Friday, February 27, 2015


O. T. #469  "Lists"
February 27, 2015
Joshua 12
And theses are the kings of the land which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east.  Joshua 12:1


Aren't there all sorts of lists? Can you name a few with me? There are written and mental to-do-lists, daily, monthly, and perhaps yearly; grocery lists for this week and next week after I forget an item; activities and events listed on calendars to attend and/or participate in; birthdays to remember; things to organize, purchase, to complete for a project. Whew! The list continues on and on.
In this chapter we read of a list-cities and kings Israel conquered. What does it have to say to us? Let's find out.

God promised the land in His covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:7), and reaffirmed that He would give victory in conquest (Joshua 1:3,6). The conquest of all these kings, covering areas up and down the "whole land" (11:23), was caused by the Lord's faithful help, which fulfilled His Word. (MacArthur)

What promises has God kept in our lives?
  • never leave us nor forsake us
  • eternal life for those who believe in Jesus
  • forgiveness of sins
  • carry our burdens when given to Him
  • strength for the task and calling of God
  • provision of our needs
  • answered prayers
  • physical, mental, emotional healings
  • faith to carry on
  • compassion, love, encouragement, grace, mercy...
The list goes on. What would you add to it? Tell us.


This chapter is a summary of the first half of Joshua's book. It was through the power of God and the keeping of  His promises that Israel was able to conquer their Promised Land.
First, we read of the kings which they conquered under Moses' leadership east of the Jordan River. (verses 1-6)
Next listed are the territories, (mountains, valleys, and plains), the 31 kings and cities which Israel conquered under Joshua's leadership west of the Jordan River. (verses 9-24)
Among them are the central kings (verse 9), southern kings (verses 10-16), and northern kings (verses 17-24).
Do you think God had a roster listing those pagan one to be destroyed?

I think to myself, "Yeah! Israel had victories, one after another." Yet, let's not skim over the list too quickly. It took a lot of time for the army of the Lord, Israel, to defeat them, 7 years in all.

Listing the blessings and provisions of God's grace is a good practice for us. Ann Voskamp suggests it in her book, One Thousand Gifts. Research has shown that doing so results in a person being 25% happier. Who doesn't need some happiness these days?

Do we share the victories which the Lord Jesus has given us in our life?
Do we give Him the glory for them?



Read God's Word.

Be thankful for all He has given. (even more snow)

Obey His voice today.

Share His love.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Seven Years

O. T. #468  "Seven Years"
February 26, 2015
Joshua 11-Part 2
As the LORD commanded Moses His servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua: he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.  Joshua 11:15


What have you accomplished in the last seven years? What have you done with the Lord Jesus during that time?
Looking back, we have had our business for more years. We have worked in the same church, with me teaching the Word to women and children and my husband preaching the Word. It has been  three years since our church broke ground for the new sanctuary. It took a couple of years before that in getting the right plans for the right building which the Lord wanted us to build. We have set the date of April 12 as our dedication. How exciting it is to see each week the new progress! But oh the spiritual battles we fought and the sacrifices made along the way involving our church family. Now our faith is in sight. Glory to the Lord!
Do you know how long it took Israel to conquer the Promised Land? I was wondering that, when I found the answer in commentaries discussing this chapter. Read on to find the answer.

Joshua and Israel conquered the plains of Jordan and the foothills of Judah, the northern campaign.

Victorious invaders usually kept captured cities intact, moving into them and making them centers of commerce and defense. For example, Moses predicted in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 that Israel would occupy cities they themselves had not built. The capture of Hazor and its destruction broke the backbone of the federation and weakened the will of the people to resist. (Life Application Study Bible)

Since we can read through this chapter quickly, that does not mean the conquering of the Promise Land was achieved in a short amount of time.

It was a long war time. The conquest took approximately 7 years. Only Gibeon submitted without a fight (verse 19).  (MacArthur)

That's a long time, seven years, isn't it?  What have you accomplished for the Lord in the past seven years? What battles have you fought, won or lost? Anyone wish to share with us? Go ahead, friends.

Here is what the Life Application Study Bible has to add to this thought: 
Our journey with God is a lifelong process, however, and the changes and victories may take time. It is easy to grow impatient with God, and feel like giving up hope because things are moving too slowly. When we are close to a situation, it is difficult to see progress. But when we look back we can see that God never stopped working.

If you have access to maps of the northern and southern campaigns, those will help you better understand the vast land that Israel conquered. I am not very interested in the cities and details of the conquering, just that Israel was victorious, due to God's working.

What will we conquer in the next seven years?


Verse 20 tells us, For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as them, as the LORD commanded them.

So great was the hatred for Jehovah and His people that only the Hivites made peace with Israel. All the rest made war and lost. Once again, Joshua explains that even this was in the plan of God. Thus, the Lord God could utterly destroy the paganism that would have destroyed His people. It was God Himself who commanded the extermination of the Canaanites. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Joshua completely trusted God and performed all that God commanded Moses and Israel to do. Even the Anakims, who were the giants that the Moses' spies saw, were among those whom Israel wiped out (Numbers 13-14).  (verse 21-22) See, if only that first generation of Israelites had trusted God for the victory, He would have given it to them, destroying the giants of the land. However, they did not, except for Joshua and Caleb.

In verse 23, we are told that Joshua took the whole land. The word whole implies that he had established an unquestioned military presence in the land, and not that he had subdued every nook and cranny of the land. (Falwell)

Joshua left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded. He carried out and obeyed the instructions that Moses told Joshua, from the Lord. It was as if they were his own. Joshua obeyed without question.

Do we let the fear of giants stop us from sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Are we choosing to follow or ignore the instructions in the Bible? What are we teaching others?


Leave my fears behind and trust God.

Keep the hope, even if it takes years for my prayers to be answered yes.

Stay in the battle for the Lord.

Look forward to the next seven years of serving the Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


O. T. #467  "Hamstrings"
February 25, 2015
Joshua 11
...Though shalt bough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.  Joshua 11:6b


Sometimes athletes pull their hamstring, a muscle in the calf of their leg. It is so painful that the person cannot continue to run, walk, or play ball. Personally, I have not experienced such a thing. Although, this morning, my shower curtain rod fell on my little toe causing me much pain when I walk. I wonder if that is similar.
Joshua was given instructions dealing with the hamstring of horses. Continue to learn what he was to do.

With the southern region conquered, it was time to conquer the northern region. The problem was the word of Joshua's victories reached the northern kings, so they formed an alliance.

Another set of allied armies came against Israel. Josephus, the secular historian, says that the combined force of the Canaanites in this war was 300,000 foot soldiers, 20,000 chariots, and 10,000 cavalry-the armies and horses seemed as vast as the grains of sand...on the seashore (Judges 7:12; 1Sam. 13:5). The use of horses and chariots was a new element in the battle for the land, indicating that Canaan was a formidable foe.  (David Jeremiah)

Despite the odds, God encouraged Joshua again, according to verse 6, as He frequently did.
What was the promise God gave Joshua? Tomorrow about the same time He would deliver them slain to Israel.
Experience told Joshua that God keeps His Word. And that He did again.

Do we often need reassurance from God? I sure do.


