My Two-Minute Summary of Today's Bible Reading

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March 2 (Joshua )

  

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March 1 (Numbers)

We learn the protocol for someone who is taking the Nazirite vow (consume nothing made from grapes, no haircuts, and no proximity to anyone deceased). God composed a special blessing for Aaron and his sons to proclaim over the people, "May the Lord bless you and keep you." God instructed the use of silver trumpets for signals of camp movement, worship, and war.

After spending nearly a year at Sinai, the Lord's cloud lifted and the Israelites broke camp with Judah leading the way.

Finally, Moses tried to enlist the wilderness-guiding assistance of his brother-in-law Hobab to help find the places in the wilderness where he knew it was good to camp. (Compare this with Deuteronomy 1:32-33 where Moses said that God looked ahead for the best place to camp " 3/12's reading). While his reply is not recorded, it appears that his family is listed as settlers in Judah (Judges 1:16 " recorded in 3/31's reading).

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March 2 (Numbers)

We read how the Israelites rebelled three times and suffered a consuming fire, a severe plague, and leprosy, respectively. Moses chose seventy elders and leaders for God to share with them some of the Spirit that God had put on Moses. Joshua must have not understood God's plan because he tried to limit God's Spirit to Moses only, but Moses was happy to share the joy of prophetic utterances with the elders and expressed that he wished that all the Lord's people would do likewise (Interesting: Ezekiel. 36:26-27; Jeremiah. 31:33; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:4).

The account of the Lord providing quail in today's reading may be a more detailed account of the Exodus 16:11-13, or as Dr. Charles Ryrie believed, it was a separate event that occurred later in the journey.

God punished Miriam (Moses' sister) who apparently led the disrespectful challenge of Moses' marrying of a dark-skinned Ethiopian woman, likely following the death of Zipporah.

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The issue was not the color of her skin, rather it was the fact that being an Ethiopian she was from a race of people who opposed the worship of the true God. Miriam's patriotic loyalty motivated her to take advantage of her senior sisterhood status (after all it was she who saved Moses from certain death in the bulrushes), her position as a singing prophetess, and as Israel's first poetess she perceived ethnicity as a noble reason to confront Moses. Following this event, other than her funeral narration, Miriam's life falls into barren obscurity.

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March 3 (Numbers)

We read that all the Israelites over twenty years old, except for Moses, Joshua, and Caleb were discouraged by the bad report of the ten faithless spies of the Promised Land and responded in rebellion (complaining, even talking about stoning the two faithful spies, trying to return to Egypt, going into battle without God, and not believing God's promises" (in spite of all the miracles they observed firsthand). Moses interceded for the Israelites and saved the whole nation from swift destruction.

Despite the pardon God granted, the rebels had to suffer the consequence of their sin and all, except Joshua and Caleb, were condemned to die in the wilderness during their 40 year banishment from the Promised Land. After all, it was what they had wished for in Numbers 14:2. Then the ten faithless spies were struck dead by a plague.

Interesting: Both Moses (and the Lord Deuteronomy. 1:45) showed no concern for the casualties of the Israelites' failed attempt to attack the Amalekites and Canaanites without God's blessing and did not even record the number of those who were killed.

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In today's reading God also added instructions for when the Israelites enter the Promised Land and want to offer God special gift offerings. God gave provision for non-Israelite worshipers and stated that the requirements are the same for them.

In addition: We read about what is to be done with those who "sin-with-a-high-hand." This is someone who knowingly and deliberately violates God's laws. As an example, a man was stoned to death for gathering wood on the Sabbath.

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March 4 (Numbers)

We read the account of Korah's challenge of Moses' leadership position. What made it especially heinous was the way he incited 250 other leaders to join him. (He ought to have learned a lesson from Miriam and Aaron's similar offense). Graciously, Moses interceded for the rebels, but they remained defiant and the ground swallowed them, their children, and all their possessions. Then God's fire and plague destroyed 14,950 other rebels because they also were speaking badly of Moses and Aaron. Finally, God proved again, by causing Aaron's rod to go through the entire plant cycle to produce almonds overnight. The people responded with an unfair accusation that the Lord was unapproachable.

