Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Pile of Stones

O. T. #449  "A Pile of Stones"
January 28, 2015
Joshua 4-Part 1
And this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Joshua 4:6


I am to that age where I have to write down things or I quickly forget them. I make grocery lists, write down appointments on the calendar, make notes to recall later. If I didn't, then who knows where I'd be and what I'd be doing? I am even writing down the wonderful things which God has done throughout our 42 years of marriage and serving God. Israel was told to make a memorial so they would remember this fantastic event and share it with their children. You know what it is, don't you?

God's supernatural power stopped the flooded Jordan River upstream from flowing down to where the Israelites were going to cross. As the priests, who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant upon their shoulders using poles, stepped into the water, God made it into a wall of water on their right side. What a marvelous miracle of all time! That must have been an experience which the Israelites never forgot as they aged.


God gave Joshua specific instructions about some stones. Shall we see what they were?

There were two piles of stones built:
First, Joshua set up 12 stones from the middle of the river at the place where the priests had been standing and holding the Ark while the Israelites crossed over Jordan. Only God could see them after the water went back to its flood state.
Next, 12 men, one from each tribe, picked up a large stone each, carrying it on their shoulder, to the new camp at Gilgal.

What was the purpose for these two piles of stones?
  • When the future descendants ask their fathers, "What do these stones mean?", tell them how Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground because God dried it up, as well as the Red Sea.   (verses 21-23)
  • This memorial of rocks was so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God. (verse 24)
  • The men remembered who directed them to build the memorial and who was guiding them across the river.
  • The Israelite children would see the stones, hear the story, and learn about God.
This chapter presents the dynamic truth that the hope of the future is based on the memories of the past, and this hope gives meaning to the present.

The two piles of stones picture Christ's death and burial (hidden stones), and resurrection (the stones on the bank). Also, they illustrate the believer's spiritual union with Christ: when He died, we died with Him; we were buried with Him; we arose with Him in victory! Today's church has two memorials of this great truth: baptism and the Lord's Supper. (Wiersbe)

Do you have any traditions, special dates or places which help your children learn about God's working in your life? Have you taken time to share when God save you, answered prayers, supplied your needs? Retell the stories to keep the memories of God's faithfulness alive in your family.


Share with others the wonderful things God has done with, for, and through me.

Give God the glory for the things He has done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stand Firm in Jordan

O. T. #448  "Stand Firm in Jordan"
January 27, 2015
Joshua 3-Part 3
When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.  Joshua 3:8


I don't like swimming in water that is over my head. I like to be able to touch bottom and stand up in it. I especially do not like crossing over water in a boat or a canoe when the water is too deep to see the bottom. Yes, I have a fear of water, though I can swim in shallow water. I wonder if the Israelites were afraid when they walked across the Jordan River on dry ground and it was dammed up for them.

In the process of preparing to cross the Jordan River, the people of Israel sanctified themselves, preparing spiritually for God's wondrous work among them. To be right before God is to be ready for every good thing He will do. (David Jeremiah)

Are you prepared for God to do some good thing in your life?

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament  shows us:
  • The people were sanctified (verses 1-5).
  • Joshua was magnified (verse 6-8). In the Hebrew language, magnify means honor, lift up.To God all the glory is due, but God sees fit to magnify His servants that their people might honor them (1 Chron. 29:25). Joshua commanded the priests, who directed the people.  
  • The Lord glorified (verses 9-13). God would prove Himself the "Lord of all the earth" by holding back the flooded Jordan and permitting His people to cross over on dry land.
  • The Word verified (verses 14-17). It happened just as God said it would.
It was just a step, but the waters parted and all Israel crossed over on dry ground. Yahweh brought His people through a crossing that they could not undertake in their own strength (Ex. 14). Every big act for God begins with a small step of faith (Heb. 11:29).

Get your sandals on and we will cross over with them. Oh, grab some faith for me, too, while you're at it. I don't like being in water that is over my head.


The Ark usually traveled in the midst of the people, but this time, it was out front leading them. Every step of the way, they could see that God was with them, going before them. After all, they had never passed that way before.

What had Joshua told the Israelites? In verses 9-10, he said,
  • Come listen to the words of the LORD your God.
  • They would know God was among them and would certainly drive out their enemies.
  • See the Ark of the Covenant go ahead of you.
  • Choose 12 men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. They were to get a stone each in the midst of the Jordan where the priests stood and take them across with it. These stones were a memorial of this miracle. (4:5)
  • As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the Ark of the LORD, then the Lord will cut off the waters from upstream, and beside them standing in a heap.
At the early barley harvest, the waters are usually 16 to 20 feet above flood stage. (Falwell)
It happened just as Joshua had told the Israelites. As the priests dipped their feet into the water, it stopped flowing immediately, and piled up, so the ground was dry for the people to cross over Jordan in it. The priests stood firm in Jordan until the people passed clean over Jordan. The invisible dam of water was on their right side. God can change the course of nature when He desires.
The priests made a bold step into the river and took a bold stand to stay there until everyone passed over it.

Are we willing to take a bold step of faith to follow God? Will we take a bold stand for His Word? Are people rising up against our beliefs? How are we reacting?
Do we experience the living God among us, driving out our enemies?


Take that step of faith with Jesus.

Stand firm in Jordan until others cross over.

Pass clean over my Jordan when the waters are raging around me.

*Please remember me inn prayer this morning as I have surgery to mend a hernia and remove my gall bladder.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Roaring River

O. T. #447  "A Roaring River"
January 26, 2015
Joshua 3-Part 2
...that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
Joshua 3:4c


I have seen our little creek when the rains caused it to flood. The silence is turned into a roar. The swift, rushing flow is so powerful that it sweeps mature trees away from the edge and floating away, sends strong boulders rolling down stream, and changing the course of the creek. Nothing is safe in the middle of the unpredictable waves. No one got into a raft or canoe at that time. All I wanted to do was watch, certainly not try to cross it. That's all I ever did, too.

Israel spent three days watching and listening to the river which lay before them. What did they think? Did they wonder how in the world they'd ever cross it? Did they think how it was one thing for two spies to cross it, but that group was a couple of million, how could they cross it? What about their possessions, wives and children, as well as the old folks, how would they make it across?

With a seemingly impossible obstacle blocking their way, did they wonder how God would take care of this one? Apparently, Joshua was not even told the answers or given directions ahead of time. Do we question God when the impossible obstacles are blocking our way? Is our faith challenged? Will we keep walking by faith or high tail it and run back to our old ways where it was secure?

Israel went as far as they could go on their own, with the river before them.
Let us proceed as far as we can, and depend on divine sufficiency for that which we find ourselves not sufficient for.  (Matthew Henry)

FAITH. Is Jesus your River of Life?


