Highlights In Today's Reading:
Six cities are appointed as places of refuge and officially assigned. The command to support them is obeyed by all the tribes.
Because of their unbelief which caused fear and slothfulness, many of the cities within the promised land were still occupied by various Canaanite kingdoms (see 17:12-13; 18:3). Their inheritance was delayed because of their sin.
But, Caleb was as enthusiastic as he had been forty-five years earlier when Moses sent him to spy out the land. There was no trace of weakness as he testified to the nation: As my strength was then, even so is my strength now (14:11). Many hard years had intervened; yet, his vision and willingness to conquer the Canaanites at age eighty-five had not diminished from when he was forty. He rallied the forces, fought the Canaanites, and declared victory in Hebron. There is only one explanation for his success. Caleb had great faith in God and His power to fulfill His promises (Numbers 14:24). God first gave promise of the land to Abraham (Genesis 13: 14-15; 15:18-21) and then to Jacob (28:13). The Lord gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it (21:43-45).
Canaan was a wicked, sinful land whose inhabitants contaminated it by their violence, immorality, and idol worship. God said it was a land which deserved judgment and He called upon the Israelites to execute His judgment. The land which Christians are to possess is the whole world: Go . . teach all nations . . . to observe all things (Matthew 28:19-20). With Christ as our King, we are to wage unceasing warfare against evil, in whatever forms it may be found. The nature of warfare is not changed, its conditions remain the same and victory is still its objective (I John 5:4). The servants of God are called to root out evil without compromise (Romans 12:21).
It is disappointing that some people expect God to fulfill His promises while they sit back and do nothing. God fulfills His promises through Christians who move out in faith as Joshua did. God gave him the requirements for fulfilling His promises: This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8). The numerous promises of our Lord are a witness to His unfailing grace which is available to every believer (I Timothy 6:15).
Thought for Today:
God has never failed to keep His Word. But, many are like the tribes of Israel that sit back and do nothing and who ignore the qualifications of spiritual success. We too battle enemy forces against spiritual wickedness. . . . Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:12-18).
By Eleazar, the chief priest (Joshua 21:1). Jesus Christ is our High Priest. The . . . High Priest of our profession (confession) Christ Jesus (Heb. 3:1).
20:3 avenger of blood =b> the nearest relative of a slain person who was to avenge his death by destroying the slayer; 21:2 suburbs =b> pasturelands; 21:32 refuge =b> protection.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. William H. Somers and Bett Brown • Staff: Mike Moore • Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo • Religious freedom • 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).
Optional Reading: John 11
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:16