Monday, March 30, 2015

Conquest of Canaan Completed

O. T. #491 "Conquest of Canaan Completed"
March 31, 2015
Joshua 22-Part 1
Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.  Joshua 22:3


There is no feeling like completing a task, assignment, or job. Israel must have felt the same way. Now they could go home.

The conquest of Canaan is completed. Do you recall back in Deuteronomy 32, the 2 1/2 eastern tribes promised Moses they would help their brothers fight for their land west of the Jordan River before settling down? Everything was conquered, so Joshua called those tribes, Reuben, Gad and 1/2 Manasseh.

They had patiently and diligently carried out their duties. Follow-through is vital in God's work. Beware of the temptation to quit early, and leave God's work undone. (Life Application Study Bible)

They deserved commendation, having stayed in the thick of the battle these many days, which literally means great many days, indicating a prolonged and difficult period of time. They had fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7). (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Joshua called those tribes to come to Shiloh, blessed them, and sent them away to their new home.

Liberty Bible Commentary explains:
Joshua's blessings consisted of three aspects:
  1. to commend them on their faithful and valiant service to the other tribes; (verses 2-3)
  2. to commission them to return to the land of their inheritance; (verse 4)
  3. and to charge them concerning their continued responsibilities to the Lord God. (verse 5)

Do we diligently and patiently serve the Lord? Are we staying in the thick and thin of things to complete God's will?


Jerry Falwell tells us:
Although their military commitments were ended, their spiritual commitments would never end. The writer employs six infinitives to emphasize the seriousness of Joshua's charge. The passage is a series of quotations from the book of Deuteronomy.
The tribes are:
  1. to do (perform) all the commandments of the law (Deut. 6:1);
  2. to love the Lord always (Deut. 6:5);
  3. to walk in the Lord's commandments;
  4. to keep the commandments of the Lord (Deut. 6:2);
  5. to cleave unto Him heartily;
  6. to serve the Lord with all your heart and soul (1 Sam.12:24).
How faithful are we to do, walk, and keep God's Word? Do we love, cleave to, and serve the Lord God?


Stay faithful to Jesus.

Keep His Word, do it, and walk in it.

Love the Lord, cleave to Him, and serve Him.

Complete the assignments He has for us.

This Too Shall Pass

O. T. #490 "This Too Shall Pass"
March 30, 2015
Joshua 21-Part 2
There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.  Joshua 21:45,KJV
Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. (The David Jeremiah Study Bible)


When times are difficult, I often say, "This too shall pass." And it does. Nothing lasts forever, except Jesus, eternity, and God's Word. Things will either change or cease to exist. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of this, especially when I am going through hard times. However, there is one thing we can count on to not pass away-God keeps His promises. Israel found that out. Read on.

In verses 43-45, we read of the promises of God. According to our key verse, all came to pass. God did it all, nothing was left undone. Not a word of the Lord's failed.

What was it that God gave Israel?
  1. He gave all the land which He swore to their fathers. (verse 43) This often repeated promise of a Promise Land where God's chosen people could live, possess, and worship Him is found in Genesis 12:7, And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. We find God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 22:15-18. The Lord mentioned three elements of this covenant: blessings, land, and seed (family).
  2. Israel possessed the land and dwelt there. (verse 43)
  3. The Lord gave them rest all around. (verse 44) Even their enemies were at peace with Israel. Hebrews 4:9-11 tells us: There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest...
  4. There stood not a man of all their enemies before them; He delivered all their enemies into their hand. (verse 44)
The Christian is but a stranger and pilgrim in this life, laboring and seeking the rest from his labors which only comes when he reaches his home and his inheritance (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Peter 1:3-4). (Falwell)

The Canaanites were in check, under military conquest as God had pledged (Joshua 1:5), not posing an immediate threat. Not every enemy had been driven out, however, leaving some to stir up trouble later. God's people failed to exercise their responsibility and possess their land to the full degree in various areas.  (MacArthur)


Israel had rest from traveling through the wilderness and rest from wars. It was no contradiction to the promise of Israel's enemies being all removed. God said that He would not drive them out all at once, but by little and little. In the process of time, Israel should become numerous enough to replenish them and conquer all. (Although some tribes were slothful and a cowards, then became idolaters as their enemies living around them.)

2 Peter 3:9a says, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise... This is talking about the return of Christ. We are looking for a new heaven and a new earth. (verse 13) Friend, it is coming. Be prepared.


Hold onto God's promises, for they are Truth.

Rest in Jesus, because He is at work. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Promises Kept

O. T. #489  "Promises Kept"
March 27, 2015
Joshua 21
And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle. 
 Joshua 21:2


God proved faithful in fulfilling every promise He had given to Israel. Some took several years. God's promises will be fulfilled according to His timetable, not ours, but we know that His word is sure. The more we learn of those promises God has fulfilled and continues to fulfill, the easier it is to hope for those yet to come. Sometimes we become impatient, wanting God to act in a certain way now, Instead, we should faithfully do what we know He wants us to do and trust Him for the future.(Life Application Study Bible)

Today, God has placed spiritual leaders in the church to equip Christians to do their part in developing a community of people who live and serve like Jesus (Eph. 4:11-16). (D. Jeremiah)

One day Jesus will come back to earth. That is a promise He will keep. Are we ready?

Do we share His promises?


Last came the appointment of the Levitical cities. This was the priestly tribe, who was not allowed to receive land as their inheritance, like the other tribes. In Numbers 3, we read about the sons of Aaron, Moses' brother:
  • Aaron, Miriam, and Moses were descendants of Levi through his son Kohath. (1 Chr. 6:1-2; 223:13)
  • Nadab and Abihu, the eldest two sons of Aaron, were struck dead by a divine judgment. (Lev.10)
  • Eleazar replaced his father as second High Priest. (Num. 20)
  • Ithmar, the youngest, was appointed by God to be in charge of the tabernacle. (Num 4:28; 33:7-8)
  • The three sons Gershon, Kohath, and Merari were descendants of Levi, who was the son of Jacob and Leah, that were among the 70 who accompanied Israel into Egypt originally.
God had provided 48 cities for the various branches of the Levite people to live in and have pasture for their livestock (verse 42). They could minister to the people nearby as priests.Six were to be the cities of refuge. (MacArthur)

Although Jerusalem was far away from the homes of many Israelites, almost no one lived more than a day's journey from a Levitical city.

How important it is to stay faithful to God and His purpose for us.


Keep looking forward.

Stay faithful to God.

Thank Him for His blessings.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Who is Your Refuge?

O. T. #488  "Who is Your Refuge?
March 26, 2015
Joshua 20
So that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.  Joshua 20:3 NIV


Where do we go in time of need? When we need comfort, strength, a shoulder to cry on, a friend to listen, a refuge, some joy? Do we go to Jesus or someone else? Do we seek help from a bottle instead of the Beautiful Savior, who was in all ways tempted? He has been through it all, loved one-physical and emotional sufferings, abandonment, spit upon, whipped, judged, talked bad about. So He knows how we feel when life throws us a curve, brings a storm, rocks our boat, send us the unexpected. We should run to Jesus for our refuge, dear friend. God provided refuge for His children, Israel.

