Highlights In Today's Reading:
Joshua and the elders die. The Israelites have victory over the Canaanites except in the valley! Why? "Canaanites" is a general name given to all the kingdoms that existed in the promised land. Do you think God could not defeat the chariots of iron? Trials and obstacles strengthen our faith. As the Israelites yield to the sin of becoming friendly with the Canaanites, they stop serving God (2:10-11). Be sure to catch the sequence shown here: disobedience, punishment, repentance, deliverance.
The long period of wandering in the desert was necessary to prepare Israel for its inheritance in Canaan. However, the tribes all settled within their territories, defeating but not destroying the Canaanites. When Israel was strong . . . they put the Canaanites to tribute (under taxation and forced labor), and did not utterly drive them out (1:28). The inevitable followed: The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua. . . . And Joshua . . . the servant of the Lord, died (2:7-8). It is disappointing to read: The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim (gods of the Canaanites of whom Baal was chief) (2:11). Instead of obeying the Lord, they adopted the gods of those who became their slaves, violating the Lord's commands (Ex. 34:12-16; Deut. 4:23-26; 12:1-3,29-32).
And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger (2:12).
God is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all, so it is no surprise to read that eventually Israel was worshipping idols. In the midst of this crisis the Lord Himself appeared in angelic form saying: Why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you (2:2-3).
Hearing this, the people lifted up their voice, and wept (2:4). Furthermore, they offered sacrifices unto the Lord, but they did not change their ways, defeat the enemies, or destroy their idols. No amount of tears or sacrifice can substitute for full obedience (I Samuel 15:22).
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it (Heb. 4:1).
Thought for Today:
Although the work God is doing in us is a continuing process, it is important to understand that giving only partial obedience is still disobedience to Him (Phil. 1:6).
As the Angel of the Lord who is understood to be Jesus Himself, for He speaks as God Himself (I made you . . . and have brought you . . . I sware . . . I said, I will . . . My Covenant) (Judg. 2:1-4). Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).
1:7 meat under my table =leftover food; requited =repaid; 1:20 expelled thence =drove out, defeated; 1:22 house =family; 1:23 descry =spy out; 1:27 would dwell =determined to remain; 1:30 tributaries =forced laborers; 2:2 league =treaty; throw down =destroy; 2:10 were gathered unto their fathers =died; 2:12 bowed themselves unto =worshiped; 2:16 spoiled =plundered; 2:17 went a whoring after other gods =were unfaithful to the One True God; 2:18 repented =grieved, showed compassion; 2:19 corrupted themselves =became more evil; 2:22 prove =test.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Mary J. Zaiser • Government Officials: Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY) • Country: El Salvador (5.9 million) in Central America • Major language: Spanish • Some intolerance of Protestants by government officials • 75% Catholic; 20% Protestant; .5% Baha'i; 2.5% Other; 2% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).
Optional Reading: John 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:44