Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tue.’s Devo - The Righteous Standards

Read: Judges 3-5
God left Israel’s enemies in the land to test them and teach them war. That is the same reason we still have enemies in our lives. They are there to test us and reveal what is in our hearts. They are also there to teach us spiritual warfare. Our enemies aren’t people but evil spirits. We don’t fight against flesh and blood like they did in the Old Testament, but we fight against principalities and powers of darkness in spiritual places. Eph. 6:12.
When Israel fell into sin and started serving Baal, God sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim which means “double wickedness”. That is why the worse sinners are usually back-slidden Christians or someone who has been taught the truth and chose to leave it. They become doubly wicked. But God raised up a deliverer every time Israel realized their sin and their need to be delivered. Some of the judges were Othniel, Ehud, Jael, and Deborah. They would deliver Israel out of their oppression and as long as they lived, Israel would stay devoted to God, but as soon as they died, Israel would fall back into idolatry.
These judges stood for a righteous standard. Without a righteous standard in our lives we will go the way of the world. We need a standard. Our righteous standard is Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank you for raising up Jesus to be our righteous standard and keep us in Your way.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mon.’s Devo.- Stopping Short of Victory

Read: Judges 1,2
Joshua died and it was time for each tribe to take their land. The Lord told Judah to go first because praise should always precede a battle and insure victory. Judah asked Simeon to go with him since they were all part of the same land. Judah did valiantly till they came to the valley and couldn’t drive out the inhabitants because they had chariots of iron. What part of “I will drive out the inhabitants for you” did they forget? It is amazing how we can get a promise from the Lord and when fear hits us in the face, we quit. Every tribe stopped short of victory because the going got too tough. They either let the enemy stay or they made them their slaves. They were suppose to kill all of them and drive them completely out. Because they didn’t, God said they would be thorns to their sides and keep them from entering into God’s blessings.
After the leaders died, Israel fell into apostasy. They started worshipping the gods of Baal and Ashterah. How quickly they fell because they didn’t drive out the enemy hastily.
This is such a lesson to us. When we take our time to obey and get rid of the sins that so easily beset us, then we become used to them and they don’t seem so bad. After a while they even become our friends and we don’t see anything wrong with them. We have slowly been bewitched into believing a lie. That is what happened to Israel and that is what happens to us when we allow sinful habits to stay with us. We have to quickly get rid of them when God convicts us of them. If not then we will rationale the conviction away.
Lord, help us to see clearly what is holy and what is not. Make us a holy people, set apart to serve you. Help us not to stop short of our victories.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The End of Joshua

Read: Josh. 22-24
After the meeting in Shiloh, everyone returned to their own land. Reuben and the part of Manasseh that stayed on the other side of the Jordan decided to erect an altar at the place they entered the promised land so that it could be a reminder to their children of where they crossed into their promised land. All the other tribes heard about it and thought they were building a place of idolatry so they came to wipe them out until they heard the hearts of the Reubenites and the men from Manasseh. Then they calmed down. How quickly we jump to the wrong conclusions.
Years later Joshua knew his time on earth was drawing to a close so he gathered the tribes to Shechem and reminded them of their heritage and the blessings of following God and the curses of not. He reminded them that God gave them this land and drove out their enemies before them. He asks them to recommit their allegiance to the Lord. The people gave their word that they would serve the Lord.
Joshua died at 110 years of age and was buried in Timnath-serah which means “portion of the sun”. Joshua did make his portion in the Son because he was a type of Jesus.
Israel followed the Lord all the days of Joshua and the leaders he had mentored.
Lord, raise up men like Joshua who are not afraid to lead with integrity and courage.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sat.’s Devo- The Rest of the Inheritances

Read: Josh. 19-21
Looking at a map of the tribes of Israel and their inheritance and you will see that Simeon is right in the middle of Judah. Since Simeon means “hearing” and Judah means “praise” I think God is trying to show us that if you want to hear from God you need to surround yourself with praise.
Zebulun was the tribe of scribes. Jesus’ ministry was in the area of Zebulun and Naptali.
Issachar had a small portion of land but of the men of Issachar, 1 Chronicles 7:5 says that they were valiant men of might and 1 Chronicles 12:32 says that they were men that had understanding of the times Israel was living. This tells me that they were the prophets and leaders. Mount Tabor is in their land and Tabor means “to purge” which is what the word of the Lord does.
The territory of Asher runs along the Mediterranean Sea. Tyre and Sidon are in its land.
Naphtali was the sixth lot and they got the territory north of Zebulun.
The seventh lot fell to Dan which means “to judge” so it is fitting that it would be the last to get his inheritance since the last thing God will do is to judge the earth. Dan is also on the coast of the Mediterranean below Manasseh and above Judah.
They didn’t get enough land so they had to fight for more. They named their new territory Leshem which means “unto desolation”. A good picture of the last battle.
The next thing the Lord had the do was to appoint cities of refuge for justice. I explained these on the 10th of this month. The Levites were given cities among all the tribes.
Lord may there not fail any good thing which You have spoken over us. May it all come to pass over us and our children.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Land of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin

Read: Josh. 16-18
If you look at a map depicting the land that the tribes inherited you will notice right off that Manasseh and Judah have the largest areas of land. Manasseh has land on both sides of the Jordan and several key mountains are in Manasseh. Mount Hermon is at the very top of their land where Jesus took his disciples to pray and was transfigured before them. Mount Carmel is part of Manasseh where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal. Also the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim are in Manasseh where the tribes read the blessings and the curses to one another. Judah had prophesied that Manasseh would be greater than Ephraim and he was. But, as great in number as Manasseh was they were afraid of the Canaanites and didn’t drive them completely out. When the leaders of Ephraim came to Joshua to complain that they land was too small, Joshua didn’t favor them because it was his tribe, but told them they could fight for more land if they wanted it. All they had to do was finish their job. They didn’t because they thought the Canaanites were too strong for them.
Joshua set up the tabernacle in Shiloah in Ephraim. Seven of the tribes hadn’t received their inheritance so their job was to survey the land and bring it back to Joshua so he could make the decision. The way he did it was to cast lots and let God decide which land was whose. Benjamin got the first lot. He got the land that they first came to when they crossed over the Jordan: Jericho, Ai, and Gibeon.
Lord, help us to not be afraid of the enemy no matter how large he seems.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thur.’s Devo - Faithfulness and Obedience

Read: Josh. 12-15
This part of the Bible can become mind-boggling just reading the names and wondering what it all means and I don’t have the answer but I know it is important to God and one day we will understand why He put all this in the Bible. I did love what Caleb said in 14:11. He is 85 years old and was as strong as the day Moses sent him to spy out the promised land the first time. He had had to wander through the wilderness for 40 years because of the sin of his people…not his own. So God preserved his youth during those 40 years. Moses had promised to give him the land he spied out the first time and it was given to him. That land had 4 giants that had kept the land for him. He knew that with the Lord’s help, he could drive them out and he did.
From this story we learn that when we are punished because of someone else’s bad judgement or sin it doesn’t blow the reward for us…it just prolongs it. We will be rewarded for our faith. Caleb had faith that God had given them the land but the other 10 spies were fearful. It cost them all 40 years and their life. The other 10 spies had died, but Joshua and Caleb were spared and hadn’t aged. Obedience and faith are the best ant-aging agents around. Too bad you can’t bottle obedience and faith and sell it in a pill!
Lord, following You is the only way to life and fulfillment. We choose to follow Your ways today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Taking the Land

Read: Josh. 9-11
If there is a book in the Bible that describes this generation it is Joshua. This is the generation that will take the land. These are the entitled. They know who they are and who their God is and they understand that this is our land: politics, the media, education, the arts, religion, the economy - it is our’s to take. That is how the Joshua-generation felt. This was their land and they were taking it.
All the princes in the promised land represented spiritual principalities. They made a mistake when the prince of Gideon tricked them into thinking they were from a far away country. Joshua foolishly made a covenant with them before asking God about it. When they found out they were neighbors, Israel couldn’t kill them so Israel made them their servants. These people were giants so they made them carry wood and water for them. When the other nations found out that Gibeon, a huge city had made a covenant with Israel they threatened to kill them. Israel was bound to help them which just gave them victory over other inhabitant of the land. Some of these principalities they came against had names that meant pride, fascination, wild, control. God even stopped the sun to give them more time to win their battle. Joshua didn’t stop till he had taken the whole land. Then he rested from war.
From reading this we learn that we can make our enemies serve us when they deceive us. We can also move the heart of God to change the natural course of nature just to come to our aid. We can be tenacious and take the land if we refuse to quit. If we realized the power we possess, we could be dangerous!
Lord, help us to see our land and go in and possess it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Jericho - The Tithe

Read: Jos. 5-8
I can’t imagine how scared the Amorites and Canaanites were when they saw the waters of the Jordan split just like they had heard had happened in the Red Sea. It had to given validity to all they had heard about the miracles their god did to the Egyptians and now they were coming toward them.
The first thing God had them do was to circumcise the new men. It was a picture of us circumcising our heart to receive the things of God. As soon as they ate the corn of the land and the fruit God stopped the manna from falling. Fruit speaks of maturity. Gifts are given by grace but fruit is developed. They had been tested and tried in the wilderness and were now able to eat fruit.
As Joshua stood looking at his first city to destroy, Jericho. God came as the captain of the host and stood before Joshua. God gave Joshua a strange strategy and Joshua obeyed. Because he did the walls fell down.
Jericho means “fragrant”. Eph. 5:2 tells us that our sacrifice is a sweet savor to the Lord. Jericho was to be their tithe-city. They were not to take any spoil but bring it all to the Lord. So when Achan took part of the spoil it brought defeat instead of the victory they were expecting. It not only hurt him and his family but thirty-six men died needlessly when they went to the next city, Ai. Tithing is the way of blessing and when we refuse to tithe we are withholding God’s share. We will not be blessed but face defeat in every area of our lives. When we tithe we invite God’s blessing and give God something to work with.
Lord, help us to give you a tithe of our money, time and talents.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Entering into the Promised Land

