~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24 ~ Luke 13:22-14:6
Psalm 79:1-13 ~ Proverbs 12:26
Old Testament - Today we come to the end of Moses' life in our readings. And - we come to the end of Moses' writings of the first five books of the Old Testament - the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. I will miss reading Moses' writings - but - we only have to wait until January 1, 2007 when we will all embark on the One Year Bible adventure and Moses' writings once again, right?? :) An image for Deuteronomy chapter 34 verses 5 through 7 is below - "So Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, just as the LORD had said. He was buried in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place. Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever."
Today we embark into the book of Joshua!
Author: Probably Joshua
Date: Either fourteenth century or twelfth century B.C.
Content: After the death of Moses, the leadership of the nation passed into the hands of Joshua and he was their commander-in-chief throughout the entire time of conquest when Israel was taking over the land. While still in the plains of Moab, Joshua mobilized his forces and prepared them for battle. There were three campaigns fought, one in the north, one in the central region, and one in the south, and all described, though not fully. After the initial victories, the land was divided among the various tribes of Israel. Joshua then exhorted the people and died in peace.
Theme: The book of Joshua shows that God is true to his promise. He had promised his people a land and they were now entering in to possess it. However, it was not automatic; God required of them that they actively engage in warfare in order to gain what he had given them. God's judgment upon the sin of the Canaanites in the form of Israel's armies is also a prominent feature. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers "The One Year Bible Companion" pp. 3-4)More commentary on Joshua is at this link.
Today in Joshua chapter 1 verse 9 we read one of my favorite verses in the Bible – "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Incredible verse! God spoke these words to Joshua just before he was about to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. And I do believe these words can apply to us today in our lives as well. Do you believe it is possible that God has commanded you to be strong and courageous? In what areas of your life might you need to really hear this command from God? Do you believe that God will be with you wherever you go?
In verse 8 – just one verse prior to the verse above – we read – "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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." How does this verse speak to you today? Is it possible that you should not let the Bible depart from your mouth? Do you meditate on the Bible day and night, so that you are careful to do what is written in it? Do you believe meditating and following the truth of God as described in the Bible will allow you to be prosperous and successful?
Today in Joshua chapter 2 we read about Rahab protecting the two Israelite spies. Verses 4 through 6 tell us - "Rahab, who had hidden the two men, replied, "The men were here earlier, but I didn't know where they were from. They left the city at dusk, as the city gates were about to close, and I don't know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them." (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath piles of flax.)"
New Testament - Bible.org's wonderful commentary on Luke chapter 13's readings today titled "Striving to Enter the Narrow Door" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 79 verse 13 stood out to me today - "Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation." I like that imagery of being sheep in God's pasture. And Jesus, of course, is our Good Shepherd. Are you content with the idea of being a sheep in God's pasture?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 12 verse 26 today teaches us: "The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray." This is a great opportunity for us to reflect upon what type of advice or counsel we give to our friends. Is it wise? Or are we perhaps subtly leading our friends astray in any way?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!