24: 50 Days of 3:16

Go find a map of the world and search for Nineveh. You won’t find it, the city of Nineveh was destroyed for their wicked ways long ago. I remember as a teenager in drama doing a production called Kismet. One of the main songs was Not Since Nineveh. We see the world glorifying a city that was so sinful and vile that they do not even exist anymore.

You have increased the number of your merchants
until they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts, they strip the land
and then fly away.

Nahum 3:16

We see this nation of Nineveh being copied in the world today. Many nations are walking a path towards destruction. Here in today’s verse, we read that Nineveh was about taking, the merchants were stripping the lands for their own profit. A good merchant gives and takes to the benefit of others as well as themselves. But here we see that they were consumed with taking what they wanted striping the nations of fair trade. As individuals, if we are a people who only take from our friends and the people we meet we become like these merchants. We are called to give more than we take, this is the relationship we are called to have with one another. To serve one another as brother and sisters in Christ.

How do we respond to things that are happening in your own nation that would be considered evil? When you hear of something that makes your blood boil just a little, an offence against children, refugees, laws or court rulings that favour others giving no regard to those who follow Christ. What can we do? One thing we shouldn’t do is respond evil with evil. Jesus himself told us the way to respond; Love. Do not be discouraged and think the love that’s emotional love but a love that empowers and propels us forward. The kind of love that teaches to turn the other cheek, the kind of love that when we go a mile carrying someone’s bag we don’t stop but carry it another. You will not win any wars by ranting on Social Media. You may, however, lose your witness with those whom you call friends when you send out posts that offend and attack. Back your points up with scripture as to serve those who oppose our values. Show them that God loves them despite the choices they are making. He values them and wants to have a relationship with them.

We are living in a troubling time all over the world. I pray that if you are reading this you are on God’s side. If not what is holding you back from choosing life? I urge you today to ask Jesus to take away your sins, admitting you cannot do it on your own and start walking in relationship with him.

Father, sometimes we thing when it cannot get any worse we just need to turn on the news and know that we were wrong. I pray for our leaders who are making these rash choices. I pray that they turn to you and start making wise Godly decisions that will bring their nations back to you. Use your believers to change the world, give them strength and wisdom to overcome their fears and start doing something. Bring revival among your people so that we can reach the lost in mass and walk in the mission we are called to.  Amen

If something in your nation is drawing you to pray, let me know, put a prayer in the comments so we can join in unison together.

19: 50 Days of 3:16

The bible is full of prophecy, things that will come to happen insights into the future that no one could even imagine happening. The restoration of Israel that happening in 1948 was foretold in the Bible. Make no mistake, there is more to happen the Bible prophecy is not yet complete.

 

In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.

Jeremiah 3:16

 

We have come to the point in society where God is an afterthought. Many would claim that their country was built on Christian foundations but when we look at them now we often wonder what happened. God in Jerimiah made a promise that when all hope was thought to be lost he would bring his people back together. There is a promise that Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord’ that the people will return to worship God.

Jeremiah 3, is a verse that reminds me of a loving Father calling his children to forgiveness. He is not oblivious to the sins they have committed, but he loves them nonetheless and is calling them to humble themselves and repent so He can bless them. That is the issue that many in this world today cannot accept is the acknowledgement that they have sinned. They believe they are good people and that they have done nothing wrong. Until their sin is revealed to them they don’t even know there is anything going on.

What can we do as believers to show those around us that God loves them and is eagerly waiting for them to come to him? If we read one verse earlier we see that God is preparing and using shepherds who have the heart of God. They will be used to guide others in the truth with wisdom and understanding. You have been given the mission of reaching the lost by Jesus himself, you have been given the Holy Spirit to provide wisdom and understanding. God has prepared or is preparing you to be a shepherd to guide his people into freedom. Are you allowing God to mentor you in being the shepherd to the people around you? They have forgotten who God is, and many don’t even care to know. How will they know they need a savior if no one tells them?

 

Father, prepare us to be shepherds to those around us. This means having wisdom to know when they are hurting, when to speak words of encouragement and eyes to see when they are hurting. Let us not ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit in these experiences. We want to be effective in sharing your love in this world. Show us what we need to do next, we turn from all our evil desires and follow you. Amen

17: 50 Days of 3:16

We expect our governments and courts to be able to judge on right and wrong. We bring the issues that we cannot deal with ourselves to them for just judgement. And for a time it may have been that way, but what is happening in today’s society the laws are being changed to suit the desires of sinful man.

