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Today's Reading
March 20

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Pastor’s Note

It is hard not to be motivated by the heartening words of God to Joshua as he is commissioned to take the reigns of leadership in the face of the daunting task of the conquest of the promised land. May we take hold of the divine strength and courage to face whatever challenge God has called us to, as we all work to spread the knowledge of God and the lordship of Christ in this world.

— Pastor Mike

Joshua 1-3

God Commissions Joshua

1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success [1] wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua Assumes Command

10 And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”

12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

16 And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! 18 Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

Rahab Hides the Spies

2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent [2] two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.

Before the men [3] lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. [4] 11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. 12 Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign 13 that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” 14 And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. 16 And she said [5] to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. 19 Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. 20 But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” 21 And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 They departed and went into the hills and remained there three days until the pursuers returned, and the pursuers searched all along the way and found nothing. 23 Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. 24 And they said to Joshua, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”

Israel Crosses the Jordan

3:1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. At the end of three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits [6] in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” And Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” 10 And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth [7] is passing over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. 13 And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”

14 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

Luke 1:57-80

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
 for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
 in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
 and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
 and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
 74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
 for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
 in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
 whereby the sunrise shall visit us [8] from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
 to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Footnotes

[1] 1:7 Or may act wisely
[2] 2:1 Or had sent
[3] 2:8 Hebrew they
[4] 2:10 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)
[5] 2:16 Or had said
[6] 3:4 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[7] 3:11 Hebrew the ark of the covenant, the Lord of all the earth
[8] 1:78 Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us

  • Russell Reeves

    Crossing the Jordan on dry ground – bet that hasn’t happened in a while!
    John the Baptist. Pretty cool that God chronicled his birth AND death in the scriptures.

    • CheriClark

      Nice to see you Russ commenting on the DBR.

      • Russell Reeves

        Thanks Cheri!

  • Anne Ventura

    Joshua 1:8-9

    This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

    Psalm 1:2

    but his delight is in the law1 of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

    May I be ever faithful to meditate on your word Lord. May I learn to rely on you and only you and fear not because you are with me.

    Luke 1:79

    to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

    Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12

    Lord, this dark weary world is becoming more evil, more willing to accept any corrupt, iniquitous, depraved way. You are the light that shines on the hill ,but your light is blinded to those whose eyes are covered by scales. May you Lord, be working on the hearts of those who need to hear the gospel. Use me as a vessel for you today! Maranatha!!

    • CheriClark

      The same OT passage spoke to both of us this morning. Good morning my friend. Praying that your day is good.

    • Sam Funk

      Just a thought. No one can be prevented from seeing God’s light unless God chooses to keep it hidden. I pray that more and more will see his light as it gets darker and darker in this world.

      • Anne Ventura

        You always cause me to think deeper. Thank you Sam. 🙂

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Joshua 1:8 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

    Then: God is commissioning Joshua. He tells Joshua to cling to the Law.

    Always: We as believers should cling to the Word of God.

    Now: Joshua is told to cling to the Law. So should we. Joshua is told to be strong and courageous – 3 times! And so should we. And he is told that the Law should not depart from him and he should meditate on it constantly so that he could do it. As we should. It seems that there is a correlation between success and being strong and courageous. That seems to be the Word of God. I want those things. Oh- not in a worldly way I don’t desire that I will be successful as the world defines success but as God defines it. I don’t think I will be prosperous as the world defines it but as God defines it. That is important to me. To be seen in God’s eyes as doing the things that will further His Kingdom and in His service. And I can be strong because I have the Word of God in me and guiding me. That is why I treasure these DBR readings every morning – it gets me in God’s Word. All of God’s Word. I want to know His Word so that I can know Him better. I want to know His Word so I can be obedient and do it. I want to know God’s Word so that I can be used by Him for His purposes.

    NT
    Luke 1: 77 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,

    Then: Zechariah is exclaiming a prophecy concerning his son John. John will tell others of the salvation that Jesus brings for the forgiveness of their sins.

    Always: As believers, we should proclaim Jesus as Savior.

    Now: As a Christian, one of my responsibilities, my major one, is to share about Jesus. I need to proclaim Him and all that He has done in my life. I desire to tell others of the love and mercy He extended to us by taking the wrath of God that we deserved. Others need to know about the cross – the need for it, their position before God, and how that all can be made right. That is something we all need to do. So are we? Are we sharing with our neighbors the love of Jesus? Are we explaining the need for the cross to others? May we be actively by words and actions proclaim Jesus and the great gift He has extended to us to all we meet.

    • Debbie Barnett

      Yes!! Thanking God for this forum to encourage one another to be in his word as he commanded!

    • Anne Ventura

      Good Morning to you my Friend…..Yes, we are synched today.

    • Sam Funk

      “I want to know His Word so I can be obedient and do it.” So true. That’s God’s command to Joshua (v1:8)

  • Debbie Barnett

    Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5

    How encouraging it must have been for God to dry the river Jordan for the Israelites to pass. God also encourages us daily in his word. We too can have courage with whatever God has us face for this day! For he is with us and will never foresake us!

    • CheriClark

      Reading the Word refreshes me daily and sets my mind on the things of God.

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77

    John the Baptist was commissioned by God to go before Jesus in His earthly ministry and prepare the way so that the people had “knowledge of salvation”. He spoke to them of repentance and forgiveness–all things of which Christ came to preach as well. What I found interesting was that just as John had this special mission of going before Christ, we have the mission of going after Him. Just a few chapters ago, in Mark 16:15, Jesus commissions his disciples to “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” We have been sent after Christ, having an even greater advantage than John the Baptist because of all the signs and wonders that Christ has done that we can speak of. May we carry this message as faithful ambassadors, always seeking an opportunity to share about the salvation and forgiveness that is found in Christ.