So that Israel would know what to do and what to depend upon, the officers passed through the people informing them:
  • that the Ark of the Covenant, carried by the priests, would precede them as they crossed the river. It was customary for the Kohathites to carry the Ark (Num. 4:15;7:9) in the midst of the camp, but in this case the Levitical priests, unarmed, were assigned the task (Joshua 6:6), to lead out front. The Ark contained the tables of the Law, Aaron's staff, the show bread, manna, and was mercy seat on top.  
  • the Ark was going before them, a distance of 1,000 yards, which is 3/4 mile. The Ark represented the presence of God, Who would be leading the way. This distance showed Israel's respect for the holiness of their God. Everyone would have a clear vision of Who was leading them. Previously, the cloud and pillar of fire had led them.
  • God would show Israel the way they should go. They had not passed that way before. This was a new adventure, following on an untrodden path.  God had provided them with manna to eat, shoes which did not wear out.
  • Israel was to sanctify, prepare their hearts to see the mighty hand of God moving among them in a way unknown to them. They were to separate themselves from the common things to focus on the Lord, to see His wonders among them. They were to separate themselves from all the other cares of the world through prayer and meditation. A spiritual battle required the people to prepare spiritually. Israel was entering the holy land, called their Promised Land, the land which God had promised to their ancestors.
The consecration ceremony was done before making a sacrifice, or before witnessing a great act of God. A person would be unclean by eating certain foods (Lev. 11), giving birth (Lev. 12), dealing with disease (Lev. 13-14), touching a dead body (Num. 19:11-22), according to the Law. Outward uncleanness indicated inward uncleanness. This ceremony pictured the importance of approaching God with a pure heart. (Life Application Study Bible)

We need God's forgiveness before approaching Him, as did Israel. Do we set aside Sundays as a time of seeking His forgiveness and worship? Does it prepare us for the week ahead of us, the unknown path which we have not trodden before? God goes before us, walks beside us, covers our back. His love is everywhere.


Get ready to walk on a new path this week.

Stay focused on God's Word.

When life is like a roaring river, trust Jesus, the River of Life.

Prepare for a spiritual battle ahead.

*Please remember our friend and faithful follower of this study, Gaylene, as she has surgery Monday.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Living on the Edge

O. T. #446  "Living on the Edge"
January 23, 2015
Joshua 3-Part 1
And Joshua rose early in the morning and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.  Joshua 3:1


When the waters of doubt are ragging, flooding my thoughts, what am I doing? Which way do I go?Am I worrying til the hives break out? Yep. Do I cry out in the darkness, scared of the future? Oh, yes. Am I looking back behind me, fearing, focusing on my failures? For sure. I find myself standing there, living life on the edge. Which way will I go? Do I step forward by faith, asking Jesus to calm these troubled waters in my life? Walking on water like Peter? Or do I turn away and run down the road of despair, alone? Israel was there on the river's edge, with the wilderness behind them, and giants before them. What will they do? 

The two spies returned back to camp after three days in the mountains, crossed over Jordan, and went directly to Joshua. They told Joshua all that had happened to them on their mission. Their impossible mission trusted in the God of possibilities. What is recorded in the last verse of the previous chapter is: Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.

No discussion is recorded here. The guys didn't talk it over. No planning, no questioning, no strategizing; no army organized, nothing else is recorded. Evidently all had a good night's sleep.

What does Joshua do the next morning?
First, he rose early in the morning. (verse 1a)
Did you realize that God did things early in the morning? We read it in the lives of several people in the Bible:
  • Abraham rose up with his son Isaac to go to Mt. Moriah for the offering of Isaac. (Gen. 22:3)
  • Moses stood before Pharaoh saying, "Let my people go..." (Ex.8:20)
  • Young David left for the battlefield to defeat the Philistine giant Goliath. (1 Sam. 17:20)
  • The women went to the tomb of Jesus and found Him risen from the dead. (Mark 16:2,9) (Falwell)
What did Joshua do next? Maybe he woke everyone up so they could go; could have blown a trumpet; might have started singing praises to God; perhaps he yelled at the priests. We aren't told how he did it. That wasn't important or we would have been told.

Do we rise early in the morning to meet with our God? Are we in a routine of a quiet time with Jesus? How long do we set aside for reading His Word, listening to Him speak to us, singing His praises in personal worship before we meet the day, our family, the outside world? Chapter 1:8 tells us to meditate on His Word day and night.
Didn't Jesus rise up early to spend time with His Father?


Next, Joshua moved the children of Israel to camp on the edge of the Jordan River. They lodged there three days.

Are you living on the edge? Does life have you weighed down? Have your dreams collected dust? Have your wheels been spinning? Living in a humdrum existence? On the brink of woe?

Charles R. Swindoll, in his Bible study book called, Living On The Ragged Edge, shares insight with us:
Many people are dissatisfied, frustrated, even bored with their lives. Some of these individuals choose to live out their days without making any serious attempt to alter them. Others try numerous ways to interject adventure and excitement into their humdrum existence. But few, if any, go as far to find lasting satisfaction in life as King Solomon did. Everything lost luster its luster in his life; he questioned his existence. He taught us that life cannot be meaningful and purposeful if it is lived apart from God. Not even the enjoyment brought by leisurely vacations, extravagant possessions, sexual escapades, delicious food, and professional entertainment bring lasting satisfaction.

At the end of his book of Ecclesiastes,Solomon concludes the meaning of life:
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Eccl. 12:13)

So many people write books toward this, looking for the meaning in and purpose of their life.
The Lord Jesus holds the answers. He gave them to us through His Bible. That is where we find joy in living an extravagant life.
What will we do at the edge? Will we run back by sight or step forward by faith?


Spend time with God early in the mornings.

When life puts me on the edge, trust God.

Seek Him to give me purpose in my life.

Love and obey God, finding peace and joy everlasting.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mission Accomplished

O. T. #445  "Mission Accomplished"
January 22, 2015
Joshua 2-Part 5
And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land: for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.  Joshua 2:24


Doesn't it feel good when you finish a project, complete a task, accomplish what you set out to accomplish? The two spies had accomplished their mission of spying out the land and Jericho before the Israelites went to conquer the Promised Land. Where did we leave off?

It was time to head back to camp after spending three days in the mountains. Down the hills, across the river, then the spies went directly and safely to Joshua, their commander. They told Joshua everything that had happened to them under God's great care. Stop.

Where is that luscious fruit, the report on the giant people, strong armies, and walled cities? It is not recorded here as being part of the report of the spies who went into Canaan, some 40 years after Joshua.

What was their report? The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us. 

The spies returned with a word that God had already promised: The LORD has delivered all the land into our hands. Their faith sharply contrasts that of the 10 spies in Numbers 13-14. (David Jeremiah)

Wasn't it only two spies who gave an encouraging report 40 years earlier? (Joshua and Caleb) Now it is only two who did the same. Hmmm.


Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament informs us about Rahab:
  • She was a sinner of moral impurity. Romans 3:23 says, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
  • She was under condemnation. Everything and everyone in the city would be destroyed (6:21). 
  • She was given a period of grace. Genesis 15:13-16 reminds us that God waited 400 years before He permitted judgment to come to the land!
  • She heard the Word of God. She calls God "the LORD" in her conversation.
  • She believed the Word. Hebrews 11:31 says Rahab was saved by faith.
  • She proved her faith by works. Rahab risked her life to receive, hide, and protect the spies proves that she trusted God. She identified herself with God's people, not the heathen around her.
  • She sought to win others. Rahab took a risk to share the Word with her family.
  • She was delivered from judgment. The walls fell and the fire destroyed the city's contents.
  • She went to a wedding. Rahab married a Jewish man, became part of the nation, and was an ancestress of the Messiah.
Rahab answered the spies after they made an agreement with her-According unto your words, so be it.
Sounds like the words of Mary to the angel informing Mary of her purpose to mother the Messiah (Luke 1:38).