God gave Israel cities of refuge? What is that?
Refuge means to contract or receive. It was to provide a shelter for any who killed a person by accident, unintentional manslaughter. (Falwell)

Israel was a new nation in a new land, needing a new government. God gave Moses instructions earlier as to how it should function. One of the tasks God wanted the Israelites to do when they entered the Promised Land was to designate certain cities as cities of refuge. These were to be scattered throughout the land. Their purpose was to prevent injustice, especially in cases of revenge.
(Life application Study Bible)

The MacArthur Bible Commentary further explains:
Moses had spoken God's Word to name six cities in Israel as refuge centers. a person who inadvertently killed another person could flee to the nearest of these for protection (Num. 35:9-34). Three cities of refuge lay west of the Jordan River, and three lay to the east, each reachable in a day for those in its area. The slayer could free there to escape pursuit by a family member seeking to exact private justice. Authorities at the refuge protected him and escorted him to a trial. If found innocent, he was guarded at the refuge until the death of the current high priest, a king of statute of limitations (Jos. 20:6). He could return home. If found guilty of murder, he suffered appropriate punishment.

In other words, these cities were to provide a refuge. Can people find refuge in our city, in our home, and in our presence?


I found this interesting information concerning these cities of refuge from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: 
  • They were located on hills, to be seen afar off, for a city on a hill cannot be hid.
  • They were a place where one could find comfort and safety quickly.
  • They were to be only a day away from anyone.
  • If only one could get to the suburb of a city of refuge, he was well protected.
The names of these cities of refuge seem to be significant, with reference to Christ our Refuge:
  • Kedesh signifies holy; our refuge is the holy Lord Jesus.
  • Shechem, a shoulder; the government is upon His shoulder.
  • Hebron, means fellowship; believers are called into fellowship of Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Bezer, a fortification; Jesus is a strong Hold to all them that trust in Him.
  • Ramoth, high or exalted; for Him has God exalted with His own right hand.
  • Golan, refers to joy or exultation; for in Him all the saints are justified, and shall glory. (Matthew Henry)
Another thing, these cities of refuge were available to both Israelites and foreigners (verse 9). Christ's forgiveness is available to anyone without regard to their nationality (Galatians 3:28; 5:6).

The death of the high priest is when they are released as fugitive. This anticipates the death of Jesus, our High Priest whose death removes sin and guilt once for all (Heb. 9:11-10:18).
Salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile. Hallelujah!

Christ Jesus is the refuge for anyone. He calls, Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)

How wonderful it is to have Jesus as our refuge in time of need and help.
Here are some Scriptures in reference to such:
Pslam 46:1-God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 62:7-8-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.

Psalm 91:2-I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Psalm 57:1-Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

What comfort is available to us in God our Refuge!
Do we seek Him for our refuge or do we go somewhere else?


                               and turn to Jesus;
                               and find comfort and strength to continue with the Christ, the crucified and risen
                               and find refuge in the One and Only Refuge-God.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One More to Go

O. T. #487  "One More to Go"
March 25, 2015
Joshua 19-Part 7
According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.  Joshua 19:50


It was a huge task, but finally it was now complete, done, over. Or was it? Lots were cast for most of the tribes of the children of Israel. The allotment of the Promised Land, promised to their father Abraham, way back in Genesis, was now fulfilled. Almost, that is. There was one more to go. Continue to find out who it was that had not received their portion yet. Do you know who it was?

So far, we have read of the distribution of land:
  • east of the Jordan River, going to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half tribe of Manasseh (chapter 13);
  • to the priestly tribe of Levi, cities because they not allowed to own land (chapter 13);
  • the largest area went to Judah (chapter 15);
  • the land west of the river went to 7 tribes-Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan (chapters 18-19);
  • Caleb's mountain (chapters 14-15).
Who was the last to receive his inheritance? None other than Joshua, Israel's leader through the conquering and distribution of land. You will recall that Joshua was the one-time spy partner with Caleb who gave a report of faith in God's ability to over-throw those living in the Promised Land (Numbers 14).
Joshua was 95 years old during the time of chapter 14, and then by chapter 23 he was 110, nearing his death in chapter 24. I would say that he did well for his age, wouldn't you?


Matthew Henry gives us come points to consider:
  1. Joshua was the last served, though the eldest and greatest man of all Israel, and who, having commanded in the conquest of Canaan, might have demanded the first settlement in it for himself and his family. But he would make it to appear that in all he did, he sought the good of his country, and not any private interest of his own. Let the public first be served.
  2. He had his lot according unto the word of the Lord; it is probable, when God by Moses told Caleb what inheritance he should have, Joshua 14:9, He gave the like promise to Joshua, which He had an eye to in making His election, which made his portion doubly pleasant, that he had it, not as the rest, by common providence, but by special promise.
  3. Joshua chose it in mount Ephraim, which belonged to his own tribe, with which he thereby put himself in common. The tabernacle was set up in the lot of Ephraim, and Joshua would not be far from that.
  4. The children of Israel are said to give it him (v.49), which bespeaks his humility, that he would not take it to himself without the people's consent and approbation, as if he would.
  5. It was a city that must be built before it was fit to be dwelt in: while others dwelt in houses which they builded not, Joshua must build for himself, that he might be a pattern of industry and contentment with mean things.
Having the mark of a great leader, Joshua saw to the welfare of his people before his inheritance.

Joshua built a city, Timnath Serah, about 16 miles southwest of Shechem. (MacArthur)

Another plateau in the life of Israel had been reached. (Falwell)

Our Lord Jesus came and dwelt among us, not in pomp but poverty, providing rest for us, yet Himself not having where to lay His head. Even Christ pleased not Himself. (Henry)

All I can say is, "What a man, Joshua was!"
God keeps His promises; they are forever.


Jesus, others, you; that is how you spell JOY.

Put others before myself.

Keep trusting Jesus.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Someone Has to be Last

O. T. #486  "Someone Has to be Last"
March 24, 2015
Joshua 19-Part 6
And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.
Joshua 19:40


I suppose it is safe to say that it is not fun being picked last, though I don't remember it happening to me in grade school. I was pretty good at sports at that time so I was usually picked in the middle of the line up for teams. Unfortunately, someone had to be last. So it was in the casting of lots for the  Promised Land distribution to the tribes of Israel. Who was last?

The seventh tribe whose lot fell on the tribe of Dan received their inherited land last. To the north of them was Ephraim, south was Judah, and east was Benjamin.

Two notable cities were in the territory of Dan: Ajalon, where the sun was commanded to stand still (10:12) and Joppa, where Jonah got on a ship going to Tarshish, away from Nineveh, where God wanted him to go preach.

And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them... verse 47
It is unclear whether the territory was too small for this tribe of 64,400 (Num. 26:43) or they conquered land beyond their assignment, Leshem.

The Danites failed to possess their original claim (Judges 1:34-36) later. They conquered land north of the Sea of Galilee and Hazor, and renamed it Dan (verse 47-48). (MacArthur)

Judges 1:34 NIV says, The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the plain.
So, at least a part of the tribe of Dan left, or were driven out of, their original territory, migrated north to fight against Leshem and took it.

How do we react when we are last? Jesus said in Matthew 19:30, But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.  Christians will end up the same-in heaven.


To make a long story short, Judges 18 tells us the Danites sent 5 spies to the city of Laish. They recognized a Levite priest living there. He explained that a man named Micah hired the Levite to be his priest, with all things provided plus silver. (This is not the Micah who wrote the book of his namesake, I checked. They were over 700 years apart.) The problem was, Micah had in his house idols, which they also worshiped. When the spies left, the priest went with them, taking his family and idols, too.
So when Micah discovered this, he angrily pursued, but the Danites were too strong, with 600 men at the gate, and Micah retreated without his graven images. Although this priest said the Danites would be blessed by God, it was not so, due to their keeping and worshiping idols, too. (verse 30) Laish was conquered by the Danites, but their ways of idolatry conquered them. The idols remained until Samuel's time.

What a disappointment. How many times were they told not to worship idols, but only worship God?
How many times are we warned not to do this or that and we disobey?


Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus.

Worship God and Him only.

