Category Archives: Faithful

What if they were all wrong? What if God's plan is beyond their ability to understand?


The Story of Job. – Day 45

Imagine having 4 friends who are trying to give you advice. Imagine those 4 friends give you direction based on their understanding of the situation. Imagine all 4 of them weren’t giving you the right advice because they didn’t have the full context. What would it take for you to understand it? What would it take for you to know what you had to do? What would it take to find the answer? What would it take to find the direction? What would it take to realize how to move forward? Would it take someone knocking on the door? Would it take a shift in mindset? Would it take an encounter with God? Would it take wisdom from God that would provide you with a peace that surpasses all understanding? Would it mean a change in position or direction? Would it mean a change in perspective? What if there was a greater purpose and that purpose was to show God’s glory? Would you be willing to put God first? Would you be willing to allow God’s will to be the priority? Will you say Today God Is First? Will you say TGIF?

Through this time why not humble yourself before God? Through this time why not trust God? Through this time why not live faithfully before God?


Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time,

1 Peter 5:6

Consider how just by living humbly and faithfully before God, how it will exalt and point people to Him. Consider how God’s timing is perfect and God’s plan is good and so by leaning on Him rather than our own understanding He will make our path straight! Don’t be robbed or fooled by allowing pride to get in the way! Don’t be manipulated because of your pride! Don’t fall into the trap out of having yourself pumped up and building up your pride!


Today’s reading from God’s Word: Job 40

‘Then the Lord said to Job, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who disputes with God answer it.” Then Job replied to the Lord and said, “Behold, I am of little importance and contemptible; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, but I will not reply again— Indeed, twice [I have answered], and I will add nothing further.”

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying, “Now gird up your loins (prepare yourself) like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me. Will you really annul My judgment and set it aside as void? Will you condemn Me [your God] that you may [appear to] be righteous and justified? Have you an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His? “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity [since you question the Almighty], And array yourself with honor and majesty. Pour out the overflowings of your wrath, And look at everyone who is proud and make him low. Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him, And [if you are so able] tread down the wicked where they stand. [Crush and] hide them in the dust together; Shut them up in the hidden place [the house of death]. [If you can do all this, Job, proving your divine power] then I [God] will also praise you and acknowledge That your own right hand can save you.

“Behold now, Behemoth, which I created as well as you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his loins And his power is in the muscles and sinews of his belly. He sways his tail like a cedar; The tendons of his thighs are twisted and knit together [like a rope]. His bones are tubes of bronze; His limbs are like bars of iron. “He is the first [in magnitude and power] of the works of God; [Only] He who made him can bring near His sword [to master him]. Surely the mountains bring him food, And all the wild animals play there. He lies down under the lotus plants, In the hidden shelter of the reeds in the marsh. The lotus plants cover him with their shade; The willows of the brook surround him. If a river rages and overflows, he does not tremble; He is confident, though the Jordan [River] swells and rushes against his mouth. Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, Or pierce his nose with barbs [to trap him]?’

— Job 40:1-24

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s summary from the study notes: Job Chapter 40 Explained (visit the links above to dig in deeper verse by verse):

Verses 1-2: God again challenged Job to respond: would he dare to bring charges against Him? Job had accused God; now God asked what right he had to do so.

Verses 3-5: Job’s first response to God was I am guilty as charged. I will say not more. He knows he should not have found fault with the Almighty. He should not have insisted on his own understanding. He should not have thought God unjust. So he was reduced to silence at last.

Job’s reply is one of humble submission in the face of an omnipotent and omniscient God: “Behold I am vile” (verse 4).

With great respect, Job confesses his insignificance in the presence of the Lord in his first response. Covering his “mouth” and refusing to answer signaled that Job clearly regretted his words and would not venture to make yet another mistake. All his complaints against God were empty and futile.

Verses 40:6 to 41:34: As if the first was not enough, God’s second interrogation of Job commenced along the very same lines, only focusing on two unique animals in God’s creation: Behemoth (40:15-24), and Leviathan (41:1-34), two creatures powerful and fearful who embodied all that is overwhelming, uncontrollable, and terrorizing in this world., Man can’t control them, but God can.

Verses 6-14: God’s second series of questions begins with an affirmation of His administration of the moral order. Job had questioned God’s justice in order to protect his own innocence: “Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (verse 8). God says in essence: “if you are as powerful as I (verse 9), then you bring judgment on the proud (verse 11); then I will admit your power” (verse 14).

God again spoke from the whirlwind, daring Job to try running the universe according to the retribution principle. If Job could do it, then he would vindicate himself (“thine own right hand”).

Job had partially capitulated to his friends’ perspective on retributive judgment. In His second speech, Yahweh presents incontrovertible arguments that nothing compares to Him, not even “Leviathan” (see notes on 41:1-11).

Verses 8-14: God unleashed another torrent of crushing rebukes to Job, in which He mocked Job’s questionings of Him by telling the sufferer that if he really thought he knew what was best for him rather than God (verse 8), then he should take over being God! (Verses 9-14).

Verses 40:15 – 41:34: The rest of the speech is taken up with a description of “behemoth (40:15-24), and “leviathan (41:1-34). These are certainly literal, not mythical, creatures since they are observable and because the rest of the Lord’s questions deal with real animals. There have been numerous suggestions as to the identity of these creatures, with the most likely being the hippopotamus and crocodile, respectively. The descriptions of both are filled with hyperbole: “he drinketh up a river” (40:23); “a flame goeth out of his mouth (41:21), compare the earlier hyperbolic description of the horse (in 39:19-25). The point of referring to these animals is this: if Job cannot master just two marvels of physical strength within God’s creation, how can he expect to stand as a combatant humbly and trustfully in a God who knows more than he.

In verses 15-24: “Behemoth”: While this is a generic term used commonly in the Old Testament for large cattle or land animals, the description in this passage suggests an extraordinary creature. The hippopotamus has been suggested by the details in the passage (verses 19-24). However, the short tail of a hippo is hardly consistent with verse 17, where tail could be translated “trunk”. It could refer to an elephant, who could be considered “first” or chief of God’s creatures whom only He can control (verse 19). Some believe God is describing His most impressive creation of land animals, the dinosaur species, which fit all the characteristics.

Many scholars think that “behemoth” refers to the hippopotamus, thought the description “seems to match that of a great land dinosaur, such as the tyrannosaurus” according to Dr. Henry Morris. The word is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “super-beast”. No person could contend with such a creature. So how could Job pretend to be God’s equal when he could not even control what God had created?

Job Chapter 40 Explained

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you.  Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re-commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it. Reply with a comment to let me know of your decision so that I can pray with you. Respond to God’s prompting on your heart. Take time to hear from God today. Take time to be with God today. Take time to respond to God today!

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today

How much do you need to protest to prove your case?


The Story of Job. – Day 36

Who do you trust? What do you trust? When do you trust? Where do you trust? Why do you trust? How do you trust?

If you trust then do you need to keep protesting and trying to prove your case? If you trust then do you need to try and make your own way? If you trust should you change you tactics?

Ever heard “… doth protest too much”? Do you remember what they were talking about? Does your protesting make others think you are over acting? over reacting? being insincere? you are more guilty?

Even if you know there are 11 more days, will you continue to whine or complain or protest? Even if you don’t know how much longer will this trial continue, will you keep your trust in God and take hold of James 1:2-4 which reads:

‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘

— James 1:2-4

Do you believe that God is faithful and just? Do you believe that the devil comes to rob, to kill, and to destroy? Do you believe that Jesus came that we could have life and life more abundantly? Being rich or being poor don’t make us more spiritual or godly, it is a matter of our heart and our focus. So in the midst of the trial will you trust God and allow your focus and your heart to not lean on your own understanding?