God had a purpose in the two spies staying at Rahab the harlot's house-her salvation.
Are we quick to judge people according to their past and not rejoicing in their salvation?


Put my life in the Hands of God.

Trust Him with everything.

Keep my faith in Jesus.

Accomplish my mission God sends me to do daily.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Red Rope

O. T. #444 "A Red Rope"
January 21, 2015
Joshua 2-Part 4
Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.  Joshua 2:18


Rahab hid the two Israeli spies up on her roof and she lied about their whereabouts. As a result, the king's pursuers left her house. Sometime during the visit, this pagan woman Rahab became a believer in God. We discussed that yesterday with verse 11.

What does she want in return for her kindness to the two Israelite men?
  • She asks for kindness shown in return to her father's house.
  • She asks for them to be saved from death.
There was no mention of a husband or children because as a harlot she would have had none. But now as a believer, her attentions was turned to the salvation of her family. The condition upon which their lives were spared became the eventual salvation of Rahab's family. (Falwell)

The two men made a deal, a covenant, with one condition-our lives for your lives, if she didn't tell what they were doing there. She sent the men out the window located on the city wall, some 12-15 feet tall. (Houses were built on wooden logs laid across the tops of the two walls.) Then she let them down with city wall by way of a scarlet thread, which was a red rope. Rahab was acting out her faith in these men and their God.

The color is fitting for those whose blood was under God's pledge of safety.
It's color represents the blood of sacrifice, symbolizing redemption (Ex. 30:10; Lev. 14:14).
(David Jeremiah)

The marking of Rahab's house with a red rope was similar to those marked at the time of the Passover back in Egypt with the blood of the lamb over the doorpost. Death came to everyone except those within such a house.

The Christian's safety is at the foot of the cross, trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He is our crimson cord. (Falwell)

Have you trusted in the blood of Jesus? Sins must be paid for with a blood sacrifice. Jesus is wants to by yours.


Rahab told the spies to go to the mountain and hide there three days. (There were caves where they could hide.)
The oath was only good if her family remained within the house with a red rope hanging out the window. Whenever Israel's army came, the house would be spared.
The pursuers searched for the spies along the road, without success. So the spies safely returned to their camp.

Rahab followed the directions of the men.
Do we follow directions of the Word of God after we have trusted in the blood of Jesus?


Show kindness to others today.

Keep trusting in Jesus blood sacrifice made for me.

Follow His Word.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Know

O. T. #443  "I Know"
January 20, 2015
Joshua 2-Part 3
And as soon as we had heard these things, our harts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.  Joshua 2:11


I know. When do you say those two words? I usually say them whenever I am agreeing with what someone just told me. Or when I let another person know that I know how they feel. I know.
Rahab, the star in this chapter, tells the two Israelite spies what she knows:
  • the LORD has given this land to you (she was talking abut Canaan and Jericho);
  • a great fear of you has fallen on us;
  • all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you (Canaanites);
Why were the Canaanites fearful of the Israelites?
They heard how the LORD dried up the Red Sea when Israel came out of Egypt; what they did to the two kings of the Amorites, completely destroying them.

Why did the hearts of the Canaanites melt and their courage fail? It was because the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. (verse 11c)

We not scrutinize this confession for repentance or for personal acceptance of Jehovah, for they are both implicit in her statement. Rahab the pagan believed God, and He counted it unto her for righteousness.  (Falwell)


Hebrews 11:31 says this about her, By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Her lying past had not been condoned by God; it was simply forgiven by Him, as has our past. As one of the three women mentioned by name in the genealogy of Christ, Rahab takes her rightful place as one who had faith in God and was treated as if she were righteous. (Falwell)

She wasn't saved by works, but by her faith. Rahab knew who God was, who she was, and she trusted God for her very life. (Guzik)

The reports she had probably heard from the men who came to her establishment, along with the few facts she knew herself, led her to believer that the One who had done all these marvelous wonders on behalf of His people was the true God in heaven above and on earth beneath (Deut. 2:25) God, in He grace, reaches out to those with sordid pasts and no history with Him. (David Jeremiah)

If we have asked Jesus to for give us of our sins, then He for gave those sins in our past. Are we aware of that? If so. do we live like it?
Are we, too, trusting in the God of heaven and earth with our very life and soul?

Life Application Study Bible teaches us:
  • We must not gauge a person's interest in God by his or her background, lifestyle, or appearance. We should let nothing get in the way of our telling people the Good News.
  • Rahab recognized something that many of the Israelites did not-the God of heaven is not an ordinary god! He is all-powerful. The people of Jericho were afraid because they had heard the news of God's extraordinary power in defeating the armies across the Jordan River. Today we can worship this same powerful miracle working God.

Let the past be under the blood of Jesus.

Trust in the all-powerful God of Rahab, Joshua, and Caleb.

Praise and worship the God of heaven and earth.

Thank You Lord for Your grace shown to me.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mission Possible or Impossible?

O. T. #442  "Mission Possible or Impossible?"
January 19, 2015
Joshua 2-Part 2
The king of Jericho was told, "Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land."  Joshua 2:2b


Do you sometimes feel like you are on a mission impossible? That's me. I have health issues, which result in financial strain, inability to carry on responsibilities, lagging behind in household matters, drained from worry. Yep. I look around my little world and it seems my tires are spinning on an ice-covered road-going nowhere. Yet, aren't there things I can do while I am waiting for number one surgery? Maybe it is how you look at things that counts-this resting time can be a catch-up time. Maybe my mission isn't so impossible after all. Is your mission possible or impossible? (Maybe from the world's view we'll never make the it, but from God's view, we will.)

How did the two spies which Joshua sent out consider their mission-possible or impossible?

Joshua sent two men on a secret intelligence-gathering mission. Who were they? Where did they go? Why did they go? What did they do? Did they accomplish their mission impossible? It was a risky task, entering a two-walled city as a stranger. Yet...

Jewish tradition says the two spies were Caleb and the High Priest Eliezer. God had greater things in mind for this spy mission, failing as a mission of military reconnaissance, but it well succeeded in God's purpose. (Guzik)

What happened to these two spies on their mission? They lodged at the house of a harlot named Rahab. (verse 1) (Must have walked through the gates, passed the armed guards.)

