FORGOTTEN PURPOSE! As you read Hebrews chapter eleven you thrill at the history of those people of faith in the first thirty one verses but when you realize at that point in the history of the nation a sad time had arrived for the nation. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 ASV). Though the faith chapter of Hebrews continues, and though we realize that down through history, there was a shortage of real people of faith, Judges 21:25 displays the stark reality of how people can go from “walking in the garden with God” to “hell on earth.” In America, where we have so much individual freedom, we often resemble the nation o


SAMSON! That name brings different visions to different people. Books have been written about him. Movies have been made about Samson and Delilah. Samson was a long haired strong man able to kill a thousand enemies with the jawbone of an “ass” and yet he had a moral weakness that would eventually lead to his death. Samson was a special child born to special people with a special purpose in life yet he was a person who failed to follow his parents’ advice or God’s directed moral code for his life. Sunday school kids have thrilled at stories about his strength but yet often have missed the real lessons of his life. You can read all about his life in Judges chapters 13-16 and draw your own con


HERITAGE VS RELATIONSHIP! Your parents or grandparents knowing God will not get you into heaven. “And the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Jehovah that he had wrought for Israel. (Judges 2:7 ASV) If people in your family know God that is a great thing. In fact your family history may be replete with great Christian people. But their relationship with God cannot accrue to you or be given to you as an inheritance noted on a piece of paper or by word of mouth. You must develop that relationship yourself. The danger is that a new generation of people in a family with a Christian history may miss


WHO WILL YOU SERVE? As Joshua prepared to die he gathered the leaders of all the tribes of Israel together, reviewed their history as a people under Jehovah God, and then told them to make a choice about who they and the people they represented would serve in the future. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah” (Joshua 24:15 ASV). Joshua was willing to take a stand for God even if he stood alone. But his testimony about where he stood and how he lived produced far


FAITHFUL MENTORS PRODUCE FAITHFUL RESULTS! “As Jehovah commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua: and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that Jehovah commanded Moses” (Joshua 11:15 ASV). Moses mentored Joshua, who was forty years younger than him, for forty years. Together they led these millions of Jews and other ragtag people through the desert areas for forty years. Together they fought battles of war, fatigue, complaining crowds, and adherence to God who demanded strict obedience to His Word. Joshua traveled with Moses day and night observing his life and obedience to God. And yes he saw the best of Moses and the worse of Moses. But in the end God, on Moses’ deat


THE SUN STOOD STILL! The bible is full of recorded miracles. From Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (NIV) until the end of the book of Revelation miracles are on display. Christians believe in a miracle working God and if you believe the first verse of the bible and if you believe 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (NIV) then you will have no problem in believing all the miracles of the bible. The problem with critics of the miracles recorded in the bible is their faith in God is non-existent or their faith in all the Word of God is non-existent or for many they be


IS GOD SERIOUS ABOUT SIN? Some people think that God winks at sin or that sin doesn’t really apply to them or that God doesn’t mean what He says about sin and the results of sin. Others seem to think that their sinful actions will go unnoticed and after all they are not hurting anyone. Joshua 7:1 reveals such a man named Achan, who coveted certain items during the battle for Jericho, took them, and hid them in his tent so others would not know that he had violated God’s express instructions concerning these things. But sin does have results and sin often affects others even though they do not actually participate in the sin. Such was the case of Achan’s sin and the others in the nation of Is


Everyone seems to know the story of the battle of Jericho. Songs have been written about it and many movies have featured it. CD’s, DVD’s, coloring books, and Sunday School materials galore have featured it. Archeologists still study the site in Israel today. And it is an important city and event for what happened there as Joshua led the Israelite nation across the Jordan and into the destruction of the city. And you know the events and the story of Rahab and the two spies which resulted in Rahab’s entire family being saved from certain death. The book of Hebrews explained how Rahab escaped, “By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that were disobedient, having received the spies wi


NOT A BOAT IN SIGHT! A flooded river was before them and enemies that would fight them to the death were waiting on the other side of the river. The only Leader they had since leaving Egypt was dead on Mount Nebo and the new Leader was organizing the people to cross this flooded river. And there was not a boat in sight. “And Jehovah said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, ye shall stand still in the Jordan. And it shall come to pass, when the so


BE SUCCESSFUL! Joshua was now the leader of a nation of people who had been following the great man Moses for forty years. But now Moses was dead and Joshua was eighty years old and quite different from Moses. I am sure Joshua wanted to hear great things from God like maybe God’s battle plan. But God’s message was quite different. His message was, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous an


