Saturday, April 15, 2017

April 15: Joshua 11 – 12; Psalm 84; Proverbs 13:5-6; Luke 17:11-17:37



Overview

            Joshua: Kings from the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Hivites joined forces to fight Israel. They were a great horde with horses and chariots. But the Lord told Joshua not to be afraid. Joshua attacked them and defeated them. He hamstrung the horses and burned their chariots.
            Joshua continued to defeat the other kingdoms of the land, killing all the people, and taking their plunder. He didn’t make peace with any of them and the Lord hardened their hearts so that they didn’t want peace but came against Israel. The wars went on for a long time. He also killed all the Anakim with only a few left in Gath and Ashdod. Then Joshua divided up the land according to tribal allotments and they had rest from war.
            The kings and their cities that Israel defeated on the east and west sides of the Jordan are all listed.
            Psalm: The sons of Korah express their deep desire and longing to be in the Lord’s presence. Even birds can fly into the temple and build a nest near the Lord and so is anyone blessed who dwell in the Lord’s house. Those who pilgrimage to Zion are blessed with strength.
            Those who go through a valley of weeping (Baca) are refreshed like streams and pools are refreshed from an early rain.
            They ask the Lord to hear their prayer and look with favor on his anointed one.
            It is better to be in the Lord’s house than anywhere else. They would rather be a doorkeeper in the Lord’s house than anything the wicked offer. The Lord supplies all the needs for those who are blameless. They affirm that anyone who trusts in the Lord is blessed.
            Proverbs: A righteous person hates lies and his righteousness is actually a protection to keep him blameless. The wicked are overthrown by sin and bring shame and disgrace.
            Luke: Ten lepers meet Jesus while traveling between Samaria and Galilee. They properly stand at a distance and call for mercy. Jesus tells them to go to the priests and show themselves. As they obeyed, they were healed. One turned back praising God and fell at Jesus feet thanking him. Jesus asked where the other nine were. Was it only a Samaritan who gave praise to God?
            Pharisees asked when the kingdom of God was going to come. Jesus said it would not come visibly, but it is already in their midst.
            He told his disciples that they would not see one of the days of the Son of Man. When he does come, it will be as evident as lightning flashing across the sky. But Jesus will first have to be rejected and suffer at this generation’s hands. When he comes back, it will be just like the days of Noah and Lot with all things seemed normal when the disaster hit them.
            When Jesus comes back, no one should try to turn back to get possessions or to save their lives. Two will be sleeping and one taken, two will be grinding grain, and one taken; the others will be left. When they asked where, Jesus replied that where the corpse is, there the vultures gather.

What Stood Out

            Joshua: “There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain” (Josh 11:22-23).
            Psalm: “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps 84:10).
            Proverbs: “Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless” (Prov 13:6).
            Luke: “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it” (Luke 17:15).

Insight

            Joshua: It is interesting to note that as Israel battles the different kings, there appears to be some survivors. Some escaped to their fortified cities (Josh 10:20) and some of the Anakim also survived (Josh 11:23). Of particular interest are the Anakim because they lived in Gath and Ashdod and were giants. Goliath was a descendant of these people. Merrill Unger associates these and other giant races to the Nephilim who are first reported in Genesis 6.4. He states that their name comes from the Hebrew word “to fall.” Therefore, he concludes that they are the descendents of the fallen sons of God who bore children with the daughters of men (Gen 6:2). They were exceedingly wicked and thought only of evil (Gen 6:5).[1]
            So God used even those who escaped according to his plan to exalt David. Had all the Anakim been killed, the great event of David and Goliath would not have happened.
            Psalm: Dwelling in the house of the Lord is often a symbolic way of expressing eternal life. The psalmist or psalmists who wrote this are describing their desire to be with the Lord eternally. They recognize that for this life and then next, there is nothing better than to be in God’s presence. Their desire is so strong that it is expressed as fainting for the Lord.
            I was reading about Laodicea being lukewarm. This reminds me of how much we need to long for the Lord in our lives. We can’t be lukewarm and expect him to be honored. We can’t pay lip service and go about our relationship as if it were humdrum. No, we need to long to be with the Lord.
            Proverbs: Our righteousness is not really ours. God has bestowed his righteousness on us because Jesus paid for all our sins. When we trust in Jesus for salvation, we get that righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). Since this is Jesus’ righteousness, Jesus keeps us from all blame and gives us the ability to live godly lives. We shouldn’t assume that we are able to do this on our own merit. Even in Proverbs 13:6, there is the seed of the doctrine that we are secure in our salvation.
            Luke: In all of Jesus’ description of what will happen when he returns, there is an interesting point. He says, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it” (Luke 17:15). We usually think of this time as the rapture when one is taken and the other left just Jesus states in the following verses. We think of verses like 1 Corinthians 15:52 when it says we will be changed in the twinkling of the eye. We think about 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where it says we will be caught up to be with Jesus. Because this event appears to be instanttanious and out of our control, how can a person seek to save his life or lose his life during the rapture?
            Perhaps Jesus is talking about more than one event as he describes this. He may be talking about the signs in the sky appearing immediately before he comes. Revelation 6:12-17 describe catastrophic events before Jesus comes. Some people hide in caves and cry to the mountains and rocks to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, Jesus. They are seeking to save their lives but those who are looking for Jesus return are not mentioned. Perhaps they will be running out to watch the sky disappear like a scroll (Rev 6:14) knowing that Jesus will come for them.
            However it works, it is clear that people who are waiting for Jesus will be prepared and those who aren’t looking for his return will be taken by surprise.

Application

            I know that my salvation is secure. Therefore, I should not be looking back at earthly things to prevent me from going with Jesus when he comes. In fact, I need to have this attitude about earthly things all the time. Jesus must be first in my life.


[1] Merrill Frederick Unger, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Giant,” (Chicago: Moody, 1988), Biblesoft

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