July 8, 2024

Section 1 of 4

Joshua 11

About 2.5 Minutes

When King Jabin of Hazor heard the news about Israel’s victories, he organized a coalition, including King Jobab of Madon, the king of Shimron, the king of Acshaph, and the northern kings who ruled in the hill country, in the rift valley south of Kinnereth, in the foothills, and on the heights of Dor to the west. Canaanites came from the east and west; Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites from the hill country; and Hivites from below Hermon in the area of Mizpah. These kings came out with their armies; they were as numerous as the sand on the seashore and had a large number of horses and chariots. All these kings gathered and joined forces at the Waters of Merom to fight Israel.

The Lord told Joshua, “Don’t be afraid of them, for about this time tomorrow I will cause all of them to lie dead before Israel. You must hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” Joshua and his whole army caught them by surprise at the Waters of Merom and attacked them. The Lord handed them over to Israel, and they struck them down and chased them all the way to Greater Sidon, Misrephoth Maim, and the Mizpah Valley to the east. They struck them down until no survivors remained. Joshua did to them as the Lord had commanded him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.

10 At that time Joshua turned, captured Hazor, and struck down its king with the sword, for Hazor was at that time the leader of all these kingdoms. 11 They annihilated everyone who lived there with the sword—no one who breathed remained—and burned Hazor.

12 Joshua captured all these royal cities and all their kings and annihilated them with the sword, as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded. 13 But Israel did not burn any of the cities located on mounds except for Hazor; it was the only one Joshua burned. 14 The Israelites plundered all the goods of these cities and the cattle, but they totally destroyed all the people and allowed no one who breathed to live. 15 Moses the Lord’s servant passed on the Lord’s commands to Joshua, and Joshua did as he was told. He did not ignore any of the commands the Lord had given Moses.

16 Joshua conquered the whole land, including the hill country, all the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the foothills, the rift valley, the hill country of Israel and its foothills, 17 from Mount Halak up to Seir, as far as Baal Gad in the Lebanon Valley below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and executed them. 18 Joshua campaigned against these kings for quite some time. 19 No city made peace with the Israelites (except the Hivites living in Gibeon); they had to conquer all of them, 20 for the Lord determined to make them obstinate so they would attack Israel. He wanted Israel to annihilate them without mercy, as he had instructed Moses.

21 At that time Joshua attacked and eliminated the Anakites from the hill country—from Hebron, Debir, Anab, and all the hill country of Judah and Israel. Joshua annihilated them and their cities. 22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory, though some remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. 23 Joshua conquered the whole land, just as the Lord had promised Moses, and he assigned Israel their tribal portions. Then the land was free of war.

Section 2 of 4

Psalms 144

About 1.9 Minutes

The Lord, my Protector, deserves praise—
the one who trains my hands for battle,
and my fingers for war,
who loves me and is my stronghold,
my refuge and my deliverer,
my shield and the one in whom I take shelter,
who makes nations submit to me.
O Lord, of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them?
Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them?
People are like a vapor,
their days like a shadow that disappears.
O Lord, make the sky sink and come down.
Touch the mountains and make them smolder.
Hurl lightning bolts and scatter the enemy.
Shoot your arrows and rout them.
Reach down from above.
Grab me and rescue me from the surging water,
from the power of foreigners,
who speak lies,
and make false promises.
O God, I will sing a new song to you.
Accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, I will sing praises to you,
10 the one who delivers kings,
and rescued David his servant from a deadly sword.
11 Grab me and rescue me from the power of foreigners,
who speak lies,
and make false promises.
12 Then our sons will be like plants,
that quickly grow to full size.
Our daughters will be like corner pillars,
carved like those in a palace.
13 Our storehouses will be full,
providing all kinds of food.
Our sheep will multiply by the thousands
and fill our pastures.
14 Our cattle will be weighted down with produce.
No one will break through our walls,
no one will be taken captive,
and there will be no terrified cries in our city squares.
15 How blessed are the people who experience these things.
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.

Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 5

About 5.7 Minutes

The Lord said,

“Go up and down through the streets of Jerusalem.
Look around and see for yourselves.
Search through its public squares.
See if any of you can find a single person
who deals honestly and tries to be truthful.
If you can, then I will not punish this city.
These people make promises in the name of the Lord.
But the fact is, what they swear to is really a lie.”
Lord, I know you look for faithfulness.
But even when you punish these people, they feel no remorse.
Even when you nearly destroy them, they refuse to be corrected.
They have become as hardheaded as a rock.
They refuse to change their ways.
I thought, “Surely it is only the ignorant poor who act this way.
They act like fools because they do not know what the Lord demands.
They do not know what their God requires of them.
I will go to the leaders
and speak with them.
Surely they know what the Lord demands.
Surely they know what their God requires of them.”
Yet all of them, too, have rejected his authority
and refuse to submit to him.
So like a lion from the thicket their enemies will kill them.
Like a wolf from the rift valley they will destroy them.
Like a leopard they will lie in wait outside their cities
and totally destroy anyone who ventures out.
For they have rebelled so much
and done so many unfaithful things.

The Lord asked,

“How can I leave you unpunished, Jerusalem?
Your people have rejected me
and have worshiped gods that are not gods at all.
Even though I supplied all their needs, they were like an unfaithful wife to me.
They went flocking to the houses of prostitutes.
They are like lusty, well-fed stallions.
Each of them lusts after his neighbor’s wife.
I will surely punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will surely bring retribution on such a nation as this!”
10 The Lord commanded the enemy,
“March through the vineyards of Israel and Judah and ruin them.
But do not destroy them completely.
Strip off their branches
for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 For the nations of Israel and Judah
have been very unfaithful to me,”
says the Lord.
12 “These people have denied what the Lord says.
They have said, ‘That is not so!
No harm will come to us.
We will not experience war and famine.
13 The prophets will prove to be full of wind.
The Lord has not spoken through them.
So, let what they say happen to them.’”

14 Because of that, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies said to me:

“Because these people have spoken like this,
I will make the words that I put in your mouth like fire.
And I will make this people like wood,
which the fiery judgments you speak will burn up.”
15 The Lord says, “Listen, nation of Israel!
I am about to bring a nation from far away to attack you.
It will be a nation that was founded long ago
and has lasted for a long time.
It will be a nation whose language you will not know.
Its people will speak words that you will not be able to understand.
16 All its soldiers are strong and mighty.
Their arrows will send you to your grave.
17 They will eat up your crops and your food.
They will kill off your sons and your daughters.
They will eat up your sheep and your cattle.
They will destroy your vines and your fig trees.
Their weapons will batter down
the fortified cities you trust in.

18 “Yet even then I will not completely destroy you,” says the Lord. 19 “So then, Jeremiah, when your people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ tell them, ‘It is because you rejected me and served foreign gods in your own land. So you must serve foreigners in a land that does not belong to you.’

20 “Proclaim this message among the descendants of Jacob.
Make it known throughout Judah.
21 Tell them: ‘Hear this,
you foolish people who have no understanding,
who have eyes but do not discern,
who have ears but do not perceive:
22 ‘You should fear me!’ says the Lord.
‘You should tremble in awe before me!
I made the sand to be a boundary for the sea,
a permanent barrier that it can never cross.
Its waves may roll, but they can never prevail.
They may roar, but they can never cross beyond that boundary.’
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned aside and gone their own way.
24 They do not say to themselves,
‘Let us revere the Lord our God.
It is he who gives us the autumn rains and the spring rains at the proper time.
It is he who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.”
25 Your misdeeds have stopped these things from coming.
Your sins have deprived you of my bounty.’
26 Indeed, there are wicked scoundrels among my people.
They lie in wait like bird catchers hiding in ambush.
They set deadly traps to catch people.
27 Like a cage filled with the birds that have been caught,
their houses are filled with the gains of their fraud and deceit.
That is how they have gotten so rich and powerful.
28 That is how they have grown fat and sleek.
There is no limit to the evil things they do.
They do not plead the cause of the fatherless in such a way as to win it.
They do not defend the rights of the poor.
29 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this!
30 Something horrible and shocking
is going on in the land of Judah:
31 The prophets prophesy lies.
The priests exercise power by their own authority.
And my people love to have it this way.
But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes!

Section 4 of 4

Matthew 19

About 2.9 Minutes

Now when Jesus finished these sayings, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Then some Pharisees came to him in order to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful to divorce a wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” Jesus said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, but from the beginning it was not this way. Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.” 10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the case of a husband with a wife, it is better not to marry!” 11 He said to them, “Not everyone can accept this statement, except those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are some eunuchs who were that way from birth, and some who were made eunuchs by others, and some who became eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept this should accept it.”

13 Then little children were brought to him for him to lay his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded those who brought them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 And he placed his hands on them and went on his way.

16 Now someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” 17 He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 24 Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 25 The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said to him, “Look, we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

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