Daily Word

Deuteronomy 34

Read Deuteronomy 34 – And we end with a mystery! Moses wrote the first five books of the bible, with Deuteronomy being the last of the five… but here in Chapter 34, he dies, so who wrote it? I can share what I learned with a quick internet search, the most favored among scholars is that Joshua wrote it, but it is also possible that it was in fact – Moses, by divine revelation of his own demise! Or it could have been Eleazer the priest, Ezra the scribe, or Samuel the prophet. Jewish tradition names Joshua, and in the grand scheme of things we trust that it is God-breathed no matter the author, and, as my grandma used to say, “heaven knows”. And that’s where we will get the answer, if it even matters then.

Our chapter is just 12 verses long (how appropriate that it would be 12). At 120 years of age, Moses climbed Mount Nebo and the LORD showed him the Promised Land, and then he died.

Consider the magnitude of :6 “The LORD buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place.” We humans are so prone to idol worship, even Moses’ grave could have become one, but the LORD kept it secret. Scripture adds that Moses’ eyesight was clear and he was as strong as ever when he died. :7

“Now Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him, doing just as the LORD had commanded Moses.” :9 Isn’t that interesting, that the spirit of wisdom was passed on by the laying on of hands?

Moses had a relationship with the LORD like no other person on earth. The LORD knew him face to face. What a remarkable life!

Beloved, well done. Many Christians shy away from this chapter, but not you! Jesus is LORD, and he is the same yesterday, today and forever. (see Hebrews 13:8). May you be blessed for digging deeper, and knowing him more fully. We covered a lot of commandments for the Israelites in our chapter; you may be wondering what now? Tomorrow we will return to the New Testament with the book of James. James is a wonderful book that teaches us how to live out our faith.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 31

Read Deuteronomy 31 – Moses passes the torch.
Moses is 120 years old. He has led Israel from slavery in Egypt, through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, right up to the promised land they were about to enter. The LORD himself would cross over the Jordan ahead of them. He would destroy the nations living there and give them possession of their land. Joshua would lead them. It was time to be strong and courageous! (:1-8)
Moses then wrote the book of instructions and gave it to the priests. It was to be carried with the Ark of the LORD’S Covenant. It was to be read every 7 years to all of the people of Israel. He also put it to song (which is recorded in our next chapter). (:19)
Beloved, think about it, every nation I can think of has a national anthem song. It is a song that defines the nation. The LORD gave Moses a song that would stay in the hearts of the people long after Moses was gone.
The LORD had Moses call Joshua to the Tabernacle and he met them there. The LORD said to Moses, “You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them….” It starts in vs. :14 and goes on explaining that Israel will abandon the LORD, and that this law would serve as a witness for the LORD against the people. Remember, the LORD knows the beginning to the end. He does not say this might happen. He says it will happen, and indeed, it does.
We have a National Anthem song in the USA. It seems we should be singing it more often and teaching it to our children. Many in our country have lost their way, much like the LORD said Israel would. “God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her, and guide her through the night with the light from above….” Remember, the LORD did not say knowing these things would save them, much like the law does not save us, but it serves as witness to show us our need for a Savior. And praise the LORD, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

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2 Samuel 21

Read 2 Samuel 21 – The Bible amazes me time and time again.   It all adds up like a divine mathematical equation. 

Today,  David avenges the Gibeonites, but to fully understand why,  we need to jump back to Joshua 9!  The Lord told the Israelites not to make any covenants with the locals, but these Gibeonites tricked them by dressing as if the came from a far off land. Joshua made the treaty for their safety (see Joshua 9:15). 

Saul violated the treaty in his zeal to for Israel and Judah(21:2), and its up to David to right the wrongs.

Vows, oaths,  treaties matter to God, even those made without consulting him.  May we all be wise to be prayerful and prudent with our promises. 

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Joshua

My goal is to read every page of my bible.   I’ve read through the bible many times, but I want this bible to have notes on every page… with my questions and insights filling the wide margins… I have loved getting to know God more fully, as I take my time this time. Today, I’m beginning Joshua.   It’s in the front 1/4 between Deuteronomy and Judges, and I would love some company!   

