had a wonderful life. Do you remember how God
saved him from the river Nile when he was a baby?
God knew bow well Moses would be able to lead the
children of Israel out of Egypt, and that is the
reason he saved him from being drowned in the
river. Then Moses, you remember, lived in the
kings palace for forty years. There he
received a very good education which helped him
when the time came to lead the Israelites out of
Then he went to
the land of Midian where he lived the life of a
shepherd, taking care of sheep for his
wifes father. At the close of that forty
years God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, and
asked him to lead the Hebrews out of Egyptian
bondage. At that time he was eighty years old.
Next there were the forty years of wandering in
the wilderness. Forty added to eighty makes a
hundred and twenty, so now Moses was a hundred
and twenty years old!
The time had come when God
wanted the Israelites to cross over the river
Jordan into the Promised Land, the land that he
had promised to Abraham hundreds of years before.
But Moses could not enter the Promised Land. He
was a faithful servant of God, and God requested
him to tell the Israelites that the time had come
for them to enter the land, but that a long time
afterward they would be driven out of the land
again, and scattered all over the earth.
All this has come true, and
thats why there are Israelites all over the
earth today. Thats why Palestine, which is
the Promised Land, has not, until now, been owned
by the Jewish people, and is the reason they have
not lived there. Isnt it wonderful that the
Bible has told us all about this so many hundreds
and hundreds of years ago? That is one reason we
know that the Bible is the Word of God, and that
whatever the Bible says is true. The Bible tells
us that the Israelites were to live again in the
Promised Land, and we know they will have it for
their very own forever.
Before Moses died God permitted
him to climb up on a very high mountain called
Nebo, and up to one of its highest peaks, called
Pisgah. From this height he looked across the
river Jordan and saw the wonderful Land of
Promise on the other side. Have you ever been up
on a high mountain? If you have, you know that
you can see very far, and Moses eyesight
was so keen that he could see a very great deal
of the good land which God had promised.
Before Moses went up on the
high mountain where he died, he appointed a new
leader to take his place. This new leader was
Joshua. Joshua, you remember, was one of the
spies who told Moses and the people forty years
before that he believed God would help them
conquer the people in the Promised Land if they
would only enter and do the best they could.
Yes, Joshua believed God, and
that is why God chose him to be Israels new
But the Israelites could not
possibly enter the Promised Land unless the Lord
helped them, and Ill tell you why. Between
the place where they were camping and the land
which God had promised was the river Jordan. This
was quite a large river. So far as we know, there
were no bridges over it, and no boats or rafts to
use in getting across. So you see, the Israelites
really needed help! And God helped them cross
over this river just as he helped them cross the
Red Sea forty years before this when they left
God told Joshua to have the
priests carry the ark of the covenant down to the
edge of the river. The ark of the covenant, you
remember, was the only piece of furniture in the
most holy room of the tabernacle. Now that the
Israelites were about to move, the tabernacle was
taken apart and made ready to be carried with
them. The priests were to lead the way, and were
to carry the ark.
When they reached the very edge
of the river and put their feet in the water the
priests must have wondered just how they would
all cross over. God told Joshua that he would
make a path through the river. They would need a
lot of faith to really believe that a deep wide
river would open up and let them cross through on
dry ground, wouldnt they? Yes, indeed! But
God is very pleased when we do what he asks us to
do, even though it may seem to be very difficult.
We know that God will always help us to do
whatever he asks.
When the feet of the priests
who were carrying the ark touched the water, it
stopped flowing from up the river. Below where
they stood, the water kept on flowing, so it
wasnt long before the river bed was drained
dry directly in front of them and they were able
to cross over. Wasnt that wonderful! It is
true, too, because the Bible says so.
But the priests who were
carrying the ark didnt cross all the way
overnot right away. When they reached the
center of the river bed, they stopped and stood
there while all the other Israelites crossed over
into the Promised Land.
God told Joshua something else
to do. He was to select a strong man from each of
the twelve tribes of Israel and these were to
take a large stone from the middle of the river
bed and carry it over to the Promised Land as a
memorial of the wonderful miracle God performed
for them that day. We would call them souvenirs.
Long years after this, when anyone would ask
where these stones came from, and what they
meant, they were told the wonderful story of how
God brought his people safely across the river
Jordan into the land of Canaan. Twelve stones
were also placed in the center of the river bed
where the priests stood while the Israelites were
And now, after forty long years
of wandering in the wilderness and living in
tents, the Israelites were finally in the
Promised Land. It was a very fertile land. They
found plenty of grain and other things to eat.
They didnt need the manna from heaven any
more, so it ceased to fall. Now, God was caring
for them in other ways.
However, everything was not to
be easy for them just because they were in the
Promised Land, for there were many strong people
living there who did not belong in the land, and
they were the enemies of the Israelites. These
had to be conquered.
Directly in front of the
Israelites as they crossed over the Jordan River
was one of the largest cities in the land. It was
called Jericho. It was a walled city, being
protected by very high walls all around. As soon
as the people of Jericho learned how wonderfully
the God of the Israelites had helped them to
cross over the river Jordan, they were much
afraid. They were so afraid that their soldiers
did not come out of the city to fight the
Israelites at all. All the people of the city,
soldiers and civilians, hurried inside the walls
and closed all the gates. They thought that in
this way they could save themselves from being
captured by the Israelites.
Just about this time, while
Joshua was taking a walk and trying to decide how
he could capture the city, he looked up, and in
front of him stood a man who was dressed like a
soldier. Joshua challenged him, asking whether he
was a friend or an enemy. And the man answered
that he was a friend, that he was the captain of
the Lords army, and that under his
leadership the city of Jericho would fall into
the hands of the Israelites. As it turned out,
this wasnt a man at all, but an angel whom
God had sent to tell Joshua how he should capture
God had sent angels to his
servants before. You remember that he had sent
angels to Abraham and to Moses. And now he had
sent an angel to Joshua. Of course we cant
really see angels, so when God sends them to
speak to his servants they appear as men, and
talk as men. This angelthe captain of the
Lords armygave Joshua a wonderful
plan for capturing Jericho.
Again the priests were to carry
the ark, and the people were to follow them. They
were to march completely around the city once
each day for six days. Trumpets were to be blown
by those of the priestly tribe, but otherwise
they were to do nothing except to walk around the
city and return to their places in the camp. It
must have seemed very odd to the people of
Jericho who were trying to keep away from the
Israelites by staying within the walls of the
city. They didnt know, of course, just what
the Israelites were to do next.
The Israelites marched once
around the city each day for six days, and then,
as the angel instructed Joshua, on the seventh
day they marched around the city seven times.
After they had marched around the city seven
times on the seventh day, they not only blew
their trumpets, but all the Israelites shouted as
loudly as they could. And what do you suppose
happened? Why, the walls of that city fell down
in front of them, and they marched right into the
city and captured it! Certainly God knows how to
help his people conquer their enemies!
Who was the leader of the
Hebrew people when they entered the Promised
What body of water did the
Hebrews cross in order to enter the Promised
Land, and how were they able to cross it?
What was the name of the
first city the Israelites come to in the Promised
Land, and how did they conquer it?
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