Read: Joshua 1-4
It is finally time to enter into the promised land after 40 years of wandering in the desert eating only manna. When Moses came to the promised land the first time he sent out 12 spies, one from each tribe and only two came back with a good report so Joshua sent out only two. They were hidden safely in the house of Rahab the harlot. She told them how her people were afraid of them and their god because of the stories they had heard of what he did to the Egyptians and the two Amorite kings. She made them promise to save her and her family. The spies were let down to safety by a scarlet threaded cord which they instructed her to tie to her window so they would know it was her house and she and whoever was in the house would be saved. That same scarlet thread that saved the spies and Rahab’s family is still saving people today. That cord was Jesus. Through Rahab’s cord (family line) came Jesus.
We have no idea the importance or the destiny a person carries, but if we love one another like we love ourselves and honor every person we meet, we may be entertaining angels unaware. No doubt we will be ministering to Jesus himself by ministering to His body. By saving Rahab, they saved her whole household just like the jailer who was saved who attended Paul when the earthquake shook Paul’s chains loose. Paul told the jailor, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be save, and your house.” (Acts 16:31). The jailor brought Paul into his house, fed them and all his house believed in God, vs. 34.
Lord, give us faith to believe that all things are possible to them that believe.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Song of Moses

Read: Deut. 32-34; Ps. 91
Moses teaches them this song that they are to memorize. It tells all about who God is and what He expects and what He will do for them. There are certain lines that stand out to me that we tend to forget like: “I kill, and make alive; I wound, and I heal.” We always think of God as a loving god who can only bring life but he is also a god of vengeance. He will avenge us of our enemies.
In chapter 33, Moses went through the tribes by name and gave them an individual blessing. They all had different blessings and different ministries to the world.
In chapter 34 Moses is allowed to go to the top of mount Pisgah which means “survey” where he was able to survey the promised land. There God killed Moses and buried him. It says in Jude that Micheal had to contend with the devil about the body of Moses. The people mourned over his death for thirty days and Joshua became their leader.
We were also suppose to read Psalms 91 which is a must to memorize for your family. It is the 911 of scripture. It offers comfort, peace, safety, blessing and hope.
Lord, may we dwell in the secret place of the most high today.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Our Destiny

Read: Deut. 30-31
Moses knew that the people were rebellious in nature and that when he died they would be worse. He also saw the generation in the last days and how rebellious they would be but he also saw a remnant of people who would repent and want to come back to the Lord. To these people he said God would forgive them and bring them back to the land. All the curses that had been on them would transfer to their enemies. Then they would be blessed.
Moses put the commandment in their ears. He put it to music and taught it to all the people so they would never forget it. God said he did not hide his commandments but put them in their hearts. That is why we instinctively know what is wrong and right. Moses made it clear to them that their destiny was in their own hand and they chose if they walked in God’s blessings or his curses.
Moses commissioned Joshua to be their leader and commanded him to be strong and courageous because it was God who would go before them.
Moses reminded them that the law would be read every 7 years at the feast of tabernacle when all Israel was to come together at one place. This was a picture of the last judgment - the Great White Throne Judgment. At that time at the end of the ages, we will all come together and the books will be opened and judgment will be done according to obedience to the Word.
God has also put our destiny in our hands. God has great things planned for each of His children but it is our choice whether we choose to walk in them. If we do we will be extremely blessed. If we don’t, we will be miserable.
Lord, give us repentant hearts that we might live in your blessings and fulfill Your destiny for our lives.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Blessings and the Curses

Read: Deut. 28-29
Yesterday we read how six of the tribes were to stand on mount Gerizim and bless the people and six of the tribes were to stand on mount Ebal and read the curses. Today we get the blessings and the curses. Hopefully as individuals we are living in the curses. Sadly, as a nation we are living in the curses. To live in the blessings all we have to do is walk in obedience to what God tells us to do. Jesus said that his yoke was not grievous but light yet we try to make it so hard and fight against the very one who is trying to make things easy and good for us. God is still looking for a people who will want to be called by His name that He can bless and work through.
I love the last verse: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God; But those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Lord, let us be the people that You can reveal your secrets to and give eyes to see into the mysteries of Your word.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Remember

