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March 6, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Deuteronomy 21-23
Audio: Deuteronomy 21-23

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Joshua 11 (ESV)

When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west, to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.

And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” So Joshua and all his warriors came suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them. And the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining. And Joshua did to them just as the Lord said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

10 And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms. 11 And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire. 12 And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13 But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned. 14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the people of Israel took for their plunder. But every person they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed. 15 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

16 So Joshua took all that land, the hill country and all the Negeb and all the land of Goshen and the lowland and the Arabah and the hill country of Israel and its lowland 17 from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them and put them to death. 18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle. 20 For it was the Lord‘s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

21 And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities.22 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. 23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.

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Next: Joshua 12

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This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. Joshua 11:6

    A Great Horde

    One aspect of being a follower of Christ is that we are certainly in the minority. In a culture which is becoming more and more hostile to God (and the Bible) and more atheistic in the educational and political systems of this country, the number of people who are born again is a small number. There is a "great horde" of opposition to anything related to godliness (as it should be when people reject Christ). 

    Some would argue that Christians are a "great horde" of people since statistics show Christians make up the majority of our population in America. While many people may identify as Christians, I'm sure that number more accurately describes church-goers than people who are born again and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

    When I researched the number of people who consider themselves Christians in the United States, I found Pew Research Center includes false religions such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses under the umbrella of Christianity. I found the following on Pew's website:

    "Jehovah’s Witnesses identify as Christians, but their beliefs are different from other Christians in some ways. For instance, they teach that Jesus is the son of God but is not part of a Trinity."

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/26/a-closer-look-at-jehovahs-witnesses-living-in-the-u-s/

    Roman Catholicism is also included as a Christian religion. While there certainly are Christian Catholics, Romanism's false teaching regarding salvation, Mary as an intercessor, purgatory and a host of other unbiblical beliefs distort Christ and His finished work on the cross beyond recognition (and for me beyond what defines Christianity). 

    We are either saved by faith in Christ alone or we're not. It's not a peripheral issue but THE essence of what marks Christian belief from false belief. But just as in any church of any religion, there can be Christians who are born again and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

    With that said, I do believe over time, that person, through sanctification, will need to leave those churches to be a part of the body of Christ in a Christian church. In the very least, it would be wise for these people to be a part of a true, biblical church to grow in their knowledge of God's Word, receive encouragement, and prayer support as they seek to evangelize in whatever false religious system they have been a part of. The longevity of that ministry would certainly be in God's hands as churches typically keep a tight reign on such things.

    Circling back to today's chapter, the great horde Joshua was facing were king and their troops who were joining forces from "Hazor, Madon, Shimron, Achshaph, the kings who were in the northern hill country, Arabah, the lowland, Naphoth-dor, the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.

    The Lord reminds Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” 7 So Joshua and all his warriors came suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them" (Joshua 11:6-7).

    While the method of God to establish His people and give them an inheritance was through warfare, we must remember that in Christ we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). We also need to remember that as Christians, our warfare is spiritual in nature (not against people but against the schemes of the devil). This warfare is personal and persistent and requires us to put on the whole armor of God and to pray. 

    Ephesians 6:10-18 says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints."

    Just as God gave the enemies of God into the hands of His people, God promises that He will deliver us from the schemes of the devil if we are in Christ and wearing the whole armor of God.

    While we face more hostility from an ungodly society, when we face persecution for our beliefs, when we witness politicians legislating the murder of babies as they are being born (and even after they are born) in the name of women's right (or abortion rights), and when the devil schemes against us and prowls around like a lion seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8), we must remember God is sovereign and He will complete the work He started in us – regardless how bloody the battles are that we face.

    Let's be encouraged that "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

  2. “For it was the Lord‘s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”

    There is no doubt that while we harden our own hearts toward God, He also hardens hearts. Scriptures abound of God doing so for His purposes. But He also makes this promise: 

    “And he said to them, ‘Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”; and he will answer from within, “Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything”? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13

    If your heart is not hardened toward God, but is soft and receptive, praise Him! He has shown you grace and mercy. And if your heart IS hardened toward God, cold and unreceptive, ask Him to change that. Keep knocking on that door and don’t stop. 

    **********

    “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Ephesians 4:18

    “Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’” Matthew 13:14-15

    “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

    “And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.” Exodus 14:4

     

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