The Story of Job. – Day 12

Ever been accused of wrong you didn’t commit? Ever been accused by someone who doesn’t know the full story? Ever been accused by someone who is judging without understanding? Ever been judged for something that wasn’t even true?

Ever thought you were trying to help by giving advice that was wrong? Ever thought you were trying to help by calling out someone for what is going on? Ever thought you were trying to point someone in the right direction without realizing that they weren’t going in the wrong direction?

How do you know what you should say? How do you know what you should do? How do you know how you should respond? How do you know what you should receive? Will you turn to God? Will you ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance? Will you trust in God or what man has to say? You need to realize you don’t know everything. You need to realize whether you are giving advice or getting advice that neither side may know the reality or the truth of the situation.

Do you realize that even if when you are wrong or you are speaking with the wrong heart, some of the words you speak may be true?

Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from Job 8 where we get to hear from Bildad…

‘Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said, “How long will you say these things? And will the words of your mouth be a mighty wind? Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness? If your children have sinned against Him, Then He has handed them over to the power of their transgression and punished them. If you would [diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place. Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increase. “Inquire, please, of past generations, And consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers. For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are [like] a shadow [just a breath or a vapor]. Will they (the fathers) not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their hearts [the deepest part of their nature]? “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water? While it is still green (in flower) and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant [when without water]. So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish, For his confidence is fragile and breaks, And his trust is [like] a spider’s web. He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; He holds tightly to it, but it does not endure. He thrives and prospers [like a green plant] before the sun, And his branches spread out over his garden. His [godless] roots are wrapped around a pile of rocks, And he gazes at a house of stones. If he is snatched from his place [in the garden], Then his place will forget him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’ Behold, this is the joy of His way; And from out of the dust others will spring up and grow [to take his place]. Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless]. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”’

Job 8

Today’s study resources come from:

We find that Bildad was getting his turn and was certain in his mind that Job was in need of repenting because he believed that Job had sinned. In addition to today’s brutal attack, we will later read two more in chapters 18 and 25.

Bildad starts by telling Job that he was full of hot air, he was speaking out like a mighty wind.

Bildad is so sure of himself that he says that if Job could be exonerated then it means God is unjust, perverting justice and righteousness and therefore Job’s children must have sinned to have received such a judgment from God.

We see in today’s reading how Bildad’s first speech focuses on God’s justice.

Bildad believed that the principle of punishment · penalty · nemesis · fate · doom · one’s just deserts · due reward · just reward · wages · justice · retributive justice · poetic justice · judgment · reckoning · revenge · reprisal · requital · retaliation · payback · vengeance · an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth) · tit for tat · measure for measure · redress · reparation · restitution · recompense · repayment · damages · satisfaction · remedy · comeback · atonement · amends · one’s comeuppance · measure was at work in this very situation.

We see how part of what he was saying came to be when in Job 42:12, Job was reconciled in restored when here we see how Bildad spoke of how just God would be by restoring Job but the issue or where he missed the mark was that he thought Job had done something wrong and so needed to

“[diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place. Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increase.”

Job 8:5-7

We learn how he even tries to point the past where it was believed that where there was suffering there had to be sin, which we learn through Jesus and the rest of this story isn’t always the case. We learn that sometimes things happen in order to show God’s glory. We learn how just because it is tradition doesn’t mean it is right. We learn how just because that is how it has always been understood or always been done that it doesn’t mean it is right. Today’s devotional puts the advice from the past as follows:

The past is supposed to be a rudder to guide a person, not an anchor to hold him or her down.

Job 8 Study

Bildad was trying to use cause and effect to prove his case and even uses nature as evidence. He used these facts to accuse Job of sin and of having forgotten God.

As friends, we need to try to avoid judging or condemning and instead focus on trying to understand.

It looks like after such a savage attack that Bildad tries to put out an olive branch when he tells Job that there is still hope of restoration.

‘Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless]. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”’

Job 8:20-22

So where do you find yourself today? How will you choose to respond? I know Job used to make me cringe as the idea of what was coming my way. It wasn’t till 2013 when I caught the real meaning of Job 42:12 as it happened on my last day before my new job after having worked for 19 years and 1 day at the previous company. I hold onto God when in the midst of trials and troubles. I trust in God through the storms and waves. I know that in and through it all I can consider it pure joy for it builds my faith, helps me persevere, and in the end will help me to be complete and lacking nothing. Through God’s Word, we learn how pain can have purpose like:


So where are you at today? 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?

Is everything in place?

Are you setup for the just in case? Are you setup for the when it happens? Are you setup for what is coming? Are you setup for the forecast? Are you setup for when you go away? Are you setup for when company is coming? Are you setup in case of emergency?

Are you prepared? Are you ready? Is everything in place?

Today’s reading begins in 2 Kings…

Put Your House In Order

1In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. So Isaiah the prophet son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: Put your house in order. For you are dying, and will not live.” 2Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to Adonai saying: 3“Please, Adonai, remember how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4Then it came to pass, before Isaiah was gone out of the middle court, that the word of Adonai came to him, saying: 5“Return, and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, thus says Adonai, the God of your father David: ‘I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. Behold, I am going to heal you. On the third day you will go up to the House of Adonai. 6Then I will add 15 years to your life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.’” 7Then Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” So they took one and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 8Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that Adonai will heal me, and that I should go up to the House of Adonai on the third day?” 9Then Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from Adonai, that Adonai will do this word He has spoken: Should the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?” 10Hezekiah answered, “It’s easy for a shadow to go forward ten steps; no, let the shadow turn back ten steps.” 11Then Isaiah the prophet cried to Adonai; and He brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

Hezekiah Shows His Treasury to Babylon

12At that time Berodach-baladan, son of King Baladan of Babylon, sent a letter and a present to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13Now Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them his entire treasure house—the silver and the gold, the spices and the precious oil—and his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 14Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah replied, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 15Then he asked, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah said, “They have seen everything in my house. There is nothing of my treasuries that I didn’t show them.” 16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of Adonai: 17‘Behold, days are coming when everything in your house, which your fathers have stored up to this day, will be carried to Babylon—nothing will be left,’ says Adonai. 18‘Moreover, some of your descendants—who will issue from you, whom you will father—will be taken away and will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “Good is the word of Adonai which you have spoken.” For he thought, “Is it not so, if there will be shalom and security in my days?” 20Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might—including how he made the pool and the tunnel that brought water into the city—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.

–from 2 Kings 20

God sees where you are at! God knows what you have need of! Will you ask Him?

What if you knew what was coming? Would that change your behavior or response?

What would it take for you to get serious and be ready, be prepared, have everything in order?