Today’s reading comes to use from Job 31:

‘“I have made a covenant (agreement) with my eyes; How then could I gaze [lustfully] at a virgin? For what is the portion I would have from God above, And what heritage from the Almighty on high? Does not tragedy fall [justly] on the unjust And disaster to those who work wickedness? Does not God see my ways And count all my steps? “If I have walked with falsehood, Or if my foot has chased after deceit, Oh, let Him weigh me with accurate scales, And let God know my integrity. If my step has turned away from the way [of God], Or if my heart has [covetously] followed my eyes, Or if any spot [of guilt] has stained my hands, Then let me plant and [let] another eat [from the results of my labor], And let my crops be uprooted and ruined. “If my heart has been enticed and I was made a fool by a woman, Or if I have [covetously] lurked at my neighbor’s door [until his departure], Let my wife grind [meal, like a bond slave] for another [man], And let others kneel down over her. For adultery is a heinous and lustful crime; Moreover, it would be a sin punishable by the judges. For it is a fire which consumes to Abaddon (destruction, ruin, final torment); And [illicit passion] would burn and rage and uproot all my [life’s] increase [destroying everything]. “If I have despised and rejected the claim of my male or female servants When they filed a complaint against me, What then could I do when God arises [to judge me]? When He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make my servant, And did not the same One fashion us both in the womb? “If I have withheld from the poor what they desired, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to look in vain [for relief], Or have eaten my morsel [of food] alone, And did not share it with the orphan (But from my youth the orphan grew up with me as with a father, And from my mother’s womb I have been the widow’s guide), If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor person without covering, If his loins have not thanked and blessed me [for clothing them], And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep, If I have lifted my hand against the orphan, Because I saw [that the judges would be] my help at the [council] gate, Then let my shoulder fall away from its socket, And my arm be broken off at the elbow. For tragedy from God is a terror to me, And because of His majesty and exaltation I can do nothing [nor endure facing Him]. “If I have put my trust and confidence in gold, Or have declared fine gold my hope and assurance, If I gloated and rejoiced because my wealth was great, And because my [powerful] hand [alone] had obtained so much, If I beheld the sun [as an object of worship] when it shone Or the moon going in its splendor, And my heart became secretly enticed [by them], And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth [in respect to them], This also would have been [a heinous] sin calling for judgment, For I would have denied God above. “Have I rejoiced at the destruction of the enemy [who hated me], Or exulted [in malicious triumph] when evil overtook him? No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin By cursing my enemy and asking for his life. I assure you, the men of my tent have said, ‘Who can find one [in need] who has not been satisfied with his meat’? The stranger has not lodged in the street, Because I have opened my door to the traveler. Have I concealed my transgressions like Adam or like other men, By hiding my wickedness in my bosom, Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, So that I kept silence and did not acknowledge my sin and did not go out of the door? Oh, that I had one to listen to me! Look, here is my signature (mark); Let the Almighty answer me! Let my adversary write out His indictment [and put His vague accusations in tangible form]. Surely I would [proudly] bear it on my shoulder, And bind the scroll around my head like a crown. I would count out to Him the number of my steps [with every detail of my life], Approaching His presence as if I were a prince. “For if my land has cried out against me, And its furrows weep together; If I have eaten its fruits without paying for them, Or have caused its [rightful] owners to lose their lives, Let thorns grow instead of wheat, And stinkweed and cockleburs instead of barley.” So the words of Job [with his friends] are finished.’

— Job 31:1-40

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s summary from the study notes: Job Chapter 31 Explained (visit the links above to dig in deeper verse by verse):

As Job became more forceful in his pursuit of being cleared of false accusations, he intensified the claim that he was innocent, comparatively speaking, and demanded justice. In situations where an individual was innocent, he would attest to it by taking an oath before the king or a deity. This procedure found among Job’s neighboring nations was often protocol for court procedures. The repeated “If … let” statements amount to the terms of the oath: “If” tells what Job might have done wrong; “let” describes a curse which could result. He accepted the curses (the “let” statements through the chapter), if he deserved them. This represented Job’s last attempt to defend himself before both God and man. In terms of purity (verse 1), sin in general (verses 2-3), truth (verse 5), covetousness (verse 7), marital faithfulness (verse 9), equity (verse 13), compassion (verses 16-21); materialism (verses 24-25), false religion (verses 26-27), love for enemies and strangers (verses 29-32), secret sin (verses 33-34), and business relations (verses 38-40). Job had no pattern of sin. He asked God to answer him (verse 35), and to explain why he suffered. Finally, he appeals to God to be the judge: if what he has claimed for himself is not true, let God pronounce the consequences (verses 35-40).

Verses 2-4: Though Job protested the accusations and logic of his friends, these words strongly suggest he actually held to the retribution principle as much as they did (Prov. 5:21).

Verses 6-40: Job understood that God weighs on an honest set of scales, and if he was guilty of any wrongdoing, he was willing to face the consequences. He would even let another man sleep with his “wife” if he himself were guilt of adultery.

“Verses 13-15: “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? Is a statement of fundamental human equality. Job presented an impartial and just managerial record. He said he had not mistreated any of his employees because he knew he answered to the Maker of all (Prov. 14:31; 22:2).

Verses 16-23: Job gave God permission to do whatever He wanted, even taking his limbs, if he deserved it for mistreating the “poor.”

Verses 24-35: As Job ends his final defense, he could honestly say he had not made “gold” his hope or participated in false worship. (Throwing a kiss to heavenly deities – “kiss my hand” – was a pagan superstition). He also never rejoiced at the misfortune of someone who hated him, pronounced a curse on those who mistreated him, or refused hospitality to strangers in need.

Job Chapter 31 Explained

We don’t and won’t know all the answers in this life. We can choose to trust God and that His plan is good and receive Jesus into our lives so that we have all of eternity to be able to better understand everything in our lives or not. Today we will be faced with making a choice. Today we can choose where we will spend eternity. We are all eternal beings that will go somewhere after our bodies die here on earth and the final destination will be determined by our decision.


So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Will you stick with God through it all?


The Story of Job. – Day 32

We all have a choice of whether we will receive the gift of grace or not. We all have a choice of whether we will spend out lives with God or apart from God. We all have a choice of whether we will believe or not. We all have a choice of where we will spend eternity with God or apart from God. Put another way, we all have a choice of where we will spend eternity in heaven or in hell. We all have a choice of receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior or rejecting Him and trying to go it alone. We get to choose if we will be on the side of good or evil, there is no neutral ground. We get to choose if we will be on the side of hope and love or despair and hate. We get to choose if we will have faith or not. We get to choose if we will be faithful or not. We get to choose if we will be good stewards or not. Choices, choices, we will face them everyday. Choices, choices, we will need to make them every day. Choices, choices, they will impact not just your today but also your forever.

What is the value of gaining everything in this world and then losing your soul? What good is it to gain the world and lose your soul? What is there worth giving up your soul? If you want to be greatest then you need to become less, we need to become servants. If we want to be trusted with more then we need to show that we are faithful with little. How will you choose to live out your life?


