Daily Encouragement

April 12 – Did Jericho Really Fall to Joshua’s Army?

Joshua 5:1-7:15
Luke 15:1-32
Psalm 81:1-16
Proverbs 13:1

Joshua 5:2 — God’s command for Abraham to be circumcised extended to all his descendants (Genesis 17:10). He reiterated to Moses that it be done on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3). But the wandering Israelites had not obeyed. Just when you thought you had heard of all their sins …

Joshua 5:13 — During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was asked if God was on his side. Lincoln responded, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.”


Joshua 6:20 — From Associates for Biblical Research (ABR), the leading scholarly and Bible-upholding archaeology ministry:

The battle of Jericho is one of the bloodiest episodes of the Old Testament. It’s a fantastic tale of victory through faith but is there any truth behind story? Archaeologist, Dr Bryant Wood, believes the physical evidence indicates the biblical account is true…

For Bryant Wood, Jericho is an archaeological puzzle waiting to be solved. On re-examining the evidence that was excavated, Wood, an expert in Canaanite pottery, dated its destruction to 1450 BC- the time of the Israelite conquest. But his investigation didn’t stop there, incredibly he also discovered evidence that he believes corroborates numerous aspects of the biblical version of events.

Joshua 7:6 — When Joshua faced a setback, he could have sent out a second force right away, but He turned to the LORD. Hezekiah tried to bribe his way out of his predicament (2 Kings 18:14), and Asa tried buying friends (2 Chronicles 16:7). Don’t go first to the natural answer; go to the Supernatural Answer!

Luke 15:2 — The dinner saga is escalating. Jesus didn’t just talk about eating with second-class citizens, He actually welcomed them near and ate with them!

Luke 15:20 — This is our Father! He is the One who found us smelling like pigs, but He had compassion, He ran to us, He kissed us, He gave us the best robe, a ring, shoes, and is now preparing a feast for us (Revelation 19:6-9)!

Luke 15:28-30 — John MacArthur preached a great message at a VCY Rally on this passage.

Psalm 81:10 — You can get a memorable recording of this verse and other Scripture passages from our friend, Earl Martin.

Proverbs 13:1 — Listen and be wise!

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Daily Encouragement

April 11 – The Distinguished Dinner Guest and His Controversial Comments

Joshua 3:1-4:24
Luke 14:7-35
Psalm 80:1-19
Proverbs 12:27-28

Welcome to Day 101! We’re into the triple digits of faithfully reading the Bible!

Joshua 3:13 — Did you catch the phrase “Lord of all the earth?” We serve a big God!

Joshua 3:17 — God was demonstrating to Joshua that just as He was with Moses, He would be with Joshua (Joshua 3:7). How? With the same miracle that He used to lead Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 14:22). This miracle would also signify Elijah and Elisha’s transition at the same place (2 Kings 2:8, 14).

Joshua 4:3 — At the Ark Encounter, they “add 12 stones at the base of the life-size Noah’s Ark. These stones signify that it was built to remind future generations and the whole world of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word.”

Luke 14:15 — Many people like to name drop the famous people they have been with. This man was able to eat dinner at the home of one of the chief Pharisees; but far more special, he ate with the LORD Jesus the Messiah! He heard the teaching and wanted to say something to this distinguished guest. But the distinguished guest was criticizing the other guests who were fighting for the seats at the main table. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s criticizing the guest list! The unnamed host of Luke 14:15 tried to make a spiritual comment. Maybe he thought, “I may not be the chief Pharisee, but even the mediocre Pharisees should be at the upcoming heavenly feast.” Jesus proceeded to say that all the proper guests of the kingdom will be distracted with lands (Luke 14:18), goods (Luke 14:19), or relationships (Luke 14:20), and be replaced with not just the poor, maimed, halt, and blind (Luke 14:13, 21), but even those out in the highways and hedges. Jesus then left the feast (Luke 14:25) and said, “If you want to come with me to the kingdom, be willing to give up your family, yourself, and be horribly crucified. Don’t follow me. Sit down and do the math – are you willing to give up everything?”

Psalm 80:19 — Three times in this chapter the people cry out to the LORD. As we read in Jeremiah 17:14, the LORD is capable of saving. How can we be saved? By calling on the LORD (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13)!

Proverbs 12:28 — Eternal life is the result of the way of righteousness. The Righteous One is the Way (John 14:6)!