God charged the priests with the responsibility of protecting the purity of worship. Finally, God instructed the tithe to be given to support the priests and Levites and for them to treat the holy gifts with great respect or die.

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Korah's sons must have separated themselves from their father because their survival is stated in Numbers 26:11 (3/7's reading)

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March 5 (Numbers)

We read God's regulations on purification by Holy water.  The thirsty Israelites rebelled again and accused Moses of forcing them into the wilderness in order to kill them. Interesting: Moses angrily said, "Must WE bring you water from this rock?" Then he disobeyed God by striking (rather than speaking to) the rock, and so God refused to permit Moses and Aaron to enter the "Promised Land." Aaron died on the mountain after passing on the mantle to his son.

Edom refused to permit Israel passage, but God had forbidden war with Edom (Deuteronomy 2:4-7) so the Israelites turned back. Then the king of Arad attacked them, but God gave Israel the victory.

The people rebelled again resulting in death by snakes. This is where the medical profession got the symbol of the snake on a pole. (Numbers. 21:9) and a foretelling detail of Jesus' crucifixion (John 3:14-15). Finally, the Israelites enjoyed a few victories that opened the door to Canaan Land.

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March 6 (Numbers)

We read how the Moabite king, Balak hired Balaam to weaken the Israelites with a curse because he knew that Balaam had a reputation for effectiveness in cursing and blessing, but this time God controlled his tongue so that only blessings came out in all the three animal sacrifices which were followed by three attempts of cursing, but concluded with an ominous prophecy over the demise of many pagan nations and a glorious foretelling of Jesus (Numbers 24:17).

Balaam went home unsuccessful, sullen, and empty-handed, but not before exposing a weakness that king Balak was able to turn into a diabolical plan that caused the Israelites to willingly bring a curse themselves. Let the reader be warned. ( See Revelation 2:14. -12/26's reading). Finally, consider this: his tongue was more righteous than his heart.

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March 7 (Numbers)

We read the consequence of king Balak's implementation of Balaam's insightful and diabolical advice (24,000 were killed by a plague). Phinehas son of Eleazar was named a hero because of his zeal for combating idolatry and displaying zeal for the holiness of God. God responded by giving him "a covenant of an everlasting priesthood (Numbers 25:10-13). Finally, a new census was taken because only Moses, Joshua, and Caleb survived since the last one, as God had said would happen, because all the rest believed the evil report of the ten spies (Numbers 13:25-33). Moses adamantly reiterated, "Not one of them survived." (Numbers 26:63-65).

God instructed Moses to divide up and assign portions of the yet unconquered land. I suppose God provided Moses with supernatural knowledge of the layout of the land. I can not imagine that he had an accurate physical or topographic map because Joshua had to send men out to create such a map much time later (Joshua 18:1-10).

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March 8 (Numbers)

We read how God showed favor to the daughters of Zelophehad who had died in the wilderness with no sons to inherit the land. God told Moses to go to the top of the mountain to see the Promised Land and then lay down to die like Aaron. On 3/13 we will read that Moses did ask for a pardon so that he could cross the Jordan River, but God only allowed him to climb up Pisgah Peak to see in every direction. Instead of sulking, he petitioned God to not leave Israel without a leader. God chose Joshua and revealed that the Lord's Spirit was within him. God instructed that Joshua was to have Eleazar to use the Urim to determine the will of God. This must have been a detail that they regretted having not done before attacking the little town of Ai (3/24's reading). Finally, God gave instructions on how to execute eight types of offerings, from daily to annual.

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March 9 (Numbers)

We read the seriousness of keeping any vow to the Lord, keeping a pledge made while under oath, and God's explicit standard of a father and husband's authority and responsibilities over vow-making wives and daughters.