Today’s reading from God’s Word: Job 27

‘Job continued his discourse and said, “As God lives, who has taken away my right and denied me justice, And the Almighty, who has caused bitterness and grief for my soul, As long as my life is within me, And the breath of God is [still] in my nostrils, My lips will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue utter deceit. Far be it from me that I should admit you are right [in your accusations against me]; Until I die, I will not remove my integrity from me. I hold fast my uprightness and my right standing with God and I will not let them go; My heart does not reproach me for any of my days. “May my enemy be as the wicked, And he who rises up against me be as the unrighteous (unjust). For what is the hope of the godless, even though he has gained [in this world], When God takes his life? Will God hear his cry When trouble and distress come upon him? Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call on God at all times? I will teach you regarding the hand (power) of God; I will not conceal what is with the Almighty [God’s actual treatment of the wicked]. Behold, all of you have seen it; Why then do you act vainly and foolishly [cherishing worthless concepts]? “This [which I am about to explain] is the portion of a wicked man from God, And the inheritance which tyrants and oppressors receive from the Almighty: Though his children are many, they are destined for the sword; And his descendants will not have sufficient bread. Those who survive him will be buried because of the plague, And [their] widows will not be able to weep. Though he heaps up silver like dust And piles up clothing like clay, He may prepare it, but the just will wear it And the innocent will divide the silver. He builds his house like a spider’s web, Like a (temporary) hut which a watchman makes. He lies down rich, but never will again; He opens his eyes, and it is gone. Terrors overtake him like a [suddenly rising] flood; A windstorm steals him away in the night. The east wind lifts him up, and he is gone; It sweeps him out of his place. For it will hurl [thunderbolts of God’s wrath] at him unsparingly and without compassion; He flees in haste from its power. People will clap their hands at him [to mock and ridicule him] And hiss him out of his place.’

— Job 27:1-23 (AMP)

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Will you stick with God through the good and the tough times? Will you stick with God through the good and the bad times? Will you stick with God through the trials and the troubles? Will you resist the temptations of the devil to walk away or turn your back on God? Will you trust God in and through it all?

Today’s summary from the study notes:(visit Job Chapter 27 Explained to dig in deeper verse by verse)

Verses 1-23: In Job’s summary response to his three friends, he still clings to his claim of “righteousness”, although now placed in the context of divine judgment. The wicked are those who separate themselves from faith in the Lord and a fear of the Lord; Job does not qualify.

(In verses 1-12), Job turned from speaking about God (26:5-14), to defending his righteousness.

Verses 2-6: Job took the most solemn oath possible (“As God liveth”), delivering an ultimatum to his friends as he proceeded to express his lifelong commitment to God (Psalm 37:4).

Verses 3-6: Job affirmed his true and steadfast devotion to righteous living, no matter what happened. He refused to live with a guilty conscience (verse 6b). This was no brash claim, because God had recognized Job’s virtue (1:8; 2:3).

Verses 7-23: There is a severe interpretive problem in the chapter: Job seems to agree now with his friends that the wicked are punished and that they are not permitted to prosper as he had earlier alleged. The answer to this seeming contradiction lies in the fact that much of what the friends have said is true and Job is agreeing with them; however, he does not contradict his earlier statements that they have been arbitrary and unjust in their application of their tenets.

(In 7-13), Job characterized his friends as enemies. These three hypocrites would be judged by God and perhaps then they would realize the cruelty with which they had been treating Job.

Verses 8-10: Job reminded the friends that he would never be hypocritical because he understood the consequences.

Verses 13-23: Such harsh language is similarly found in Psalms (e.g., Psalm 69:22-28). Almost exclusively, Job quotes back to his “friends” what they had earlier spoken to him, using their own words against them.

Job wanted it made clear he was not denying that the wicked are punished with severe distress, so he agreed that they suffer greatly and affirmed so in this section.

Job Chapter 27 Explained

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Amid it all, what will you believe and where will you turn?


The Story of Job. – Day 28

Look to understand where you are at. Remember your value to God and to others. Remember what your true motivation really is. Are you doing it for the money or because it is a calling? Are you doing it for prestige or because God told you to? Are you doing it for recognition or because God called you to walk on water? Are you doing it for yourself or because there is a greater purpose? Will you take direction and instruction from people or from God?

Is God calling you away? If not then don’t leave. If yes then get moving. Is God calling you out of the boat? If not stay in the boat. If yes then get moving. Be lead by God! Be lead by the Holy Spirit’s prompting! Don’t bite at the temptations! Don’t be tempted into doing something that could steel your hope and your joy! Don’t allow your eyes to deceive you! Don’t allow your pride to deceive you! Don’t allow your thoughts to deceive you! Lean not on your own understanding but rather put your full trust in God! Let’s long for God’s purpose and plan! Let’s long for God’s presence and wisdom! Let’s allow God’s purpose and plan to be fulfilled in and through us! Let’s be focusing on the things that will last forever rather than the things that are temporary, can erode, be destroyed and stolen. Let’s be living our lives with the focus on pointing people to Jesus and allow Him to touch and transform their hearts!

This is the day that the Lord has made,
so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Where does your worth come from? How do you value your worth? Is it by the words of man or the Word of God? Remember who God says you are!

Remember that even when you don’t feel God, He is there. Remember that even when you don’t hear God, He is there. He will never leave you and never abandon you and so you just need to keep on keeping on, believing and trusting in Him!


Today’s reading from God’s Word: Job 23

‘Then Job answered and said, “Even today my complaint is contentious; His hand is heavy despite my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might [even] come to His seat! I would present my cause before Him And fill my mouth with arguments. I would learn the words which He would answer, And understand what He would say to me. Would He contend against me with His great power? No, surely He would give attention to me. There the righteous and upright could reason with Him; So I would be acquitted forever by my Judge. “Behold, I go forward (to the east), but He is not there; I go backward (to the west), but I cannot perceive Him; To the left (north) He turns, but I cannot behold Him; He turns to the right hand (south), but I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take [and He pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I will come forth as [refined] gold [pure and luminous]. My feet have carefully followed His steps; I have kept His ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have kept the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. But He is unique and unchangeable, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is planned (appointed) for me, And He is mindful of many such things. Therefore I would be terrified at His presence; When I consider [all of this], I tremble in dread of Him. For God has made my heart faint, And the Almighty has terrified me, But I am not silenced by the darkness [of these woes that fell on me], Nor by the thick darkness which covers my face.’

— Job 23:1-17

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

It is interesting to get to hear Job’s heart today without interjection by his friends and without the preview reading having been them trying to put him down. His desire to understand by seeking God and pleading his case. He doesn’t realize what his troubles speaks of who God is in the moment but later will realize the benefits of trusting and pursuing God’s will in his life.

Today’s study summary:

Verses 23:1 – 24:25: Job’s reply to Eliphaz’s third speech was not a rebuttal, but express Job’s longing for fellowship with God, so he could experience God’s love and goodness and hear from Him the meaning of all his suffering.

This section, featuring Job’s response to Eliphaz, is expressive of Job’s deeply discouraged state, God’s sovereignty is not a comfort to him but a terror. Echoes of his initial sadness in his opening soliloquy (3:1-26), are found here.

(In verses 1-12), we find that in spite of Job’s anger toward Eliphaz, his dispute was not with humans but with God, the only One who knew the truth of his integrity (Psalm 17:3).

Verses 6-7: “Plead”. Engage in court debate over evidence, witnesses, etc. Job knew God was not going to enter a contest with him to determine, as in a court case, who was right. But he wanted God to at least listen to him, so confident was he that he could make his case, and be delivered by his just Judge (compare 1:8; 2:3).

Verses 8-12: Even though Job couldn’t sense God’s presence, he believed He was present and affirmed his commitment to God’s purpose in this test (verse 10), and his continued obedience to God’s Word, which were the most important issues in his life (verses 11-12).

Verses 13-17: Understandably, Job considered a sovereign God unpredictable, which can be a fearful thing. In reality, God’s seeming unpredictability is balanced by His unchanging faithfulness to His children.

Book of Job ExplainedChapter 23

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

When God makes you a promise, you can know it will happen.


He is trustworthy! He is faithful! His Word is true! His Word is dependable! God’s Word is reliable! So are you in a relationship with God and pursuing His Word?

I remember when God called me to marry my wife. I remember when God showed me daughters as I was relating to Philip the evangelist. I remember when God promised me a son. I remember when God called me to join the board of our homeowners association and then to become president. I remember when God called me to forgive those who had hurt, lied, deceived, and tricked me. I remember when God called me to get out of the boat because it was time for something new. I remember when God called me to stay in the boat. I remember when God called me to go to a camp for foster kids. I remember when God called me to run a camp for teenage foster kids. God made me a promise and He has been faithful and true, totally dependable through it all, especially when I faced situations beyond what I thought possible, He showed up and showed me the way. Take hold of God’s promises! Lean into Him through them, especially if things get tough or rough or overwhelming.