What was God's plan? How would He bring down such an alliance?
  1. Joshua was to hough their horses
  2. and burn their chariots.
Hough means to hamstring.
Falwell explains, "A horse is hamstrung when the sinews behind the hoof or hock are severed, thus rendering the horse useless. Given the larger picture of war, this was not a cruel act, but was probably done to prevent the Israelites from amassing a large chariot force from the spoils of war."

Joshua obeyed God's instructions and victory was theirs. In Deuteronomy 17, God gave explicit directions for Israel to not to multiply their horses by capturing the enemies. This was so Israel would not be tempted to return to the ease of Egypt. God would be their only trust.

What happened?
  • Joshua captured Hazor and killed him with a sword. (verse 10)
  • Since Hazor was the head of all these kingdoms, their leader was gone. (verse 10)
  • Everyone in it was put to the sword; Israel totally destroying them and sparing nothing that breathed. (verse 11)
  • Hazor was burned up. (verse 11)
  • Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings by the sword, including their capital of the confederacy. He burned their cities, taking the spoil and cattle. God's plan worked, of course.
Do we seek God's plan for our life? When we know it, do we follow it to the t?


Follow God's plan, even when it makes no sense.

Watch God work things out His way.

Praise Him.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Night the Sun Stood Still and Shone

O. T. #466  "The Night the Sun Stood Still and Shone"
February 24, 2015
Joshua 10-Part 2
So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
Joshua 10:13b


On our mission trip to Montana years ago, we experienced daylight beginning at 4a.m. How unusual it was for us. At home, our morning began at 6 a.m. We tried to block out the sun by covering the windows, but it still shone. To us, it seemed like the sun shone all the time, although it did not. Israel did experience a 24 hour sun shining. Want to read about it?

Do you recall that the Gibeonites made a peace treaty with Israel by way of deception? Then five local kings united and conspired to destroy them. The deceivers  asked those whom they deceived for help. So Joshua took his army to the city to help fight for them. Because the Lord discomfited the enemies, the Israelites had a great slaughter. However, there were more who died by the huge hailstones (probably larger than a basketball) than by the sword.

What was the Lord's next tactic? The one and only time Jehovah intervened with nature which He established, in such a way-THE SUN STOOD STILL OVER GIBEON AND THE MOON OVER THE VALLEY OF AJALON.
How long did it take for Israel to avenge their enemies? A whole day according to verse 13.

The slowing of the earth's normal rotation gave Joshua more time. Some unusual refraction of the sun's rays gave additional hours of light. Regardless of God's chosen method, the Bible is clear that the day was prolonged by a miracle, and that God's intervention turned the tide of battle for His people.(Life Application Study Bible)

Did you know this? The Book of Jashar (mentioned in 2 Sam.1:18 and Num. 21:14) was probably a collection of historical events put to music. It's title could be The book of the Righteous. Its contents were about the wars of Israel. Apparently a national epic, it recorded the event of the sun standing still and occurring during Joshua's lifetime. This helps validate such a miracle.

With the victory won at Gibeon, Joshua and the Israelites returned to camp Gilgal, according to verse 15. Don't you know the army's families had a story to hear that night? They, too, had experience such a phenomena and probably had questions.

Do we look for God to perform miracles in our life? We read of missionaries' stories of such, do we personally experience them?
Are we letting the Son of God shine in our life?

When you are faced with humanly impossible situations, God does the impossible (Luke 18:27). (Blackaby)


Wait, the war was not completed yet.

Falwell says, "Joshua now completes the mopping up operation of southern Palestine. The five kings who fought against the Giveonites banded together and hid in a cave. Joshua entombed them therein by rolling a great stone over the mouth of the cave while the Israelites pursued and defeated their armies."

When Joshua returned to the cave, he instructed his captains to bring the pagan kings out and put their feet upon the necks of these kings. (verse 24) This was a custom of that era. In verse 29-43 we read of other cities which Israel conquered. All their victories happened because they gave glory to their God who fought for them.

Do we give glory to God for our victories?


Expect the unexpected from God.

Give God the glory for my victories.

Let the Son shine in my life.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Huge Hailstones

O. T. #465  "Huge Hailstones"
February 23, 2015
Joshua 10
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.  Joshua 10:8


Have you experienced the falling of hailstones? I have, only they were small ones, yet large enough to make dents in automobiles. Maybe they were the size of a golf ball. I have never seen a huge hailstone the size of a basketball. Have you? Apparently Israel did. Read this unusual happening in this chapter.

Verse 8-Now that is a promise of God to His children. Read the key verse again. When Joshua was preparing to battle the five king-league of Canaanites, God assured him there was no need to fear them. The outcome had already been predetermined by Almighty God-Israel would win. Israel was allowed to fight, but was there confidence in the camp! Can we have the same confidence?

In their devotional book, Experiencing God Day-by-Day, the Blackabys expound:
  • No greater confidence will ever come to you or to any other Christian than the confidence of knowing you are doing God's will. God will no commission you to do anything without ensuring your success.
  • God does not promise you victory in every task you devise, but He does promise that you will be successful whenever you follow His will (Deut. 28:7,25).
  • Is God working in you to produce His peace, develop a forgiving spirit, eliminate a particular sin in your life?
  • Does it appear that people are keeping you from obeying God's will? Rest assured that God will not allow anyone or anything to prevent His children from accomplishing His purpose.
  • When you face opposition but know you are doing what God has asked, have confidence that He will accomplish everything that He desires.
The key is doing God's will, God's way. Are we?


The Gibeonites tricked the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them. They became servants to the Israelites. So when the Amorite league of five kings threatened the city of Gibeon, they sent word , then to Joshua in camp Gilgal asking, "Come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us," then Joshua readied his troops. That is when and why the LORD gave the encouragement of victory.

What happened?
  • Joshua led his army on a 25 mile all-night forced march, to Gibeon, taking the enemies by surprise.
  • The LORD discomfited the enemies before Israel and they slew the enemies, pursuing them to the cities mentioned in verse 10. Discomfitted means to throw into confusion or to rout. (Liberty Bible Commentary)
  • Then the LORD cast down hailstones from heaven upon the enemies and more were killed than by the swords of Israel.
Falwell mentioned in the above, that the largest American hailstone ever recorded (as of 1982) was 17" in circumference, weighing 1 1/2 pounds. These stones could have been even larger, so their destruction was devastating.

I had to get out the yardstick and see how long 17" is. Those hailstones would have been bigger than a basketball! Wow!!! All I can say is God did it! A chunk of ice that large definitely would have killed a man any size.

Where else have we encountered God raining down hailstones? The story is found in Exodus 9:18. It was the seventh plague He brought upon Egypt. The rain were described as a very grievous hail. It killed cattle and men out in the fields.
Falwell described it as a very unusual occurrence in Egypt, since rain is infrequent in Egypt and along the Mediterranean coast. 

Nothing is impossible with God nor is anything too difficult for Him. Have you noticed that in the Old Testament, He did some extraordinary things so the people knew it was God who did them?

Are we trusting God to work extraordinarily in our life? Are we look for His working and answering our prayers?


Don't focus on my circumstances, but focus on an All-powerful God.

Fear not, God is in charge.

When doing God's will, have confidence that He will give me victory.