Be satisfied with going last.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What Has You Bound?

O. T. #485  "What Has You Bound?"
March 23, 2015
Joshua 19-Part 5
The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.  Joshua 19:32


Does anything have us bound to it? What is it? Is it finances, our job, a relationship, hate, jealousy, envy that has us bound to it? Or, are we free in Christ to love those while we are in that situation? Our next tribe was bounded by its brothers. Who was it?

The next to the last lot fell upon the tribe of Naphtali.
The descendants of this man Naphtali, who was the son of Jacob and Bilhah, Rachel's maid, was located in the extreme north, just east of Asher. As far as the location, their land was bounded by Asher on the west, Zebulun and Issachar on the south, and the Jordan and Sea of Galilee on the east.(Falwell)

John 8:32 says, And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:36 says, If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Are you free in Christ? When we ask Him to forgive us of our sins, the Savior will set us free from our sins. 1 John 1:9 assures us, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Do we want to be bound or free?


Did anything interesting occur in the land of Naphtali?
  • The terebinth tree was an oak tree (or an oak forest if taken inn a collective sense, as the word possibly means in Genesis 12:6) near Kedesh and northwest of the waters at Merom. According to Judges 4:11, it was the site where Jael killed Sisera with a tent peg (4:21). (MacArthur)
  • The eastern line ran northward, including the city of Hazor and also Dan, then swung north of Dan. Jesus' Galilean ministry would take place largely in this area (Is. 9:1,2; Matt. 4:13-17). (MacArthur)
  • Near the waters of Merom, Joshua fought and routed Jabin (11:1).
  • Capernaum and Beth-saida is where Christ did so many mighty works; and
  • the mountain (as is supposed) on which Christ preached (Matt. 5:1). (M. Henry)
What Christ preached there, was the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount.

When Jesus heard that John was in prison, he left Nazareth and went to Capernaum.
Matthew 4:15-16 quotes Isaiah 9:1: The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Jesus says in John 8:12, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Are we walking in darkness or in the light of life, following the light of the world?


Leave behind those things which bind me.

Ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and set me free from them.

Follow the Light of the world-Jesus.

Bring others to the Light so they can be set free from whatever has them bound.

Friday, March 20, 2015

An Extraordinary Life in an Ordinary Place

O. T. #484  "An Extraordinary Life in an Ordinary Place"
March 20, 2015
Joshua 19-Part 4
And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
Joshua 19:24


The fifth lot fell on the tribe of Asher.

This territory was a long, broad strip flanking the Mediterranean Sea on the west, then Naphtali's and Zebulun's claims on the east, running south to Manasseh's.  (MacArthur)

The difficulty in tracing her boundaries stems from the fact that they are established, not by natural or topographical features, but by the relative position of its principal cities. (Falwell)

They had 22cities and villages.

Neither were there many famous places located in the area given to the tribe of Asher. The sea ports of Tyre and Sidon were two stronghold where many people of Canaan fled and took shelter, when Joshua invaded them. (M. Henry)

I would call it just an ordinary place with ordinary people. There was nothing spectacular about it nor did anything special happened there. Are we just an ordinary person living in an ordinary place? Yet if we are a child of God, we have not just an ordinary life, but an extraordinary life with Jesus. That's what I want, to live an extraordinary life with Jesus. I want to experience all that He has for me each day I breathe. I look around and see the beauty of His creation. I feel His love flowing from His throne of heaven, down to me, an ordinary person living in an ordinary place.

Wasn't it like that for Jesus, but switched around. He was born in an ordinary place, not a palace, but a barn where the animals were kept. We consider it was not a place where the King of kings should be born. He came as an ordinary man, yet the son of man was the Son of God, living an extraordinary life without sin, totally yielded to the will of God, and died on the cross as a sacrifice for you and me.


We do not read about any famous person being from this tribal area, except Anna the prophetess, who resided constantly fasting and praying in the temple at the time of Jesus' birth. Because of her sacrificial life, Anna was blessed by God when she saw with her own eyes the Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. He was a baby, taken to the temple by Mary and Joseph.

Luke 2:37 NIV says, and she was a widow until she was eighty-four. she never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 

She was a teacher of the Old Testament, not a source of revelation. She would have been at least 104 years old, since she had been widowed 84 years after being married 7 years. She evidently had her living quarters on the temple grounds. There would have been several such dwelling places for priests in the outer court, and Anna must have been allowed to live there permanently because of her unusual status as a prophetess.  (MacArthur)

Are we willing to teach God's Word? Are we willingly doing it? How about sacrificially doing it?


Live an extraordinary life of faith in Jesus.

Teach God's Word whenever the opportunity comes.

Pray and fast faithfully as Anna did.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Small But Mighty Important

O. T. #483  "Small But Mighty Important"
March 19, 2015
Joshua 19-Part 3
And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.  Joshua 19:17


We don't know what the future holds for our little ones. They may be small, but can be important in the kingdom of God. as the tribe of Issachar.

The fourth allotment of land distributed in Israel went to the tribe of Issachar. This was a smaller tribe, who received a small portion of land. On a map of the tribes' land, the two northern tribes were Asher and Naphtali east and west of each other; looking south came Zebulun, and Issachar was next. They only had 16 cities.

The major area of Issachar's inheritance was Jezzereel. Without a doubt this is the most famous valley in the world. Later known as the Plain of Esdraelon, the Jezreel Valley is today the "breadbasket of Israel," being the most fertile valley in the Middle East. But it has not always been so.

Liberty Bible Commentary tells us more:
  • Both Thutmose III and Ramses II invaded Syria via this valley.
  • Gideon overthrew the Midianites here.
  • It has been the site of conflict involving armies under the leadership of Saul, Debrah, Barak, Ahab, Jehu, Josiah, Omri, Azariah, Holofernes and Judith, Vespasian, Saladin, and Napoleon.
  • It was the scene of bitter fighting in the 1945 War of Independence and the June of 1967 "Six-Day War" for modern Israel.
  • Most importantly, it will be the scene of the last great battle of history; for this valley is "...called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Rev. 16:16. Armageddon means to pluck, gather in the Hebrew language. (Strong's Concordance)
  • It is here that ...the King of Kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim.6:15) shall ride forth in battle against the nations ...and He shall rule them with a rod of iron... (Rev. 19:15).
Are we ready? Are all of our loved ones in the family of God?


What else do we know about the tribe of Issachar?
  • Tola, one of the judges, was of this tribe (Judges 10:1).
  • Baasha, one of the kings of Israel was of Issachar's tribe (1 Kings 15:27), became the second dynasty (1 Kings 15:27-28) of Israel's eight, through conspiracy killed the evil King Nadab and Jeroboam's family. He reigned 24 years.
  • Jezereel, in which Ahab's palace, and near it Naboth's vineyard was found here.
  • Shunem, where the good Shunamite, that entertained Elisha lived there.
  • The river Kishon, on the banks of which, in this tribe, Sisera was beaten by Deborah and Barak.
  • The mountains of Gilboa, on which Saul and Jonathan were slain, were not far from Endor, where Saul consulted the witch.
  • The valley of Megiddo, where Josiah was slain, was near Hadad-rummon (2 Kings 23:29; Zech. 12:11).
Are we leaving a legacy of faith in our family? our community?


Be thankful for what God has given me.

Point others to Jesus in my family and community.