 

 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

Ecclesiastes 3:16

 

Every country is dealing with these issues. It can be a hot topic issue like gender identity or something that is being pushed with little media attention like bestiality. I just read that two years ago that in my own country people could have sex with animals, ruled okay by the supreme court. We have laws in place in the last 50 years or so that have allowed millions of children the potential to survive for the sake of convenience. Sin corrupts not just man, but it has spread to all aspects of this world.

God set up the laws well ahead of any other society. They were set for a reason, to convey right from wrong and to help identify what things, if participated in, should be punished. Many countries had used these laws as a basis to build their justice systems from, yet today they look much different then when they were created. As in the days of Noah, men did whatever they thought best in their own eyes, look what happened to them.

What can we do? As believers, we can pray for courage to stand up to these areas that are sinful. We must be willing to stand by God’s teachings of what is right and wrong. For us to blindly accept things that go against the bible is not right, and we need to love those who are trying to enforce these falsehoods upon us. It will do us no good to protest and be belligerent about it, that will only fuel the fire and prove what they already think about Christians. Wise strategic moves, revealing the truth in what we say, showing them that God loves them but that we don’t absolutely agree on actions and laws that go against God. This doesn’t mean we isolate ourselves from the world, Jesus wouldn’t have done that, he would have engaged and shown them love and compassion revealing the truth of the situation. Let us work to be like Jesus and shine the light of truth in this world.

 

Father, sin has infected our justice and judgement systems. We pray for the healing of these areas and that people who are confused by the law will turn to you for answers. The things that are being passed these days for laws are so contradictory to our faith, yet people are accepting them as truth. Give us boldness to confidently stand up for our faith even if it means persecution. Help us to be effective in the mission of reaching the lost as they are looking for you. Amen

16: 50 Days of 3:16

We are about halfway through the Old Testament and we find this Proverb about loving the Lord. As I had stated in Day 12, King Solomon had requested wisdom over and earthly riches or power. He with this wisdom wrote many of the proverbs to share his insights that God had given him.

 

Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honour.

Proverbs 3:16

 

Whenever I read the Proverbs and it is speaking of wisdom I try to change the word to the Holy Spirit. Ultimately the Holy Spirit is the one who provides the wisdom we need and guides us in our walk with Christ. When you do this, we see a description of the Holy Spirit like never before. Like a friend who will never leave you, knows what to say at the right times and pushes you to succeed.  Trusting in the Holy Spirit makes us much wiser believers as she is God.

Verse 13 tells us that blessed is a man who finds the Holy Spirit(wisdom). The amazing thing we as believer know is that we don’t have to look for the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to us when we accept his salvation. We have the Holy Spirit with us as soon as we turn our lives over to him. That means we have access to wisdom, many do not realize this and walk around lost in their faith. We must empower new believers and old that to experience faith and to share the love they have found with others they need to make a deeper connection with the Holy Spirit. She is part of the Holy Trinity and is God, praying and conversing with her is the same as talking to God. She will give you guidance when you need it, even when you think you don’t.

Listening and following her promptings will give you long life. It will not always be how you plan it, but it will be fresh and exciting. Living in tune with the Holy Spirit will change how we walk daily. It may take you off the beaten path to places you never expected to go, but life was supposed to be an adventure, challenges and new opportunities. How can one expect a reward if no risks are ever taken? A man reaps what he sows is not always about bad things happening for doing bad things. What about good being reaped for good things you do in God’s name?

Are you walking with wisdom? Have you taken the time to ask the Holy Spirit to walk with you, guide you and show you the next step in your life? I pray today that your eyes are open to the third part of God that is the closest part to us. She is the one living inside of us, giving us the wisdom to become who we were meant to be.

 

Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us and watch over us. We don’t always listen to her guidance, but we ask today that we would start. Open our ears to listen more clearly, let us walk with her in everything we do. Today we want to show your love to others, we want to fulfil the mission we are called to do. Amen

 

 

14: 50 Days of 3:16

The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed. Israel had been dealt a humiliating defeat with many of the people taken away into slavery. Their sins against God were not left unchecked and the sins of the Fathers weighed heavy on the future generations. In their slavery, the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes heard from God and obeyed. Nehemiah requested leave to help rebuild the wall of his nation’s capital.

 

Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs[an of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.

