Apr. 23 – (Josh. 8:1-17) Have you ever tried to do something in your own strength? Or maybe did something the Lord told you to do but did it your way instead of His?  How did it work for you?  Let’s purpose to do things His way! 

Apr. 24 – (Josh. 8:18-29) Did you notice that this time they watched their leader and only moved when he gave the signal? Many times, we hear from God, but we don’t listen to when we should do it.  Selah            One other thing, I am reminded of.  God will never leave us or forsake us. Never!   Through the Holy Spirit, we need to discern when we are to wait and trust, or that we are being disciplined and need to repent. Remember: God only disciplines His children (Heb. 12:7-8).  Selah

Apr. 25 – (Josh. 8:30-35) Joshua is following the instructions Moses left from at least 2 years earlier (Deut. 27:1-8).  How can we relate this to anything in our lives?  1. Here are written the basic blessings and curses for living life (this includes the 10 commandments).  2. They offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings.  Burnt offerings were for forgiveness of sins. Peace offerings celebrated peace with God or relationship with God.  When we sin, we need to ask forgiveness. That process restores relationship with God.  Sin blocks our relationship from God (at least in that area). It never blocks God’s relationship with us!  Selah

DID YOU KNOW? Mount Ebal, along with its counterpart Mount Gerizim (Deut. 11:29), is some 20 miles north of Ai, near Shechem.  Israel’s ancestors had ties to Shechem beginning with Abraham (Gen. 12:6-7); also, Jacob (Gen. 33:18-20; 34:1-31).  These associations may help explain how Israel is able to hold a covenant renewal there, apparently without having to capture it first.

Apr. 26 – (Josh. 9:1-15) God promised to annihilate all the inhabitants of Canaan.  Why then did the Gibeonites get to live (9:14)?  God has promised to destroy the “nations” (Deut. 31:3) He has given us so why do we struggle with things in our life? Mostly, for me, it’s because I try to do it in my own power instead of waiting on the Lord for understanding and timing. Seek the Lord first in ALL things!  You never know when the enemy is dressed to deceive you!  Oh wait… that’s what he always does!  Don’t let him, in Jesus’ name! Let’s pay attention to what the Gibeonites do from here…. it’s not over yet!

Apr. 27 – (Josh. 9:16-27) The Gibeonites were probably a sect of the Hivites which were listed in Deut. 20:17 as slated for complete destruction. It is also apparent that they believed that the God of the Israelites was powerful enough to do just that.  That meant that they believed in Israel’s God (at least in that).   Even though the Gibeonites were cursed for their deception and made to be wood cutters and water carriers for the people of Israel, Joshua put them in charge of cutting wood for burning on the altar and carrying water for the temple.  Let’s pause and think about that!

Apr. 28 – (Josh. 10:1-15) This reminds me that God “allows” – does all things for our good even when we disobey and believe lies from the enemy.  The Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the Israel’s leaders and therefore came under Israel’s rule as servants rather than be destroyed.  Five kings of a large area from Jerusalem to the coast came against the Gibeonites and since they were now under Israel’s rule, they needed protection.  God performed a miracle allowing Israel to conquer and control all that area and made a way for further conquests. Can you relate to a time when you recognized God doing the same type of thing in your life?  I can. If you ask, I can give you an example. 😊

Apr. 29 – (Josh. 10:16-28) Why did Joshua instruct the leaders to put their feet on the neck of the five kings?  It was to show the leaders that they were fighting a battle that had already been won because God had ordained it. It was for courage to continue from a place of knowing they would be victorious.  That is our position even today! Selah 😊

                DID YOU KNOW?   Royal humiliation.  In the ancient Near East, victors would often put their feet on the necks of defeated foes (10:24).  This was usually done to people in positions of leadership. The act was made to show dominance over the defeated foe.