303.) Proverbs 12

June 30, 2010

Proverbs 12 (The Message)

If You Love Learning

1 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
how shortsighted to refuse correction!

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

Victor Hugo — French novelist, statesman, human rights activist (1802 – 1885)

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2 A good person basks in the delight of God,
and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.

3 You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
but life rooted in God stands firm.

4 A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.

happy couple:  a wife with a good heart and a husband who loves her!

Eve was not taken from Adam’s head, because she was not intended to be his ruler . . . nor from his feet either, because she was not intended to be his slave . . . but from his side, precisely, because she was intended to be his companion.

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5 The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
the plots of degenerates corrupt.

6 The words of the wicked kill;
the speech of the upright saves.

7 Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
the homes of good people hold together.

2 Peter 2:9 (English Standard Version)

The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.

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8 A person who talks sense is honored;
airheads are held in contempt.

9 Better to be ordinary and work for a living
than act important and starve in the process.

10 Good people are good to their animals;
the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them.

Have you seen this? Frisbee Dog Golf! (Naw — only photoshopped!)

11 The one who stays on the job has food on the table;
the witless chase whims and fancies.

12 What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin,
while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.

Wise People Take Advice

13 The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.

14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
well-done work has its own reward.

Tulips in a couple of the one thousand acres of Longwood Gardens, PA.

Kind hearts are the garden,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — American poet (1807 – 1882)

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15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
wise people take advice.

16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
the prudent quietly shrug off insults.

17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air,
but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.

18 Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.

HEALING WORDS

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
— Hubert H. Humphrey

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.
— Henri Nouwen

The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
— Willa Cather

You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
— C.S. Lewis

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
— Philippians 4:8  (King James Version)

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19 Truth lasts;
lies are here today, gone tomorrow.

20 Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
peace-planning brings joy to the planner.

21 No evil can overwhelm a good person,
but the wicked have their hands full of it.

22 God can’t stomach liars;
he loves the company of those who keep their word.

23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
talkative fools broadcast their silliness.

24 The diligent find freedom in their work;
the lazy are oppressed by work.

It is possible to fail in many ways. . . while to succeed is possible only in one way.

Aristotle — Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, zoologist (384 BC – 322 BC)

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25 Worry weighs us down;
a cheerful word picks us up.

26 A good person survives misfortune,
but a wicked life invites disaster.

27 A lazy life is an empty life,
but “early to rise” gets the job done.

Early to bed, and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Benjamin Franklin — author, printer, politician, scientist, inventor, diplomat (1706-1790)

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28 Good men and women travel right into life;
sin’s detours take you straight to hell.

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Music:

The Gandhi quote at the top of the page has really stayed with me, perhaps because I have had a couple deaths in my circle of friends recently: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Tim McGraw sings some of the same thoughts in his “Live Like You Were Dying,” a song which won the County Music Song of the Year for 2004.

(The end of the music video shows the clip where Tim’s father, Tug McGraw, pitched the final strike for the 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, which, at the time, was the team’s only World Series Championship. The elder McGraw died of a brain tumor in early 2004.)

He said I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
When a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talking about the options, talking ’bout sweet time

And I asked him when it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit ya’ get that kind of news
Man, what’d you do (he said)

I went sky diving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds
On a bull named FuManChu. And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
And gave forgiveness I’d been denying
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying

He said I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn’t
I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all ‘a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an impostition
And I went three time that year I lost my dad

And I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all
again….. and then

I went sky diving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds
On a bull named FuManChu
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
And gave forgiveness I’d been denying
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying

Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity to think about
What you’d do with it
What did you do with it
What did I do with it
What would I do with it

sky divin,
n’ I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds
On a bull named FumanChu
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flying
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying

