~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Joshua 24:1-33 ~ Luke 21:1-28
Psalm 89:38-52 ~ Proverbs 13:20-23
Old Testament - Today we finish up the book of Joshua! What a book. I have definitely learned much from this book this year. And today's readings are no exception. Chapter 24 is a wonderful closing to this book where the Israelites renew their covenant with God. Verses 25 through 27 are awesome - "So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at Shechem, committing them to a permanent and binding contract between themselves and the LORD. Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. As a reminder of their agreement, he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the oak tree beside the Tabernacle of the LORD. Joshua said to all the people, "This stone has heard everything the LORD said to us. It will be a witness to testify against you if you go back on your word to God."
It's great to read verse 32 and realize that Joseph's wishes from 200 years earlier of being buried in the Promised Land came to fruition! It is amazing to realize the Israelites carried Joseph's bones with them throughout the 40 years in the desert to fulfill this wish - "The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought along with them when they left Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the parcel of ground Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor for one hundred pieces of silver. This land was located in the territory allotted to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph."
New Testament - Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 21 readings today titled "Jerusalem in the Last Days" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 89 verse 48 is something important to keep in mind as I think it does help us think about how we are really living our short earthly lives - "No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave." Knowing this, how are you living your life? Are you living your life with love? Are you loving God and loving other people with all that you are? Are you living your life intentionally? Are you living your life as God would want you to live your life?
Proverbs - Wow. Today in Proverbs chapter 13 verse 20 we read – “He who walks with the wise grows wise.” There is so much wisdom in this verse. Basically, you can boil this down to “choose your friends with care” – but I think there is more going on here. This life we each live really is so short. And there are so many people in our lives that we can choose to spend our time with. And I think it would be very wise on our part to attempt to spend quality time with quality people. Wise people. Otherwise, we can get swept up in a myriad of pop-cultural distractions and cares. And who we choose to hang around with a lot is who we too shall become. Don’t get me wrong – there are clearly times that we are called to minister or serve or love or spend time with people that may not appear “wise” – at first glance. I think if you truly are ministering or serving or loving someone who is down and out, you may be surprised how wise a down and out person can be – sometimes I think they can be closer to God in some ways. So – I’m just saying don’t insulate yourself with only spending time with people who appear worldly & wise. :) Wisdom and wise people truly can be found in the most unlikely of places. Last point I’ll make on this verse. When I read this verse – “He who walks with the wise grows wise” – it makes me think of how important it is for each of us to be attending a church each and every week. The church is the body of Christ. The church is truly “wise.” And if we ourselves are not walking with other believers in the body of Christ by investing in a church on a weekly basis, then I think we are at risk of getting swept up in the pop-cultural cares of this fleeting world. Church is wise. Attending church on a weekly basis is wise. I believe attending church on a weekly basis will make you wise. Are you walking with the wise? Will you walk with the wise?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!
Two verses in the twenty-fourth chapter have not only caught my attention but also fired my imagination,
3 But I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him into the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendants through his son Isaac. 4 To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the hill country of Seir, while Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
Esau was given the hill country while Jacob and his children went down into Egypt to become enslaved. Looking at this without seeing God’s perspective or having the advantage of hindsight the fact that Esau was given the hill country and Jacob/Israel would seem that God had favored Esau. The Word spoken to Rebekah regarding the twins she carried,
23 And the LORD said unto her, “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” (Gen 25:23).
Jacob was the younger and Esau the older and the Word of God never returns to Him void, it always accomplish that which was spoken by Him even when observed before the fullness of time. It took over 400 years before God’s Word to Rebekah came to past.
We do not fulfill God’s Word to us by us working the word; His Word is fulfilled as we live in obedience to his commands. Rebekah thought that she could fulfill God’s Word to Jacob by tricks and manipulation. Esau thought he could subvert the Word that had been spoken by God through his father by plotting to kill his brother. (Genesis 25-50)
Interesting how we are awed by the work or our hands and we think what we build or create should last forever. I’ve heard people say that if you want to be immortal, write a book as if leather and dead trees with printer’s ink on it will someone give you what God can give you, eternal life.
5 Some of his disciples began talking about the beautiful stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 "The time is coming when all these things will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another."
After Jesus describes the events that will lead up to His second coming He tells His disciples to, “…stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near.” He had already told them as he began his discourse telling his followers not to panic meaning that there will be things happening to make you want to panic so standing straight and looking up in the midst of crises take courage which must be an act of the will.
When we mock God’s creation we mock Him who created that which we mock, God.
21 Trouble chases sinners, while blessings chase the righteous!
Oh just think of it being chased down by blessings, I’ll take some of that.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | April 22, 2005 at 06:51 PM