Trust Jesus for the battle at Armageddon is coming.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Safe Haven

O. T. #482  "A Safe Haven"
March 18, 2015
Joshua 19-Part 2
And their border went up to the sea...  Joshua 19:11


What a view, the seashore. Since our state is not on any coast, the largest body of water I saw as a child was a local lake, until I visited my sister, who took us to the Gulf of Mexico. It was amazing to watch the waves coming in to shore. (Swimming in salt water was not too pleasant, though.) We saw fishing boats and shrimp boats secured at the shore. Oh, I remember that fishy smell, too. Well, the third allotment of the Promised Land was noted for its haven for ships. Let's look at the rest of this chapter.

The third lot fell on the tribe of Zebulun (Leah's son). Of course, most of the tribes of Israel had a waterfront boundary on the Mediterranean Sea. However, Jacob's prophecy concerning this son, written in Genesis 49:13 NIV, said, Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships, his border will extend toward Sidon.

Trading ships came to its shores, as well as fishing ships on the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew Henry)

It sounds important to me.

Webster's Dictionary defines haven as a place of safety.

Do you need a haven of rest? A place where you feel safe? Jesus is waiting for you.
Can others come to us for a safe haven and find love, encouragement, and peace when they need it?


There were some notable and famous places located in this land of Zebulun:
  • Mount Carmel, where God showed Himself sovereign when Elijah challenged the idol of Baal;
  • Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ;
  • Mount Tabor, the place of the Transfiguration;
  • Nazareth, where Jesus spent much of His time, as He was called Jesus of Nazareth;
  • the Sea of Galilee, the location of miracles and sermons of Jesus were experienced. (Matthew Henry)
Is our church going to be remembered in years to come?
For what are we noted?
Will others experience God as He works in our life?


Seek Jesus as my haven of rest and safety.

Be a haven for others who need a place of peace to go.

Let others see and hear about Jesus working in my life.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sharing and Caring

O. T. #481  "Sharing and Caring"
March 16, 2015
Joshua 19
and the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. 
Joshua 19:1


Would others say we are a sharing person? Once I shared my car when I wasn't using it. The gal had hers in the car shop being repaired and needed one to get to work. We have opened up our home many times for the preachers of our revivals through the years. The tribe of Judah shared something. Read on to find out what it was.

Now we look at the inheritance of the remaining six tribes of the children of Israel. They are detailed in this chapter. Some suggest their allotment of land was based on a rank determined by who their birth mothers were. Following Rachel's son went the sons of Leah(Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar), Zipah (Leah's maid-Asher), and Bilhah (Rachel's maid-Naphtali, Dan).  (David Jeremiah)

It is noted that the tribe of Simeon was the least in population, so they would need support from other tribes.

Due to this, the tribe of Simeon was not assigned a specific territory of its own and was allowed to settle within the  portion assigned to Judah. (Falwell)

It seems, they that first surveyed the land, thought it larger than it was, and that it would have held out, to give every tribe in proportion as large a share as they had carved out of Judah; but, upon a more strict inquiry, it was found that it would not reach. The men of Judah did not oppose taking away their cities. convinced that they had more than their proportion. We must look on the things of others, and not on our own only. (Matthew Henry)

Do we look upon the needs of others? Do we have a sharing heart? Are we looking for ways to give to others?


Giving this land to the tribe of Simeon resulted in them being in confederacy with the tribe of Judah (Judges 1:3). It was during the revolt of the ten tribes to Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 15:9, out of Simeon they fell to Asa in abundance. It is good being in a good neighborhood. (Henry)

According to Falwell, in Judges 1, the tribes of Judah and Simeon allied themselves to go to war against the Canaanites and the Perizzites of whom they slew 10,000 men in Bezek. Also, they conquered Jerusalem according to Judges 1:8.

Since the tribe of Judah shared their land with the tribe of Simeon, the Simeon tribe cared about their brothers and helped them in warfare.

No prophets or kings came from the tribe of Simeon. They were just ordinary people like you and me.

Are we good neighbors? Are we sharing and caring?


When others are in need, help them.

Share and care.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bragging Rights

O. T, #480  "Bragging Rights"
Joshua 18-Part 2
March 16, 2015
...of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Philippians 3:5,7


Are there any famous people in your background? Are there any presidents or kings as your descendants? Probably a lot of us either have an English or Indian heritage. I have both. Nothing to brag about, though. We figure one of our kin deserted the army in the Civil War time. No bragging rights here in this family. (However a Presbyterian preacher is on our family tree, though.)

We know Jesus was of the tribe of Judah and Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin could have had some bragging rights with the cities who developed in his land, had he been alive during that time. (Having Paul as a relative would be something to brag about.)

The lots were cast for the land of the remaining seven tribes of the children of Israel.

Life Application Study Bible explains:
Little is known about the actual method used in Joshua's day. A type of dice may have been used. another possibility is that two urns were used: one containing tribal names; the others, the divisions of the land. Drawing one name from each urn matched a tribe to a region. The Urim and Thummim may also have been used. No matter how it was done, the process removed human choice from the decision making process and allowed God to match tribes and lands as He saw fit.
The smallest tribe, Benjamin, who was Joseph's little brother and both had the same mother, Rachael. This tribe was given a narrow strip of land between Judah and Ephraim, who became the dominate tribes later. (verse 11)

This portion of land given to the tribe of Benjamin was not large, but it was centrally located and  very important.  There are 26 cities named that were located in this territory. (verses 21-28)
The most notable cities are:
  • Jericho, which was the first to be conquered, forbidden to be rebuilt as a city with gates and walls;
  • Gilgal, where Israel first encamped and where Saul was made king (1 Sam.11:14)
  • Beth-el, though Benjamin adhered to the house of David, yet Beth-el, it seems, was in the possession of the house of Joseph (Judges 1:23-25); Ephraim and Manasseh tribes conquered this city since the tribe of Benjamin did not;
  • Gibeon, where the altar was in the beginning of Solomon's time;
  • Gibeah, where the Levite's concubine was abused;
  • Mizpeh and Eben-ezer and Ramah (Samuel's cities);
  • Anathoth, Jeremiah's city;
  • Jebusi, which is Jerusalem.
Let us not forget that the apostle Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, however, he sought a better country. (Romans 11:1 and Philippians 3:5)

[Resource: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible]

Are we conquering our city and region for Jesus?
Are we proud of our heritage ? Although he had bragging rights,  Paul considered the only thing to brag about was Christ.


Another place located in the land of Benjamin was the Hinnom Valley. It became associated with the worship of Molech (the Ammonite god) in Jeremiah's time. These terrible rites involved the sacrifice of children. Later the valley was used for burning garbage and the corpses of criminals and animals. Thus, the name became a synonym for hell. (Life Application Study Bible)

Just as there was good and bad in the land of Benjamin, there good and bad in all of us.


Help my city become known fir its faith in Jesus.

Stand against the evil practices around me.

Honor Jesus everywhere I go.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Go, Get Up, Move It

O. T. #479  "Go, Get Up, Move It"
March 13, 2015
Joshua 18-Part 1
And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?  Joshua 18:3


Go, get up, move it. Aren't there times that we would rather just stay home, stay put, stay in our own little world, stay out of other people's business? Yet there are times that God wants us to go for Him to someone who needs to hear the Good News of Jesus, who needs hope and encouragement, who needs the Word. God wants to bless us by using us to help meet the needs of others. How can we if we won't go, get up, or move it? (Myself is included.)
Some of Israel's tribes became slothful, slack in going and possessing their Promised Land. What was the hold up?

Yes, it was time to move it, move on. At least seven years had passed since Israel miraculously crossed the Jordan River. Their first camp was at Gilgal, though I don't know for how long. So far, five tribes have received their inheritance and moved there. Of course, the Levites received no land, but certain cities. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and 1/2 tribe of Manasseh received their land east of the Jordan (ch. 13). Caleb got his mountain (ch. 14). Then the tribe of Judah was given their portion of land, which was the largest due to their population being the largest of the tribes (ch. 15). Next, the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, each got their allotment of land (ch. 16-17).