Give glory to God for the victory!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Chop the Wood and Haul the Water

O. T. #464 "Chop the Wood and Haul the Water"
February 20,2015
Joshua 9-Part 2
They continued, "Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community."  Joshua 9:21 NIV


Have you lived in a time or place that required your family members chopping wood for heating the house and/or cooking and hauling water from a spring or well for the water used inside the house?
Perhaps we read in books of pioneers doing those tasks when they settled in the wilderness of early America. My grandparents did those things for their daily living.
Well, it is still present tasks today. Many people burn wood for heat in stoves or fireplaces. We did until last year. My husband and son used a chain saw for cutting the wood and hauled it to the front porch. (I picked up smaller pieces of wood for starting the fire.) This was done to cut down on the use of expensive propane gas out here in the countryside. Years ago, my  in laws lived in a place where they had to carry water inside from the spring.
We may consider those tasks that servants would do as Israel did in today's story. Read on, dear ones.

We talked about the coalition of kings in the southern Canaan region who joined the king of Gibeon. Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the Israeli leaders by poising a men traveling from a far country. This was so Israel would not attack them, but make a peace treaty with them. The deception worked, based on circumstantial evidence. They should not have trusted their judgment, but should have consulted the Lord about the situation, which they did not do.
Since the oath was obtained by fraud, Israel could have declared it null and void. However, they did not do so, because it would have made them look untrustworthy in keeping their word, and shaming God. This resulted in Israel promising to protect Gibeon.

Then Israel had to figure out what to do with the inhabitants of the town of Gibeon. They made servants of the people of Gibeon. They chopped wood and hauled the water needed for the worship of God, as well as the entire community. The wood was used to burn sacrifices on the altar and water was for the washing of hands and cleaning the basins. (The tabernacle was not yet built in the Promised Land.)

When we disobey God's Word or directions for us, do we make amends? Do we accept the consequences of it?


What can we learn from this?
  • Seek God's wisdom and guidance whenever a new situation arises.
  • Follow what we know is the right thing to do according to the Bible.
  • Change my plans into His plans.
  • Learn from past mistakes and others' mistakes, too.
  • When possible, keep the oath we take. (Levit. 5:4; 27:2, 28)
  • Look at the situation objectively.
  • Don't allow others to influence our decisions, which are contrary to God's Word.

Don't be friends with the world.

Change friends when they hinder my serving God.

Stand up for Jesus.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


O. T. #463  "Deception"
February 19, 2015
Joshua 9-Part 1
And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.   Joshua 9:6


Deception. Who likes being deceived? None, I am sure. One of my sayings that life has taught me is: "Not all things are as they appear." That includes people. So I looked in Webster's Dictionary the meaning of deceive and found that it is to give a false impression.
Have you ever had a person pretend to be something they are not? Maybe someone said something that made you wondered if it was true. Perhaps you caught them in a lie. Did they even deny it when confronted? Oh, I can't stand all that. My respect for them is zilch. Yeah, it upsets me with myself when I allow myself to be deceived.
Did Joshua feel the same way when he found out that he and Israel had been deceived?

You will recall, Joshua and Israel, with the powerful hand of God, conquered the two cities of Jericho and Ai in the land of Canaan.
What is happening with the Southern Campaign of Israel?

The MacArthur Bible Commentary informs us:
  • Gibeon of the Hivites was northwest of Jerusalem and about 7 miles from Ai. It was a strong city with capable fighting men (10:2). Three other towns were in league with it (9:17).
  • The Gibeonite plot to trick Israel worked. Israel's sinful failure occurred because they were not vigilant in prayer to assure that they acted by God's command (verse 14). 
Are you scratching your head, inquisitive on what happened? Let's look back up at God's previous instructions for Israel while conquering the Promised Land:
  1. In Deuteronomy7:1-3, God directed Israel to utterly destroy these people, make no covenant with them, show no mercy to them, nor intermarry with them.
  2. In Deuteronomy 20:15, Israel was allowed to make treaties with those in far-off places, and accept their surrender.
  3. The six nations who lived in their Promised Land were to be destroyed because of their idolatry so they would not tempt Israel away from God. (Deut. 20:18)
If you think about it, Joshua, the priests, and the elders of Israel sure should have remembered those directions given them. Yet did anyone even consider one of the three?
Another thing, how did the Gibeonites find out about #2 above?

Do we keep God's instructions fresh in our mind by reading it daily? 


What happened is:
  • The kings of the southern region of Canaan must have been threatened by the advancement of Israel and their powerful God. They formed a coalition in order to slaughter the intimidating Israel. (Gergashites were not included.)
  • This league of deceivers devised a crafty plan. They pretended to be from a far off country, (were actually living near) by having old sacks, torn wineskins, wearing worn-out shoes and old garments, with moldy and dry bread. (verses 4-5)
  • The deceivers were not asking to become slaves of Israel, but for Israel to enter a mutual pact with them. (verse 6)
  • The deceivers lied when they told Joshua that they had come in the name of LORD thy God. (verse 9)
  • They pretended to have left home with bread hot out of the oven and full bottles of wine, which supposedly molded and was drank along the long journey. (verses 12-13) (Liberty Bible Commentary)
Was this a convincing story or what? They had it well planned, even down to the very shoes they wore (old looking). Oh, but their hearts were deceiving. It was a false story. Don't sign that treaty, Joshua. They are liars. (Of course, we can read the rest of the story and he couldn't.) We can't rewrite the story or change the events, though.

Are we aware of what is truth and lies around us? Do we seek discernment from God's wisdom?

Ephesians 5:6 NIV says, Let no one deceive you with empty words for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.


Turn from the worldly ways.

Look for the truth of the appearance of things.

Know what God's Word says and apply it to my life.

Do not be deceived by lies and half-truths.

Ask God for wisdom concerning a situation.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015


O. T. #462  "Listen"
February 18, 2015
Joshua 8-Part 2
There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.  Joshua 8:35


*I had to make a correction on the previous post: It was Joshua's 5,000 warriors on the north side who fled, resulting in the men of Ai to pursue them away from the their town. Then the Israeli army of 30,000 men, who waited to ambush the town, did so. I am sorry for the mix up.

After the God-given victory at Ai, What did Joshua do next?
  • He built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel on Mount Ebal, which rises 3,077 feet above sea level. Joshua showed his thankfulness for the victory of Jericho and Ai to his God. (verse 30)
  • The altar was made of whole stones, unshaped by iron, untainted by human showmanship.
  • Offered upon this altar were burnt offerings unto the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings. (verse 31)
Do we give our offerings to the Lord with an attitude of reverence or as a duty?


I went outside on this below freezing morning to turn off the water to the cow trough. All was still and quiet, except one single bird was singing its praises to the Lord. This is the third day of ice and snow on the ground (only 2 inches). Aren't we blessed? The WalMart trucks were not passing by on the highway. No traffic was roaring at all, come to think of it. People were not scurrying about to start their day, taking kids to school. Animals must have stayed home, too.(Contented cows were eating hay without a sound.) Oh the quietness is such a rare thing. I should have joined the bird in song, but my toes told me to hurry to the warm house.

How serious do we take the Word of God when it is read? Do we take it for granted and allow our mind to wander off? Or do we struggle to remain focused upon it at all? Are we intent on listening to God's instructions to us?