Inflicting military revenge on the Midianites for leading Israel into idolatry was God's last campaign for Moses to wage before he was to die. Zealous hero, Phinehas son of Eleazar led them into battle. Eventually they killed everyone but 32,000 virgin girls. They divided the plunder, giving half to those who did not fight, an act that David will later make into a law (4/19's reading.) Then all the generals and captains counted the soldiers to discover that not one Israeli was lost in the battle and responded by presenting Moses and Eleazar the priest with 420 pounds of gold as an offering to the Lord.

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March 10 (Numbers)

We read that the tribes of Reuben and Gad preferred not to settle in the Promised Land. Instead they wanted the land that was east of the Jordan River because it looked very favorable for their large numbers of livestock. (These must have been from the plunder of recent wars.) Moses feared that this would again discourage the people from conquering Canaan and bring the Israelite nation to an end, but they promised to go fight with their brothers until the nations were conquered while their wives, children, and livestock remained behind.

Moses, the first person in Scripture to become literate, kept a written record to recount all the stops they made from the Exodus to this point and charged them to drive out ALL the people, destroy ALL the images, and demolish ALL the pagan shrines, or suffer the same judgment as that of the Canaanites.  This was a directive that they failed to execute (Judges 1:19, 21,30, 33; 2:2, 21; 3:1-6 - in 3/31��€�™s reading).

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March 11 (Numbers)

We read what Israel's real borders are supposed to be, as measured by the Creator of the land. God chose Eleazar the priest and Joshua to assign the land grants for the remaining tribes. Cities of refuge were established as a place of protected banishment for anyone who caused an accidental death so that an offended family member could not take revenge on the killer. And women who inherit property were forbidden to marry anyone outside their tribe.

Finally, according to God "Murder pollutes the land." So no sacrifice except the execution of the murderer can purify the land from the crime (Numbers 35:33 NLT). However, no one could be executed unless the convicting evidence was verified by at least two witnesses.

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March12 (Deuteronomy)

We read Moses' final instructions as he was preparing to die. He recounted the major events of the last 40 years of their wilderness wanderings and observed that, "Normally, it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai." But the people refused to trust the God that delivered them from Egyptian bondage with great miracles! And then found out how weak they really are without God's help. Even though they wept before the Lord about it, He refused to listen.

After the wilderness wanderings, Israel enjoyed some great victories fought by those who were formerly the children of the parents who said that they would die at the hands of the Canaanites (while under God's protective hand) forty years earlier.

Finally, Moses reminded the tribes that were settling on the eastern side of the Jordan that they must go ahead of the other tribes to fight the Canaanites until all the tribes were secure, before returning to their families and possessions.

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March 13 (Deuteronomy)

We read Moses' lament for his banishment from the Promised Land. He told them to obey the commands without changing them. He warned them to remember what they have seen and to teach it to all their offspring. Moses warned them against idolatry because there is only one God. He reiterated the fact that no other nation in history has ever experienced such miracles and enjoyed a personal relationship and with the one true God of heaven and earth. He repeated the Ten Commandments and added another purpose for keeping the Sabbath (compare Exodus 20:11 & Deuteronomy. 5:15). Finally, God promised a long and prosperous life to the people of Israel if they remain on His righteous path through obedience.

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March 14 (Deuteronomy)

We read how Moses tried his best to drive home the importance of remaining loyal, to be demonstrated by wholehearted action to the God who saved them from bondage. God affirmed that He chose Israel simply because He loved her, not because she was great or impressive in any manner.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is where the celebrated "Shema" is recorded. Moses emphatically instructed them to repeatedly recite the commands and teach them by rote to their children during every activity of their lives whether at home or abroad.

Moses warned that the prosperity of blessings would tempt them to forget from Whom it ALL came and thus incur His jealous wrath. Moses recanted examples of their stubbornness and instructed that the lessons learned be passed on to their descendants forever. Finally, Moses reminded them to keep the proper protocol for worshiping the One and only true God and warned against committing syncretism with detestable pagan worship practices.

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March 15 (Deuteronomy)

God told Moses to chisel out two new stone tablets to replace the ones that he smashed and He told him to build a wooden Ark. Moses recounted the importance of the Israelites to respect, obey, and serve God with all their heart and soul. He reminded them about the Lord's miracles and noted that even forty years later, the Egyptians still have not recovered from God's judgment. He informed the Israelites that farming in Canaan will be different than how it was in Egypt.

