Bible reading for July 10.
"...in all, thirty-one kings." (Joshua 12:24)
MUCH DONE (12). The powerful alliance of kings in Canaan has been broken and their cities burned. The kings are listed, both those defeated by Moses before crossing the Jordan and those defeated by Joshua afterwards. Each city and king named represents a remarkable victory for Israel from the Lord. The Lord raises up and casts down as he wills: "Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust" (Isa 40:15) and he "...brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness" (Isa 40:23; cf Dan 4:35). By his death Jesus defeated all earthly and heavenly powers (John 12:31; Eph 4:8; Col 2:15). Sometimes this aspect of Christ's atonement is called Christus Victor, which emphasizes the "triumph of Christ over the evil powers of the world, through which he rescues his people and establishes a new relationship between God and the world." Read more about that here. At his return Christ will judge the nations and hold all people accountable to him (Ps 2:8-12; 110:1-7; Phil 2:9-11; Rev 11:15). Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
MORE TO DO (13). But the Israelites weren't to rest on their laurels, there was much more to do. Outlying areas, smaller cities, and the high places (pagan worship sites) needed to be taken. This would be a test for future generations. Some of the inhabitants were dug in and holding out. The Israelites faced some pretty terrifying tribes in the land, specifically, the Anakim (11:22) and the Rephaim (13:12). These clans included warriors who were unusually tall, strong, and skilled in battle. There seems to have been some genetic anomalies among the descendants of that land, as seen later (see 2 Sam 21:20).
TAKEAWAYS. 1) Here is great comfort for us as we face a world that may intimidate us: "Every knee will bow..." (Phil 2:10). Every rebel crown will be broken. Every tongue will confess that "Jesus is Lord." 2) the land of Palestine still belongs to the nation of Israel and there is yet a glorious future for them when they turn to Christ (Rom 11). We therefore should support the right of Israel to live peacefully in their land. 3) The "inheritance" of the Levites (13:14, 33), being God himself, points us to a greater glory than a piece of land (John 17:3, 24; Heb 11:13-16). Mount Zion, the city of Jerusalem, the land flowing with milk and honey all point us to a greater inheritance with Christ in glory, together with believers from all nations (Heb 12:22-24). 4) Though the decisive battle was won at the cross by Jesus and confirmed by his resurrection, yet we as believers must not let down and rest on our laurels, for there are still battles to be fought. We're not home yet.
"My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever." (Psalm 145:21)
MADE FOR PRAISE! This is a wonderful psalm of praise written by David, naming all the reasons for which we should thank and praise God. As the catechism says, "Man's primary purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever" (The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English, P & R Publishing, 1986). We learn that our worship of God should be mental (involving the thought life), verbal (involving our speech both private and public), and inter-generational: "One generation shall commend your works to another..." (v 4) and, "to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom" (v 12).
MAKE A LIST! In your journal, or in your family discussion time, go through this psalm and list every reason we should praise God. Why should we glorify God and enjoy him forever?
Image credit: "Crown of crowns", by Byron Elliott at dribbble.com.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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