Oct. 8 – (Ex. 39-40) Chapter 39 first describes the garments for Aaron and his sons. Notice that after the description of each piece, it is emphasized that “it was made as the Lord had commanded Moses”. When statements are repeated and emphasized, we need to pay close attention to it.  Why do you think this was important to God?

                Chapter 40 describes the anointing of Aaron and his sons and the erecting of the Tabernacle.  Can you imagine how everyone felt when this project was done?  It says they went to their tents.  But it didn’t end there. God’s glory (in the form of a cloud and then fire) came down and filled the Tabernacle.  God was pleased with them. He blessed them with His Presence among them!  How rich was His Presence!  At the end of each day, do you feel that same way? I have to admit, this is a new thought for me.  Selah! 

Oct. 9 – (Josh. 1) Yay!  We are now beginning Joshua.  I love the way this book will flow with Exodus. In the Pentateuch (which Exodus is part of), The Lord redeemed His people out of slavery in Egypt and formalized His covenantal love for Israel at Sinai.  Moses led His people at that time. Now, we begin part two under the leadership of Joshua (who was Moses right-hand man).  The Lord brings His people into the Land of Promise, shows them how to destroy and get rid of enemies in the land (that would be the strongholds in our lives). He then gives them rest. This process is a very important part of our going “From Here to There”!

                I believe this is my favorite OT chapter! In this season of my life I have repeated verse 5b-6 and 9 over and over. You see, when I was four, my dad died, and I placed on Father God many beliefs born out of that experience. I felt abandoned and rejected. My mother did a wonderful job for being a single mom in the 50s with 3 kids 7 and under, but the enemy uses every opportunity possible to mess up our relationship with our heavenly Father.  God set up a family as having a mother and a father for a reason! Through these verses God is healing that misconception and bringing me to a closer relationship with Him. “Thank you, Father God.” “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.” “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  This is just one way Father God is taking me “From Here To There”! 

Oct. 10 – (Josh. 2) Rahab was a prostitute among a pagan people yet was saved by Gods mercy and is remembered as an ancestor of Christ (Matt. 1:5) and for her faith ((Heb. 11:31) and good works (James 2:25).  Let’s not live in past sins that are forgiven.  We are the Bride of Christ and righteous before God because of Christ!  Halleluiah!

                DID YOU KNOW? Canaan was made up of various city-states. Each had a central city surrounded by villages and farmland and its own “king.” Many of the cities were walled.

                                                The Jordan River was generally impassable except by swimming or wading at shallow areas (or fords).  One of the few places where the Jordan could be crossed was near Jericho. The king’s men probably hoped to catch the fleeing spies there.  

Oct. 11 – (Josh. 3) God again performed a miracle in pushing back the waters of Jordan so that the people could cross.  Why was it a miracle if they crossed at one of the fords close to Jericho? Verse 15 gives us a small clue.  The Jordan overflows all its banks caused by spring rains and snow melt from the Mt. Hermon region. Jordan’s headwaters – through the time of harvest, that is the grain harvest of March-April, normally has a 3-10-foot depth and 90-100-foot width.  With the added water, it would have been much more difficult to cross. Sometimes we don’t understand the scripture because we don’t have all the background we need to understand.  We need to understand this, do our best to get that background and trust Him that it is what He says it is when it still doesn’t make sense. 

                One story to emphasis this: A child was learning about a similar situation when Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea. The teacher said it was not a miracle because after studying it, she found that the water was only a few inches deep at that place and time.  The child piped up and said it still was a miracle because God drowned all the Egyptians with their chariots and horses in just a few inches of water!  Always trust in His Word even while you are searching for understanding and perspective!

                The passing into the land of Canaan meant many things. Up until this moment, Israel was called “A People”. Now, for the first time they are called a Nation.  Once you were called a sinner. Now you are called redeemed and righteous! Selah 

Oct. 12 – (Josh 4-5) God wants Joshua to set up 12 memorial stones at the Jordan to remind them of what He has done.  Where are your memorial stones set up? God has done wonderful “miracles” in our lives.  We need to be reminded of this. 

                Here’s another thought: Joshua is the only one who witnessed the first “miracle crossing”. Does that give any insight into the importance of memorial stones?

                Verses 10-12 reminds me of the Truth that God will always provide for our “needs.” The day after the Passover was observed, they ate from the fruit of the land and the manna stopped. Whenever I think of this Truth I always have to remind myself that it is “needs” not “wants”.  God gets to decide which is which!   

Oct. 13 – (Josh. 6) Verses 17-18 give instructions that we need to understand better.  The term “devoted to the Lord for destruction” was an order to destroy every living thing. It was not a license to kill indiscriminately in other warfare situations.  Cities outside Canaan were treated differently (Deut. 20:10-15). This specific order was for the Canaanites whose wickedness had become complete (Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:1-3). It was also to protect the Israelites from worshiping other gods because of Canaanite influence (Deut. 7:1-6). Jericho’s destruction was not a general guideline for the conduct of war.  Instead, it is a picture of what will happen in the final judgment to all who continue to rebel against God. It doesn’t just apply to Jericho or of the Canaanites in general.  The Lord warns that if Israel does not totally destroy Jericho, the camp of Israel itself will become a thing of destruction.  Furthermore, Canaanites such as Rahab and the Gibeonites (ch.9) who devoted themselves to the Lord are spared, while Israelites who defy the Lord, such as Achan (Ch.7) are killed. 

                One other thing I picture in my head.  Israel does what God instructs and the walls of Jericho fall flat (v. 20).  Rahab’s house was built into the walls of Jericho (2:15).  Did her section remain standing? Or maybe just the shell of her house stayed up?  We probably will never know. We just need to believe His Word that He saved her and her family as He promised (v. 23)!

Oct. 14 – (Josh. 7) Oh Achan, why did you do this? Look what your one act has caused! Is there a reason other than your greed? I think so. Let’s look back at the sins of your ancestors from your tribe of Judah.

 In I Chron. 2:3-8, Judah is the central focus of the genealogy because God chose Judah to lead Israel (Gen. 49:8-12).  God also chose David and his line to bless Israel and rule forever (2 Sam. 7:1-17; I Chron. 17:1-15).  Judah’s’ five sons demonstrate both Yahweh’s judgment on disobedience (Er, Onan, Shelah) and his grace in continuing the lines of Perez and Zerah, the twins born from Judah’s unlawful union with Tamar (Gen. 38). Achan means “trouble” in the Hebrew text, a wordplay on the troubler of Israel (Josh. 7:24-26).  This is the first instance of this key term in the book that describes Israel’s failure to obey the Lord (Lev. 26:40).  Does this help you understand “the sins of the fathers…”?

                One other thing.  Achan was the only one who sinned yet the community suffered. Verse 1 says, “The people of Israel broke faith…”  Israel as a covenant community is held responsible for sin in its midst.  Do we as a community have any responsibility for “the sin” in our midst?  Selah!