Highlights In Today's Reading:
Still on the east side of the Jordan River the Israelites defeat a giant king. Did you notice the size of his bed? Why couldn't Moses enter the promised land? Catch the real reason God created the sun, moon, and stars — for regulations of seasons — not for fortunetelling (4:19; Genesis 1:14).
Before the people of Israel crossed the Jordan River,they turned and went northwards where they were confronted by Og, the King of Bashan. He was a powerful ruler who controlled over sixty separate communities built with high walls (Deuteronomy 3:5). The area was thickly populated and powerfully defended by giants. Doubtless, King Og and his united forces of Amorites fought fiercely to keep their kingdoms. Nevertheless, Israel defeated and then destroyed them. Giants are only pygmies before God who enables us to overcome insurmountable problems in order that the glory and praise may be to Him.
The defeat of the united Amorite forces encouraged the faith of the Israelites as well as struck fear in surrounding nations (2:25). God had promised to permit the tribes of Reuben and Gad to remain outside the promised land since they had said to Moses: Let this land be given unto thy servants . . . and bring us not over Jordan (Numbers 32:5). This was not the perfect will of God. It points out that God will not force anyone to do His will and allows us to choose second best. In doing so we fall short of His perfect will for our lives. But the Lord warned them of the consequences.
The destruction of the Canaanite nations was ordered of God on the grounds of their wicked iniquities (Genesis 15:16; Deuteronomy 20:10-16; I Kings 21:26). It was the execution of a long-delayed judicial sentence. The Midianites and the Amalekites also incurred this doom through their sins against Israel (Deuteronomy 25:17-19; Exodus 17:8-16).
Under these kings, the cup of their iniquity had, in the judgment of God, become "full." Consequently, God said: Thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee: That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 20:17-18). We dare not question the sentence as too severe. God exercised His righteous judgment against their sins and used the Israelites to destroy them. We need to see in the severity of these punishments the enormity of the abhorrence in which sin is held by our Holy Creator.
The Lord . . . shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth (Psalm 96:13).
Thought for Today:
We will face many giant problems in our lives but, as we trust in the Lord and follow His Word, He will give us victory over each one. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4).
By Joshua who led the Israelites into their inheritance (Deuteronomy 3:28). Through Jesus we receive His promised inheritance among them which are sanctified (set apart) by faith that is in Me (Acts 26:18).
3:18 meet for the war =b> qualified to fight; 3:28 charge =b> appoint, give responsibility to; 4:12 no similitude =b> no figure, shape or form; 4:34 assayed =b> endeavored, attempted; 4:37 seed =b> descendants.
Pray for The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts for the month of March sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer • Staff: Michael Sharp • Government Official/s [listed on their birthday/s] and the state/s represented (statistics from The Original U.S. Congress Handbook): Rep. Christopher Carney (PA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT), Sen. Russell Feingold (WI), and Sen. Ken Salazar (CO) • Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa • Major language: Spanish • Freedom for churches at this time • 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord, for He promises to answer you (Zechariah 13:9).
Optional Reading: Luke 17
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:14