and then yielding myself to be used?
    Do I worship God first above all the things that I might be needing or wanting to ask Him?
    Am I learning God’s Word so that future generations, my family, my grandchild, and others will know who God is and of His great love?
    What have I done lately to remember God’s Word?
    Is God at the center of my life? Do I exclude those that I don’t want to be around or think are too strange to be included in the center of God’s work?
    Who am I leaving out or ignoring?
    Have I missed the urgency of God’s message? Do I just want to hear the blessings but ignore the cursings in His Word?
    Do I realize the impact God’s message can make on those around me, the ones I’m connected to and even strangers/unbelievers?
    Am I giving God the reverence He so deserves?

    1. Kay,
      I love when you said, they worshiped GOD at the altar with God’s stones, just the way they were… no paint, no chiseling to attract attention… those stones did not have to be dressed up to bring glory to God, did they? Those stones, stacked like they were when they were formed at Creation were in and of themselves bringing glory to God, then Joshua and his obedience brought glory to God. This gave me pause to think about that. We always try to make things “look” so perfect you know? BUT God just wants us to be real just like He created us… no false pretenses… raw uncut stones for His glory… Lord help me to bring glory to you just how You created me to be!
      Thanks Kay.

      1. Thanks Kendra,
        Sometimes I just feel like if we dressed up the things we do for God a little more then we would bring more attention to Him. But, that’s not what God desires, is it? My husband & I were just discussing what “should” be done to make things better at our church. You made me think about how impatient I am. Nature worships God just the way it is. I just need to look around more to remind myself of how God desires to be approached and worshiped.

        Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
        sight, riches, healing of the mind,
        yea, all I need in thee to find,
        O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

  5. Hi online gals!
    I know, I know its THURSDAY…better late than never :0) I LOVE our study. This is helping me stay in His Word everyday. Plus I’m sharing what I find with my husband so we’re both enjoying this.
    Okay here goes:
    FACTS:
    v.30 Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD
    v.31 He built it just like the law said-an altar of un-cut stones, no iron tools had been used on them. On the altar they gave burnt/fellowship offerings to the Lord.
    v.32 Joshua copied the law of Moses on the stones in front of the Israelites.
    v.33 All of Israel including the aliens were standing on both sides of the Ark of the Covenant facing those who carried it(Levites). They stood where Moses commanded. These were instructions to be followed in order to be blessed.
    v.34 Joshua read the whole law to the people of Israel.
    v.35 To the whole assembly he read everything Moses had commanded (women, kids, and the aliens)
    LESSONS:
    v.30 When the battle was done it was part of their obedience to worship God as a whole body.
    v.31 The Israelites did exactly like Moses had instructed. They re-visited the foundational truths. The “un-cut stone on which no iron tool had been used” kind-of stumped me. I cross referenced it and found a verse in Exodus 20:25 “If you make an altar of stones for Me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.” So I think it is saying worship is all about God, Gods way.
    v.32 Joshua rewrote the law of Moses to preserve it, pass it on. Joshua was a transparent guy. He wrote the law out in front of everyone, the whole people. No one could say he took away from or added to it at all.
    v.33 UNITED together Israel was at its best. Working, living, fighting and now worshiping together as one body. Unity is important to God. Obedience will bring blessing.
    v.34 I really respect Jooshua. He followed God to the letter. He had such integrity !! He took in the whole law, not the part that “tickled” his ears.
    v.35 Joshua did not think he was above the basics. He went back and reviewed what Moses had commanded with the people. He was not prideful at all. He even took time and read it to the kids. Wow, he was Israels top dog and he’s sharing Gods truth with little ones. What a strong influence that must have been with them.
    APPLICATIONS:
    -Do I steal Gods glory after a victory? Do I pay attention after the battle to follow through with my obedience?
    -Do I obey the law thinking as part of the body of Jesus or do I disobey not considering what effects it will have on the body of Christ? Do I make worship about me???
    -Am I careful to take in the whole law? or just what I like? Am I transparent before God and His people?
    -Do I work for unity in the body? Do I consider the “whole assembly” in my actions.
    -Do I live out integrity?
    -Do I re-visit the basics or am I too prideful and think I’ve moved on above that? Do I hold tight to the whole law?
    -Am I serving the least of these?

    Thanks for all y’all wrote. It is very helpful to me. Kendra you helped me to understand the “un-cut stone” thing. And then in your applications (v.34,35) where you said “How many time do I leave important things out because I don’t want to offend?”…thats good stuff…but tuff stuff for me when it comes down to doing it.
    Kay you wrote ” Am I learning God’s Word for future generations…” WOW that question jumped off the page at me! I thought about that over and over. This is not just about us, is it? Stefanie, when you asked “When do I put myself out for Christ’s sake?” I felt like God was asking ME that.

    OOOh you girls are helping me soooo much. Thanks!!!!
    Have a blessed week!! Robin

    P.S. I really enjoyed the hike (and the conversations) Saturday. It was a great time!!

  6. Hey Robin!
    I loved the hike as well! You feel stronger at the end, don’t you?
    I love the part about unity! They were all together on the same page… how the enemy gets us to turn against each other so easily… we are so much stronger, together. Love it! Thanks!

  7. Robin, your thought about how Joshua shared God’s truths with the little ones struck a cord with me since I work with the children’s ministry at church. How important it is to share the truths of the Bible with children, especially during these perilous times. Thanks.

    1. Kay,(missed you last week!!)
      The part about the kids being taught jumped out to me as well. I teach 3 year old preschoolers, and after I read that, I was very encouraged by the Lord to “keep on keeping on”. It reminded me that we all have a job to do…ours is with the little fellows. It IS planting a seed and that will not return void!! (Isaiah 55:11)
      Thanks friend, Robin

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