Sunday, February 5, 2023

A VERY FAT DICTATOR REMOVED

Today’s Reading: JUDGES 3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Tel Lachish National Park. According to the Bible, the Israelites captured and destroyed Lachish for joining the league against the Gibeonites (Joshua 10:31-33), but its territory was later assigned to the tribe of Judah (15:39) and became a part of the Kingdom of Israel.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Judges 3:9, 15a

When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother….But when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man…

 

Every year Israelite parents were to bring their children to Mt. Gerizim (Shechem) and show them the stone of witness on which was written the summary of the commandments which Moses, and Joshua after him, had given in his final words to the people of God (Joshua 24:27). We can be confident that Caleb’s nephew, Othniel, the first Judge, saw that stone, and then Ehud, the next Judge, also got the message written on that stone. Today’s reading gives a graphic account of Ehud plunging a dagger into the fat belly of King Eglon of Moab as a judgment on his wickedness (Joshua 3:15-23). In Israel, there was always a remnant of the people who were faithful to the God of their fathers, but they may have been silent, not taking a public stand for righteousness. When they did stand up, God stood up for them. Our reading today lets us know that there were, in total, 26 years of serving foreign rulers and 120 years of freedom and prosperity.

Thank God that the Spirit of God is still calling brave and godly leaders. Let us rally around and support them as they lead us in evangelism and in strong growth of God’s people, the Church.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

I join the Apostle Paul and ask You, Lord God, “May Israel be saved” (Romans 10:1). There is a modern remnant of those who seek to do Your will, and thousands of Israelis who believe in Jesus, Yeshua, as their Saviour and Lord. In these times when destruction looms over Israel, may the people cry out to You as they did in the times of Othniel and Ehud. In Yeshua’s Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve had the opportunity of spending much time in modern Israel. God’s purposes there are underway. Two former team members of Crossroads co-founded one of the churches in Jerusalem. Wayne and Ann Hilsden are in my prayers consistently. Their congregation, which they pastored for over 30 years, is strong (check it out here), as are many congregations in Israel.

Biblical names are common there, such as, Ehud Barak, former minister of Defense and a former Prime Minister of Israel.

I’ve entitled today’s reading after Eglon, King of Moab, who lived in a rebuilt Jericho, known as “The City of the Palms.” It’s a gruesome story, but that’s war. I’m interested in archaeology and Eglon’s palace has been found (here’s a link if interested – scroll down a ways until you see the sub-heading “Eglon’s Palace at Jericho”).

Also, I initiated the placing of a stone of witness at the Crossroads Centre in 1999. A link to a video of the stone’s dedication is here. I encourage the reading of the Scripture on its plaque (Jeremiah 6:16). May it serve God’s purpose as did the stone of witness in Joshua 24.

Yours in support of God’s leaders who serve God’s cause with boldness and wisdom,

David

Ruins of ancient Lachish at Tel Lachish National Park.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

JUDGING JUDGES

Today’s Reading: Judges 1 & 2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The Roman Cardo at Beit She’an National Park, Israel. Around 1100 BC, Canaanite Beit She’an was conquered by the Philistines, who used it as a base of operations for further penetrations into Israel proper (Judges 1:27). During a subsequent battle against the Jewish King Saul at nearby Mount Gilboa in 1004 BC, the Philistines prevailed. 1 Samuel 31 states that the victorious Philistines hung the body of King Saul on the walls of Beit She’an. Portions of these walls were excavated on Tel Beit She’an recently. King David was able to capture Beit Shea’an in a series of brilliant military campaigns that expelled the Philistines from the area, pushing them back to their coastal strongholds of Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath, Gaza, and Ashdod. During the Iron Age II period, the town became a part of the larger Israelite kingdom under the rule of the Biblical kings David and Solomon (1 Kings 4:12 refers to Beit She’an as a part of the district of Solomon).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Judges 2:10

When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.

 

This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. It should be a warning to us that our faith in God is only one generation away from near extinction. We must invest heavily in the supreme task of communicating the Word of God to future generations.