God is reliable! God is trustworthy! God is dependable! God is faithful! God is love! So let’s live our lives in a way that will point people back to God and give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s live by faith in God! Let’s live in a way that will please God! Let’s allow our faith bring praise to God!


Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Samuel 7 where David has a desire and brings it before God…

‘When King David was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all the surrounding enemies, the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!” Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the Lord said to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in? I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. I have always moved from one place to another with a tent and a Tabernacle as my dwelling. Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s tribal leaders, the shepherds of my people Israel. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’ “Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth! And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past, starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. “‘Furthermore, the Lord declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings! For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will correct and discipline him with the rod, like any father would do. But my favor will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from your sight. Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.’” So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said in this vision. Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord , and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, Sovereign Lord , in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord ? “What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign Lord . Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant. “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord ! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way. You made Israel your very own people forever, and you, O Lord , became their God. “And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever. “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!’ For you are God, O Sovereign Lord . Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. And now, may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord , it is an eternal blessing!”’

2 Samuel 7

‘During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah, the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time. Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.” So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the Lord had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll. Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple. So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the Lord that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them. Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the Lord ’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the Lord has threatened them with his terrible anger.” Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the Lord to the people at the Temple. He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn, during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day. Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance. When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the Lord , he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting. Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people, the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them. “Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested. When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?” So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.” “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened. The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen. Then the king commanded his son Jerahmeel, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the Lord had hidden them. After the king had burned the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words, the Lord gave Jeremiah another message. He said, “Get another scroll, and write everything again just as you did on the scroll King Jehoiakim burned. Then say to the king, ‘This is what the Lord says: You burned the scroll because it said the king of Babylon would destroy this land and empty it of people and animals. Now this is what the Lord says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to lie unburied—exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will punish him and his family and his attendants for their sins. I will pour out on them and on all the people of Jerusalem and Judah all the disasters I promised, for they would not listen to my warnings.’” So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!’

Jeremiah 36

‘But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.’

Luke 19:41-48

‘One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” So they finally replied that they didn’t know. And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”’

Luke 20:1-8

‘Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.’

Hebrews 11:1-7

‘Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal. O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel. For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger. Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. When I weep and fast, they scoff at me. When I dress in burlap to show sorrow, they make fun of me. I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me. But I keep praying to you, Lord , hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me. Answer my prayers, O Lord , for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies. You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually. Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger. Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted. To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt. Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free. Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous. I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power. Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving. For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves. The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people. Praise him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them. For God will save Jerusalem and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and settle in their own land. The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land, and those who love him will live there in safety.’

Psalms 69

Do you have enough compassion to make it right?


Do you realize it will cost you something? Do you realize that you have already been given what is required? Do you realize it means you have to be willing to do something? We need to go beyond being hearers of the Word to becoming doers of the Word. Will you pick up the call on your life and take hold of what James is speaking to us in James 1 about compassion and about suffering in order to share the love of God with the world around you? Will you have faith and endure? Will you listen and do? How will you serve the poor, the widows, and the orphans?


‘This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’

James 1

Today’s reading gets us started in Ruth 4 showing Boaz’s example with Ruth.

‘Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there. Just then the family redeemer he had mentioned came by, so Boaz called out to him, “Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” So they sat down together. Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses. And Boaz said to the family redeemer, “You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. I thought I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don’t want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you.” The man replied, “All right, I’ll redeem it.” Then Boaz told him, “Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.” “Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.” Now in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, “You buy the land.” Then Boaz said to the elders and to the crowd standing around, “You are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon. And with the land I have acquired Ruth, the Moabite widow of Mahlon, to be my wife. This way she can have a son to carry on the family name of her dead husband and to inherit the family property here in his hometown. You are all witnesses today.” Then the elders and all the people standing in the gate replied, “We are witnesses! May the Lord make this woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended! May you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. And may the Lord give you descendants by this young woman who will be like those of our ancestor Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah.”

So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord , who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!” Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. This is the genealogical record of their ancestor Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz. Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.’

— Ruth 4

‘“Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,” says the Lord . “Look high and low; search throughout the city! If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city. But even when they are under oath, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ they are still telling lies!” Lord , you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent. Then I said, “But what can we expect from the poor? They are ignorant. They don’t know the ways of the Lord . They don’t understand God’s laws. So I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they know the ways of the Lord and understand God’s laws.” But the leaders, too, as one man, had thrown off God’s yoke and broken his chains. So now a lion from the forest will attack them; a wolf from the desert will pounce on them. A leopard will lurk near their towns, tearing apart any who dare to venture out. For their rebellion is great, and their sins are many. “How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were full. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the brothels. They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife. Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? “Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines, leaving a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vines, for these people do not belong to the Lord . The people of Israel and Judah are full of treachery against me,” says the Lord . “They have lied about the Lord and said, ‘He won’t bother us! No disasters will come upon us. There will be no war or famine. God’s prophets are all windbags who don’t really speak for him. Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!’” Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies says: “Because the people are talking like this, my messages will flame out of your mouth and burn the people like kindling wood. O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,” says the Lord . “It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand. Their weapons are deadly; their warriors are mighty. They will devour the food of your harvest; they will devour your sons and daughters. They will devour your flocks and herds; they will devour your grapes and figs. And they will destroy your fortified towns, which you think are so safe. “Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely,” says the Lord . “And when your people ask, ‘Why did the Lord our God do all this to us?’ you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.’

“Make this announcement to Israel, and say this to Judah: Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the Lord , define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me. They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’ Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things. “Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind. They continually set traps to catch people. Like a cage filled with birds, their homes are filled with evil plots. And now they are great and rich. They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land— the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?’

— Jeremiah 5

‘One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!”

Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone who he was. “The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.”

About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem. Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials —one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them. Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.’

— Luke 9:18-36

‘So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.’

— 1 Peter 2:1-12

‘I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” But as I stood there in silence— not even speaking of good things— the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: “ Lord , remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me. I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you. But please stop striking me! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. When you discipline us for our sins, you consume like a moth what is precious to us. Each of us is but a breath. Interlude Hear my prayer, O Lord ! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.’

–Psalms 39

How to right size something?


You want to be a good steward, right? You want to do what is right, right? You want to be prepared, right? So how do you make sure you have enough? How do you make sure you don’t have too much? How can you be confident that you are setup for success? What are you depending on? What is the foundation for your decision? What is the reason for the confidence you have going in?

Judges 7:1-8

‘So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight. But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.” When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream. The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him. The Midianite camp was in the valley just below Gideon. ‘

So did it go like you hoped? Was your trust in God? What Jesus your foundation? Did you turn to God’s Word for wisdom? Will you now give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory since You know that it was His perfect plans and His perfect will that allow for that incredible result? Did you sow everything you had to sow? Did you water everything that needed water? Did you harvest everything that was ready for harvest?

Even though the theme was DREAM BIG and the story was Joseph’s story the camp for me was a Judges 6-7 camp — it was a Gideon type of moment where we had to right size things so that God would get all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Who is the right choice?


Is it the strongest? Is it the smartest? Is it the one with the most faith? Is it the weakest? Is it the least smart? Is it the one who lacks faith? Who is the right choice to get it done? Is it someone who thinks they can do it all on their own? Is it someone who thinks they can’t do it all on their own? Is it someone proud? Is it someone humble? Is it someone who is a good leader? Is it someone who is a good follower? What if the choice is you?

Will you accept the offer? Will you test the offer to make sure it is real? Will you doubly test the offer? Will you question the offer? Will you receive the offer? Will you answer the call?

