Old Testament Character Sketch Bible Study Template
Name: Rachel Sullivan
Date: October 8, 2018
Section: BIBL 104 – B60
For this assignment, you will be studying the life of one of the characters from Courageous Faith. You will use a template developed from Chapter 36 of Everyday Bible Study in order to complete this character-sketch Bible study. You will seek to discover what can be learned from the character you have selected when we purposefully study his or her life using the technique of observation, interpretation, correlation, and application.
Step One: Choose a person to study.
For this character-sketch Bible study I will be studying: Joshua
Step Two: Identify and list all the Bible passages on the person. You may find it helpful to use a Bible dictionary, Bible handbook, or a study Bible. Remember that some Old Testament characters are mentioned in the New Testament.
1 Kings 16:34
Courageous Faith: Life Lessons from Old Testament heroes
Joshua 1:8, 9
Step Three: Read through each passage, making general observations based on first impressions. List (in complete sentences) at least 10 general observations from the Bible passages on your character.
The book of Joshua is a story of conquest and fulfillment for the people of God.
Joshua’s life was filled with much excitement, success and honor. Joshua had a deep trust in God. In Numbers 27:18 it says, “and the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him”. So we know that Joshua was in the Spirit.
Joshua was a military leader.
Joshua was faithful and obedient to God.
Joshua teaches us how we should be leaders in Christ.
We understand that through the book of Joshua, that God keeps his promises.
God tells Joshua “to be strong and courageous” which is a very important verse in Joshua because it gives understanding of why Joshua is such a firm believer and follower of Christ.
Joshua was a man of great faith.
Joshua shows us that life does have ups and downs but if we hold on to God, then we can overcome all. (Joshua 24) (Hidson, pg 84)
Joshua was a Godly leader that inspired holiness.
Step Four: Ask the key questions and observe other structural or grammatical
Observations related to “Who?”
According to the Bible, Joshua is the son of Nun. He was also one of the greatest military leaders in the Bible. Joshua was one of the 12 spies that Moses had sent out. Joshua and another one of the spies were the only two spies who brought back a good report. Joshua was a great man of faith and he provides us with an example of how devotion and faith in God can empower us to become better solider (leaders) for God.
Observations related to “What?”
In my study I have found that Joshua just isn’t a follower of Moses. He is starting back from where Moses ended. He was chosen by God. God promised to be with Joshua and to guide and direct him. The things Joshua will face are different then what Moses faced but he is very careful to follow God where he leads. Joshua is a leader and he will lead the people into new and unknown territory. One of these places is the land that God had promised but they will only gain this if they fight to gain it. It is important to remember that the battle and the victory will be God’s. After it is all said and done, Joshua will help his people find their place in the Promised Land and they will all begin to settle there. (Keating, J.)
Observations related to “Where?”
Israel is important to Joshua because this is “where” it all started. This is where he begins “to lead the army of Israel to the Promised Land” (Hindson, pg 77). The next important “where” in the life of Joshua is when he and the people of Israel spent a lot of time in Sinai. We learn later that they” had been in the Sinai wilderness for forty years. The older generation had died in the wilderness, and the younger generation was ready to move ahead” (Hindson, pg 77). The next important “where” when studying the life of Joshua happens in Gilgal. This is where the Israelites camp after they made it across the Jordan River. This is also where they celebrated the Passover. The final big “where” for Joshua and the Israelites occurs in Jericho. “When the people got to Jericho, they discovered it to be one of the great walled cities of the ancient world. It sat on an artificial mound, already several centuries old. Its massive double walls surrounded the tell (or mound). It was an imposing sight to the desert spies. Jericho was near to where the Jordan River drops into the Dead Sea. It literally guarded the entrance into Canaan from the wilderness. When the spies arrived, they found the city already in a panic over the news of the advancing Israelites. The people of Jericho were terrified because they had heard that God was with the people of Israel” (Hindson, pg 78).
Observations related to “When?”
The main events of Joshua take place after Moses life when he was commissioned by God. He led the people for several years following Moses death. The events that occur in the book of Joshua go about a seven year journey. Once they arrive to the destination that was promised, it took seven more years for them to settle there.
Observations related to “Why?”
There are several questions that stand out to me when studying Joshua’s life. Why did God send Israel to face a big fortified city? Joshua listened and followed his command. Why is it hard for some people to obey God’s command even when it is something smaller than what Joshua was faced with? How can we as individual in the 21st century learn to hear and obey God’s commands? How can I become more of a leader in my faith and be more like Joshua?
Step Five: Construct a timeline that details the life of your Bible personality.
Joshua was called upon by Moses Exodus 17:8-16
God commissions Joshua Joshua 1Joshua proved his faithfulness (Spying in Canaan) Joshua 2The Israelites cross the Jordan Joshua 3 – 5Conquer of Jericho Joshua 6 – 8Kings joins Joshua against Israel Joshua 9Joshua prays that God would stop the Israelites by Stopping the Sun Joshua 10Northern Palestine defeated Joshua 11, 12Division of the Promised Land Joshua 13 – 22Joshua’s Farewell Address Joshua 23, 24II. Interpretation
Step Six: Determine what Biblical wisdom can be gained from this character. Carefully look through your general observations based on your first impressions, your deeper study, and your timeline. What biblical wisdom can you gather about your character? Write out five elements of Biblical wisdom that can be understood from your character. Provide a concise explanation of each of these elements.