Apparently some time had passed again. The whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered at Shiloh. That is where they set up the tabernacle for worship. It remained at Shiloh for 300 years, until the Philistines destroyed the city and captured the Ark of the Covenant. (It was due to Israel's sins and Priest Eli's sons made a mockery of the priesthood and conducted sinful activity in the tabernacle.)(1 Sam. 4-5) Later, in Jeremiah's time, God used Shiloh as an example of judgment (ch. 7).

We are not told who called the meeting at Shiloh, but the whole congregation came. This is similar to the "of one accord" expressions in Acts 2:1, 46, where the church assembled in a spirit of unity. (Falwell)

Shiloh never lived up to its reputation as Israel's religious center, for later references in the Bible point to the wickedness and idolatry in the city (Ps. 78:56-60; Jeremiah 7:12-15).  (Live Application Study Bible)

Shiloh was located about 9 miles north of Bethel and 20 miles north of Jerusalem. (MacArthur)

Are we ready to move whenever God tells us it is time to move?


Joshua asked Israel: How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?

The word slack means be still, idle, slothful, according to Strong's Concordance.

Why were the 7 tribes slack? Matthew Henry suggests it my have been due to:
  • their being too well pleased with their present condition. The spoils of the conquered cities provided them with plenty;
  • they were slothful, wishing it done, but not moving to accomplish it;
  • because of the distance to their land, they would have to drive their flocks and herds, carry their wives and children to strange places, rebuild or repair the cities, enduring hardships.
Moving can be very difficult. Not only the actual moving of your possessions, but leaving the people, area, and familiarity. I counted three times the word go was used by Joshua, in verses 3, 4, and 8. Are we willing to go when God says go to us? Are we slack in going and doing His will when we know what it is?

So what was Joshua's solution to get these 7 tribes moving again, living in their own land?
  • He obtained 21 surveyor scouts. (verse 2-4)
  • They formed 7 task forces of 3 men each, which each man bringing back a written report (called describe) in 7 parts, indicating a fair distribution of the remaining land among the remaining tribes. (Falwell)
  • Then Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD. (verse 10)
  • This project must have taken a while to accomplish, since they had to travel north of Ephraim and south of Judah. (looking at a map)
We will read about the distribution of land to these 7 tribes in the rest of chapter 18 and 19.


Let go of slackness in my life.

Follow Jesus.

Keep unity with God's children.

Go, do, be in His will.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is It Ever Enough?

O. T. #478 "Is It Ever Enough?"
March 12, 2015
Joshua 17
And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?   Joshua 17:14


Is it ever enough? Why do I think that I need more money, house, land, automobiles, possessions?
Yet I don't think I have enough of God in our life, His Word and instructions, His chiseling away of my imperfections, grace and mercy? Yep! I figure that I am not alone in this.

The half tribe of Manasseh was given land west of the Jordan River. Its boundaries are mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
The land was given to them by God-here it is, go get it, and by the way, drive out those Canaanites. Yet the tribes of the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were not satisfied with their allotment of land. Their excuse was that they were so numerous, which was true. The tribe of Joseph outnumbered the rest, except for the tribe of Judah (Numbers 1 and 26). They needed, deserved, expected, whatever, more land than what they received.

Are we content with what God has allotted to us? How often are we thankful for what we have?


The Ephraimites were notorious complainers (Judges 8:1-3; 12:1-6). It cost them 42,000 men later.

Liberty Bible Commentary explains:
Joshua chided them not to complain, but to get thee up to the wood country, and cut down...if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. Joshua's sarcasm was directed at those who wanted their inheritance simply handed to them, those who would not work for it. Their complaint that the Canaanites who dwell in the valley have chariots of iron apparently fell on deaf ears. Joshua simply encouraged them that they indeed were a great people and would not just have one portion but the mountain shall be thine. All they had to do was clear the forest and drive out the Canaanites.
If the trees were cut down, then their enemy could not hide behind a tree while trying to kill them.
Also, they could use the land if the trees were cut down. It seemed like a logical answer. Their complaining did not gain them any more land. Did you notice that the mentioning of the chariots of iron did change Joshua's mind?

So Manassites opted for making the peoples of the land forced laborers. Like the tribes of Judah and Ephraim, Manasseh did not drive out the Canaanites either.
Oh me. Do we want more without using what we have?


Be happy with what I have and use it for God's glory.

Stop complaining.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Double Inheritance

O. T. #477  "Double Inheritance"
March 11, 2015
Joshua 16
And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer...   Joshua 16:10


The brothers of Joseph allowed jealousy to ruin their relationship with him. Because Joseph forgave his brothers of his mistreatment, later on he saves his family from famine and brings them to Egypt, sharing all he has as second in command. We don't read of the jealousy continuing to the second generation in Jacob's family, but it could have when Joseph's two sons both receive a portion of inheritance of land.

So far, we have read of the distribution of the Promised Land to the eastern tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh, then west of the Jordan River, Caleb gets his mountain, as well as Judah receiving the largest portion of land. This chapter informs us of Ephraim's inheritance.

Here are some interesting information I found about Ephraim:
  • He received his partial of ground, though it was not due to a lot being cast, but as his right, as Matthew Henry described this happening.
  • Ephraim and Manasseh were both sons of Joseph, the oldest of Rachael and Jacob. A tribe was not named after Joseph, but the two were recognized as part of the nation of Israel. Jacob considered these two grandsons as his own (Gen. 48:5), so Joseph's portion was given to two tribes. It was because Joseph was the Rachael's son that he received a double portion of the inheritance of land.
  • He was not the first-born son of Joseph, but the youngest, which received the blessing from Jacob (Genesis 48). Jacob crossed his hands, changing the blessing of the first-born, double portion of blessing, to Ephraim instead of Manasseh.
  • Joseph and Jeroboam were of that tribe. 
  • Cities of the land of Ephraim are not mentioned in this chapter, only its boundaries.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible says:
God, in bestowing His blessings upon His people, gives more to some than to others, more gifts, graces, and comforts, and more of the good things of this life. He often gives most to those that are least likely. Grace observes not the order of nature, nor does God prefer those whom we think fittest to be preferred, but as it pleases Him. It may sometimes be just and prudent to give some children portions above the rest; but a grave is that which we can most count upon as our own in this earth.
How are our relationships going these days? Especially in the family, is anything separating us?

Although no cities found in the land of Ephraim, there some places of significance:
  • Ramah, the prophet Samuel's city, called Arimathea in the New Testament, of which Joseph was, the one who took care of Jesus' burial;
  • Shiloh, the location where the first tabernacle was set up;
  • Tirzah, the royal city of Jeroboam and his successors, as well as where Judge Deborah's palm tree under which she judged Israel;
  • Samaria, built by Omri, after the burning of the royal palace of Tirzah, was there, and the royal city of the ten tribes for a long time;
  • The city of Ephraim is mentioned in the book of Judges.
Also, the whole kingdom of the ten tribes is often in the prophets, especially in Hosea, called Ephraim.
[Resource: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Life Application Study Bible]


With all that said, the tribe of Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites from dwelling in Gezer. The took the current "easy way out" of collecting tribute from the Canaanites, but the easy way is rarely the right way. This action came back to haunt them. In fact, Gezer did not come under full Israelite control until the time of Solomon (1 Kings 9:16).   (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Why did the tribe of Ephraim not drive out the Canaanites? We are not told. Perhaps they were tired of fighting in war, or there was sin in their camp and God did not give them the victory. Just some thoughts.