Nehemiah 3:16

 

Not unlike what Israel had to deal with, we have to deal with the outcomes of our sins. When we come to Christ and accept his grace and forgiveness the effects of our sin are not always wiped away. We hear of prisoners receiving Jesus in jail, yet they still have to pay the time for the crimes they have committed. For others, it could be lasting health effects from years of abuse on your body. Broken relationships that may never be fully restored but forgiveness can be asked.  You may never be able to restore the broken marriage that leads to divorce. But there is hope that God can find peace in the situation you are in.

 

Nehemiah had a pretty easy job, he was the Kings cupbearer. He obviously had the Kings favour as he was able to make a request before the Kings. This for Nehemiah would have been a very risky move. If the King had been in a not so favourable mood he could have easily dismissed him, fired him or even had him killed for such a request. Allowing Nehemiah to go and organize the building of the wall was not really in the Kings best interest but Kings favour was on Nehemiah and he even helped sponsor the build. Why did this happen this way? God was showing the people his power and that he can make things happen. He was showing them that he will restore brokenness.

 

He is showing us in this story that God works to help us restore the brokenness in our lives and that he will provide the resources to help in the process. We need the boldness to step out of our safe place and ask him for the help we need. He wants our surrender in all areas, surrender is not always hands up, sometimes it is being ready to do what is needed to be done and asking for help. Today you may have already asked Jesus for his forgiveness and life has been going good, but there are areas of you that are broken and need restoration. Come to Go and ask him for time to heal and restore the broken area, he will give you the resources and the people who can help you rebuild. It may be trust, thoughts, friendships, family issues, health problems, whatever it may be God is ready willing and able to help.

 

Maybe you haven’t accepted God’s grace and forgiveness and are satisfied to sit in your brokenness.  There is so much more than this world has to offer that you will never experience outside of the love of God. He sent his son to die on the cross so that you might be free from the sin that binds each and every person on this earth. He came to free us of this, so we can become who we were created to be. Children of God, with a hope that there is more to life than living and dying. There is a hope for you. It is as simple as asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins. Of course, there is much more, but the first step of faith is surrendering your life and start living in a relationship with the creator God.

 

Father, if anyone is reading this and needs to receive Jesus into their life I pray they find you. Let them cry out “Jesus I am a sinner who is lost without you. I realize this now and cannot do this on my own anymore, forgive me of my sin and come into my life. I surrender to you and want to have a relationship with you” Thank you, Father, for anyone who prayed this today, you told us that the angels rejoice when anyone accepts the forgiveness promised. We ask for help in healing any broken walls in our life that are causing us pain. We cannot always escape the consequences of our sin, so help us deal with them as they arrive in a way that shows those around us that we are loved by you. All glory to you. Amen

12: 50 Days of 3:16

This verse today is the start of one of my favourite Old Testament accounts. King Solomon had been asked by God to request anything he wanted. Most would have expected him to ask for power, riches or a multitude of other things. But we learn that Solomon asked for wisdom.  God was pleased with this request and gave him the wisdom he was seeking and in turn many of the other things we would have requested. This account tells of Solomon using his wisdom given to him by God. As King, he would use his wisdom to deal with matters that the people had that could not be resolved on their own.

Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.

1 Kings 3:16

 

If you take the time to read the tale of these two women, it is the classic case of he said she said. It is also known as there are three versions of the story, her story, his story and the truth. Firstly, these two women were harlots, not the higher-class citizen, they lived a life in the sex trade. What type of King would deal with such woman? A wise one who wanted the people to know that his wisdom was from God and available to all.

 

To summarize their story the two women each had a child, we would assume these were children born of their job. Very shortly after they gave birth one accidentally killed her child in her sleep, but in her grief switched the child with the other mother. She was hoping the mother wouldn’t recognize that it wasn’t her own child. Any mother can tell you that this was a foolish act as what mother wouldn’t recognize their own child? As you can imagine this became an argument that must have been brought into the streets and eventually made its way to the king’s court as no other official was able to resolve whose child was whose. Remember this is back before DNA testing, they had no ID or hospital bracelets to help decide whose child was whose.  Let’s throw another possibility in the mix, as these were sex workers it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that the father was the same man. So, the children could have looked very similar.