Would it matter what it was for? Would it matter how big or small it is? Would it matter the responsibility that comes with it? Would it matter the pressure that comes with it?

Who is the right choice? Is it you?


Today’s reading gets started with the story of Gideon in Judges 6:

‘The Israelites did evil in the Lord ’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel, camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare. So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help. When they cried out to the Lord because of Midian, the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt. I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. I told you, ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.” He answered, “I will stay here until you return.” Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree. The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told. Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord , he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord , I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” “It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. Then build an altar to the Lord your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed. The people said to each other, “Who did this?” And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash. “Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.” But Joash shouted to the mob that confronted him, “Why are you defending Baal? Will you argue his case? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!” From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means “Let Baal defend himself,” because he broke down Baal’s altar.

Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him. He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded. Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.’

Judges 6

We continue in our reading with Isaiah 64:

‘Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. And yet, O Lord , you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. Don’t be so angry with us, Lord . Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people. Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin. The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed. After all this, Lord , must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?’

Isaiah 64

Today’s reading from God’s Word continues into the New Testament starting with Luke 4:

‘Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord ’s favor has come” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.” When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.’

Luke 4:14-30

Today’s reading next brings us into 1 Timothy 3:

‘This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.’

1 Timothy 3:1-7

Today’s reading from God’s Word concludes in Psalms 23:

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.’

Psalms 23

Do you know where to go? Do you know where to turn?


Do you know in the midst of trials where to go or turn? Do you know in the midst of troubles where to go or turn? Do you know in the midst of challenges where to go or turn? Do you know in the midst of struggles where to go or turn? Do you know your options? Do you know what’s available? Do you know which is most available or reliable? Can you trust? Do you believe? How do you know which way is best?


Today’s reading gets us started in Deuteronomy:

‘“When the Lord your God destroys the nations whose land he is giving you, you will take over their land and settle in their towns and homes. Then you must set apart three cities of refuge in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Survey the territory, and divide the land the Lord your God is giving you into three districts, with one of these cities in each district. Then anyone who has killed someone can flee to one of the cities of refuge for safety. “If someone kills another person unintentionally, without previous hostility, the slayer may flee to any of these cities to live in safety. For example, suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And suppose one of them swings an ax to chop down a tree, and the ax head flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer may flee to one of the cities of refuge to live in safety. “If the distance to the nearest city of refuge is too far, an enraged avenger might be able to chase down and kill the person who caused the death. Then the slayer would die unfairly, since he had never shown hostility toward the person who died. That is why I am commanding you to set aside three cities of refuge. “And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors, and gives you all the land he promised them, you must designate three additional cities of refuge. (He will give you this land if you are careful to obey all the commands I have given you—if you always love the Lord your God and walk in his ways.) That way you will prevent the death of innocent people in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession. You will not be held responsible for the death of innocent people. “But suppose someone is hostile toward a neighbor and deliberately ambushes and murders him and then flees to one of the cities of refuge. In that case, the elders of the murderer’s hometown must send agents to the city of refuge to bring him back and hand him over to the dead person’s avenger to be put to death. Do not feel sorry for that murderer! Purge from Israel the guilt of murdering innocent people; then all will go well with you.

“When you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession, you must never steal anyone’s land by moving the boundary markers your ancestors set up to mark their property. “You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. “If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime, then both the accuser and accused must appear before the Lord by coming to the priests and judges in office at that time. The judges must investigate the case thoroughly. If the accuser has brought false charges against his fellow Israelite, you must impose on the accuser the sentence he intended for the other person. In this way, you will purge such evil from among you. Then the rest of the people will hear about it and be afraid to do such an evil thing. You must show no pity for the guilty! Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.’

Deuteronomy 19

and

‘“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you! When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops. He will say to them, ‘Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’ “Then the officers of the army must address the troops and say, ‘Has anyone here just built a new house but not yet dedicated it? If so, you may go home! You might be killed in the battle, and someone else would dedicate your house. Has anyone here just planted a vineyard but not yet eaten any of its fruit? If so, you may go home! You might die in battle, and someone else would eat the first fruit. Has anyone here just become engaged to a woman but not yet married her? Well, you may go home and get married! You might die in the battle, and someone else would marry her.’ “Then the officers will also say, ‘Is anyone here afraid or worried? If you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.’ When the officers have finished speaking to their troops, they will appoint the unit commanders. “As you approach a town to attack it, you must first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the Lord your God hands the town over to you, use your swords to kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the plunder from your enemies that the Lord your God has given you. “But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of the nations in the land you will enter. In those towns that the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing. You must completely destroy the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the Lord your God has commanded you. This will prevent the people of the land from teaching you to imitate their detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you to sin deeply against the Lord your God. “When you are attacking a town and the war drags on, you must not cut down the trees with your axes. You may eat the fruit, but do not cut down the trees. Are the trees your enemies, that you should attack them? You may only cut down trees that you know are not valuable for food. Use them to make the equipment you need to attack the enemy town until it falls.’

Deuteronomy 20

Today’s reading then moves into Isaiah:

‘This message came to me concerning Moab: In one night the town of Ar will be leveled, and the city of Kir will be destroyed. Your people will go to their temple in Dibon to mourn. They will go to their sacred shrines to weep. They will wail for the fate of Nebo and Medeba, shaving their heads in sorrow and cutting off their beards. They will wear burlap as they wander the streets. From every home and public square will come the sound of wailing. The people of Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out; their voices will be heard as far away as Jahaz! The bravest warriors of Moab will cry out in utter terror. They will be helpless with fear. My heart weeps for Moab. Its people flee to Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah. Weeping, they climb the road to Luhith. Their cries of distress can be heard all along the road to Horonaim. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up! The grassy banks are scorched. The tender plants are gone; nothing green remains. The people grab their possessions and carry them across the Ravine of Willows. A cry of distress echoes through the land of Moab from one end to the other— from Eglaim to Beer-elim. The stream near Dibon runs red with blood, but I am still not finished with Dibon! Lions will hunt down the survivors— both those who try to escape and those who remain behind.’

Isaiah 15

and

‘Send lambs from Sela as tribute to the ruler of the land. Send them through the desert to the mountain of beautiful Zion. The women of Moab are left like homeless birds at the shallow crossings of the Arnon River. “Help us,” they cry. “Defend us against our enemies. Protect us from their relentless attack. Do not betray us now that we have escaped. Let our refugees stay among you. Hide them from our enemies until the terror is past.” When oppression and destruction have ended and enemy raiders have disappeared, then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king. He will rule with mercy and truth. He will always do what is just and be eager to do what is right. We have heard about proud Moab— about its pride and arrogance and rage. But all that boasting has disappeared. The entire land of Moab weeps. Yes, everyone in Moab mourns for the cakes of raisins from Kir-hareseth. They are all gone now. The farms of Heshbon are abandoned; the vineyards at Sibmah are deserted. The rulers of the nations have broken down Moab— that beautiful grapevine. Its tendrils spread north as far as the town of Jazer and trailed eastward into the wilderness. Its shoots reached so far west that they crossed over the Dead Sea. So now I weep for Jazer and the vineyards of Sibmah; my tears will flow for Heshbon and Elealeh. There are no more shouts of joy over your summer fruits and harvest. Gone now is the gladness, gone the joy of harvest. There will be no singing in the vineyards, no more happy shouts, no treading of grapes in the winepresses. I have ended all their harvest joys. My heart’s cry for Moab is like a lament on a harp. I am filled with anguish for Kir-hareseth. The people of Moab will worship at their pagan shrines, but it will do them no good. They will cry to the gods in their temples, but no one will be able to save them. The Lord has already said these things about Moab in the past. But now the Lord says, “Within three years, counting each day, the glory of Moab will be ended. From its great population, only a feeble few will be left alive.”’

Isaiah 16

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew:

‘When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick. Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.” Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!” “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.’