Why would the Israelite spies stop at the house of Rahab a prostitute? (Jews were warned about those foreign women.)
  1. It was a good place to gather information and have no questions asked in return.
  2. Rahab's house was in an ideal location for a quick escape because it was built into the city wall.
  3. God directed the spies to Rahab's house because He knew her heart was open to Him and that she would be instrumental in the Israelite victory over Jericho. (Life Application Study Bible)

God wanted those two spies there for salvation of a prostitute. By God's grace she was in the Messianic line (Matt. 1:5). (MacArthur)

They didn't know that at the time. The spies thought they were observing the land, ways, and challenges of the enemy, which they had to conquer before occupying it. They didn't know what would result in their pick of the place to stay.
Perhaps the spies sat at the dinner table asking questions, blending in with other lodgers. Were they inconspicuous or did others notice them? Someone let the king know, that's for sure. (verse 2)

Which house do we go to lodge in-the house of faith or the house of the world?
Isn't it hard to let go and let God be in charge of our life? We like to make the choices, do things our way, go where we want. Are you with me?


Okay, news travelled fast in the city. The king got word of spies from Israel were at Rahab's house. He sent his men to Rahab's house with a message-Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they come to spy out the whole land.  (verse 3, NIV)

What did Rahab do?
First of all, she was a step ahead of everyone. Rahab already hid the two spies under some flax that was on her roof before there was a knock on the door.  (It was a common thing to have flax and grains drying on the roof, since the fibers of the bark  were twisted and bleached to make linen.)
Next, she did not admit to anything.
She told the king's men a lies:
  • Yes they were here, but I didn't know where they were from (meaning Israel);
  • The men left at dusk before the city gate closed;
  • I don't know which way they went;
  • God after them quickly and you may catch up with them.
So the king's men pursued after the spies, so they thought. Then the city gate was shut. There was no way out, except over the city wall, which was probably well guarded all night.

Rahab made some choices. She could done things differently. What other options were there? She could have asked the spies to leave, handed them over to the king's men, or acted innocent and let the men find the spies in her house. No, she didn't choose any of those ways, did she? Rahab put her life on the line.

Rahab's clever deception spared the lives of the two Israeli spies. Yes, she lied in order to achieve it. Lying is wrong, no buts or ands about it. We must consider that she was part of a pagan society unaware that lying was a sin, nor would they have cared about such a thing. The spies didn't ask her to lie, nor did they condone it. Apparently her faith in God came after this incident happened.

Let me note here that a lie is a lie, which is wrong. Whether it is considered a little lie or a white lie, it is still wrong. The reason we are telling a lie doesn't matter, for it is still a lie. Told any lies lately?

I wonder what the 80 or 90 year of Israelite spies thought while whey hid under the flax stalks. Hmmm. Maybe they prayed.

We are going to leave the story here, so if you want to read ahead to find out what happens, feel free.


Look to God when my situation seems impossible.

Recall that all things are possible with God, so trust Him.

Stay on the mission possible with Jesus.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Secret Spies

O. T. #441  "Secret Spies"
January 16, 2015
Joshua 2-Part 1
And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim, two men to spy secretly, saying, God view the land, even Jericho. And they went... Joshua 2:1


What if someone close to you was engaged in secretly spying on you throughout your day? What would they hear you say behind doors that close out the world? What would they see you doing? What if they were videoing you?  Would your words and actions be alligned with what you portray to the world? Would you be satisfied with what others saw or would you be embarrassed? Would you?
Hmmm. Jesus sees us, hears us, even knows our intimate thoughts, intents, and feelings. Do they please Him? Ouch! Stepping on my own toes.
Joshua sent out two men to secretly spy the land that lie ahead of them, even Jericho. Let's look deeper into verse 1.

What do we learn about this time?
  • Joshua was in his nineties, appointed by God, and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Num. 27:18)
  • Joshua, the new commander-in-chief, received his orders directly from God. (1:1-9)
  • Israel had been camped east of the Jordan River for quiet some time (less than a year). Moses had reviewed Israel's past history, 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the Laws of God, the covenants, commissioned Joshua, and instructed them to obey.
  • This keen army general had already received orders to exterminate the Canaanites, who occupied the land beyond the Jordan, because of their excessive wickedness.
  • These two spies were engaged in a secret intelligence-gathering mission.
  • These spies were to report to Joshua. Previous experience taught Joshua that the Israelites could not evaluate such a report (The first generation Israel refused to go conquer the land when Joshua and Caleb had been part of the 12 spy company, listening to the 10 bad reports.)
  • The grove was situated in foothills about 7 miles east of the Jordan River; Jericho lay 7 miles west of the river.
[Resources: Liberty Bible Commentary, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, John J. Davis's Conquest and Crisis]

Yesterday's post was entitled Whatever and Wherever. Would we have been willing to do what was asked of us? Would we have been willing to go where we were asked? Are we willing today, when our commander-in-chief, Jesus Christ, commissions us?


Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament informs us:
Archaeologists have done a great deal of research at Jericho. They tell us the city covered about 8 acres, with inner and outer walls surrounding the city. The inner wall was 12 feet thick, the outer wall 6 feet thick, and there were houses upon the walls. The walls stood about 30 feet high, and excavations show that these wall were "violently destroyed."
Of course, we know what caused those walls to come tumbling down-God did it. What a challenge lay ahead for Joshua and Israel! Yet, God can take the impossible and make it possible. (That's how Jesus was born.)

Are we surrounded by walls of impossibility, from our perspective?
Are we seeking the Lord's direction for us?
Does He need to open our spiritual eyes to see that He is control?

Nothing is impossible with God, sweet one. Keep the faith. He may surprise us!


Look with spiritual eyes, not physical eyes; not all things are as they appear.

Trust God to do the impossible.

Obey God's directions and Word.

*My surgery is scheduled for Jan. 27, removal of gall bladder and hernia fixed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Whatever and Wherever

O. T. #440  "Whatever and Wherever"
January 15, 2015
Joshua 1-Part 5
And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.  Joshua 1:16


Are we ready to do whatever God wants us to do? Are we willing to go wherever He sends us? If we love God, we will.

Only be strong and of good courage. How many times have we heard those words in our lifetime? Uh, none. How many times have I said them to someone who needed encouragement? Uh, none. Well, Moses said them back in Deuteronomy 31:6 to Israel and in verses 7 and 23 to Joshua.
Did the Lord tell Joshua three times previously in this chapter, in verses 6, 7, and 9, to be strong and of good courage? Yes He did. And who better to hear it from than God?

Joshua hears it again. Look at verse 18, the last part. Representatives of the three tribes mentioned in verse 12 said those words to Joshua. This must have been a confirmation of God's Word to Joshua previously. Does God love to confirm His Word to us? Seems so.

This bold courage would not be in Joshua himself, but in God. Self-confidence can take us to ruin. (Guzik)

Friend, do you need strength to meet the day? Do you need courage to make that decision you have been putting off? Your answer is in the Lord Jesus.

Hopefully these scriptures will encourage you.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Prov. 18:10

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.  Ps. 24:8

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.
Ps. 61:7-8

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Eph. 6:10
Other verses: Ps. 31:2; 2Chron. 13:9; Luke 1:80.

1 John 5:4-5 says, For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 

The man, Booker T. Washington, was a man who overcame many difficulties. For interesting and encouraging reading, research his life. He was quoted saying, "a measure of a man's success is not what he achieves, but what he overcomes."

Be an overcomer, ya'll.


