In case you're interested in reading more of my work, here's paper number 3. Again, this may have been added to example docs, so it could trigger plagiarism hits if you try to use it. ------ 1. Summarize the characteristics of the covenant do you see in Joshua 5:1-12 and Joshua chapter 24. Discuss your thoughts as to why the book of Joshua begins and ends with these repetitions of the covenant. 2. God and the Hebrews had established a covenant together, with the Hebrews saying things like, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey Him” (Joshua 24:24). Select three judges from the book of Judges. Briefly describe the surrounding historical context of Israel’s sin, its oppressor, their cry to God in repentance or cry for mercy, and God’s deliverance through the judge. Detail how the general behaviors of each party fits into covenant agreement or covenant violation (God, the judge, and Israel). (Hint: The notes and outlines in the LASB for the book of Judges will be helpful here.) 3. List and describe the major contributions of David’s monarchy to the establishment of the nation of Israel. (Use notes at the beginning of 2 Samuel in the LASB to answer this question.) 4. Discuss God’s promise David in 2 Samuel 7. Describe how these promises compare with God’s promises to Abraham in Genesis 12. Describe how these two “covenants” still meaningful in our time. 5. Billy Graham is said to have read through the book of Proverbs each month for many years of his life. Assess the value of this habit. Answer this question by discussing the major topics addressed in the book of Proverbs; cite references from Proverbs as examples of these topics. ------ The history of Israel takes a drastic turn as it approaches the midpoint of its pre-Jesus timeline. We saw the twelve tribes finally cross the Jordan River and start the work of clearing the former inhabitants out of Canaan, as God commanded them through Moses. In short, we have watched Israel change from a family of shepherds, through their time as slaves and wanderers, and finally into the chosen nation that God has promised they would become (Deuteronomy 6:21-24). After Israel crosses the Jordan and prepares to begin the conquest, the LORD told their leader, Joshua, that it was time for Israel to restore her end of the Mosaic covenant. A few flint knives and a lot of lost foreskins later (Joshua 5:2), God tells Joshua to advance into Canaan and take over – the daily manna supply was ending (Joshua 5:12). While Israel follows God’s commands, they are very successful at working together to empty Canaan of its former inhabitants. Eventually, Joshua tells all the tribes that they can go to their promised lands to complete the eradication of their enemies on their own (Joshua 22:1-4). Unfortunately, as the tribes spread out, they don’t have Joshua reminding them constantly to keep at God’s work of clearing Canaan. So it is not long before Israel is disobeying God – letting some of the former tribes remain, intermarrying, trading, and worshipping their idols (Judges 1:19-36, 2:11). In only another two generations (Judges 2:10-11), Israel had completely turned against God and was back to worshipping the Baal and Ashtoreth idols. God is certainly angered, and lets the “former” inhabitants of Canaan regroup and recover. It isn’t long and those tribes are attempting to make up for the beating that their grandfathers took at the direction of Joshua. It begins with Aram Naharaim, who took Israel into slavery for eight years before they cried out for a deliverer. God provided Othniel, who went to war and freed Israel. Under Othniel’s direction, Israel saw another 40 years of peace. When he died, things returned to as they were before, and Israel was worshipping Baal and Ashtoreth. Again, God had enough and let Eglon of Moab take the City of Palms into his control for 18 years before Israel cried out and God answered by sending Ehud. He led Israel to war and routed Eglon’s forces and restored peace for the next 80 years. But Israel still did not learn and resorted to idol worship. The third round was even worse than the first two. Jabin, king in Hazor, used his superior military force of 900 chariots to raid Israel’s cities for over 20 years before God gave Deborah the go-ahead to put an end to the oppression. Deborah calls on her military commander, Barak, to go to war. But it is here we see the downward spiral of the judges begin. Instead of following the judge’s commands, Barak insists that Deborah go along. Even amid significant oppression and a promise from God to protect them, Israel is hesitant to take a stand. Eventually, Jabin’s forces are defeated when his general is executed with a tent stake (Judges 4:21). Sadly, this cycle of sin, punishment, redemption, and peace continues for another 150 years after Deborah and Barak. Each