April 22 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Joshua 24:1-33:

  • 1-14 – Joshua recounts a series of God’s faithfulness to them from the beginning of his covenant with Israel to their present day. He then asks them to follow him faithfully because of this faithfulness.
  • 15 – A powerful line in the sand type of verse. Joshua can’t force the Israelites to respond to God’s faithfulness with faithfulness of their own, but he makes a pledge for himself and his family to do so.
  • 19-28 – Joshua was hesitant to believe and accept the devotion of the Israelites because he had seen their unfaithfulness in the past and knew they still had idols in their possessions. The Israelites insist that they are committed.
  • 31 – The sign of a good leader – all the Israelites followed God while Joshua led them.

Luke 21:1-28:

  • 1-4 – God does not care about the amount we give but about our faithfulness in trusting him enough to give.
  • 14-15 – We know this to be true because he continually is able to confound the religious authorities when they attempt to stump him with impossible questions.
  • 20-24 – Just a few decades after Jesus’ death, the Romans destroy Jerusalem and persecute the Christians. Jesus is foretelling this and letting people know that it truly will be terrible.

Psalm 89:38-52:

  • 46 – In this instance, the psalmist is referring to being exiled when he says the Lord is hiding his face from him.

Proverbs 13:20-23:

  • 22 – There are many verses in the proverbs about the wisdom of preparing and working hard. Leaving an inheritance for your children requires both of these things.

April 16 – Daily Notes – Amanda

judge judy

Do you ever wonder if God answers prayers? In today’s Luke reading there is a parable that reminds us that God does hear us. Don’t make the make mistake of equating God with the judge. But if even the unrighteous judge hears persistent requests, how much more will God?

Joshua 13:1-14:15:

  • 13 – It is unclear why the Geshurites and Maacathites were allowed to stay on Israel’s land while all others are driven out. It could be that they didn’t pose a threat of causing the Israelites to be unfaithful to God.
  • 8-12 – Caleb and Joshua were the only two who trusted the Lord to give them the land like he promised even though it looked impossible. Because Caleb “wholly followed the Lord” he was blessed with an inheritance and good health.
  • 12 – The Anakim were legendary people and are believed to have been giants.

Luke 18:1-17:

  • 1-8 – As is explained in verse 1, this parable encourages the hearers to pray and not lose heart, but it should not be mistaken that the judge represents God. The judge is meant to be an unrighteous man, but the comparison is made that if even he can be persuaded to do the right thing with persistence, how much more will God hear our prayers?
  • 9-14 – This is a warning against self-righteousness, which is an easy trap for those of us who do our best to faithfully follow Christ. It is far easier to see ourselves as the justified tax collector than the Pharisee.

Psalm 85:1-13:

  • Based on the first 3 verses, this is most likely written about the beginning of the Israelites’ return from exile. They can begin to see God’s goodness being restored to them, but they have still have not fully returned to the prosperity they once knew. They’re still asking if God is angry, but they’re aware of his faithfulness.

Proverbs 13:7-8:

  • This is similar to a comparison made in Proverbs 12:9. Because of the honor/shame society the Israelites lived in, they would much rather be seen as honorable or as having wealth, whether it was true or not, so they would not receive shame.

April 11 – Daily Notes – Amanda

deja vu

In today’s Joshua reading, the Israelites probably thought they were having deja vu when God allowed Joshua to part the Jordan River so the people could cross into the Promised Land. Of course, God was showing that he was leading Joshua just like he led Moses and showing the Israelites that he would go with them into this new land just like he did into the desert.

Joshua 3:1-4:24:

  • 3 – The Ark of the Covenant contained the 10 Commandments and represented the presence of the Lord. It is appropriate that it would enter the land before the Israelites representing God going before them.
  • 7-13 – God established Joshua as the new leader so he could be exalted and respected like Moses. It is not insignificant that God proved himself and Joshua as leaders in the same way he did for Moses when they were fleeing from the Egyptians.
  • 1-7 – God made it impossible for them to forget what he had done for them and the sign he had given to them that he would take care of them. He had them build a memorial so that even those, in future generations, who hadn’t seen the miracle, would ask and be told of God stopping the Jordan River and bringing the Israelites to the Promised Land.