Our key verse tells us that Israel was willing to do whatever and go wherever Joshua said. They were trusting that God was leading Joshua. Can you imagine the encouragement and enthusiasm of Joshua after he heard all of this?

Israel's unity as a nation was essential in fulfilling God's calling and promise for them. The willingness of the people to receive Joshua as their leader was heard. (Guzik)

Are we willing to submit to Jesus whatever and wherever?  Will we do whatever He calls us to do? Are we willing to go wherever He sends us?


Be strong and of good courage.

Be an overcomer.

Whatever and wherever, Lord.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Prepare to Pass Over

O. T. #439  "Prepare to Pass Over"
January 14, 2015
Joshua 1-Part 4
Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.  Joshua 1:13


I have shared before that we have moved more times than I can count on my fingers and toes. With my husband being in the pastorate thirty-fives years, it was a common activity. I always had to prepare for moving day. That meant sorting through papers, clothes, junk, keep sakes, and memories. You know how things accumulate when you stay two or threes years in one house. Well, there is one advantage of moving-getting rid of unneeded stuff.
It's time to prepare to follow Jesus. My heart, soul, and mind need to be ready for my God-given assignment. That means I have to throw away some things-bad attitudes, unforgiveness, regrets.

It was time for Israel to get ready to move, too.
Reading the key, Israel had the assurance that LORD their God would give them rest in their Promised Land. What news! This people had been moving around all their lives. They had no land to call their own and place where they could settle down-until this time.

Rest, in Hebrew, means dwell, stay, place, remain. (Strong's Concordance)

Are we resting as we are doing God's will? Are we staying in the center of His will? Are we remaining there, even when it gets difficult?

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
We find that in the Greek, as in this verse, rest means remain, refresh, (give, take) rest.

Are you needing rest and refreshment in the Lord? Who isn't?


The second generation of Israel had received the commands of the Lord God through Moses. Their leader was gone. Now a new leader, Joshua, was ready to take his place. What does Joshua call for? He calls for the officers of the people (scribes) to command the people to prepare their victuals, for within three days ye shall pass over Jordan. 

So I looked up the meaning of some words in Strong's Concordance:
prepare means stand, make ready, set up;
victuals means food, meat, provision.

Matthew Henry's Commentary explains:
This public notice was probably not given til after the spies returned from Jericho. The people were called to repent of their sins, make peace with God, resolve to live a new life, that they might be ready to receive this great favor (Ex. 14:10,11).

Keep in mind that the only two original spies of the 12 which Moses sent to spy out Canaan that were living was Joshua and Calab. These two had experienced the 40 years in the Wilderness due to Israel's rebellion and disbelief in God's ability to conquer their enemies. They had even walked through the Red Sea on dry ground when God parted it. They knew and experienced what their God could do. They believed that God could do it again. The people needed to be prepared for such a challenge.

Are we prepared for such an adventure with our God?
Are we ready to pass over our Jordan-what looks impossible with us, but possible with God?
Nothing is too difficult with God, nor is anything impossible with Him.

Better yet, friend, are you prepared to pass over into eternity? If you know Jesus as your Savior, you will get to rest in your Promised Land of heaven.
Are you family members and friends ready?


Leave my doubt, baggage, and bitterness behind in my wilderness.

Prepare my heart to pass over my Jordan.

Be willing to go wherever He sends me.

Be willing to do whatever He calls me to do.

Love God with all my heart.

Deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus.

*Please remember Gaylene and myself as we have surgery this month.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Are You Strong and Courageous?

O. T. #438  "Are You Strong and Courageous?
January 13, 2015
Joshua 1-Part 3
Be strong and of a good courage... Joshua 1:6a
Only be thou strong and very courageous... Joshua 1:7a
...Be strong and of a good courage... Joshua 1:9


*Something is wrong with the engine where I write this, so no emphases will be seen today, sorry.

Are you strong or weak, fearful or courageous? My help is going to come from the Lord, because I lack strength and courage when it come to facing my surgeries. But, doesn't He want us to depend upon Him for our needs? Isn't His strength made perfect in my weakness, according to 2 Corinthians 12:9? I wonder if Joshua was just a smidgen bit afraid. Why else did god keep telling him to be courageous?

In verse 5, we read of the promises of God's divine power and presence made to Joshua for his tasks ahead.
   *God reassured Joshua that as He was with Moses, so God would be with Joshua.
   *God would not fail Joshua. FAIL means to slacken, fall, faint, feeble, weak.
   *God would not forsake Joshua. FORSAKE means to loosen, relinquish, leave (destitute), refuse.

God would not relax His divine enablement now that Moses was dead.  (Falwell)

We have the same assurances that God will not leave us nor forsake us, as found in Hebrews 13:5. When we begin to walk in God's will, we have the continual help when we ask, God is on our side, so others can't keep us from accomplishing our assignment.

Are we in the middle of God's assignment for us?


How was Joshua supposed to act and react? What was the strategy for prosperity for Israel?
1. Be STRONG, which means stout, withstand, confirm.
2. Be of good COURAGE and very COURAGEOUS, which uses the same Hebrew word, meaning to be alert
    physically (on foot) or steadfastly minded, establish, increase, strengthen (self), make strong (speed). This
    indicates that God is interested in the spiritual character and physical actions of His servants.
3. Observe to do according to all the law Moses gave.
4. Turn not from it to the right or to the left.
5. Meditate on it day and night.

The task ahead would not be easy, so Joshua needed to be strong and courageous. He was to constantly read and study the Book of Instruction.

Personal courage and complete obedience to God's will are always two of the main ingredients in success for the believer. (Falwell)

To be successful, follow God's words to Joshua. You may not succeed by the world's standards, but you will be a success in God's eyes-and His opinion is most important.  Obedience to what God has revealed in the Scriptures is the only sure step we can take. (Life's Application Study Bible)

Rick Warren says, "Meditate on who God is, what He has done, and what He has said."

Lysa TerKeurst said, "Strength and courage come from keeping God's Word close. It has to be front and center. We have to be thinking about it, be able to quote it. Refuse to let fear and discouragement hold us back; for wherever we go, God will be with us."

Are we willing to do those things? That is the question.
What is the strong and courageous thing we are supposed to do or be doing?
Jesus gave His servants the same promise found in Matthew 28:19-20 and John 20:21-23.


Trust God to not fail me nor leave me.

Meditate on His Word.

Be strong in faith and courageous to obey God.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Job

O. T. #437  "A New Job"
January 12, 2015
Joshua 1-Part 2
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.  Joshua 1:2


Have you recently changed jobs? Do you face new challenges that it brings? It has been 8 years since I changed jobs. I left teaching elementary children to a less stressful and quieter job, bookkeeper of our tire business. Sure, I miss working with the people and children, but God has lead me in a different direction. I have been able to take care of our granddaughter as she is grown up. I have
time to study and teach God's Word. Also, time to minister to others is available to me. (Not to mention often having lunch with my husband.) I greatly enjoy my new jobs, callings, adventures, though they can be challenging at times.

Joshua has a new job. Due to Moses' death, Joshua was no longer Moses' minister and servant.

