Spiritual Rants: April 15 “The Book, Book, Book . . .  Book, Book Of Life” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Joshua 11:1-12:24 Luke 17:11-37 Psalm 84:1-12 Proverbs 13:5-6

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Only Hazor was burnt, five cities were there and then they weren’t.

Old Testament:  Joshua 11:1-12:24

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Joshua 11:1-23  Mopping Up

Wasn’t it great that even though Joshua made his mistake with the Gibeonites in chapter 9 it set up the destruction of five other kings in chapter 6?  God uses our mistakes.  The kings uniting saved Joshua the trouble of annihilating all of them separately!

Joshua’s victory over the five kings resulted in the mobilization of  twelve other kings in the area.  They were making things too easy for Joshua!  God told Joshua not to worry about them, that He would give them over to him.  He was to hamstring the horses and totally destroy them.   Yahweh told him it’d be all over within a day.  And it was.

Joshua also killed almost all the Anakim who were a race of giants.  There were only a few of them left.

Joshua had captured all the land that Yahweh had commanded him.  It was only left to divide up amongst the tribes.

Joshua 12:1-24  The Book, Book, Book . . .  Book, Book Of Life

Thirty-one kings and their cities were wiped out.  And you thought Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bad?  Keep in mind God knew the ultimate fate of all these peoples.  He knew all the permutations of possible scenarios in their lives that would have resulted in their faith in Him.  None  of them were going to work and they had been given as many opportunities as needed to prove to themselves that they deserved to be separated from God for eternity.

God knew all of them personally.  Their names are all recorded.  What an awful way to get your name into Scripture:  by being an enemy of God.  Wouldn’t it be better to have your name in the “Book Of Life”?  Is your name in that book?  You can ensure that it is.  Confess that you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and that you personally trust Him.  Then your name will be in the most important book, “The Book of Life” (Rev. 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in athe book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”).

New Testament: Luke 17:11- 37

Ten lepers were all grim but only one came back and thanked Him.

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Luke 17:11-21    No Thanks?

Jesus cleansed ten lepers.  Ten.  One came back and thanked Jesus.  One.  What the heck?  And he wasn’t a Jew.  Wow.  (Look at Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18).

The kingdom (v. 21) is “in your midst.”  (Not KJV “in your midst”: the Pharisees were not saved!).   Jesus was telling the Pharisees they were looking at the kingdom.  If they had entered into him by faith (2Cor. 5: 17; Jn. 14: 20), they’d be in the kingdom!

Luke 17:22-37    I’ll Be Bach

Jesus told the disciples that He’d have to suffer many things and be rejected (v. 25).  But He’d be bach.  Whoops, no, that’s Arnold.  He’d be back.

When He comes back, He said things would be like in the days of Noah.  He didn’t mean in just the theaters, either.  People would be eating, drinking, marrying, giving away their kids in marriage just like they were right before the flood came and the water starting rising.  In other words, people were oblivious!  So not like today.  Right!

In Lot’s day, they were doing business and carrying on: selling, buying, drinking, planting, building (v. 28) and then they all got zapped from Heaven.  The end will be like that.  Boom.  Zang. Zoom!  Over!

One person in bed will be taken and another left, one woman out working will be taken and the woman next to her will be left behind.  Two men in the field and only one gets taken.   The law of first thought is wrong on this.  (The law of first thought is almost always wrong.  It states whatever comes into your mind first must be the right interpretation.)  The law of first thought is usually that this passage is about the Rapture.  One taken, one left behind.  But it’s not.  The context is of people in the seven year tribulation.  The one taken is taken to judgment because they are not a believer.  The other person is left behind to go into the Millennium and reign with Christ because they are believers.

The last line, “where the body is, there also the vultures will gather” (v. 37) seems to imply (cf. the parallel in Matt. 24: 37-41) many will be taken to be judged and die.  There are also overtones of the judgment at Armageddon (Rev. 19:17-21).

Psalm 84:1-12   A Song About Jerusalem By The Sons Of Korah

For the righteous nothing will He withhold, to that person everything will be like gold.

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Psalm 84:1-12 Peace In The Veil-y

“God has no grand children.”  Have you ever heard that phrase?  God only has sons and daughters.  No one is a Christian because his or her father or mother was a Christian.