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The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
school-apple.    http://extraordinarymomsnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/apple-school.jpg
dear friends Sonja and Johan Hinderlie.    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_wwHflP16Wm8/SlgCGi-f0OI/AAAAAAAAES8/EOHXusOYupU/s288/100_4460.jpg
search and rescue.    http://www.refugeministry.net/wp-content/uploads/search-and-rescue7.jpg
frisbee dog golf.     http://www.wickedfishgraphics.com/images/category111/Frisbee%20Dog%20Golf.jpg
Longwood Gardens.    http://www.appraisaltrend.com/xSites/Appraisers/AppraisalTrendLLC/Content/UploadedFiles/LongwoodGardens.jpg
bouquet of flowers.   http://www.flowersacrossamerica.com/flowers/products/B24-4138.jpg
verse 24 and bird.    http://theinspirationalwallpaper.com/wallpaper/work-hard-become-leader_1024%20x%20768.jpg
Ben Franklin.    http://stevenblair.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/ben-franklin-2.jpg
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302.) Psalms 42 and 43

June 29, 2010

Ibex drinking in En Gedi, Israel.

Psalm 42 (New International Version)

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

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Music:

“As the Deer.”  Lyrics and tune by Marty Nystrom in 1984.

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3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

from Daily Readings from Luther’s Writings,
edited by Barbara Owen

Now this multitude must have some kind of a room and its days or hours, which will be convenient for the listeners.  Therefore God very wisely arranged and appointed things, and instituted the holy sacraments to be administered in the congregation at a place where we can come together, pray, and give thanks to God.  Just as is done in worldly affairs when somethings which concerns the community must be dealt with, so much the more should this be done where we are to hear the Word of God.

And here the advantage is that when Christians thus come together their prayers are twice as strong as otherwise.  One can and one really should pray in every place and every hour; but prayer is nowhere so mighty and strong as when the whole multitude prays together.  Thus the dear patriarchs and matriarchs gathered with their families, and anybody else who happened to be with them, under a tree, or put up a tent, and erected an altar, and this was their temple and house of God, where they talked about Christ, the coming seed who was promised to them, sacrificed together, called upon God, and gave thanks to him.  And thus they were always glad to be with the multitude whenever they could, even though they also meditated upon God’s Word and promise and prayed by themselves in private.

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5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My  soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

Mount Hermon is the highest point in Israel and the only place in the country to snow ski in the winter.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”

from Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon

“Why go I mourning?”
Psalm 42:9

Canst thou answer this, believer?  Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing?  Why yield to gloomy anticipations?  Who told thee that the night would never end in day?  Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty?   Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair?

Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter?  Hope thou then!  Hope thou ever!  For God fails thee not.  Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this?  Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God’s love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments.  No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; he only cares to use it for that reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good.

Thou shalt yet climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold him who sits at the top of it — thy covenant God.  Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendours of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them.  Come, sing in the midst of tribulation.  Rejoice even while passing through the furnace.  Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose!  Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then “forever with the Lord,” thy bliss shall never wane.

“Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.”

 

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10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

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In many Hebrew manuscripts, Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.

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Psalm 43

1 Vindicate me, O God,
and plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.

2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?

3 Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

 

 

4 Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

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“Be kind.
Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

So be looking for opportunities to pass on a cheerful, encouraging word!

Proverbs 12:25 (New Living Translation)

Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.

Psalm 94:19 (English Standard Version)

When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.

John 16:33 (King James Version)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

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New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
42:1 and ibex at En Gedi.   http://www.bibleplaces.com/newsletter/hr/Ibex_drinking_in_Nahal_David,_tb100503600.JPG
praying together.    http://www.nscsv.org/Conference.JPG
Mount Hermon.    http://www.hermon.com/mt_hermon/16.jpg
red rose.    http://beautifulwallpapers.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/red-rose.jpg
43:3 and man on mountaintop.    http://www.4catholiceducators.com/graphics/Psalm43_3.jpg
Mount Zion.    http://www.concierge.com/images/destinations/destinationguide/africa+middleeast/israel/jerusalem/jerusalem/israel_002p.jpg
plant growing.    http://www.limelightdirect.co.uk/images/The%20story%20so%20far/plant%20growing.jpg

301.) Psalms 40 and 41

June 28, 2010

Psalm 40 (New International Version)

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

from The Message of the Psalms,
by Walter Brueggemann

The beginning of the psalm is a familiar phrase:  “I waited patiently.”  This is a weak rendering.  The text has an infinitive absolute which might better be translated, “I hope intensely for Yahweh.”  Indeed all other hopes were exhausted.  Verses 1-10 tell that this passionate hope was fulfilled and not disappointed.  The hope was against all the evidence in the conviction that Yahweh could work a genuine newness.  The hope was not disappointed.