Life Application Study Bible has this to say: 
Joshua's new job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange new land and conquering it. What a challenge-even for a man of Joshua's caliber! Every new job is a challenge. without God it can be frightening. With God, it can be a great adventure. Just as God was with Joshua, he is with us as we face our new challenges. We may not conquer nations, but every day we face tough situations, difficult people, and temptations. God promises, however, that He will never abandon us or fail to help us. By asking God to direct us we can conquer many of life's challenges.

 How are you handling life's challenges? Are you asking God for help?


Probably after the 30 days of mourning Moses' death, God spoke to Joshua. The work must go on.
What were His directions?
  • Arise-Joshua must arise to finish what Moses began. Christ, our Joshua, does that for us which could never be done by the law of Moses, justifies (Acts 13:39) and sanctifies (Rom. 8:3);
  • go over this Jordan, you and all of Israel.-This is the first mention of the Jordan in this book, which more frequently than any other book of the Bible (70 times) refers to the Jordan River. This was a testing of faith, since there was no visible way of getting over it at this place and time, when Jordan was at flood stage all during harvest. (3:15 NIV). God chose that time to show His power. The river was 1,300 feet below sea level and covered 200 miles.
  • Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. This was a quote from Deuteronomy 11:24 and originally in Genesis 112:1-7. Verse 4 gives the details of the layout of the land Israel would possess.
God's power was stronger than the 7 nations which occupied the land (Deut. 7:1). God would deliver those into their hands, but Israel was to conquer them and utterly destroy them.

Are we ready to go conquer our Promised Land? Are we prepared to conquer fear, illness, temptations, evil, and pride? When they flood our thoughts causing doubts, what will we do? God's Word is what we need to be successful. Are we ready to walk by faith?


Arise and go where God leads me.

Trust in His Word.

Obey His Spirit's leading.

Walk by faith.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Who do You Worship and Serve?

O. T. #436  "Who do You Worship and Serve?"
January 9, 2015
Joshua 1
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying...   Joshua 1:1


Here is an overview of the book of Joshua:
I. Entrance into the Promised Land
      A. The commission to Joshua (chapter 1)
      B. The covenant with Rahab (ch.2)
      C. The crossing of Jordan (ch. 3-4)
      D. the circumcision at Gilgal (ch. 5)
II. Conquest of the Promised Land
      A. The central campaign: Jericho, Ai, Gibeon (chapters 6-9)
      B. The southern campaign (ch. 10)
      C. The northern campaign (ch. 11)
      D. The defeated kings (ch. 12)
III. Claiming the Inheritance
      A. The tribal territory assigned (chapters 13-19)
      B. The special cities appointed (ch. 20-21)
      C. The border tribes allotted (ch. 22)
      D. The entire nation admonished (ch. 23-24)  (Wiersbe)

In the first nine verses, we read where God gave Joshua His promises:
  • land (verses 2-4),
  • His presence (verse 5),
  • God would keep His Word (verses 6-9).
God had already given the land to Israel, all they had to do was step out by faith and claim it. God has already given us "every blessing of the Spirit" in Christ (Eph. 1:3). All we need do is step out by faith and possess our possession.  (Wiersbe)

Are we taking baby steps, giant steps, or no steps at all when it come to walking by faith?


Back in Exodus 17:8-16, we read of Joshua being chosen as Moses' successor, at the battle with Amalek. Then in Numbers 27:15, Moses ordained Joshua. Deuteronomy 31:7refers to Moses' blessing and encouraging his successor. Joshua had been called by God to such a tremendous task.

In verse 1, we read where God spoke to Joshua and described him as having been Moses' minister.

In the Hebrew language, the word used here for minister means  to attend as a menial or worshipper; serve. (Strong's Concordance)

Joshua had performed both-a religious function and a military function. Moses and Joshua were both called the servant of the Lord by God Himself (24:29). Could there be any greater compliment?

Are we a worshipper of Almighty God?
Who do we serve?

Did you notice that God spoke to Joshua? He had spoken face to face with Moses, who was dead.

No servant of God, however large or small, is indispensable. The Lord's workers may die, but His work moves on. (Falwell)

Are we listening for God to speak to us?


Walk by faith, not by sight.

Be a faithful worshipper and servant of my God.

Listen for what God has to say.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Are We Ready?

O. T. #435  "Are We Ready?"
January 8, 2015
Introduction to Joshua
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses's minister, saying...   Joshua 1:1

Is it time to get moving and cross over Jordan? Are we ready? How is our faith-strong or weak? Anyone facing their Jordan, a test of faith? Seems like I am with my physical situation. I'm trying to get over the crud so I can have surgery this month. Are we listening to God's instructions as Joshua was in this chapter?


The Man:
What do we know about the author of this book, this man called Joshua?
  • The name Joshua is the Hebrew form of Jesus, which is Greek, and means Jehovah saved.
  • He was a slave in Egypt and served as Moses' minister during the journeys of the nation.      (Ex. 24:13)
  • He led Israel's army into battle against Amalek. (Ex. 17)
  • Hew was one of the two spies who had the faith to enter Canaan when the nation rebelled in unbelief. (Num. 14:6)
  • He and Caleb were permitted to enter the Promised Land as a result of their faith.
  • He was around the age 85-90's years old when he took Moses' place at the head of the nation.
  • His first 7 years as ruler (chapters 1-12) were spent in the conquest of the land with the Israelites.
  • the remainder of his years were spent dividing up the inheritance and ruling the nation.
  • He died at age 110. (24:29)
The Land:
Canaan represents:
  • God's inheritance, given to the believer and claimed by faith;
  • the believer entering into a life of rest and victory through faith in Christ;
  • the Israelites, like too many modern Christians, are "in between" their Egypt and Canaan spiritually-delivered from the bondage of sin, but have not by faith entered into the inheritance of rest and victory.
[Resource: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]

Challenges within the book of Joshua:

The miracles that God performed during this time and for His purposes included:
  1. His holding back the Jordan's waters (Josh. 3:7-17);
  2. the fall of Jericho's walls (6:1-27);
  3. the hailstones (10:1-11);
  4. the long day (10:12-15).
The keynote feature in this book is God's faithfulness to fulfill His promise of giving the land to Abraham's descendants (Gen. 12:7; 15:18-21; 17:8). By His leading, they inhabited the territories east and west of the Jordan River, and so the word possess appears nearly 20 times. (MacArthur)

Possess means to occupy (by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place); to seize; to inherit. (Strong's Concordance)

However, Israel failed at their conquest of every part of the land.
Having received their allotments, the various tribes were unable or unwilling to bring their territory under total settlement so that the enemy could not filter back into their territory. See Judges 1. 

God requires complete obedience, not partial obedience.
Are we obeying God partially or completely? Do we pick and choose what we want to do?
Are we looking for the miracles of God as we enter our Promised Land of blessing and maturity?
Is our faith like Joshua's so we continue living the Christian life faithfully?

