Journey Through the Bible in 13 Months – continued

Bible with coffee.jpg

 

Update: Feb. 19, 2018

Weeks 24

 

 

Day Of  Journey  Week Daily Readings  Nugget

162

Week 24

1

Psalm 96, 105, 106

The prayers of praise continue. In Psalm 105 &106, David recounts all that God has done in raising up the Israelite nation. He recounts God’s faithfulness amidst the Israelite’s unfaithfulness. It is a good historical summary from the viewpoint of God’s love and mercy towards his chosen, but sinful, people. It’s a good reminder of God’s love and mercy towards us. Praise the Lord! Amen!

 

163

2

2 Samuel 8;

1 Chronicles 18;

Proverbs 27

 

1 David’s victories… David is being victorious because God is blessing him. God is blessing David because David is seeking and desiring a relationship with the Lord and to walk in his ways. Is David perfect? No! It is not what David does that the Lord decides if he’ll bless him or not. It is how David goes about doing stuff… David desires to have God a part of his life and decisions. David asks for guidance and acknowledges God’s goodness. God is only responding to David’s requests and God will answer as God cannot deny his own character of faithfulness and mercy. God seeks such desire from us through our earthly walk too. May we be encouraged by David in our life of faith and relationship with the Lord.

2 There is so much good advice in Proverbs. There are many topics of advice that intrigue me today: friends, the quarrelsome wife…. However, I think verse 19 really is something to reflect upon:

As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart.

What does your life say about your heart?

 

164

3

2 Samuel 9;

Proverbs   28, 29

 

I love the story of David and Mephibosheth. The integrity of David’s words and his love for Jonathan really shine in this story. Also, could you imagine being Mephibosheth; becoming lame as a young boy because of fleeing for his life, and then having to struggle surviving due to his disability. Then out of the blue being called to receive all the land his grandfather had as king and eating at the king’s palace every remaining day of his life. I also think Mephibosheth would have loved to hear, over and over again, the stories of David and his father, and their love for each other.

 

165

4

2 Samuel 10;

1 Chronicles 19, 20;

2 Samuel 10 is simply a bunch of useless bloodshed. Hanun’s commanders thought the worst, and convinced Hanun that the Israelites were coming with an evil motive. How sad they did not seek the truth before jumping to conclusions. So many lives would have been saved. How often do we do that though; jump to evil conclusions about someone else. Do we not put the worst spin on a text, email, or any written message? May this incident be encouragement to us to seek the Lord when our minds begin thinking the worst about someone or something they said, and communicate with them in person to avoid misinterpreted intensions.

 

166

5

2 Samuel    11, 12;

Psalm 51

The story about David, Bathsheba and Urriah is a dark spot on David’s relationship with the Lord. David knew better than to take Bathsheba, but he did it anyways. The events that followed were simply to cover up his affair with this beautiful, married woman. God’s displeasure was made know to David and he was punished, as well as forgiven. Can this whole story not be an example for us? Are we not like David, no matter how faithful? Although we may not be having affairs with married individuals and impregnating them, we do sinful things that we know we shouldn’t do. In times of weakness or temptation, we turn our back on God’s ways and follow our own sinful pleasures. Even in secret, God sees these sinful, acts that oppose his will for our life. It makes him upset and angry. Yet, he is always waiting to embrace us with his forgiveness when we seek to repent of our sin. We may have consequences of our actions which we must be accountable for since they are just, but we can know that we are forgiven.

 

167

6

2 Samuel   13, 14; Proverbs 30

The story of Amnon’s love for Tamar is a good lesson for us not to trust our emotions over the law and guidelines of the Lord. He felt his love was so strong he just had to have her but once he gave into his so called ‘love’ in such an evil way, he started down a road to destruction and hatred. May we stay strong in God’s ways when our emotions and desires would lead us astray.

 

168

7

1 Chronicles 22;

Ecclesiastes  1, 2

1 In chapter 22, from all the supplies David has gathered, can you just imagine how magnificent the temple is going to be. Oh to have seen such beauty!

2 It is appropriate that we begin Ecclesiastes as Solomon begins his reign, because Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon – the final two books of the poetry section of the Bible –  are written by Solomon. If either book were made into a movie, the first would be a drama and the latter a love story with parental guidance.

