"Real Estate Section"
Click below to download the Cornerstone Connections leader’s guide and student lesson. This week’s resources also include two lesson plans and a discussion starter video which offer different ways of looking at the topic. Each lesson plan includes opening activities, scripture passages, discussion questions, and real-life applications.
In the settling down of the Israelites in their long-awaited land, there are lessons to learn about relationships, trust, God’s grace, faith in action, and brotherly love.
Beginning of the End (Patriarchs and Prophets) ch. 48
A Canaanite Tribe Deceives Israel
For this week’s lesson we are into some of the “boring” parts of Joshua. It’s the part where each of the tribes gets allotted plots of land as part of their Canaan inheritance. For the most part, the tribes don’t really seem to get to choose, they get assigned. We are going to focus on that for much of the lesson. There are a couple of exceptions and we will look at those as well. This actually does line up with students’ lives. Most of them probably didn’t choose the town they are currently living in, the family they were born into, or the church they attend. And there is a good chance it will be that way for their first job. So today we are going to ask and look at these questions: How do we live the love of Jesus where we are? How do we be content and responsible disciples in the places where God has placed us?
OPENING ACTIVITY: CLUMPS
This is a game I like to call clumps. The goal is for the leader to call out a number and the players have to get into a group of that size. Any odd person left standing outside a group gets to be the new leader in this version. For today, after you are in your “clump” your job is to find something that everyone in your clump agrees on. The leader can give a category (fast food, tv show, musician, ice cream, etc.). The goal is to find something in common with the people in your clump. Do this game several times and try to make the groups a little different for each round.
It seems like a lot of this quarter we are focusing on texts that we often skip over in scripture. Today is another one of those sections. For Israel their tribes were very important to them. We hear about this all through the Old Testament. Their tribe gave them a sense of identity. After years of waiting to get to the promised land, the people needed some direction about where to settle and build their cities and homes. They were assigned areas of Caanan based on what tribe they were in. Usually they didn’t get to choose where they settled. How would you feel about this today?
In reality, I would propose that perhaps that isn’t much different to today. Most of us didn’t choose what city we were born into, and even some of us have lived in the same city for several generations. Let’s look at these verses from a different angle and see what we can learn about thriving where God puts us.
BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
We begin our Bible study today looking at the beginning of the dividing of the land. At first it looks as if it will be an easy process, but as we shall see soon, it doesn’t always go easy when groups of people are involved.
Read Joshua 14:1-5
Now these are the areas the Israelites received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel allotted to them. 2 Their inheritances were assigned by lot to the nine and a half tribes, as the Lord had commanded through Moses. 3 Moses had granted the two and a half tribes their inheritance east of the Jordan but had not granted the Levites an inheritance among the rest, 4 for Joseph’s descendants had become two tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim. The Levites received no share of the land but only towns to live in, with pasturelands for their flocks and herds. 5 So the Israelites divided the land, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
In our next two passages we will look at how some tribes or people were either not happy or requested a special piece of land for themselves. As we read these next passages, think about how you might feel if that happened with you? Also, how might that apply in your church when people ask for special allowances or favors? In the first passage you might want to take some time to remember why Caleb might be making a special request. You can check Deuteronomy 1:36 for a reminder of Moses’ promise to Caleb.
Read Joshua 14:6-15.
6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’
10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)
Then the land had rest from war.
Things were not always so easy. If you remember back to our first verse there were half tribes involved. These were the sons of Joseph who were split into two tribes, Ephriam and Manasseh. These two tribes were not as happy about their allotment of land it seems.
Read Joshua 17:14-18.
14 The people of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you given us only one allotment and one portion for an inheritance? We are a numerous people, and the Lord has blessed us abundantly.”
15 “If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.”
16 The people of Joseph replied, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have chariots fitted with iron, both those in Beth Shan and its settlements and those in the Valley of Jezreel.”
17 But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—“You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment 18 but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out.”
As the title of the lesson this week suggests, sometimes we are called to be happy with the lot that God has given us in life. Sometimes that isn’t easy. Maybe we don’t like our teachers, boss, neighborhoods, school or even church. But how do we live well right where God has placed us? How do we be not only satisfied but also learn to thrive in whatever situation that God places us? These are hard questions and I hope you get to wrestle with them. But these passages show us a model for a rest from war. Trust in God. He loves you and has put you right where you need to be.
Spend some time with your team in prayer during this month. Maybe you could initiate some 15-30-minute prayer meetings for your youth group. Or perhaps you could encourage families to do something similar in their homes.
For a Relational Bible Study (RBS) you’ll want to get into the Scripture passage and encourage the youth to imagine participating in the story while it’s happening. Then you will be able to better apply it to your own situation today.
