God spoke to Joshua, “My servant Moses is dead, stand up and fight.”
Then Joshua issued instructions for the people to cross the river Jordan.
Joshua sent two men to spy on the town of Jericho.
The two spies went to the house of a prostitute named Rahab.
That night Rahab, helped the spies escape.
The two men reported to Joshua that they could conquer the land.
So Joshua commanded the priests to take the Ark of the Covenant across the river.
Amazingly, God parted the water and they crossed on dry ground!
They built a memorial using twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Joshua became a great leader, winning the respect of the people.
One day an angel, a commander in the Lord’s army appeared to Joshua and gave him instructions.
Following the instructions, Joshua and his army marched around the walls of Jericho for six days.
The priests, carried the Ten Commandments.
On the seventh day when then the priests blew their horns, the walls of Jericho fell down.
Only Rahab and her family were saved, with the city’s treasure, which was given as an offering to the Lord.
One of Joshua’s soldiers, stole some of the treasure for himself.
At their next battle they suffered badly, God told Joshua, to seek out the man who stole the offering.
They found the treasure in the man’s tent, so he was put to death by stoning.
Once again, Joshua’s army was successful in battle.
In one battle, Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still and it did, until the enemy army was destroyed.
As were the leaders, who had hidden in a cave.
Eventually Joshua gained control over the whole land, just as God had promised.
Then there was peace in the land.
The country was divided into twelve sections, one for each of the twelve tribes.
The Lord instructed Joshua to build cities.
Where accused persons would be treated justly.
One day Joshua paid tribute to three of the tribes of Israel.
But the other tribes misunderstood, so they built a monument, called the altar of witness, stating that there are twelve tribes in Israel.
When Joshua became an old man, he called together the leaders and the judges of Israel, and spoke to them.
He reminded them of their history and of their walk with God, Joshua said;
“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” The people answered;
“We will worship and obey the Lord alone.”
Then they erected a memorial stone and Joshua said;
“This stone will be a witness against you, if you go back on your promise.”
Soon after this Joshua died, at the age of one hundred and ten years.
After the death of Joshua, for about 250 years, God appointed Judges, until the time of Samuel, who was the last Judge, and Saul became the first king.
Editors note: If you count the years in the book of the Judges it comes to a lot more than 250 years. A lot of the time when the Hebrews use the number forty, they are saying that such and such judged for that generation.
This is the story of Gideon the Judge. The Israelites had been serving foreign gods and were once again slaves.
The enemy burnt their homes, so the children of Israel lived in caves.
The people began to cry out to the Lord for help.
God sent them a prophet, who reminded them of the promise that their fathers made.
One day an angel appeared to Gideon and said, “I want you to know that God is with you.”
Amazed Gideon replied, “With me? How could that possibly be?” The angel answered, “I will make you strong; go and save Israel from the hand of the enemy.” Gideon asked for a sign, and went to prepare food.
He returned with some meat, bread and soup.
When he put it on the rock, the angel touched it and it burst into flames.
After the angel had gone, Gideon built an altar and worshipped the Lord.
That night, God spoke to Gideon in a vision, “Take your father’s best ox, then follow my instructions.”
Gideon took ten men and went to the altar of the heathen god Baal.
They hitched the ox to the altar, then smashed it to the ground.
Then they replaced it with an altar to the Lord and prepared a sacrifice using the ox.
The following morning, it was discovered that the heathen altar had been destroyed.
The men of the city were furious shouting, “Bring out Gideon! For this he must die.”
Soon afterwards, a large enemy army crossed the river Jordan and camped in the valley.
The Spirit of God came upon Gideon; and he summoned Israel.
The twelve tribes responded to the trumpet call. Gideon said to the Lord;
“If you are really going to use me save Israel, I’ll put out a fleece of wool tonight.
In the morning if the fleece is wet, but the ground is dry, then I will know that you will help me.”
God told Gideon, “There are too many people, send home the timid and the frightened.” They did, but there were still ten thousand, so God said;
“Take them down to the water, those who drink from the cup of their hands, you will take with you, and those that lap like a dog, leave behind.” Then there were only three hundred men left!
During the night God spoke to Gideon, “Attack the enemy, but if you’re afraid, first go down and listen to what they’re saying.”
So Gideon went down into the enemy camp.
They were discussing dreams and premonitions that Gideon’s army would utterly destroy them.
Gideon prepared for battle, by giving everyman a trumpet and a jar of burning oil.
“Everyone blow the trumpet on all sides of the camp, then everyone shout.”
“We are fighting for God and for Gideon!”
Just after midnight they blew their trumpets, smashed the jars and a great cry went up on all sides, “We are fighting for God and for Gideon!”
In confusion, the enemy started fighting each other, as the large enemy army ran off, Gideon’s small army pursued them.
After a long battle, the enemy was utterly destroyed.
The children of Israel asked Gideon to be their King. Gideon replied;
“The Lord God is your King.”
The children of Israel dwelt in peace for the next forty years.
Gideon had many wives and seventy sons and he lived to a good old age, then died.