Read:. Deut. 24-27
It sounds like Deuteronomy 24: 1-2 is a direct contradiction to Matt. 5:32 - But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. It actually is not. God gave man the boundaries of divorcement in the Old Testament. In the New Testament men were divorcing their wives without a written document of divorce. So to remarry was to commit adultery because they weren’t legally divorced. Jesus told them in the verse ahead of this one to give their wives a written writ of divorce.
They were to totally blot the name of Amelek out of the earth by killing all of them. Amelek was a descendent of Esau who disposed his birthright. His people despised Jacob’s offspring by preying on the weak and feeble. He had no fear of God.
Several times during today’s reading it says to “remember”. They were to remember what God had done in the past and the consequences so they wouldn’t be tempted to repeat them in the future. They were to rewrite all the laws in plaster and leave them as a reminder and a statute that this was what they were going to live by. They were to build an altar of stones and whenever they revisited those stones they were to remember the law and what God had done for them. This is such a good thing for us to do…remember what God has done for us in the past. When we lose faith or our trial seems overwhelming, we can look back on our notes as see what God has done for us in the past and it will boost our faith for the future.
Lord, thank you for your faithfulness to keep your promises to us. Help us to remember all your benefits!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Holy and the Unclean

Read: Deut. 21-23
The children of Israel were to atone for every person who died, even if no one knew who he was because Jesus died for everyone. Most of today’s reading has to do with how to honor people. Some of it sounds a little cruel and compassionless but laws have to be that way. When we get our emotions involved it is hard to have good judgment. Everyone was responsible for themselves and the people they came in contact with. You were to honor God’s creations and your servants. God hates mixture so you were not to cross-pollinate. He was trying to teach us about compromise. You can’t mix the unholy with the holy. They dealt with every kind of sexual problem you might come across and gave specific commands about each one.
In Deut. 23:2 it says that a “bastard” could not enter into the congregation. I looked up that word and it meant a person who had a Jewish father and a heathen mother. In other words you can’t be a Christian and serve Jesus and the world. No Ammonites or Moabites were to enter into the congregation of the Lord to their tenth generation. Boaz married Ruth who was a Moabite and 30 generations later Mary had Jesus. I guess 30 generations were enough to cleanse their genes!
From today’s reading, we see that God is a holy God and we must worship him in holiness and truth.
Lord, cleanse our lives of the things that are stumbling blocks in our walk with you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Warnings of having a King

Read: Deut. 17-20
The sacrifice and the one sacrificing had to be holy because one day the sacrifice would be God’s son sacrificed by a holy God.
God never wanted them to want a king because He was to be their king, and no human being would be able to fill God’s shoes. But he knew the heart of man so he set guidelines for this king. He was to be chosen by God and an Israelite. In 1 Samuel 16, the people had rejected Samuel from being the leader and wanted a king like all the nations around them. Samuel went to the Lord and the Lord had him anoint Saul as the king (1 Sam. 9:17). God instructed them that the king was not to multiply horses to himself. “And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots. (2 Samuel 8:4)2 He was not to multiply wives unto himself. “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; (1 Kings 11:1) “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.” (1 Kings 11:3). They were also not to accumulate silver and gold. “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, “(I Kings 10:14)
David and Solomon were the beginning of many kings who accumulated horses, wives, silver and gold and it all led to their downfall.
Deuterononmy 18 says that the Levites were to be God’s inheritance. They were to lead the people in the worship of God and do it God’s way…not the way of the other nations around them. Their worship had to do with unholy sexual practices. God promised to raise up a Prophet to talk to the people His words. They were to obey him only if what he said came to pass.
Lord, thank you that we are your inheritance.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Remember the Laws

Read: Deut. 14-16
Moses told them again what he told their parents in Leviticus 11 about what to eat and not eat. Everything God made was a picture of what was in heaven or hell. The clean animals personified heavenly beings and the unclean demonic beings. The unclean animals ate dead animals and were only awake at night which are characteristics of demons. Satan does his deeds in the dark and can only bring death.
Moses went over the year of Jubilee when everyone who has been a slave can go free with a blessing. Then he retaught them the passover, unleavened bread, the feast of weeks (which we call Pentecost), and feast of tabernacles. These feasts were dates that all the men were to come to Jerusalem to celebrate.
Moses warned them to judge every man fairly. They were not to plant a grove of trees near the altar of the Lord not set up any image. The word “grove” means “Asherah” in the Hebrew. So God was talking about a specific idolatrous practice. According to the Easton Dictionary Asherah was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. This is where we get the word Easter from.
Lord, today may we walk in Your joy with our ears open to Your voice.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Teach Your Children