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Daily Encouragement

April 10 – Knowing God Face to Face

Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24
Luke 13:22-14:6
Psalm 79:1-13
Proverbs 12:26

Deuteronomy 34:1 — The view from Mount Nebo today:

Deuteronomy 34:10 — Jacob saw God face to face (Genesis 32:30). Gideon saw the Angel of the LORD face to face (Judges 6:22). One day the LORD will plead with His people face to face (Ezekiel 20:35). So why does the Lord say He knew Moses face to face? Perhaps because we see the phrase “And the LORD spoke unto Moses” 105 times in the Bible. God spoke to others in the Old Testament as well, but as far as I can tell no one as much as Moses.

Moses only had 5 books of the Bible and limited access to God. We have 66 books and unlimited access to His throne. What are you waiting for?

Joshua 1:2 — The LORD told Joshua to Go (Joshua 1:2), take the Gift (Joshua 1:3), a Great gift (Joshua 1:4), with His Guarantee (Joshua 1:5). We have a similar guarantee (Matthew 28:20).

Also note the LORD told Joshua twice (Joshua 1:6, Joshua 1:9) to be strong and of good courage!

Joshua 1:8 — The only place the word “success” is found in the KJV Bible is in this verse. By meditating on the Torah – the only books of the Bible that Joshua had – he could be prosperous and successful. How exactly?

  • Be strong (Joshua 1:6)
  • Go straight (Joshua 1:7)
  • Be searching (Joshua 1:8a)
  • Be submitting (Joshua 1:8b)

Joshua 2:10 — Isn’t it great to hear that people are testifying not of how wonderful they are but of how amazing the LORD is? This leads people to recognize who the LORD is (Joshua 2:11).

Also notice the LORD’s earthly ownership (Joshua 2:9a), emotional ownership (Joshua 2:9b), and eternal ownership (Joshua 2:11).

Luke 13:26 — Sobering words from our Lord.

Luke 13:31 — Jesus had an interesting relationship with Herod as well as the Pharisees. Here it seems that the Pharisees are trying to protect Jesus, and in Luke 14:1, one of the chief Pharisees is hosting Jesus.

Psalm 79:8 — An echo of Psalm 51.

Proverbs 12:26 — Seduce:

to attract (someone) to a belief or into a course of action that is inadvisable or foolhardy.

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Daily Encouragement

April 9 – Jeshurun

Deuteronomy 33:1-29
Luke 13:1-21
Psalm 78:65-72
Proverbs 12:25

Deuteronomy 33:5 — John MacArthur has an interesting insight:

King in Jeshurun. Since Moses is nowhere else in Scripture referred to as king, most interpret this as a reference to the Lord as King over Israel. However, Moses is the closest antecedent of the pronoun “he” in this clause, and the most natural understanding is that Moses is being referred to as a king. Moses certainly exercised kingly authority over Israel and could be viewed as a prototype of the coming King. Thus, united in the figure of Moses, the coming Prophet like unto Moses (18:15) would be the Prophet-King.

Deuteronomy 33:22 — Many equate this with the taking of Laish, but there are other interesting observations:

The tribe of Dan headed one of the four groups of three tribes each into which the Children of Israel were organized for travel through the desert on the way from Egypt to Canaan (described in the Book of Numbers). On the one hand, as an older child, Dan led the group, but on the other hand, his was the last group to travel, and, among other things, it was responsible for taking in all the stragglers who couldn’t keep up.

When the Twelve Tribes settled in Canaan, Dan continued to be a border tribe. On the one hand, this is a very responsible position, protecting others from attack and from harm. On the other, it is away from the heart of the country, the center to which all around relate as leader.

Deuteronomy 33:26 — This is the third time Moses uses the word “Jeshurun.” From GotQuestions:

The name Jeshurun means “upright one” or “blessed one.” In the parallelism of Isaiah’s poetry, Jeshurun is a synonym for Jacob in the previous line. So we see that Jeshurun is a poetic reference to the nation of Israel. It is a term of endearment; the Greek Septuagint translates Jeshurun as “beloved one,” using a form of the word agape. The name Jeshurun is used four times in the books of Deuteronomy and Isaiah. In each case the name occurs in a poetic setting and refers to Israel, God’s beloved people.

Deuteronomy 32:27 — Are you leaning on the everlasting arms?

Luke 13:1 — From David Guzik:

There is a similar incident before the ministry of Jesus, Pilate wanted to build an aqueduct from the Pools of Solomon to the city of Jerusalem. To pay for it, he demanded money from the temple treasury, money that had been dedicated to God-and this outraged the people. When the Jews sent a delegation to beg for their money back, Pilate sent into the crowd soldiers dressed as common people, and at a certain signal they took out daggers and attacked the people asking for the money.

Luke 13:7 — I heard a message in my teens on this passage: “Are You a Waste of Dirt?”

