Reading #1 – Joshua 19
Reading #2 – Psalms 144
Reading #3 – Proverbs 1
Reading #4 – John 17
Reading #5 – 2 Samuel 20
Joshua 19 – Allotment of the Remaining Land. After the land had been divided, Joshua was given his choice of land because of the work he had done so he chose Timnath-Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. Joshua and Caleb were the only two individuals that chose their inheritance the rest were given them by lots. These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders allocated as grants of land to the tribes of Israel by casting sacred lots in the presence of the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. So the division of the land was completed (51).
2 Samuel 20 – Sheba’s Revolt. Sheba son of Bicri from the tribe of Ephraim revolted against king David and drew the people of Israel away from David. This was the 2nd coup that David had during his reign. In the early days of his reign beginning at Ziklag and then in Hebron, people flocked to David because of how he treated them and cared for them. After his shell of righteousness was cracked, his kingdom was fractured causing several fragments to occur. Sheba ran to the town of Abel-Beth-Maakah which was a city within the territory belonging to Ephraim’s lineage. The Bicrites prepared for battle but they were the only ones. When Joab and David’s army caught up with Sheba, they attacked the town. If it had not been for a wise woman, the town would have been destroyed because of one man (Proverbs 22:10). So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.” “I’m listening,” he said. Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’ I am one who is peace-loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel (17-19). The woman and the people of the town cut off Sheba’s head and threw it down to Joab and then Joab and the army departed as agreed.
Psalms 144 – A Psalm of David. The victories we enjoy are not because “we are so good” but because G_d is so good and so good to us. David understood how his relationship with the Lord G_d was a key element to the successes he so greatly received. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me (2). When we become proud of what He has given us, sin finds its way into our hearts and trouble will start in our home first, then our community, state, nation, and world. O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow (3-4). When we live to please G_d and walk in obedience to him, he passes on our blessing to our children when we are gone from the earth. Earlier in David’s reign, he had a search done to find out if there were any descendants of Jonathan that David could bless and one person has found Mephibosheth a disabled young man the grandson of Jonathan. David was faithful to the young man and gave him the property that belonged to Jonathan.
Proverbs 1 – The Purpose of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is rich with gemstones that come about from foolish mistakes made by the Kings of Israel. In this chapter the writer, presumably, Solomon (1:1), admonishes his son to learn wisdom and to walk in the pathways of wisdom. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance (5). The word “Let” means the reader has to make a choice, open his or her heart, and receive the wisdom or scoff at it. Nowhere in scripture will you read that “G_d will strike you dead if you don’t accept his word.” Now, you may die for your sins simply because action brings about consequences. My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck (8-9). That chain around your neck will come at the end of the race when the results are shown (1 Corinthians 9:24). Satan’s prize jewel is mere synthetic materials that shine under the observation lights but lose their glow when the lights are turned off. Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot (13-14).”
John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer. The High Priest’s job is to bring the sins of the people before G_d to get his forgiveness by offering a sacrifice in place of the sin. In this chapter, Jesus is praying his priestly prayer to the Father. Over the 3.5 years of service, Jesus had defeated the enemy on multiple fronts by maintaining a righteous life in the face of pressure from the Sanhedrin. Jesus frustrated the Devil’s plans for the disciples and specifically Peter whom Satan wanted to sift like wheat to break this young man down and bring Peter under the Devil’s control but Jesus prayed for him (Luke 22:31-32). nd this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do (3-4). The simplest prayer would be “Father take these children home before me so that they would not have to face the trials to come; but, if he prayed that and had G_d honored it, we as the church Jesus would never know the power that comes through obedience. Jesus would die on the cross not because he died for any sin of his own or the death on the cross would have been meaningless.