Spiritual Rants: April 16 “Kissing Disease” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Joshua 13:1-14:15 Luke 18:1-17 Psalm 85:1-13 Proverbs 13:7-8

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Though Joshua was aged, in war he could be engaged.

Old Testament:  Joshua 13:1-14:15

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Joshua 13:1-4:15   Not Earning Dividends

Joshua was about a hundred years old at this point.  He was T minus twenty years.  Yahweh told him he still had some nations to conquer.

The conquered land was divided amongst the tribes.  The tribes did not earn the land they were occupying.  It was given to them by Yahweh as expressed through Moses as an inheritance (Lev. 25:23).  We do not earn salvation.  Christ earned it (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:20; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).  We are given it through faith in Christ plus zero works (Eph. 2: 8-9).

The Levites weren’t included because the Lord was their inheritance.

In chapter fourteen, the remainder of the tribes were given their inheritance by the cast of the dice (LB, literally, “by lot”).

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 all be 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.

Caleb (14:6-15), the only man of the previous generation except for Joshua to be able to cross over into the Promised Land, asked for a special parcel of land.  His wish was granted.  He asked specifically for Hebron (14:14) but later gave it to the Levites and lived in the country (21:12).  He also drove the Anakim giants out of the land (14:12).  Caleb was 85.  As Mel Allen would say, “How ’bout thaaat?”   Mel was from Alabama.

New Testament: Luke 18:1-17

The disciples thought bringing babies to Jesus was disgusting but He said they were a model of trusting.

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Luke 18:1-8  Keep On, Keepin’ On.

Jesus told them about a disreputable judge who didn’t care about God or man.  A widow kept trying to get justice from him but he just wouldn’t do it.  She wore the guy out.  The judge finally figured the widow was sooooo  irritating that he’d give her what she wanted and she’d go away.  Jesus said that God was like that disreputable judge.  (Whaaattt???)  He meant that  in an opposite way.  If a crooked judge would finally and inevitably give in and do the right thing, wouldn’t Yahweh much sooner answer our prayers when we’re praying in His will?  The answer is “yes.”  Keep on, keeping’ on.

Luke 18:9-17  The Pharisee and the Republican

Two guys walk into a bar . . .  no, two guys walk into a Temple.  One is a Pharisee and one is a Republican.  No, one is a publican, that is, a tax collector (even worse!).  The Pharisee prayed about how glad he wasn’t scum like the swindlers, adulterers, or even tax collectors.  He thanked God that he paid his tithes and fasted twice a week.  The IRS guy wouldn’t even raise his head in the Temple and asked that God have mercy on him.  Jesus said the humble IRS guy would get further with God than the “righteous” religious guy.

People were even bringing babies to Jesus to touch them.  The disciples told them to cut it out.  But Jesus said the kingdom belonged to people like the babies who were innocent and trusting.  They would be the ones who were not self-righteous like the religious guy and would rely on Jesus in faith for their righteousness.

Psalm 85:1-13   A Lament By The Sons Of Korah

In God righteousness and truth kiss, in that is true bliss.

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Psalm 85:1-13   Kissing Disease

Psalm 85 is another lament written for the worship leaders, the sons of Korah.  It may have been written after the Jews were allowed to return to Israel after the seventy years of Babylonian captivity (cf. Jer. 29).  More likely, the emphasis is on the hope of Israel, the Thousand-Year Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah in the future.  It is then that all of the prophetic elements of this psalm will be fulfilled.

Israel hadn’t been completely restored to the land after the Babylonian captivity.  So verse 1 probably refers to the coming kingdom (v. 1).  Yahweh has not forgiven the sins of Israel yet but He will after Jesus returns (vv. 2-3).

The psalmist cries out to God for the salvation of the nation (vv. 4-7).  This hasn’t happened yet, either.  But it will.  Some details are given by Paul in Romans 11. After Jesus sets up His rule, the Jews will never slip back into sin again (v. 8).  In the meantime, God’s salvation is always just a breath away from anyone willing to trust Him by faith, in Old Testament or New Testament times (v. 9).

Diseases can be spread by kissing.  We don’t like to think about it but it’s true.  In the Millennium, truth and God’s hesed, lovingkindness, will be so close, so they’ll be hugging.  Righteousness and peace will be kissing.  We don’t see righteousness much anymore at this time in our history.  Peace, which goes hand in hand with righteousness, hasn’t been sighted often either.  Electing new government representatives won’t help much if we are at the brink of the end times.  Our righteousness is rotten.  Our solitude is a sham.  There are wars and rumors of war (cf. Matt. 24:6).  There is no peace for the wicked (cf. Isa. 48:22; Isa. 57:21).  Kisses now are spreading disease between transgression and conflict.

In the day of the King, truth will spout out of the soil and piety will pour out of the sky (v. 11).  Everything will be good in the Millennial environment (v. 12).

Everyone will be living in an atmosphere of goodness and Jesus will surround Himself with purity (v. 13).

Do you look forward to that day?  If the tribulation begins after the Rapture and lasts seven years, and if the Rapture could occur at any moment, the Millennium of Christ’s rule could begin in as few as seven years!   I find that very exciting!

Proverbs 13:7-8  Poverty Has Its Advantages

It may be the rich who throw dirt but it is often the poor who avoid hurt.

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Most people don’t pull off such a grand scam of fakery as the two who crashed a reception for the Indian Prime Minister during President Obama’s administration. But plenty people have tried to appear more prosperous than they really were.  Many in the so-called “prosperity” movement are feigning their affluence (v. 7a).

There is also a great number  of people that pretend they are poor even though they are quite well-off (v. 7b).  They don’t want anyone to take advantage of them.  But they may just be cheap and stingy.  Both of those types, whether they are acting like they are poor or rich in this verse, are hypocrites.

Rich people can stay out of trouble by using their wealth to extricate themselves from uncomfortable situations (v. 8a).  More poor people end up going to jail than rich people.  The wealthy can afford expensive lawyers.  Anyone ever heard of O.J.?  (Not orange juice.)

Poor people can’t even hear any threats to their riches.  They can’t buy their way out of trouble anyway (v. 8b, cf. “but a poor man has no means of redemption”  RSV). They don’t have any anxiety about being abducted or extorted.  They don’t have anything.  The Wall Street crash wasn’t even a blip on my radar.  Poverty actually has its advantages at times.

Choose Life: Scripture:   Luke 18:6-8  NASB    “Hay, A Revival!”

“And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”   Luke 18:6-8

The Haystack Prayer Revival occurred at Williams College in Williamtown, MA. in August of 1806.  Several college students prayed together under a clump of trees.  One day a thunderstorm drove them under a haystack for cover.  They were praying about their own mission outreach.  Six years later the first American missionaries left for foreign lands.  I can’t help but think that those same students continued to pray until they saw God move.  They mark the Haystack thunderstorm as the beginning of  the movement of God.

Our Scripture today exhorts us to pray and continue to pray until God answers our prayers.  God is not like the unjust judge, He will answer prayers according to His will much more quickly than a bad judge can be moved to action.  But do we believe God for answers to our prayers?  Do we continue to pray until we get an answer?  Do we “wait” on God (cf. Ps. 27:14)?

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

Fun Application:   

The pastor who married me and my wife was always praying for revival.  He died several years ago.  Revival never came.  Someone recently told me that people pray for things that they want.  Are you praying for what you want or are you praying for what God wants (cf. John 16:24; 1 John 5:14-15).

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:   Keep On Keeping’ On

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