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Judges 1:2:9

12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations--these that remain among you--and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, 13 know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you. (Joshua 23:12-13)

Warning, warning, warning, don’t hang out with the folks I’ve just put out of the land I’m giving you. God couldn’t have been clearer in His instructions to Israel. God was the one who would drive out the people He had dispossessed, not Israel. But the eviction process would stop if Israel stopped obeying the commands of the Lord. How often are we like Israel? Forget for a moment obeying God’s commands, how often don’t we obey the commands of little ole instruction sheet and then blame our failure to get that “stupid” thing working on the manufacture instead of our failure to obey the directions?

The “Blame Game” that started back in the Garden of Eden, in the Book of Genesis, continues today and it is failure to take responsibility for our own breakdowns to obey the “Word of the Lord. Even Moses participated in that deadly game when he failed to follow God’s instructions. God told Moses and Aaron to speak to the rock when Israel found herself in the Wilderness without water but they struck the rock, not once but twice.

Numbers 20:6-9
6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."

9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."

God told Moses and Aaron that it was their own disobedience that would keep them out of the Promise Land, but Moses told the people it was their disobedience that kept him out, The Blame Game.

Deuteronomy 1:
37 "And the LORD was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, `You will never enter the Promised Land! 38 Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him as he prepares to enter it.

Israel’s reasons for not getting out the inhabitants were as varied as the number of her tribes and families. She failed to clear out her Promise because she failed to obey and follow after God. Let us strive not to make the same mistakes as Israel, let us strive to obey the Voice of the Lord so that the enemies that live in our hearts will be rooted out not because we are so strong, but because our obedience will allow the Holy Spirit in to do the job we are unable to do.


Luke 21:29-22:13

Today’s reading includes the story of Jesus sending his disciples, Peter and John, ahead of Him to prepare the last Passover meal (22:7-10) He will share with them before His crucifixion. How lovely that today, this evening to be specific, at Sundown the Jewish Festival of Passover and then the Fest of Unleavened Bread begins. Jesus became the Pascal Lamb for the entire World so that the Death Angel would pass over the hearts of all those who call on His Name and bring us into eternal life, once and for All. This is no AWESOME coincidence! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world died for you and for me, a great reason to rehearse the story of the first Passover to remind us of what that Passover really means.


Psalm 90-91:16


12 Teach us to make the most of our time,
so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalm 90)

If ever there was a need to make the most of our time throughout the generations, now is the time. I am inundated by the many voices calling for my attention and most of the time I give the wrong voice an inordinate amount of time neglecting the voice of wisdom to my peril Today the 12th verse of Moses’ psalm becomes my prayer.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 13:24-25

Mike makes a good observation about the use of verse twenty-four. Too often we hear this verse used to justify horrendous physical abuse. But today when I read Mike’s comments I realized that the people who brutalize their children with cruelty disguised as godly obedience are themselves out of control and lacking discipline in their own lives, thus are incapable of disciplining others rightly.

Yet there are a lot of parents who go to the other extreme and do not use any kind of discipline because they say, “It will hurt little Johnnie or Jane’s self-image.” Lack of discipline and abuse seem to me to be different sides of the same coin, neglect. On one side, abuse, the parent or guardian is “getting” off on the cruel treatment of the child. On the other side of the coin the parent is placing their self-interest, not having to expend time and energy in giving their children tools to learn self-control the child will need in the future.

Proverbs 12:1
To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.

As someone who works in a college I know cheating is rampant, and the kids didn’t begin cheating when they showed up on the collage doorstep. If one is cheating to get information, one is not learning the information.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Our small group just finished Ephesians. In chapter 6 there are practical instructions for living godly lives. Disciplining your children is discussed. Verse 4 tells us not to exasperate our children but to explain the ways of the Lord. Extreme punishment will not accomplish anything if a child is focused on the unfair punishment. Anger will prevent any learning on the child's part. However there should be consequences for wrong doing. I have always believed the punishment should fit the crime. Appropriate punishment along with reinforcing the Word are surely the best way to help our children grow into responsible adults.
Susan

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