 

Here they are in front of the King, giving the same story they have probably told countless others in their quest to receive closure and judgement. One woman desperately wanted her child back, the other secretly hoping she could keep the child she had taken in her grief. How could any man make a judgement call that was wise? Solomon had the wisdom given to him by God, after hearing their cases he called for a sword. He would have the child divided in tow so that both women could be satisfied. In his wisdom, he knew the real mother could never let this happen and would submit to the other. Then and only then would he truly know who the real mother was.

 

Have you asked God for wisdom? He has promised that if we would ask for wisdom he would provide it. We all to often ask for riches power and many other things but forget that those who asked for wisdom and used it for His glory were often blessed in other ways because of it.  Take some time today and pray for wisdom and opportunities to use it and watch God use you to reach other people.

 

Father, we pray for wisdom today. Use us to reach others with your love. Give us insights and words to let them know that they are loved by you and that they there is hope. Many are ready to give up and end the pain that is hurting inside, you can provide the relief they need. Let your love flow through us and let the mission of reaching others be our heart. Amen

10: 50 Days of 3:16

What do we do when God gives a message? Paul was adamant that all believers should be praying for prophecy or divine revelations from God. He set them as the most valuable resource that we can access in our faith journey. Many believers are not seeking wisdom to be able to share with others, they work in their own strength. If I was a paperboy delivering 50 papers but I refused or was oblivious to use the bag they provided to help me carry them my job would not be as effective as it could be if I would only use the bag to carry my papers. When we use what God provides sharing our faith with others becomes a lot more easier

 

But Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

1 Samuel 3:16

 

Here in today’s 3:16 we see the morning after Samuel had his first conversation with God. If you read the whole story we come to find that God called Samuel in his sleep and three times Samuel went to his boss thinking it was his voice calling out.  I interpret that as God was using the voice of Eli to speak to Samuel. After the third time being awoke,n, Eli realizes that this must be God calling Samuel telling him to respond and listen. Samuel being an obedient person responds to God receiving a message. The message Samuel received was not one he would have expected and was a promise that God would punish Eli and his family for what his boys had been doing. This would be an example to the people of what would happen if they played games with God. The boys who were priest were doing wicked things which were contradictory to everything the priests were called to do.

 

Eli, being a follower of God and trusting him, wanted to know what Samuel had heard from God the next morning. Samuel was scared that if he told Eli that he would be looked at unfavourably and maybe even called a liar. Eli made it quite clear to Samuel that if he was not to share what God had told him it would be worse off for him to keep it to himself then to share it. Samuel revealed his conversation with God to Eli who understood all that was going on and responded, ‘let Him do what is good in His eye’s’. Eli showed a divine respect for God and understood that God is good, and evil was not permitted to go unpunished.

 

God will reveal many things to us to share with others. They will not always be words of judgement, but more words of compassion, love and revelation of things that you should ought not to have known. He reveals the secrets of their hearts to you so that you can connect with them and show them God’s love for them. We are called to give that word and message to them, keeping it to ourselves does not do us any good other than giving into our fears of rejection. There is freedom in obeying God and sharing his words of love to others. If we want to grow in our faith we need to start telling God ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”.

Father. Speak for your servant is listening. Give us wisdom today to share your message of hope with others. Give us words to share that can only be revealed by you. Help us to push past our fears and open our lips giving the messages you have for us to share. Use us as a might force to change this world and showcase your love. Let me be the light in the darkness the salt in this decaying world. Amen

9: 50 Days of 3:16

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Photo cropped from an image at frankyansacramento.com

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

I

8: 50 Days of 3:16

Israel was called into the land God had promised. After Joshua had been gone the people easily strayed away from God. They easily adopted the practices of those communities around them, being sponges instead of being salt and light to the world around them. This made it hard for God to bless them as they were ignoring Him for other things. So, God anointed Judges to turn the people back to Him. This worked for a time but eventually, the next generation would grow up and make the same mistakes of their parents. This cycle is prevalent all throughout the book of Judges.

 

Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit[d] long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.

Judges 3:16

 

We meet Ehud in chapter 3 at a time, once again, where Israel has turned their backs on God once again. When this happens we almost always see oppression from the enemies that seduced Israel to their gods and ways. The very thing they longed for was no being their hardship. This happens to us even today. Many times, the things we seek after when we finally receive them they are not what we expected and now have control over us. Drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, fame, fortune to name a few.