“Put Your House In Order”

1In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. So Isaiah the prophet son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: Put your house in order. For you are dying, and will not live.” 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Adonai. 3He said: “Please, Adonai, remember how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4Then it came to pass, the word of Adonai came to Isaiah saying: 5“Go, and say to Hezekiah, thus says Adonai, the God of your father David: ‘I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add 15 years to your life. 6I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city.’ 7“Now this will be the sign to you from Adonai, that Adonai will do this word He has spoken: 8Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairs, which went down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, to turn back ten steps.” So the sun’s shadow went back ten steps on the sundial on which it had gone down. 9A writing of King Hezekiah of Judah, after his illness, when he recovered from his illness: 10I said: “In the prime of my life, I am to enter the gates of Sheol. I am deprived of the rest of my years.” 11I said: “I will not see Adonai, Adonai, in the land of the living. I will look on humanity no longer among the inhabitants of the world. 12Like a shepherd’s tent, my dwelling is pulled up and carried away from me. Like a weaver I rolled up my life. He cuts me off from the loom. From day until night You make my end. 13I stilled my soul till morning. Like a lion, He will break all my bones. From day till night You make my end. 14Like a swallow or a crane, I whisper, I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary, looking upward. Adonai, I am oppressed, be my security! 15What should I say? For He has spoken to me— He Himself has done it! I will wander about all my years because of the bitterness of my soul. 16Adonai, by such things men live, and my spirit has life in them too. Restore me to health, and let me live! 17Behold, it was for my own shalom that I had great bitterness. You have loved my soul out of the Pit of destruction! For You have flung all my sins behind Your back. 18For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You. Those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. 19The living, the living—they praise You— as I do today. A father makes Your faithfulness known to his children. 20Adonai will save me. So we will play my songs on stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of Adonai.” 21Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs, and apply it to the boil, and he will live.” 22Hezekiah had said, “What is the sign that I will go up to the House of Adonai?”

–from Isaiah 38

Receive the gift of God! Don’t be arrogant! Don’t be proud! Receive the gift and then live as a humble servant! Lead as one who serves! Be a servant leader!

Don’t be fooled by sweet talking! Don’t be fooled by flattery! Do you realize what you could be opening yourself up to?

Put all your trust in God!

Hezekiah Shows Off

1At that time Merodach-baladan, son of King Baladan of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he had heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2Now Hezekiah was pleased with them, so he showed them his treasure house—the silver and the gold, the spices and the precious oil—and his whole armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 3Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah replied, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 4Then he asked, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah said, “They have seen everything in my house. There is nothing among my treasuries that I didn’t show them.” 5Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah: “Hear the word of Adonai-Tzva’ot, 6‘Behold, days are coming when everything in your house, which your fathers have stored up to this day, will be carried to Babylon—nothing will be left,’ says Adonai. 7‘Moreover, some of your descendants—who will issue from you, whom you will father—will be taken away and will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 8Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of Adonai which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “For there will be shalom and security in my days.”

–from Isaiah 39

So will you turn back to God? Will you reconnect to Him? Will you give Him all the praise?

Call to Evening Worship

1A Song of Ascents. Behold, bless Adonai, all servants of Adonai, who stand by night in the House of Adonai. 2Lift up your hands to the Sanctuary and bless Adonai. 3May Adonai bless you out of Zion— Maker of heaven and earth.

–from Psalms 134

We need to put our hope and trust in Jesus! We need to choose salvation through Him and put our house in order before it is too late! We need to make the choice while we have it rather than regretting we hadn’t before it is too late! Will today be your day? Will today be the day that you get your life in order by asking Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior? Will today be the first day of the rest of your eternal life? Will today be the day you are transformed and become a new person? Born again in the spirit?

The Lamb of God is Resurrected

1Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it is still dark, Miriam from Magdala comes to the tomb. She sees that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. 2So she comes running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Yeshua loved. She tells them, “They’ve taken the Master out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put Him!” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out, going to the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and arrived at the tomb first. 5Leaning in, he sees the linen strips lying there. But he didn’t go in. 6Then Simon Peter comes following him, and he entered the tomb. He looks upon the linen strips lying there, 7and the face cloth that had been on His head. It was not lying with the linen strips, but was rolled up in a place by itself. 8So then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. 9For they did not yet understand from Scripture that Yeshua must rise from the dead. 10So the disciples went back to their own homes.

Yeshua Appears to Miriam

11But Miriam stood outside the tomb weeping. As she was weeping, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12She sees two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where Yeshua’s body had been lying. 13“Woman, why are you crying?” they say to her. She says to them, “Because they took away my Master, and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14After she said these things, she turned around. And she sees Yeshua standing there. Yet she didn’t know that it was Yeshua. 15Yeshua says to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Thinking He’s the gardener, she says to Him, “Sir, if You’ve carried Him away, tell me where You’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Yeshua says to her, “Miriam!” Turning around, she says to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Yeshua says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” 18Miriam from Magdala comes, announcing to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord,” and what He had said to her.

Yeshua Appears to the Disciples

19It was evening on that day, the first of the week. When the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Judean leaders, Yeshua came and stood in their midst! And He said to them, “Shalom aleichem!” 20After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Yeshua said to them again, “Shalom aleichem! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And after He said this, He breathed on them. And He said to them, “Receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh! 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; but if you hold back, they are held back.” 24One of the Twelve, Thomas called the Twin, was not with them when Yeshua came. 25The other disciples were saying to him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied to them, “Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will never believe!” 26Eight days later the disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Yeshua comes, despite the locked doors. He stood in their midst and said, “Shalom aleichem!” 27Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe!” 28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Yeshua said to Him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed? Blessed are the ones who have not seen and yet have believed!”

The Reason for Signs and Wonders

30Yeshua performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these things have been written so that you may believe that Yeshua is Mashiach Ben-Elohim, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

–from John 20

We need to learn from the past and not need to learn everything ourselves. We need to learn from the past so that we aren’t doomed to repeat it. Will you learn from the past and live differently into the future? Will you see the warning signs and know? The hope is that everyone will turn back to God and be saved! Will you choose that?

Warnings from History

1For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2They all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3And all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink—for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. 6Now these things happened as examples for us, so we wouldn’t crave evil things, just as they did. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8And let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day 23,000 fell. 9And let’s not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were destroyed by serpents. 10And let’s not grumble, as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroying angel. 11Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us—on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let the one who thinks that he stands watch out that he doesn’t fall. 13No temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to mankind. But God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it.

Feast with the Lord—Not with Idols

14Therefore, my dearly loved ones, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to sensible people—judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing that we bless—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s blood? The bread which we break—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s body? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body—for we all partake of the one bread. 18Consider physical Israel. Those who eat the sacrifices—aren’t they partners in the altar? 19What am I saying then—that an idol sacrifice is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I’m saying that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God, and I don’t want you to become partners with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? 23“Everything is permitted”—but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted”—but not everything builds up. 24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, without raising questions of conscience. 26For “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness.” 27If an unbeliever invites you over and you want to go, eat whatever is set before you, without raising questions of conscience. 28But if anyone says to you, “This is from an idol sacrifice,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29not your own conscience, I mean, but the other person’s. For why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I give thanks for? 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense either to Jewish or Greek people or to God’s community— 33just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.

–from 1 Corinthians 10

Do you know your history?

Do you know much about your genealogy? Do you know much about where you came from? Do you know much about your ancestors? Do you know much about their stories? Do you know where it started and how it got to the point where you are where you are today?

One thing that is interesting in the Bible is when it goes through the names to map out who is who and where they were and where they got to. Imagine if we could do that for our own lives? Then we could learn from the past, pass on the learnings, and hopefully not be doomed the repeat the mistakes of the past over and over and over again.