3 Oh to have the wisdom of Solomon would be such a burden; for the more he knew and saw and reflected, the more he questioned the purpose of this life and our actions. Verses 24-25 express a simple response:  

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

He really brings the purpose of life back to its basics. How caught up in ‘life’ are you?

 

Update: Feb. 11, 2018

Weeks 23

Day Of   Journey

 Week Daily Readings

 Nugget

155

Week 23

1

1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10; Proverbs 25

What a grievous day for Israel; their king, his family, and his whole army killed! It is interesting how 1 Chronicles’ recount of the event ends stating Saul’s death in relationship with God.

 

156

2

2 Samuel 1,2; Psalm 99

1010  BC David is King over Judah

David respectfully gives Saul the lament of a King, despite how Saul treated him. What a lesson for us to heed regarding our words and actions toward our leaders in office. If we trust, as God says, that all authority is given by him, then we should act and speak about them as David did about Saul. Ooooh, another lesson easier said than done!

 

157

3

2 Samuel 3,4; Proverbs 26

 

1 Oh my… so much killing. Kingdoms were much different than they are today. It’s hard to get my head around. Today’s chapters certainly show David’s sanctity for life and the difference between just and evil deaths. Both for Abner and for Ish-Bosheth, he avenged their deaths. Although the army and people might be confused with all the commands for death, and wars, and raiding, but perhaps David is laying Godly ground rules now for killing. Hmmm…

2 In Proverbs 26, I find it interesting how in depth it goes regarding the ways and ruin of a fool, and yet, the end result of the arrogant will be worse than the fool. Let us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

 

158 4

2 Samuel 5;    1 Chronicles 11, 12, 14

1003 BC David is King over all of Israel

1 How God showed himself is so awesome. It’s one thing for him to tell David how to line up his army and attack the Philistines. It’s a whole new level when God says to listen to the rustling of the tops of the poplar trees as the sign that God has gone out ahead of David. Can’t you just imagine it… hearing the rustling of the tops of the trees as a result of all the angels running across them into battle. So cool!

 

159

5

2 Samuel 6;     1 Chronicles 13, 15;

 

1 Again God demands the utmost respect, honour and obedience. Even though Uzzah was just trying to keep the Ark from tumbling due to the stumbling of the ox, God’s demand was not to touch the ark! So….don’t touch the ark!

 

160

6

1 Chronicles 16; Psalm     15, 24

 

 

What a joyous day! No killing, no anger, no jealousy. Only worshiping the Lord and singing his praises for all he has done. May we start each day with such joyous praise and thanksgiving to our great God, and Saviour.

161

7

2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 60

 

The prayer that David prays is our prayer too and, in Christ, God has redeemed us to himself and has established our house forever. As you close today, reread David’s prayer, inserting your name.

Update: Feb. 4, 2018

Weeks 22

Day Of   Journey

 Week Daily Readings

 Nugget

148

Week

22

1

1 Samuel 19,20:

Psalm 59

Despite Saul’s jealous anger against David, God protected David. God blessed David with a friendship with Jonathan and a wife who loved him, both of whom are children of Saul. Oh how Saul is blinded by his jealous ways. However, even before David was on the scene, Saul had started to walk in his own arrogance and misconstrue God’s will to meet his own good. Oh how we go astray when we take our eyes off the Lord, as in Saul’s case. Yet, as in David’s case, when we stay focused on the Lord, despite what is going on around us, God will give us the means and support to get us through.

 

149

2

1 Samuel 21:

Psalm 52, 56, 34

1 This time of escape from Saul must have been a time of great distress for David, and yet he clung more and more to the Lord, trusting him to deliver him, despite his fears. We see this in the numerous psalms or prayers of help, praise and thanksgiving that he records surrounding this time. May we too cling ever so closely to the Lord when times are tough and trust that he will get you through.

2 This incident with David receiving the consecrated bread is a story that Jesus mentions in the New Testament (Mark 2:25-26). We’ll get to it in a few months….

 

150

3

1 Samuel 22:

Psalm 57, 142

Oh dear… Today was not a good day for Saul. His thoughts and jealousy are really leading him away. To be so caught up in his jealousy and anxiety towards David and the threat of losing his power, is driving him to be mentally insecure. Who would murder 85 innocent priests, plus all their families? It’s a very sad day for the city of Nob. I wonder what the Israelites will think about this…

 

151

4

1 Samuel 23, 24:

Psalm 54, 18

 

What a clear difference between the thoughts and actions of David and Saul. David walked in the ways of the Lord and he held fast to serving and obey those in authority, God’s chosen, no matter what their actions. Whereas, Saul turned from the Lord and being sucked in to his sinful thoughts, he would seek to harm the innocent.

