Reading #1 – Joshua 6
Reading #2 – Psalms 130
Reading #3 – Proverbs 27
Reading #4 – John 4
Reading #5 – 2 Samuel 7
Joshua 6 – The Fall of Jericho. Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. But the LORD said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day, you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town (1-5).” Jericho was the first bastion to capture on the other side of the Jordan and was Joshua’s first test as the commander of Israel. Joshua first was obedient to the Lord (5:14). This is significant because, when we are not obedient to those who command us, we cannot hope for the people below us to be obedient to us. Joshua honored the agreement that the spies had made with Rahab. The command “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you will be destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel (18)” speaks to the command against “looting for personal gain.” To loot for personal gain would put the nation on par with the nation that was being destroyed because of sin.
2 Samuel 7 – G_d’s Covenant with David. This covenant was not because David was super special but because he first humbled himself before the Lord in a single act of obedience and lived in obedience throughout his life until Bathsheba. David wanted to build a special place for the ark of the covenant. G_d never desired a “special place” because it would become an idol to worship rather than the G_d who makes it holy. In G_d’s eyes, he would rather have a tent to cover the ark and the people covered in obedience than to have a large structure and the people living in sin. “Go and tell my servant, David, ‘This is what the LORD has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in? I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. I have always moved from one place to another with a tent and a Tabernacle as my dwelling. Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s tribal leaders, the shepherds of my people Israel. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house (5-7)?”
Psalms 131 – My Attitude during Pilgrimage. If anything can set the tone for our journey in life it is this Psalm. LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me (1-2).” During our journey through life, we can get caught up in the frustrations of life and lose hope or become arrogant in our ways. G_d is not concerned about our wealth situation as much as he is concerned about our spiritual condition. We can be so rich in this world that we become proud and boisterous or become so poor that we steal and dishonor G_d at both ends of the spectrum (Proverbs 30:7-9). O Israel, put your hope in the LORD— now and always (3).
Proverbs 27 – Setting the Course For Our Life. We have choices that lead us in different directions. Once we set the course, there is no going back so we must make good decisions. A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest (8). What leads us away from our home in search of someone or something different always begins when we feel abandoned, misused, needs are unmet, and life just isn’t everything we want. How or why we entered into a relationship has a great influence on the situations we are facing. When all we can see is the physical person, we will become either infatuated or disgusted and we lose sight of the true person – the spirit of the individual. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the (12). Some enter relationships like the simpleton in Proverbs 7 and so the relationship ends in disaster others are like Abraham sending his servant to get a spouse for his son Isaac (Genesis 24).
John 4 – Jesus and the Samaritan Woman. A “good Jewish boy would never have anything to do with a Samaritan” so it was thought. Yet, Jesus met with the Samaritan woman and showed who he was by calling out the “white lie” “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth (17-18). In saying this, the woman knew Jesus was not one that could not be lied to and she listened to him. In this world, it is common practice to hide our misgivings under the guise of “words” yet, it creates problems and issues never get resolved. For Jesus, this insignificant woman and the disdained people of Samaria were spiritual crops ready to be harvested and brought before G_d with rejoicing.