Read Joshua 1-2… what stands out?  How many times does God tell Joshua to BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS?   Why did Rahab protect the spies? Are you willing to do what God instructs in Joshua 1:8? Let’s go! 🙏🏻📖🤓💪🤺📖🙏🏻

Joshua 3… WOW!  This is so fascinating!   This is the generation who only knew what it was to wander in the desert…. to the complaints of their elders and the rumors of this “promised land”.  At last,  the day has arrived,  wrapped in reverence, order and supernatural miracles…. 3:13 is packed with amazingness – the Lord of all the earth traveled with them in the Ark of the Covenant.  The Jordan River stood like a wall as soon as the priests set foot in it…. notice it took that step of faith by the priests before the Lord brought forth the miracle.  Are you waiting on God for something?  Could it be He’s waiting on you to take that first step of faith where He will meet you with the miracle?  What stands out to you in Joshua 3?🏞🌬👣💖👣🌬🏞

Read Joshua 4.  The Lord instructed Joshua to choose 12 men,  one from each tribe, to get 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan where the priests were standing(4:3). They were to carry them out on their shoulders (4:5)…. these were not little rocks. Then they were to build a memorial, so the people of Israel would remember what the Lord did on this day forever.  (4:7)  Remembering is so important to your faith,  and your legacy is to pass it on to future generations.  What markers of God’s hand of protection come to mind as you read this?  What stories of deliverance can you pass on?  You’re going to live through dry seasons.   Holding tight to what the Lord has done will give you strength and hope to keep trusting in Jesus. 💕📖💗🤔💗📖💕

Read Joshua 5. Things are becoming brand new. News of the divine crossing of the Jordan reached the neighboring kings.   It would have been normal for them to strike out in war against these foreign Israelites, but instead the kings ‘lost heart and were paralyzed with fear’.  When God is present,  even the enemies of God tremble.   One day every knee will bow…(Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11) the human race is a level playing field before God Almighty. Three more phenomenon things take place in our little chapter – the men are circumcised (5:2-8), they celebrate the first post-slavery passover, eating unleavened bread… remember, manna is all this generation knew and it is gone forever.  Then, the commander of the Lord’s army appears before Joshua,  holding a sword and instructing him to take off his sandals,  for the place he was standing was holy (5:13-15).  Big changes! Big things are happening!  Are you ready for the adventure of walking with Jesus?👣🙋‍♀️🙏🏻

Read Joshua 6… those walls came down!   Jericho is the first fruit of all the Lord is giving to the Israelites.   Therefore, the whole town is His (ordinarily the spoils of war go to the warriors).  Do you have a Jericho situation in your life?   A battle so BIG that God is your only hope?   I sure do!   Let’s lean in to Him and do what He says, even if it seems weird…. just think how weird it must have seemed to the Israelite’s to walk in circles silently. 📯🛡🤺🙏🏻🤺🛡📯

Read Joshua 7, it’s a serious chapter about the consequences of sin… rather appropriate for us Mom’s (I wrote this on Mother’s Day), the guardians of integrity.  We start with an Israeli defeat that shocked and dismayed Joshua.  The Lord revealed to him that there was sin in his midst, and He could not bless Israel until the corruption was dealt with.  It was dealt with severely… much like any sin in our life must be completely confessed and removed…. not hidden and lied about. God wants your true and complete freedom. 🤗❤🙌👆🙌❤🤗

Read Joshua 8.  This is a bloody one.   Ai is conquered according to the plan the Lord laid out.  Remember,  Ai was the town in Joshua 7, where the Israelites were defeated because of the sin of Achan.  The sin was dealt with and now Israel has the Lord’s favor once more. The first thing the Lord instructs Joshua is: DO NOT BE AFRAID. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED.  (8:1)  When you find yourself up against something seemingly impossible, maybe something you’ve been defeated by in the past,  remember God’s command and do not be afraid.🙏🏻🤺🛡🙌🛡🤺🙏🏻

Read Joshua 9 – act now,  pray later = pay later!   We read about a clever trick by the Gibeonites to fool Israel into making a treaty with them. Joshua asked good questions, who were they? Where did they come from?  But he, along with the leaders,  left God out of the decision process (9:14), and made a treaty with the Gibeonites. Upon realizing the deceit, Israel kept their word, integrity in a messy predicament, but sentenced them to be servants forever (9:23).  The Gibeonites accepted this without grumbling (9:25)… like Rahab in chapter 2, they came to the Lord as sinners willing to serve Him,  come what may. What treasure did you gather from Joshua 9? Beloved, pray first, live with integrity, do all things as if for Jesus Himself.   God bless your day. ❤❤🙏🏻📖🙏🏻❤❤

Read Joshua 10 – What an extraordinary day.  God was with Israel in victory and in the tangible, remarkable event of the holding the sun and moon in place. (10:13)  Did you realize the Bible was so exciting?  God is with Israel in these battles and He is securing the land, as promised.  Even though victory was assured,  the Israelites still had to step out in faith and action (10:19) Complacency…. waiting for Jesus to handle things while sitting on the couch doesn’t fly.   What is the Lord calling you to join Him in today? 🙏🏻⛈🌞🌚⛈🙏🏻