It is interesting that both David and Saul said, “God has given him into my hands,” when all the while that was not true for Saul. It’s one thing to say, but it’s another for it to actually occur. In such situations, go to God for guidance and pray that his will be done. Then trust God’s outcome. Saul never did that.

 

152

5

1 Samuel 25,26:

Proverbs 31

Abigail certainly is an example of a wife of noble character, as in Proverbs 31. Although Nabal was foolish and evil, it was only right that David’s men went to him. However, what a blessing it was for the servant to tell Abigail what Nabal had done. I’m sure it wasn’t the only time she had ran behind him putting out fires and reconciling with people. Despite his reaction towards her, Abigail did the right thing and helped David. These actions save the lives of her household. At times we might find ourselves in such positions, due to someone else’s uncaring or mean words. Take encouragement from Abigail, and my we live as wive’s/women of noble character.

 

153

6

1 Samuel 27,28:

Proverbs 23

1 Hmmmm….regarding David in ch 27: it was not the most Godly way to spend his time while in Philistine. I’m not sure why he felt this was a proper way to live while he was waiting for Saul to die.

2 Ch. 28 predicts Saul’s demise and is a good lesson for us to trust in God’s timing and answer, and not seek fortune tellers/seers. From this incident we can know that some people do have such an ability. The thing is that we are not to seek them and trust in them, but to seek God and to trust our futures into his hands.

 

154

7

1 Samuel 29, 30:

Proverbs 24

1 I can understand why Achish’s men did not want David to fight with them. I also believe it was in David’s best interest not to be part of the battle that kills Saul.

2 David’s rule about sharing equally with the men that did not fight is a Godly and wise rule. How many times do we question if someone should be included in the rewards of a task, if they didn’t participate. Now these men, were very much part of David’s army but were being truthful in being too weak to fight, and it was God who gave them the victory. It would be good to remember that any blessing is from God and who are we to hoard it to ourselves. Although it is easier said than done, may God give us the strength and willingness to share among us.

Update: Jan. 28, 2018

Weeks 21

Day Of   Journey

 Week  Daily Readings

 Nugget

141

Week

21

1

1 Samuel 5,6:

Proverbs 16

Despite the Israelites’ loss of the Ark, God was still proclaimed among the Philistines with the plagues that he bestowed upon the town that kept the Ark. Even the ungodly will see and acknowledge God as God of gods and Lord of Lords. I wonder how many people from those Philistine towns came to trust God as their Lord and deliverer, for even their god, Dagon, was proven to bow down before Him. Dear Lord, may our words and actions be your witness to those who do not yet know you, so that they too may see you and trust in you.

 

142

2

1 Samuel 7,8:

Proverbs 17

Today’s reading encourages us to walk faithfully, but I also believe we can take another lesson from the reading. I can’t help but think about God’s call and requirements of the Israelites. It is they from whom he desires obedience. His law is for them and those who believe and trust in him. His laws were not forced upon non-Israelites like the Philistines. However, if any came to believe in the one true God, they would be seeking his ways to walk faithfully, like we read about Ruth. Therefore, as Christians, we are to hold to God’s law and gospel in our own life and the life of our nation, our ‘Christian family’. However for those who do not yet know and believe in the Lord, we need to continue to be his lights and examples of Christ’s love and sacrifice to them.

143

3

1 Samuel 9,10:

Proverbs 18

Saul becomes King 1043 BC

Wow! What a whirlwind of emotions Saul must have felt going from being a young man following the commands of his father to being told he will now be the King of Israel. What an honour! ….and yet, it was nothing that Saul did, but all what God had done. God had chosen Saul. All that is about to happen to Saul is by God’s doing. Can Saul boast? Can he acknowledge that he had any part in becoming the King? No! In the same way, we too have been chosen; not to be a king, but to be children of the king. When we look at our salvation, we too must give God all the glory. Christ did it all for us! When we find ourselves discouraged in the faith or becoming a little boastful, may we find encouragement in these chapters and turn to God in praise and thanksgiving for all he has done for us.