Psalm 78:68 — We’ve read earlier about the place God would put His name – Mount Zion!

Proverbs 12:25 — Take time to hear a good word and be glad!

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Daily Encouragement

April 8 – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Deuteronomy 32:28-52
Luke 12:35-59
Psalm 78:56-64
Proverbs 12:24

Deuteronomy 32:29 — What does wisdom do? It helps people understand what’s really important.

Deuteronomy 32:35 — This was the text for Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

Despite the fact that he had delivered “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” to his own congregation with little effect, he felt led to use it again at Enfield.

His techniques were unimpressive. He always read his sermons in an even voice, but with great conviction. He shunned shouting and theatrical antics. Impressing the listener with the power of truth and his desperate need for God was Edwards’ goal.

Nothing in his style or presentation could account for what happened that day at Enfield. An eyewitness, Stephen Williams, wrote in his diary, “We went over to Enfield where we met dear Mr. Edwards of Northampton who preached a most awakening sermon from these words, Deuteronomy 32:35, and before the sermon was done there was a great moaning and crying went out through ye whole House…. ‘What shall I do to be saved,’ ‘Oh, I am going to Hell,’ ‘Oh, what shall I do for Christ,’ and so forth. So yet ye minister was obliged to desist, ye shrieks and cry were piercing and amazing.”

Enrichment Journal

Luke 12:37 — The Lord will serve His servants! In John 13:5, Jesus demonstrates this Himself.

Luke 12:46-48 — This image of Jesus conflicts with the “soft and gentle” motif that we are presented with (Luke 12:51 reiterates this point). Few beatings, many beatings, or being cut in sunder! It seems as if the Lord is emphasizing that this is worth paying attention to!

Psalm 78:58 — Which of the Ten Commandments was this that they violated? Now you know why we’ve emphasized learning the mnemonics!

Proverbs 12:24 — Most business books (e.g. “How to Be Successful”) are just restatements of Proverbs with recent illustrations.

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Daily Encouragement

April 7 – Fourteen Hour Marathon Oral Reading Session!

Deuteronomy 31:1-32:27
Luke 12:8-34
Psalm 78:32-55
Proverbs 12:21-23

Deuteronomy 31:7 — We’ll see a theme in this chapter: be strong! In Numbers 13:28, the spies said the people of the land were “strong.” But in Deuteronomy 11:8, Moses commanded the people of Israel to “be strong” as he did in Deuteronomy 31:6. He also told Joshua the same thing in Deuteronomy 31:7 and again in Deuteronomy 31:23. It was the LORD, though, who commanded Joshua to “be strong” in Joshua 1:6 and 1:9, just before the officers answered Joshua by also encouraging him to be strong (Joshua 1:18). Finally, in Joshua 10:25, it’s Joshua himself encouraging the people with the admonition to “be strong!”

Reading of the Torah, Aish Synagogue, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:11 — Every 7 years the Israelites would spend 14 hours listening to the Law. Once Joshua arrived at Mount Ebal, he read the entire Law … yes, every word (Joshua 8:34-35)! Josiah had it read to him (2 Kings 22:10). Later after the Exile, the returning exiles discovered this commandment and followed it in Nehemiah 8:18 – possibly for the first time since Joshua!

Deuteronomy 31:12 — Four duties: hear, learn, fear, obey.

Deuteronomy 31:19 — Now you know why we try to include Scripture songs!

Deuteronomy 32:18 — Have you noticed how many times we’ve referred to the Rock so far? In the New Testament, Paul will expound this in 1 Corinthians 10:4.

Luke 12:8-9 — Half of churchgoers have never heard of the Great Commission. Far fewer can identify it. Do you share Jesus with others, or do you deny knowing Him?

Luke 12:15 — Which of the Ten Commandments is covetousness? If you need a refresher, try the finger-based mnemonic videos! There are several – find one that works for you!

Psalm 78:35 — Did you catch Who was their Rock?

Proverbs 12:22 — Again we see Solomon focusing on the power of the tongue!

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Daily Encouragement

April 6 – The Covenant with the Unborn

Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20
Luke 11:37-12:7
Psalm 78:1-31
Proverbs 12:19-20

Deuteronomy 29:2 — Thousands of years after Jesus came to earth, we think it would be much easier to believe if Jesus were here with us. If instead of watching a performance during Passion Week, if we could see Jesus with our own eyes, we would believe. The Israelites saw all that God did: plagues in Egypt, parting of the Red Sea, manna from Heaven, and yet they murmured, complained, wished to go back to Egypt (Numbers 14:4), and even wished they died there (Exodus 16:3). Do you really think we would have responded differently?