Read: Deut. 11-13
Moses admonished the people to tell their children God’s way and how He blessed, instructed and disciplined them in the past. Their strength to fight their enemies and their length of stay in the promised land will be measured by their obedience to God’s commandments. Then God would give them rain in the right seasons and bless every day of the year. If they turned from God then he would shut the heavens and not rain on their fields. If they obeyed, God would give them every place the soles of their feet tread upon. No man would be able to stand against God’s plan for them. It was their decision to choose what destiny they would get.
This is still our decision to make. We can choose to live in God’s blessings by obeying Him and walking in His ways or we can choose to try to live on our own doing what seems right in our own eyes. One way leads to God’s abundance and the other leads to lack.
Not only were they to walk in obedience to God, but they were to be offensive. They were to take over the strongholds of the devil and destroy their influence. They were to continue to do this until they had found complete rest from all their enemies. We will always fight demons until we are no longer oppressed by them…then we will enter into God’s rest. It is our goal. That is the place where nothing bothers us because we know that our Father has everything in his control. Hebrews 4 talked about this rest extensively.
God warned them of the false prophet who would come in with supernatural powers and woo them to follow false gods. They were to put him to death. Even if someone from their own family tried to seduce them to worship other gods they were to stone him. Even if a whole city fell to idolatry, they were to burn the city.
Lord, purge from us and our land the idolatry and may we turn to you with all our hearts. May we be diligent to teach our children your ways.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Moses’ Last Sermon

Read: Duet. 8-10
Moses causes the people to remember their past and how God brought them out of bondage into the wilderness,. It was because of their unbelief that they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Moses reminded them of every time they provoked the Lord to anger and how He responded. It is now time to enter into the land God had promised which will be full of people much mightier than them but they were not to fear because God will wipe them out.
Every day we face problems mightier than us: ISIS, poverty, illegal drugs, problems with our family, problems at work, inner struggles. They are all mightier than us but because the spirit of the living God that raised Christ from the grave lives inside of us, we can overcome all our fears. If the children of Israel could wander for forty years and their feet not swell and their shoes not wear out then we can walk through this life and not be overwhelmed and know that all we need to succeed is provided for us in Christ.
Moses told the Israelites that God required of them to fear him, walk in all his ways, love him, serve him with all their hearts and keep his commandments. He told them to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts and to stop being stubborn. Then he reminded them to love the strangers. These are the same two commandments Jesus gave when asked which of the commandments were the most important. He told them to love the Lord with all their hearts and their neighbor as themselves. God never changes.
Lord, help us to keep our hearts circumcised and free to love you and others.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Preparation for Entering into the Land

Read: Deut. 5-7
Moses called all the people together to read to them the commandments of the Lord. He wanted them to hear them before they entered into their land. None of these people were of the group that came out of Egypt or saw the smoke on the mountain when God gave them the commandments the first time except Caleb and Joshua. So Moses read the commandments to them and encouraged them strongly to follow them. He told them the blessings of keeping the law. He reminded them of all the times their parents tempted the Lord with their unbelief. All they had to do is obey the Lord and everything would go well with them. Sounds simple and it is just that simple. When we do what the Bible says then God will honor his Word and it will go well for us. He will love us and bless us - our family and our finances. He will take away our sicknesses and diseases and give them to those who hate us. God will drive our enemies out of our land. Following God is a win-win situation. Who could say no?
Lord, forgive us for making following You so complicated and scary. You are the only sure thing and we trust You with our day and our lives.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thur.s’ Devo - Taking the Land

Read: Deut. 3-4
Og the king of Bashan was the last of the giants. His bed was 15 feet long so he was probably 13 feet tall. The territory of the giants was in the land that the tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Manasseh had inherited. The other king they had to defeat and did was the king Sihon. They were both offspring of giants which were half-demonic/half-humans (Gen 6:1-6). Though these people were killed in the flood, their supernatural race began again after the flood which we read about yesterday. They called them Emims which means terrors, and Zamzummims which means intrigue. Look at yesterday’s blog for info about what that means.
King Sihon was the brother of Og and both were of the genealogy of the fallen angel Shamhazai by legend. They stood for the principalities of shame and anger.
God gave their territory to the tribes so that they could live in freedom and peace.
Moses begged God to let him just walk into the land but God refused. Instead he let him go to the top of Pisgah which means “a cleft” to survey the land. Jesus is the cleft in which we can see into the future, the things He has for us.
Moses gave the people one last pep talk to walk in the law of the Lord and trust Him with all their hearts. He reminded them of how God spoke to them the law especially the one about not making graven images. If they obey Him, he will drive out nations much mightier than them and give them their land.
Lastly, they set up three cities of refuge on that side of the Jordan: Bezer in the wilderness which means “in an inaccessible spot”. The next was Ramoth in Gilead which means “heights; continual heap of witness”. The last was Golan in Bashan which means “captive; the one in sleep”. Remember how I told you the cities of refuge were actual places of rest for the righteous in the afterlife. Now we have a description of them. They were hidden and their righteous witness continued to live on. They were the captive in sleep that Jesus came to preach captivity captive (Eph. 4:8). Revelations 13:10 explains it: “He that leadeth into captivity (death) shall go into captivity (death): he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” They had to wait for Jesus to set them free. He prefaces that statement with “If any man have an ear, let him hear.” It takes spiritual ears to understand all this but we can have it if we want.
Lord, give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to understand what You are saying to us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Wanderings Revisited