Read Joshua 11-12 as our saga comes to a dramatic conclusion.   The kings surrounding Israel join forces against God’s beloved.  Verse 11:4 says they were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. Yet,  again,  God tells Joshua not to be afraid because by this time tomorrow He would hand them over,  slain,  to Israel (11:6).  At last, chapter 11 concludes with Israel’s victory and the precious words:  THEN THE LAND HAD REST FROM WAR.  Chapter 12 is a summary of all the kings and territories conquered. It was getting weary,  right? War is brutal.  In our day,  the world is also volatile, but God is still in control.  He tells us what the future holds and He still says: DO NOT BE AFRAID. ☝️👑🙌📖🙌👑☝️

Read Psalm 1.  We ended yesterday with a time for the land to rest from war.   Let’s give ourselves reprieve as well by taking in the wisdom of Psalm 1.  We have seen it play out in the Joshua chapters, and as you keep drawing nearer, you will see it in your own life.  Blessed is the one who has no tolerance for corruption, who delights in the law of the Lord and mediates on it day and night (1:1).  That person is like a well watered tree planted by streams of water (1:3)…. What a lovely visual of what it is to walk close to Jesus, with deep roots, always refreshed, yielding fruit and prospering (1:3).  The Lord watches over such a person,  whereas the wicked are simply blown away like chaff(1:4)…. no matter where you fall in this equation, there is hope.   THE LORD’S MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.  (Lamentations 3:23). 🌄🌳🍒📖🍒🌳🏞

Read Joshua 13.  Sometimes I read scripture and think there must be more to it than what I’m getting.   God has blessed many a scholar before me to dive in. I tapped in to David Guzik’s study guide via Blueletterbible.org , and the treasures rolled out one after another! He starts with 13:1 where God tells Joshua he is old, and much land remains to be conquered.  As a Christian,  if you’re still breathing,  God still has work for you.  Our chapter covers the breakdown of land disbursement among the tribes…. order and responsibility are important to God.   He gives us good things and expects us to care for them. Mr. Guzik makes the point, “What the land was to Israel,  Jesus is to us.  We are to possess all of Him, and to keep pressing on to have all of Jesus. ” 🗺🏡🤓☝️🤗💪🗺

Read Joshua 14.  A little back story,  in Numbers 13, the Israelites were still wandering in the desert and God told Moses to commission a group of 12 spies to investigate the land of Canaan – one man from each tribe. They discovered a beautiful, fertile land – and procured samples including a cluster of grapes that took two men to carry (N 13:23).  But the towns were fortified and the people were strong, including giants!  Only Caleb and Joshua thought they should invade, the other 10 spies disagreed (N 13:31-33). So now, in our read,  Caleb asks Joshua for the land, recalling the obstacles, yet drawing on his faith:  BUT IF THE LORD IS WITH ME, I WILL DRIVE THEM OUT, JUST AS THE LORD SAID  (J 14:12b).  Is there something humanly impossible in your life, where you need to draw on your faith like Caleb?   Remember, sometimes I can’t,  but God can! 💖☝️🙏🏻👑🙏🏻☝️💖

Joshua 15 – Ladies day! We have lots of name/places as the Promised Land is put in order.   It’s tempting to have your eyes glaze over, at least for me! But, in the middle something unique happens.15:16-19 Caleb promises his daughters hand to the warrior who captures Kiriath-sepher… that was a cultural norm for daughters to be given away…. but inheritance was not. Not only does Achsah have land,  but she asks her father, Caleb, for springs of water, and has his favor. Notice her reverence as she asks- she gets off her donkey – a sign of respect. She asks for a blessing.   She honors him by stating what he has already given her.   Then she asks and receives not one,  but two springs. Clearly,  Achsah is wise and bold; she knows what she wants and she knows who she’s asking.  In the NT,  we are told to come boldly to the throne of grace. We are told we have not because we ask not. Jesus loves you so much; be like Achsah, reverent and bold with your prayers.🙇‍♀️🙋🙏🏻

Joshua 16… more land division, but in 16:10 there is a foreshadow of trouble brewing.   The Canaanites remained, but were confined to forced labor.  Remember, Psalm 1:1, it held the caution to not walk with the wicked.  If Ephraim had the power to force the Canaanites into labour, it stands to reason they could have defeated them as God instructed.  Convenience is no excuse to disobey the Lord.   Sin is sneaky, a little compromise, a little justification, has a ripple affect… like that first cookie that breaks the diet. Pay attention to your compromises. 🍪🔗🙏🏻⚖🙏🏻🔗🍪

