Reading #1 – Joshua 9
Reading #2 – Psalms 134
Reading #3 – Proverbs 30
Reading #4 – John 7
Reading #5 – 2 Samuel 10
Joshua 9 – The Gibeonite Deception. The Gibeonites who lived within the boundaries of Canaan knew they would be next on the hit list so they resorted to deception. “This bread was hot from the ovens when we left our homes. But now, as you can see, it is dry and moldy. These wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and split open. And our clothing and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.” So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the LORD. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath (12-15). Once the deception had been discovered, the Gibeonites confessed to their sin. Unfortunately, Joshua and the elders were powerless to do anything because they ratified it on an oath in the name of the Lord G_d. The people were conscripted to hard labor. Regretfully, this would not be the last we will hear about the Gibeonites and the problems they would cause the nation. King Saul would be s decedent from Gibea. In the book of Judges, the Gibeonites would teach the descendants of Benjamin in the ways of sodomy and would lead to outright war against the tribes of Israel ending in their near demise (Judges 19-21).
2 Samuel 10 – David Defeats the Ammonites. This was another case of people not thinking before they act. Hanun had just been instilled as King of the Ammonites. Before Hanun Nahush had been loyal to David. David sent a contingency to congratulate king Hanun but, the king acted on the words of the commanders and mistreated the men only the did he consider the ramifications and called for support. Of course, the little nation of Amnon was no match for mighty Israel. When all the kings allied with Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to Israel and became their subjects. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites (19). There was no need for this blood bath but because of one foolish decision, the whole nation ended up in slavery.
Psalms 134 – Prayer for the Night Priests. This prayer encourages those who watched the temple in the evening hours. Oh, praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,
you who serve at night in the house of the LORD. Lift your hands toward the sanctuary,
and praise the LORD (1-2).
Proverbs 30 – The Sayings of Agur. In Proverbs 1, the admonition is given for mankind to seek wisdom. Seeking wisdom is not a mere matter of reading nor is it just listening to the words, it is acting upon them before committing to a course of action. Mankind has always had its way of screwing up just about everything it does simply because he or she refuses to seek wisdom. King Hanun did not think through his course of action and because of it, he lost his kingdom before it even started (2 Samuel 10). Joshua and the elders accepted the Gibeonites without seeking the counsel of the Lord and because of it, a war would break out between Gibeah and the tribes of Israel (Joshua 9). I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One (1-3).
John 7 – Jesus and His Brothers. Jesus was never in a hurry to do or say anything. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee (2-9). Jesus had a plan and was always careful to honor his Father in everything he did or said. The religious leaders didn’t like him because he held up a mirror for them to see their duplicity. “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly (21-24).”