The rescue that was hoped for was granted:  he inclined, he heard, he drew me up, he set my feet, he put a new song in my mouth.  And the psalmist is eager to assert that this is not a private matter.  The personal rescue is a matter of public interest and benefit, for Yahweh’s trustworthiness in this instance leads others to trust.

The verbs of thanksgiving are of interest.  No doubt they refer to a personal experience, but the words have imaginative power because they also touch and allude to the primal memories of Egypt and the exodus.  That God inclines and hears, brings up, and sets feet in new places is the experience of all of Israel (see Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-15).  The new song is enacted there in the Songs of Moses (Exodus 15:1-18) and Miriam (Exodus 15:21).  When one uses this psalm, one stands in solidarity with, participates in, and relives the whole saving memory of Israel.

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4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.

5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

John 21:25 (New Living Translation)

Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

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6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.

7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

John 4:34 (English Standard Version)

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”

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9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.

12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.

my all-purpose prayer

14 May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.

15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
“The LORD be exalted!”

17 Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.

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Music:

From Psalm 18:

He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

Hillsong United and “Come to My Rescue.”

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Psalm 41

1 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.

Proverbs 14:21 (New American Standard Bible)

He who despises his neighbor sins,
But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.

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2 The LORD will protect him and preserve his life;
he will bless him in the land
and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.

3 The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed
and restore him from his bed of illness.

4 I said, “O LORD, have mercy on me;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

5 My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”

6 Whenever one comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it abroad.

7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,

8 “A vile disease has beset him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”

9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted,
he who shared my bread,
has lifted up his heel against me.

Mark 14:17-21 (New Living Translation)

In the evening Jesus arrived with the twelve disciples. As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.”

Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?”

He replied, “It is one of you twelve who is eating from this bowl with me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

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10 But you, O LORD, have mercy on me;
raise me up, that I may repay them.

11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.

12 In my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.

Psalm 23:6 (English Standard Version)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

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13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

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New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
verse 16 and mountains.    http://wonders.wallpaperdave.com/ps40-16v.jpg
rescued.    http://www.shcog.org/Pics/rescued.gif
books on shelves.    http://www.bpc.edu/academics/library/images/MVC-166S.JPG
soup bowl.    http://gangajal.org.in/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/hungry.jpg
Help!    http://strictlygospel.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/help.jpg
Mother Teresa and child.    http://www.markdroberts.com/images/Mother-Teresa-3.jpg
DaVinci’s “Last Supper.”    http://media.photobucket.com/image/last%20supper/thecathoderaychoob/Blog%2520Pics/last_supper_davinci.jpg
sky with light.    https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/209-psalms-23-and-24/

300.) Joshua 24

June 25, 2010

Joshua 24   (NRSV)

The Tribes Renew the Covenant

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God.

“Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem.” — by Israeli artist Nurit Tzarfati

2And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. 3Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac; 4and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

5“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst; and afterwards I brought you out. 6When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your ancestors with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.

Crossing the Red Sea — a Coptic icon

7When they cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did to Egypt. Afterwards you lived in the wilderness a long time.

8“Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I handed them over to you, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9Then King Balak son of Zippor of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent and invited Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I rescued you out of his hand.

11“When you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho,

the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I handed them over to you. 12I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and towns that you had not built, and you live in them; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards that you did not plant.

14“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

art by Kathleen Wilson

16Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

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Music:

“Today I Choose (As for Me and my House)”  by Brian Doerksen.

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19But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.”

21And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!”

22Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.”

And they said, “We are witnesses.”

23He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

24The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.”

25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem. 26Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord.

“Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak tree.” — by Israeli artist Nurit Tzarfati

27Joshua said to all the people, “See, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, if you deal falsely with your God.” 28So Joshua sent the people away to their inheritances.

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from This Day with the Master,
by Dennis F. Kinlaw

The closing chapters of the book of Joshua are Joshua’s final words to the people of Israel.  Israel is in the promised land, and Joshua wishes to renew the covenant between Israel and Yahweh before he dies.  He reviews the history of the covenant and speaks about God’s faithfulness to his people.  He calls them to choose whether or not they will serve Yahweh.  Joshua is very aware that after his death the temptation to compromise with the Canaanites will be strong, and a compromise would mean death for Israel’s culture and faith.  Joshua is anxious for the people of God to reaffirm their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Moses, Sinai, and the conquest, and so he calls them to do so.  The people acknowledge God’s actions for them, and they pledge their allegiance to Yahweh.

Joshua’s appeal to the people is based on God’s actions for Israel and not on Israel’s actions for God.  God has chosen and blessed Israel, and their motive for serving him must be his great mercy and grace to them.  The same is true today.  The important thing is not what we have done for God but what God has done for us.  The deliverance from Egypt, the provision in the wilderness, the crossing of the Jordan, and the conquest of the land are historical pictures of redemption provided for us in Christ.  He will provide for those who trust in him and will give them grace to overcome all foes.

The effectiveness of Joshua’s plea is indicated in the closing verses of his book.  “Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel” (verse 31).  It is necessary for every individual in every successive generation to see the work of God personally.  Each of us must come to a meeting with God in which we enter into a covenant relationship with Yahweh.  Therefore the word to us is still:  “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”

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Death of Joshua and Eleazar

Thank you for everything, Joshua!

29After these things Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred ten years old. 30They buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.

We will never forget you, Joseph!

32The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the portion of ground that Jacob had bought from the children of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for one hundred pieces of money; it became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.

Enjoy your eternal life, Eleazar!

33Eleazar son of Aaron died; and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of his son Phinehas, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim.

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THE END OF THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

What did you learn?

Or what encouraged you?

Or what do you want to remember always?

Or for what specifically can you praise God on account of the book of Joshua?

Please leave a reply!

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
“As for me and my household”    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3212/2995484697_9c24bb722f.jpg
Tzarfati.    http://www.biblical-art.com/artist_artwork.asp?id_artist=2096&alt=2&pagenum=1
crossing the Red Sea, a Coptic icon.    http://74.53.25.146/~copticon/images/Red%20Sea%20crossing.jpg
Jericho walls falling.     http://www.reformation.org/en-walls-of-jericho.jpg
Wilson.    http://www.katykadiddlehopper.com/html/assets/art_icons/art/Web/jsw_as-for-me-and-my-house.jpg
“Choose YOU this day”    http://cache0.bigcartel.com/product_images/10995341/Joshua_24.15_11.25x17_Green2_BC.jpg
R.I.P.    http://thor.he.net/~gludlow/rip.gif
Think.    http://geraldprinting.com/graphics/think_idea.jpg

299.) Joshua 23

June 24, 2010

— believing God’s promises are true for you!

Joshua 23   (NRSV)

Joshua Exhorts the People

A long time afterward, when the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies all around, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, 2Joshua summoned all Israel, their elders and heads, their judges and officers, and said to them, “I am now old and well advanced in years;

“I am old and well advanced in years.” — by Israeli artist Nurit Tzarfati

3and you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the Lord your God who has fought for you. 4I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. 5The Lord your God will push them back before you, and drive them out of your sight; and you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you.


2 Corinthians 1:20 (New International Version)

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

_________________________

6“Therefore be very steadfast to observe and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right nor to the left, 7so that you may not be mixed with these nations left here among you, or make mention of the names of their gods, or swear by them, or serve them, or bow yourselves down to them, 8but hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord,
lead me home

_________________________

9For the Lord has driven out before you great and strong nations; and as for you, no one has been able to withstand you to this day. 10One of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you, as he promised you.