Matthew 19:1-15

and continues into Romans:

‘And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Timothy, my fellow worker, sends you his greetings, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow Jews. I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings, too, as one of the Lord’s followers. Gaius says hello to you. He is my host and also serves as host to the whole church. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you his greetings, and so does our brother Quartus. Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him. All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.’

Romans 16:17-27

As we consider what God’s Word speaks to us today and reflect on where we can turn, we find that God is the best choice. He will never leave us nor abandon us. He will stick closer than a brother. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus. He loves us so much that He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide. So no matter what comes your way, Jesus is the answer and the one in whom you can trust and to whom you can turn in the midst of the storm and celebrations of life.


Today’s reading closes with a psalm:

‘Praise the Lord ! Praise the name of the Lord ! Praise him, you who serve the Lord , you who serve in the house of the Lord , in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the Lord , for the Lord is good; celebrate his lovely name with music. For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure. I know the greatness of the Lord — that our Lord is greater than any other god. The Lord does whatever pleases him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths. He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses. He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home, both people and animals. He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his people. He struck down great nations and slaughtered mighty kings— Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan. He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to his people Israel. Your name, O Lord , endures forever; your fame, O Lord , is known to every generation. For the Lord will give justice to his people and have compassion on his servants. The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and mouths but cannot breathe. And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them. O Israel, praise the Lord ! O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord ! O Levites, praise the Lord ! All you who fear the Lord , praise the Lord ! The Lord be praised from Zion, for he lives here in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 135

Will you complete the work before you?


You have been called. You have answered. You have served. Will you finish strong? Will fight the good fight? Will you finish the race? Will you keep the faith? Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance. Do not be afraid, just believe! Put your trust in God in all your ways and He will make your path straight! Will you live out your life in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name? Remember God’s faithfulness from the past – your past, the people in the bible past and look forward in faith trusting in Him to get you through whatever comes your way.


Today’s reading starts us in Numbers 31 as Moses is being called to fight the good fight and finish strong.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “On behalf of the people of Israel, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. After that, you will die and join your ancestors.” So Moses said to the people, “Choose some men, and arm them to fight the Lord ’s war of revenge against Midian. From each tribe of Israel, send 1,000 men into battle.” So they chose 1,000 men from each tribe of Israel, a total of 12,000 men armed for battle. Then Moses sent them out, 1,000 men from each tribe, and Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest led them into battle. They carried along the holy objects of the sanctuary and the trumpets for sounding the charge. They attacked Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord ’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves. And all of you who have killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. You must purify yourselves and your captives on the third and seventh days. Purify all your clothing, too, and everything made of leather, goat hair, or wood.” Then Eleazar the priest said to the men who were in the battle, “The Lord has given Moses this legal requirement: Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead— that is, all metals that do not burn—must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure. These metal objects must then be further purified with the water of purification. But everything that burns must be purified by the water alone. On the seventh day you must wash your clothes and be purified. Then you may return to the camp.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “You and Eleazar the priest and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals. Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of the people. From the army’s portion, first give the Lord his share of the plunder—one of every 500 of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord . From the half that belongs to the people of Israel, take one of every fifty of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining the Lord ’s Tabernacle.” So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. The plunder remaining from everything the fighting men had taken totaled 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 virgin girls. Half of the plunder was given to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, of which 675 were the Lord ’s share; 36,000 cattle, of which 72 were the Lord ’s share; 30,500 donkeys, of which 61 were the Lord ’s share; and 16,000 virgin girls, of whom 32 were the Lord ’s share. Moses gave all the Lord ’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as the Lord had directed him. Half of the plunder belonged to the people of Israel, and Moses separated it from the half belonging to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 virgin girls. From the half-share given to the people, Moses took one of every fifty prisoners and animals and gave them to the Levites, who maintained the Lord ’s Tabernacle. All this was done as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then all the generals and captains came to Moses and said, “We, your servants, have accounted for all the men who went out to battle under our command; not one of us is missing! So we are presenting the items of gold we captured as an offering to the Lord from our share of the plunder—armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will purify our lives before the Lord and make us right with him. ” So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military commanders—all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects. In all, the gold that the generals and captains presented as a gift to the Lord weighed about 420 pounds. All the fighting men had taken some of the plunder for themselves. So Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gifts from the generals and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle as a reminder to the Lord that the people of Israel belong to him.’

Numbers 31

Today’s reading then continues into Hosea 9

‘O people of Israel, do not rejoice as other nations do. For you have been unfaithful to your God, hiring yourselves out like prostitutes, worshiping other gods on every threshing floor. So now your harvests will be too small to feed you. There will be no grapes for making new wine. You may no longer stay here in the Lord ’s land. Instead, you will return to Egypt, and in Assyria you will eat food that is ceremonially unclean. There you will make no offerings of wine to the Lord . None of your sacrifices there will please him. They will be unclean, like food touched by a person in mourning. All who present such sacrifices will be defiled. They may eat this food themselves, but they may not offer it to the Lord . What then will you do on festival days? How will you observe the Lord ’s festivals? Even if you escape destruction from Assyria, Egypt will conquer you, and Memphis will bury you. Nettles will take over your treasures of silver; thistles will invade your ruined homes. The time of Israel’s punishment has come; the day of payment is here. Soon Israel will know this all too well. Because of your great sin and hostility, you say, “The prophets are crazy and the inspired men are fools!” The prophet is a watchman over Israel for my God, yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes. He faces hostility even in the house of God. The things my people do are as depraved as what they did in Gibeah long ago. God will not forget. He will surely punish them for their sins. The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped. The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will not be born or grow in the womb or even be conceived. Even if you do have children who grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.” O Lord , what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth and breasts that give no milk. The Lord says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are struck down. Their roots are dried up, and they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.” My God will reject the people of Israel because they will not listen or obey. They will be wanderers, homeless among the nations.’

Hosea 9

and Hosea 10.

‘How prosperous Israel is— a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit. But the richer the people get, the more pagan altars they build. The more bountiful their harvests, the more beautiful their sacred pillars. The hearts of the people are fickle; they are guilty and must be punished. The Lord will break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Then they will say, “We have no king because we didn’t fear the Lord . But even if we had a king, what could he do for us anyway?” They spout empty words and make covenants they don’t intend to keep. So injustice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field. The people of Samaria tremble in fear for their calf idol at Beth-aven, and they mourn for it. Though its priests rejoice over it, its glory will be stripped away. This idol will be carted away to Assyria, a gift to the great king there. Ephraim will be ridiculed and Israel will be shamed, because its people have trusted in this idol. Samaria and its king will be cut off; they will float away like driftwood on an ocean wave. And the pagan shrines of Aven, the place of Israel’s sin, will crumble. Thorns and thistles will grow up around their altars. They will beg the mountains, “Bury us!” and plead with the hills, “Fall on us!” The Lord says, “O Israel, ever since Gibeah, there has been only sin and more sin! You have made no progress whatsoever. Was it not right that the wicked men of Gibeah were attacked? Now whenever it fits my plan, I will attack you, too. I will call out the armies of the nations to punish you for your multiplied sins. “Israel is like a trained heifer treading out the grain— an easy job she loves. But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck. I will force Judah to pull the plow and Israel to break up the hard ground. I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord , that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’ “But you have cultivated wickedness and harvested a thriving crop of sins. You have eaten the fruit of lies— trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe. Now the terrors of war will rise among your people. All your fortifications will fall, just as when Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel. Even mothers and children were dashed to death there. You will share that fate, Bethel, because of your great wickedness. When the day of judgment dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.’

Hosea 10

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament starting in Matthew 10

‘“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’#10:35-36 Mic 7:6. “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God,#10:41 Greek receive a prophet in the name of a prophet. you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”’

Matthew 10:34-42

and then into Romans 8.

‘Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.’