Luke 14:7-35:

  • 7-11 – The ancient Israelites were a part of a “honor/shame” society. Every action and scenario as well as possessions contributed to your honor or shame. This instruction from Jesus asks his hearers to forego that norm and to purposefully put yourself in what would be considered a shameful position instead of trying to claim a position of honor.
  • 12-14 – In order to receive honor, you needed to be associated with other honorable people. The poor, crippled, and lame were not people of honor. Again, Jesus calls us to forego the things that are elevated in our society.
  • 15-24 – This parable describes how Jesus originally came to save the Jews but was rejected so his message and salvation was opened for all who would accept.
  • 26-27 – Jesus uses strong language to help his hearers understand that they must offer full devotion to him. There devotion cannot be split.
  • 33 – This is hard to hear, but often we try to be partially or minimally devoted to Jesus. We’d like to hang on to everything else that is fun or seemingly beneficial to us. Jesus reminds us that it’s not possible to do both.

Psalm 80:1-19:

  • 4 – Because exile continued for generations, though they begged God to save them, the Israelites felt that their prayers went unheard.
  • 8-13 – The Psalmist asks why God would bother saving the Israelites from Egypt and allowing them to flourish only to later allow them to be devastated by other nations.

April 10 – Daily Notes – Amanda

left out

The Israelites were the chosen people of God. They were protected by him in war and provided for by him for all their needs. But then their sins led them to exile where they were rejected and alone. Today’s psalm recounts the Israelites’ experience in exile.

Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24:

  • 8-12 – As easily spooked as the Israelites were, you can imagine that Moses’ death would have had the potential to send them into hysterics wondering if God would still show up for them. In God’s great wisdom, he had already begun to raise a new leader, Joshua, into power so the Israelites could have someone to follow.
  • After four books worth of wandering in the desert, the Israelites are finally about to enter the Promised Land.
  • 5-9 – God’s initial instructions to Joshua tell him how to lead the people of Israel. He must follow all the commands Moses relayed to him from God. He must also be strong and courageous. This command is repeated 3 times in rapid succession. Any time something is repeated 3 times, it means it’s something you need to pay particular attention to.
  • 1-24 – Rahab is unlikely heroine in the Bible. She is a prostitute and is not an Israelite. However, she cares for the Israelite and asks only for safety in return. Because of her kindness and protection of the Israelite spies, she is rewarded. She is even mentioned in Matthew’s lineage of Jesus. She is the mother of Boaz who marries Ruth, who has a book of the Bible written about her.

Luke 13:22-14:6:

  • 22 – As early as chapter 9, the gospel writer describes Jesus as heading towards Jerusalem. Here we see it again. This does not mean it is a ridiculously long journey that takes all this time. It is simply that Jesus, starting then, was on his mission towards the cross.
  • 24-30 – Many religious folks wanted to rely on their devotion to the rules to buy their ticket to God’s kingdom. Jesus is letting them know that following the rules would not be enough and soon he would be gone and they would have missed their chance to have a place in the kingdom.
  • 34 – Jesus was sent first to the Jews and Jerusalem was their hub. Unfortunately the Jews rejected Jesus over and over again and would not allow him to protect them.

Psalm 79:1-13:

  • This Psalm refers to the Israelites’ experiences during exile. The Babylonians conquered them and all the nations assumed the Israelites’ God who normally protected them had disappeared.
  • 13 – So often throughout the Bible the Israelites are referred to as the sheep of God’s pasture. They were God’s original chosen people and the original ones that Jesus came to save. Thankfully Jesus expanded his ministry to gentiles as well.

Proverbs 12:26:

  • Humans are, by nature, selfish beings. We often fail to think about how our actions will effect others. This Proverb reminds us that our actions can lead people into righteousness or lead them astray.

January 1 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 1:1-2:25:

  • 2 – First mention of the Holy Spirit being present.
  • 26 – Note the use of “our”. This is God speaking amongst all 3 persons of the Trinity. Humanity is made in the image of God the Trinity. This is why we’re designed to create things, to love, and to be in relationship.
  • 2:1-3 – This is why we are to observe the Sabbath – a day of rest from our regular work.
  • Note that chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Genesis tell the story of the creation of humanity slightly differently.
  • Some people ask why God put the tree of good and evil in the garden if it wasn’t good for people. The better question might be, though, with all the other choices in the garden, why were the people drawn to the one tree that was forbidden.

Matthew 1:1-2:12:

  • The genealogy found in Matthew is that of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.
  • 17 – Abraham, David, exile in Babylon, and the Messiah are four of the most significant milestones in Jewish history that any ancient Jew would have understood and recognized.
  • Matthew’s birth account focuses on Joseph while Luke’s birth account focuses on Mary.
  • 6 – This is just one of the many prophecies Matthew notes as being fulfilled through Christ. Make note of all the prophecies fulfilled in this gospel.

Psalm 1:1-6:

  • This Psalm contrasts a person who’s delight is in the law of the Lord versus someone who is wicked.

Proverbs 1:1-6:

  • Consider this short passage as a statement of purpose for why the author wrote the book of Proverbs.