You will need to ask God for the Holy Spirit to be present as your small group discusses the questions (no more than 3-6 people in a group is recommended). Start with the opening question. It is a personal question and the answer is unique for each individual. There is no right answer and nobody is an expert here, so don’t be surprised when you hear different responses. You are depending on the Holy Spirit to be present and to speak through your group. Say what God prompts you to say, and listen to what others share.
Take turns reading the chapter out loud. Follow that with giving the students some time to individually mark their responses to the questions (a PDF version of the handout is available as a download). This gives each person a starting point for responding when you start to share as a group. Next, begin the discussion by asking the students to share what they marked and why on each question as you work your way through. Feel free to take more time on some questions than others as discussion warrants.
Encourage each person in the group to apply what is discussed to their personal lives and to share with the group what they believe God wants them to do. Then ask them to pray that God will help each of them to follow through in doing so. Remind them to expect that God will show them ways to live out the message of this passage in the coming week, and that they are free to ask others in the group to help hold them accountable.
Welcome to the Land of Plenty Restaurant where the waiting list is at least a year long to get in.
After years of waiting, you finally enter. The atmosphere is buzzing with excitement. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen before. Every one of your senses is stimulated as the different sights, smells, and sounds waft through the air.
You look around. The buffet table is as far as the eye can see. You can’t wait to dig in. The anticipation is killing you as you spy with your little eye the unlimited all-you-can-eat options. You can practically taste the dessert dance in your mouth with every breath you take.
The moment of truth has come. As you sit down to eat, you think to yourself, “I’ve waited a long time for this.” But congratulations, the wait is over. You take your first bite. It’s everything you have thought it would be and so much more.
Guess what. You have just shared in the experience that the children of Israel must have felt as they finally entered the Promised Land after many years of wandering in the wilderness. You can read all about it in the book of Joshua, especially in chapters 11, 13, and 14.
Worth the Wait!
Name something that you are currently waiting on.
Read Joshua 11:23.
23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.
Read Psalm 130:5.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
1. How do you feel when you finally receive something you have been promised?
2. What things do you do to help yourself wait on God’s promises?
3. Why didn’t God give the children of Israel the promise without battles?
4. How can you build your trust in God while waiting on Him?
5. In what ways did God keep His promises to the children of Israel?
6. What lessons might God be teaching as He makes us wait?
7. Recall a time when you had to wait for something you really wanted. How did you feel?
8. Describe a time when God eventually came through for you.
You can probably think of a few things that you thought were worth the wait. Christmas. Birthday. Family vacation. While all of those might rank high on a list, nothing outranks the promises of God. Why? Because all of God’s promises come with His guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:20 say so: “For all of the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen.”
Whatever God promises, He is able to supply it, and He will supply it in His time. No matter how long it takes, God will fulfill His promises. Just as He kept His promise to the children of Israel that they would one day enter the Promised Land, He will keep His promise to us as well. One day soon, He will return to gather His children, and we, like them, will enter the promised land of Heaven.
YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME.
Give someone you know an encouraging phone call or text message this week as they wait for something they’ve been promised.
FAITH IN ACTION.
It’s easy to talk about being what it takes to be a Christian. It’s another thing to actually do it.
LOOK, BUT DON’T TOUCH.
In a get it quick, instant, microwave society, we sometimes forget what it is to wait on anticipated things.
Thank God for at least three things He promised you and that He fulfilled.
What if the Miracles of Jesus are more than meets the eye?
What if there is so much more to each story than we see?
What if each time Jesus did something supernatural, He was inviting us to look deeper?
Beyond the healing.
Beyond the deliverance.
Beyond the acts that defied the laws of nature.
What if Jesus were inviting us to see something bigger?
Something more amazing about the love of God.
What if the ultimate Miracle is that God can transform us?
The Miracle Series is an interactive study of 15 of Jesus’ awe-inspiring encounters while here on earth. These lessons, and messages are designed to connect with teens and youth and take them on a journey of discovery. Included in this kit is everything you need:
We invite you and your youth to not just study the Miracles of Jesus but to experience The Miracle.
1. Activity / Busy Bags for Kids
Help parents stay sane. Assemble bags with activities to keep small children busy.
Cost: Less than $5.00
2. Placemats For Meals On Wheels
Cheer up the homebound. Thoughtfully decorated placemats are a lovely extra to bring to meal recipients. If you’re able to laminate the placemats, all the better!
Cost: Less than $5.00
3. Deliver Meals For Meals On Wheels
Help fight hunger. Pick up and deliver meals to seniors and people with disabilities.
Cost: Less than $5.00