Bible Readings for 3/20/22

Joshua 7:1-15

Psalms 65

Proverbs 23:28-35

Isaiah 2:1-5

2 Samuel 2:12-23

Mike’s Notes

Joshua 7:1-15 – The Sin of Achan. The nation was under strict orders by the Commander of the Lord’s army about the devoted things. When Achan took some of the devoted things “precious metals” he did three things, he caused problems for himself, his family, and the nation at large. No one but the minion “greed” knew about Achan’s actions until the nation went into battle (1). The spies’ report indicated that it would be an easy victory but it wasn’t. Achan was responsible for the deaths of 36 men in Israel because of his greed (2-5). Joshua had witnessed first-hand the power of G-d in the defeat of the Natufians and the earlier battles yet, he becomes upset that the same G-d who called him also apparently abandoned him and the nation (6-9). Personal Notes: Sin alters G-d’s plans and timetable because He will not put up with sin. If the nation never saw another day of battle, Achan might well have lived with hidden sin. The thing about the minion Greed is that it never works alone, it always has an accomplice. Joshua should have known that something was wrong because G-d never promises things that He has no intention of coming through on.

Psalms 65 – O G-d of Our Salvation. In Jerusalem or Zion, the people gathered at the temple of the Lord. This was the established “High place” and people brought their sacrifices to it. In Solomon’s time, the first Temple would be built in the location where David established the tent of meeting (1). Part of healing is dealing with sin and atoning for it. Coming to the Lord implies that we open the Ark of our heart to expose the things we have hidden in it (2-4). The Lord forgives sin he does not hold it against us simply, he removes the wall that divides us. Once our sins are dealt with, he clears the road and leads to higher grounds for his purposes. The roaring seas which held us at bay in fear and doubt are calmed by the movement of his hand (5-8). The ground that we stand on is healed by Him, not by anything we do. He waters the land so that fruit will grow where weeds once dominated (9-13). Personal Notes: The Lord heals our land just as he alone can heal our nation and our world. Mankind is unable to heal divides that tear our nation and our world apart because their motives always cause another problem. As long as we look to our world leaders to heal the divide we will always be disappointed and future generations will deal with our mistakes.

Proverbs 23:28-35 – Words of the Wise. What is being implied here is “balance” and knowing your limitations. Wine, although it heals the stomach it also causes problems in the home and the community to say nothing of what it does to you personally. Under its influence, people bring harm to themselves and do not know it until much later on. Choosing to or not to drink is a personal choice that no law nor city ordinance can stand in the way of your choice but beware of the consequences.

Isaiah 2:1-5 – The Mountain of the Lord. This poem was written at a time when Jerusalem was just beginning to hear the drums of war. 200 years earlier the nation enjoyed the preeminence of David and how the nation flourished. Now the nation was divided yet they had a relative of David on the throne however diminished it may have been. The word latter implies “following” or “days to come”. When the Messiah came, so the stories say, he will re-establish the throne of David. When Jesus arrived on the scene, he taught the full Word of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. Because of his methods combined with the fruit of healing and restoration, people across Israel and Judah sought him out and followed him wherever he went. The disciples were from various tribes and occupations but that did not stop them from working together to accomplish Jesus’ mission (1-5). Personal Notes: Jesus did not judge in the literal sense but considered that the people were like sheep without a shepherd. Unfortunately, Jesus was not liked by those who were the community leaders. In a round-about way, the people did stop the fighting over the teachings and went to the Teacher who healed their wounds. Remember this little tidbit about Prophecy, the Lord accomplishes his purposes in a “manner of speaking” instead of literally. If things were done literally, the Messiah could be manufactured and still be authentic.

2 Samuel 2:12-23 – The Battle of Gibeon. The two opposing sides met at the pool of Gibeon. The two commanders Joab and Abner decided to have six men from each side have a skirmish. Unfortunately, all 12 died which proved nothing. The name Helkath-Hazzurim means, “Field of Sharp knives” (12-17, ). Asahel’s death was due to his unwillingness to listen to Abner’s recommendation. Abner had no desire to face Joab who was known for his brutality (18-23). Personal Notes: The skirmish at the pool was a sideshow put on to entertain Joab and Abner which I believe was par for the course at that time. David was not at the pool in Gibeon or he might very well have refused the contest.

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