Today our reading assignment is out of the book of Judges Chapters 1-4, 13-16, you can click here to read it if you’d like.
Yesterday we read Joshua 1-6, 23-24 and you can read that here if you missed it.
Now here the LORD commands Joshua to get the people ready to cross the Jordan into the land He promised to them. That sounds like a huge undertaking for Joshua and the officers of the people. And then of course we read about Rahab and the spies she hid and how she lied to the king of Jericho to protect them. In fact this is what she says in Chapter 2:12-13…Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death." When the spies returned to Joshua look at what they say…vs. 24 They said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us." Wow.
In Chapter 3 we read about the crossing of the Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant and how it went before them and caused the waters flowing downstream to be cut off and stand up in a heap. Pretty awesome sight, don’t you think! Then there is the fall of Jericho...here is what the passage says will happen; Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in." You know, that is exactly what happened, remember the song lyrics, and the walls came tumbling down. I’ll bet you that was an amazing sight.
The last thing I want to talk about is Joshua’s farewell to the leaders and the Covenant renewed at Shechem. I love how in the last few verses of Chapter 23 Joshua reminds the leaders how God has never broken His promises, this is what it says; 14 "Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. 15 But just as every good promise of the LORD your God has come true, so the LORD will bring on you all the evil he has threatened, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. 16 If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." Before he dies, Joshua makes sure to remind them of how faithful God is, yet how fierce He can be if you disobey what He has told you to do.
Amazing! The last section of this passage we read yesterday talks about the renewal of the Covenant at Shechem and this part is my favorite…14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua renews this Covenant and records it in the Book of the law of God. And then he dies at age 110 and is buried in the Promised Land.
Today’s inspirational quote of the day is…
"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. "
~ Helen Keller