These two chapters are an overview of what is to come for Israel. Judges tells us of seven cycles of moral corruption from within and subjugation from without by the nations around them. After 40 years of victories under Joshua, Israel now suffers defeat after defeat, also deliverance after deliverance. The very last verse of Judges provides the answer to this inconsistency of serving the God of their fathers. Judges 21:25 tells us that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” At first glance it sounds good, but this is spiritual anarchy. This is a recipe for disaster. We must do what is right in God’s eyes according to His Word to us.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You’ve given me the desire to read Your Word daily so that I may know what is right in Your eyes. Again and again I pray for the grace to hear Your voice as I read, and then walk in the light that You provide for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! (as I pray this, I’m thinking of 1 John, chapter 1. Click here).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I confess that I felt somewhat discouraged in reading today’s chapters. So I thought, “I’ll turn to the next book in our readings, which is 1 Corinthians.” In chapter one there is much to encourage me, but I also read of divisions in the church. In chapter two, there was encouragement, but chapter three tells me that people are people. There was envy, strife, and they were behaving “like mere men.” God’s mercy and forgiveness was given over and over to Israel when they repented and cried out to Him. I’ve cried out to the Lord again and again since I first decided to follow Jesus 64 years ago as a 16-year-old. He’s forgiven me and restored me. I’ve done an overview of Judges, and I discovered that the people were living right before God most of the time. That gives me reason to be hopeful. Again, the first chapter of 1 John is my “go to” chapter for my life. Here it is again (click here), and then I’ve taken the time this morning to read 1 John chapter two (click here). I’m greatly encouraged now. Judges 2:22 gives the reason God placed Israel in the midst of the ungodly world. It was a test! I pray for grace to pass any test that comes my way. I can testify to the power of Christ, that while I may not be graded at 100%, I definitely am passing my exams, because of Jesus.

Yours for a passing grade, perhaps even honours (I study God’s notes – His Word – daily, and there I find the right answers),

David

Beit She’an theatre.

 

Friday, February 3, 2023

HORNETS, A STONE, AND BONES

Today’s Reading: Joshua 24

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Caption...

Ad Deir (Arabic for “The Monastery”) is a monumental building carved out of rock in the ancient city of Petra. Built by the Nabataeans in the 1st century, it measures 50 metres wide by approximately 45 metres high.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Joshua 24:15

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

Three points we might consider – First, human free will. There’s an old spiritual song taken from verse 12 – “God did not force them to go ‘gainst their will.’ He just made them willing to go.” The hornets caused them of their own free will to change their minds.

Second, the choice, again by free will, to serve the Lord. Surely the threat of judgment should’ve been as effective as the hornets. Joshua led by example in choosing to serve the Lord.

Third, the visual message of the stone of witness and the bones of Joseph which were brought from Egypt (Genesis 50:24-26). We may decide to have our own visual aids for our children and grandchildren. Our witness could be our personal testimony of faith written by the lawyer in the document known as our Last Will and Testament. It may be a beautiful wall hanging which they will treasure. There is great potential in using our imaginations here.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

[Personalize this prayer for your own family, as I have]

Lord God, grant that I may be very deliberate in planning my spiritual legacy for my 4 children, my 16 grandchildren and my 13 great-grandchildren. I ask for a gift of creativity so that I will communicate effectively for time and eternity. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I was just 12 when my mother died of cancer. She was only 50 years old. I have powerful memories of her. She cared for me and my two sisters, Willa Hodgins and Elaine Boudinot, while my Dad was away during the Second World War. She was loving and strict, a good combination. The last time I heard her speak out at a prayer meeting she quoted Joshua saying, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” That statement was true for our family. When she was about to take her last breath, I thought I heard her say my name. I went to her bedside, kissed her and said, “Mother, I’ll meet you in Heaven.” My Dad claimed I added the words, “I will, I will!” Perhaps it was my imagination but I thought I saw a smile beginning on her lips as she gave a last sigh and was gone to be in the immediate Presence of Jesus in Heaven. I have an unmovable stone of witness from my mother. In case you read my blog up there, Mother, I’ll see you soon!

Yours for an unmistakable witness to our faith,

David

Reynold inside the Ad Deir “Monastery” in Petra.

Caption...

The spectacular rock patterns in Petra are a feast for the eyes.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

JUST BETWEEN US

Today’s Reading: Joshua 22-23

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

caption...

Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) is one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. Like most of the other buildings there, this structure was carved out of the rock face. It has classical Greek-influenced architecture, and it is Jordan’s most popular tourist attraction. In our recent readings this area is known as Edom or Mt Seir.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Joshua 22:28

Therefore we said that it will be, when they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say, “Here is the replica of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, though not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between you and us.”