“God never made a promise
that was too good to be true.”
–Dwight L. Moody

_________________________

11“Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God. 12For if you turn back, and join the survivors of these nations left here among you, and intermarry with them, so that you marry their women and they yours, 13know assuredly that the Lord your God will not continue to drive out these nations before you; but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a scourge on your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land that the Lord your God has given you.

14“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed.

Every promise in the Book is mine,
Every chapter, every verse, every line,
All the blessings of His love divine,
Every promise in the Book is mine.

_________________________

from Experiencing God Day-by-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

Near the end of his life, Joshua took time with the Israelites to review all that God had done for them since they first began following Him.  God had given them an impossible assignment:  to conquer a foreign and hostile land with fortified cities and armies more powerful than their own.  The Israelites were to go forward with nothing more than God’s promise that He would go with them and take care of them.  Now Joshua looked back over their experience and reminded the Israelites that God had kept every promise.  They had experienced numerous victories and had enjoyed God’s provision for every need.

Sometimes hindsight gives us a clear picture of how faithful God has been.  We are tempted during a crisis to wonder if God will be faithful to His promises.  We focus on our problems, and our trust in God begins to waver.  Twenty-four years after God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, they were still waiting on God to fulfill His promise.  But in the twenty-fifth year, Abraham and Sarah could look back and see that God had been faithful.  As David was fleeing for his life, he may have been uncertain how God would keep His promise to make him a king.  But at the end of his long and prosperous reign, David could review how God had kept every promise.

You, too, can rely on God’s faithfulness.  Are you in a crisis?  Hold to the promises of the your Lord!  He will not forget His promises to you.  Look back over your Christian life and recount the many ways in which God has been faithful to His word.

_________________________

Music:

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” — a new rendition to me, by Fernando Ortega.  I hope you enjoy it!

_________________________

15But just as all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the bad things, until he has destroyed you from this good land that the Lord your God has given you. 16If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which he enjoined on you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land that he has given to you.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Tzarfati.    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/tanach/albom/pictures/54.htm
yes.    http://www.boston.com/ae/music/blog/yeslogo.jpg
holding hands, holding fast.    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5Tb1tFS08G0/Sd5U6bUuYgI/AAAAAAAAKos/fDLElAAE6J4/s400/Father-and-child-holding-hands_Full.jpg
Bible.    http://bbs.backstage.com/evefiles/attachments/1/5/2/152103232/152103232_Bible.gif?ts=4C10004C&key=A09B0C2B7B893E39F93E2429D50A621B&referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fbbs.backstage.com%2Feve%2Fforums%2Fa%2Fga%2Ful%2F252103232%2Finlineimg%2FY%2FBible.gif
“Great is thy faithfulness” plate.    http://www.eden.co.uk/images/300/P1872.jpg

298.) Joshua 22

June 23, 2010

Perspective can be tricky! Sometimes we cannot trust our eyes — or our first impressions!  The Israelites have some issues with perspective today.  (By the way, the two trees are actually the same size.)

Joshua 22   (NRSV)

The Eastern Tribes Return to Their Territory

Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2and said to them, “You have observed all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed me in all that I have commanded you; 3you have not forsaken your kindred these many days, down to this day, but have been careful to keep the charge of the Lord your God. 4And now the Lord your God has given rest to your kindred, as he promised them; therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan.

“Return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you.” — by Israeli artist Nurit Tzarfati

5Take good care to observe the commandment and instruction that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, and to hold fast to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

_________________________

1.  to LOVE the Lord your God
2.  to WALK in all his ways
3.  to KEEP his commandments
4.  to HOLD FAST to him
5.  to SERVE him with all your heart and with all your soul

_________________________

6So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents. 7Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan; but to the other half Joshua had given a possession beside their fellow Israelites in the land west of the Jordan. And when Joshua sent them away to their tents and blessed them, 8he said to them, “Go back to your tents with much wealth, and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and with a great quantity of clothing; divide the spoil of your enemies with your kindred.”

9So the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home, parting from the Israelites at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, their own land of which they had taken possession by command of the Lord through Moses.