    • Anne Ventura

      Like your new picture Alyssa!

    • CheriClark

      Yes- may we be faithful ambassadors.

  • Cj Kemble

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    Then: After the death of Moses, the Lord was exhorting Joshua to be strong and courageous and not to fear the task that lay ahead of him which was to invade Jericho and and take possession of the land.

    Always: Christians should not fear when they are pursuing the things of the Lord. No matter how daunting the task, God will always be with his people as they go about his work.

    Now: As I read this chapter, I imagine Joshua being anxious and scared of what lay ahead of him; going to battle to overtake a huge land probably seemed impossible and he probably feared for his own life. How faithful and compassionate of the Lord to speak to him and assure him of his divine presence, promise, and power. As I think about my own future and the things that the Lord might be asking of me, I have been overwhelmed with fear at the uncertainty that accompanies those things. But, I am greatly encouraged by this verse and by God’s faithfulness as a whole. Praise God for his word and for it’s timeless truths that we, as Christians, can claim as our own and that give us the strength and sustenance we need to continually pursue the Lord’s work on this earth.

    • CheriClark

      Look at that TAN !!! Good job!

  • Beth Metcalf

    to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:77-79 (These words were spoken by Zechariah, (John the baptist’s father, (filled with the Holy Spirit) about his son’s call by God. We saved are also called by God to give the dead, the knowledge of salvation, Light, and forgiveness of sins. Thank you God for your tender mercies, guidance, and for sealing the saved in the Spirit.

    • CheriClark

      Grateful for the mercy He has shown me.

  • NonieS

    Joshua 1

    8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

    I love these verses! God is telling us to meditate on His Word and to do what it says. We need to be obedient to His Word, always and we will have good success. We never need to fear or be dismayed, because our Lord God is always with us! Thank you Lord!

    Luke 1

    67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, ……….
    76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
    77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people, in the forgiveness of their sins,………

    Zechariah had been mute after the angel told he and Elizabeth that they were going to have a son. After John was born, and was to be circumsized, on the eighth day, he wrote on a tablet that the baby’s name was John. At that time, he began to speak and prophesy about this baby and what mighty things he would do. This baby would grow into the man, John the Baptist, who would prepare the way of our Lord, Jesus. We hold God’s Word in our hands, everyday, and read of all of the fulfilled prophesy’s as well as the ones to come. We can trust God’s Word to be true! Maranatha!

    • CheriClark

      Yes- I trust His Word to be true !!!

  • Tracy Libby

    Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”💙

  • Sam Funk

    Joshua 1:17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses!

    An affirmation of obedience with a hint of doubt. My paraphrase, “We’ll follow you as long as we see God is giving us victory like we had with Moses.”

    Joshua 2:11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.

    Many non-believers have read or heard wwhaty God has done, some eventually seek him and serve him. But until they surrender completely they are just outsiders who have knowledge but no works. True repentance comes when we are willing to give up everything to be God’s instruments.

    Joshua 3:16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.

    Somehow it has not seemed any more impossible for the Red Sea to be divided as it was for the river to pile up like a snow bank, but here it is.

    Luke 1:69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,

    With Mary visiting there for three months before John was born, I’m sure Zachariah had heard many things from her and from his by Gabriel that gave him a keener insight of God’s plan than the average person.

  • RyanDamato

    Joshua 1-
    8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

    The purpose of the the book of the Law was to make sure obedience and submission to the Lord was the focus and desire of the lives of God’s chosen people. Success depends on how it is defined and can be misinterpreted to meaning health wealth and prosperity. While those points are true according to what God was clearly speaking to his people regarding obedience, it’s not the purpose for this life. good success is received by obeying God’s commands and then watching God establish his promises throughout the promise land.
    It’s no different for Christians throughout the world. When we obey the Lord, we live without the conviction and discipline that we have when we sin against the Lord. It’s so important for us to dig into God’s word so we can align ourselves with his will and understand his desires for our lives. When we do that and we meditate on all the goodness of God, our lives will be be in step with our creator’s!
    I’m so thankful for the word of God. I can’t express enough the fact that God has given me a way to connect with him and that I can learn more about him, think more about him and live more for him when I read his word. I pray for understanding and obedience in my life as I continue to seek him more every day.

    Luke 1-
    58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

    The event that took place over this conception and birth were really quite astonishing as it relates to prophecy, trust and rejoicing. Zechariah was no stranger to hearing prophetic statements and he was very close to God as he was a priest himself and on duty in the temple when Gabriel approached him. His questioning of the Lord was not tolerated by God and he was disciplined according to the way God felt appropriate. Even with these events, both he and Elizabeth must have had joy in their hearts and an outward expression as many people knew of the mercy that God had on them and they rejoiced with them.
    God disciplines those whom he loves. If we get disciplined and inconvenienced with an illness or difficult situation, we need to quickly recognize our sin and remain joyful for God’s goodness. In other words, as Christians, we recognize that God is doing great things and allowing unfortunate things to bring to completion his perfect plan. That should allow us to be joyful and focused on the good that God allows.
    I hate discipline. I love being disciplined but I hate that I have to be. I know there are times that the discipline seems harsh given the circumstances but there are far more times when the discipline is weak compared to what it could be. The only constant is the fact that I need to be aware of the stuff God hates and I need to do everything that I can to live according to what he expects. When I blow it, I pray that I quickly see where I fall short and that I respond with joy and thankfulness for his great promise in my life.

    • CheriClark

      May we desire to know Him better and seek out His Word.

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Luke 1:58
    And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

    Interesting use of mercy. We forget the shame that came with being barren. Lord, thank you that it’s never too late to receive your mercy.

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