 

144

4

1 Samuel 11,12:

Proverbs 19

Just like Moses and Joshua, Samuel reminds the Israelites of God’s faithfulness, rebukes them, and finally encourages them not to turn from God but to walk in his ways. What beautiful words Samuel shares is 12:20-22:

“Do not be afraid. You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.”

These are faithful words for us to heed as well!

145

5

1 Samuel 13,14:

Proverbs 20

Here we see Saul do things for selfish gain like not waiting for Samuel to arrive or implementing a no eating oath to his warriors until they have won the battle and he has avenged himself against his enemies. But really, are we any different? Do we not lose patience and take things into our own hands, instead of waiting for God’s timing? Do we not put selfish barriers in the way of others, instead of helping them be the best they can be? May Saul be an encouragement for us to wait patiently and trust God to be in charge, and to help others be their best without expecting any selfish gain.

146

6

1 Samuel 15,16:

Proverbs 21

1 Great words from Samuel for us to heed:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (15:22)2 Now God chooses a king for the people that is one who walks in love and obedience with God, unlike Saul who was impressive in man’s eyes.

147

7

1 Samuel 17,18:

Proverbs 22

Ah….the story of David and Goliath. This familiar story from our Sunday School days is such a great encouragement to continue trusting in the Lord in the midst of overwhelming barriers. An underlying point of interest is the eldest brother’s comment to David about his heart being evil and conceited. We know that is not true as it has been said that David trusted and loved the Lord. David was boastful in the Lord, and as mentioned, he was victorious in slaying wild animals, which he accredited to the Lord, as well. Finally, the brothers were present when Samuel blessed David with the kingship, a few chapters back. Therefore, perhaps this and other brothers were jealous of David’s success. This story reminds me of Jacob and his brothers. Have you ever felt yourself jealous towards someone because of God’s blessings towards them? May this story be an encouragement for you to let it go! Stopping judging others in their walk with the Lord and focus on your own relationship with him. This comes up in the New Testament too…

Update: Jan. 21, 2018

Weeks 20

Day Of   Journey

 Week Daily Readings

Nugget

134

Week

20

1

Ruth 3,4:

Proverbs 9

1 Due to Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi and to God, God blessed her by giving her a place in the lineage of Jesus, just as he did Rahab. Both women were considered righteous, as was Abraham, by their faithfulness as displayed in their trusting and humble actions.

2 Interesting historical nugget: Oh if it was that easy today to finalize legal transactions by the passing of sandals. It takes more than that to get the day off of work. It amazes me that the whole transaction of acquiring Naomi’s property and Ruth, herself, was done in a day.

 

135

2

Judges 9,10:

Proverbs 10

Jerub-Baal = Gideon

May Jotham be an encouragement to us; that in the midst of a city of people he asked them to reflect on their actions and to walk in the righteous way, and if not, to be aware of the consequences of their sinfulness. He was not forceful but he took the bold step to speak out. Not that we are to stand on a street corner but within our own clan- family or church- that we help guide others gently to reconcile or seek the Lord.

 

136

3

Judges 11,12:

Proverbs 11

Jephthah’s reasoning to the Ammonite King was very wise “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over?” (verse 23) In the same way, if we put ourselves in God’s hands and trust in his guidance and direction, than we cannot complain or regret our circumstances. We are where we are meant to be – end of story!

 

137

4

Judges 13,14:

Proverbs 12

What an awesome experience Samson’s parents had with having the angel of the Lord come and speak to them. What an honour!

 

138

5

Judges 15,16:

Proverbs 13

I’m not quite sure what to think of Samson. I know he’s from God, but he’s a little stinker.

Even the women he married were devious.

 

139

6

1 Samuel 1,2:

Proverbs 14

 Oh Hannah’s faithfulness! Being barren is difficult enough. I couldn’t imagine my husband having a second wife, let alone being taunted and tormented by her because of my barrenness.  How the Lord was so gracious in granting her Samuel, and then five other children. By fulfilling her promise to the Lord by giving Samuel to serve in God’s house, God abundantly blessed Hannah with the others.

 

140

7

1 Samuel 3,4:

Proverbs 15

1 To be young Samuel and experience God speaking directly to me would have been overwhelming. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t the most joyful, but it would have started preparing Samuel for a lifetime of serving God and being a Judge for the Israelites.

2 There the Israelites go and take things into their own hands again, by taking the Ark into battle with them, instead of walking in the way of the Lord and calling on his name.

