Bible Readings for 4/23/2022

Joshua 23

Psalms 83

Ecclesiastes 5

Isaiah 21

2 Samuel 16:1-14

Mike’s Notes

Joshua 23 – Joshua’s Charge to Israel’s Leaders. The nation Israel was now in the land granted to them by the Lord. For over 40 years Joshua had led the nation in the conquest of Canaan. Now well advanced in years, he was passing the baton of leadership to the next generation. The judges would be responsible for guiding the people on the pathway of righteousness. The success or failure of the people would be contingent on the decisions they made going forward. There would be foreign nations that would not give up the land they had lived in for centuries and as a result, continue to exist. These foreign nations had their gods but the Israelites were not to mention them, seek their guidance, and/or replicate them. Additionally, the Israelites were not to intermarry with the foreign nations which would cause the nations to die out due to attrition. As we’ll find out in the time of Solomon, when he married foreign princesses, that person brought in the ideals, attitudes, and gods which would alter the course of Israel.

Psalms 83 – O G-d, Do Not Keep Silence. When we ask the Lord to intervene in a situation, whatever it may be, we must be prepared to hear both sides of the argument. The Lord does not favor one side and let the other get away with murder simply because one side was favored and the other was not. The first step in rectifying the damage done by the world is “check with our heart to see if we have done anything offensive to the throne”. If we are honest with ourselves, and very few are, we have peace with the Lord and this prayer will be effective. The last thing I want to point out is that although Asaph prayed this, it doesn’t mean that the Lord destroyed the enemy. Sometimes, the way the enemy is destroyed is by His children being obedient, faithful, and kind leaving room for the Lord’s judgment to affect change.

Ecclesiastes 5 – Fear G-d. The word that comes to mind from this segment is, “balance”. Making a vow to the Lord G-d is serious business. Jesus said, “man is not defiled because of the food he eats but what comes out of his/her mouth (Matthew 15:11)”. In a court of law, to say something untrue would be called “perjury” which subjects the individual to jail time. In the Kingdom of G-d, we are held accountable for what we do or say while on earth. The problem we have is that we are subject to our passions and sentiment so when we are in church and the music stirs our soul we tend to promise things that we do not have the wherewithal nor the intention of coming through on. Consider how Ananias and Saphira had concocted a scheme to withhold a certain amount of money yet claimed that they had given the full amount (Acts 5). In our walk with the Lord, we need to be honest in our dealings whether it be financially, spiritually, and/or physically. Above all else, G-d is the one we must respect through careful words and actions (6-7).

Isaiah 21 – Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon. Babylon, although a historic kingdom, is also symbolic of earthly kingdoms in whose hearts the Lord G-d is not feared nor respected. The name Babylon is mentioned over 280 times in the Christian Bible beginning in the time of Nimrod who was Noah’s great-grandson “The hunter before the Lord” (Genesis 10:6-11, Bable). After the flood, the people gathered and built the great tower “Babel” which means, “confused tongue”.  Babylon’s history is steeped in defiance of the one G-d which was further complicated by the presence of the Hebrew children like David, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo. Initially, Babylon had strong leadership until the end of its days when the weak king Belshazzar held his infamous feast which was concluded by the writing on the wall. At this juncture, Babylon and its greatness were no match for the power of the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5, Fallen Babylon). For the remaining portions of scripture, the name Babylon would be a curse word to say, “Don’t be such a Babylon don’t be over wicked why destroy yourself. Don’t be over righteous (Ecclesiastes 7:16)”.

2 Samuel 16:1-14 – David and Ziba. Ziba was the assigned caretaker for Mephibesheth’s fields. The story Ziba told to David was not completely correct. Mephibosheth, as you will remember, had two bad feet so he was unable to move as quickly as others were in essence, Ziba beat him to the punch. Shimei’s actions were an insult to the king and retribution for the bloodshed by David. We are not given conclusive proof that Shimei’s actions were from the Lord or not. Either way, David knew that what Shimei said was true and this was just punishment. Abishai wanted to kill Shimei for daring to insult the king but David knew Shimei was not lying and so he would not die for telling the truth.

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