What else did Joshua do after the victory at Ai?
  • Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. (verse 32)
  • The Ark of the Covenant was surrounded by the elders, officers, judges, and priests.(verse 33)
  • Israel gathered in the valley between the two mountains, that were pronounced the blessing and curse as commanded by Moses in Deut. 27:12; some people were on both mountains. (verses 33-35) The mountains formed a natural amphitheater that made it acoustically possible for all Israel to hear every word that was spoken. (Falwell)
  • Afterwards, Joshua read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to Deut. 27:12. (verse 34)
The altar, in obedience to the instructions of Exodus 20:24-26, was built on uncut stones, thus keeping worship simple and untainted by human showmanship. Joshua gave God's Word a detailed and central place. (MacArthur)

How seriously do we take the Word of God when it is read? Do we listen attentively? Are we teaching our children and grandchildren to honor, respect, and obey God's Word?


Spend time studying the Word of God.

Apply the Word to my life.

Listen with my heart whenever God's Word is read.

Listen to the world around me. What is it saying?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Joshua's Javelin

O. T. #461  "Joshua's Javelin"
February 17, 2015
Joshua 8-Part 1
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had inn his hand toward the city.  Joshua 8:18


Have you fought any battles recently? To God be the glory, He is healing me after surgery! Phase two is coming, so I am not being afraid of what the future holds, for I know Who holds my hand and my future. Victory in Jesus is ahead for us all when we trust in Him, doing it His way and in His time.
Joshua lifted up his javelin, spear, while Israel was in battle. Read on to find out the outcome.

Joshua won the Battle of Jericho, and God made the walls come tumbling down. Did he expect the same at Ai? Well, it didn't happen. There was sin in the camp and God was not pleased with the disobedience of Achan taking spoils from Jericho when told those things belonged in the Lord's treasury. So the people stoned Achan and his family, as well as burned up their possessions. The sin was removed, in addition to the sinners. Don't fool around with sin, friends. God is serious about its judgments and consequences.

Then, grace and mercy came...

God repeated His declaration to Joshua that the battle before them was already won; they simply had to obey Him and carry out the victory. (verses 9, 6:2, Deut. 1:21, 7:18) To succeed, Israel would have to live God's way. No explanation is offered as to why the spoils of victory at Jericho wee accursed by the booty from Ai was not. Whether or not God's commands make sense to His people, they can submit without fear, knowing that He always acts righteously.  (David Jeremiah)

Again, we read where the Lord told Joshua to not be afraid nor dismayed. God gave Joshua the plans for the attack on the little town of Ai, which had previously put the Israelite army on the run and killed 36 of them.

God assures victory when plans are followed His way. Can we say,
"Your way,
I pray?"


What was the divine plan for victory at Ai, a town of only 12,000 people?
  • The Israeli army of 30,000 men were sent on the 11-13 mile hike by night to the west side of the city and wait there in ambush. Ambush means to lurk, lie in wait.
  • Meanwhile, Joshua took 5,000 men to the north side of Ai, where the valley was between them and the town. He set an ambush between Ai and Bethel so no other armies in Canaan could come to aide Ai. How smart is that?!!
  • When the king of Ai saw the warriors of Israel on their north side, he led his men out to fight, not knowing about Joshua's battalion hiding on the west side. The city was left open since all their men were in pursuit of Israel.
  • In verse 18, the LORD told Joshua to hoist up his javelin, spear, as an indicator to occupy Ai. Possible the raised weapon was even a signal of confidence in God. (Moses did a similar thing, trusting God for the victory over Amalek. Ex. 17) (MacArthur)
  • Joshua's 5,000 men fled so the men of Ai would pursue them, away from the town, leaving it unprotected.
  • The west side army of Israel rushed into Ai and killed the inhabitants there, then set fire to the contents. Smoke signaled the ambush team to attack the men of Ai. Joshua did not draw back his spear until all of Ai were utterly destroyed.(verse 26)
  • Israel only took the cattle and spoil of the city for themselves as God allowed.
  • The king of Ai was hung on a tree until evening, as Deuteronomy 21:23 instructed. He was removed at sun down and cast into the burning city.
  • A great heap of stones were raised at the place of Ai, and remains unto this day. (verse 29)
  • Victory was won for Israel that day. Grace and mercy was shown by their God.
Matthew Henry said, "Joshua conquered by yielding. So our Lord Jesus Christ; when He bowed His head and gave up the Ghost; seemed as if death had triumphed over Him; but in His resurrection He rallied again, and gave the powers of darkness a total defeat."

Are we holding up the Word of God, salvation through Jesus, to a dying world?


Change my plans when God instructs differently.

Trust and obey.

Stay in the fight for good and against evil.

Give God the glory for the victories in my life.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Path of Sin

O. T. #460  "The Path of Sin"
February 16, 2015
Joshua 7-Part 3
And Achan answered Joshua, and said, indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.  Joshua 7:20


My dad liked to drink. He thought it only affected himself, but he was wrong. It affected our whole family. For some, they consider drinking liquor acceptable. However, I do not. Growing up and seeing how it changed him, I want nothing to do with it.
Today's story illustrates how the sins of one affects many when they walk on the path of sin.

God told Joshua that they would not be able to stand before their enemies until they took away the accursed thing from among them. Joshua learned the reason that Israel was not successful in taking the little town of Ai-there was sin in the camp. He visited each tribe, looking for a confession, then heard it whenever he came to the tribe of Judah from Achan.

What did Achan confess?
  • He sinned against the LORD God of Israel. Ultimately, out sins are against God and His commands.
  • He saw the spoils of a beautiful Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold; he coveted them and took them.
  • He hid them in the ground in his tent.
Achan's family knew what he had done, yet they did nothing about the sin and stolen goods.
He sinned, saw, coveted, and took the spoils of Jericho. Achan and all his family were judged for their disobedience. Sin must be dealt with and paid for, as we know God's ways.

What happened to Achan and his family? Achan, his family, and his possession were taken outside the camp to the Valley of Achor, named after him. They were stoned with stones and set on fire. The place is still known for Achan's sin.

Do we take our sins seriously in that they affect our family and others?


We can deduct that Achan and others walked on the pathway of sin.
Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and coveted to be wise, so she took it, ate it, and gave to her husband to eat; Adam ate and they both sinned.
David saw a woman, sent for her, and took her.
These were on the unbroken pathway of sin. Sin begins with innocent sight, degenerates into lustful desire or covetousness, and falls from there into participation. But the pathway of sin does not end here. The fourth step to sin is always involvement of others- Eve and Adam, David and Bathsheba, as well as her husband. (Falwell)

Achan's personal sin in taking the forbidden items resulted in 36 innocent soldiers' death. There's no such thing as a private sin. All sin affects others. The personal sin of Achan kindled the anger of God against Israel.
The personal sin of believers always affects the church at large. Every sin involves society, so every sin affects us.

The place called the Valley of Achor (trouble), is a memorial of the trouble Achan brought onto his people. Hosea 2:15 promises that God will make the Valley of Achor "a door of hope" for the Jews. Certainly Israel has been in the "valley of trouble" because of her rejection of Christ, but one day the nation will turn to Him and find hope. (Wiersbe)

Sin was judged and paid for by Achan. Christians recognize that Jesus paid for our sins when He died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice. This enables us, with His gift of salvation, to go to heaven after our death on earth. What love!

Have you experienced this love through forgiveness of sin? He awaits today with the gift. Will you take it?

There is hope for Israel in the next chapter. Victory is just around the corner. So join us next time.


Confess my sins and make restitution.

Be aware of sins' consequences.

Seek forgiveness of my sins when it is necessary.