This city of Gezer was given to the Kohathites. (Young's Concordance)

Now we know Judah nor Ephraim drove out the pagan Canaanites completely from their land, as they were instructed to do. This was partial obedience concerning their partial of land. Hum. Wonder what will result on down the line because of this.


Count my many blessings.

Obey God's instructions and assignments completely.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Can He, Could He, Would He?

O. T. #476  "Can He, Could He, Would He?"
March 10, 2015
Joshua 15-Part 3
As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.  Joshua 15:63


Waiting is not my better quality. I admit that I get impatient and want particular prayers answered with a yes today. Do I believe that He could do it now, tomorrow, next year? Do I trust God enough that He could answer anytime? Would He do it tomorrow? I have to wait and see. Even if He chooses not to, He is still all powerful, all wise, sees into the future, knows best.
What did Judah miss out on by not conquering Jerusalem? Who knows what they missed. Only God knows. Perhaps they now know.

You will recall that Judah was the most populated tribe of Israel and given the most land for their inheritance, also. There were two cities of significance located in Judah.
We know that little Bethlehem lay within the region of Judah. It was so small that it was not listed as one of the cities here, but maybe it was a village not named. Christ brought it honor by being born there. Also, Jerusalem was in this land of Judea (Judah). He chose to die on the cross there. Does this land hold a special place in the Savior's heart?

In Luke 13:34, Jesus told Jerusalem that He longed to gather its children together as a hen does her chicks under her wings, yet they were not willing. Then in Revelation 21, John saw a new Jerusalem in his vision. Ultimately, Jesus will build a new Jerusalem for His children.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary describes it this way:
Jerusalem became a holy and royal city, the city of the David, king of Israel and King Jesus. Joshua killed Jerusalem's king, who had joined a pact against Gibeon (chapter 10). Israelites called the area "Jebus" until David ordered Joab and his soldiers to capture the city (2 Sam.5:6-7)and made it his capital. Judges 1:8,21show that the Israelites conquered Jebus and burned it, but the Jebusites later regained control until David's day. Melchizedek had been a very early king (Gen 14), a believer in the true God, when the site was "Salem" (Ps. 76:2, Salem is Jerusalem).
The Lord works things out, though it may take a while. Do we have the patience to trust His timing?


Jerusalem continued to be possessed by the Jebusites. Why?
Judah could not drive them out (verse 63). Perhaps it was through their sluggishness, stupidity, and unbelief; had they attempted it with vigor and resolution, we have reason to think God would have given them success.; but they could not do it, because they would not. (M. Henry)

It was a long time later, but God did take control of the great city of Jerusalem. He can, He could, He would, and He did.
Do we believe that God can give us victory in our life today? Did we believe He could have done it before now? Would He give it in the future, if not now?

All things are possible with God. I keep telling myself that while I'm waiting.


Praise Him while I'm waiting.

Obey while I'm waiting.

Trust God for the right answer in His time.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Line of Judah Has a Lion

O. T. #475 "The Line of Judah Has a Lion"
March 9, 2015

Joshua 15-Part 2
This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families ...   Joshua 15:1


Have you ever checked out your family's genealogy? My mother, sister, and a distant cousin have. Though we have no kings, stars, or significant people in our background, we do have a preacher, a guitar playing and gospel singing grandmother, and a full blooded Cherokee Indian. What kind of influence am I leaving Linda's line? Judah left quite a legacy. The line of Judah has a Lion of Judah in it. (I ain't lyin' either.)

The first part and the last part of this chapter is about the inheritance of the tribe of Judah.

As Israel's largest tribe, Judah is listed first and presented with the most detail. All the tribal listings follow a similar format: geographical boundaries and then a listing of cities by region. (D. Jeremiah)

Notice that these boundaries and descriptions of the Promised Land are very specific. God was telling Israel exactly what to do, and He was giving them just what they needed. They had no excuse for disobedience.  (Life Application Study Bible)

In spite of Judah's younger sinful days, his father Jacob (Israel) still blessed Judah, as well as his other brothers, which stemmed from Abraham.

What did Jacob predict about his son Judah found in Genesis 49?
  • His brothers will praise him.
  • His hand would be on the necks of his enemies.
  • His brothers would bow down to him.
  • Judah is a young lion, who returns from the kill.
  • The scepter will not depart from Judah.
  • The staff would not depart from between his feet until the Messiah comes.
When the first generation of Israel marched through the wilderness, Judah's tribe went first (Num.10:14). They had the largest population in Moses' census recorded in Numbers 1:27 and 26:22.
They prospered so greatly that people would tie a donkey to a choice vine, letting it eat because there is such abundance; wine will be as plentiful as wate4r and everyone will be healthy.  This is likely a millennial prophecy. (MacArthur)

The scepter was a symbol of royal power. The lawgiver, is pertaining to a legislator or one in authority. when the dignitary was seated, the staff would rest between his feet. (Falwell)

The Messiah, Jesus Christ, came through the lineage of the line of Judah. In Revelation 5, no one is able to break the seals and open the scroll. Then, according to verse 5, one of the elders told  John, Do not weep! See the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. (NIV Translation)

The tribe of Judah was a great army. Their cities numbered 36. (verses 20-62)

What kind of legacy are we leaving our children-faith, faithfulness in serving the Lord, teacher, preacher, servant of the Lord Jesus, believer in the Word of God?


What do we know about this man who was the father of the tribe bearing his name?
  • Judah suggested selling Joseph, Israel's youngest son at that time, instead of his brothers leaving Joseph in a well to die. (Gen. 37)
  • Judah had twin sons by his daughter in law, Tamar, who pretended to be a harlot, unbeknownst to him. (Gen. 38)
  • When Judah and his brothers went to Egypt to buy grain for their family during a famine, they encountered that brother Joseph as the agricultural head of that country, which was kept a secret for a while. When Joseph demanded that his brothers' youngest brother, Benjamin, be brought to him next time, it was Judah who promised his father that he'd take the blame if Ben did not return home. (Gen. 43)
  • Because brother Reuben committed fornication with his step-mother Bilhah (Gen 35), his first-born birthright went to brother Judah. Joseph received Reuben's blessing. (Gen 49).
Judah was quite a character, yet he found grace in God's eyes. King David and the Messiah came through his family. What an honor!

Do we consider the influence our life has on future generations of our family to come?


Let the past go and focus on the present and future.

Be encouraged that God can use me in His kingdom work as well as Judah.

Influence my family to be faithful to God.

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Monstrosity

O. T. #474  "A Monstrosity"
March 6, 2105
Joshua 15
She replied, "Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in Negev, give me also springs of water." So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.  Joshua 15:19 NIV


This week I had to deliver my bottle of sample so it could be sent off for testing from my Urologist's office. If it were not done on Wednesday, then I would have to repeat it again. On the trip over to the office, it started sleeting. I expected it since the weatherman predicted sleet and snow for the day. So I left by 9 am hoping to get there and home without any problems. Not happening for me.

After leaving that office, I went to change my bone density test and doctor appointments due to the weather. After the waiting and running to both offices, I achieved my purpose and headed out the door. By that time, the sleet was more than slushy by this time. How was I to get to the car parked up a hill? Oh, I remembered that I parked there so I could come out safely and had to ride the elevator. So that is what I did, went back inside, rode the elevator up to the first floor, walked slowly out to my car and took off. Driving only 30-35 mph and praying all the way home on icy roads, I made it home after taking 35 minutes longer than usual, up and down hills. Praise the Lord for His going before me and never forsaking me! I have stayed home ever since. (Yesterday, the sun melted the snow and the roads are fine.) God is so good!