We need to put and keep our trust and hope and focus on God! We need to avoid the pitfall of trying to go and do it all on our own and think that we can do it without God! We need to stay away from the pride and selfishness and trying to be autonomous before we find ourselves getting what we want and God lifting His hand of protection and allowing us to discover why He had set up the boundaries and the rules – not to keep us from having fun but for our own safety. We need to be living our lives loving God and loving people which is a Biblical worldview. We need to be living in a way that doesn’t trip up either of these 2 items. Be it the old or the new testament it all comes down to these 2 truths be it from what the prophets spoke to Israel or what Jesus taught – our first priority is to love God and our second equality important is to love one another! Stop the process of the lowest common denominator and let’s start calling people to higher standards so that things turn around and start getting better! Let’s follow after God to complete the work He has for us to do today! Let’s live lives that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Israel and Judah’s Descendants

1These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 3The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah—the three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanite woman. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Adonai, so He put him to death. 4Then Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. 5The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. 6The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara, five in all. 7The sons of Carmi: Achar, the troubler of Israel who violated the ban of devoted things. 8The sons of Ethan: Azariah. 9The sons of Hezron who were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai. 10Ram fathered Amminadab; Amminadab fathered Nahshon, the leader of the children of Judah. 11Nahshon fathered Salma; Salma fathered Boaz. 12Boaz fathered Obed; Obed fathered Jesse. 13Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab was second, Shimea third, 14Nethanel fourth, Raddai fifth, 15Ozem sixth, and David seventh. 16Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The three sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab and Asahel. 17Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite. 18Caleb son of Hezron fathered children by Azubah his wife and by Jerioth. These were her sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. 19When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20Hur fathered Uri and Uri fathered Bezalel. 21Afterward Hezron had relations with the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead—he had married her when he was 60 years old—and she bore him Segub. 22Segub fathered Jair, who had 23 cities in the land of Gilead. 23But Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, along with Kenath and its surrounding villages, 60 towns. All these were the sons of Machir the father of Gilead. 24After the death of Hezron in Caleb-ephrath, Abijah, Hezron’s wife, bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa. 25Now the sons of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron: Ram the firstborn, then Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26Jerahmeel had another wife whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin and Eker. 28The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. 29The name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim, but Seled died without children. 31The sons of Appaim: Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan. Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. 32The sons of Jada the brother of Shammai: Jeter and Jonathan—Jeter died without sons. 33The sons of Jonathan: Pelet and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. 34Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. But Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. 35So Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant as a wife, and she bore him Attai. 36Then Attai fathered Nathan, and Nathan fathered Zabad. 37Zabad fathered Ephlal and Ephlal fathered Obed. 38Obed fathered Jehu, and Jehu fathered Azariah. 39Azariah fathered Helez, and Helez fathered Eleasah. 40Eleasah fathered Sisamai, and Sisamai fathered Shallum. 41 Shallum fathered Jekamiah, and Jekamiah fathered Elishama. 42Now the sons of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and his son Mareshah the father of Hebron. 43The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44Shema fathered Raham, the father of Jorkeam. Rekem fathered Shammai. 45The son of Shammai was Maon and Maon was the father of Beth-Zur. 46Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, Moza and Gazez; and Haran fathered Gazez. 47The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48Maacah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 49She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmanna h, Sheba the father of Machbenah and the father of Gibea. The daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50These were the descendants of Caleb. The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrath: Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51Salma the father of Beth-lehem and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had sons: Haroeh, half of the Menuhites. 53The clans of Kiriath-jearim: the Itrites, the Puhtites, the Shumathites, the Mishraites; from them came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54The sons of Salma: Beth-lehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites, 55and the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. These were the Kenites who descended from Hammath, the father of the Rechabites.

–from 1 Chronicles 2

Let’s celebrate God! Let’s celebrate what He is and has done in and through our lives! Let’s testify of His great love! Let’s share His great love with everyone He brings into our lives as an overflow of what He is and has poured into us!

This One Was Born in Zion

1A psalm of the sons of Korah, a song. His foundation is in the holy mountains. 2Adonai loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3Glorious things are spoken of you, city of God. Selah 4“I will mention Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge Me— behold Philistia and Tyre, with Cush: ‘This one was born there.’” 5But of Zion it will be said: “This one and that one were born in her.” And Elyon Himself will establish her. 6Adonai will count in the register of the peoples: “This one was born there.” Selah 7Then singing and dancing— all my fountains of joy are in you!

–from Psalms 87

We aren’t here to put on a show, we are here to live lives that will testify to God’s great love for us! We aren’t here to trick or deceive, we are here to love and encourage and point people to the hope that is within us! Let’s live our lives prepared to speak to the source of the hope within us, JESUS! Let’s turn back to God! Let’s remember how this all began and turn back to Him before it is too late! Let’s stop the pendulum from going too far and allow it to swing back to God and let’s stick there with Him forever! Jesus was more than just a good man, a moral teacher, He came and gave it all, His life on the cross to make up for all that we have done, then He conquered the grave to break the chains of death, and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding. So turn to Him! Ask Him into your heart today! And start the most incredible journey of your life! It may not be easy, but you will never go it alone for He will be with you every step of the way!

Religious Leaders Demand Signs

1Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Yeshua, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But He replied to them, “When evening comes, you say, ‘Fair weather coming, for the sky is red,’ 3and in the morning, ‘Stormy weather today, for the sky is red and gloomy.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times! 4An evil and adulterous generation clamors for a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” And leaving them behind, He went away. 5Now when the disciples came to the other side of the sea, they had forgotten to take bread. 6“Watch out,” Yeshua said to them, “and beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, “We didn’t bring any bread.” 8But knowing this, Yeshua said, “O you of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? 9You still don’t get it? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered? 10Or how about the seven loaves for the four thousand and all the baskets of leftovers you gathered? 11How is it that you don’t understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? Now beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” 12Then they understood that He wasn’t talking about the hametz in the bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The Father Reveals His Son

13When Yeshua came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14They answered, “Some say John the Immerser, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15He said, “But who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17Yeshua said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven! 18And I also tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My community; and the gates of Sheol will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will have been forbidden in heaven and what you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven.” 20Then He ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah.

First Prediction: Death & Resurrection

21From that time on, Yeshua began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and be raised on the third day. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Never, Master! This must never happen to You!” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of men.” 24Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then ‘He will repay everyone according to his deeds.’ 28Amen, I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

–from Matthew 16


Your past doesn’t have to define your future!

What you’ve gone through, what you’ve experience, how you were treated, who you were, where you’ve been – those are behind you. Yes they shaped you, but they don’t have to define you and your future! Those things people have said about you aren’t what you have to be or become! We all get to choose! We all have choice! The main reason is God’s plans for us is good! God is good and God is love! So we have to choose who we will be be. If we were good or thought we were and then had an encounter with Jesus that transformed us just like Paul. If we weren’t so good and got into trouble and then had an encounter with Jesus that transformed us. Where are you at right now? How will you choose to finish this race called life? Will you choose good? Will you choose faith? Will you choose obedience? Will you choose to finish strong? Your past doesn’t have to define your future!