Stay off the path of sin.

Friday, February 13, 2015

There's Sin in The Camp

O. T. #459  "There's Sin in The Camp"
February 13, 2015
Joshua 7-Part 2
Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.   Joshua 7:11


What went wrong? Do you wonder it when something failed? Perhaps things didn't turn out like you thought they would. That's when I question if it was what God wanted me to do. Could the reason for the failure that I didn't seek the Lord's will before hand? Maybe there was sin in my heart. When do I pray-before or after the task?

Why was Israel unable to defeat the little town of Ai?
 Joshua and the elders fell on their face before the Ark of the LORD. Joshua prayed to the LORD for the answer. We do not read of Joshua seeking the Lord's instructions before attacking Ai. He relied upon the strength of his army for the victory. It was after defeat and the loss of 36 men that Israel's leaders asked God about what happened.

Life Application Study Bible gives us some insight:
Imagine praying this way to God. (verses 7-9) This is not a formal church prayer. It is the prayer of a man who is afraid and confused about what is happening around him. Joshua poured out his real thoughts to God. Hiding your needs from God is ignoring the only one who can really help. God welcomes your honest prayers and wants you to express your true feelings to Him. Any believer can become more honest in prayer by remembering that God is all-knowing and all-powerful and that His love is everlasting.

Do we seek God's will before a decision or task or after it is unsuccessful?
Knowing what we should do is not enough, friends. It requires the correct action for victory in Jesus.


God gave the answer. There was sin in the camp. That was the reason Israel was unable to conquer the little town of Ai. The entire nation of Israel agreed to follow God back in chapter 5 as they circumcised the males.
Who did it? Joshua organized the Israelites into tribes and families to find the answer. He inquired of them until coming to the tribe of Judah. Achan was of the tribe of Judah. As he confronted Achan, Joshua was touched by the need of Achan's confession.

God's glory will only be reflected back to Him when the life of God's servant is cleared of guilt. (Falwell)

Do we try to hide our sins from God and others? Our sins will eventually find us out and be revealed.

Next time we will delve into the pathway of sin and how Achan fell along the way.


Turn from the temptation of sin and to God.

Pray before making decisions.

Pray as the task becomes difficult.

Pray for God to receive the glory in my efforts.

Do things God's way, not my way.

Lovingly help others admit their sins and come to Jesus.

Pray honestly to God.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It Only Takes One

O. T. #458  "It Only Takes One"
February 12, 2015
Joshua 7-Part 1
But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.  Joshua 7:1


What caused God to be angry with the children of Israel? It only takes one man, one sin, to cause Israel to loose the battle at the little town of Ai, as a result.  So you wonder what it was? Read on, friend.

Joshua sent spies to check out the strength of the small town of Ai. Because of its strategic location, Ai had to be taken by the forces of Israel. The spies' report was that only 2,000-3,000 were needed in order to conquer Ai. Sounded like it was a pushover since the residences of Ai were few. So Joshua sent 3,000 men for the task. To their surprise, those men fled from the forces of Ai. In fact, 36 Israelis were killed as they fled.

Israel had experienced a great victory at Jericho, which the Lord did perform. Did everyone keep their vow to obey God explicitly? No, they did not.

Are we careful after we experience a victory or success not to be over confident in our self? It can make us vulnerable to temptation.
Are we careful to follow God's directions, then give Him the glory for the victory?


Why was the battle with Ai lost for Israel?
For the answer, we must recall the direct command from God back in 6:24-26. Only the gold, silver, brass, and iron vessels were to be taken from Jericho and put into the Lord's treasury. This was not followed by all the people of Israel.

This was a serious offense because it was in direct defiance to an explicit command of God. (Life Application Study Bible)

One man named Achan, called Achor, disobeyed God.

According to Life Application Study Bible, the results of Achan's sin were:
  1. Many men died. (verse 5) 
  2. Israel's army melted in fear. (verse 5)
  3. Joshua questioned God. (verses 7-9)
  4. God threatened to withdraw His presence from the people. (verse 12)
  5. Achan and his family had to be destroyed. (verses 24-26)
It took only one man's sin to affect the who camp of Israel. Do we take seriously the affect of our sins upon our family, our church family, our nation?


Turn from fear and trust God by faith.

Follow His commands and instructions for my life.

Realize that God judges sin, confess my sins.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Do Not Rebuild a Fallen Jericho

O. T. #457  "Do Not Rebuild a Fallen Jericho"
February 11, 2015
Joshua 6-Part 3
At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho...   Joshua 6;26a


God has blessed me and my family so much. Every time I wake up breathing, I praise Him. Every breath I take has meaning and purpose. When God brings down my Jericho's, (fear) I am to not rebuild them, as Israel was told.

So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country. (verse 27)

Liberty Bible Commentary enlightens us:
Undoubtedly, the purpose of God's mysterious method for seizing Jericho was designed to:
  • test Israel's obedience to the will of God;
  • would strike even greater fear in the hearts of the enemy when the walls fell;
  • reaffirm entrenched in Israel's mind that Jehovah, who had been with Moses, was now with Joshua in the same relationship.
In the above verse, fame refers to a report; noised means to prostrate oneself (in homage); fall down.

Sounds like the Canaanites were afraid of Joshua and his God. The report of the events in Jericho spread like wildfire through their country. Wouldn't that make them afraid that the same things could happen to them and their city?

Nothing can more raise a man's reputation nor make him appear more truly great than to have the evidences of God's presence with him.  (Matthew Henry)

What kind of fame do we have with those around us-faith in our God or not; obedience to our God or not? Do they feel God's presence in our life?

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the LORD.  Zechariah 4:6

Unless it come through the power of God's indwelling spirit it will fall flat. Lucy Swindoll was talking about friendliness, kindness, and sweetness daily being cranked out.


Jericho was condemned to a perpetual desolation. Its ruins was to remain a standing monument of His wrath against the Canaanites(Henry)

It was given by divine appointment. Rebuilding the city and wall was forbidden by God with a curse attached, including Israel and others.

The object of this solemn vow was to preserve Jericho as a spot devoted to God forever. The people took an oath to not rebuild the city. However, in 1 Kings 16:34, we read of Hiel attempting to rebuild the wall of Jericho. It came at a price to him, though. Some say that Hiel's oldest son died when the foundation was laid; the youngest son was killed when the gates were erected; the rest of his sons died during the refortification of the city. (Falwell)

Wiersbe gives us some practical points to consider when we face our own "Jericho":
  • The soldier who wants to fight the best must bow the lowest before the battle. We win our battles on our knees and faces before the Lord.
  • No one can take a city alone. Joshua needed the cooperation of the priests and people together to overcome the enemy.
  • When we follow God's methods, He wins the battle and He gets the glory. When we use our schemes and systems, we might get the glory but the victory never lasts.
  • Unbelief looks at the walls and giants, but faith looks to the Lord.
  • We see the grace of God at work even in judgment, for Rahab and her family were saved by faith.
Are you facing any Jericho's?


Spread God's fame, not mine; speak of His wondrous works.

Stay faithful to God.

Watch Him bring down my Jericho.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Wall Fell Down Flat

O. T. #456  "The Wall Fell Down Flat"
February 10, 2015
Joshua 6-Part 2
So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.   Joshua 6:20


Joshua won the Battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down. We sing those words with children. It is a story that has been told throughout the ages of time. God brought down the walls; they fell down flat. The men didn't do it and couldn't have done it either. Their faith was seen that day. Their obedience was seen for seven days. God's promise was fulfilled that day. We read it and tell it over and over again.

