Joshua 15 Proverbs 15

Chapter 15 of Joshua is divided into three parts: the land given to the tribe of Judah first, the towns Judah inherited last, with the land given to Caleb sandwiched between the two. Full disclosure: I get a little overwhelmed trying soak in the description of how big this land was…or the names of the towns. However, my study bible makes a good point: “Notice that these boundaries and descriptions of the Promised Land are very specific. God was telling Israel exactly what to do, and he was giving them exactly what they needed. There was no excuse for disobedience.”

In regards to Caleb and his receiving of land, who is he and how does he rate to get some special land? I’m sure many of you recall a song from your childhood: “Twelve men went to spy on Canaan, ten (all ten fingers in the air) were bad (thumbs down) and two (two index fingers in the air) were good (thumbs up).” Well, the two “good” ones were Joshua and Caleb. This story can be found in the book of Numbers. Numbers chapter 14 verse 24 reads: “But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went and his descendants shall possess it.”

There is also one little last tidbit provided at the end of chapter 15 in Joshua. It tells of how the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites…”so the Jebusites live there among the people of Judah to this day.” This piece of information is repeated in Judges 1:21. However, the rest of the story is played out in 2 Samuel 5:6. The Jebusites mess with the wrong Marine in the form of King David.

Proverbs 15 is full of wise sayings, but it starts off with one that hits home with me: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” While I have an incredibly large amount of room for growth in this area, I have to praise my wife…as this is a tremendous gift of hers. I truly thank God each day for her kindness and gift of a gentle answer.

Where do you have room for growth? Pray that God will help you with that, today.

Mike Thomas

Faith and trust = miracles

Today’s reading: Joshua 3, Proverbs 3

Joshua 3 is the marking of the days before the miracle of crossing the Jordan River into Jericho. The people have camped and Joshua moves through the crowds telling them “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you” (Joshua 3:5).

There’s a lot of them! 2-3 million men, women, and children traveling together. Hauling their animals, tents and possessions. Have you ever travelled with extended family? There’s typically a few squabbles or disagreements along the way right? This trip is extended family on steroids! I’m sure there were lots of distractions and commotion along the way. Millions of imperfect people following the arc of the covenant representing the presence of God. Trusting, waiting, watching. Joshua reminds them to spend time setting themselves apart from all the distraction in anticipation of what God is doing.

Joshua gives Gods instruction to the priests to start moving the arc towards the Jordan River. I’m trying to imagine the priests dipping their toes into the shores of the water. Taking the first steps of faith before they could see the miracle. Trusting that Joshua knew what he was doing and moving forward. Carrying the presence of God in the ark to the shores of the Jordan with millions of people behind them waiting and trusting that the thing they were doing was not crazy. How wet did their feet get before they noticed a change in the tide? At what point did they realize what was happening and feel the surge of adrenaline as their trust materialized in the miracle before them. The flow of water was stopped by the mighty hand of God when they faithfully stepped to the shore. The people of God were allowed to walk on dry ground to the other side. Miracle!

How am I consecrating or sanctifying myself today for the miracle that will come tomorrow? Do I have faith and trust the miracle will come or am I anxious about the future?

Today, because of Jesus, we have the presence of God with us all the time. We have personal access to the creator of the universe who has miracles in store.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. From a full night of sleep for this worrier of a mother to her nonverbal toddler finding his words. The common denominator is miracles point us towards Gods plan.  As I spend time with God (consecrating, sanctifying myself) my mind is transformed to His ways and I can get my toes wet to see the miracle.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).