Romans 8:12-17

Consider what God has placed before you today. Consider what God is calling you to accomplish today. Consider the blessing you can provide into the next generation. Consider the opportunity to prepare them for their future and to build their faith. Let’s go for it and do it God’s way.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 119.

‘I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. Lord , don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. Teach me your decrees, O Lord ; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Lord , give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. I will speak to kings about your laws, and I will not be ashamed. How I delight in your commands! How I love them! I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees.’

Psalms 119:25-48

What are you trusting in? If God says to do something will you do it? Would you do something that creates the appearance that you don’t trust?


Is your trust in people? Is your trust in the market? Is your trust in the leadership? Is your trust in God? If God gives you instruction or direction or a commandment will you do it? What if the situation is looking challenging? Would you turn to God first or starting trying to get the numbers? What if the situation looks risky? Would you turn to God first or would you running the numbers? Who do you trust? Do your words and actions align with that?


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 26.

‘After the plague had ended, the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war.” So there on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho, Moses and Eleazar the priest issued these instructions to the leaders of Israel: “List all the men of Israel twenty years old and older, just as the Lord commanded Moses.” This is the record of all the descendants of Israel who came out of Egypt. These were the clans descended from the sons of Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son: The Hanochite clan, named after their ancestor Hanoch. The Palluite clan, named after their ancestor Pallu. The Hezronite clan, named after their ancestor Hezron. The Carmite clan, named after their ancestor Carmi. These were the clans of Reuben. Their registered troops numbered 43,730. Pallu was the ancestor of Eliab, and Eliab was the father of Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. This Dathan and Abiram are the same community leaders who conspired with Korah against Moses and Aaron, rebelling against the Lord . But the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed them with Korah, and fire devoured 250 of their followers. This served as a warning to the entire nation of Israel. However, the sons of Korah did not die that day. These were the clans descended from the sons of Simeon: The Jemuelite clan, named after their ancestor Jemuel. The Jaminite clan, named after their ancestor Jamin. The Jakinite clan, named after their ancestor Jakin. The Zoharite clan, named after their ancestor Zohar. The Shaulite clan, named after their ancestor Shaul. These were the clans of Simeon. Their registered troops numbered 22,200. These were the clans descended from the sons of Gad: The Zephonite clan, named after their ancestor Zephon. The Haggite clan, named after their ancestor Haggi. The Shunite clan, named after their ancestor Shuni. The Oznite clan, named after their ancestor Ozni. The Erite clan, named after their ancestor Eri. The Arodite clan, named after their ancestor Arodi. The Arelite clan, named after their ancestor Areli. These were the clans of Gad. Their registered troops numbered 40,500. Judah had two sons, Er and Onan, who had died in the land of Canaan. These were the clans descended from Judah’s surviving sons: The Shelanite clan, named after their ancestor Shelah. The Perezite clan, named after their ancestor Perez. The Zerahite clan, named after their ancestor Zerah. These were the subclans descended from the Perezites: The Hezronites, named after their ancestor Hezron. The Hamulites, named after their ancestor Hamul. These were the clans of Judah. Their registered troops numbered 76,500. These were the clans descended from the sons of Issachar: The Tolaite clan, named after their ancestor Tola. The Puite clan, named after their ancestor Puah. The Jashubite clan, named after their ancestor Jashub. The Shimronite clan, named after their ancestor Shimron. These were the clans of Issachar. Their registered troops numbered 64,300. These were the clans descended from the sons of Zebulun: The Seredite clan, named after their ancestor Sered. The Elonite clan, named after their ancestor Elon. The Jahleelite clan, named after their ancestor Jahleel. These were the clans of Zebulun. Their registered troops numbered 60,500. Two clans were descended from Joseph through Manasseh and Ephraim. These were the clans descended from Manasseh: The Makirite clan, named after their ancestor Makir. The Gileadite clan, named after their ancestor Gilead, Makir’s son. These were the subclans descended from the Gileadites: The Iezerites, named after their ancestor Iezer. The Helekites, named after their ancestor Helek. The Asrielites, named after their ancestor Asriel. The Shechemites, named after their ancestor Shechem. The Shemidaites, named after their ancestor Shemida. The Hepherites, named after their ancestor Hepher. (One of Hepher’s descendants, Zelophehad, had no sons, but his daughters’ names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.) These were the clans of Manasseh. Their registered troops numbered 52,700. These were the clans descended from the sons of Ephraim: The Shuthelahite clan, named after their ancestor Shuthelah. The Bekerite clan, named after their ancestor Beker. The Tahanite clan, named after their ancestor Tahan. This was the subclan descended from the Shuthelahites: The Eranites, named after their ancestor Eran. These were the clans of Ephraim. Their registered troops numbered 32,500. These clans of Manasseh and Ephraim were all descendants of Joseph. These were the clans descended from the sons of Benjamin: The Belaite clan, named after their ancestor Bela. The Ashbelite clan, named after their ancestor Ashbel. The Ahiramite clan, named after their ancestor Ahiram. The Shuphamite clan, named after their ancestor Shupham. The Huphamite clan, named after their ancestor Hupham. These were the subclans descended from the Belaites: The Ardites, named after their ancestor Ard. The Naamites, named after their ancestor Naaman. These were the clans of Benjamin. Their registered troops numbered 45,600. These were the clans descended from the sons of Dan: The Shuhamite clan, named after their ancestor Shuham. These were the Shuhamite clans of Dan. Their registered troops numbered 64,400. These were the clans descended from the sons of Asher: The Imnite clan, named after their ancestor Imnah. The Ishvite clan, named after their ancestor Ishvi. The Beriite clan, named after their ancestor Beriah. These were the subclans descended from the Beriites: The Heberites, named after their ancestor Heber. The Malkielites, named after their ancestor Malkiel. Asher also had a daughter named Serah. These were the clans of Asher. Their registered troops numbered 53,400. These were the clans descended from the sons of Naphtali: The Jahzeelite clan, named after their ancestor Jahzeel. The Gunite clan, named after their ancestor Guni. The Jezerite clan, named after their ancestor Jezer. The Shillemite clan, named after their ancestor Shillem. These were the clans of Naphtali. Their registered troops numbered 45,400. In summary, the registered troops of all Israel numbered 601,730. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list. Give the larger tribes more land and the smaller tribes less land, each group receiving a grant in proportion to the size of its population. But you must assign the land by lot, and give land to each ancestral tribe according to the number of names on the list. Each grant of land must be assigned by lot among the larger and smaller tribal groups.” This is the record of the Levites who were counted according to their clans: The Gershonite clan, named after their ancestor Gershon. The Kohathite clan, named after their ancestor Kohath. The Merarite clan, named after their ancestor Merari. The Libnites, the Hebronites, the Mahlites, the Mushites, and the Korahites were all subclans of the Levites. Now Kohath was the ancestor of Amram, and Amram’s wife was named Jochebed. She also was a descendant of Levi, born among the Levites in the land of Egypt. Amram and Jochebed became the parents of Aaron, Moses, and their sister, Miriam. To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. The men from the Levite clans who were one month old or older numbered 23,000. But the Levites were not included in the registration of the rest of the people of Israel because they were not given an allotment of land when it was divided among the Israelites. So these are the results of the registration of the people of Israel as conducted by Moses and Eleazar the priest on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Not one person on this list had been among those listed in the previous registration taken by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, “They will all die in the wilderness.” Not one of them survived except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.’

Numbers 26

Today’s reading brings us into Amos 9.