Do we have any walls that need to fall? Do we have faith in God to bring them down? Will be faithful to obey Him?
I admit that my recent wall was surgery. I had built a wall of fear around me. I was scared to go through it again, afraid I would stop breathing like last time. My God broke down that wall and brought me safely through with peace. How great He is! I proclaim that God can bring your wall down, too.

If there had been a newspaper during this time, the Canaanite Chronicle, what would its headlines read? Here are some suggestions:
  • Joshua Receives Divine Plan
  • First Jordan, Next Jericho
  • A Seven Day March
  • Silent March
  • Shouting Brings Down City Wall
  • Walls Came Tumbling Down
  • Israel Conquers Jericho
  • Harlot's House Saved in Attack
Do those tell the main happenings?
How would the rest of the nation of Canaan react?
How would we react if such things happened in our nation?


What happened?
  • The men lined up-warriors, priests with trumpets, priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant, warriors in the rear.
  • They marched silently around Jericho once for six consecutive days.
  • They repeated the technique on the seventh day, with the priests blowing their horns, and others giving one tremendous shout. (verse 16)
  • God brought down that 20' wall with His power. It was not by human works.
  • Rahab's house and family were saved from destruction. (verse 17)
  • Wherever the army men were located around the city, they were instructed to rush in and kill all the people and animals residing there. (verse 21)
  • The silver and gold, vessels of brass and iron, were not for the Israelites' person taking, but were to be given to the treasury of the LORD. (verse 19)
  • The two spies were sent to rescue Rahab and all within her house. (verse 22-23)
  • The city of Jericho was burned with fire.  (verse 24) 
The hearts of the inhabitants of Jericho had already melted. Psychologically, Israel had won a great battle. When would they attack?  (Falwell)

Think what it would have looked like-city walls demolished, with only Rahab's house left standing. Those thick, impenetrable walls came down.  Her faith was seen by all. Her family and keepsakes were brought to the outskirts of Israel's camp.
Rahab went on to marry Salmon and became the mother of Boaz, the father of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, king of Israel, and lineage of Jesus.
Don't tell me a great-great-grandmother has no influence on her future generations. It's here in black and white.

What kind of influence will we leave on our future generations?


Trust Jesus to bring down our walls.

Give Him glory whenever He does.

Bring our family into the God's family.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Making Plans

O. T. #455  "Making Plans"
February 9, 2015
Joshua 6-Part 1
And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the kind thereof, and the mighty men of valour.  Joshua 6:2


We are getting to "that" age where you start thinking about retirement and making plans for the future. So we are thinking of the possibilities and options that lie before us in a few years. Joshua was at that point, but he was not ready to retire. God had several things that needed to be done, for this man close to 90 to complete. Shall we see what the first assignment was?

In the last chapter we learned that Jesus appeared before Joshua with his sword, ready for the battle of Jericho. Perhaps there should have not been a separation of chapter 5 and 6. Maybe it should have been one continuation.
In our key verse, we read of a promise of God to Joshua and Israel. Jesus says, I have given into thine hand:
  • Jericho,
  • the king,
  • the mighty men of valour.
Valour refers to a force; an army; a band of men (soldiers).

Here, God has announced certainty before the fact. (Falwell)
God told Joshua that Jericho was already delivered into his hands-the enemy was already defeated! (Life Application Study Bible)

What assurance and confidence Joshua must have had, since Jesus Himself came to deliver the message.
Romans 8:37 tells Christians that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. This means every child of God can enter every spiritual battler with the assurance that the war has already been won and through obedience, the outcome is certain. (Jeremiah)

Are we listening for Jesus' instructions for our life today? Are we willing to follow them by faith?


Now look at verse 1. Were the inhabitants of Jericho ready for the invasion of Israel? I would say so. After all, the city was shut up, with no one going in or out, because of Israel and what their God had done.

Why begin conquering with Jericho? Commentaries inform us about this city:
  • It was one of the oldest cities in the world, built thousands of years before Joshua was born.
  • In some places, the wall around the city was 25 feet high and 20 feet thick.
  • Soldiers standing on top of the wall could be see for miles.
  • Jericho was the symbol of the Canaanite military power and strength, considering it invincible.
  • In order to occupy the rest of the land, Jericho had to be brought down. If Israel could defeat Jericho, they could defeat anything else they would face in Canaan.
  • This frontier town was a key city in a string of fortresses protecting the eastern frontier.
God had a mysterious method for taking Jericho. It was an unusual one, at that. Jesus already had it worked out. Joshua and the Israelites had a part to play, but it required faith, trusting God. We will get into His divine plan next time.


Keep my focus on God's plan, not mine.

Follow by faith.

Share the  wonderful works of God in my life.

Go where He goes and stay where He stays.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Who Are You For?

O. T. #454  "Who Are You For?"
February 6, 2015
Joshua 5-Part 2
And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. and Joshua did so.  Joshua 5:15


Was Joshua meditating a scheme, a battle plan, for subduing the city of Jericho?
Was Joshua praying for God's direction?
Did he go to a hill and overlook the strong, fortified city of Jericho?
Was he alone or surrounded by his army of men?
We aren't told the details surrounding this situation, so let's jump into it.
What are we told that happened, before God gave Joshua the battle plan (chapter 6)?
  • Joshua lifted up his eyes and looked. It usually indicates an unexpected or marvelous sight (Gen.18:2; 22:13; Num. 24:2; 1Sam. 6:13).
  • He saw a man standing in front of him with a sword drawn in his hand. Joshua didn't recognize who the man was. He was caught off guard. With a drawn sword, the man was obviously ready for battle. Most commentaries agree that this was the Lord Jesus Christ, since the man identifies himself as captain of the host of the LORD.
  • Here is Joshua's commander-in-chief standing before him. Joshua receives his orders from this One and gave a report to Him. God was pulling rank on Joshua. Joshua was quick to acknowledge His leadership.
  • This is the Lord Jesus Christ in a preincarnate appearance (Christophany). He came as the angel(Messenger) of the Lord, as if He were a man. It was the appearance of God in human form.
Are we ready for the Lord to speak to us? Will we recognize His voice? His sheep recognize their Shepherd's voice and follow Him.


Joshua asked the man a question, Are you for us or for our enemies?
Joshua wanted to know which he was speaking to before he went any further, right? He was in the will of God, so Joshua had the courage to ask it.
When the person identified Himself, what response did Joshua make?
  •  He fell on his face to the earth. Joshua knew He was in the presence of the holy Messiah and Son of God-Jesus Christ. Joshua recognizes who is really in charge, showing reverence.
  • Joshua worshiped his Savior, calling Him my Lord.
  • Joshua asked, "What message does my Lord have for His servant?" Joshua realized that Jesus was there with a specific purpose-reveal God's strategy for Israel's victory in conquering Jericho.
  • Joshua took off his shoes when Jesus told him to do so. The place where Joshua was, where the Lord was standing, was holy ground. This was a cultural custom in showing respect.
What do we need to loosen in order to come to Jesus?
Does He require us to take off something? (pride, self-centeredness, etc.)