Deuteronomy 29:6 — Ephesians 5:18 contrasts being drunk with wine to being filled with the Spirit. The Israelites drank neither wine nor strong drink but were provided with water from the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). By the way, today’s psalm talks about this as well!

Deuteronomy 29:15 — While the Mosaic Covenant extended to the unborn descendants of the children of Israel, we too are part of a covenant with God (Hebrews 8:6).

Deuteronomy 30:3 — Daniel realized that God would accomplish His promise (Daniel 9:2). Even though they had been exiled, the exile would not last forever (Jeremiah 25:11). Interestingly, since July 5th, 1950, the children of Israel have officially begun regathering into Israel. Verse 5 begins the “Land Covenant” according to Jimmy DeYoung.

Deuteronomy 30:6 — The Abrahamic Covenant included in the Mosaic Covenant required circumcision of the flesh (Genesis 17:10). Moses prophesies what Paul writes about in Romans 2:29. Unfortunately, up to 67% of modern Israel’s Jewish population identifies as secular. Romans 11:26 has yet to be fulfilled.

Deuteronomy 30:11 — Following God isn’t complex; but even though it’s simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy!

Deuteronomy 30:20 — This is the tenth time in Deuteronomy we are urged to love the LORD our God. Choose life and love God (vs. 19)!

James Tissot [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Luke 11:42 — Why did Jesus have such harsh words for the Pharisees? They knew the Law of Moses, but they didn’t follow the greatest commandment – to love the LORD their God!

Luke 11:46 — The lawyer felt left out, so he thought he should speak up (Luke 11:45). But the experts in Mosaic Law were decried because even though they loved the Law and built monuments to prophets, their fathers had killed the prophets.

Luke 12:5 — I’m thankful for those who defend our religious liberties, but we need to make sure we are using them! Today is not the day to bewail the loss of freedom and the fact we may suffer consequences for speaking God’s Word. Today is the day to speak the Word of God!

Psalm 78:6 — Deuteronomy 29:15 included the Israelite descendants in the covenant, and those who follow the Lord will not hide these truths (Psalm 78:4). They will make them known to their children (Psalm 78:5), so future generations will know them (Psalm 78:6) in order that they too may trust and obey the Lord (Psalm 78:7)!

Psalm 78:31 — God’s wrath is real.

Proverbs 12:19 — One of the themes of Proverbs seems to be the use of the tongue. Use yours carefully today!

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Daily Encouragement

April 5 – Why Did Josiah Tear His Clothes?

Deuteronomy 28:1-68
Luke 11:14-36
Psalm 77:1-20
Proverbs 12:18

Deuteronomy 28:15 — If the incentives from verses 1-14 aren’t enough to motivate you, then pay attention!

Deuteronomy 28:36 — Fulfilled in Daniel 5:4.

Deuteronomy 28:52 — Fulfilled in Jeremiah 39:8.

Deuteronomy 28:53-55 — Prophesied in Jeremiah 19:9; Lamentations 2:20, 4:10; Ezekiel 5:10; and fulfilled in 2 Kings 6:28-29.

This is a poignant chapter for the King to copy when he makes his copy of the Law (Deuteronomy 17:18). No wonder Josiah tore his robes and recognized the anger of the Lord (2 Kings 22:11-13). No wonder the people wept in Nehemiah 8:9 when they read it!

The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon. Many scholars think she was from modern day Yemen.

Luke 11:31 — The Queen of Sheba traveled 1,400 miles to see Solomon, yet the people were there with Jesus and did not believe.

Luke 11:32 — Jonah was a pretty poor excuse for a prophet, yet it didn’t take great preaching to get Ninevah to repent.

Psalm 77:10-11 — We see more synonymous parallelism. Oftentimes, the key thought is in the center of the psalm. In these verses we see “remember” three times.

Proverbs 12:18 — This is the 5th of 19 times the tongue is mentioned in Proverbs.

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Daily Encouragement

April 4 – What Do People Spend as Little as Five Minutes a Day Doing?

Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26
Luke 10:38-11:13
Psalm 76:1-12
Proverbs 12:15-17

Deuteronomy 26:15 — Obedience brings blessing.

Deuteronomy 27:4 — Joshua 8:30-35 has the fulfillment of this command in regard to the Mount Ebal altar. When we get to Joshua 8, we’ll discuss if it’s been found!

Deuteronomy 27:15-25 — Why are these commands singled out? Verse 15 refers to the idols “in a secret place.” Verse 16 refers to a secret mockery of parents. Verse 17 is an action done in secret. Many of these actions were done in secret. The notorious sins did not need extra condemnation, but the “sins of the heart” that allegedly wouldn’t get caught needed some extra attention. Achan thought he wouldn’t get caught either (Joshua 7:21).