Today’s reading gets us started in the book of Judges…

Jephthah’s Valor and Vow

1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was son of a prostitute, while Gilead was Jephthah’s father. 2But Gilead’s wife bore him sons, and when the wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You won’t inherit in our father’s house, for you are a son of another woman.” 3Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Some worthless fellows joined with Jephthah and went out with him. 4Now it came about after a while that the children of Ammon fought with Israel. 5When the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6They said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief, so we may fight the children of Ammon.” 7Jephthah then said to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? So why are you coming to me now that you’re in trouble?” 8“Here is why we’re now turning to you,” the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah. “Come with us, fight the children of Ammon, and then you will become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight the children of Ammon, and Adonai gives them over to me, I should become your head!” 10The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “Let Adonai be witness between us if we don’t do as you say.” 11Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them, after Jephthah repeated all his terms before Adonai at Mizpah. 12Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon saying, “What have you to do with me, that you have come to me to make war on my land?” 13The king of the children of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon to the Jabbok as far as the Jordan. Now therefore, return them peaceably.” 14But Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon, 15and said to him, “Thus says Jephthah, ‘Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the children of Ammon. 16For upon departing from Egypt, Israel traveled through the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds and came to Kadesh, 17then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom saying, “Please, let me pass through your land,” but the king of Edom would not consent. Similarly he sent word to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel, after staying at Kadesh, 18traveled through the wilderness, around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, came to the east side of the land of Moab and they camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, “Please, let us pass through your land to my place.” 20But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory. So Sihon gathered all his troops, camped in Jahaz and fought against Israel. 21But Adonai God of Israel gave Sihon and all his troops into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22Thus they possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and from the wilderness as far as the Jordan. 23So now Adonai God of Israel dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel. So should you possess their land? 24Don’t you possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? Likewise, whatever Adonai our God has dispossessed from before us, this we will possess. 25Besides, are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26While Israel was living in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities on both sides of the Arnon for 300 years, why didn’t you try to recover them all that time? 27So I myself have not transgressed against you, yet you are doing me harm by waging war against me. May Adonai, the Judge, judge today between Bnei-Yisrael and the children of Ammon.’” 28However, the king of the children of Ammon paid no attention to the words of Jephthah that he sent him. 29Then the Ruach Adonai came upon Jephthah, so he marched through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he crossed over to the children of Ammon. 30Then Jephthah vowed a vow to Adonai and said, “If You will indeed give the children of Ammon into my hand, 31then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return safely from the children of Ammon, it will be Adonai’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” 32So Jephthah crossed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them, and Adonai gave them into his hand. 33So he utterly defeated them from Aroer until you come to Minnith—20 towns—and as far as Abel-cheramim. So the children of Ammon were subdued before Bnei-Yisrael. 34Now when Jephthah arrived at his home in Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. Now she was his only child. Besides her he had no son or daughter. 35Upon seeing her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You made me bow down in grief—you’ve made me miserable! For I have opened my mouth to Adonai, and I cannot take it back.” 36“My father, you have opened your mouth to Adonai,” she said to him. “Do to me what proceeded from your mouth—since Adonai brought vengeance on your enemies, the children of Ammon.” 37She said further to her father, “Let this thing be done for me. Let me be alone two months, so that I may go on the mountains and mourn my virginity, I and my companions.” 38“Go!” he said. So he sent her away for two months. So she left, she and her companions, and mourned on the mountains because of her virginity. 39Then at the end of two months she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow he had made—so she was never intimate with a man. So it became a custom in Israel, 40that the daughters of Israel would go annually to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

–from Judges 11

Be careful what you say! Be careful what you promise! Make sure you are good to your word! Don’t lie! Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Don’t make promises you won’t keep! Consider your words carefully before you say them for you need to consider what could and would be rather than just jumping into it and getting put into a situation or position you may regret. We all get to choose if we will be faithful or not! We all get to choose if we will be obedient or not! So let’s choose life and life to the full! Let’s choose integrity and honesty! Let’s choose faith and obedience!

1Then the men of Ephraim were summoned and crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the children of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” 2So Jephthah responded to them, “I and my people were in a bitter conflict with the children of Ammon, yet when I called you, you didn’t deliver me from their hand. 3So when I saw that you weren’t going to deliver, I put my life in my hand and crossed over against the children of Ammon, and Adonai gave them into my hand. So why have you come up to me today, to fight me?” 4Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim. The men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You Gileadites are just fugitives of Ephraim in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.” 5The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. So when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would ask him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth,’” and he said “Sibboleth” since he could not pronounce it right, then they would seize him and slay him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of Ephraim fell. 7Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the towns of Gilead. 8After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9Now he had 30 sons, and 30 daughters—he sent them outside and brought in 30 girls from outside for his sons. He judged Israel seven years, 10then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem. 11Then after him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel. He judged Israel ten years, 12then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun. 13After him Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys, and he judged Israel eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

–from Judges 12

Take a look at the world around you. Consider the roller coaster of life. The ups! The Downs! The twists! The turns! The loops! The good! The bad! The pattern seems to be turning to God and turning away from God! Where are you at? Have you chosen to follow God? Have you had a divine appointment that has changed your life and started your relationship Jesus? Take a look around you. Do you see where the people around you are heading? Your neighbors? Your town or city? Your state or province? Your country? What are the politicians doing? What the people doing? What are the judges doing? What are the leaders doing? Do we need a revival? Is your place in a revival? Are you desiring a revival where you are at? Will you be called to a higher standard? Will you live to that calling? Will you be obedient to the point of setting in a motion a legacy?

Birth of Samson

1Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and Adonai gave them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years. 2Now there was a certain man from Zorah, from a Danite clan, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and bore no children. 3Then the angel of Adonai appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have not borne children, but you will conceive and bear a son. 4Now therefore be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. 5For behold, you will conceive and bear a son. Let no razor come upon his head, for the boy will be a Nazirite to God from the womb. He will begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” 6Then the woman came and told her husband saying, “A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome! But I did not ask him where he was from, nor did he tell me his name. 7He said to me, ‘Behold, you will conceive and bear a son. So, drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child will be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.” 8Then Manoah entreated Adonai and said, “My Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again and teach us what we will do for the boy to be born.” 9God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the man that came to me the other day has appeared to me!” 11So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked him, “Are you the one who spoke to the woman?” “I am,” he said. 12Then Manoah said, “Now may your words come about! What will be the child’s rule and his mission?” 13The angel of Adonai said to Manoah, “Let the woman abstain from all that I mentioned to her. 14She should not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, or drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. She must observe all that I commanded her.” 15Then Manoah said to the angel of Adonai, “Please, let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.” 16But the angel of Adonai said to Manoah, “If you could detain me, I would not eat your food. But if you present a burnt offering, then offer it to Adonai.” For Manoah did not realize that he was the angel of Adonai. 17Then Manoah asked the angel of Adonai, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass we may honor you?” 18But the angel of Adonai said to him, “Why do you ask for my name? It is wonderful.” 19Manoah took the young goat with the meal offering and offered them on the rock to Adonai, and He did something wonderful as Manoah and his wife were watching. 20For it came about when the flame went up from off the altar toward heaven that the angel of Adonai ascended in the flame of the altar. Manoah and his wife were looking on, then they fell on their faces to the ground. 21But the angel of Adonai appeared no more to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah realized that he was the angel of Adonai. 22Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, because we have seen God.” 23But his wife said to him, “If Adonai had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a meal offering from our hand, nor would He have shown us all these things or let us hear such things as these at this time.” 24Then the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson. So the boy grew up and Adonai blessed him. 25The Ruach Adonai began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

–from Judges 13

Oh how will you make a difference. What will it take for you to listen and obey? Is today your day? As we move forward today, let’s walk trusting in God! As we move forward today, let’s walk in obedience to God’s calling! As we move forward today, let’s use our words wisely! As we move forward today, let’s be encouragers! As we move forward today, let’s correct those who need discipline! As we move forward today, let’s comfort the fainthearted! As we move forward today, let’s help the weak! As we move forward today, let’s be patient with everyone! As we move forward today, let’s pursue what is good for one another and for all! Rejoice always, pray constantly, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus! Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophetic messages, but test all things, hold fast to what is good, keep away from every kind of evil.