judge shows less and less moral fiber, and God has finally shown Israel that they are not keeping up their end of the covenants (Lennox pp. 133-134). Since Israel broke their end of the bargain, God could have nullified the entire agreement. Instead, God only revokes the portion that promises protection, but leaves in place the portion that declares Israel as special. Once God makes the point that this cycle isn’t healthy, He sends his final judge – Samuel. Abimelech had tried to force his way into becoming the ruler of Israel a long time before (Judges 9), but it was a failed attempt because it was driven by man. Samuel was called by God to anoint both of the first two legitimate kings of Israel. While He disapproved of the measure, God first placed Saul into the role of the king. Saul was the example of how not to be a king – turning constantly from God’s commands. So God tells Samuel to make David the second king. David does it all correctly – he does not march on Saul, he does not usurp the throne, but waits patiently for God to make it happen. It took many years, but David was anointed as the ruler of Judah (2 Samuel 2:4). David made it a point to follow God’s commands and show Israel how a king should act. He treated the former tribe of Benjamin ruler, Saul, with honor and respect. When David’s chief officer murdered the head of Saul’s family in a city of refuge (2 Samuel 3:27), David led the funeral procession (2 Samuel 3:31) and fasted in memory of the victim (2 Samuel 3:35). He waited patiently again for God to remove Saul’s heir from power and even avenged his murderers and gave Ish-Bosheth a proper burial (2 Samuel 4:6-12). After becoming king of all of Israel, he marched on Jerusalem to make it his capitol city. This had strategic advantages – Jerusalem sat near the Judah-Benjamin border and near the center of Israel. In addition, by assuming the role of the monarch, David replaced the individual city-states and tribal councils that had been running the twelve tribes previously. This brought together all the military might to protect all the land, instead of individual tribes deciding when to fight (Judges 5:15-17). Having the combined military power of the twelve tribes allowed David to go out and swiftly deal with the remaining enemy tribes that still lived in Israel. While Abraham was promised a great name, a large pool of descendants, to be a blessing to the world, and a curse to his enemies, David was promised something very similar, and yet very different. God also promised David that if Israel remained faithful, David would be a great name, that they would keep their land, that they would never again suffer oppression, and that the Kingdom would be established forever by David and his family (2 Samuel 7:8-16) – a promise that is ultimately fulfilled by Jesus. Sadly, David’s rule was not without problems. If only he would have taken heed in the words that his son, Solomon would later collect and pen, perhaps many of his problems would have been avoided. Solomon is credited with authoring and collecting the Proverbs – simple little sayings and phrases that help to lead a God-pleasing life. If only David had read Proverbs 5:3, 4 “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, //and her speech is smoother than oil, // but in the end she is bitter as gall//” (NIV), perhaps many of David’s greatest problems could have been avoided. Even though David did not have the benefit of these instructions, we do. We can find that so many common topics are addressed with some simple examples that we can learn from. We should pursue wisdom (Proverbs 10:1), be diligent in our work (10:4), avoid procrastination (10:5), maintain integrity (10:9), avoid gossip (10:8), avoid hated (10:11), keep our minds and mouths from slander (10:19), remain honest in our interactions (11:1), promote faithfulness (11:3), display humility (11:2), promote generosity (11:25), and demonstrate self-control (13:3). There are verses about raising children, encouraging discipline, and running away from opportunities to sin. In conclusion, God has shown that He is very patient in converting Israel from self-serving slaves of sin into a true nation of believers that follow a King. There have been many painful reminders along the way, but they had to learn that sin has a lasting mark, even if the deeds have been confessed and forgiven. If Israel (and modern Christians) learn to listen for God’s commands and follow them more completely, perhaps we will not repeat their same mistakes. Perhaps we should start by taking another look into the wisdom literature of Proverbs. References Lennox, S. J. (2009). God with us: An introduction to the Old Testament. Marion, IN: Triangle Publishing. Life Application Study Bible. New International Version, Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2005.