 

Update: Jan. 14, 2018

Weeks 19

Day Of   Journey

 Week  Daily Readings

 Nugget

127

Week

19

1

Judges 1,2:

Proverbs 3

1 We begin with a little bit of summary happening today but then we are told how the Israelites didn’t drive out the other nations as God had directed them to, but they lived among them. How often do we do that… “Oh I can just hang out with this crowd or dabble in this or that, and it won’t affect me.” Well, we are not as strong as we think, and our sinful nature is more desirous to walk contrary to God. Let’s learn of our weak, sinful nature from the Israelites…

2 Ahhh…. God’s wisdom!… What insight, what guidance, what understanding. Proverbs is such a uplifting and practical book for our living this life. Seek the Lord and he will bless you with his wisdom. This is a prayer he will always answer ‘yes!’ to, and that’s a promise!

 

128 2 Judges 17,18:

Proverbs 4

 

1 What is Micah doing? What are the Danites doing? Didn’t we just hear from Joshua to not make any idols, but to serve God alone? Yet, God does not punish them. I’m thinking God is letting ‘free will’ do its thing. However, this does not look good.

2 The proverb is so appropriate. After reading the chapters from Judges, the proverb is our plea for the Israelites to seek God and his wisdom. It is also a plea for us to seek his wisdom.

 

129 3 Judges 19,20,21:

 

Golly… just a whole bunch of wrong in today’s reading. Where do I even start? I don’t think that soap operas are this outrageous. Here is another example of a Bible story that you would never have learned about in Sunday School.

I presume that this story is essential in understanding the Benjamites’ relationship with the other Israelite tribes. There was fracture there and the story needed to be told to explain why. However, I can’t help but shake my head at, and have my heart ache for, the treatment of the concubine and stolen women of Shiloh. Somewhere God is there in all of that, however, as said in Chapter 1, God left them to their ways. Oh how terrible sin is. Oh how corrupt man is.

You can certainly see the sense of family among the Israelites for the Benjamites. As in any family, there are arguments and wrongdoings, as well as, punishment, forgiveness and ongoing love. Although there were consequences for the Benjamites’ actions, the rest of Israel, after the punishment, grieved for them and wanted good for them.

Finally, all this goes to show that God’s faithfulness was not due to how ‘good’ the Israelites were. He kept his promise to them because he is faithful, just as he keeps his promises to us because of his faithfulness, not because of how ‘good’ we are.

 

130 4 Judges 3,4:

Proverbs 5

I love hearing the stories of the judges. They show God’s continuous faithfulness: The Israelites turned from God and did evil, they were suppressed by another nation, they cried out to God, he rose up a judge and delivered the Israelites, they had peace….but then, the Israelites turned from God and the whole cycle starts over again, and again. However, God is always faithful to their calling of repentance and help, and he always delivers them.

Also, along side the men, he calls Deborah, a female, to be the judge.

 

131 5 Judges 5,6:

Proverbs 6

Oh how I love the story of Gideon the Judge. Gideon was a young man when God called him. His honesty and innocence are evident in his questions to God. Don’t we ask the same questions? Don’t we ask for signs of assurance? God was gracious and patient as he guided and reassured Gideon, by responding to all his requests. God is gracious and patient with us too. Let Gideon be encouragement for you; to take all your worries and concerns about God and this life, and let the Lord guide you. Just be willing to be obedient, keeping your eyes opens and paying attention to see how the Lord responds.

 

132 6 Judges 7,8:

Proverbs 7

1 God desires his glory to be known. He does not do things in the way we expect. How the army was chosen is so awesome! Out of 30,000 men, God chose only 300 to fight against the Midianites whom numbered as thick as locusts. To God alone be the Glory!

2 Again how God encourages Gideon by letting him overhear the dream of the opposing soldier. Trust he does the same for you.

3 Also, I am in awe how God uses and prepares other people for the fulfillment of his plans that involve each of us. You never know how or when God is using you as a blessing for someone else.

 

133 7 Ruth 1,2:

Proverbs 8

The story of Ruth 1140 BC

The story of Ruth is beautiful. Ruth’s love and care of Naomi is so heartwarming. I have often wondered what Ruth’s family life was like before she met Naomi’s son and family? Why didn’t she wish to return? However, no matter the reason, she became a blessing to Naomi and brought love and hope into her life after all her loss.