Not only had Joshua had a personal encounter with the Lord God, but Moses had a similar experience in Exodus 3 at the burning bush. Jesus appeared to Abraham as a Traveler (Gen. 18:1-3). Now He appeared to Joshua as "a Man of war." (Arthur Pink)

Awe and respect are the responses due to our holy God. How can we show it? Our attitudes and actions reveal God's power, authority, and love.

How would we react if we had such an encounter?

In the Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says:
As Joshua approached the biggest battle of his life, he encountered God, fell in worship before him, and surrendered his plans. That surrender led to a stunning victory at Jericho. This is the paradox: Victory comes through surrender. Surrender doesn't weaken you; it strengthens you. Surrendered to God, you don't have to fear or surrender to anything else. Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. Nothing else works.
Are we surrender to God? Is our all surrendered? See Luke 9:23, James 4:7, Romans 12.

[Resources: Liberty Bible Commentary, Guzik Bible Commentary, Clarke's Bible Commentary,  Life Application Study Bible, The Jeremiah Study Bible, Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament,]


...of the convenient things, let God direct.
...of the easy and costless activities, follow God.
...of the possible and watch God do the impossible.

Fall on my face, surrendering and worshiping the only True, Living God.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Roastin' Ears and Hearts

O. T. #453  "Roastin' Ears and Hearts"
February 5, 2015
Joshua 5-Part 1
...their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.  Joshua 5:1


Is there anything better to eat than roastin' ears off the hot grill? That's ears of corn, for you who are not from the south. When my husband's siblings get together each summer, we usually grill out at least one meal. Of course, luscious, fat ears of corn with butter dripping off the elbows is a must for the menu. Better have a roll of paper towels ready to pass around, too. Ummmm! Can't wait for 4 months to come.

There were two main groups living in this region-the Canaanites and the Amorites. Now their kings  had heard what transpired with the Israelites and the Jordan River. (How God dried it up so they could cross over into their territory.) I supposed they heard how the ancestors of the Israelites were afraid of the ancestors of the Canaanites. As a result, Israel wandered around in the wilderness for 39-40 year. I wonder if they concluded that the God of the Israelites was no stronger than any of their idol gods. (If so, that would have been the wrong conclusion.)

Did the Canaanites hope the river would slow down Israel or even discourage them from entering their land? But news that the Israelites had crossed on dry land caused any of the Canaanites courage, heart, to melt.
Melted used here in the Hebrew language, means to liquefy, to waste, to faint, discourage.

Don't underestimate our God. He fulfilled His promise in 4:23. So those enemies' hearts melted like butter on a hot grilled ear of corn. I see.

No spirit in them means simply that they feared the Israelites and had lost the will to fight.
 (David Jeremiah)

The Lord rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off of Israel. What? Reproach means disgrace, shame.

What a way to start the day!
Are we trusting our God to do the same with our enemies?


There were two activities which the Lord told Joshua to do-circumcise the children of Israel and the Passover.  Both were an act of obedience.
Here they were getting ready for battle and they were to be what? That meant the fighting men would have to take some time off first. While the men were unable to engage in combat, God worked it out (above discussion).However, it was a needful mark of the covenant between them and their God.

Circumcision pictures putting off that which is sinful, and in the NT it illustrates putting off the "old man" of the flesh (Col. 3:1; Rom. 8:13). Through Christ, the NT Christian has put off "the body of the sins of the flesh" (Col. 2:9-13). This operation at Gilgal, then, is an illustration of the truth that each believer must live "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20).
Did you know that the Jewish males had not received this mark of the covenant during all their wilderness years? Their unbelief had temporarily suspended their covenant relationship with God (Num. 14:32-34). (Wiersbe)

Circumcision was a physical sign of the nation's covenant with God (Gen. 17:9-14), marking them as His people. It symbolized what God's people were to do to their hearts (Deut. 10:16) and anticipated a time when God would circumcise the hearts of His people, enabling them to love Him (Deut. 30:6). New Testament believers have this accomplished for them by Jesus' death and resurrection, and the Holy Spirit's power. (Rom. 2:29) (Jeremiah)

It had been 40 years since the first Passover meal night. What were the unleavened cakes made of? Corn from the land. Also, Israel enjoyed roasted ears of corn for the first time in 40 years. Can you imagine the excitement in camp that night at dinner?
Truly, they were in a land flowing with milk and honey. The land was rich in grass and flowers for the cows, sheep, and goats; honey from the wild bees was found in large quantities.

Think it's time to have hubby stop at the store for some corn of the cob, even if it is from the frozen isle.

Are we faithful to our God as Israel was in observing circumcision and the Passover?


Don't let my heart melt with discouragement. Stay hot for Jesus! He is alive!

Be faithful to Jesus and His Word.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rising Above

O. T. #452  "Rising Above"
February 4, 2015
Joshua 4-Part 4
That all the people of the earth might know that hand of the LORD, that it is might: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.  Joshua 4:24


Are you knee deep in troubled waters? Perhaps they are waist high. Maybe you're up to your neck in whatever. Feel like you're about to drown? Jesus is there with you as He was with Israel in the midst of the Jordan River, heaped over their heads.

Oh, yes, that's me. I hear You Lord. In this season of my life, it is health issues that keep knocking me down. However, I am learning to take them one at a time, trusting the mighty hand of my God. After all, isn't it for our good and His glory that they come? So I figure I have a choice-stay there or rise above them. Will I come up out of my Jordan? Will Israel?

And the people came up out of Jordan. Can you imagine the excitement of crossing clear over Jordan, walking on a dry riverbed, passing by the Ark of the Covenant, and up the bank on the other side? It was new territory. A new adventure lay before them-new land, new nation, new attitudes, new food. Once they crossed by faith into the Promised Land, Israel left their chains of slavery, for they were free. They were God's chosen people, a chosen nation.

they came up out of the Jordan. Isn't that what baptism pictures? Going down into the water shows our old self, buried with Christ, risen a new person, after salvation has come to our heart.

Young's Concordance described the Jordan River: Its whole length of the Jordan is only 120 miles in a direct line, but in its windings, it is above 240 miles. It enters the Sea of Galilee, which is 14 miles long and 7 miles broad.

Jesus was there in the midst of the river while the people crossed. The Ark represents God's presence. I wonder if Jesus was sitting upon the Mercy Seat as the priests held it up? Was He looking into the eyes of every person as they passed by Him, every boy and girl, teenager, young and old adult? Was He holding out His hand of mercy for them to take, yet unseen by them?

Jesus must have favored the Jordan River and region. Why do I say that?
  1. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist there. (John 3)
  2. Jesus baptized believers there. Disciples of John the Baptist came and told him what was happening. (John 3)
  3. Jesus' ministry was done in that region of the world. Studying the cities and towns where He performed miracles teaches that. 
By the way, Lot chose the fertile land east of the river, and Abraham the west. (Gen. 13:11-12)
Jacob had been living there before making amends with brother Esau.

Will we come up out of our river of troubles with Jesus? Will we wade through them, not allowing them to overcome us, or even drown us? Jesus is there with us, holding out His mighty hand. Look in verse 24.


Remember those 12 stones the priests carried to Gilgal, the first campsite of Israel? Those stones were not thrown on a rock pile. I think they were reverently placed there as a memorial of what the mighty hand of God had done, so we fear the LORD our God forever. It was not just Israel, but for all the peoples of the world then and to come as well. Even Rahab believed in this God and awaited Israel's victory over her city of Jericho.

