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DEUTERONOMY 34:1-12 | JOSHUA 1:1-2:24 | LUKE 13:22-14:6 | PSALM 79:1-13 | PROVERBS 12:26
The time has come for Moses to be taken up, and after the many instructions and reminders that he has given to the children of Israel, Moses breathes his last. His is a legacy that will remain unsurpassed as the greatest leader and prophet of the children of Israel. But Moses has appointed Joshua, son of Nun, as his successor, and Joshua takes charge of the operation to cross over the Jordan and into the “promised land.”
And God says to Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
And the people are also accepting of Joshua’s leadership. They say to him, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”
We see next an interesting set of events unfold: Joshua sends out a few men on a reconnaissance mission into Jericho who conduct their spying operations from the house of a prostitute by the name of Rahab. This woman’s name has gone down in history because of her kindness to these men, nay, to the entire nation of Israel. And she is not only kind, but shrewd as well.
Rahab bargains with the men that she gives shelter to in asking that she and her family be spared when the time comes. 12 “Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”
Turning next to Luke, we see Jesus engaged in his ministry of teaching, preaching and healing. Word comes to him that Herod is out to get him, but Jesus says of this: “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’
Jesus also speaks of the narrow door or gate to enter into the Kingdom of God. This is not to discourage any one from entry, rather it is to caution against simply “talking the talk” and getting so caught up in the lingo of the day that one forgets how to “walk the walk.”
And once again, we have here another incident of Jesus blatantly violating the rules of the Sabbath in that he actively moves to take action, i.e., to do some work on the one day that it is forbidden. He sees a sickly man, and proceeds to heal him. Right then and there. Matters not that it is the Sabbath. And matters not that he is a guest in the house of a Pharisee, a keeper of the Law.
Let it be known to one and all that the Sabbath was made for Man, and not Man for the Sabbath. Is that sufficiently clear, all ye Law Keepers?
Our Psalm for the day is one in which David adopts a tone of repentance, and on behalf of the people of Israel, cries this prayer to the Lord:
8 Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
9 Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
And finally, our one verse for the day from the book of Proverbs is a good one to be reminded of:
26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.