Keep Watch for the Day of the Lord

1Now concerning the times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. 3When they are saying, “Shalom and safety,” sudden destruction comes upon them like a woman having birth pains in the womb—there is no way they will escape. 4But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief. 5For you all are sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or of darkness— 6so then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain on the alert and sober-minded. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we are of the day, let us be sober-minded—putting on the breastplate of faithfulness and love, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not destine us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 10He died for us so that, whether we may be awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up—just as you in fact are doing.

Instructions for Community Life

12Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to recognize those who work hard among you and are over you in the Lord and correct you, 13and to esteem them beyond all measure in love because of their work. Keep shalom among yourselves. 14We urge you, brothers and sisters, correct the unruly, comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray constantly, 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua. 19Do not quench the Spirit, 20do not despise prophetic messages, 21but test all things, hold fast to what is good, 22keep away from every kind of evil. 23Now may the God of shalom Himself make you completely holy; and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 24Faithful is the One who calls you—and He will make it happen!

Closing Greetings

25Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27I charge you under oath, by the Lord, that this letter be read to all the brothers and sisters. 28The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you.

–from 1 Thessalonians 5


Do you believe? Do you deny?

Do you believe there is a God? Do you believe in God? Do you have a relationship with God? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe He is the Son of God? Do you believe He is God? Do you believe that He died on the cross for you and me? Do you believe that on the third day He rose again, conquering the grave and providing freedom from the power of death and sin? Do you believe that He provides a way for sin to be washed out? Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? Do you have a relationship with Him?

Do you deny it? Why don’t you believe? What would it take to change your mind? Would you seek Him? Have you ever read the book “The Case for Christ” by a self-proclaimed skeptical atheist, having a career in Legal Affairs Journalism, uncovers his Case For Christ by interviewing many experts in their field?

Well, the people of Israel as they claimed the promised land believed! The people who were freed from slavery in Egypt and saw all the miracles believed! The people who saw the parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan believed!

If you don’t believe where does your hope come from? If you don’t where does your confidence come from? Where does your hope come from? Where does your confidence come from? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! If you are trying to carry the load alone, that’s not how it is supposed to be! If you are trying to do this journey alone, that isn’t how it was supposed to be!

Do you realize it isn’t all about the stuff? Do you realize it is so much more than a game of who can collect the most? Do you realize it is so much simpler than all of that?

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where? If not this, then what? If not this, then why?

If you are still here, you just like me are still running the race! We are still trying to get to the goal! Let’s leave the past where it belongs behind us and chase forward towards the goal God has for us!

Let’s take a look at today’s reading to see what it shows and tells us of God’s greatness and great love for us.

Portions for Other Tribes

1Then the second lot came out for Simeon, for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their clans. Now their portion was in the midst of the portion of the children of Judah. 2They had for their inheritance: Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3Hazar-shual, Balah, Ezem, 4El-tolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, 6Beth-lebaoth and Sharuhen—13 towns with their villages; 7also Ain, Rimmon, Ether and Ashan—4 towns with their villages; 8all the villages that were around these towns as far as Baalath-beer, Ramah of the Negev. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their clans. 9The inheritance of the children of Simeon was taken out of the allotment of the children of Judah, for the portion of the children of Judah was too much for them; so the children of Simeon had inheritance within Judah’s inheritance. 10Now the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their clans. The territory of their inheritance was as far as Sarid. 11Their border went up westward to Maralah, then reached Dabbesheth, and on to the wadi alongside Jokneam. 12It turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrise to the border of Chisloth-tabor, then went on to Dobrath and up to Japhia. 13From there it went east to Gath-hepher, to Ethkazin, and went on to Rimmon, where it curved to Neah. 14Then the border circled around on the north to Hannathon and ended at the Valley of Iphtahel. 15Included also were Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah and Bethlehem—12 towns with their villages. 16This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their clans, these towns with their villages. 17The fourth lot came out for Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their clans. 18Now their territory was to Jezreel, and included Chesulloth, Shunem, 19Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21Remeth, En-gannim, En-haddah and Beth-pazzez. 22The border extended to Tabor, Shahazim, and Beth-shemesh, and ended at the Jordan—16 towns with their villages. 23This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their clans, the towns with their villages. 24Then the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their clans. 25Their territory included Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, 26Allam-melech, Amad, and Mishal. It extended to Carmel westward and Shihor-libnath. 27Then it turned toward the sunrise to Beth-dagon, extended to Zebulun and to the Iphtahel Valley on the north toward Beth-emek and Neiel, then went on to Cabul on the north, 28then Ebron, Rehob, Hammon and Kanah, up to greater Sidon. 29Next the border turned to Ramah, then to the fortified city of Tyre. Then the border turned to Hosah and ended at the sea in the region of Achzib, 30Also included were Ummah, Aphek and Rehob—22 towns with their villages. 31This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their clans, these towns with their villages. 32The sixth lot came out for the children of Naphtali, for the children of Naphtali according to their clans. 33Their border went from Heleph and from Elon-beza-anannim, including Adami-nekeb and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and ended at the Jordan. 34Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor, and went on from there to Hukok. It touched Zebulun on the south, touched Asher on the west, and Judah at the Jordan toward the east. 35The fortified cities were Ziddim-zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, 36Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37Kedesh, Edrei, En-Hazor, 38Iron, Migdal-el, Horem, Beth-anath and Beth-shemesh—19 towns with their villages. 39This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their clans, the towns with their villages. 40The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their clans. 41The territory of their inheritance included Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, 42Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, 46and the Waters of Jarkon and Rakkon along the border opposite Joppa. 47The territory of the children of Dan slipped away from them, so the children of Dan went up and fought against Leshem and captured it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, possessed it and settled in it, and called Leshem Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor. 48This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their clans, these towns with their villages. 49When they had finished allotting the land for inheritance by its borders, Bnei-Yisrael gave a portion to Joshua son of Nun in their midst. 50According to the command of Adonai they gave him the city that he requested, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built up the city and lived in it. 51These are the portions which Eleazar the kohen and Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the ancestral houses of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael distributed for inheritance by lot in Shiloh before Adonai, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. So they finished apportioning the land.

–from Joshua 19

Promised Land Map


Six Cities of Refuge

1Then Adonai spoke to Joshua saying, 2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael saying, ‘Designate your cities of refuge, about which I spoke to you through Moses. 3So the manslayer who kills any person by mistake and without premeditation may flee there. They will be your refuge from the avenger of blood. 4When one flees to one of those cities, he must stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and state his case in the hearing of the elders of that city. Then they are to take him into their city and give him a place to live among them. 5Now if the blood avenger pursues him, then they will not hand the manslayer over to him, since he killed his neighbor without premeditation and did not hate him beforehand. 6So he will stay in that city until he can stand trial before the congregation, or until the death of the kohen gadol in those days. Then the manslayer may return to his own city and to his own house, to the city from which he had fled.’” 7So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8Across the Jordan east of Jericho, they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. 9These were the appointed cities for all Bnei-Yisrael and for the outsider who is dwelling among them, so that whoever kills any person unintentionally might flee there and not die by the hand of the blood avenger, before standing trial before the congregation.