 

With the land settled and secured, Joshua saw that it was time to allow the armed men to return from the west bank of Jordan to their families and homes in the east. When they returned they took with them the blessings of God and the fruit of the Promised Land. Upon their arrival home, they built an altar as a witness to their children and future generations. However, their action was misinterpreted by the western tribes. They jumped to the conclusion that the eastern tribes were establishing a false religion.The tribes on the west bank were ready to go to war to stop such heresy. Wisdom prevailed and peace was restored.

We need to be aware of the serious problems that misunderstandings can cause. A premature or immature jumping to conclusions can cause divisions among God’s children which are completely emotional and irrational. We may want to read from the one-chapter book of Jude, verses 17-25. We are warned about those who cause divisions. Verse 20 of Jude states what we hope to accomplish by faithfully reading this blog: “building yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, as Jude 21 encourages me, may I keep myself in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Petra is an exceedingly strong fortress. It was next to impossible for an enemy to conquer that city. My security in Christ makes it absolutely impossible that I could be conquered by an enemy unless I allow him access through the narrow “siq” of my free will (The siq is the entrance to Petra shown in yesterday’s blog. One excellent swordsman with the support of boulders from above could stop an entire army). The Doxology of Jude (verses 24 & 25) have for years been my impregnable fortress. God my Saviour keeps me by His mighty unbeatable power. He is wise, glorious, and majestic. He has dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen!!!

For approximately five years after I became a fully committed follower of Jesus, I struggled to live a Christian life. I was 21 when I grasped the fact that it was not up to me to keep from falling, but that God is totally committed to “keep you from stumbling” (Jude verse 24). I’ve relaxed in His strong arms ever since.

Yours for understanding all of God’s provisions for His children,

David

caption...

There are many signs of the ancient Nabataean civilization that once existed here in Petra.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The COHEN FAMILY

Today’s Reading: Joshua 21

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Petra is one of the Ancient Wonders of the World and is without a doubt Jordan’s greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2,000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge over one km in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80 metre high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the reddish rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (Treasury). In ancient times, this was in the area of Edom, mentioned several times in our recent blog readings. Edomites were descendents of Esau, who was the brother of Jacob (Israel).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Joshua 21:45

Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

 

When we come across the Jewish name “Cohen,” we know they are from the line of Kohath, who was the second son of Levi (Joshua 21:20). They are hereditary priests. Moses and Joshua did not give the priests land like the other tribes in order to ensure the distribution of God’s priestly representatives throughout the land in an evenly placed manner. This may have served to retard Israel’s embrace of pagan cultures.

God’s Word will not fail. It may take time, but be assured of eventual fulfillment. Israel failed, not God’s Word. When God promised victory, they ran away in defeat. When God promised prosperity, they broke His rules so that God could not bless them as He wanted to. When God promised to be their leader, they begged for a king like the surrounding nations. When God promised to protect them from their enemies, they made their own unsuccessful battle plans. Are we as foolish as they were? Let us remind ourselves daily that God is totally committed to the fulfillment of all His good promises. Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m well aware that there are promises of judgment as well as blessing. Help me to key in on the blessing promises, obeying You in everything that applies to me as a follower of Jesus. I promise to do this, “So help me God.” Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Our photographer, my son Rev. David Reynold Mainse, and his wife Kathy are missionaries based in Gulu, Uganda, Africa. Gulu is a city with 150,000 children under the age of 15. In the 80’s and 90’s, many of these children’s parents had been abducted by the rebel group known as The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). They were forced to be child soldiers, and the girls were also used as sex slaves to be raped again and again. I can’t imagine the horror of this, and now Reynold and Kathy have become part of the healing process. Reynold and Kathy have brought together denominational and tribal leaders in unity of purpose, many for the first time ever coming together like this. They have a vision for an outreach to the children and youth called “The Gulu Community Park,” as there are no facilities capable of ministering to thousands of teens and children every day.  Click here for information on what they are up to. Or if you’d like to contact Reynold directly, his email address is reynold@worldembrace.org.

Standing with you on God’s promises of blessing,

David

P.S. I’ll be sharing several of Reynold’s stunning Petra photos over the next few days!