Moses repeated that they should constantly recite God's laws, teach them by rote to their children, and write them on prominent places. He promised them that if they would do this then God would make their enemies weak.

Moses told them that their pattern of worship would change and that God would help them find a designated location for worship. He reminded them not to neglect their support of the Levites because they had no tribal land possession.

Finally, Moses instructed them to not try to worship God in the way that the pagans worship their gods, and to never add or subtract any words from the law as it was given.

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Not all the Israelites were rebellious as proven by the psalmist who recalled the stories handed down to him from his ancestors through the generations.

(Psalm 78:3-8)

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March 16 (Deuteronomy)

God instructed that those who try to entice others into idolatry through successful predictions and miracles must be executed. He declared the Israelites as the Lord's holy and special treasure from among all the nations. Being holy requires them to practice certain restrictions and behaviors. They were not to eat any "unclean" animals. They were to bring a tithe to the place of worship. They were to release debtors every seven years. God instructed them to sacrifice the firstborn male animals in the place of worship. He gave instructions on Passover, Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. If they follow these stipulations then they would be rewarded with abundant blessings.

The Lord's plan was that there should never be any poor Israelites in the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 15:4).

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March 17 (Deuteronomy)

We read the rules and conditions for success in the new land that Israel was about to conquer. Moses expected that the future Israelites will seek to install a king and gave this political leader guidelines by which to abide. One interesting one was that he was to write his own copy of the law to read daily in order to keep himself humble and obedient to the Lord's will.

He told the Israelites that they were not to imitate the mystical divination and fortunetelling practices of the Canaanites. It was because of these evils that they

Were being disposed. My thought is: if they were any good at their "craft, they would have warned the Canaanites, "Get out fast! God's people are coming!"

Moses promised that a prophet like himself would one day rise from among the Jews (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). We know now that Moses was speaking of Jesus who was like Moses in many ways. (Please read the comment.)

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"The singular pronoun emphasizes the ultimate Prophet who was to come. Both the OT (34:10) and the NT (Acts 3:22, 23, 7:37) interpret this passage as a reference to the coming Messiah who, like Moses, would receive and preach divine revelation and lead His people (cf. John 1:21, 25, 43-45; 6:14; 7:40). In fact, Jesus was like Moses in several ways:

(1) He was spared death as a baby (Exodus 2; Matthew 2:13-23);

(2) He renounced a royal court (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 11:24-27); (3) He had compassion on His people (Numbers 27:17; Matthew 9:36);

(4) He made intercession for the people (Deuteronomy 9:18; Hebrews 7:25);

(5) He spoke with God face to face (Exodus 34:29, 30; II Corinthians 3:7); and

(6) He was the mediator of a covenant (Deuteronomy 29:1; Hebrews 8:6, 7)."

-MacArthur, 2005, p221

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March 18 (Deuteronomy)

We read more of Moses' last speech that includes a variety of regulations about home life, pure worship, personal hygiene, purging evil from the camp (adulterers, rebellious sons, rapists, and kidnappers must be executed), and practicing fairness in business.

Two notable quotes applied in the New Testament from this portion of Scripture was: "Never give more than 40 lashes" and "You must not muzzle an ox as it treads out the grain."

Finally, Moses commands that after all the Canaanites have been defeated, they are to completely destroy (even the memory of) the Amalekites; which the disobedience of said command will cost the future King Saul his throne and ultimately through a lack of loyalty to God, his life (I Samuel 15, 4/13 reading).

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March 19 (Deuteronomy)

We read more of Moses' last words (remember that he did NOT die weak and feeble (Deuteronomy 34:7, 3/22 reading). He instructed them of the protocol for presenting the first fruits of the Promised Land. This included that everyone recite their history from Jacob "The wandering Aramean" to their receiving of the promised abundant harvest. God instituted a special tithe that would be used to provide for the Levites, foreigners, orphans and widows. In response to God's avowed ownership of the Israelites, they were expected to follow all His commands. The Levites were to proclaim a list of curses for specific infractions and the people were to respond to each one by shouting, "Amen!"