GOD IS WITH US! It was a long road and hundreds of years from the last verse of the book of Genesis to the first verse in the book of Joshua. Significant events, the lives of millions of people, and the ever present protection of God fill the pages of those first five books of the bible. Suffering and deliverance, slavery and freedom, trust and disobedience, are familiar themes as a family turns into a nation and heads for its promised homeland. Food fell from heaven and water flowed from a rock. Grumbling and complaining grew loud even as God’s presence showed them the path to take day and night that led to the Promised Land. After the older generation died in the desert because of their si


EVERYBODY LIKES JOSEPH! Joseph is probably one of the most written about characters in the bible. There is a lot to write about Joseph and his life in the book of Genesis. Many have written about him being a “type” of Jesus Christ. Others have written about all his character traits that we should emulate in our own lives. You could fill the shelves in a large bookcase with all the books written about him and bible commentaries are filled with articles on his life. And I will not endeavor to add to all that has been written or the videos or CD’s or DVD’s that have been produced on his life. I am sure all those things have been produced much better than I ever could. But I would encourage you


THE FAVORITE CHILD! Have you ever thought about who was/is the favorite child in your family? If you are an “only child” I certainly hope you were/are the favorite of your parents. My wife is an “only child”. There were seven of us children in my family and fortunately for our parents we were spread out enough that all seven of us didn’t live at home at the same time. And I never really thought about who was the favorite child until I was an adult and someone asked me that question. As I thought about it I realized that my Mom had her favorite child and my Dad had his favorite child. I didn’t qualify in either category but that has never bothered me. I probably wouldn’t have chosen me either


MORE THAN AN OBITUARY! Someone summarized Jacob’s life this way, “He is the son of Isaac and Rebecca, the grandson of Abraham, Sarah and Bethuel, the nephew of Ishmael, and the younger twin brother of Esau. Jacob had twelve sons and at least one daughter, by his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and by their handmaidens Bilhah and Zilpah (Wikipedia). As you read this you could be reading Jacob’s obituary but you would miss the real importance of his life and how he and his descendants impacted human history. God chose Jacob as the one through whom the Abrahamic covenant would continue and the family line through which the Messiah of Israel would eventually come and provide salvation for all manki


REAL LIFE VS HOLLYWOOD! The book of Genesis is filled with the names of people whose individual lifespan covered a hundred or more years. Such a person is Isaac whom the book of Genesis features in detail from the record of his birth in Genesis 21:1 until his death in Genesis 35:29. Isaac was a prominent man in history who lived 180 years and was the human channel, as Abraham’s son, to be chosen by God to carry on the legacy and promises God had given to Abraham. These promises were so rich they would bless the entire human race. The biblical account of Isaac from his amazing birth to the very end of his life reads like a script for a Hollywood movie. His life, and the people who are part of


SEARCH AND YOU SHALL FIND! Abraham’s wife Sarah died at the age of 127 and Isaac their son was now in his mid-thirties and still unmarried. (It would be great if you took the time to read Genesis 24 at this point.) So as was the custom of that day Isaac’s father began the process of arranging a marriage for his son but Isaac had to have a proper wife; not one taken from among the Canaanites (Genesis 24:3).Abraham chose the senior servant in his household to carry out this task and had him swear to faithfully carry out his assignment (Genesis 24:3-4). In this biblical account of how God provided for a wife to the heir of Abrahams’s blessings there are several important biblical principles we


MAJOR TESTS USUALLY COME UNEXPECTEDLY! Life is going good and we are blessed. Then something happens that we weren’t expecting. Something major; something that could be life changing occurs. So it was with biblical Abraham. He was a wealthy man. God also had given him the blessing of a son in his old age and life seemed very good. Then God decided to put Abraham to a test, a major test of faith. “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah, Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’” (Genesis 22:1-2 NIV). I don’t know how yo


HEADLINE! WOMAN AGE 90 BECAME PREGNANT AND GAVE BIRTH! Even the thought of this caused some to laugh, “Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’” (Genesis 17:17 NIV). “So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” (Genesis 18:12 NIV). Sometimes people have a tendency to laugh at God’s promises because they seem impossible. For God to promise Abraham and Sarah the birth of a son when Abraham was age 100 and Sarah was age 90 seemed a promise impossible to fulfill. But God’s reply put things in perspective, “Then th


PROSPERITY AND CONFLICT! Sometimes God blesses us so much that we don’t handle it properly and conflict arises within the family. Such was the case with Abraham and Lot. “Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s” (Genesis 13:5-7a NIV). To settle the quarreling and reach peace for the present and the future Abraham offered to let Lot choose the area where he, his family and possessions would live. “Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan tow


TIME TRAVEL, OBEDIENCE & BLESSING! From the words of Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” until Genesis 12:1 a lot of time has passed in the history of the human race. How much time will be debated until the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom. But now the bible brings its focus from mankind in general to one historical figure who will be used to change the course of human history. God chose this man, directed his life, and gave him a promise that still affects the world today. “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I wil

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