Have you ever heard this one?   ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge” . . . everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge” (Jer. 31:29; Ezek. 18:2).  That quote from Jeremiah and Ezekiel meant that everyone is responsible for their own sins, not the sins of their ancestors.  That was particularly a good thing for the sons of Korah who wrote this psalm.

Do you remember Korah?  He was rotten to the core-ah (see One Bad Apple . . .  and Edward G. Robinson . . . ).  He actually had the audacity to rebel against Moses (1 Chron. 16:1-14)!  The sons of Korah, apparently, were not responsible at all for Korah’s sin (cf. Num. 26:11).  They went on to lead worship during the time of David.

This type of psalm has been called a Canticle of Zion, a Song of Zion, but essentially it is a hymn celebrating Jerusalem, the residence of the King.  Though you wouldn’t know it today, it literally means “city of peace.”

The psalmist begins by declaring that God’s dwelling place is quite appealing (v. 1).  He longs for the fellowship in Jerusalem (v. 2).  Do you love to be around God’s people?  You should (cf. Heb. 10:24-25).  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book, Life Together, stated that we should appreciate being with other believers because we will not always be able to have that fellowship.  Bonhoeffer would live long enough to learn that truth by personal experience.  He was put in prison for opposing Hitler during World War 2 so he would have known.  The Nazis murdered him right before the Allies liberated Berlin, just for spite.

The writer is not saying that God’s house was for the birds.  Well, actually he was.  But he meant that it was so peaceful that birds could nest there (v. 3).  Those who spent quality time in the sanctuary would be blessed for praising the Lord, they are the true birds, temple workers (v. 4).  Most churches are empty during the week.  They are for the birds.

This verse reminds me of the prayer room at my seminary.  I loved going there.  It was very peaceful.  It was a great place to pray.  I always felt like I could feel the presence of God.  But when the school needed room, they would store chairs and tables in it making it inaccessible.

The person who derives strength from the Lord is blessed (vv. 5-7).  That person is always trying to get back to Jerusalem to worship the Lord (v. 5).  Zechariah said, “not by power nor by might but by my Spirit . . . ” (Zech. 4:6).  Paul said, ” . . . I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).

Baca in verse 6 can refer to a balsam tree that grows in the desert regions and would crave rain.  The root of the word means “to weep.”  Jerusalem was a place of peace where grieving people could find solace and be “watered.”

The psalmist implores God to hear his prayer to strengthen Jerusalem (vv. 8-9).  A shield represented a nation’s security and protection (v. 9).

It’s better to be in a place of fellowship than outside with unbelievers (v. 10).  God protects those and gives guidance to those who worship and love Him (v. 11).  He doesn’t withhold anything from people like that (v. 11c, cf. Rom. 8:32).

When Christ died, the veil was torn down in the Temple that separated the Holy of Holies where God dwelt from the Holy Place where the Levitic priests ministered (cf. Matt. 27:51).  That means we can access God directly now.  The one who is truly blessed is the one who wholeheartedly trusts in the Lord (v. 12)!

Proverbs 13:5-6    Sabotaged By Sin

Don’t lie, you ultimately will die.

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

People today must be enjoying falsehood judging by what’s on TV, in the movies, and in the newspapers (v. 5a).  There are plenty of people acting “disgustingly” and “shamefully.”   A righteous person, aka a believer, hates those kinds of things (v. 5a).

Believers will try to please the Lord and rid themselves of unrighteousness (v. 6a).  Sinners are sabotaged by their sin (v. 6b).

Choose Life: Scripture:   Luke 17:27   NASB    “Oblivious”

” . . . they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”   Luke 17:27

Jesus said that right before He returned people would be acting just like they always did.  They would be having marriage ceremonies, partying and eating just like they were right before God destroyed the world in a flood in the days of Noah.  This is an ominous verse.  In other words, people will be oblivious.

Hard to believe isn’t it?  Certainly people will be able to watch the Second Coming on their devices, right (Rev. 1:7, “every eye will see Him”)?

Are you oblivious or are you waiting for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)?

If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Is there anything you’d rather have than for the Lord to come back?  Is your priority to live in such a way that you will be proud when Jesus returns?  Do you believe He could come back at any second (Matthew 24:42-44 ; 25:13)?  Are you ready?

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   The Book, Book, Book . . .  Of Life!

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