Moses taught the Israelites that through their obedience God would bless them in every way, but he gave a much more gruesome and detailed description of the progressively horrific curses that God would inflict on rebels.

Interestingly, God designed that the delivery of blessings or curses would be decided by the Israelites' response to Him through their acts of faith or disobedience, respectively.

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March 20 (Deuteronomy)

We read Moses' review of the covenant between God and Israel with God's affirmation that although the people said "Yes" with their mouths their actions will ultimately prove that their hearts said otherwise. Interesting: God is also making a covenant with future generations (Deuteronomy 29:14-15). God promised that if the exiled Israelites return to the Lord, He would restore all their fortunes and change their hearts. Moses declared that loving, obeying, and committing to the Lord is the only way to choose life. Any other behavior is a choice for death.

Joshua was formally commissioned to lead Israel. Moses wrote down the entire law in a book that he instructed to be read to the people every seven years and since their disobedience was sure, Moses composed for them a song that would be #1 on the Hebrew top sacred music charts for eternity (Revelation 15:3, 12/30 reading).

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March 21 (Deuteronomy and Psalm 90)

We read the lyrics of Moses' song that revealed the sovereignty and graciousness of God and the expected short memory of it when the Israelites prospered. Moses recited the lyrics and told them that the words are their life. 1,400 or so years later, Jesus will challenge the Pharisees that He was the "Life" of which Moses spoke (John 5:39).*

They made light of His awesomeness and so He drew back to show what would become of them (Deuteronomy 31:15-19). God would have annihilated them except that He cared about His reputation before the nations and did not want to give them a false sense of superiority over God's sovereignty. In the same way that the Israelites provoked God's jealousy by their idol worship, God foretold how He would provoke their jealousy by saving the Gentiles; making a people "who are not even a people." (compare Deuteronomy 32:21 with Rom. 10:19; 11:11).

Finally, Moses composed Psalm 90 and was advertised in the title as a "man of God." by the compiler of the Psalms, but the first time the phrase was used is found in Deuteronomy 33:1.

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*"Christ is the main theme of Scripture: "Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote." This phrase encapsulates the stance of John's whole Gospel: Jesus is the fulfillment of OT Scripture (cf. [John] 1:21; 5:39; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Luke 24:44, 47; Acts 10:43; 18:28; 26:22, 23; Romans 1:2; I Cor. 15:3; I Peter 1:10, 11; Revelation 19:10)."

MacArthur, 2005, p1351.

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March 22 (Deuteronomy and Joshua)

We read how Moses, the first Bible character to be called "the man of God," blessed each tribe. Like Jacob, there are nuggets of insight found in each one. He noted that the Levites were more devoted to God than to their own (disobedient) families at the golden calf scene (Exodus 32:25-29, 2/11 reading).

Moses then climbed Mt. Nebo to Pisgah's Peak to see the Promised Land. God buried him in an unknown location, probably to keep Satan from using his body to deceive the Israelites (Jude 9, 12/26 reading). Next God assured Joshua that He would be with him as he was with Moses. God promised him success if he would meditate on the law day and night. Joshua charged the Israelites to get ready to cross the Jordan River. They responded that they would obey him as they did Moses (I am not sure that was very comforting). Finally, the two spies were sent to Jericho where they hid and were protected by the prostitute, Rahab.

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Moses, the greatest of all the OT prophets, is the only man in the Bible to be buried by God and the only man to appear on earth after his death (1,400 years later) without a resurrection (unless you would prefer to also count the witch's conjuration of the prophet Samuel before King Saul in I Samuel 28:12). Moses died strong and alert at the age of 120.

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March 23 (Joshua)

We read how as soon as the priests who were carrying the Ark touched Jordan River's edge the Lord stopped the water flow, which was at that time currently (pardon the pun) overflowing its banks during the harvest season, so that all of Israel could cross on dry ground. Joshua set up two memorials, one on the bank and one in the middle of the dry riverbed as a memorial for future generations. As soon as they settled in Canaan the daily supply of manna stopped forever. (I wonder what the women and children who were left on the eastern side thought when it suddenly stopped falling.)