Is your God the God of heaven and earth? The Creator of all?
Are you trusting in the MIGHTY HAND OF GOD?

Are there some stones you need to lay down at the cross? Stones like fear, doubt, relationships, health issues, financial problems, are real to us. We have to take them off our shoulders and lay them down. Jesus is waiting.


Walk through my Jordan, keeping my eyes on Jesus, not my troubles.

Cross over my Jordan today by faith in Jesus, taking the might hand of God.

Lay down my burdensome stones. Let Jesus take them and set me free.

Share with others what He has done for me, He can do for them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Can You Give Me a Hand?

O. T.#451 "Can You Give Me a Hand?"  
February 3, 2015
Joshua 4-Part 3
And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.  Joshua 4:18


Can you give me a hand?
How many times did I say that this week when unable to get up off the coach or bed without help? My husband so graciously lent a hand when I needed it. I took hold and He pulled me up.
Do we ask God for a hand in our life?
Has life knocked you down?
How often do we reach up and take our Father's Hand when we can't manage to get back up after life knocks us down?
Jesus is always there, reaching out His hand, to help pull us up. All we need do is take It.
Do we lend a helping hand when others need it?
The Israeli priests needed a hand. Check it out.

God took care of it all-the flooded river, the muddy riverbed, the enemies. He did it all for His children, the Israelites. He was with them all the way.

Earlier in Joshua 1:5, God had privately assured Joshua that He would be with Israel's new commander as He had been with Moses, Israel's former commander. That private assurance, tenaciously guarded in the heart of Joshua, now gives way to public attestation of the hand of God upon Joshua's life. (Falwell)

Israel feared Joshua all the days of his life as they had feared Moses.
Feared means to revere; reverence.

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). God's people ought to magnify Christ, but God also delights in magnifying His people when they obey Him (Acts 5:12-13).  (Wiersbe)

Although Israel was not a world power at that time, Joshua's reputation for handling his responsibilities God's way brought him greater glory than if he had been a hero in a "superpower" nation. Doing right is more important than doing well. (Life Application Study Bible)

Do we magnify the Lord Jesus enough?
Is the hand of God upon your life?
Are you carrying out His instructions?
Obedience will be rewarded.


Did you read verse 18, how the priests, who bore the Ark in the midst of the Jordan River, got out? I had not seen it before now. We know that the priests led the way, taking the step of faith as they went into the midst of the flooded river. Then they stood still in one spot, baring the Ark upon their shoulders, supported by a pole, as the rest of Israel crossed on dry ground.

Falwell suggests in Liberty Bible Commentary:
  • that it was a muddy bed of the river where the priests stood.
  • The waters rolled back in a heap.
  • On all sides of them the bed had been beaten to hard clay by the pounding of millions of feet as the Israelites crossed the Jordan.
  • Joshua describes the soles of the priests being lifted up upon dry land, he literally says that they were plucked up out of the soft adhesive of the riverbed.
  • Immediately, the mighty Jordan thundered back into its natural course and even overflowed its banks to the same extent it had prior to this miraculous crossing.
Can you picture men carefully pulling the priests' feet up out of the mud? Wouldn't they have to do it carefully so that the Ark did not tip or get dropped?

What a story the priests had to tell their grandchildren! God must have strengthened their shoulders, too, so they could stand there so long.

Are we willing to bare the gospel, cross, to others so they come to their Promised Land of salvation in Jesus?
Are we an overcomer, staying in the fight until the final round, as the song goes?


                    ... of the world, cling to Jesus.
                              ... of the past and look to the future.

Step out by faith...
Trust God ...
Seek the Hand of God on my life.
Yield to the Hand of God.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Are You Prepared?

O. T. #450  "Are You Prepared?"
February 2, 2015
Joshua 4-Part 2
About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.  Joshua 4:13

*Thank you friends for all your prayers and patience in allowing me down time. I made it through surgery and am gaining strength daily. God is so good!


Prepared? I thought I was, but in reality, I wasn't prepared. I heard those stories about the pain after a person's gall bladder was removed, about the pain one has after hernia surgery. Yep, I thought I was prepared, after all, I had been through two C-sections and one hysterectomy. What could be worse that that? Ohhh, little did I know. During the procedure, they fill you with CO2, which results in gas in the innards. Let me tell ya, it takes its time moving out of residence, too. The cramp would take my breath away. All I could do was whisper, "Jesus, help me!" He was there to help and stopped the pain. Thank you Lord Jesus! Are we prepared for what today holds?
Israel thought they were prepared for the conflicts facing them in the Promised Land. Little did they know what lay ahead.

The stones were set and the people hasted and clean passed over Jordan. (I like how it says that.) The priests bare the Ark in the middle of the river. Was it a solemn time or were the people encouraging those who kept the Ark on their shoulders all day as they passed by them? Scripture does not say. Everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people. And according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua.  (verse 10) Two million folks, wow! god provided what was needed-faith to cross and dry ground, as well as His presence.

In verse 4, the 12 men were prepared to take a stone from the Jordan for the memorial on the other side. Prepared in this verse means to set up, establish, ready.

There was a time that someone said, "It is finished!" Do you recall who said it? Jesus said it, as He hung on the cross, as recorded in John 19:30.

Finish in the Greek language means complete; execute; conclude; accomplish.

Jesus completed the assignment His Father had for Him to accomplish, and that He did. He was the sacrificial Lamb of God that takes away our sins. Such love!

Can we say that we are accomplishing what God has assigned us? Are we doing it with joy? Are we established in our faith in God?


Israel's first campsite in the invaded land was at Gilgal, which was 1 1/4 miles from Jericho. (MacArthur)
That is where the memorial of 12 stones were placed-a memorial of miracles, as Guzik calls it. The children would see the stones, ask what they meant, hear the story, and learn about their God.

In verses 12-14, who crossed over, armed, in front of the Israelites? The 2 1/2 tribes, Reuben, Gad, and 1/2 tribe of Manasseh did.

Liberty Bible Commentary informs us:
These 40,000 trained fighting men were instructed by Moses. Back in Numbers 26, their total potential fighting force of these tribes was about 110, 580 men. They were living up to their pledge to God to defend the land and their brethren until all Israel could dwell safely in the land.  Apparently, only 40,000 of these soldiers crossed over the Jordan inn order to allow the strong guard to remain behind and defend those tribes on the east of the river.
Read verse 13 again, About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.

These warriors were prepared for war right away. They were trained and armed.
The word prepared in this verse is a different Hebrew word previously used in verse 4. It means to pull up, equip, strengthen.

Are we prepared for a spiritual battle today? Are we armed with the whole armor of God, as found in Ephesians 6:11-18? That is how we can stand against the wiles of the devil.
We need the:
  • helmet of salvation,
  • breastplate of righteousness,
  • truth around our loins,
  • feet taking the gospel of peace,
  • shield of faith,
  • sword of the Spirit, the Word of God;
  • praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit;
  • watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. 
Are we equipped and strengthened with faith in our God? Ultimately, are we prepared to meet our God?


Be prepared for a spiritual battle daily.

Ask God to put His spiritual armor on me.

Keep recalling the victories which God has given in my life, sharing with others.

Rely on God for future victories.