Well, we left Caleb with a mountain for an inheritance yesterday.
So I looked up in Webster's Dictionary the definition of mountain, which is a land mass that projects conspicuously above its surroundings and is higher than a hill; a vast number or quantity.

I think you will agree with me when I use these words to describe this man who had a mountain of faith as:
a mountaineer(a native or inhabitant of a mountainous region), a foreign mountain man (an American frontiersman at home in the wilderness), one who lived on a spiritual mountain top (the summit of a  mountain), as well as a mountainy ( of, relating to, or living in mountains).

Are you still with me? Hang on, I'm going somewhere with this. Caleb kept his vision on his mountain and the LORD. His vitality was mountainous for an 85 year old. His victory resulted from a
monstrosity  (the quality or state of being monstrous); monstrous is an adjective meaning
deviating greatly from the natural form or character; very great. Yes, Caleb's faith was monstrous, great, huge, in comparison with those around him. I call it extravagant faith. His strength was that of a mountaineer and a mountain man. Quite a guy, wouldn't you agree?

How would they describe us, our faith, our talk, our life? Is it out of the ordinary-extraordinary?


We just thought we were through reading about Caleb-not. He is inserted in the middle of Judah's inheritance. so jump on down to verses 13-19 with me and see what happened a little later on:
  • Caleb's mountain (Hebron) was a portion of Judah's inheritance-Kiriath Arba. Arba was the forefather of Anak. From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites-Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai-descendants of Anak. From there he marched against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Shepher).
  • Caleb offered his daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attachs and captures Kiriath Sepher.
  • Caleb's nephew, Othniel, a brave and capable warrior (Judges 3:9) did so and married Acsah.
  • Caleb gave her the land of Negev, a south land, barren of water.
  • Acsah asked her father Caleb for a further blessing, which was more than a dowry, springs of water, to nourish the field.
  • Caleb gave her the upper springs, and lower springs. (verse 19)
The Christian should joyfully continue to ask the Father for greater blessings, especially for the "spiritual springs" that water the fruitful life. The field that God gives us will never produce fruit apart from the springs of water. (Wiersbe)

Her father responded by giving the couple several springs at various levels in Debir.  Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him  (Matt. 6:8).  (Falwell)

Who was Othniel? He was the first judge after Joshua's death, and her reformed Israel by chasing away an enemy army and restoring peace to the land. (D. Jeremiah)

Sounds like Acsah was surrounded by mountainous men, of great character and faith in God (her father Caleb and husband Othniel).

Are we faithful with what God has given us to honor Him?
Is it a monstrosity?
Do we ask Him by faith and He has given to us?

Yes, I consider myself a mountaineer, a mountain woman, and a mountainy. Most of all, I want to be known for a mountainous faith, deviating from the normal, and very great. It continues to develop it, though, since I haven't reached the top yet.


Let God grow my faith as big as a mountain, even if it requires going through the valleys of hard times.

Stay on the spiritual mountain top with Jesus.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Give Me This Mountain

O. T. #473  "Give Me This Mountain"
March 5, 2015
Joshua 14-Part 2
Now therefore give me this mountain, wherefore the LORD spake in that day: for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 
Joshua 14:12


Do you like living in the mountains or on the flat land? I have lived in both, but I prefer the mountains. I grew up in the mountains. In fact our farm is on a small hill. The highways leading to this area go up and down the hills. The major highway climbs the mountains. There is something about the mountains and hills that gives me encouragement. Perhaps it is that I see the work of God, that they have rocks and boulders on and in them, standing firm. Yes, like Caleb, I would fight for this mountain on which I live.
Like the writer of Psalm 121:1-3, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Caleb reminded Joshua that God promised him the land he spied out 45 years earlier was Caleb's inheritance. It was because Caleb wholly followed the Lord and believed God could give Israel's first generation the Promised Land. He and Joshua were the only ones among the 12 spies who believed that. When he claimed it, Caleb said, Give me this mountain. (verse 12) so Mt. Hebron became the land where the Kenezites came to live.

Caleb said that if the Lord helped him, then he would drive out the Anakites and live on the mountain.

Life Application Study Bible says:
When Joshua gave Caleb his inheritance, it fulfilled a promise God had made to Caleb 45 years earlier. We expect such integrity and reliability from God, but do we expect the same from His followers? How about you? Is your word this reliable? Would you honor a 45-year-old promise?  God would-and does. Even today He is honoring promises He made thousands of years ago. In fact, some of His greatest promises are yet to be fulfilled. This gives us much to look forward to. Let your faith grow as you realize that God keeps His word.


Here are some interesting points from my husband's sermon on this chapter:
  • Caleb would not allow others to determine how close he got to God.
  • He would not settle for less than what God promised him.
  • He refused to take the easy way out.
  • Caleb stood up, stepped up, and spoke up.
  • What we think is what we are; we can't strattle the fence with God.
  • What we do is what we believe; everything else is God talk.
Did you notice that throughout those 45 years Caleb kept following God?
He remembered what God had promised him, even though Caleb was 85 years old.
He didn't settle for a land that was easy to get to, but a mountain which he had to climb.
Caleb was willing to drive out the Anakims, the giants of the land, and conquer their cities in the hill country.

Here are some lessons to ponder:
What do we think about throughout the day? Are we singing praised to our Lord Jesus?
Are we repeating memorized scriptures? Or do we allow the worldly talk around us to dictate our talk?
Are we putting walk to our talk?
Do we let others determine how close we get to God? How easily are we discouraged?
What do we settle for in life-God's best and God's promises or whatever comes our way?

Do you have any mountains to climb in your life?


Stand up for Jesus.

Step up for my faith in Him.

Speak up for our Lord, His Word, and His ways.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


O. T. #472  "Convictions"
March 4, 2015
Joshua 14-Part 1
Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God.  Joshua 14:9


How strong are our convictions? We have seen the convictions of those 21 Christians beheaded in Egypt recently. Now that is definitely a testing of the heart. We must all decide how we would react in such a confrontation. They have received a crown of life for their stand of faith for Jesus. Caleb took a stand for his convictions that God is faithful and would give him his promised mountain for an inheritance. Shall we look into the situation a little closer?

With the conquering of so much of the land of Canaan, Joshua and Eleazar the priest (heads of church and state, so called), began the distribution of the Promised Land to the tribes of Israel. Previously, we read of the distribution of the land east of the Jordan River going to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. Now comes the land west of the river. The apportionment was determined by the casting of lots (a small pebble). Lots were frequently used to determining the will of God. It was done so in the choice of King Saul (1 Sam. 10:19-21) and Matthias as apostle (Acts 1:26). Because the casting of lots assured that no personal ambition or external pressure would decide the outcome, this method was used by Israel. The sovereignty of God alone would prevail, and they would trust The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. (Prov. 16:33).
[Resource: Liberty Bible Commentary]

Caleb, who was Joshua's one-time spy partner, did not need the casting of lots for his inheritance, for God had already promised him and Joshua a certain portion of the land. Caleb was 40 years old when he went to spy out the land of Canaan for Moses. Now he was age 85. He brought word that was in his heart. Caleb and Joshua were the only ones of the twelve spies who believed God could give the first generation of Israel the land of Canaan. This was seen by the second generation.

In her study Guide, The Best Yes, author Lysa TerKeurst says:
Caleb's statement gives a picture of two hearts: his own, and that of the people. the picture we have of Caleb's heart is that it was undivided and filled with faith. Caleb's conviction (meaning heart) made him certain of God's instructions to take the land. In contrast, the people lost their conviction. One heart follows fear and dissolves; the other follows God and is filled with courage.

Joshua says in verse 8 that he wholly followed the LORD his God.
The word wholly means to fill or be full of.