–from Joshua 20


A Fool Denies God

1For the music director: on Mahalath, a contemplative song of David. 2The fool says in his heart: “There is no God.” They are corrupt, commit vile injustice. There is no one who does good. 3God looks down from the heavens on the children of men, to see if anyone understands, who seeks after God. 4All have turned aside— together they have become corrupt. There is no one who does good— no, not even one! 5Will the evildoers never learn? They consume My people as they would eat bread, and never call upon God. 6There they are in great dread— where there is nothing to fear. For God has scattered the bones of those besieging you. You have put them to shame, for God has rejected them. 7Who will give salvation for Israel out of Zion? When God restores His captive people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad!

–from Psalms 53


Where Do You Put Your Confidence?

1Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! To keep writing the same things to you is not troublesome for me—but for you it is a safeguard. 2Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship by the Ruach Elohim and glory in Messiah Yeshua and have not depended on the flesh— 4though I myself might have confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he might depend on the flesh, I far more— 5circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel; from the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the Torah, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting Messiah’s community; as for Torah righteousness, found blameless. 7But whatever things were gain to me, these I have considered as loss for the sake of the Messiah. 8More than that, I consider all things to be loss in comparison to the surpassing value of the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things; and I consider them garbage in order that I might gain Messiah 9and be found in Him not having my righteousness derived from Torah, but one that is through trusting in Messiah—the righteousness from God based on trust. 10My aim is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death— 11if somehow I might arrive at the resurrection from among the dead.

Pursuing the Goal

12Not that I have already obtained this or been perfected, but I press on if only I might take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua. 15Therefore let all who are mature have this attitude; and if you have a different attitude in anything, this also God will reveal to you. 16Nevertheless, let us live up to the same standard we have attained. 17Brothers and sisters, join in following my example and notice those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. ( 18For many walk who are enemies of the cross of Messiah—I have often told you about them, and now I am even weeping as I tell you. 19Their end is destruction—their god is their belly and their glory is in their shame. They set their minds on earthly things.) 20For our citizenship is in heaven, and from there we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 21He will transform this humble body of ours into the likeness of His glorious body, through the power that enables Him even to put all things in subjection to Himself.

–from Philippians 3

So, what do you believe?

Do you believe…

  • the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be the full record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind.  Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved along by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words, inerrant in the original writings.  Therefore, those applying themselves to study its literal, historical-grammatical context can accurately understand God’s Word.  Scripture is fully trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
  • in the one living and true God, eternally (John 17:3) existing in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).  Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemptive history, has precisely the same nature, attributes, and being, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honor and obedience (John 1:1-4; Acts 5:3-4).
  • God the Father created all things in six literal days for His glory according to His own will (Revelation 4:11), through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He upholds all things by the Word of His power and grace, exercising sovereign headship over all creation, providence, and redemption (Colossians 1:17,Hebrews 1:3).
  • that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, moved by love in accordance with the will of the Father, took on human flesh (John 1:1, 14, 18).  Conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary.  He, being fully God and fully man (John 14:8-9), lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place accomplishing redemption for all who place their faith in Him.  He arose visibly and bodily from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, where, at the Father’s right hand, He is now Head of His Body the Church, the only Savior and Mediator between God and man, and will return to earth in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission (1 Timothy 3:16).
  • that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age.  He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  He draws the unredeemed to repentance and faith, and at salvation imparts new spiritual life to the believer, bringing that person into union with Christ and the Body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, permanently indwells at salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 2:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
  • that God created mankind—male and female—in His own image and likeness, free of sin, to glorify Himself and enjoy His fellowship.  Tempted by Satan, but in the sovereign plan of God, man freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind.  All human beings, therefore, are totally depraved by nature and by choice.  Alienated from God without defense or excuse, and subject to God’s righteous wrath, all of mankind is in desperate need of the Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).
  • that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ.  Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure.  Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone.  At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever.  Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
  • that upon placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, the believer is made part of the Body of Christ, the one universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head.  The Scriptures command believers to gather locally in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, the ordinances of baptism and communion, service to the local body through the development and use of talents and spiritual gifts, and outreach to the world to make disciples (Ephesians 1:22-23; Acts 2:42-461 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church under the watchful care of a plurality of elders.  A church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
  • that Christian baptism is a public declaration of the believer’s salvation in Christ, identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by immersion in water.  The Lord’s Supper is the united commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination (Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).
  • it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations.  We believe the primary focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen, and reproduce biblically-based churches, which will then plant churches that plant churches for future generations and God’s glory.
  • in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost.  The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell.  The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25-26).

Will you remind them? Will you prepare them?

Something big is coming! Something important is coming! Something that will change the future for everyone!

So what are you going to do about it? Will you speak life into the people? Will you speak hope into the people? Will you give them wisdom? Will you give them instructions? Will you give them a reminder? Will you set them up for success? Will you prepare them for what is yet to come? Will you remind them of where their hope comes from? Will  you remind them where to put their trust? Will you remind them of what happened in the past? Will you give them enough information that they won’t repeat the mistakes of the past?

What will you do?

Today’s reading begins at Deuteronomy what Moses does just as the people are preparing to take the promised land…

Devarim: The Words that Moses Spoke

1These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan—in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Di-Zahab. 2It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3Now Moses spoke to Bnei-Yisrael, according to all Adonai had commanded him for them—in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, 4after he had struck down Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon, and Og king of the Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this Torah saying, 6“Adonai our God spoke to us at Horeb saying: ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Turn, journey on, and enter the hill country of the Amorites and all their neighbors, in the Arabah, the hill country, the lowland, the Negev, and by the seashore—the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8See, I have set the land before you. Enter and possess the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give to them and to their descendants after them.’

