Spiritual Rants: April 18 “Get Shorty” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Joshua 16:1-18:28 Luke 19:1-27 Psalm 87:1-7 Proverbs 13:11

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Old Testament:  Joshua 16:1-18:28

The signature of the tribe of Manasseh seemed to be kvetching, they created problems for everyone causing a lot of wretching.

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Joshua 16:1-18:28   Kvetching

I was watching a documentary about Jewish comedians.  They all seemed to agree that the basis of Jewish humor was complaining.  Wow.  Seems to be back to the book of Numbers.  They called it kvetching.  To kvetch is a Yiddish term that means, “To complain persistently and whiningly.”   This seems to apply especially to the half-tribe tribe of  Manasseh and the tribe of Ephraim (aka “the sons of Joseph”).   They came and complained to Joshua about the land that was apportioned to them.  It was on a mountain with a lot of trees (Josh. 17:14-18).  They wanted more land but they wanted it just given to them.  Joshua told them that if they needed more room, they should clear out the trees and kill the giants.

Wiersbe says about the “sons of Joseph,” “They not only created problems for Joshua but also for Gideon (Judg. 8:1-3), Jephthah (Judg. 12:1-7), and even David (2 Sam. 20:1-5)”.

The “sons of Joseph” had received their inheritance but they needed to do something with it!  How many Christians have received their inheritance (Eph. 1:3) but aren’t doing anything with it?

New Testament: Luke 19:1-27

A tax collector named Zack was on the short side, he climbed a tree so on Jesus he got an eye.

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Luke 19:1-10  Get Shorty (Zacchaeus, NIV; Zaccheus, NASB)

There was an tax collector named Zacchaeus who was a crook.  But I repeat myself.  All the tax collectors of that time were crooks.  Poor Zacchaeus was short and couldn’t see too well so he climbed a tree to see Jesus as he passed by.  As Jesus  passed, He looked Zacchaeus right in the face and told him that He had to stay at his house.  The gossip hotlines opened with people all over complaining that Jesus was staying with a “sinner.”  Zacch was very wealthy, having cheated most of the county.  He promised he’d give half his possessions to the poor and he’d repay everyone he cheated fourfold!  Jesus said He could tell Zacch had been saved because of the way he responded indicated a change in his heart.

The next verse is the key verse of the entire gospel, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).  The whole purpose of Luke was to show that Jesus had come to save sinners no matter what they had done or how big a sinner they were.  And Zaccheaus was a pretty big sinner but he certainly didn’t end up coming up short.  The reason was that Jesus came “to seek and to save” him.

Luke 19:11-27  Kingdom Delayed

Everyone was excited that it was Passover Celebration time.  Many thought, as Jesus approached Jerusalem, that He would bring in the kingdom.  Jesus took a minute to disabuse them of that idea and give some guidance for what his disciples should be doing in the interim before the kingdom.

He told the story of a man of royal birth who went off to the country he would eventually rule.  He called to himself ten of his servants and gave them each ten mina birds.  Wait, no, he gave them ten minas.  A mina was worth about three months wages.  The Living Bible indicates it was worth about $2,000 in 1971.  You can adjust for inflation.

Many of the people in that country didn’t want him as king and let him know.  But others had earned a profit on their money.  One doubled the money, one earned 50%, one hid his money and didn’t make anything.  The first was given charge of ten cites, the second was given charge of five cities.  The final servant had his money taken away and given to the first man.  If you know the words of “God Bless The Child” you know why:  “them’s that’s got shall have, them’s that’s not shall lose.”  Even worse, the people who didn’t want the nobleman to rule over him were taken out and killed.

Being a good preacher and teacher, Jesus changed his material to suit his audiences.  This story is very similar to the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30) but that story emphasized the use of talents and abilities till the Lord returns.  This one emphasizes the proper use of money till Jesus returns which fits the context of the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus, the tax collector.

Jesus’ point was not only would the kingdom be delayed (the church age would intervene) but disciples should be using their time, talent, and money to further His work until He returns.

Psalm 87:1-7  A Song Of Jerusalem By The Sons Of Korah

In Israel Mount Zion was the highest spot, in God’s mind it was well thought.

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Psalm 87:1-7  An Eye On Zion

Psalm 87 is another song for and about Jerusalem, the city of the King.  It was either written for or by the sons of Korah.  My guess is that they wrote it.

Here is what they say about Jerusalem:

  1. Mount Zion is the highest spot in Jerusalem (v. 1)
  2. Yahweh loved it more than any other city (v. 2)
  3. People praise the city (v. 3)
  4. Rahab is Egypt, not the lady of the evening in Genesis  (v. 4, cf. Isa. 51:9; Ps. 89:10),
  5. The nations in the region, Rahab, aka Egypt; Babylon; Philistia, aka Phoenicia and her capital Tyre; and Ethiopia, aka southern Egypt, Sudan, and northern Ethiopia, will all convert and worship Yahweh in that time (v. 4)
  6. Many famous people will be born in Jerusalem (v. 4-5a, 6b) but the most famous inhabitant, the Messiah Himself, will protect and sustain the city (v. 5b)
  7. Rahab (v. 4a) literally means “tumult” and Babylon (v. 4a) means “confusion” but all tumult and confusion will end when Christ is established as King in the Millennium (v. 6)
  8. There will be a lot of music celebrating the Lord’s reign.

Are you looking forward to Jesus Christ reigning in Jerusalem?  It may be only seven years away, right after the Seven Year Tribulation, if the Rapture were to occur today.

Proverbs 13:11   Appreciating Wealth

Wealth should not be squandered, it is more a thing to be pondered.

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If you cheat or steal to obtain riches, you really won’t appreciate them (v. 11a).  You’ll waste them away.

If you work for what you have and save to obtain it, you’ll appreciate it and respect it much more (v. 11b).

Choose Life: Scripture:   Luke  19:10  NASB    “The Sought And Found”

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”   Luke 19:10

This verse is the key to understanding the entire book of Luke.  Luke was a physician, possibly the only Gentile to write a book of the Bible.  He was a protege of the Apostle Paul.  He was writing to show Jesus as the God-man and show His humanity.  It was necessary for a representative of mankind to die for our sins.  But that representative also had to be Deity to be a perfect sacrifice to satisfy God.  The term “Son of Man” harkens back the Old Testament (cf. Dan. 7:13) as a designation for God.

Also, notice that the “Son of Man” came to look for and find the lost to save them (re-read Luke 15).

Can you thank God for finding you and saving you today?

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

Fun Application:   

If you have already trusted Christ, can you look back on your life and note times when you knew God was seeking you out?  Check out the poem Hound of Heaven for example of God coming to find us.

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:   Kvetching

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