Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17: Joshua 15; Psalm 86; Proverbs 13:9-10; Luke 18:18-43



Overview

            Joshua: The land given to Judah is described with all the borders. Joshua gave a portion including Hebron to Caleb. Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak (giants). He went against Debir and said he would give his daughter, Achsah, to whoever would capture it. His nephew, Othniel did so he took Achsah as his wife. She had Othniel ask Caleb for a field then she asked Caleb for springs of water also. Caleb gave them.
            The cities the tribe of Judah received are then listed. But Judah couldn’t remove the Jebusites from Jerusalem.
            Psalm: David asks the Lord to hear him because he is needy and to preserve his life because he is godly and trusts in God. He cries to the Lord all day and wants to have joy because the Lord is gracious, loving, and forgiving. He continues to extol God’s virtues, as he is the only God and does wondrous things. He asks God to teach him and help him fear God’s name. He gives thanks to God. He asks God to give him a sign of his favor so that those who oppose him will be ashamed and David will be comforted.
            Proverbs: A righteous soul is alive and rejoices but a wicked one will die. A disrespectful and rude person has troubles but one who listens to advice will act wisely.
            Luke: A rich ruler calls Jesus a good teacher and asks what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus asks him why he calls him good because only God is good. Jesus also tells him to obey the commandments not to commit adultery, murder, steal, lie, and honor his parents. The ruler says he has done all this. Jesus tells him to sell everything and give to the poor then follow him. The man was sad because he was rich.
            Jesus explained how hard it was for a rich man to be saved but with God, all things are possible. Peter said they had left everything to follow Jesus. Jesus said they would receive much more in this time and the age to come.
            Jesus again tells the twelve of his impending death and resurrection. They didn’t understand any of it.
            As Jesus came near Jericho, a blind beggar called Jesus the Son of David and asked for mercy. The crowd rebuked him but Jesus called him to himself. The man asked to receive his sight and Jesus healed him. He followed Jesus glorifying God.

What Stood Out

            Joshua: “And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak” (Josh 15:14).
            Psalm: “Preserve my life, for I am godly” (Ps 86:2).
            Proverbs: “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out” (Prov 13:9).
            Luke: “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19).

Insight

            Joshua: Caleb said he would drive out the giant descendants of Anak from the land with the Lord’s help (Josh 14:12). Caleb made good on his promise but we can’t forget that he made the promise based on his faith in the Lord. It reminds me of some of Jesus’ statements about prayer. “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). Caleb is one of the few people in the Bible where there isn’t anything negative said about him. While we know everyone is a sinner and not perfect, the Lord choose not mention any of Caleb’s problems. I think that is because Caleb demonstrated faith far above and beyond most of his countrymen. He didn’t tell a tree to become uprooted, but defeating the giants and their people was significant. We can all take a lesson from Caleb and know that because of our faith in Jesus, when we come to the judgment, God isn’t going to record anything negative (Jude 24).
            Psalm: David calls himself a godly man in verse 2. What is a godly person? Perhaps defining an ungodly person is helpful. I used to think of an ungodly person as being someone who is wicked and always doing abominable things. However, that changed when I read Jerry Bridges’ definition of ungodliness, “Living one’s everyday life with little or no thought of God, or of God’s will, or of God’s glory, or of one’s dependence upon God.”[1]
            In this Psalm, David demonstrate all the characteristics of a godly person because he lives his day with constant thoughts of God as he cries to him all day long (Ps 86:3). He is looking for God’s will because he wants to walk in God’s truth (Ps 86:11). He is thinking about God’s glory as he describes the God he loves and knows (Ps 86:5, 8-10). He is dependent upon God as he asks for strength (Ps 86:16).
            Proverbs: When someone is walking in righteous ways, he has life in him. He rejoices and others like to be near him. Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt 6:22). This light of righteousness is something that affects the whole person. It is much better to have this light than to be wicked and have it extinguished.
            Luke: When the rich ruler came up to Jesus and asked him about eternal life, Jesus must have known from the outset that this man had some theological problems that hindered his faith in God. The man addressed Jesus as “Good Teacher.” What a contrast to the blind beggar at Jericho who called Jesus “Son of David.” The blind man knew that Jesus was the Messiah and addressed him as such and asked for mercy. The ruler only recognized Jesus as a teacher and essentially asked what he had to do to earn eternal life. He didn’t see Jesus as the Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David, but only as a good teacher. He was looking for an intellectual assent to the belief he could earn salvation by some kind of good deeds.
            Jesus could have stopped right after asking him why he thought Jesus was good because only God is good. If the ruler would have recognized this, he would have admitted that he wasn’t good enough and that no one is. He would have recognized that Jesus was subtly telling him he is God in the flesh. Jesus didn’t say he wasn’t good.
            The ruler was a lot like people today. They think they can be good enough to receive eternal life if they only find the right formula. That formula has to fit in with their preconceived ideas of who God is and what God expects of them. They want to come to God, but they don’t want to be convicted of sin. When they find out that there is a cost such as giving up their selfish ways and admitting that their ideas about God and salvation have been completely wrong, they often turn away.
            It is only with God that salvation is possible. He provides it whether we are rich or poor only when we come to him asking for mercy like the blind beggar did. No one can live a godly life without first coming to Jesus for salvation.

Application

            I want to live a godly life. David’s example is hopeful because I can do what David did in the Psalm when I’m walking in the light. It doesn’t mean it is always easy, but that’s where depending on Jesus applies.


[1] Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins Small-Group Curriculum: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Reissue ed. (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2010), 62.

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