‘Then I saw a vision of the Lord standing beside the altar. He said, “Strike the tops of the Temple columns, so that the foundation will shake. Bring down the roof on the heads of the people below. I will kill with the sword those who survive. No one will escape! “Even if they dig down to the place of the dead, I will reach down and pull them up. Even if they climb up into the heavens, I will bring them down. Even if they hide at the very top of Mount Carmel, I will search them out and capture them. Even if they hide at the bottom of the ocean, I will send the sea serpent after them to bite them. Even if their enemies drive them into exile, I will command the sword to kill them there. I am determined to bring disaster upon them and not to help them.” The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, touches the land and it melts, and all its people mourn. The ground rises like the Nile River at floodtime, and then it sinks again. The Lord ’s home reaches up to the heavens, while its foundation is on the earth. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The Lord is his name! “Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians? ” asks the Lord . “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir. “I, the Sovereign Lord , am watching this sinful nation of Israel. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel, ” says the Lord . “For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with the other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost. But all the sinners will die by the sword— all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’ “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. And Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine. ” The Lord has spoken, and he will do these things. “The time will come,” says the Lord , “when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.’

Amos 9

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew 8

‘When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.” Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They came out of the tombs and were so violent that no one could go through that area. They began screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.’

Matthew 8:18-34

and then continues into Romans 6.

‘Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.’

Romans 6:1-14

Today’s reading concludes in Psalms 115.

‘Not to us, O Lord , not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Why let the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes. Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound. And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them. O Israel, trust the Lord ! He is your helper and your shield. O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord ! He is your helper and your shield. All you who fear the Lord , trust the Lord ! He is your helper and your shield. The Lord remembers us and will bless us. He will bless the people of Israel and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron. He will bless those who fear the Lord , both great and lowly. May the Lord richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord , who made heaven and earth. The heavens belong to the Lord , but he has given the earth to all humanity. The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord , for they have gone into the silence of the grave. But we can praise the Lord both now and forever! Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 115

As today’s reading concludes consider what you believe. As today’s reading comes to an end receive the truths of God’s Word which speaks truth and life over you. As today’s reading comes to an end take a nugget or two and consider how you can put these lessons into practice today in your life in order to build your faith, build other’s faith, and walk in trust and obedience to God’s will and plans for each and every situation and conversation you will have to day. Don’t be afraid for God’s Word tells us to fear not and just believe. Don’t worry for God’s Word tells us that worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything.

What are you going to believe?


Will you believe what most people are saying? Will you believe what God promised? Will you believe the data brought back by those speaking with fear or those who are speaking with faith? Will you believe the data of the many or the data of the few? How will what you believe impact your response? How will you response impact the rest of your life?

Would you believe and trust God enough that you won’t miss the promise?

Would you believe and trust God enough that you will get to taste of the promised land?

Will you allow fear to rob you of the promise?

Will you turn back to your first love – God – rather than risk losing everything for all of eternity? Will you ask Jesus into your heart and life?

Resist the devil and he will flee. Don’t be fearful or tempted by his lies but turn to God and follow Jesus.

Would you believe and trust God enough that you will respond like a David facing Goliath or a Joshua and Caleb facing the camps who said let’s go?


Today’s reading starts in Numbers 14.

‘Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord , and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”

But Moses objected. “What will the Egyptians think when they hear about it?” he asked the Lord . “They know full well the power you displayed in rescuing your people from Egypt. Now if you destroy them, the Egyptians will send a report to the inhabitants of this land, who have already heard that you live among your people. They know, Lord , that you have appeared to your people face to face and that your pillar of cloud hovers over them. They know that you go before them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Now if you slaughter all these people with a single blow, the nations that have heard of your fame will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring them into the land he swore to give them, so he killed them in the wilderness.’ “Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed. For you said, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ In keeping with your magnificent, unfailing love, please pardon the sins of this people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.” Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord ’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it. But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land. Now turn around, and don’t go on toward the land where the Amalekites and Canaanites live. Tomorrow you must set out for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea. ” Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord , I will do to you the very things I heard you say. You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. “‘You said your children would be carried off as plunder. Well, I will bring them safely into the land, and they will enjoy what you have despised. But as for you, you will drop dead in this wilderness. And your children will be like shepherds, wandering in the wilderness for forty years. In this way, they will pay for your faithlessness, until the last of you lies dead in the wilderness. “‘Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy.’ I, the Lord , have spoken! I will certainly do these things to every member of the community who has conspired against me. They will be destroyed here in this wilderness, and here they will die!” The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land—the ones who incited rebellion against the Lord with their bad report— were struck dead with a plague before the Lord . Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive. When Moses reported the Lord ’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.” But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord ’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord .” But the people defiantly pushed ahead toward the hill country, even though neither Moses nor the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant left the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down and attacked them and chased them back as far as Hormah.’

Numbers 14

Today’s reading goes into Solomon’s Song of Songs 2

‘Ah, I hear my lover coming! He is leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a swift gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he is behind the wall, looking through the window, peering into the room. My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one! Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”

My dove is hiding behind the rocks, behind an outcrop on the cliff. Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely.

Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

My lover is mine, and I am his. He browses among the lilies. Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, return to me, my love, like a gazelle or a young stag on the rugged mountains.’

Song of Songs 2:8-17

and continues into Song of Songs 3.

‘One night as I lay in bed, I yearned for my lover. I yearned for him, but he did not come. So I said to myself, “I will get up and roam the city, searching in all its streets and squares. I will search for the one I love.” So I searched everywhere but did not find him. The watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds, and I asked, “Have you seen the one I love?” Then scarcely had I left them when I found my love! I caught and held him tightly, then I brought him to my mother’s house, into my mother’s bed, where I had been conceived. Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.

Who is this sweeping in from the wilderness like a cloud of smoke? Who is it, fragrant with myrrh and frankincense and every kind of spice? Look, it is Solomon’s carriage, surrounded by sixty heroic men, the best of Israel’s soldiers. They are all skilled swordsmen, experienced warriors. Each wears a sword on his thigh, ready to defend the king against an attack in the night. King Solomon’s carriage is built of wood imported from Lebanon. Its posts are silver, its canopy gold; its cushions are purple. It was decorated with love by the young women of Jerusalem.

Come out to see King Solomon, young women of Jerusalem. He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day, his most joyous day.’

Song of Songs 3

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament with Matthew 4.

‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ ” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.’

Matthew 4:1-11

Today’s reading then continues into Romans 1.

‘But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.’

Romans 1:18-32

Today’s reading closes with today’s psalm from Psalms 105.

‘Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord . Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given, you children of his servant Abraham, you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God. His justice is seen throughout the land. He always stands by his covenant— the commitment he made to a thousand generations. This is the covenant he made with Abraham and the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant: “I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession.” He said this when they were few in number, a tiny group of strangers in Canaan. They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. Yet he did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf: “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.” He called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply. Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them— Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased and teach the king’s advisers. Then Israel arrived in Egypt; Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham. And the Lord multiplied the people of Israel until they became too mighty for their enemies. Then he turned the Egyptians against the Israelites, and they plotted against the Lord ’s servants. But the Lord sent his servant Moses, along with Aaron, whom he had chosen. They performed miraculous signs among the Egyptians, and wonders in the land of Ham. The Lord blanketed Egypt in darkness, for they had defied his commands to let his people go. He turned their water into blood, poisoning all the fish. Then frogs overran the land and even invaded the king’s bedrooms. When the Lord spoke, flies descended on the Egyptians, and gnats swarmed across Egypt. He sent them hail instead of rain, and lightning flashed over the land. He ruined their grapevines and fig trees and shattered all the trees. He spoke, and hordes of locusts came— young locusts beyond number. They ate up everything green in the land, destroying all the crops in their fields. Then he killed the oldest son in each Egyptian home, the pride and joy of each family. The Lord brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold; and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled. Egypt was glad when they were gone, for they feared them greatly. The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering and gave them a great fire to light the darkness. They asked for meat, and he sent them quail; he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven. He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland. For he remembered his sacred promise to his servant Abraham. So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy, his chosen ones with rejoicing. He gave his people the lands of pagan nations, and they harvested crops that others had planted. All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions. Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 105