Sunday, February 1, 2015

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:

Norma-Jean and I are going, God willing, to the land we’ve been reading about here in the book of Joshua. Our son Ron and his wife Ann are the leaders. It seems that my wife and I can’t stay away from His Land!!! At the end of the journey in the footsteps of Jesus, there is a great conference in the new 10,000 seat arena in Jerusalem. I’ve been asked by the organizers of the event to represent Crossroads in receiving a citation for the part Crossroads has played in reaching the world for Christ. That honour belongs not to me but to all of our partners who made it happen through prayer, regular financial support and hard work. PLEASE JOIN US!! Click here for information. I would love to spend two weeks getting to know you who participate in my 100words.ca blog. Please come to Jerusalem if at all possible. It may be the best investment ever for time and eternity!!!

Yours for trusting God and obeying God,

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.

 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

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

P.S. Here are pictures of the Crossroads Centre and “La Pabellon de la Promessa” in Spain.

The front of the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario.

The front of the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario.

The "Pebellion de la Promesa" (Pavilion of Promise) at Expo '92 in Seville Spain.

The “Pebellion de la Promesa” (Pavilion of Promise) at Expo ’92 in Seville Spain.

Friday, January 30, 2015

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

P.S. Here’s Ron from Crossroads360.com with some thoughts on what can happen as we take a page out of Israel’s book and assemble ourselves together (click here).

P.P.S. Below is a photo of me two years ago (left) and me now (right). I thank the Lord that I’m feeling much better now, and I’ve gained a lot of the weight back that I lost shortly after my cancer diagnosis 2-1/2 years ago. Thank you for your prayers!

The photo on the left is me two years ago, and the one on the right is now. I thank the Lord that I'm feeling much better now.

 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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, 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 “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 10 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. In our next book to read, we’ll find that Israel’s cities were destroyed by surrounding armies and then rebuilt seven times. Of course the rebuilding did not occur until they had repented of taking on the sinful practices of the people around them. I want to learn from history. It may have been the historian Will Durant who 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

 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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 (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.

 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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 78. I just searched for encouragement in www.crossroads360.com and came up with my son, Ron, and his “Encouragement for Seniors” video (click here). I found this under the heading “Courage.”

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.

 

Monday, January 26, 2015

ARCHAEOLOGY, FRIEND OF THE BIBLE

Today’s Reading: Joshua 11-12

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 Hazor is located on the site of the ancient city of Hazor (mentioned several times in today's reading). Hazor was located in the Upper Galilee, north of the Sea of Galilee, between Ramah and Kadesh, on the high ground overlooking Lake Merom (Joshua 11:5). It is the largest archaeological site in northern Israel. There is an upper city of 30 acres and a lower city of more than 175 acres. This photo is of the Solomonic Gate, dated to the 10th century BC. This gate has six chambers and two towers (1 Kings 9:15).

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

 

Key Verse: Joshua 11:15

As the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

 

There are at least two ways to approach our readings. First, for inspiration, and second, for information. You’ve read under David Reynold’s picture some information about the city state, Hazor. According to 11:10b, Hazor was the “head of all those kingdoms.” Verse 13 mentions “their mounds,” or in modern times, they would call the mounds “tels.” The central public buildings were destroyed, or simply fell down with age, and the people would build on top of the rubble. This would result in a hill made up of the ruins. The archaeologists, who have excavated Hazor, dated the main destruction by Israel in the late 15th century BC. Evidence of fire was found in several places.

So far, the blog is not too inspirational, but perhaps our key verse can inspire us to complete, no matter how long or how much effort it takes, the commitments we’ve made. The word “discipline” is from the same root word as “disciple,” “talmudim” in Hebrew. It means “student.” The Apostle Paul, a lifetime student and teacher, wrote to the young Timothy, encouraging him to “study” or “be diligent.” We might read for inspiration, 2 Timothy 2:1-15.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I am confident that these stories of war are accurate as told. I’m thankful that the archaeological digs confirm that, for if the history is true, it follows that the inspirational messages are worthy of our respect also. Please grant that I will have grace to be and do as Paul wrote: “Strong – faithful – enduring hardship – hard working – diligent – a worker – and unashamed.” In Jesus’ Name (the One who modeled all these qualities), Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There I go again, well over 100 words. If I had called the blog, “200 words” I’d probably go over that. Oh well, I’ll just be diligent. I’ve participated in archaeological digs in Israel, not with a backhoe or even a shovel, but with a spoon, trowel and brush. I would not have the patience to do that as a profession!