Reynold walking through Petra’s dim, narrow gorge, which winds its way approximately 1.2 km and ends at Petra’s most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (The Treasury). Reynold is a one-man crew, so he must have his camera on the tripod functioning automatically. Some believe that Petra is the fortress where God will hide and protect the remnant during the apocalypse.

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Today’s Reading: Joshua 19-20

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

These are the ancient walls of the main city of the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:40-48), located in northern Israel near the base of Mount Hermon and the source of the Jordan River. When Lot had been taken captive, Abraham and 318 of his servants pursued him as far as the city of Dan (Gen. 14:14). The Canaanite city of Laish had existed on this site over 5,000 years ago. Joshua had led his troops through this area, and sometime after Israel captured this city, the name was changed to Dan. It became the northernmost city in the nation of Israel.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Joshua 19:49 & 20:4

When they had made an end of dividing the land as an inheritance according to their borders, the children of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun…When he flees to one of those cities…and declares his case…they shall take him into the city as one of them, and give him a place…

 

Two facts stand out to me from our reading. First, Joshua put others first and did not ask anything for himself. The general agreement of the people resulted in Joshua’s inheritance. Our Joshua, Yeshua (Jesus), has put us first. We could ask ourselves the question, What is His portion? Imagine the joy Joshua felt when the people came together after the distribution of land was settled, and the people honoured him. We read of our Yeshua, “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). He put us first. How can we do less than put Him first?

Second, when the avenger was chasing the one who accidentally had killed someone, the one being chased could flee to a safe city. When the accuser (Satan) or anyone else is out to deliberately do us harm, we flee into the refuge of the strong arms of Jesus and we are safe. Read Hebrews 6:17-20 and flee for refuge.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You’ve provided for my life now and, in the age to come, eternal life. You put me first before Your own rights as God’s Son. I can do no less than determine to put You first at all times and places. You’ve also given Yourself to me as a refuge into which I run in times of trouble. I ask for grace to give myself to You 24/7, holding nothing back. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Back in 1992, when we were about to open our new state-of-the-art, 143,000 square foot television production centre, a reporter interviewed me and wrote in his prominent magazine approximately the following: “David Mainse is hanging on to his sanity by his fingernails” (not true – I was standing on “The Rock of Ages” and He was holding me. At least this secular reporter admitted that I had sanity! Ha!). The costs had gone far above original estimates, and then there were commitments to our pavilion at World Expo ’92 in Spain, where we had built and were operating a Christian pavilion which was bringing thousands to Christ. We were in trouble, humanly speaking. Many, many prayed for Crossroads and for me, and thousands gave sacrificially, but I want to single out two that come to mind just now. Dave Toycen, President of World Vision Canada, came to see me and prayed personally and fervently for me. Brian Stiller, at that time President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, also came to my aid. They helped me flee into the refuge of God’s love and grace. Brian declared with certainty, “The people of Canada won’t let you down!” He then offered to travel with me across Canada to meet hundreds of Pastors in various cities. Many Pastors, as a result, voiced their conviction that Crossroads/100 Huntley Street was essential to our country and prayed for us in their church services. Offerings flowed in. The crisis was resolved. Needs were met. God and His people are my City of Refuge. Thank You to all who opened the gates of a City of Refuge, caring for Crossroads and for me at a time of crisis.

Yours for opening the gates of our hearts to those who are running our way for refuge,

David

Monday, January 30, 2023

POSSESS THE LAND

Today’s Reading: Joshua 18

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

At Timna Park, 20 miles (32 km) north of Eilat in the Arabah, a life-sized replica of the biblical Tabernacle has been constructed. While no original materials (e.g., gold, silver, bronze) have been used, the model is accurate in every other way based upon the biblical description.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses – Joshua 18:1, 3

The whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there…Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?”

 

Just imagine the excitement in the air as all the tribes came together. Think about thousands of animated conversations. Perhaps some said, “If only our parents were here to see this, but they refused to believe that this could happen. They refused to follow the leadership of Moses, Joshua and Caleb. We could’ve been born here in the Promised Land, instead of in the wilderness. Instead of just getting our borders settled, we would’ve been well established for 45 years already. Here we are, gathered around the Tabernacle as we did when we were children on the other side of the Jordan. But listen, Joshua is going to bring us a message from God. It sounds the same as we remember Moses saying to us before we crossed the Jordan. What’s wrong with us? Can we not learn to obey God fully?”