A Memorial Altar East of the Jordan

“The Reubenites built an imposing altar there by the Jordan.” — by Israeli artist Nurit Tzarfati

10When they came to the region near the Jordan that lies in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of great size. 11The Israelites heard that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region near the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the Israelites. 12And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh, to make war against them.

13Then the Israelites sent the priest Phinehas son of Eleazar to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, 14and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel.

15They came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them, 16“Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord, ‘What is this treachery that you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away today from following the Lord, by building yourselves an altar today in rebellion against the Lord? 17Have we not had enough of the sin at Peor from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which a plague came upon the congregation of the Lord, 18that you must turn away today from following the Lord!

If you rebel against the Lord today, he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19But now, if your land is unclean, cross over into the Lord’s land where the Lord’s tabernacle now stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us; only do not rebel against the Lord, or rebel against us by building yourselves an altar other than the altar of the Lord our God. 20Did not Achan son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity!’”

21Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22“The Lord, God of gods! The Lord, God of gods! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the Lord, do not spare us today 23for building an altar to turn away from following the Lord; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or offerings of well-being on it, may the Lord himself take vengeance.

24“No! We did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25For the Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the Lord.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the Lord.

26“Therefore we said, ‘Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the Lord in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and offerings of well-being; so that your children may never say to our children in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord.”’

28“And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we could say, ‘Look at this copy of the altar of the Lord, which our ancestors made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.’

29“Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn away this day from following the Lord by building an altar for burnt offering, grain offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle!”

30When the priest Phinehas and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manassites spoke, they were satisfied.

31The priest Phinehas son of Eleazar said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manassites, “Today we know that the Lord is among us, because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord; now you have saved the Israelites from the hand of the Lord.”

_________________________

Music:

As the Israelites are now all settled and ready to dwell in their land, the prayer is that God will dwell with them.  “Dwell” by Vineyard.  Lyrics follow.

Dwell in the midst of us
Come and dwell in this place
Dwell in the midst of us
Come and have Your way

Dwell in the midst of us
Wipe all the tears from our faces
Dwell in the midst of us
You can have Your way

Not our will, but Yours be done
Come and change us
Not our will, but Yours be done
Come sustain us

_________________________

32Then the priest Phinehas son of Eleazar and the chiefs returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, and brought back word to them. 33The report pleased the Israelites; and the Israelites blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled.

34The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; “For,” said they, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”

_________________________

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael:

Joshua 22:34 (King James Version)
And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the LORD is God.

When two people who love the Lord misunderstand each other and get into a tangle, there is generally a mistake which a few honest words will clear up.

Read Joshua 22.  A long time ago, two sets of people misunderstood each other.  Both had made a mistake, the Reubenites and Gadites by not consulting anybody before building a great altar beside the Jordan, and the Israelites by putting a wrong interpretation on it.

But a few words straightened things out.  The Reubenites, very much surprised that the Israelites could think anything so unkind and untrue, explained that they had acted “out of carefulness and of purpose.”  The Israelites accepted their explanation, and the matter ended with a word easy for us to remember, Ed.  The thing which had almost caused a furious quarrel was turned to Ed, which meant that God (who is the God of Peace) was  Witness.

If we have a misunderstanding with anyone, what about taking Ed as a little word of reminder to hurry up and make friends?

_________________________

As we saw in the story today — how different things can look when viewed from another perspective!

Isn’t it strange
how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount
when you donate it to church,
but such a small amount when you go shopping?

Isn’t it strange
how 2 hours seem so long when you’re at church,
and so short when you’re watching a good movie?

Isn’t it strange
that you can’t find a word to say when you’re praying,
but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn’t it strange
how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible,
but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn’t it strange
how everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games,
but they always choose to sit at the last row in church?

Isn’t it strange
how we need to know about an event for church 2-3 weeks
before the day so we can include it in our agenda,
but we can easily adjust for other events at the last minute?

Isn’t it strange
how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others,
but how easy it is to learn and repeat gossip?

