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MARCH 24 READINGS…Joshua 7:1 & ! Chronicles 2:7 & Joshua 7:2-9:27.
In today’s readings we learn a lesson from the Israelites…when we should not pray, and when we should pray.
The Israelites were moving from Jericho to Ai. They easily out numbered the people of Ai, and should have taken the city quickly. But there was a problem…a man named Achan had become greedy and kept that which belonged to the Lord from the plunder of Jericho. The Israelites were routed by the men of Ai…this caused Joshua and the leaders to tear their clothing and fall on their face before God. God’s reply was, “why are you acting like this…why are you on you face calling out to me…the camp has sin in it”. Joshua followed the instructions of God and got up and found the guilty man. The man, his belongings, and his family were destroyed for bringing sin into the camp. A lesson for us is that we should not be praying when it is time to get up and do the right thing. Once God has shown us the right thing to do…we need to do it, and not keep asking God what to do.
But following this episode the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership neglected to pray to God when they need to. A group from Gibeon had come to the people of Israel and Joshua in order to deceive them, that they might make a treaty. Joshua should have sought the Lord for wisdom in this encounter, but instead he relied on what his eyes told him…he made an unwise treaty with these people who had deceived him. Most today would have just said they lied to us so we wont keep our treaty…but our integrity and word is not based upon the lack of integrity and truthfulness of others. If Joshua would have sought the Lord, the Lord would have given him understanding and insight as to what the Gibeonites were doing.
Please share you insights from today’s readings. There are times we need to pray and times we need to act…he Holy Spirit gives wisdom to us in knowing the difference.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Joshua 10:1-12:6.


MARCH 22 READINGS…Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12 & Joshua 1:1-2:24.
Moses finishes his life and ministry to Israel on behalf of the Lord. He speaks a blessing over the twelve tribes of Israel…all except Simeon. If you remember Jacob’s blessings over his sons in Genesis 49…in the seventh verse here is what he says about Simeon and Levi…”Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel.” And this if fulfilled as Joshua divides the land once the Israelites enter in…Joshua 19:1, “The second lot came out for Simeon, for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. And their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.” Simeon and Levi had committed murder, causing their father to say that they would never inherit land. Levi, we know, became the priestly tribe, with no land. Simeon was given an inheritance inside the territory of Judah, and pretty much lost their identity as a tribe. Moses dies, without his strength being taken or his eyes growing dim…he was buried in an unknown location on Mount Nebo. Moses had a unique position as a prophet of God…he was the one and, only one, whom the Lord knew face to face.
Joshua takes leadership of the nation of Israel…it is his job to lead the people into the land of promise. After the proper time of morning for Moses, Joshua prepares the people to enter the land. He sends in two men to spy out the city of Jericho. The Israelites were encamped on the east side of the Jordan River and Jericho was the first city on the west side. The men went in and stayed at the home of a prostitute named Rahab. The people of Jericho were totally afraid of the Israelites, for they had heard of the things they had done on the east side of the Jordan River. The king of Jericho sent his men to find the two men sent in by Joshua…but Rahab hid them, and told the kings men that they had already left. Rahab made a pact with the men to save her household when the Israelites overthrew Jericho. Rahab and her family would be safe as long as they and she did what the men required. The men returned to Joshua with a report that the people of Jericho were filled with fear and they could take the city. Everything was about to begin to play out just as the Lord had said. The Israelites could trust God’s Word…and we can trust God’s Word. When God says He will do something…we can know He will do it.
Please share your insights and thoughts from today’s readings. Know that in Jesus God has declared your eternal salvation…what God has declared for us through Jesus…God will do!