Read: Duet. 1-2
Moses reminded them of all the times God had given them a command to be courageous and follow Him and they had rebelled out of fear and refused to obey. He reminded them of the consequences of their decisions and why they were not going into the land God had promised them. How sad. They were sentenced to wander for 40 years while they all died out. They all died by the 38th year.
The Lord drove out the Zamzummims (intriguers), Anakims (neck-chains), Horims (cave-dwellers), Avims (perverters), and the Caphtorims (spies) and they lived in their cities instead.
God promised to make their enemies afraid of them even though many of these enemies were giants that were much stronger. God caused Sihon (temper) to not let them pass through his land so he could have a reason to take his land. Now was the time to do that little by little. These are still the giants in our land. I looked up intrigue and it means - secret love affair or to plot in secret. Neck-chains were put on the people that made their necks grow longer and longer. This sounds like pride to me. A cave-dweller would be like a person who can’t get out in public for fear. Think of all the people who play video games all night and sleep all day, or people who spend their night at the casinos and sleep during the day. The others are self-explanatory. These are the giants in our land.
Lord, help us to learn by our mistakes. Thank you for grace.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Cities of Refuge

Read: Num. 35-36
I find the cities of refuge so interesting. One day I was talking to God about what happened to the righteous people in the Old Testament who died. I asked God where they went. The next morning I woke up to a resounding “cities of refuge” in my head. I asked God what that was about since I hadn’t been studying about them or even thinking about them. He told me it was the answer to the question I had asked him the night before. I had to think to remember my question about where the righteous people in the OT went when they died. So I got up and started studying this passage.
These cities were set up for anyone, Israelite or not who killed a person on purpose or not. This person stands for anyone who has sinned which is all of us. The revenger of blood is the one who would want to get revenge on the sinner. That person stands for the law. If the person killed another man on accident then he would be the person who sins without knowing the law. That person is allowed to go to the city of refuge and plead his case with the judges at the gate. If they believe he is innocent then he is allowed to stay safely in the city. They were to stay in this city until the death of the High Priest. Some examples of these people are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph…who were all buried in the land that later became a city of refuge. When Jesus, our High Priest, died he went to these cities and set the occupants free and they ascended with him to heaven. Ephesians 4: 8-10 explains it. “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”
So there were cities under the earth in Sheol where they stayed until Jesus died. That is why Joseph and Moses were so adamant about where their bones were buried because that would be the place they rested.
In Numbers 36, the men of the tribe of Manasseh wanted to maintain the inheritance of their tribe. Since the daughters of Zelophehad got an inheritance, they wanted to make sure they didn’t marry out of their tribe and lose the land to another tribe. This was a legitimate concern so they decided that tribes must not intermarry and mix up the boundary lines.
Lord, thank you for your provision for those who died before Christ and thank you for our provision through Christ.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Taking the Land

Read: Num. 33-34
Numbers 33 gives us the path the Israelites went on their journey out of Egypt to the promised land. If you look up the meaning of every place it will tell you what happened in that place. For example: they received the law in the desert of Sinai. It was there that the people made the golden calf and 3,000 were killed by the plague. The next place they camped was Kibroth-hattaavah which means “graves of the longing”. They were mourning the death of their friends and relatives that had just died. They ended up on the top of Mount Hor to survey the promised land. “Hor” means “progenitor” which means “a forefather or the source from which something develops.” This was to be their new beginning. It was the end of Aaron’s life and the end of the old covenant. They were entering into a new covenant which called for a new priest. His son Eliezar would take the office. Aaron’s name means “light bringer”. He was the one to usher in the light - the Holy Spirit. Eleazer means “God is helper”. That is the definition of the Holy Spirit - The Helper. To cross over the Red Sea was to enter into salvation. To cross over the Jordan was to enter into a Spirit-filled life. John the Baptist was the one to usher people to Jesus and salvation just like Aaron was to introduce them to the Holy Spirit.
They were told to drive out the inhabitants of the land before them and destroy all their pictures, molten images and high places. If they didn’t then their enemies would become thorns in their sides and would vex them in their own land and overtake them. We see this every day as we see Christians who are overcome with fear, sickness, depression, bitterness, etc. They didn’t drive out the inhabitants of their land. We inherit diseases, dispositions, unforgiveness, and fears so we have to drive them out with the blood of Jesus. If we don’t renew our minds in the Word of God we will be overdriven with what has been passed down to us. We also can pick up new demons along the way. We have to take authority and drive them out.
Lord, help us to see our enemies and know their names so we can drive them out and live peacefully in the land you have given us to inherit.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Stopping Short