Joshua 17 – oh ye of little faith!   Our chapter illustrates some of the trouble the descendants of Joseph were having with the Canaanites.   They became strong and had chariots (17:17).  Joseph’s descendants needed the land, but feared the C’s were too strong to oppose (17:16). Joshua told them to take possession of the land, as much as they wanted. He stated their victory too.  Sometimes we all just need the reminder God’s presence and favour to be Strong and Courageous.   What do you need to face today?   Prayerfully ask the Lord to go before you,  and FEAR NOT! 🎠🤩🏋️‍♀️🙏🏻🏋️‍♂️🤩🎠

Joshua 18 – Israel is now in control of the land (18:1), but 7 of the 12 tribes have yet to secure their lot.   Joshua admonishes them, asking what they were waiting for and setting their course in motion (18:3).  This begs the introspection – is there something God has already given you that you have yet to take hold of?   The 7 tribe’s were to elect 3 men from each tribe to study the land and report back (18:4).  Do you need to invest some time learning about this thing God has given you?   Set you course in action – what are you waiting for? 🗺🧭🤔☝️🙆‍♀️🧭🗺

Joshua 19 – the division of the Promised Land is complete (19:51).  Remember, Moses represented the law, and the law can lead you to Promised Land,  but it cannot get you in.   Joshua is the servant- leader, he believed God would do as promised and bravely made it his life’s banner.   Notice he takes his portion of land last, in true humility… the first will be last and the last will be first (Matthew 20:16, Jesus speaking).  Selfishness did not compete as he was completing the task of establishing Israel.  How’s your lead in life?   Is your faith a banner that leads you through each day?🛡🏳😊❤😊🏳🛡

Joshua 20… covers God’s provision of a Refuge City. Revenge killing was appropriate in under the law,  carried out by a member of the victims family,  against the murderer.  But sometimes a person could be killed by accident, without previous hostility (20:5), and The Lord gave this provision.  The accused was to flee to the city gate where the city elders would hear his case.  They would give him a place to live,  and he would be tried by the local assembly,  who would render judgement.  This provided a means of fair trial.  I notice the integrity of it…. the one involved fled to one of these cities.  He confessed the situation – even though it was an accident.   Imagine our courts if people were as forth coming today. 👮‍♀️📜💬⚖💬📜👮🏾‍♂️

Joshua 21 – This is beautiful!  Everything the Lord promised was fulfilled- land, rest, protection, everything (21:43-45).  Every promise of God is trustworthy and true.  Like the Israelites,  our job is to say yes and live it!   What good is the land if they didn’t claim it? Establish towns? Farm it?  God’s desire is that all would be saved… he offers Salvation through Jesus Christ to all…. but not all take it.  Step into the gift.   Take hold.   Jesus is calling. 🎁🎁🎁❤🎁🎁🎁

Joshua 22 – the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh are commended and released to their land on the east side of the Jordan River for rest.  The tribes built an altar in Canaan which stirred up Israel.  I like this example of brotherly love,  Phinehas questions them, and even offers his own land… Phinehas was willing to sacrifice personally to restore his brothers. But when the tribes explained what the altar was for, Phinehas was humble to admit he had made a wrong assessment,  and returned to tell Israel what happened, to set the record straight.  We have great lessons in this little chapter… best summed up in vs :5…. LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD,  WALK IN HIS WAYS, OBEY HIS COMMANDS,  HOLD FIRMLY TO HIM,  AND SERVE HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND ALL YOUR SOUL. ❤👣🤲🙏🏻🤲👣❤

Joshua 23 – love God.   Cling tightly to the Lord.   Joshua is now very old and giving these final words to Israel. Life is so simple, yet we clutter it with stuff.   We flirt with danger.   We’re prone to complacency.  Love God.   The cure for all that is wrong in this world is that simple.  What are your plans today?   Love God in them…. stay connected to your Creator.   Life can be a wonderland or a wasteland… choose to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul,  mind and strength. 💕🧠💪🙏🏻💪🧠💕

Joshua 24 – Joshua concluded his life with the same courage, clarity and reverence he stood for every day.   He was a leader under God, and the Lord established the Promised land through him.   Do you walk with Jesus in a way he can use you?   Notice in 24:2-13 he is speaking prophetically (God is speaking through Joshua), summarizing God’s faithfulness.   Also notice the complete lack of condemnation – the Lord recalls the good,  but none of the shortfalls. Vs :27 stood out to me.   The rock bore witness.  Jesus is our rock. Choose on this day whom you will serve.💖 💪🙏🏻🤲🕊📜🎚🕊🤲🙏🏻💪💖