MARCH 19 READINGS… Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1.
Today’s readings are very serious and at times quite disturbing…intentionally so. We began our readings with Moses reminding the people to always bring the first fruits to the Lord. First fruits mean the first of the harvest, and the best of the harvest. This was required as an acknowledgment that all that they had was because of the blessings of the Lord. The people needed to be continually reminded of this truth. Leftovers was not acceptable…just anything one had left lying around was not acceptable…what was not usable to the person was not acceptable to God. God required the first and the best…for God always gives the first and the best. We too are called to give our first and best to the Lord. It is neither a biblical offering or a sacrifice when we give God only what we have leftover. We give not because God needs anything from us…but in giving we acknowledge that God has provided everything to us. We exist…we produce…we prosper…we have what we have…by the grace of God. A giving heart is the acknowledgement of the grace of God, who pours blessings into our lives.
Moses shares again the covenant that the Lord has made with Israel…it is a conditional covenant. Which means their are “ifs” involved. Depending upon what the people do…they will either receive blessings from the Lord, or curses from the Lord…and as you have read some of these curses are horrific. I believe our country (founded on biblical principles) is now under the curse of the Lord…and it is just beginning, we have not seen anything yet. I picked a couple verses from our reading for us to consider as to what is ahead for our nation that has rejected God, and now celebrates and participates in every abominable and detestable thing imaginable. HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD…”If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you…They will attack your cities until all the fortified walls in your land—the walls you trusted to protect you—are knocked down…The siege and terrible distress of the enemy’s attack will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters…” Don’t be deceived by the progressive religious deadheads of our time…God is not mocked…every decision has consequences…we need to choose today either blessings or cursing…our decision will determine which. I close with this reminder, oh people of God hear the Word of the Lord…”If My people, who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”-2 Chronicles 7:14. Oh how we need the Lord to heal our land…it’s far past time for us to return to Him!
Please share any thoughts you have from today’s reading, or from my devotional. May the Lord touch all our hearts, bring us to a place of repentance…and may we return to being one nation under God…and if not a nation, may we be one church under God!
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 29:2-31:29


MARCH 18 READINGS…Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
A central theme through the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy is that God is a holy God, and that He has called His people to holiness. This theme leads to a better understanding of the justice of God, and the strict requirements the Lord gives Moses to share with the people of Israel. By now it should be abundantly clear that sin is a serious matter to the Lord. He is concerned for His people that they would both bring sin into the camp…and they would let that sin grow. The Lord gives very severe punishments for many things that almost seem the norm it today’s godless society. From rebellious children to pre-marital sex, the punishments were death. From taking care of the poor and treating them honestly to being responsible for your neighbors well-being…these instructions were given for a well structured society. Our modern day society can learn much about goodness, righteousness, and holiness in reading these wonderful books of the Bible.
Once again in our readings we see the importance of the people of God being right with God in order to come into His house of worship. Worship of God is a serious thing in the eyes of God…therefore He gave Moses important instructions, and commands concerning worship. The foreigner to the things of God could not be part of the worship…only those who were of God could worship God with the Israelites. Our modern day casual attitude in coming before God in worship, is for the most part not biblical worship…rather it is profane personal preferences and offerings that we like and have chosen to bring to Him. We need to understand clearly that in Moses’ day it was the Lord who was “in charge” of worship…and today we need to understand that it is the Holy Spirit of the Lord that is “in charge” of worship…or it is NOT worship. The Lord does not accept just anything in worship…nor does He accept just anyone. The Lord accepts worship that is from the Holy Spirit through His people…and God only accepts those who have come to Him through His Son Jesus! Those who are foreign to God because they do not know or trust in Jesus cannot offer authentic worship to God.
Please share your insights and thoughts. Ask the Holy Spirit to work in your life sanctifying you, making you holy, in order to come before the Lord. Recognize your standing with God in Christ Jesus…and submit to the leadership of His Spirit as you worship Him!
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1.


MARCH 17 READINGS…Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
Moses continues with his instructions to the nation of Israel prior to the time that he would leave them. There is much instruction in today’s readings. As there is far too much for me to cover in my sharing, I have chosen two issues that Moses deals with…the call to holiness for His people, and justice.
The Lord tells Moses to instruct the people that they are about to enter a land filled with people who practice things that are detestable to the Lord. Please hear…its not that these things are a “little” off, or merely incorrect…these things are detestable. God warns His people not to practice any of the things they see these pagan people doing. As a matter of fact God gives instruction to utterly destroy these people, because their actions and their idol worship is such an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. The people of God then, and now are warned NOT to be involved in the sacrifice of their children to the false gods, like Molech…yet today our land is filled with the innocent blood of unborn children who have been sacrificed to this false god, and people make laws and celebrate in their bloodlust. The Lord instructs His people to stay away from fortune-telling, sorcery, interpreting omens, witchcraft, casting spells, psychics, and necromancy. Anyone who does these things are detestable to the Lord…don’t be mistaken it is not just the acts that are detestable, but also those who commit these acts. Church, hear the Word of the Lord… 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
Therefore, “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
Then Moses speaks to the people about justice. We have already read and spoken of the Lord’s instruction for justice previously…but now Moses is adding a new aspect to the matter of justice in the land. Suppose that an accuser falsely accuses another before the judges of the land. Moses told them that if it is found that the accusation was found to be false, then the accuser would be required to suffer the punishment for the offense that was stated. I have long thought that this would be a great principle in our legal system. This one thing kept many false accusations from being made in the nation of Israel. We live in a day and time where just being accused of something can destroy an individual. Just suppose if we implemented this God-given system of justice for the false accusers…how many would think twice before attempting to destroy someone with their false accusations?
Please share your insights and thoughts from today’s readings. May God give us strength to live in this world, but never to become like this world. Remember my brothers and sisters…this world is not our home, don’t get to comfortable here by becoming like it!
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19.


