Observations: Joshua 15-20 is all about distribution of the Promised Land. In chapter 20 it speaks of setting aside several refuge cities where the innocent could flea to for their lives. That seems very different from the intended purpose of refuge cities here in the United States. 1 Corinthians 8 speaks of how to handle food offered to idols. In Paul’s time, you could get food that had been sacrificed to idols quite cheaply, and since idols are not really gods, it was okay for the Christian to buy it as long as they understood what they were doing. However, if anything they did, caused a weaker Christian to fall, it was the wrong thing to do.
Scripture: “Or is only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living. Who serves as a soldier t his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?” 1 Corinthians 9:6-7
Application: Paul was a tentmaker by trade before he became an apostle. He was also a Pharisee, but everyone was raised with a trade back then. When Paul went out to spread the good news, he worked, and paid his own way. About 15 years ago, I had a pastor tell me I would have to give up my fulltime job to be a pastor. I struggled with that because I knew my household depended upon my income. I was willing to give it up, but then God made it clear to me that I would always be a tentmaker. I realize now why. The churches I have been a part of really couldn’t afford to pay me a living wage, and I am perfectly content with that. It allows me to help others along the journey. Don’t put stereotype concepts on people. I now know MANY pastors who have no choice but to work a second, and sometimes third job. When we work for God, he will give us the strength and the endurance to do what needs to be done.
Prayer: Lord, I am praying today for all the pastors out there who must work bi-vocationally, and right now are suffering job loss because of this pandemic. Provide for their needs dear Lord. Don’t allow them to stress over house payments and food for their tables. Give them rest so they can dig deeper into your word and spend this time building a closer relationship with you. Amen
Next Reading: Joshua 21-22; Psalm 47; 1 Corinthians 10
Observations: In Joshua 14-16, the Promised land was divided amongst the clans. Corinthians 7 is primarily about marriage. Marriage was not a bad thing, but should be one woman with one man. If you are able to stay unmarried, for the purpose of serving the Lord, it is a good thing, but it is better to marry than to be subject to fornication or lust.
Scripture: “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart…And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God. And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old…Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance…because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 14:6b-7; 8b-10; 13; 14b
Application: When I read this Scripture I couldn’t help but think of how long some people pray before their loved ones accept Christ, or there is a healing, or something else being prayed for. This Scripture tells me that if we are obedient, time means nothing because God wishes to bless us, and will fulfil any promise he has made to us. I prayed for 13 years for my special blessing and was shocked to receive it, but extremely blessed. Never give up!
Prayer: Lord God, please give us the courage and the patience to wait on you and not go off in our own direction. We pray that you will direct our paths as we know you are not slow in keeping promises. Thank you for our many blessings. Amen
Next Reading: Joshua 15-17; 1 Corinthians 8