Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20

OT: Joshua 21:1-22:20

Okay, I can't take it anymore! Must. have. visual. I did a little research online and found a couple of maps that, while not great, at least give a general idea of what we're working with here. You can find one here and another here. Oooh...and I just found a better one here that specifically shows the Levitical cities that we are reading about today.

Ummm...what on earth is up with Joshua 21: 43-45: "So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled"?

Okay, remember what I was talking about yesterday? Either these verses are a biblical example of complete historical revisionism, or I am missing something about God's promises (which is one of the possibilities I mentioned yesterday). See, when I read these verses, I think of the Ephraimites, who "did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer" (16:10), or the Manassites who "were not able to occupy [certain] towns, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that region" (17:12). NOW, I must say that the Ephraimites perhaps had the ability to dislodge the Canaanites, but they might have chosen not to. And though the Manassites were first unable to conquer their Canaanites, they did grow stronger and gain the ability to do so. And they apparently chose not to, as well. SO...the vast majority of God's promises did come true just like He said, and the very few exceptions were the result of the people's own choice, the result of their lack of willingness to do their part.

I find this interplay between God's promises and the people's actions to be fascinating. Like I said yesterday, I see a lot of possible insight and application to how He works in our lives today.

And, holy cow! I have read all this before, but I still did not see the abrupt change in tone coming when the 2 1/2 tribes built the altar on the way back home. They enjoyed such a warm, upbeat send-off, and I was shocked by the reaction to the altar. I just assumed that they had built an altar in praise to the Lord, but apparently not? Regardless, I did like the message that the others sent them, urging them to turn from their sin. And I'm glad that they seemed to learn a lot from Achan ("he was not the only one to die for his sin." Too true). I can't wait for tomorrow when I get to read the exciting conclusion!

NT: Luke 19: 28-48

Okay, seriously, I loved reading these stories again, but I just have nothing new to say to them. I'm sure that I have convinced you by now that I can ramble on about anything, but I am just genuinely out of things to say.

Except for this: I wonder what Jesus' real thoughts are on the "taxes to Caesar" issue. Luke makes clear that His response was based on his understanding of their nefarious intentions ("He saw through their duplicity and said to them..."). And I know that what He said was not dishonest or anything, but I would just like to hear an answer whose purpose was not to swat away enemies. Though I adore the succinctness of His response, another, more elaborate, discussion on the topic would be interesting, too.

Psalm 89:1-13

Well, welcome, Ethan the Ezrahite! You wanna throw your hat in the ring, too, huh? Well, let's hear it!


I started to write an analysis of this psalm like it was just another poem, but everything I started to write sounded mildly blasphemous, and I don't want to detract from something written to praise my Creator. So...I will just say that verses 5 through 7 are interesting. Ethan is either talking about angels or other deities. I hope that they are angels!

Proverbs 13:5-6

"Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard." This sounds like a good verse to work into future "Choose Life" speeches. People don't want a hard life, you know? So then don't be unfaithful!


  1. Psalm: Just quickly, the heavenly beings thing: Neh.9:6 says that "the multitudes of heaven worship you" and Luke 2:13 says "suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying..." So, I'm not really sure why you found those verses "interesting". But maybe I am missing your point. (Love your thoughts! Miss you already.)

  2. Ah, thanks for the maps. :) I tend to forget that we are reading about the same area that is being fought over all the time in the Middle East today. Hmm, I guess I can understand why the land itself would need "rest."

    That is interesting about the interplay between God's promises and us keeping our end of the bargain. God is completely faithful, but we are NEVER 100 percent faithful.

    I don't know that Jesus would say more than he did about taxes. Well, we know from his interactions with tax collectors that they were taking too much money for themselves, but that doesn't negate the need for people to pay their taxes in the first place. "Tax collectors" may steal from you, but if you don't pay your taxes, then you are stealing from the government. I think it's even harder to "give to God what is God's." That would be everything, even our time and our physical, spiritual, and emotional energy. We tend to want to keep that stuff for ourselves.

    Yeah, I wasn't as enthused with Ethan the Ezrahite either. I guess it's hard to live up to David and Asaph. At least he tried. :)