We may want to read, Hebrews 2:1-4 where the word “neglect” shows up again relating to our salvation. Also, “let us not neglect” is found in Hebrews 10:23-25. To neglect the ministry which happens when we assemble together is to court spiritual decline and to miss the essential message God wants us to hear from those He has called into leadership.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, God of our fathers, I believe that I need to possess all that You have given me. Grant me the grace, the determination to go forward, not stopping short of all You have for me. Give me a greater fervency of spirit, because I know that You respond directly in proportion to the level of my fervency. In Jesus’ strong Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Thank you to all who read God’s Word with me each day. I have a question for you. Do you know anyone who started well on January 1st in a one year through-the-Bible reading program, but may have already missed some days, or has reverted to opening their Bible anywhere to read in a hit-and-miss fashion? Ask around amongst your friends. You may be surprised at the numbers to whom this happens. Let’s try to do this in a non-judgmental way. Now….I have a suggestion. Invite those who have struggled with the one year commitment to check out 100words.ca and see the difference it makes when the readings are shorter (more time for meditation and prayer) and when we move back and forth between the New and the Old Testaments over 730 days. The two-year program works! Crossroads has proven this in magazines and books since the 1970s and now in this daily blog. Readers could join us today and in 104 weeks complete God’s Book with joy, much fresh understanding, and growth in spiritual maturity!

Yours for God’s work in us to continue without neglect,

David

Sunday, January 29, 2023

SETTLERS

Today’s Reading: Joshua 16-17

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Just east of Jericho, beside the Jordan River, is a church that commemorates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. This is also the area where the Children of Israel crossed into the Promised Land.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Joshua 17:13

And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.

 

In the worship of their gods, the Canaanites followed evil practices such as killing their children and offering them as sacrifices. In their temples, as an act of worship, they committed fornication, adultery, pedophilia, and various perverted sexual acts. God knew, as history will prove to us over our readings of the next seven books, that such corruption would soon influence His people. The “forced labour” would soon become “spiritual and moral saboteurs!”

We may want to ask ourselves, “How are we being influenced by the culture in which we live?” Do we tolerate more easily practices that violate God’s laws for sexual behaviour? Does pedophilia produce a revulsion as it once did? Are we as horrified as we once were at the slaughter of the innocent little lives in abortion? Should these precious lives not have the protection of the state? Is there a general decline in personal and public moral standards? If we answer is “Yes,” then we are following the path of Israel. The stories of the moral decline of Israel every three or four generations should be a dire warning to us. Jesus repeated the words twice, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I repent for willingly tolerating moral rot in my generation. You are the Judge in the final analysis, and I must “hold the truth in love.” However, I pray that I will, by Your grace, hold Your standard for human behaviour high, loving people unconditionally, and hating the sin that Your Word declares will ultimately destroy the people You and I love! I weep as I pray for my 13 great-grandchildren in the face of the destruction of the values which sustained my parents in wars, financial collapse, and in family life. God, please help us to be loving and strong in our convictions on right and wrong. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In some of the recent pictures my son David Reynold has taken for us, they show layer upon layer of City Centres which have been built and destroyed by wars. Of course the rebuilding did not occur until they had repented of taking on the sinful practices of the people around them. Someone said, “The one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.” I believe that in my own life I can prove that statement wrong. When I took a strong stand in support of the word “marriage” to be for man/woman unions only, the Lord clearly said to me, “David, don’t speak out on this issue unless you have the same attitude Abraham had toward Sodom.” Abraham prayed fervently for their protection. He risked his life for them in war. He introduced them to the King of Righteousness, Melchizedek, a man who represented God (Genesis 14). I cried out to God for Abraham’s attitude, and I believe I received this grace. It was a losing cause, but the struggle for God’s standards will not end until God says, “The End.”