Remember the word Kinsman or Guardian Redeemer: a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty. (taken from the NIV footnotes.) It’s important.

 

Update: Jan. 7, 2018

Weeks 18

 

Day Of

Journey

 Week  Daily Readings

 Nugget

120

Week

18

1

Joshua 11,12:

Psalm 146

What a lot of conquering and death. If I had been a person living in a city that was going to be taken over by the Israelites, and I knew of the stories of God’s protection for the Israelites and his promise to give them the land I was living in, I think I would be moving!

What bloodshed would have occurred! I bet the Gibeonites are watching in thankfulness and awe.

 

121

2

Joshua 13,14:

Psalm 147

1 It is interesting to look at a map of today at the same location where the Israelites settled. All that remains of Israel is quite small in comparison.

2 Caleb must have been so happy to be settled. To have finally come to the completion of the 40 year long during, and be living in the land God had promised so long ago. God is faithful!

 

122

3

Joshua 15,16:

Psalm 148

1 Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, these chapters on each tribe’s allotment is as dry as going through the genealogies. There is just so much to take in about a land I do not know. I recommend you google a map that can help you follow the boundaries of each of the 12 tribes, or at least try to view the one posted in week14. It may help. In the long run, it is important historical proof of the existence of God and the guiding of the Israelites.

2 The Psalm today is so appropriate. I can just hear the Israelites sing this hymn of praise and thanksgiving as they get settled in their new towns or are out preparing their new fields. I can especially envision Caleb in his old age sing this psalm as he looks out over his new inheritance in the promised land.

 

123

4

Joshua 17,18:

Psalm 149

1 I think I see trouble brewing. Did God not say, “Drive all the inhabitants out. Do not live among them.” And yet we see the Manassites just living among the Canaanites. I wonder how long the Israelites can continue to walk in God’s ways and not fall away to the Canaanites’ rituals?

2 There are still 7 Tribes still left to inhabit land, which means there’s still lots more battling to occur. However, it also means watching God miraculously oversee them. Exciting times!

 

124

5

Joshua 19,20:

Psalm 150

1 Well, all the Israelite tribes have their allotted territories.

2 I counted 6 cities of refuge. One city for every two tribes. The elders and judges in those cities would have to be very discerning, wise, and fair, not to mention, the people of those cities would have to be gracious and empathetic. Just think about it…Although accidental, those cities would be filled will people fleeing and giving reason for having killed someone. What a great place to be able to show the love and grace of God.

 

125

6

Joshua 21,22:

Proverbs 1

1 Israelites settled in their allotted territories 1399 BC

7 years is not that long of time for the Israelites to wage war against all the cities and kings that they did. That’s a huge area of land; about 30,000 square miles that they took prossession of,  according to https://prayerlogue.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/promises-vs-possession/ They did this all on foot, with horse and camel I would presume. Impressive! That alone shows God’s hand in it all. However, they’ve got much more to do.

2 Have you ever assumed why someone did something and have a poor opinion of them because of it. Usually situations like this cause people to slander others. Let Joshua 22 be encouragement for us to approach the person we are viewing poorly and address our concern. Many times, just like in today’s story, we have misunderstood/misjudged their actions and reasoning. We can eliminate a lot of sinful thoughts, words, and deeds by opening up a door of communication.

 

126

7

Joshua 23,24: Proverbs 2

1 Chapter 23 is a really good historical summary from the call of Abraham to their life in the promise land.

2 “…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” 24:15b

These are famous words of Joshua. Many people have this verse on a plaque somewhere in their homes. It is a beautiful proclamation of what we stand for, in whom we believe, and by whom our home is blessed.

3 Joshua dies in 1375 BC, as well as, Eleazar the priest. Well, the last of the old guard has passed on. Let’s see how things go now.

Update: Dec. 24, 2017

Weeks 16-17

Day Of   Journey  Week  Daily Readings

 Nugget

106 Week

16

1

Deuteronomy 17,18: Psalm 128 The law surrounding the punishment for a person who did a ‘detestable’ thing is interesting. Although the punishment is extreme as it is death by stoning, there needs to be at least 2-3 witnesses – 1 won’t do- and the accusation is to be investigated thoroughly. The thing that is really interesting is that those 2-3 witnesses are to be the first to throw the stones. Personally, if I was responsible for physically putting someone to death, it would really make me reconsider any words of condemnation. I like that it acknowledges unjust, ‘detestable’ acts towards other and that it makes the accusers accountable.