MARCH 16 READINGS…Deuteronomy 13:1-16:17.
In our readings today Moses deals with the reality that the people would be enticed to depart from the worship of the One, True, and Living God…to begin to worship other gods. The Lord takes idolatry very seriously…it is the breaking of the first and greatest commandment. A people cannot serve, love, and worship God…and at the same time go after idols and false gods. Moses gives severe punishments for those who would come into the nation, or from the nation, and attempt to lead the people into idolatry. The punishment for these acts was to be death. The Lord said to kill the false prophets…to kill even your own family, if they tried to lead you into the worship of false gods. Some might think this too severe a punishment…but we must remember that physical death cannot be compared to spiritual death. This is lost on today’s generations…we have been groomed to believe that this life is all there is, and that the worse thing that could happen to us would be to die physically. There are things worse than physical death…our minds cannot comprehend eternity, and we certainly cannot fathom the horror of spending eternity separated from God in hell. Jesus put it like this…”For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”-Mark 8:36.
In the second part of our readings Moses continues to give final instructions to the people concerning clean and unclean animals…the giving of tithes…how to treat those who are indebted to you, and who have become servants because of debt. Finally, Moses reminds the people of the necessity of honoring God by keeping the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread…the Festival of Harvest…and the Festival of Shelters. These were not given for the purpose of celebration alone, though they were celebrations for the people…these were given as remembrances of the provisions of God. This people needed to remember where they were and how God brought them to the place where they are. History is important…its a sad thing that some try to erase it…it is not always pretty, clean, or pleasant…but it is important we remember and learn from the past. We who are believers in Jesus need to remember what we were like when Jesus found us and saved us from our sins…we need to celebrate the Lord for His eternal goodness toward us!
Please share your thoughts and insights from today’s readings. Take time to remember your journey. Can you see the Lord’s hand upon you? Do your remember what you were like when the Lord found you? As you remember, praise Him for His goodness in your life.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 16:14-21:9.


MARCH 15 READINGS…Deuteronomy 10:1-12:32
In today’s readings Moses shares how he went back up on the mountain and met with God so that the original tablets with the Ten Commandments could be replaced. Moses spend another forty days on the mountain, then placed the tablets in the Ark of the Covenant. As Moses recounted this, he also reminded the people that they had seen all the mighty things the Lord had done. They were responsible for what they had seen…both to walk in obedience to the Lord, and to teach their children about following the Lord. Moses tells them that the choice was theirs…either blessings or a curse. Obedience to the Lord would bring blessings from the Lord…disobedience would bring the curse down on the people. This is a reminder to us that every choice, every decision, has consequences…today our obedience brings the Lord’s blessings, and or disobedience brings the Lord’s discipline.
Moses warns the people that when they get into the land of promise that they needed to be careful to worship God where He tells them, and how He tells them. They are not to follow the worship practices of the pagan groups who they would find in the land. Those people worshiped idols, and offered their children to the fire as a sacrifice to their worthless and demonic gods. The world cannot tell the people of God how to worship Him. Sadly, too many of our churches today have not learned this truth…they seek the lost world for instruction on how they ought to worship God. It has always caused me to shake my head in amazement when I see the “church growth experts” telling the church to survey their neighborhoods to find out what the people want the church to be in order for them to come church. We have our instructions…and the world cannot add anything to what the Lord has given us. The only things surveying the world and following their desires for what the church should be can bring to the church is ungodliness and worldliness. We are to seek God, and be His church…”doing” church solely as He instructs.
Please share your thoughts and insights from today’s readings. Choose with me today blessings and not a curse…choose to be obedient to the Lord our God!
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 13:1-16:17.