The land of Israel was a slave land for forty years and finally after all those years they are able to enter the land that was promised by God. They were there for 50 more years. This shows us that God has a plan for everyone. We just need to be patience and trust in him.
In chapter one of the book of Joshua, he is told to be courageous four times. The verses say, “Be strong and courageous,” God commanded Joshua. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night … then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:8, 9). It takes courage to trust in God in many situations in our lives.
In studying the life of Joshua, I have learned that he had great perseverance. Joshua understood his calling and his purpose that God had given him. He followed and obeyed God’s command even though he was not able to physically see the outcome. We should learn to trust in the commands of God.
GOD GIVES US VICTORY
The things that happened in Jericho teach us that God wants to give us victory. Joshua knew this and that’s why he kept strong in obeying God’s command to keep marching around the walls of Jericho. I think of Jericho as a symbol of all the things we can’t get victory over in our own lives. This could end up hurting us. With God we can be victorious.
Many events that occur in Joshua life prove that he has strong faith. Joshua lived up to his name, “God is salvation.” His life is a testimony for those who desire to obey God in living faith.
Step Seven: Ask, “How does this character’s life reflect other truths found in the Scriptures?”List and explain 3truths from this person’s life that fit within the entire Bible. Your explanation must note how these truths fit the framework of God’s Word.
Followers of God never walk alone
Joshua never walks alone. There are also several events in Joshua that remind us of this. One verse stating, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). The more I have studied about Joshua the more I have realized that the most important thing in life is our walk with God.
Stepping out in Faith will make us victorious
“Consecrate yourselves,” Joshua told the people of Israel. “Take up the ark of the covenant,” he ordered the priests, “and cross over ahead of the people” (Joshua 3:5, 6). If we trust in God and have faith, we will become victorious. Again, a verse in chapter one of Joshua needs to be applied here, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” Joshua 1:9 (KJV).
Keeping God first in our lives will help us become prosperous
Joshua kept God first in everything he done in his life and like we read in Joshua he was successful in his plans. He stood strong in his faith and he was successful in his mission. Not only do we learn this in his life but we learn this in many different books of the Bible. A verse in Matthew states, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33, KJV).
Step Eight: Ask, “How does this character’s life point me to Jesus?” List and explain 3ways the life of your character can point to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Joshua not only was victorious in Jericho, but he was defeated at Ai.
Not only are there vicitories in our Christian walk, but there can also be defeats just like what happen at Ai. Several lessons can be learned from this defeat. Inside of mourning over the failure, the people of Israel should have been mourning over sin. If we are covered in sin, we will not be prosperpus. “He that covert his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confessth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13, KJV).
Like Jesus, Joshua was obedient to God.
This in its self should point us to Jesus. Being obedient will allow us to be blessed in life. In the first chapter of Joshua we learn that if we are obi dent to God we will have success in our life. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Josh 1:8 KJV).
Step Nine: What points of application can be made using the Four Common Questions? List and explain 1 point of application for each of the Four Common Questions.
The question of duty
Joshua was instructed to march his people around the walls of Jericho seven times. His duty shows us that following God’s command can lead us to victory, even in the toughest circumstances. His duty was to lead his people to the Promised Land. I feel as if he witnessed to people just by following God’s command.
The question of character
Joshua’s character is very easy to detect in the events in the book of Joshua. He remains humble to the people and to his calling, even in his defeats. I am sure the his people thought he was crazy when he instructed them to march around the walls of Jericho seven times. In the midst of how peculiar it was, he obeyed his command and ordered his people to march. Another thing that stands out to me about Joshua is how he went steadily unto the unknown just because it is want God want.
The question of cause
Joshua’s life was lived for the calling God has on his life and to show us the fulfillment of God’s promises. This also shows us how to serve the Lord in our trials and battles. The events in Joshua’s life and in the book of Joshua testifies to God’s faithfulness.
The question of discernment
Joshua and Isarel were taken in by some of the lies the Gibeonites told. This could have been prevented in they would have seeked God. “And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, 4 )They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; 5) And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. 6)And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. 7)And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? 8)And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? 9)And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, 10)And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. 11) Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. 12)This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: 13)And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. 14) And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord” (Josh 9:3-14 KJV). Joshua’s response to all this was to seek God. God did promise he would delviever them all of their enemy nations unto their hands.
King James Version. Wordsearch, 2018
Hindson, E. (2003). Courageous faith: Life Lessons from Old Testament heroes. Nashville, TN: Lifeway Church Resources
Keating, J. (2012, February). Vice President of the Sword of the Spirit speaks to a new generation. In Living Bulwark: sources of strength and renewal for Christian life and mission . Retrieved from http://www.swordofthespirit.net/bulwark/february2012p4.htmAust, J. (n.d.). Profiles of Faith Joshua – God Is Salvation. In The Good News. Retrieved August 9, 1997, from https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/profiles-of-faith-joshua-god-is-salvation