Joshua reinstated the circumcision ritual that had been neglected since the Exodus. Next, Joshua was confronted by the Lord Himself and received his unusual battle plan with clear instructions that all the plunder was to be set aside for destruction and the objects of silver, gold, bronze, and iron were to be brought into the Lord's treasury. After the victory, Rahab's household was spared and Joshua pronounced a curse against anyone who would rebuild Jericho. It was fulfilled in I Kings 16:34 (6/10 reading).

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March 24 (Joshua and 1 Chronicles)

We read how the Israelites treated God like a "good-luck" charm and learned through much pain and embarrassment that they were nothing without God's leadership. Achan's greed and thievery cost him and his family their lives. Even all his animals and possessions were stoned and burned. I imagine the families of the slain soldiers that were unnecessarily defeated at Ai were the first to throw them. If only Israel had consulted God before attacking (See Numbers 27:21 3/8 reading) the outcome would have been better, but even after this event they still had not learned. Soon thereafter, they fell prey to the Gibeonites' deception because, again, they failed to consult God (Joshua 9:14).*

Now that Israel was purged of Achan's sin the Lord gave Joshua a successful strategy to destroy the city of Ai. After that, Joshua built an altar to the Lord to renew the Lord's covenant through sacrifices, the inscribing of the law onto the stones of the altar, and by reading aloud every word that Moses had written.

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*Their name will come up again as King David will avenge the Gibeonites for King Saul's violation of this covenant, to the dismay of Saul's seven sons (II Sam. 21:1-14, 4/30 reading).

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March 25 (Joshua)

We read how Israel's newly arrived presence in Canaan disrupted the balance of power between the nations and Israel's first ally was now the target of attack by her neighbors. God used this situation to destroy five southern nations. It was during this battle that Joshua prayed and the sun stopped its course in the sky to provide more daylight over the Israelites to help them gain the victory.

Then they defeated the northern kings (including the previously feared giants) and those east of the Jordan. God ordered that all the enemy horses were to be hamstrung and the chariots burned. I do not know why. Maybe it was to keep the Israeli army dependent on God rather than on the capture and use of their enemies' advanced military technology for victory. A key phrase that is important to remember is, "Joshua conquered all these kings and their land in a single campaign, for the Lord, the God of Israel, was fighting for His people." (Joshua 10:43). In the same way our trust is woefully misplaced if we credit our safety to our own military power over our reliance on God's sovereign will.

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March 26 (Joshua)

We read the list of kings defeated by Israel, west of the Jordan (31 in total). God instructed that land be allotted that had not yet been conquered, that God Himself would drive them out before them. All they had to do was to go and take possession of it. The Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah so they remained among them.

The killing of Balaam is recorded (I suppose that he regretted that his fortunetelling skills were lacking when it came to telling his own future.) Caleb, one of the two faithful spies who had "a different Spirit" at the age of 85, asked for the land that was inhabited by the giants, the ones that made every one "feel like grasshoppers." (Numbers 13:33, 3/2's reading). His conquest (now 45 years later) is most certainly guaranteed because of his faith in God, God's promise, and God's concern for His reputation among the nations.

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March 27 (Joshua)

We read a more specific recount of all the borders and cities that were allotted to each tribe. Israel was either weary of fighting, lost their zeal, or became apathetic at the end of the campaign because they failed to fully drive out all the Jebusites and Canaanites, and so they continued to live together. The Israelites did however manage to overpower and force these Canaanites to works as slaves, but this will prove to be disastrous as the Israelites will learn foreign religions from them in the near future.

The descendants of Joseph complained that they did not have enough land because they had grown so large and strong so Joshua challenged them to use their numbers and strength to clear the forests of the hill country and to drive out the Canaanites from the valleys even though they have iron chariots.