Read: Num. 31-32
God had Israel do away with the Midianites. They had joined with Balak in cursing Israel and when it didn’t work, Balaam had stayed with them and was successful in integrating the Israelites into their worship of Baal-Peor which included licentious orgies. They only allowed the virgin woman to live and blotted out the rest of them. They were to purify all the spoils through the fire and water.
The leaders of the tribes of Reuben and Gad came to Moses and told him that because they had such a large group of cattle and the land they were in at the time was perfect for them, they wanted to stay there instead of going into the land God had promised. They agreed to help the other tribes fight for their land. They promised to fight till every tribe had their inheritance before they came home to theirs. Moses allowed them to do this as long as they sent their servants to fight for the other tribes. Half of Manasseh also stayed behind.
How sad to me that these tribes would take what they could see, only to pass up what was promised that they had never seen. They took the sure thing instead of walking by faith. I think many times we find ourselves doing the same thing. We choose the immediate sure thing instead of going the distance and seeing what was waiting for us in the land of faith. God didn’t punish them for their lack of faith, but I’m sure it was not as good for them on that side of the Jordan.
Lord, help us not to settle for the comfortable and lose the adventure that you have for us in the land of faith.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Power of the Cross

Read: Num. 28-30
Today we have the list of offerings that were mandatory at the different feasts. The thing I noticed over and over again was the “continual burnt offering”. The burnt offering is the picture of the cross which continually atones for our sin. Thank God for the cross because now we don’t have to bring these sacrifices. We give God the sacrifice of our praise. Mark 12:33 says, “… to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” So we give God our love and our life. The way we live our lives should be a sacrifice to God.
Hebrews 10:11-12 says, “And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Sadly, all those sacrifices were just a picture of what was coming. Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Only the blood of Jesus can make us clean, whole, and perfect in God’s eyes.
Chapter 30 has to do with the vows of a woman. If she is married that means that she is a Christian and Jesus watches over our words and can void those that will cause us harm. The same goes for the one who is unmarried. She is under the shadow of her father, God.
The woman who is divorced is a person who has chosen to sever their relationship with Jesus and then they are out of his covering and whatever curse they bring against themselves will stand.
Lord, thank you for the sacrifice of your son’s blood. May we bring life with the things we do and say.

Fri.’s Devo - Remember

Read: Num. 26-27
God told Moses to number all the children of Israel that came out of Egypt but would not live to enter the promised land. There were over 83,000 people. They all died except Joshua and Caleb. Moses was told to appoint Joshua to take his place and Eleazar as the priest to take Aaron’s place. Moses then was to climb the mountain and look at the land he would never walk on. Then God was going to take him like he did Aaron.
When I see a lot of the spiritual leaders dying I know that we are about to enter a new era. I remember a time when about 6 major spiritual leaders in our country died within a 2 year period. Lately there have been a few. I feel the winds of change blowing over the body of Christ. Things are changing for the good of those who put their trust in Jesus. For the rest of the world, the changes will not be good. Just like the daughters of Zelophehad came to Moses and asked that their father’s name would not be forgotten. Their father’s name means “causing to forget”. They didn’t want that to happen without his inheritance. God gave them their possession. We are here to let God’s name be known.
Lord, help us to obey You and remember whose we are and why we are here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - The Doctrine of Balaam

Read: Num. 23-25
In the story of Balaam we learn some interesting things about the occult. Balaam was a diviner and a false prophet but though he had some power, he was totally under God’s control and when he wanted to curse Israel, he was not allowed. He told Balak, “I have received commandment to bless; and He has blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” He later said, “surely there is not enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” He continued to bless the future of the nation and when the king told him to stop blessing them, he told him he couldn’t. This lets us know that the occult cannot curse us if God don’t allow him to. The only way the devil did what he did to Job was because God allowed him to. In the end God blessed Job greater than the first. We can trust that God will do the same for us.
Balaam could not curse Israel with his mouth so he assimilated into their camp and turned them to worshipping false gods. This is how he got back at Israel. Second Peter 2:15 talks about those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. He says that they have forsaken the right way and are gone astray following the way of Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness. Revelation 2:14 says that Balaam taught Israel to sacrifice to idols and commit fornication. He came to the Israelites with his doctrine that was against the law and taught it to God’s people.
Lord, help us to be teachers of the truth and hold fast the teachings of the Bible.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Fighting their Enemies 3-4-15