 

107 2 Deuteronomy 19,20: Psalms 129 1 Just as I thought from yesterday’s little nugget… False accusers will be held accountable.

2 On the topic of War…a couple things here…

-How gracious God is to have those certain individuals go home to their new house, new vineyard, and/or new wife. God is a God of blessings. Also, God doesn’t need all those men. The victory of the Israelites will be from the Lord. The number of fighting soldiers is not an issue for him.

-In general, the Israelites are to ask for a peaceful surrender (except from those places they are taking over in the promised land). God’s first desire is for the other nations to come peacefully to him.

 

108 3 Deuteronomy 21,22: Psalms 130 …And the laws continue!….It can be a bit overwhelming and it seems a bit redundant with a few of the laws. However, it is understandable that, although we read about the laws earlier, when God first gave them to Moses, Moses is not re-telling the Israelites, some of whom were not alive when they were first pronounced. Don’t worry, you can do it. Only a few more chapters and then we’re off to the promised land.

 

109 4 Deuteronomy 23,24: Psalms 131 Care for one another! To sum it up, Israelites are to care for one another. It’s all about how we love one another and how God is glorified in our actions to others. If only we could follow the laws in caring for ourselves and each other, than God wouldn’t have need to add the reciprocal laws of discipline and/or death. For where there is love, there is no law, as stated in Galatians.

 

110 5 Deuteronomy 25,26: Psalms 132 The little nugget that caught my attention today was  “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. (26:5)

The Israelites weren’t Aramean? Were they? Actually, the term Aramean refers to Abraham and his original geographical place of origin which was Paddan Aram. If you remember, both Isaac and Joseph received wives from there in order to not take foreigners as spouses. So Aramean is referred to the geographical origin of Abraham, the father of the Israelites to whom the promise was given.

 

111 6 Deuteronomy 27,28: Psalms 133 Well the Israelites have heard the blessings and the curses. What life will be like walking with the Lord, in love and obedience to him, and what life will be like walking without the Lord, in self-destruction and disobedience to him. Why would one ever have a problem which of the two paths to follow? Human freewill and the power of original sin in us actually makes the above question difficult to answer and then follow. How wretched we are! Forgive us Lord!

 

112 7 Deuteronomy 29,30: Psalm 134  The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. … Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life… (30:9b-10, 19b-20a) I know Moses is stating it over and over, but as a parent, I can so understand his heartfelt plea for the Israelites. He has cared for and led them for 40 years. He knows their stubbornness and yet loves them dearly. The same with parents for their children. How I plea and encourage my children to seek the Lord in their days, walk in his ways, trust him and thank him for all his blessings, worship and praise him with us on Sundays.

 

Day Of   Journey

 Week  Daily Readings

 Nugget

113 Week

17

1

Deuteronomy 31,32: Psalms 138 1 God’s words, They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. (32: 47a)  …and the Word became flesh, and because of him we have life eternal.

 

114 2 Deuteronomy 33,34: Psalm 139 1406 BC Death of Moses and Israelites entering the Promised Land

1 Such a sad day, saying good-bye to Moses. What a life he has lived, from a baby in a basket on the Nile, to a prince of Egypt, to a Shepherd, to the right hand man of God leading a nation. If he had an obituary, it would have been quite something. Oh Lord, help me to be as faithful as Moses. AMEN!

2 This is the end of the re-iterating of the laws and regulations. Some exciting stuff coming up…

 

115 3 Joshua 1,2:

Psalm 140

1406 BC The Israelites prepare to enter and subdue the Promised Land

How overwhelmed Joshua must have felt stepping into Moses shoes. He had a big task ahead of him, and Joshua would not be a young many anymore. Yet, the words of the Lord are so comforting:

 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (1:7-9)

These are comforting words for us too!

 

116 4 Joshua 3,4:

Psalm 141

1 Wow! Walking through the waters on dry ground, during flood season, never ceases to amaze me. Oh to have seen such wonders! How the Israelites could ever question God’s presence among them is beyond me.

2 Setting up the 12 stones as a memorial is a wonderful reminder of all that God has done for the Israelites, and a great way to be able to share the stories with the next generations. I would love to go to that place and see if the 12 stones are still there. Some day…

 

117 5 Joshua 5,6:

Psalm 143

1 After 40 years the manna stops. Just think that for most/all of the Israelites, manna is all they knew. What a joy to eat the sweet fruit of the land.