It was Caleb's whole-hearted conviction that God could be trusted which gave Caleb courage to claim what was promised to him.
Caleb was filled with faith in God. He believed God could and would keep His promises. However, the peoples' hearts melted, which means to dissolve, melt as water. As a result of this caused by listening to the report of the other ten spies about the giants in the land, Israel did not conquer Canaan until 45 years later.

Do we live by our convictions of our heart or the ways of the world?
Which is more important to us, pleasing others or pleasing God?
When we are challenged by giants, walls, or armies, do we loose heart or stand by our convictions and God's Word?
Do we allow fears to conquer us or do we conquer them?
Are we whole-heartedly obedient to God, following Him with all of our heart?


What portion of land was Caleb and Joshua promised while back at Kadesh-barnea? (Did you notice that his memory now was just as strong as his physical strength?) Caleb did not forget God's promise to him. According to verse 9, it was the land where their feet trod on that spy expedition. He knew God kept His promises, which included those made to Caleb.

What did Caleb tell Joshua?
  • He wholly followed the LORD. (verse 8)
  • The LORD kept Caleb alive these 45 years during the wondering in the wilderness. (verse 10)
  • Caleb is 85 years old. (verse 10)
  • He is as strong that day as he was 40 years earlier, a strong soldier for the LORD. (verse 11)
  • He boldly claimed his inheritance, Give me this mountain. Mt. Hebron was the burial sight of the patriarchs of Israel. Although the Anakims lived there, Caleb and his tribe would conquer it with God's help.
Will we be that strong in faith as Caleb was, for the next 45 years?


Wholly yield to the Lord.

Know His promises and believe them.

Keep my heart fixed on God.

Depend on God to give me victory in my life.

Thank Him for the victories.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Our Allotment in Life

O. T. #471  "Our Allotment in Life"
March 3, 2015
Joshua 13-Part 2
Only unto the tribe of Levi He gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as He said unto them.   Joshua 13:14


How's our attitude concerning our life as it is? Sure, we all have made mistakes, but we can't undo them nor go back and change them. Well, if only I knew back then what I know now, I would have...
But it doesn't work that way, does it?
However, one thing we can change is our attitude about our current situation. Yes, I am talking to myself. There are times that I wish I could change things, but it is what it is. I need to accept my allotment in life. Be happy, it could be worse. What I can do is be grateful for how God has blessed me and honor Him with what time I have left.

In verse 7, Joshua announced divisions made clear by lot to tribes:
  • east of the Jordan (13:8-33),
  • tribes west of the Jordan (Josh.14-19),
  • Caleb (14:49-15),
  • cities of refuge (20:1-9),
  • Levite towns (ch. 21). (MacArthur)
The tribe of Levi was not given an allotment of land as the other tribes. God had given them the special assignment of serving in the tabernacle (18:7). He had assigned them cities and adjacent lands (14:4; Num. 35:2, 4, 5), scattered at forty-eight places (21:41) throughout all the tribes. This made these religious servants accessible to all the people (ch. 21).  (MacArthur)

The Levites' "financial security" was the offerings which Israel brought to the Lord.
If Christians are connected to any tribe, of Israel, it would be the tribe of Levi. We are called priests (1 Peter 2:5), a special inheritance in God (Eph. 1:11; Col. 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4). We are to see ourselves as priests and understand our real inheritance is God Himself.  (David Guzik)

Do we come daily to the Lord, offering our sacrifices of praise to Him?

Just think about it, of the 12 tribes, the Levite tribe was chosen to be their priests. That was the top of the line in my books. It was such an honor for them, although such a remedial task which God gave them.


Each tribe was to trust God to drive out their enemies. Each was responsible for possessing their allotted land completely. What was promised before the conquering of the Promised Land was being fulfilled.

The portion of land given to the Reubenites, east of the Jordan River, is given according to whom they conquered and listed in verses 15-23. They received all the cities of the southern plain that once belonged to the Amorites. It included the land possessed by Balaam, the soothsayer and pagan prophet. You will recall that he was inquired by Baal to curse Israel so they would not be victorious in doing so. However, God intervened by using a talking donkey to bring Balaam to submit to Him instead. Balaam blessed Israel and gave predictions of the region.

Next is the portion of land given to the tribe of Gad is found in verses 24-28. Moses gave them all the cities of Gilead (Deut. 1:12) from the border of Jazer to Rabbah. It included Succoth where Jacob rested after meeting with Esau (Gen. 33:17). Their western boundary was the Jordan River.  (Falwell)

Lastly, the portion of land given to the half tribe of Manasseh is found in verses 29-33. They received sixty towns. Half of the Gilead was given to Machir, the son of Manasseh.

Are we happy and satisfied with what God has allotted to us?
Are we looking forward to our eternal inheritance?


Stay where God has put me, move when and where He says.

Keep my eyes focused on Jesus, not looking back to my Egypt.

Be happy with my assignment in life.

Rest in Jesus.

Monday, March 2, 2015

How Old is Old?

O. T. #470  "How Old is Old?"
March 2, 2015
Joshua 13-Part 1
 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years: and the LORD ssaid unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.   Joshua 13:1


How old is old?
It's one thing to have a birthday and realize you are getting on up in years, but to have the Lord say you are old and stricken in years... Oh my. No getting around it for him then; poor old Joshua. Maybe it doesn't bother the men folk like it does us ladies. Actually, 60, 70, 80, even 90 do not seem that old any more. Now when I was a kid, that was another thing. My parents were 32 when I was born, so they always seemed old to me. Not any more. It all depends on your perspective, right? Which side of the fence you are on?

Thou art old and stricken in years...
Webster's Dictionary says the word stricken means afflicted or overwhelmed by or as if by disease, misfortune, or sorrow; made incapable or unfit.

By this time he (Joshua) was about 95, in comparison to Caleb's 85 years (14:10). In 23:1, he was 110 and near death (24:29). (MacArthur)

I like the way Falwell put it: Joshua was now of advanced age, and he had brought Israel well along the road to the blessing promised to them by Jacob (Gen. 49) and by Moses (Deut. 33).

Since those in the Old Testament times lived longer than our times, a person 95 probably was not having one foot in the grave.

Isn't age a state of the mind, anyway? Some may consider 60 old and stricken in years, but I don't. (Of course, since that is my age, it may have something to do with it.)
Is there a time when we retire or quit from serving the Lord? No, not that I can find.

Any thoughts on the subject?


Although Israel had conquered land east of the Jordan River and given it to the 2 1/2 tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, they were not finished yet. Thirty-five cities had been possessed by Israel in seven years, but they had not completed the task of conquering the whole Promised Land. There was still more of the Canaanite and Philistine land to take over.

The New International Version puts it this way: There are still very large areas of land to be taken over, while the King James Version says, There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.

The Christian church has been around many a year, however, there is still much spiritual land to be possessed for our Lord Jesus Christ by sharing the gospel and bring the lost to salvation in Him.

What are our unconquered lands? They may be ethical issues, personal problems, sins in our life to overcome, underdeveloped talents, unused gifts, lack of prayer and Biblical reading.
What territory has God given us to conquer? Perhaps they are overseas, in our neighborhood, or in our family. We must be busy fulfilling the mission God has assigned us. Then we will be ready to inherit out Promised Land in heaven.

Paul challenges us in 1 Corinthians 15:34a, Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God.

Just as Joshua and the Israelites had more land to be taken over, we have more people to bring to Jesus before the trumpet sounds.
Are we telling others about the one True Living God, our God?


Keep serving Jesus, no matter what age I am.

Share the things Jesus has done for me during my years.

Tell the Good News of Jesus.

Pray for others to come to know His as their Savior.