Luke 10:40 — Three times as many evangelicals identify with Martha instead of Mary. We’ll see why in the next chapter, but here’s the quote from Christian Today:

Tellingly, busy Martha was the Bible character evangelicals were most likely to say they identified with (43 percent).

“She was selected almost three times more than her contemplative sister Mary, indicating that busy lifestyles are a widespread feature of contemporary discipleship,” the Alliance said.

Luke 11:1 — The church is in need of being taught how to pray. The Washington Post reports that in Wisconsin only 5 minutes a day is spent on “religious activities” (prayer), as opposed to 34 minutes on housework, 37 minutes on personal grooming, 2 hours and 42 minutes spent watching television, and 5 hours and 16 minutes on leisure.

Finishing up our excerpt from Christian Today:

Although 87 percent agreed that every Christian needs to spend time alone with God on a daily basis, and that without that their faith will suffer, 42 per cent said that they find it difficult to find time on a regular disciplined basis to pray and read the Bible …

Luke 11:9 — What do we need to do in our prayer life? Ask – Seek – Knock. Repeatedly (vs. 8).

Psalm 76:7 — The anger of the Lord isn’t a common topic. Job, the oldest book in the Bible, talks about His anger (Job 4:9). God was angry with the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 32:10, Numbers 11:2, Numbers 32:13). The kings failed to lead their people to avoid His anger (2 Kings 13:3 and 17:18). The Psalmists recorded His anger (Psalm 78:59, 89:38). The prophets warned of His anger (Isaiah 13:5 and 9, Isaiah 51:20; Jeremiah 32:29; Lamentations 2:2; Ezekiel 7:8; Daniel 8:19; Habakkuk 3:12). Jesus was angry at those who defiled His Father’s house (Matthew 21:12-13). Paul warned about God’s anger (Romans 2:5).

Proverbs 12:15 — Rehoboam should have listened to his father’s advice (1 Kings 12:8).

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Daily Encouragement

April 3 – Joshua Glover, Wisconsin, and Deuteronomy 23:6

Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19
Luke 10:13-37
Psalm 75:1-10
Proverbs 12:12-14

Deuteronomy 23:1 — While other cultures used eunuchs in their civil or religious structure, God explains that doing so was not His plan for Israel. Circumcision, not castration, was His mark of holiness. Paul suggests that those who belabor circumcision under the New Covenant might as well go all the way to castration (Galatians 5:12).

Deuteronomy 23:6 — Interestingly, Ammonites and Moabites were prohibited from having their peace sought. Ezra 9:12 prohibits seeking the peace of the inhabitants of the land given to Israel, while Jeremiah 29:7 authorizes the people to seek the peace of Babylon.

Deuteronomy 23:15 — This contradicts the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. In 1854, Joshua Glover, an escaped slave, was captured in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional, which was overturned in Ableman v. Booth.

Deuteronomy 24:1 — Again, another “what if” or “secondary will” passage. Jesus reiterated that this was not God’s “primary will” (Matthew 19:8).

Deuteronomy 24:22 — Moses reminds the children of Israel that they were bondmen (slaves). Thus, they are held to account.

Deuteronomy 25:9 — Who in the Bible gave their shoe as sign that they would not redeem someone? Naomi’s near kinsman (Ruth 4:8).

Luke 10:14 — It seems that there are different punishments for sin depending on 1) the offense, and 2) the knowledge.

Luke 10:25 — The ageless question: How can I have eternal life? The Rich Young Ruler will ask this question in eight chapters. The Lawyer asked the question today. Both were disappointed in the response they received.

Luke 10:33-35 — What’s the moral of this story? That we should be kind to people that are prejudiced against us? While that is admirable, we can see ourselves in the man that fell among thieves, was stripped of raiment, wounded, and left half dead (vs. 30). Sin has taken away our clothing, our health, and our possessions. The religious leader won’t help us (vs. 31). The religious follower can’t help (vs. 32). But the Man that we despised (Isaiah 53:3) had compassion on us (vs. 33), took us, helpless as we were, tended to us, gave a down payment of His resources to provide for us (the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 1:13-14), and has unlimited resources to provide for our needs! This is love that brings salvation!

Psalm 75:7 — Today is an election day in my hometown, and this is a great verse for successful and unsuccessful political candidates. Government is ordained by God (Romans 13) and is communicated from God.

Proverbs 12:13 — God will deliver the just and will ensnare the wicked with their own deeds!

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