Joshua Saw What the Israelites Had to Do

When God gives to us a vision, we must seek
good information and lay plans to obey Him.

Children’s teachers should read study #78 for children.


Do activities that meet current needs and for which your co-workers have time. Prepare with prayer and the Word to obey the Lord.


Prayer. “Lord Jesus, you are our Commander. Show us what you want to do, tell us what we are to do, and lead us to good information, so that we will make wise choices.”

Find in Numbers 13:1-16

·         What the Lord was going to do. [Answer in verse 2: give the Land of Canaan to the Israelites.]

·         What the people were supposed to do. [Answer: spy out the land, that is, go get information about the land.]

·         Who commanded them to do it. [See verse 3.]

Find in Numbers 13:17-24 what the spies were to learn …

·         About where to go. [Verse 17. Note: Canaan had two main regions, Hill country and Negev in the low lands.]

·         About the strength of the people. [18]

·         About the number of people.

·         About the land. [19]

·         About the cities.

·         About agriculture. [20]

·         About forestry.

·         About local products.

1.    Get good information

The Lord has told us to make disciples for him in every language group, tribe, people and nation. We should learn what we can about each people group, so that we can make wise choices about how to find receptive families and make disciples of them. Since Jesus said that finding people is like reaping a harvest, we look for three kinds of information:


About the harvest field.

a.       Which different people groups dwell in each region?

b.      What is the population of each people group?

c.       What are their language, social class, caste, economic conditions and main cultural traits?

d.      How do they like to communicate among themselves?

e.       What are their religious beliefs and spiritual practices?

f.       What do they know about Jesus and what is their attitude towards Christians?


About the harvest force.

g.       Who are the other Christian congregations, missions and agencies who are trying to make disciples?

h.      Among which people groups do they work?

i.        Where are their offices located and their workers stationed?

j.        What is each of those ministries able to do well?

k.      What are their workers’ social, cultural and linguistic traits?

l.        Which of those ministries will cooperate with you and with each other?


About the harvest yield.

m.    What proportion of each people group are already disciples?

n.      Is the proportion of disciples increasing or decreasing?

o.      At what rate are new believers being baptised every year?

p.      At what rate are new congregations and cells being planted every year?

q.      How are new leaders of congregations being trained?

r.        Through what various means are new disciples being made?


Find in Joshua 1:1-11 what the vision was that the Lord gave to Joshua:

·         The Lord’s promises. [2 & 5]

·         Joshua’s obedience. [8 & 9]

·         Joshua’s plans. [10 & 11]

2.    Plan with your co-workers the coming week’s activities

During training sessions with novice leaders, help them to tell their vision, plan with them how they will try to fulfil their vision, and guide them in finding good information.

Try to answer the questions from Part 1 about the harvest among your own people group.

Try to answer the questions from Part 1 about other people groups near you.

Arrange to make contact with other churches and organisations to get good information or to cooperate to find that information.

If others are willing, arrange for a research group that will gather and share information about every people group in your region.



Inquire with other Christian leaders about the Christian research offices in your country. Plan to contact those offices and ask for information about “unreached” peoples and places in your region.

3.    Plan with your co-workers the up-coming worship

Read or act out from Numbers chapters 13 & 14, the story of the spies who went into the land of Canaan. Call attention to…

·         How the people refused to obey and so wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, till they had all died,

·         How faithful Joshua and Caleb were allowed to lead the new generation into the land.

Have the children present the things that they have prepared.

Discuss plans for investigating neglected people groups or sending workers to them. If anyone has already done this, let them report the results.

To introduce the Lord’s Table read John 21:9-14. Explain that we, too, will soon eat together with Jesus in the resurrection, and our aim is for all people to join in great feast.

Form small groups of two and three to pray for nearby neglected people groups and for  those who plan to serve them.

Memorize together Numbers 13:18.


Words to teach to your people

Research. Carefully finding out accurate information about people and places, that can help us to plan how to help them.

Unreached. Groups of people that do not have enough Christians and congregations to evangelize their own people without help from other Christians.

Harvest field. The names of unreached places and of unreached groups of people who live there.

Harvest force. The numbers and kinds of Christians who are willing to help make disciples and start congregations within a group of people.

Harvest yield. The numbers of persons in a group of people who trust in Jesus and get baptised.