My professional photographer son, David Reynold, blesses us with the blog pictures. He and Kathy are serving as missionaries in Uganda. Kathy sent me a prayer which was prayed for them by Dr. Jay Dennis, Pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida. I am asking every reader to join him, along with my wife and me, in praying for them and their mission. To learn more about the cause that has taken them to Africa, click here. My wife, Norma-Jean, wants to print that prayer, frame it, and hang it on our wall. Here it is…

“Our Heavenly Father, Thank You for Calling, Gifting and Equipping Reynold and Kathy to go into Uganda and beginning there starting a movement of the Holy Spirit that will bring Oneness to the Body of Christ. Please let what happens there Touch and Change the Body of Christ, for we know when Your Body is Awakened, the world will be Shaken for You. Lord we sense that our time is short and the opportunities are long. I am praying that You would give Your two servants the Wisdom, Strength, Anointing, Joy, Discernment and Divine Appointments that can only Originate from You. I pray for Your Hedge of Protection around them. I pray for Your Spirit to go Before them, preparing the way, preparing the hearts of those they will meet. I pray that you will walk Behind them, Protecting the Seeds they have Sown. Father, please raise up those who will Sacrificially and Generously give to this Ministry. Prompt Your people, specifically the people at FBC at the Mall to do everything Possible and Beyond to Assist in this Ministry.

“Lord, Divinely Surprise us through the People they will meet; the Places they will Go; and the Experiences they will Have. Father, we pray not just for a Ministry, but for a Movement, one that Connects the Body of Christ in Unity and through that let the world see that You are Real; that You are Available; and You are Ready to Forgive, Bless and Redeem. From the Continent of Africa, touch North America; South America; Antarctica; Australia; Asia; and Europe. I pray that even on the trip to Uganda You will Confirm once again that Reynold and Kathy are in the Center of Your Will. I pray for their precious Children that You will bring a daily Awareness of Your Presence and that You will Protect them. We Pray Big O God and We Implicitly Place our Trust and Dependence upon You. May they Realize continually the meaning of “Give us this Day our Daily Bread.” Lord, thank You for allowing me to be a part of their Lives. Help me to Help them! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

Yours for learning to study diligently and for striving to be a worker for God who does not need to be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15),

David

Among the ancient ruins of Tel Hazor, you can see an olive press with a stone basin in the foreground. The mortar which held the walls in place has long since disintegrated, as has the plastered walls which often were decorated with beautiful paintings.

 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SAVE AND HELP

Today’s Reading: Joshua 10

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 Yad Lashiryon Memorial at Latrun is the Armored Corps' Memorial Site. The memorial is surrounded by tanks used and captured in Israeli wars. The centrepiece of the Armored Corps is the Wall of Names (pictured below) on which are inscribed the names of all 4,965 fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps from all of Israel's recent wars. This location is also the site of the Biblical battles of Joshua against the Amorite kings; in the book of Joshua it says: "Sun, stand still upon Gibeon; and moon, in the valley of Aijalon" (Joshua 10:12). This retired Merkava Mk-1 tank was the first Israeli-made tank, designed in the late 1960's - early 1970's. In this photo you can see a number of young Israeli soldiers hearing about the stories and seeing the weapons of past wars.

Key Verse: Joshua 10:6

And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us.”

 

According to the treaty, Israel comes to the defense of Gibeon. We call upon our Joshua (Yeshua – Jesus). We pray, “Save us and help us,” and He responds according to the pact He has made. It is called “The New Covenant.” A covenant is the most solemn and binding agreement. We may want to read Hebrews 8:10-12.

There are several items of interest in this chapter. “Adoni-Zedek,” King of Jerusalem, continues the Zedek name. It means righteousness. Melchi-Zedek was the King of Salem (Jerusalem) to whom Abraham paid tithes. “Adoni” means “Lord” and “Melchi” means “King.” Jerusalem was not conquered by Israel until King David’s time. 450 years earlier, Jerusalem had a man of God as its King whom many believe was Jesus Himself. (Genesis 14:17-20). Time travel is no problem for God!

In verses 12 to 14 (the book of Jasher has been lost), we’re told that the sun stood still. It may have been that God caused the earth to stop its rotation. Scripture is accurate in recording the actual perception of the people to this phenomenon.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord God, thank You for the New Covenant through which You “save us and help us” in our states of sinfulness, weakness, illness or distress. Please, Jesus, save and help us and our loved ones who are desperate for Your intervention today. We cry unto You! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I was a guest of Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his home in Jerusalem some years ago. I did not raise this with him, but as I visited with him I could not help but think of the hanging of the five kings by Joshua as I also remembered that Begin’s Irgun, an underground Jewish army prior to 1948, had hanged British soldiers on trees. I met the British officer whose job it was to cut the bodies down. Human free will decides to commit such acts. I’ve given up trying to comprehend such horrible deeds. All I know is that just one hill over from the King David Hotel, which Begin and his men bombed, Jesus, who could’ve called 10,000 angels to destroy the world, willingly endured death by hanging on the Cross. Jesus changed my heart, and if enough people will let Him do that, the world will be changed. Peace and love will reign supreme.

Yours because of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour,

David

P.S. I was blessed this morning by searching Google for the lyrics to the song, “He Could’ve Called 10,000 Angels.” Here’s what I found…click here. Maybe you’ll be blessed too. Be sure to scroll down to read the testimony of Ray Overholt, the composer of this great song.

