Joshua 21:1-22:20 ~ Luke 20:1-16 ~ Psalm 89:1-13 ~ Proverbs 13:15-16
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Old Testament - In Joshua chapter 21 we read about the towns given to the Levites, the priestly tribe appointed in the Mosaic Law for the service of the Tabernacle and of the Temple. It seems very wise that the Levites are given towns throughout the various tribes of the Israelites. In my mind this is spreading out the priestly tribe strategically. Can you imagine if the Levites were all in just 1 location? It seems to me that there would be a vacuum of spiritual leadership in the tribes if the Levites were not dispersed in the manner which they were. How does reading about the Levites being dispersed remind you of the church today? Is the church dispersed throughout the world today a good thing? What are your thoughts on the benefits or drawbacks of denominations?
In Joshua chapter 22 verse 10 today we read: "Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built a very large altar near the Jordan River at a place called Geliloth." The place where our readings end today in verse 20 is quite a cliff-hanger! Note that verse 20 is not the end of chapter 22, and as Paul Harvey says, in tomorrow's readings you will get "The Rest of the Story." :)
New Testament - Okay, so it's every so often that I post up about the non-Biblical (not the original text) sub-headings that translations put into our daily readings. For some reason I got a kick out of the NLT's subheading above Luke chapter 20 verse 9, "Story of the Evil Farmers!" (okay, I added the exclamation point). Is it just me, or is that kinda funny? I mean, the evil farmers in the story are not funny - and what they did is certainly not funny... hmmm... I think I've dug myself into a hole here. :) I'm sure everyone probably picked up on that the point of the farmer story is that Jesus is the son who was murdered in the story. And Jesus is the stone rejected by the builders - who has now become the cornerstone of our Christian faith. Nice quote by Jesus of Psalm 118 verse 22 there in Luke 20 verse 17. Is Jesus the cornerstone of your life?
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 20 readings today titled "The Tempest in the Temple: The Abuses of Authority" is at this link and commentary titled "God and Government" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 89 verse 11 is so powerful for us to remember - "The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours--you created it all." Everything in this world is God's. Everything. This means every single person we meet is God's. However... they might not realize it. But, I think it is important for us to remember that every single person we meet - no matter how "bad" they may seem or whatever - is still made in the image of God. And there is the possibility of that person getting to know they are God's. There is the possibility of redemption - not by our human power, but by the power of God. I think sometimes we go through our day thinking the world is bad. People are bad. It all is bad. And certainly, it is a fallen world. But it is still God's world - and yes, the devil is thrashing around his temptations as rapidly as he can in the hearts of men and women. This is the great spiritual battle. But, God is so much stronger than the devil. The name of Jesus expels the devil quicker than anything. So, know that while we are in a fallen world, it is God's world. Everything in this world is God's. What are you and I doing to let others know that they are God's - particularly if they don't know it? What are we doing to bless others with the knowledge that there is another Way than the devil's temptations in this world? What are we doing? Really. What are we doing with our lives to let others know about Jesus? Whew... this one gets to me for some reason. There are people suffering so much in our world. If only they knew there was another way.... Will you help to show them to the Way?
Continuing on the thoughts in the paragraph above - take a moment to reflect on this image below. Wow... Can you make out the angel on the right coming from the prayers of the woman to defend her from the evil one? Who are we praying for today to defend them from the evil one?
Psalm 89 verse 13 today - "Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength." Amen and Amen.
Proverbs - Proverbs 13 verse 16 is great - "Wise people think before they act."
And I agree with this. My one additional thought is don't think for too too long! I know some folks that like to think... and think.... and think.... and this is good.... but there is also a time for action. There is a time to move and get involved in the advancement of God's Kingdom. Yes, let's think about how we'll do this - but then let us act!
Worship God: Psalm 89:11 reminded me of the Steven Curtis Chapman song "Yours:"
Do you believe it is all God's? Click here and give it all to Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it." Psalm 89:11 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray in thanksgiving to God for all of the blessings He has given us here on this earth. Pray that you will treat everyone and all thing's as God's - and not yours.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Are you someone that thinks before you act? Or do you sometimes act before you think? :) If so, can you meditate on this Proverb, memorize it, and put it into practice? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
1 Then the leaders of the tribe of Levi came to consult with Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the other tribes of Israel. 2 They spoke to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, "The LORD instructed Moses to give us towns to live in and pasturelands for our cattle." 3 So by the command of the LORD the Levites were given as their inheritance the following towns with their pasturelands.
God promised but the Levites had to ask for what God promised. This seems to be a principal we should still use today. I am reminded of Hebrew’s 4:16 that encourages us to come boldly to the throne of grace … Often we know or think we are suppose to receive something and if we think we are not going to get what we have been promised we don’t bother to ask. Since we don’t get what we want, we begin to sulk and start to hold grudges against either God or against the person we believe God was working through.
The first three verses of Joshua are letting me know that it is O.K. to ask for what we have been promised just as long as we are asking the right person after having gone boldly to God with our request and direction.
I believed I touched on this before when we read through this in Matthew (21) and Mark (11), but just as the religious leaders challenged Jesus’ Authority, sometimes we may find someone challenging how we read the “text,” they may even challenge our authority to even read the Bible. I know because in my B.S. (Before Salvation) days I use to challenge people who I saw reading the Bible on public transportation. No, I did more than challenge them; I cursed them out! Be careful who you allow to challenge your right to read the Word, if an unqualified person questions your authority, question his or hers right to challenge you, just like Jesus.
11 The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours;
Everything in the world is yours--you created it all.
It’s amazing to think that there is nothing that God doesn’t’ own everything we see, feel, touch, taste and smell belongs to Him so nothing we claim to pocess is ours we are only stewards of His possession and we will have to give an account of how we use what belongs to Him.
16 Wise people think before they act; fools don't and even brag about it!
Couldn’t understand how “fools” brag but I remember overhearing conversations and participating in discussions where “fools” bragged about their foolishness only I didn’t realize they were bragging. Check bouncers who bounced more checks than the New York Knicks bounce balls; criminals who discus their new and improved criminal tricks they committed just before they got caught the last time and went to jail trading their useless criminality tricks with other foolish crooks.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | April 19, 2012 at 07:41 PM