Bad Report and Poor Response

9“I spoke to you at that time saying: ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you by myself. 10Adonai your God has multiplied you—and here you are today, like the stars of the heavens in number. 11“‘May Adonai, God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times as many as you are, and may He bless you just as He has promised you! 12How can I bear your load and burden and bickering by myself? 13Choose for yourselves wise and discerning men, well known to your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14“You answered me and said: ‘The thing you have said to do is good.’ 15So I took the heads of your tribes, men who were wise and well known, and appointed them as heads over you—leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officials for your tribes. 16“I commanded your judges at that time saying: ‘Hear cases between your brothers, and judge fairly between a man and his brother or the outsider with him. 17You must not show partiality in judgment —you must hear the small and the great alike. Fear no man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me and I will hear it.’ 18“I commanded you at that time everything you should do. 19“Then we journeyed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as Adonai our God commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20I said to you: ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which Adonai our God is giving to us. 21See, Adonai your God has set the land before you—go up, take possession, as Adonai God of your fathers has promised you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.’ 22“Then all of you came near to me and said: ‘Let’s send men ahead of us to explore the land for us and bring us back word about the way we should go up and the cities we will enter.’ 23“The idea seemed good to me, so I took twelve men from among you—one man for each tribe. 24They turned and went up into the hill country, and they came to the Wadi Eshcol and spied it out. 25They took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us. They also brought back word to us and said, ‘Good is the land that Adonai our God is giving to us.’ 26“Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of Adonai your God. 27In your tents you grumbled and said: ‘Because Adonai hates us, He has brought us out from the land of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us! 28Where are we going? Our brothers have discouraged our hearts saying, “The people are greater and taller than we are! The cities are great and fortified up to the heavens! Besides, we have even seen the children of Anakim there!”’ 29“Then I said to you, ‘Don’t tremble or be afraid of them. 30Adonai your God, who goes before you, He Himself will fight for you—just as He did for you in Egypt before your own eyes, 31and in the wilderness, where you saw how Adonai your God carried you as a man carries his son, everywhere you went until you came to this place.’ 32Yet for all this you did not trust in Adonai your God— 33the One who goes before you on the way to scout out a place for you to camp and to show you the way you should go, in fire by night and in the cloud by day. 34“When Adonai heard the tone of your words, He was angry and swore an oath saying, 35‘Not one of these men of this evil generation will see the good land that I swore to give your fathers— 36except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He will see it—yet to him and his children I will give the land that he has walked on, because he has followed Adonai wholeheartedly.’ 37“Adonai was even angry with me on your account, saying, ‘You will not enter there, either. 38Joshua son of Nun, who stands before you, will enter there—encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit it. 39“‘Moreover, your little ones—whom you said would become plunder, and your children who today have no knowledge of good or evil—they will enter there. To them I will give it and they will possess it. 40But as for you, turn around and journey into the wilderness by way of the Sea of Reeds .’ 41“Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against Adonai. We will go up and fight, just as Adonai our God commanded us.’ So each of you strapped on his weapons of war, figuring it was easy to go up to the hill country. 42“But Adonai said to me, ‘Tell them, “Do not go up and fight—for I am not with you, and you will be defeated by your enemies.”’ 43“So I told you, but you would not listen—you rebelled against the command of Adonai and presumptuously went up into the hill country. 44The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you, and they chased you as bees do and scattered you from Seir to Hormah. 45Then you returned and wept before Adonai, but Adonai did not listen to your voice or pay attention to you. 46“So you stayed in Kadesh many days—like the days you had spent before.

–from Deuteronomy 1

Will you provide them with enough to make sure they aren’t wandering endlessly? Will you provide them with enough to make sure they know where to turn when they have questions and need help? Will you provide them with a leader who can help?

Moses Recalls Wilderness Journey

1“Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness by the way to the Sea of Reeds, just as Adonai told me. We went around the hill country of Seir for many days. 2“Adonai spoke to me saying, 3‘You have gone around this hill country long enough—turn to the north. 4Command the people saying, “You are about to cross into the territory of your relatives, the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir. They will be afraid of you, so be very careful. 5Do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land—not even a footprint—because I have given the hill country of Seir to Esau as a possession. 6You are to buy food from them for money so that you may eat, and you are also to buy water from them for money so that you may drink. 7For Adonai your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand—He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These 40 years Adonai your God has been with you—you have lacked nothing.”’ 8“So we went on past our relatives the sons of Esau who dwell in Seir, away from the way of the Arabah from Elath and Ezion-geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab. 9“Adonai said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab or engage them in battle. For I will not give you any of his land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession. 10(The Emim used to live there—a great and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim. 11These people also are considered Rephaim, like the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 12Now the Horites used to live in Seir, but the sons of Esau drove them out and destroyed them from before themselves and settled in their place—just as Israel did to the land of its possession that Adonai gave to them.) 13Now rise up, and cross over the Wadi Zered.’ So we went over the Wadi Zered. 14“The time that we traveled from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the Wadi Zered was 38 years—until all the generation of the men of war from within the camp came to an end, as Adonai had sworn to them. 15Indeed, the hand of Adonai was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they came to their end. 16“Now when all the men of war had finished dying from among the people, 17Adonai spoke to me saying, 18‘Today you are about to cross the border of Moab at Ar. 19When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass or provoke them—for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon for a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession. 20(That also is considered a land of Rephaim. Rephaim used to live there, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim— 21a great and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim. But Adonai destroyed them from before them, and the Ammonites dispossessed them and settled in their place. 22It was just as Adonai did for the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites before them. They drove them out and settled in their place even to this day. 23As for the Avvim who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Crete destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Defeat of Sihon and Og

24“‘Rise up, journey on, and cross over the Wadi Arnon. See, I have handed over Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land—begin to possess it! Engage him in battle! 25This very day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under heaven. When they hear the report about you, they will tremble and twist in anguish because of you.’ 26“So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of shalom saying, 27‘Let me pass through your land—I will go only by way of the road. I will not turn to the right or to the left. 28You will sell me food for money so that I may eat and give me water for money so that I may drink. Just let me pass through on foot— 29as the sons of Esau dwelling in Seir and the Moabites in Ar did for me—until I cross over the Jordan into the land that Adonai our God is giving to us.’ 30But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, because Adonai your God stiffened his spirit and hardened his heart, in order to hand him over to you this very day. 31“Adonai said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you—begin to take possession in order to take hold of his land.’ 32“Then Sihon came out against us—he and all his people—to battle at Jahaz. 33Adonai our God gave him over to us, and we struck him down along with his sons and all his people. 34We captured all his cities at that time, and utterly put under a ban of judgment every city—men, women and children. We left no survivor. 35We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves, as the spoils of the cities we captured. 36From Aroer which is on the edge of the Wadi Arnon and the city by the wadi, all the way up to the Gilead, there was not a town too high for us. Adonai our God gave everything over to us. 37Only you did not come near the land of the sons of Ammon—all along the Wadi Jabbok and the cities of the hill country and wherever Adonai our God had commanded.

–from Deuteronomy 2

Will you point them to God? Will God be the answer? Will you give them hope through Jesus? You have your chance, so how will you share it? Remember their fragility! Remember the treasure they are! Before it is too late…

Treasures in Jars of Clay

1For this reason, since we have this ministry, just as we received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2Instead, we renounced the hidden shameful ways—not walking in deception or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by the open proclamation of the truth. 3And even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so they might not see the light of the Good News of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God. 5For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Messiah Yeshua as Lord—and ourselves as your slaves for Yeshua’s sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Messiah. 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, so that the surpassing greatness of the power may be from God and not from ourselves. 8We are hard pressed in every way, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not in despair; 9persecuted, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Yeshua, so that the life of Yeshua may also be revealed in our mortal body. 11For we who live are always being handed over to death for Yeshua’s sake, so that the life of Yeshua may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13But we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” So we also believe, and therefore we also speak, 14knowing that the One who raised the Lord Yeshua will raise us also with Yeshua, and will bring us with you into His presence. 15For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace that is spreading through more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow—to the glory of God. 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 17For our trouble, light and momentary, is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18as we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

–from 2 Corinthians 4

Do you realize the impact of the past on your work?

It’s interesting how the past can impact the present if we haven’t dealt with it! It’s interesting how the past can make the present more difficult if we haven’t found or received a way to handle it! If we consider what is in today’s reading from Genesis, if we don’t have Jesus, then we have to deal with the curse of old.

–from today’s reading

17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

–from Genesis 3

From that time there was a curse in place. From that time work would be more challenging. The actions of the past alienated people from God and from each other and between people and the earth. It brought to the surface the possibility of failure and unintended consequences.