At The Yad Lashiryon Memorial, the new soldiers read names of those who died for their country.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

GOD’S BOOKS

Today’s Reading: Joshua 9

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).

 

Jacob's Well lies in the crypt of a modern Greek Orthodox church at Nablus in the West Bank. It is located at the entrance to a mountain pass between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal (referred to in Joshua 8). It is often considered the most authentic site in the Holy Land, since no one can move a well that was originally dug more than 40 metres deep into solid rock almost 4,000 years ago. Jacob's well is where Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for a drink and offered her "living water" (John 4:5-42).

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

 

Key Verse: Joshua 9:14

Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.

 

The leadership of Israel once again, as in the case of the first attack on Ai, did not wait in prayer before God for His guidance. They were in the Promised Land. Everything seemed to be going their way. There was no more manna to eat. They had grown or confiscated a wide variety of food. While they never spoke the words to God, “We don’t need You anymore,” their decision about the Gibeonites showed an underlying attitude that resulted in Israel being deceived. This decision, without consulting the Lord, resulted in heartache for the people of God in the years to come.

We may want to read about those who did consult God before taking action (Hebrews 11:30-40). This list of God’s heroes starts in the book of Joshua. God’s list is becoming longer and longer with the names of those who listen to Him and do His will. Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, when I stand before You at the judgment of believers, may I, by Your grace, find my name written in the Book of Life. As you spoke the name, “Mary” (John 20:11-16) just after rising from the dead, in the same way I’m anticipating the ultimate joy of hearing You say my name. Like those in Hebrews 11:39, grant that I may, “obtain a good testimony through faith.” Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I wonder if Jesus will have a new name for me. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter. The Prophet Daniel writes of names written in God’s Book, as does the Apostle John in the Revelation (Daniel 12 & Revelation 21). I love the promise of God written in Malachi 3:16-18. A Book of Remembrance is being written “For those who fear the Lord, and who meditate on HIS NAME!” That is what I’m praying many more will do because of this blog. I hope that this message will be forwarded to others, and as a result, many more personal stories will be in God’s “Book of Remembrance.” YES!!!!! According to Malachi, all we must do to qualify for this Book is to fear the Lord, speak to one another, and the Prophet says, “The Lord listened and heard them.” As a direct result there is a Book of Remembrance. I think God writes, not on paper, but perhaps in cyberspace! I love to hear from those who read this blog.

Grateful with you that, by God’s grace, our names are in His book,

David

Underneath the Greek Orthodox church pictured above, visitors draw water from Jacob's Well. Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions all associate this well with Jacob.

Friday, January 23, 2015

VICTORY

Suggested Reading: Joshua 8

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).

 

View looking west at Mt. Gerizim (on the left, south) and Mt. Ebal (on the right, north). In the center between them is the town of Shechem, known as Nablus. According to Deuteronomy 11:29 the recently arrived Israelites were to recite the blessings of the Covenant on Mount Gerizim and the curses from Mount Ebal (fulfilled in Joshua 8:33).

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

 

Key Verse: Joshua 8:30

Now Joshua built an altar to the Lord God of Israel in Mount Ebal…

 

In building an altar, Joshua is obeying the instructions given in Deuteronomy 11:29 and 27:4-8. The offerings presented on Mt Ebal, the mount of cursing, speak of the offering of Jesus on the cross. He took the curse of sin upon Himself. When Israel entered the Promised Land, the supernatural provision of manna ceased. Now they had to eat the produce of the land which included corn, etc. Divine inspiration of Scripture means that in the original language, the record of events is correct. Earlier so called “higher critics” disputed that accuracy, but later scholarship confirms that the Biblical account is correct. Dr. Bryant Wood (PhD, University of Toronto), who has been a guest of mine on the 100 Huntley Street telecast, conducted excavations beginning in 1995 which meet all the requirements for the Biblical city of Ai. As we read the history of Israel, we can be confident that we are learning what actually happened. Click here for a video clip of  Dr. Bryant on 100 Huntley Street in the early 90’s with Jim Cantelon and Moira Brown.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, there is so much I don’t understand. I’m looking back more than three millennia in today’s reading. But what I do understand is that I must visit daily my personal altar, and also my family altar. Please help me, by Your grace, to be faithful in this commitment. In the Name of the One who is always faithful, the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

If you have a response to the horrors of war such as I experience, you struggle with understanding God’s role in human history. In my lifetime I’ve seen genocide in Europe; I’ve visited the death camps where men, women and children perished. Rwanda in Africa and Cambodia in Asia experienced unspeakable man-made destruction of human life. I could go on and on writing of such events throughout the entirety of human history. Nevertheless, I am confident that God looks at history through the lens of eternity, and God, who will put the final period to the last history book, will provide justice for every man, woman, and child whose human life was destroyed, but whose eternal soul is in God’s hands. This knowledge gives me peace.

Yours for a daily altar of blessing, and for the peace that passes understanding,

David

P.S. The composer of the song, “It is well with my soul,” suffered great personal loss. This song was his response (click here).