Day 67 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Joshua and the Psalms.
Joshua 9 – Now even nations that had been enemies of one another form a common alliance against God’s approaching storm of divine destruction. One of those nations, however, is spared through its act of deception as well as through Israel’s failure to consult and do the Lord’s will. Although Joshua soon learned that the leaders of Gibeon had acted deceitfully, he nevertheless let them live, but he made them servants, doing menial work as woodcutters and water-carriers.
God actually satisfies His purposes through this situation, as making the Gibeonites servants in His land fulfills Noah’s curse on Canaan to be the slave of Shem (Genesis 9:26). Even through deception (first Rahab, now the Gibeonites), God is fulfilling His purposes.
Indeed, the sporadic inclusion of Gentiles such as Rahab or the Gibeonites in the people of God is not an anomaly; it is built into the very heart of the story of redemption that traces through the whole Bible.
Why is this such good news for all believers? Hint: Romans 15:4–13.
Joshua 10 – 12 – It was a direct and miraculous triumph, as the enemies fled before God’s army. The sources of military victory—mighty hailstones hurled down by God, and the sun standing still—underscore the point that this is a victory from heaven. It is the Lord, once more, who has fought for Israel. It is not the result of Israel’s greater wit or strength.
First in the conquest of southern Canaan (10:29–43) and then also in the north (11:1–23), the now-familiar formula is repeated frequently: “And the Lord gave it also and its king into the hand of Israel.” One by one the cities fall, as God delivers them into Israel’s hands and Israel takes possession.
Again, however, among the triumphant anthems of God’s victory there are the broken notes of Israel’s incomplete obedience, marked by the qualifications “But none” (11:13), “except” (11:19), and “only” (11:22). These notes highlight the point that we sin as much by omission as by commission—not only by what we have done but by what we have left undone.
Joshua’s story of conquest is real history, just as it will be when Jesus returns (Ephesians 1:15–23; Revelation 5:9–10; 19:11–21; 20:7–10). Yet we are sobered in reading these accounts of the conquest of Canaan; the careful reader unavoidably observes the unfailing provision and faithfulness of God in stark contrast to the fickle faith and wavering obedience of Israel.
In Christ, the true and final Israel, all this is fulfilled. In Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, God’s justice and holiness are fully upheld, a faithful Israelite fulfills the covenant obligations, and guilt is punished with death. And God’s people, looking to God to fight on their behalf, emerge freely and fully exonerated.
How do you see the waywardness in your own life, and how does this point you all the more towards your daily need for Jesus?
Psalm 67 – God’s blessings are intended to create people with an outward-oriented, missional impulse (Genesis 12:1–3). Attaching a purpose (verse 2) to the traditional Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22–27) forms a prayer for evangelistic success to the ends of the earth.
There are three parts to this news that make it good for all the peoples of the earth. The first is that God makes himself known (Acts 17:27). In contrast to false gods, whose ways are fickle and whose wills are difficult to discern, God shines his grace into the world (Isaiah 44:9–20).
How do we see this light ultimately shone perfectly in Jesus? Hint: John 8:12.
The second reason the news of the gospel is good is that the Lord is an utterly fair judge. The nations will be glad to live under His authority, because it saves (John 12:47). Unlike pagan rulers, God’s judges protected the weak and brought liberation to the downtrodden (Judges 2:16–19).
How do we see that this is “good news for all people” fulfilled in Jesus? Hint: Luke 2:10.
Finally, the third way we see this good news is God supplies the physical needs of all human beings (Acts 14:17). He provides “life and breath and everything”(Acts 17:25).
But all of this common grace has a redemptive purpose. Sinners must not presume on God’s patience, who “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). If they repent now, they will be “glad and sing for joy”; if they wait, they will be judged in “righteousness” and found wanting (Acts 17:31).
Jesus is the good news, how does this draw you to Him each day?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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