Isn’t it strange
how we believe what magazines and newspapers say,
but we question the words in the Bible?

Isn’t it strange
how everyone wants a place in heaven,
but they don’t want to do anything to get there?

(author unknown)

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
optical illusion.    http://www.visionjuice.com/resources/puzzles/illusion/ill007q.png
Tzarfati.     http://www.biblical-art.com/artist_artwork.asp?id_artist=2096&alt=2&pagenum=1
5.    http://www.azurs.net/photoblogv0/a/2005/06/cinq_dans_le_de.html
how could you do this?     http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71CX7WSYVDL._SL500_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big,TopRight,35,-73_OU01_AA300_.gif
that’s not what I meant.    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ABCYTN84L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpg
OK.  Design by Steve Scott.    http://www.dhub.org/blog/wp-content/dhub/scott-ok.jpg
Witness.    http://www.witnesschange.org/WITNESS.NEWLOGO.jpg
twenty dollar bill.    http://www.workathometruth.com/artwork/magslotpix/20dollarbill.jpg

297.) Joshua 20 and 21

June 22, 2010

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” –Psalm 46:1

Joshua 20   (NRSV)

The Cities of Refuge

Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, 2“Say to the Israelites, ‘Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, 3so that anyone who kills a person without intent or by mistake may flee there; they shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood.

4“The slayer shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and explain the case to the elders of that city; then the fugitive shall be taken into the city, and given a place, and shall remain with them. 5And if the avenger of blood is in pursuit, they shall not give up the slayer, because the neighbor was killed by mistake, there having been no enmity between them before. 6The slayer shall remain in that city until there is a trial before the congregation, until the death of the one who is high priest at the time: then the slayer may return home, to the town in which the deed was done.’”

7So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, and Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they appointed Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland, from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh. 9These were the cities designated for all the Israelites, and for the aliens residing among them, that anyone who killed a person without intent could flee there, so as not to die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until there was a trial before the congregation.

_________________________

Note the even geographical distribution:  three cities east of the Jordan, and three west of the Jordan.  In both cases the cities were located in the northern, central, and southern regions.  The cities were places of refuge for those who had killed another person under such circumstances that the killing was not considered a capital crime (like modern day third degree murder, or manslaughter), to protect them from revenge by the victim’s relatives.

_________________________

Music:

“You Are My Refuge.”

The Maranatha! Singers is a 50-person-strong choir comprised mostly of University of Florida and Santa Fe Community College students.  Originally founded in 1970, the group is part of the University Methodist Church and Student Center, Gainesville, FL.

_________________________

Joshua 21

Cities Allotted to the Levites

Then the heads of the families of the Levites came to the priest Eleazar and to Joshua son of Nun and to the heads of the families of the tribes of the Israelites; 2they said to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, “The Lord commanded through Moses that we be given towns to live in, along with their pasture lands for our livestock.” 3So by command of the Lord the Israelites gave to the Levites the following towns and pasture lands out of their inheritance.

As a farm girl, I believe that God loves seeing his animals eating contentedly!  To accompany the assignment of pasture lands to the Levites, we will see pasture lands from around the world.  Here:  pasture land in Tasmania, Australia.

4The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. So those Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest received by lot thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. 5The rest of the Kohathites received by lot ten towns from the families of the tribe of Ephraim, from the tribe of Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

6The Gershonites received by lot thirteen towns from the families of the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from the tribe of Naphtali, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

7The Merarites according to their families received twelve towns from the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the tribe of Zebulun.

8These towns and their pasture lands the Israelites gave by lot to the Levites, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

Pasture land on St. Agnes Island, the Isles of Scilly, England.

9Out of the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Simeon they gave the following towns mentioned by name, 10which went to the descendants of Aaron, one of the families of the Kohathites who belonged to the Levites, since the lot fell to them first.

11They gave them Kiriath-arba (Arba being the father of Anak), that is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, along with the pasture lands around it. 12But the fields of the town and its villages had been given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his holding.