*Update: I got the results of my CAT scan-I have gall stones and kidney stones, along with other things. Hopefully, I will be having surgery sometime this month. I appreciate your prayers for me.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


O. T. #434  "Summary"
January 7, 2015
Summary of Deuteronomy


This book reveals much about the attributes of God. In the New Testament, Deuteronomy is quoted over 40 times with more illusions to its content. Moses repeated the phrase, "the LORD your God" over 250 times. Israel was called to love, serve, obey, walk in His ways and keep His commandments. Obedience resulted in blessings, while disobedience resulted in judgment.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary informs us that Deuteronomy reveals that the Lord is:
  • the only God (4:39; 6:4),
  • jealous (4:24),
  • faithful (7:9),
  • loving (7:13),
  • merciful (4:31),
  • yet angered by sin (6:15),
  • holy.
Do we honor God and praise Him for His attributes?


We read about the covenants which God made with Israel and they in return:
1. The Abrahamic covenant contains four elements:
     (1) seed, which refers to Christ,
     (2) land,
     (3) a nation,
     (4) divine blessing and protection. (See Genesis 12:2-7.)
2. The Sinaitic covenant contained the Ten Commandments, and was made with the first generation
     of Israelites. They included moral laws, civil and criminal laws, and ritual laws.
3. The Palestainian covenant was made with the second generation of Israelites. If Israel kept the
     Law, they would occupy the land. Keeping of the Sabbath was symbolic of this covenant. It
     included blessings and cursings.
4. The New covenant was a future restoration and blessing of Israel after they rejected God.
     Ultimately salvation of Israel would come by faith in Christ.
[Resource: The MacArthur Bible Commentary]

Moses included certain items not mentioned previously, such as:
  • instructions concerning the king whom the people would one day appoint,
  • their relationship to the prophets whom God would raise up,
  • the rules concerning the wars to be waged with the Canaanites.  (Falwell)
Here are some verses that stood out to me:
  • But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.  (4:29)
  • Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (6:4, 5,7, 9)
  • And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders. (26:8)
  • Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  (31:6)


In all things trust in the Lord my God.

Love the Lord and obey Him.

Keep His Word in my heart and share it with others.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

No One Like Him

O. T. #433  "No One Like Him"
January 6, 2015
Deuteronomy 34
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, who the LORD knew face to face.
Deuteronomy 34:10


It is said that we have a look alike twin in the world. Yet, each of us were created uniquely. There is no one like us in personality and soul. We are one in trillions. God loves us, each one. (Of course, we can choose to remain like He made us or rebel and choose an alternative, which will be judged.) So, there was no one like Moses.

Though sad it may be, the death of Moses brought an end to an era and Joshua brought a new beginning for Israel. Joshua was not like Moses. In fact, no one has ever been like Moses, according to our key verse. No one else could have accomplished what Moses did.
Looking back over Moses' life, Liberty Bible Commentary describes Moses as:
  • deliverer and redeemer of Israel. God used this man to show His power and promise keeping, as Israel was delivered from the most powerful ruler and army at that time, and from 400 years of slavery.
  • having wisdom and leadership Moses brought a group of slaves to their Promised Land. Although it took 40 years of their wandering in the wilderness before a new generation grew up.
  • the giver of the Mosaic Law and Covenant from God to Israel, in spite of it taking two times.
  • the most outstanding leader of Israel until the Messiah came on the scene. Jesus came to fulfill the Law given by Moses. Jesus was the founder and mediator of a new and better covenant (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).
  • knowing God by divine knowledge and they spoke face to face (Num. 12:8). God performed the sign and wonders through Moses, in the sight of all Israel (verse 12).
Do you agree that there was no one like him?

Even at age 120, Moses came a long way in maturing from the baby in a basket. He remained in remarkable physical condition. He died in top spiritual condition, too. Moses matured in grace, and served his people.
We know he was strong physically since he hike up Mount Nebo (verse 1). Nebo is a part of the Abarim mountain range, which lies just east of what is now called the Dead Sea. This mountain rises to a height of 4,500 feet, making it the highest in the entire range. Also, Moses' eye sight was not dim, nor his vigor abated (verse 7b).

[Resources: Moses, God's Man For A Crisis, by Charles Swindoll; The Bible Knowledge Commentary, "Deuteronomy" by Jack s. Deere; The New International Dictionary, "Nebo" by James E. Jennings]

What will our obituary say about us? Will it tell our accomplishments in the world or our Kingdom work for the Lord Jesus? Will people recognize our love for them?


There was a new home ahead for Israel as Joshua lead them to conquer their Promised Land and as God gave them victory over their enemies. Moses was allowed to see it, but not enter it at that time.

Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say:
God was preparing the circumstances so that He could bring Moses back to the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3-4). Even though Moses did not enter the Promised Land in his lifetime, on the Mount of Transfiguration he stood in the Promised Land with Elijah and Jesus in the presence of three of the disciples. Knowing this fact, the devil had tried to confiscate the body of Moses (Jude 9); but Michael, the archangel, fought with him because God had future use for Moses' body. During the Tribulation Period two witnesses will minister in earthly Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3-12). One witness will shut up heaven so that it will not rain (Elijah?), while the other witness will turn water into blood and bring plagues on the earth (Moses?). Even though God buried him in Moab, Moses, the servant of the Lord, was not finished with his service for God.
Isn't it wonderful that God is not finished with us yet? His children have a purpose in eternity as we serve our Savior in our future life. Wow!


Forget about our failures and past; look to the present and future as we serve our God.

There is no one like each of us; we were created uniquely to accomplish God's purpose.

I don't want to waste any more time living for myself; I want to serve God with the time I have left in this life.

Monday, January 5, 2015


O. T. #432  "Blessings"
January 5, 2015
Deuteronomy 33
Surely it is You who loves the people; all the holy ones are in Your hand. At Your feet they all bow down, and from You receive instruction.  Deuteronomy 33:3


What blessings did you receive from the Lord last year? I was able to be a part of teaching children Bible stories in VBS in the Dominican Republic. Several came to know the Lord Jesus as their Savior. While there, I also witnessed several older folks receive reading glasses, able to read the Word of God. How thrilled they were! I shall never forget their excitement. Those made any sacrifices I had made worth it all. What blessings!

Reading the final word of Moses to his people, we hear the blessings of Jacob's family, the tribes of Israel. these blessings are introduced and concluded with passages which praise God (verses 2-5, 26-29).
Verse 2 is in reference to the glorious appearance of God at Mount Sinai, when He gave the Law to Moses.
He shined forth like the sun when He goes forth in His strength. The reflected rays were so bright that they were noticed by the adjacent countries. Moses gave the Israelites the Law, and they received it as the Word of God. The stone tablets were a precious gift, a right-hand blessing from God, a gift of grace. God has all His saints in His hand, and none can pluck them out according to John 10:28. The people sat down at His feet, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, while God gave Moses the Law. (Matthew Henry)

The Lord is called king in Jeshurun, which means the King in righteous nations.  God intended Israel would be a righteous nation because He expected them to obey the Word of God; hence, they were to be a glorious manifestation of His righteousness. (Falwell)

In verses 26-29, we the Lord rides upon heaven, which pictures His omnipotence. He is their refuge to a people who where houseless, dwelling 40 years in tents. God was their house. His everlasting arms show His strength that is never exhausted. There is no god like the God of Israel. He provides and protects His children.