Read: Numbers 21-22
Yesterday we read that the children of Israel asked the king of Edom if they could pass through their land and he refused. So Israel had to go the long way which took them to the south. A Canaanite king, Arab had heard about the spies that spied out his land so he came and fought Israel and took some of them captive. God helped the Israelites defeat them and take their cities. They are back to where they started at the Red Sea and once again they are without bread and water and they are tired of manna - God’s provision. So God sent them poisonous snakes to discipline them. When the people repented and asked Moses to ask God to take them away, God told Moses to make a brass serpent and put it on a pole. This pole was in the shape of a cross. All who looked upon the snake would live. The snakes were the curse. Jesus became the curse who died upon a cross and when we look at Him to save us we are saved.
They continued on their wanderings and came to the land of the Amorites. They, like the Edomites, refused to let them pass through there land. They came out to fight the Israelites but were defeated and Israel took all their cities. Their king was Sihon whose name means “tempestuous”. These kings and cities represent principalities and ground respectively. So this principality looks like anger to me. They took the land from Arnon to Jabbok. Arnon means “a brawling stream” which represents physical fights and Jabbok means “pouring forth” which represents unrestrained anger. The king’s city was Heshbon which means “reason”. Human reasoning can cause the greatest debates.
As the Israelites continue they come to the Moabites. Their leader or principality is Balak which means “a waster”. What a great definition of the devil? He sends for Balaam to curse the people. Balaam’s name means “a swallower of the people”. He was a occultist con. He can’t violate the spiritual authority of God so he has to follow God’s commands even though he is a false prophet. God don’s allow him to curse them, he is only allowed to bless them. One of the things that stands out to me in the Balaam’s donkey story is that Balaam is never surprised that his donkey is talking to him. It is because he is involved in witchcraft so he is used to seeing the unordinary. I wonder if his donkey had ever talked to him before this. God even stood up for the donkey and rebuked Balaam for striking it. It think God was trying to humble Balaam and show him that if the almighty God would speak through a donkey, Balaam’s position was no more important than this donkey’s. It was God’s word that was important.
Lord, may we always remember that You chose who You want to bless and it is a privilege and a reponsibility to be used by you. Use us today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - At the Rock Again

Read: Num. 18-20
Moses gave to Eliezer the law of the red heifer which stood for Jesus. Moses was passing Aaron’s mantle down to Eliezer since Aaron would not be passing into the promised land.
The children of Israel are back at the wilderness of Sin and once again they are without water just like the first time they were here. Once again, the people are about to enter the land of promise and once again they are complaining because they are without water. The first time God told Moses to strike the rock and the water gushed out. Now He is telling Moses to speak to the rock. Moses doesn’t listen and repeats what he did the last time out of anger. It cost him the promised land. Why did such a simple act cost him that much? Everything Moses did was to be a picture of Jesus. In 1 Co. 10:4 is says, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” So we know that the rock Moses was instructed to strike the first time was Christ. Jesus died once for our sins so the first time they were at the rock it stood for Jesus’ death on the cross. The second time they were there Moses was to teach them that since Christ has died for us we now can just speak and it will be done. We don’t crucify Jesus over and over; his death was enough. Mark 11:33 tells us to speak to the mountains to be removed and they will.
Before they enter the promise land, Miriam has to die and Aaron’s mantle is passed to Eliezer before he dies. The promised land is not a place for disobedience and unbelief. All the past generation has died and a young generation with new faith has emerged. They can enter in with faith.
Lord, help us to enter into your promises with faith.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Establishing Leadership

Read: Num. 16-17
Anyone who wants to complain about who God sets up as our leaders needs to read Numbers 16; it will put the fear of God in you. It is hard for us to remember that God puts all men in authority. Our president was put there by God and we need to honor his position and God’s choice. Korah, Dathan, abiram and On were jealous of Moses and wanted his position. There names respectably mean: ice, derivation, lofty, and iniquity. They were principalities that were rising up to rule. Moses sent them back to the pit where they belonged. The devil stood up and tried to usurp God’s authority and he and a third of the angels were thrown from heaven to earth to become demons.
The devil hates leaders of God. He is so jealous of their position because he was once one of God’s leaders. His jealousy led to his demise and he wants the same result for all the leaders so he will plant jealousy in the heart of the people so they will try to destroy their leaders. It happens all the time and many churches are split because of this very thing.
Moses had to give them a supernatural sign from God to prove that he wasn’t the leader on his own initiative. God chose him and he was being obedient to his calling. Aaron was also.
Lord, help us to honor our leaders even if we don’t respect their decisions.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Consequences of Unbelief

Read: Numbers 14-15, Ps. 90
Because of their unbelief that God could deliver them, the children of Israel want to go back to Egypt. Moses and Aaron are beside themselves with frustration and God wants to kill them all and start over. Moses intercedes and talks God down from destroying the whole group so the Lord says that this generation must wander in the wilderness for 70 years while they all die off, then their offspring will be brought back and be given another chance to enter. Caleb and Joshua will get to enter because they believed. Now God has their attention and some of them decide they are ready to enter the land with or without God. Moses warns them it will be without God. They try and fail.
This is when Moses pens Psalms 90 and talks about time in God’s eyes. A thousand years to God are but a blink and man is so frail in comparison to Him, but Moses begs for the mercy of God on his people and their children. He prayed that God would teach his people to number their days that they would gain a heart of wisdom. If they weren’t going to be able to achieve their destiny because of their unbelief, maybe they could learn something valuable from it.
I can’t imagine how frustrating it was to Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb who did the right thing and had to face the consequences of the group. That is a good thing to teach our children. Who they run around with will affect their own consequences even it they don’t participate. You are branded by the people you hang around with.
Lord, teach us to number our days that we might gain Your wisdom.