Bible Reading for 4/3/2022

Joshua 12

Psalms 71

Proverbs 28:1-17

Isaiah 9:1-7

2 Samuel 7:1-17

Mike’s Notes

Joshua 12 – The Defeated Kings. The kings that were defeated were recorded for the purpose of “encouragement to the nation”. Remember, the nation was about to finish the conquest and would enter the most dangerous phase of their journey “taking control of the land”. You see when the battle is raging the people unite for the purpose. During the heavy conflict, people pray to the Lord for protection and deliverance. When the battle is over and peace ensues an internal conflict crops up and that is, “struggling with sin”. These kings lost their lives and their kingdoms at the hands of Israel. The problem was those nations that remained would serve Israel until Israel became too weak to command the nations and then those people would resurrect the defeated kingdoms and conquer Israel. In the same way, when we escape the clutches of sin no matter what it is, we need to be aware of and remember the battles that we won. The familiar scripture “As far as the east is from the west so far has he has cast our sin behind us” (Psalm 103:12) doesn’t mean that the sin or transgression is completely gone. In fact, the sin or “transgression” will always be a 180 degree turn around.

Psalms 71 – Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent. A refuge is a place you can go to where it is safe. In the state of Minnesota where I live, just like there are in other states, there are animal refuges where the animals are safe from hunting. For the animals to grow and mature, the environment must support the animals’ needs such as food and shelter. The environment doesn’t give the animals food, it provides the opportunity for the animals to forge the food to feed themselves and their young. In the same way, the Kingdom of G-d is a place of refuge for everyone who comes to the Lord. In this place, we are not given everything without us once having to work for it or once having dealt with disappointment and failure. The writer, most likely David, knew what it was like to walk in the high places of the Kingdom and equally knew what it was like to walk in the marshlands amid the quicksand. No matter how bad the situations got to be, his strength and faith grew strong and unbreakable. I encourage those who are going through troubles that seem to pin them down at every turn to keep their eyes on the Lord and never leave his place of refuge even when things seem utterly hopeless.

Proverbs 28:1-17 – Proverbs for Life. Life is like quicksand in that it is formed from earthquakes, flowing water, and sand. The surface always looks stable like something you can build a home on yet when a little pressure is put on it, the item sinks. The film industry incorrectly portrays quicksand by showing people sinking to their deaths. The truth is that you only sink to your waist but you can still die from it due to hypothermia, dehydration, predators, crush syndrome, and drowning from an incoming wave (Quicksand). Sin in many ways is similar to quicksand because it holds you in a precarious place and makes the victim susceptible to the same problems as quicksand. The world laughs at sin because people get entangled in it causing problems such as people falling down drunk or being so high that they put on a comedy show that is recorded for the world to laugh at. When we first venture into sin, we do not realize the predicament we are in until we are so stuck that life becomes hopeless and we look forward to death. The reprehensible part of this is that the Devil is clever and talks people into doing his bidding. The person who takes the nibble on the Devil’s lure is often used as bait for bigger fish.

Isaiah 9:1-7 – For to Us, a Child is Born. Verses 6-7 are a familiar bit of scripture and read during the Christmas season. The problem is that are many other moving pieces that we need to consider. From the time of Solomon to the closing days of Manasseh the nation would endure manifold numbers of struggles and fights from within. In the coming days of the Messiah, the one “who would build the temple to the Lord G-d” would be a stark difference from priests and scribes and was the reason why he was rejected. The reference to the “day of Midian” refers to the incident where Moses defeated the Midianites in the closing days of his life (Numbers 31). At the time of this writing, they were perilous days that were rocking Judah’s world and the struggles were coming from within. The encouragement I find from this segment is that no matter how bad the days were or how many threats were confronting the nation Hope is on the way. Today, we face the same issue with the manifold troubles in the world and it is so easy to get downhearted and fearful but I encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord He will never leave nor forsake us. Having the Lord at our side doesn’t imply “that our road will always be smooth and flat”. No matter how bad the signs of the time are, no matter how devasting the news of destruction, and/or how crazy the road signs are, keep your eyes on the Lord at all times.

2 Samuel 7:1-17 – The Lord’s Covenant with David. David was the Lord’s anointed agent on the earth in his time. It was his desire to build a Temple to honor the G-d of Heaven and Earth. The temple wanted was a life lived for the Lord amid a sinful world. The prophecy about the son who would build the temple was interpreted differently from the Lord’s version. Remember this prophecy was repeated from the mouth of the Prophet Nathan which is a source of many problems. To David, the prophecy was that his successor would build the Temple after David’s death. Remember, Solomon wasn’t born yet. At this point, David was obedient to the Lord which was the catalyst for the success he enjoyed. The eternal throne was David’s love for the Lord and anyone who followed David’s path would sit on it and enjoy the fruit. The succeeding generations of the Davidic line slowly descended down the path to sin. Today, the problem persists because people accept sin as one would respond to the temperature being increased one degree at a time. If the temperature was increased or decreased too rapidly,  the people would reject the person’s ministry. Consider how Jesus was a stark difference from the Priests and scribes and would be rejected.

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