If you consider where you’ve been, have you done something that might have added to this and setup your work to be more challenging than it aught to be? Have you gotten yourself into a situation where you aren’t doing what you were supposed to do and now have to deal with the consequences of disobedience to God? There is hope! It was the ground that was cursed for God wasn’t giving up on humanity! We see this in how God continued to help Adam and Eve.

today’s reading continues

21And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

–from Genesis 3

He provided for them, even when they didn’t have the skills themselves to do the work. We have been commissioned to do the work that God has called for us to do, even if there is/was a curse! And there is more hope! When we align with God… For God has a plan for you and for me and His plan is good! His plan is to give us a hope and a future! Thanks to Jesus, we know that God’s plan is fulfilled! God’s plan is solid and victorious. We read in Psalms…

10The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation. 12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. 13The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; 14From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, 15He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. 16The king is not saved by a mighty army; A warrior is not delivered by great strength. 17A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. 18Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, 19To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine. 20Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. 21For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. 22Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You.

–from Psalm 33

We still need to complete the work God has given us! We still need to work the ground! We still need to study nature! We still need to fruitful! We still need to multiply! We still need to govern!

Because of what happened though, there is more that needs to be done! We now need to add onto that work the need to bring healing because of things that go wrong! We now need to add onto that work the need to bring reparation and restoration because of the evils that are committed. We need to be light and hope to the world around us so that they can come to the realization of the redemptive power of Jesus Christ!

We see this in today’s reading as we read…

18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

–from 2 Corinthians 5:18

I included the rest of the content too, but the call out here is that we need to ambassadors of God who are helping bring reconciliation into the world around us!

There is hope for the future thanks to Jesus! It’s not all the mistakes of the past that will keep us down, it’s not getting up and dealing with forgiveness, restoration, and starting a new! For when we receive Jesus, we are new creations … the old is gone and the new has come! Do you realize in what you are seeing around you how the world is echoing God’s redemption plan? Consider scientists and sales people who help overcome difficulties by providing products to make life easier and healthier! Consider law enforcement officers and parents and how they provide safety in the midst of chaos! Consider accountants and repair people who are able to fix broken ledgers, appliances, and technology! There are so many roles in the world because God’s plan is on of restoration! These roles are so that people can have hope!

Jesus is the answer and today’s reading completes in Revelation with …

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

–from Revelation 21

So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Nothing is too big for God! So put your hope and trust in God! Let’s give our lives into the hands of Jesus and let’s walk in alignment with Him daily! For we know that one day brokenness will be gone! For we know that one day pain will be no more! So focus on what is yet to be! Walk in faith trusting and believing in God! And let’s allow even the most frustrating jobs to be a means by which we can carry out the ministry of reconciliation that God has called us into! Let’s let our light shine for it is really just reflecting the light of Jesus to the world around us!

Today’s reading concludes with a prayer I want to share with you…

God, you alone are our glorious Redeemer. But you empower us to display your glory and redemption to those around us. Help us in everyday moments to shine forth your image, character and attributes through our work. Show us where we can display your gospel’s work by reconciling areas of brokenness in our jobs. Amen.

–from Day 3

Ever found that people judge you now because of their understanding of your past?

Where you came from? What you did? How you got here? Who your family is? When you were younger? What they think about your upbringing? What happened in the past? What people have said about you? …

We see that this happened to Jesus too and became a barrier to what can be, what could be, what should be, and what would be…

41The people started grumbling about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42So they said, “This man is Jesus son of Joseph, isn’t he? We know his father and mother. How, then, does he now say he came down from heaven?” 43Jesus answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. 44People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me; and I will raise them to life on the last day. 45The prophets wrote, ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Anyone who hears the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46This does not mean that anyone has seen the Father; he who is from God is the only one who has seen the Father. 47I am telling you the truth: he who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. 50But the bread that comes down from heaven is of such a kind that whoever eats it will not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If you eat this bread, you will live forever. The bread that I will give you is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live.”
52This started an angry argument among them. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked. 53Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them to life on the last day. 55For my flesh is the real food; my blood is the real drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. 57The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This, then, is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread that your ancestors ate, but then later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.” 59Jesus said this as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum.

–from John 6

Don’t judge, for you will be judged by the same measure you use! Don’t limit yourself or others because of what took place or what you believe happened in the past. Rather, let’s love everyone! Let’s be kind and humble to one another! Let’s pay back evil with good! Let’s not speak evil and not tell lies! Let’s turn to God and away from evil by doing good and striving for peace! Let’s live lives doing what is right, even if we suffer in the moment for it, in the long run we will receive the rewards we are due. Let’s live bold and courageously! Fear Not, Just Believe! Let’s be ready to share the reason for the hope that is within us! Let’s show people respect! Let’s live with a clean conscience!

Suffering for Doing Right

8To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another. 9Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you. 10As the scripture says, “If you want to enjoy life and wish to see good times, you must keep from speaking evil and stop telling lies. 11You must turn away from evil and do good; you must strive for peace with all your heart. 12For the Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their prayers; but he opposes those who do evil.” 13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, how happy you are! Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. 15But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, 16but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if this should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually, 19and in his spiritual existence he went and preached to the imprisoned spirits. 20These were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God when he waited patiently during the days that Noah was building his boat. The few people in the boat—eight in all—were saved by the water, 21which was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone to heaven and is at the right side of God, ruling over all angels and heavenly authorities and powers.

–from 1 Peter 3

Today’s reading continues to speak of how much love there is in the Song of Songs from Solomon…

The Man

1I have entered my garden, my sweetheart, my bride. I am gathering my spices and myrrh; I am eating my honey and honeycomb; I am drinking my wine and milk.

The Women

Eat, lovers, and drink until you are drunk with love!

The Fourth Song

The Woman

2While I slept, my heart was awake. I dreamed my lover knocked at the door.

The Man

Let me come in, my darling, my sweetheart, my dove. My head is wet with dew, and my hair is damp from the mist.

The Woman

3I have already undressed; why should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet; why should I get them dirty again? 4My lover put his hand to the door, and I was thrilled that he was near. 5I was ready to let him come in. My hands were covered with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, as I grasped the handle of the door. 6I opened the door for my lover, but he had already gone. How I wanted to hear his voice! I looked for him, but couldn’t find him; I called to him, but heard no answer. 7The sentries patrolling the city found me; they struck me and bruised me; the guards at the city wall tore off my cape. 8Promise me, women of Jerusalem, that if you find my lover, you will tell him I am weak from passion.

The Women

9Most beautiful of women, is your lover different from everyone else? What is there so wonderful about him that we should give you our promise?

The Woman

10My lover is handsome and strong; he is one in ten thousand. 11His face is bronzed and smooth; his hair is wavy, black as a raven. 12His eyes are as beautiful as doves by a flowing brook, doves washed in milk and standing by the stream. 13His cheeks are as lovely as a garden that is full of herbs and spices. His lips are like lilies, wet with liquid myrrh. 14His hands are well-formed, and he wears rings set with gems. His body is like smooth ivory, with sapphires set in it. 15His thighs are columns of alabaster set in sockets of gold. He is majestic, like the Lebanon Mountains with their towering cedars. 16His mouth is sweet to kiss; everything about him enchants me. This is what my lover is like, women of Jerusalem.

–from Song of Songs 5