Up, up and away….

6 05 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN : Joshua 13 v. 1 – 14 v. 15; Luke 24 v. 36 – 53; Psalm 52 v. 1 – 9

JOSHUA
Land Still to be Taken – time is running out for Joshua; he is becoming ‘very old’, and God points out all the land that is still to be taken over. The borders and boundaries are very precise, covering the five Philistine rulers (Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron) and beyond.
God promises to drive out the inhabitants of these regions, and it will be Joshua’s task to allocate the land, dividing it up.

Division of the Land (east) – there’s a reminder of all the land which has already been given to the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh, all to the east of the Jordan, during the time Moses was still with them. The land is further sub-divided, clan by clan.
It is noted that only the people of Geshur and Maacah were not driven out, and therefore continued to live amongst the Israelites.
The Levites were not given any land, since the offerings from the people formed their inheritance.

Just noted that Balaam (he with the talking donkey), is named as having been put to death for his practise of divination….whatever happened to the donkey ?

Also, the Sea of Kinnereth is mentioned as a border for the land assigned to the Gadites, that sea being the beautiful Galilee.

Division of the Land (west) – the land is allocated by Eleazor, the priest, Joshua and all the heads of the tribal clans. The process involved taking lots for the nine and a half tribes remaining to the west of the Jordan. The Levites are mentioned again, just for having a plot of land for their flocks and herds to graze.

Hebron Given to Caleb – the men of Judah approach Joshua, and Caleb speaks with him. There’s a reminder of Caleb’s faithfulness, when as a spy, he stood against the report which others brought…
‘I brought Moses back a report  according to my convictions…I followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’
As a result, Moses had promised Caleb ‘the land on which your feet have walked’.
Caleb is now eighty-five years old (forty-five years since that spying task) and one of the only original wilderness walkers left to enter the promised land.
Joshua honours the pledge Moses had made, and gave the land of Hebron as Caleb’s inheritance. Caleb is blessed by Joshua.

Then the land had rest from war.
Hallelujah!

LUKE
Jesus Appears to His Disciples – so, according to Luke, still on that same first night, as they are talking, the risen Lord Jesus appears to the disciples. His first words….‘Peace be with you.’
They are startled, afraid, and think He’s a ghost. Jesus challenges them to stop doubting and believe. He invites them to touch His wounds, to feel that His body is real, not ghostly.
‘While they still not believe it because of joy and amazement (too good to be true!!)‘, Jesus shows them that this resurrection body can eat, and so asks for some food, and eats the fish they give Him.
Jesus reminds them of all He had taught them, including the predictions of His own death and resurrection – from the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.
He shows them that now a gospel of repentance and forgiveness is to be preached in Jesus’ name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem, and that they are the primary witnesses.
Jesus will send them what the Father has promised (the Spirit), so they are to remain there in the city, ‘until you have been clothed with power from on high’.

I love the sense of the commissioning the disciples to be His witnesses in the world, and to spread the gospel of repentance and forgiveness, but the mission will not begin until they have been empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit….so to, we need to ‘wait’ for the empowering of the Holy Spirit, to achieve all that God has commissioned us to do for Him.
 

The Ascension – Luke’s gospel (part one of his story, which continues with the Acts of the Apostles) concludes with Jesus taking the disciples out towards Bethany, where He blesses them, and is ‘taken up into heaven’.
They worship their Lord, and return joyfully to Jerusalem – they are already persuaded and their whole nature has changed. They are to be seen continually in the temple, praising God.

PSALM – this short psalm is credited to David, when Doeg the Edomite told Saul, who was after David, where he may be found – Ahimelech’s house.   
‘Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?…
Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharpened razor…
You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.

God will bring you down to everlasting ruin…he will uproot you from the land of the living…

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God….
I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
I will praise You forever for what you have done…’

I just had a vision of those trees placed in Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding, ‘like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God’….

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One response

6 05 2011
Jenny Berrill

Phil you must move on from that donkey!

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