MARCH 11 READINGS…Numbers 34:1-36:13.
In today’s readings the Lord sets the boundaries of the land that He is giving to the nation of Israel. Interesting it is not the full of the land given in the Abrahamic Covenant…but the borders given to Moses are very similar to the borders of modern day Israel. The question may arise, as it has down through the ages, what claim does Israel have to the land? The simple answer would be that the land belongs to the Lord, and He can give it to whoever He chooses. This “retaking” of the land is in accord with the covenant that God made with Abraham…and in fulfillment of the promised prophecy that the Lord spoke to Abraham about his descendants being in Egypt for four hundred years and then be brought back into the land. It is clear both historically, and prophetically, that God has a special plan for this land…and for Israel being in the land. Even today 4000 years after Moses this land is still the center of the world’s attention…and I would say the center of God’s prophetic promises.
As the different tribes of Israel are given their assigned land, the Lord gives instruction to Moses concerning the cities of the Levites and the cities of refuge…He also gives instruction for women who have inherited land. The Levites would not be given a tribal land…instead they were to build cities throughout the whole of Israel…forty-eight cities in all. This would enable the Levites, who were the priestly tribe, to minister to the whole nation of Israel. Moses also appointed six cities of refuge…three on each side of the Jordan River. These cities were places for someone to flee to if they accidently killed another person…they would be kept from being killed by the avenger from the family of the person they accidently killed. These cities were not a safe place for murderers…all people convicted of murder, by two or more witnesses, were to be put to death. Right from the beginning of the nation of Israel capital punishment was required for those guilty intentionally murdering another person.
Please share any thoughts or insight you have from today’s readings. We finish the book of Numbers today…tomorrow we move into reading the book of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy we will read Moses’ final words and instructions to Israel, as we move to the time of transition of leadership from Moses to Joshua.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 1:1-3:20.


MARCH 10 READINGS…Numbers 32:1-33:56.
As the time for the Israelites moves closer to enter the promise land, two of the tribes, Gad and Reuben, decide that they wanted to stay on the eastside of the Jordan River. They wanted their land assignment to be there, rather than on the westside of the river. This request initially makes Moses angry as he sees it in much the same spirit as what had happened forty years earlier when the people had refused to enter the promise land because of fear. Fear is dangerous in the life of followers of Jesus…decisions made in fear are not made from a sound mind. Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 1:7…”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The Israelites responding in fear rather than in faith caused them to wander for forty years, and for those who were twenty years and older to miss the promise land. Fear will always cause us to miss the wonderful things that God has for us…we need to be a people who walk in faith, not in fear. The two tribes told Moses that they were not refusing to go in and conquer the land, but wanted to stay on the eastside of the Jordan…they would go in with the other tribes, and even lead the way in conquering the land and driving out the inhabitants. Moses agree to do this…but warned them to keep their promise.
Moses recounts the Israelites travels through the wilderness for their forty years of wandering. They were on the westside of the Jordan across from Jericho. Moses would not be going into the land with them, but he would give them their instructions for going into the land. We are a day away from starting the book of Deuteronomy, where we will read Moses’ final instructions to the nation of Israel before his death. His orders to the people as they entered the land of promise was to drive those who inhabited it, and to destroy all the graven images and pagan shrines. This land belonged to the Lord, and He was giving it to the nation of Israel…He wanted it clean. The Lord wants us clean also…there is no room the Lord and for idols in our lives. God will not share His place with anyone or anything else. We are called to love God with every fiber of our being…and to worship Him only.
Please share any thoughts or insights you have from today’s readings.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Numbers 34:1-Numbers 36:13.


MARCH 9 READINGS…Numbers 30:1-31:54.
The Lord gives instruction to Moses concerning any vows the people would make. Vows were a serious thing, it is more than a commitment, it is a strong promise to do something…if the people make a vow, they were required to keep it. The Lord had special requirements for the a virgin who still lived with her father. Because she was under his authority her vow only stood if her father agreed to it. The Lord also told Moses about vows that were made by married women…the woman was under the authority of her husband, he would have to validate or invalidate the vow. If he did not do so in a timely manner the vow would stand. The Lord set the order in the home for the women either under the authority of her father, or her husband.
It was coming close to the time of Moses’ death, and before that time the Lord intended to punish the Midianites for their sin against Israel and the Lord. Moses selected 1000 men from each of the twelve tribes and sent them to destroy the Midianites. They carried out their assignment in a partial manner…they killed the kings of Midian, and even Balaam…but they did not kill the woman who were no longer virgins. This angered Moses because these were the women who enticed the men of Israel into sexual immorality and idolatry. Moses had them killed. After this the spoils of war were separated properly among the fighting men and the nation of Israel. The Lord takes sin seriously and will always deal with the rebellion of mankind…may we take a lesson from the way He dealt with the Midianites.
Please share your thoughts and insights from the readings. Bless you all as you read and feast upon the Word of God.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Numbers 32:1-33:56.