13To the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron, the city of refuge for the slayer, with its pasture lands, Libnah with its pasture lands, 14Jattir with its pasture lands, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, 15Holon with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, 16Ain with its pasture lands, Juttah with its pasture lands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands—nine towns out of these two tribes.

Pasture land in Argentina.

17Out of the tribe of Benjamin: Gibeon with its pasture lands, Geba with its pasture lands, 18Anathoth with its pasture lands, and Almon with its pasture lands—four towns. 19The towns of the descendants of Aaron—the priests—were thirteen in all, with their pasture lands.

20As to the rest of the Kohathites belonging to the Kohathite families of the Levites, the towns allotted to them were out of the tribe of Ephraim.

21To them were given Shechem, the city of refuge for the slayer, with its pasture lands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasture lands, 22Kibzaim with its pasture lands, and Beth-horon with its pasture lands—four towns.

23Out of the tribe of Dan: Elteke with its pasture lands, Gibbethon with its pasture lands, 24Aijalon with its pasture lands, Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands—four towns.

25Out of the half-tribe of Manasseh: Taanach with its pasture lands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands—two towns. 26The towns of the families of the rest of the Kohathites were ten in all, with their pasture lands.

Pasture land along the Nile River.

27To the Gershonites, one of the families of the Levites, were given out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for the slayer, and Beeshterah with its pasture lands—two towns.

28Out of the tribe of Issachar: Kishion with its pasture lands, Daberath with its pasture lands, 29Jarmuth with its pasture lands, En-gannim with its pasture lands—four towns;

30Out of the tribe of Asher: Mishal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, 31Helkath with its pasture lands, and Rehob with its pasture lands—four towns.

32Out of the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for the slayer, Hammoth-dor with its pasture lands, and Kartan with its pasture lands—three towns. 33The towns of the several families of the Gershonites were in all thirteen, with their pasture lands.

High pasture near Tungnath, India.

34To the rest of the Levites—the Merarite families—were given out of the tribe of Zebulun: Jokneam with its pasture lands, Kartah with its pasture lands, 35Dimnah with its pasture lands, Nahalal with its pasture lands—four towns.

36Out of the tribe of Reuben: Bezer with its pasture lands, Jahzah with its pasture lands, 37Kedemoth with its pasture lands, and Mephaath with its pasture lands—four towns.

38Out of the tribe of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for the slayer, Mahanaim with its pasture lands, 39Heshbon with its pasture lands, Jazer with its pasture lands—four towns in all.

Pasture land near Nanshan, China.

40As for the towns of the several Merarite families, that is, the remainder of the families of the Levites, those allotted to them were twelve in all.

41The towns of the Levites within the holdings of the Israelites were in all forty-eight towns with their pasture lands. 42Each of these towns had its pasture lands around it; so it was with all these towns.

43Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to their ancestors that he would give them; and having taken possession of it, they settled there. 44And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their ancestors; not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. 45Not one of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

_________________________

7 Promises Made and 7 Promises Fulfilled!

Exodus 6:6-8 (New International Version)

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’ “

Galatians 4:28 (New Living Translation)

You, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
safety at a city of refuge (first published in 1901).    http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart/1902/joshua20.jpg
cities of refuge map.    http://oneyearbibleimages.com/refuge.gif
Pasture — Tasmania.    http://www.planbooktravel.com.au/region-images/TAS/flinders-island/flinders-island-400×272/pasture-land-near-whitemark.jpg/image_preview
Pasture — Scilly.    http://www.planetware.com/i/photo/st-agnes-island-isles-of-scilly-gb734.jpg
Pasture — Argentina.    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3456/3199508520_04cbf04f75_b.jpg
Pasture — Nile River.    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_U-w3_mIQ6co/Szjixa4h1JI/AAAAAAAAAEU/BM8UlxAIcOY/S730/LAND+HAS+BEEN+CONSOLIDATED+AND+AGRICULTURE+MODERNISED+IN+RWANDA.jpg
Pasture — India.    http://www.sherwinbeach.com/india/india2/MtnPastureWebFull.jpg
Pasture — China.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2600/3674894017_ee76b9fc4b.jpg