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March 28 (Joshua)

We read how Joshua was frustrated that there were still seven tribes that had not been proactive in taking possession of the land. So he sent 21 men out to map the land so that he could cast sacred lots to determine land allotments to the tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan. I believe that literacy must have become more widespread at this point because, as far as I can tell, in Joshua 18:8 is the first mention of someone other than Moses and the priests being expected to be able to write."

Simeon's land was placed within the territory of Judah's allotment because it was too big for Judah. An interesting boundary note in Naphtali's allotment is the mention of the "Oak at Zaanannim." This is where we will read about Jael nailing Sisera to the ground (4/1 reading).

The tribe of Dan eventually relocated to an area north of the Sea of Galilee and Hazor where they became notorious for their idol worship (4/5 reading, Judges 18:27-29).

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March 29 (Joshua and 1 Chronicles)

We read that Joshua finally received his chosen piece of the land as promised by the Lord. His and Caleb's land are the only ones that were gained on the west side of the Jordan River without deciding by lot because the Lord said that they could have any town they wanted as a reward for their acts of faithfulness and trust in the Lord which took place over forty years earlier.* Both of them were over 85 years old and were the only ones left who could remember suffering as an adult slave in Egypt all the rest were teenagers or younger during the Exodus.

God instructed Joshua to reiterate to the people, the location and purpose of the cities of refuge. The leaders of the Tribe of Levi received their allotment of 48 towns that were dispersed within the territories of each tribe. The Levites were to be the agents of the people's local connection to the worship of the Lord when the Israelites were not worshiping in the (yet to be constructed) Temple in Jerusalem. Finally, God gave the Israelites peace on all sides. He did not fail in any of His promises (Josh. 21:43-45).

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*Numbers 14:24, 30, (3/3); Deuteronomy 1:36 (3/12); Josh. 14:6-9, (3/26)

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March 30 (Joshua)

We read that the time of widespread conquest had finally ended. Joshua commended the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh for honoring their promise to Moses to help their brothers conquer Canaan before returning to claim their land on the east side of the Jordan and he blessed them with a reminder to stay committed to the Lord's ways. When they returned home with their great wealth and plunder, they stopped to construct an Altar on the western side to remind the future generations that their descendants were connected to the worship of the same God as the Israelites on the western side. This offended the western tribes, but they sent a delegation before their army and averted a civil war.

Joshua, who rose from slavery to becoming the top leader, beginning with Torah, recounted the Israelite history and they responded with a covenant to obey. (Sadly, this supposed commitment lasted only one generation and 800 years later after many prophetic warnings, the last of the remaining Israelites were horrifically dispersed from the land, just as Moses had warned.) Joshua enjoyed the Promised Land for about 25 years and died at the age of 110.

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March 31 (Judges)

It is important to keep in mind that many of the events in Judges are not listed chronologically because many of them overlap or envelope others as the tribes were not yet a united kingdom. Following the Judah and Simeon's last of the great victories, seven haunting failures are listed. So the preincarnate Jesus announced to them that this is why God would no longer drive out their enemies (see comment). The first generation Israelites who bridged the history between Egypt and Canaan made sacrifices with loud weeping. Joshua dismissed them and later died. Then the next generation who did not experience God's miracles through Moses and Joshua grew up and quickly turned away from their parents' faith.

The general theme throughout the book is "Everyone did what they thought right in their own eyes."

 

This cultural paradigm set up the following sequence of events:

1-They ignored God,

2-became oppressed,

3-cried out to God for relief,

4-God sent a deliverer,

5-the people behaved well until the deliverer died,

6-the people returned to #1 and repeated this pattern of behavior for 480 years.

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The reasons for God withholding His help when the people broke His covenant with them:

1. They disobey His command by making an alliance with the Canaanites and did not destroy their idolatrous altars, (Judges 2:2),

2. The Lord was testing Israel to see whether or not they would follow the ways or the Lord as their ancestors did, (Judges 2:22; 3:4), and

3. The Lord wanted to teach warfare to the inexperienced warriors of the next generation, (Judges 3:2).

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"Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years." -Charles Spurgeon

  

 
"White Book pge," Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

March