As we begin a new year, have we taken time to look back over the last year at the blessings which God bestowed upon us? How did god show Himself in your life?


We read of the blessings of Moses upon each tribe of Israel, except Simeon. We feel the love which filled Moses' heart for his family. He gives his parting benediction as he asks God's blessing on these tribes. The tribe of Simeon is not mentioned here, since it was eventually absorbed into Judah, so the tribe of Judah's blessing was shared with Simeon's tribe.

I'm not going to list all the blessings and the tribes, only discuss the tribe of Judah.

Jacob had promised that the scepter would not depart from Judah (Gen. 49:10), which meant that the Messiah would come through this tribe. Judah was given the responsibility of championing his brothers in the wars of Israel against the nations. In turn, God would prosper all the tribes because of his courage.  (Falwell)

Moses prayed that this tribe would be powerful in leading the nation to be victorious in battle through the help of the Lord. (MacArthur)

Note the difference in blessings God gave each tribe. To one he gave the best land, to another strength, to another safety. Too often we see someone with a particular blessing and think that God must love that person more than others. Think rather that God draws out in all people their unique talents. All these gifts are needed to complete His plan. don't be envious of the gifts others had. Instead, look for the gifts God has given you, and resolve to do the tasks He has uniquely qualified you to do.  (Life Application Study Bible )

Are we using what God has given us for His glory and service?


Be thankful for my blessings.

Bless my family with the Word of God.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Song

O. T. #431  "A New Song"
January 2, 2015
Deuteronomy 32
Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for Me against them.  Deuteronomy 31:19 NIV


Do you sing praise songs, written from the Psalms, to God? He inhabits the praise of His people. There are times I even make up a new song during my private worship. It reflects my heart rejoicing in my God and Savior. Moses was told to write a new song for Israel to learn to sing. This chapter gives us the words.

In the previous chapter, we read where God called Moses and Joshua to the tabernacle. Moses was given a charge to write a song, as Joshua witnessed it. The children of Israel were to sing it during their daily activities. It shows the impact of music.

The song God commanded Moses to write describes:
  • the faithfulness of God,
  • He would surely bless His people, although they would reject His love,
  • the feelings of God using pictures, metaphors, and poetic expressions,
  • the disobedient nation who was blesses far above all the other nations of the earth,
  • the prophecy of future judgments,
  • Moses asking heaven and earth to listen to the words of the song, in honor of its Creator and because they would be affected by the judgment coming due to Israel's faithlessness,
  • the greatness of God, as Moses wants all to join him in praising God,
  • God as the Rock of Israel, which means strong, strength, mighty God, which represents the stability, permanence, and unchangeableness of God, (verse 4)
  • God as a defense for His people and a refuge in trouble,
  • Israel's Father who brought Israel forth and formed them into a nation, (verse 6)
  • God as The Most High, sovereign and authority over all nations, (verse 8)
  • Israel as the apple of His eye, as the pupil, which is essential for vision and closely protected, so God closely protected Israel, (verse 10)
  • His loving care of Israel as the mother eagle hovers over her young, (verse 11)
  • their receiving honey and oil from barren places, (verse 13)
  • God is pictured as Israel's Redeemer who purchased the people. (verse 6)
Are we thankful and obedient people toward our God?


It is sad to say, but Israel would experience God's judgment because of their:
  • provoking God to jealousy, sacrificing to idols and devils, (verse 16-17)
  • unmindful and forgotten God, (verse 18)
  • taught their children to pursue other gods, (verse 19)
  • provoking God to wrathful judgment, using hunger, pestilence, plague, wild beasts, poisonous serpents, and war, (verses 22-28)
  • sinfulness of Israel, vengeance and recompense, the manner of timing and repayment belonged to God, (verse 35) Romans 12:19 and Hebrews 10:30 affirms this principle in the New Testament.
[References: The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Liberty Bible Commentary, Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]

One day God will avenge Israel and restore her to the place where the nations will rejoice with her (verse 43). One day Israel will turn to her Rock and discover that He is Jesus Christ whom she crucified!  (Wiersbe)

Who are we pursuing? Are we remaining faithful to only worship God? Are we letting idols to creep into our life, taking God's place? If so, we need to repent and replace them with God on the throne of our heart and life.


Remove anything that is more important or takes more of my thoughts and time than what God does.

Turn to the Rock, my God.

Be thankful for His blessings.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I Will Resolve to...

Happy New Year, 2015!!!

January 1, 2015

How odd is that, to write 2015? I never thought about my living in the year 2015. Did you back in the 70's, 80's, 90's, even 2000, or 2010? Oh my, where have the decades gone? The years keep flying by faster and faster.

Of course, when we think of a new year, we often think of "New Years Resolutions." Right?
My husband and I are reading a daily devotional book written by a friend of ours, R.E. Clark, called Life Is Not A Snapshot It's A Mosaic. (It is for sale on Amazon.) Here are some things he says about this subject:

Most of the commercials deal with exercise equipment, diet plans, or quitting some bad habit like smoking. Though we may not formally mad a resolution, the merchants know that this is the time of the year that we are at least subconsciously thinking about them.

The word resolution means to determine an action, course of action, procedure, or method. It is at the minimum a mental state in which we resolve to accomplish some set of goals.

Resolutions come down to a matter of the will. You have to take that which was mere thought and put feet to it. Your resolution must rise up and become a reality. David wrote the longest chapter of the Bible, which we know as Psalm 119.

In verses 15-16, David said, I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

David's resolution was short and sweet. It was a four step plan with a single focus. Each step is always centered upon the Word of God.
I will meditate.
I will contemplate.
I will delight.
I will remember (not forget).

David's resolves included:
  1. Meditate on the precepts of God. The Hebrew word for meditation means to ponder; to weigh carefully in the mind; to converse with one's self; to talk out the issues of God's law to the place that every point was completely understood. Meditation is a "get honest with God and yourself time". Read Ephesians 5:17-21 for more mediation information.
  2. Contemplate God's ways. Contemplation is the idea to scan or to look at intently. Make the necessary adjustments in your life to get back on the Lord's highway. When we go to the doctor, and they prescribe medication to help us, it will do us no good unless we fill the order and take all of the medication.
  3. Delight myself in God's statutes. Delight means to please. David looked at the statutes, commandments, and the law of God with delight and pleasure. He handled each one as if holding close like a beloved child. Be resolved to hold close to your heart God's Word.
  4. Forget not God's Word. Forget means to mislay. It is not so much intentionality, but carelessness that brings our resolutions to naught. I will remember Your Word. It there is no intent to perform, then the resolves become meaningless.
Whatever this year will bring to your path, be it good or bad, always remember God's Word and His ways.

Meditate, contemplate, delight, and remember God's Words and ways.
Be it finally resolved...

Are we making time to read and study the Bible? Are we taking it into our life, our heart, making it a part of us? Does it feed our soul that is hungry? Do we remember what the Word says about a certain situation which pops up before us?
How resolved are we? How willing are we? 

Have a Happy New Year and watch those resolutions.