2 “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”  And Joshua did so. (5: 15) … sound familiar? Just as God did to Moses when He called him, so God does to Joshua.

3 The battle at Jericho. All they had to do was follow God’s simple instructions and God did the rest. Does it get any easier than that? All we need to do is follow and trust in God and he will be faithful in leading us, as well.

 

118 6 Joshua 7,8:

Psalm 144

God is faithful! However, God desires and expects obedience from his children, he is not wishy washy when it comes to his commands. He certainly had expectations of complete obedience for the Israelites…and when they didn’t obey and did their own thing, he washed his hands of them. In today’s society where “I can do whatever I want” without consequences, God’s treatment of Achan may seem harsh. Perhaps if we held fast to God’s words and trusted them more than our own whimsical emotions and covetous desires, our societies would be in a better place.

 

119 7 Joshua 9,10:

Psalm 145

1 If you think about it, what the Gibeonites did, was actually an act of faith in the God of the Israelites. They knew their lives were on the line if God’s people were coming, and they would rather be servants for God’s people than be annihilated.

2 The sun stands still. Could you imagine being part of that whole experience of daylight for an extra day before the sun went down. If anyone is reading this from the Yukon or anywhere along that latitude, they are probably shaking their head, “Yes, as a matter of fact I do.” However, this miracle would have been such a blessing for Joshua and the army as they pursued their enemies. I can imagine it would have exhausted their enemies waiting in anticipation for it to get dark so they could hide from their pursuers. But it never did!

Update: Dec. 17, 2017

Week 15

Day Of

Journey

 

Week

 

Daily Readings

 

Nugget

99 Week 15

 

1

Deuteronomy 3,4: Psalm 120 1 Again we see how gracious God is to answer our persistent pleas when Moses asked to allow him to enter and see the Promised Land. Although he still wasn’t permitted to enter, God took him to the top of a mountain to view all of the land in all directions. Keep praying with persistence.

2 Moses pleas and reminds the Israelites as he gets close to leaving them:

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. (4:9)

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him.  For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath. (4:29-31)

Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? (4:32b)

 Are these not the words of a parent pleading with their children to remember all that God has done for them and to live in relationship with Him and, even if they fall away, to turn back to the Lord for He is faithful.

 

100 2 Deuteronomy 5,6: Psalm 121 I love this passage. Again, it’s a plea to remember and to tell our children and the generations of all that God has done and his love for them: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 

101 3 Deuteronomy 7,8: Psalm 122 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. (8:17-18)

This is so true. When people have built a business or climbed a ladder or finally obtained the position or lifestyle they have worked hard to get, it is very easy to accredit one’s own hard work and dedication for the accomplishment. However, it is God who should receive the thanksgiving for the accomplishment and for giving one the ability, health, drive, wisdom, and open doors to obtain it. We really can be so self-centred.

 

102 4 Deuteronomy 9,10:

Psalm 123

The two passages that catch my eye and heart today are:

1 Who God is:

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. (10:17-18)

and

2 How we are to respond to God:

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good… (10:12-13)

What a beautiful relationship! Why would we want to turn away from him?

 

103 5 Deuteronomy 11,12: Psalm 124 1 Moses continues with his plea: Follow God and be blessed, do not follow God and be cursed. I think that’s a no brainer!

2 In chapter 12, Moses emphasizes the importance of worship, and not to be persuaded to the worship of the gods in the lands they will be possessing. How any religion/culture would sacrifice their own children, is beyond me. Yet, I know that it has happened, at least in the past. When I visited Nicaragua, one of the site seeing attractions we went to was Masaya volcano, an active volcano. There is a legend that it was a place where female virgins would be sacrificed to the gods. I can’t even imagine!

104 6 Deuteronomy 13,14: Psalm 125 Although much of what is being said we read about, to some degree, in Numbers. However, I do like the idea about how every three years, the Israelites were to tithe (10%) of all their produce and gather it for the Levites and the less fortunate in the community. What a great guideline to follow.

 

105 7 Deuteronomy 15,16: Psalm 126 The year of canceling debts and freeing servants are such gracious ideas. The Lord’s will to care for his children and for them to care for one another is so prevalent in these laws. “…there need be no poor people among you…” (15:4a)

 

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