Yours for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven,

David

Saturday, January 28, 2023

SPRINGS OF LIVING WATER

Today’s Reading: Joshua 15

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Here is David Reynold examining the Bell Cave at Beit Guvrin with its beige-coloured limestone walls. There are about 800 bell-shaped caves located in the area. Many of these caves are linked via an underground network of passageways that connect groups of 40-50 caves. The town of Beit Guvrin replaced the city of Maresha, one of the Judean cities mentioned in the Bible as a city fortified by Rehoboam (Joshua 15:44 and 2 Chronicles 11:5-8).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Joshua 15:19

She answered, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

 

Joshua 15:16-19 is repeated in Judges 1:12-15. This is evidence of good history. Othniel and Achsah, husband and wife, were first cousins. This arrangement is not uncommon in modern times amongst the indigenous people of the middle east. What was uncommon in ancient times is that a woman would own property. Men of God, such as Caleb, have always recognized women’s rights. In Jesus’ time, women were not allowed to be witnesses in court. Yet, the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus was Mary Magdalene, God’s choice as a witness in the court of human history.

There is an archaeological excavation 13 km southwest of Hebron. There they found two spring-fed chambers, upper and lower, each chamber tapped by a well. The experts believe this is Debir, mentioned in our reading. This is desert land and Achsah needed the blessing of these springs. God has promised to supply our needs. Ask! (Philippians 4:19). Jesus cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink” (John 7:37-39).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m asking You for a blessing. Caleb was an example of Your generous heart. I praise You for Your gift of the wells of Salvation. Please give me grace to drink deeply of the Springs You provide. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! (for worship today, we may want to read several times Isaiah 12).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Today’s reading and our key verse cause me to think of the woman at the well. Jesus gave her “living water” (full story in John 4:1-42). I’m expecting the blessing of Isaiah 55 (for the entire chapter click here). I want the blessing of God’s thoughts. How can this be? Want to get wet? Isaiah says to go out in the rain. He’s giving a picture of soaking in God’s thoughts, which are expressed in God’s Words. Because I’m soaking every day in God’s Words as I do this blog, I’m confident that I’m thinking God’s thoughts after Him. The result is that God’s purposes are being accomplished and as Isaiah 55:12 tells me, I “shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing.” This is a great blessing!

Yours for being greatly blessed,

David

Another view inside the Bell Cave at Beit Guvrin.

 

Friday, January 27, 2023

YOUNG AT HEART

Today’s Reading: Joshua 13-14

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Mt. Nebo is a 1,000 m (3,300 ft) high mountain located in Jordan, opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea. According to Scripture, this is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he died (see Deuteronomy 34:1-6).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: Joshua 13:1

Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed…”

 

We know from our reading that Joshua’s spy partner, Caleb, was now 85. Joshua may have been older, perhaps 90. While in their 40’s, they had brought back a good report to Moses about Israel’s ability to move right away into the Promised Land. The great majority of the people did not believe them, and so they languished in the wilderness for almost 40 years more. But now, here they are setting boundaries for the land possessed by each tribe. It’s been said by farmers for centuries, “A good fence makes good neighbours.”

Caleb, at 85, speaks a classic line to his leader, Joshua: “Give me this mountain” (14:12). He is still not afraid to move forward in confidence. He still has a positive outlook on life, its challenges and opportunities. How could this be at his age? The answer is in these words (14:14b): “He wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.” The ancestors of Goliath were on that mountain. Taking over this land was no easy task. As Winston Churchill, already an old man when he took on Hitler, said, “Never, never, never give up!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, when I read the story of Caleb or think of Britain’s WW2 leader, Churchill, I feel empowered to go forward. I need You, Lord. Dear Jesus, You won the greatest victory by far through Your Cross. You finished the work You were called to do. I purpose in my heart to never give up. I expect You to be with me as You promised. In Your Name, Jesus, I pray, Amen! (click here for Matthew 28:16-20).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Joshua agreed to Caleb’s vision for the future. I believe that my Joshua (“Yeshua” in Hebrew and “Jesus” in Greek) has responded to my desire to stay busy for Him. This is why, since my official retirement, I’ve produced and hosted two TV series, which continue to be released on air on YES TV across Canada. The first was Really Good Medicine and the second, A Living Witness to Amazing GRACE. I have no intention of giving in to self pity or a defeatist attitude. With Jesus living within, how could it be otherwise? And then my wife, Norma-Jean, absolutely refuses to tolerate any negative talk when I remind her that I’m 80. I just searched for encouragement in 100huntley.com and came up with my son, Ron, and his “Encouragement for Seniors” video (click here).

Yours for moving forward boldly in this life and then on into eternity with confidence in Christ!

David

The western view from the top of Mt. Nebo toward the Promise Land. Moses’ final view before he died. Joshua led Israel from this point into the Promise Land.