 

Who was Ehud? Well, we know the first thing that it was important to tell us he was left-handed. Why is this important? Well, it would have set him apart from the people. It wasn’t normal then to be left-handed, it could have been a sign of sin or being set apart by God. We do not have a definitive answer but we do know that he was different.  We also know he was confident in what he was called to do. To strap a 18inch sword to your leg knowing full well you were intent of assassinating the oppressors king takes much courage and determination. Read on in the chapter to see how Ehud accomplished his mission.

 

We are called by God to do great things. No, I don’t believe He is calling people today to be assassins. The days of Judges are over, and we have been given a new mission. We are oppressed and put through hardships, but our weapon today is love. When we are told about the armour of God there are many pieces, but only one weapon. This weapon is the World of God. The Bible. We use the powerful words inside to reveal the hope that is Christ Jesus to the world. Are you ready to listen to what God is calling you to? You are a son or daughter of the King who is calling you to reach out to the hurting around you. You have giftings that only you can do that will help bring people to know Him. He promised strength through the Holy Spirit. Talk with Him, He knows all about you and wants to use you in this mission.

 

Father, we keep following the example of the Israelites and turning from you to chase after what the world has to offer. Forgive us for this, break this cycle in our hearts so that we can be effective in reaching those around us who need to know you. Let our example be that of one who loves you and is open to your voice. Holy Spirit guide us in where we need to go, who we need to talk to, provide us with wisdom and knowledge that we could never have obtained unless it is from You. We want to be effective Christians. Amen

7: 50 Days of 3:16

We hear the word miracle and our minds quickly move to Jesus and the amazing things He did while on the earth. But miracles were happening all the way back in the beginning. The Holy Spirit though not indwelling in all those who accepted Jesus, was still at work before Jesus times. We see his first appearance in Genesis 1 where it reads ‘the Spirit of God hovered over the waters’. Here in Joshua, we see the children of Israel experienced a miracle that they had heard about but would have never experienced. Their parents or grandparents had fled Egypt and had crossed the Red Sea on dry land. Here they were about to do the same thing.

 

The water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea[c] until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.

Joshua 3:16

 

Moses has passed away and Joshua is leading the people into the promised land. They had already taken the land on this side of the Jordan, leaving behind the families of two tribes but requesting the men come and fight till all Israel had a home. Standing on the shores of the Jordan they could have taken the long route to go around finding a narrow bend or safer location to cross. As we read a few verses before the waters of the Jordan were gorged as it was flooded. To be in that crowd of people and hear Joshua cry forward into the water, would have been quite a scene. In faith, the priests carrying the Ark, the ‘home’ of God among His people, went in first. The waters began to open up as if divided by unseen hands, a mile one way and a mile the other. The riverbed exposed for the whole people and livestock to travel through.

 

The priest carrying the Ark moved to the middle of the river and waited until all had passed. This indicates that every man, woman, and child had to have passed the Ark and those carrying it. This was important as to show them that it was God who made this happen. It did not say Joshua was in the middle God waited in the middle to ensure all His people made it through safely. God is right there with you in the middle of whatever is happening in your life. Do not be fooled into thinking He is elsewhere not interested in what is happening to you. There very well could be a miracle happening all around you and you are just unaware as you follow the crowd through the river.

 

The last point I want to pull out of this verse is that when they arrived on the shore in the promised land they are right next to their first obstacle, Jericho. If you do not know why the city of Jericho was an issue I suggest you continue reading the next few chapters. But a quick review is that Jericho was a city with massive fortifications. Nothing that this wandering army had ever seen or had the weaponry to defeat yet God was calling them to take this city. Even worse the people had more than likely seen the river split or had heard reports of this mass of people coming from the river and were on high alert prepared for what was coming. So the Israelites came out of a miracle and directly into a problem. Expect in your life that when we do experience miracles that almost right away we may be challenged in some way that will make us question why we do what we do. The Israelites started asking why they had even bothered crossing to come to such adversity they could never overcome on their own. They lost sight of what God did almost as soon as the river splashed back into place. God is calling us to keep our eyes on Him and not the obstacle. As you will read God provided another miracle when the Israelites obeyed his direction. You can overcome your obstacles if you just ask and listen to God’s directions.

 

Father, there are many obstacles we come across in life, we believe you have the answer to them all. You can give us the tools to overcome or you can provide a miracle that no one can explain. Help us to see you in the miracle and give you all the glory. When adversity comes out the way we pray that the same power the Holy Spirit gave to split the sea or calm the waves or raise the dead will be empowered to us so that your name is lifted high. Use us to reach the lost and share your love and faithfulness to this world. Amen