Daily Reading

A feed containing today's WordLive Session.
  1. Prepare

    Is there anything on your horizon that makes you afraid? Ask God to strengthen your faith in his love for you.

  2. Bible passage: Deuteronomy 1:19–40

    Spies Sent Out
     19 Then, as the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful desert that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

     22 Then all of you came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to."

     23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, "It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us."

    Rebellion Against the LORD
     26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, "The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, 'The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.' "

     29 Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."

     32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

     34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly."

     37 Because of you the LORD became angry with me also and said, "You shall not enter it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea. "

    Spies Sent Out
     19 Then, as the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful desert that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

     22 Then all of you came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to."

     23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, "It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us."

    Rebellion Against the LORD
     26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, "The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, 'The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.' "

     29 Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."

     32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

     34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly."

     37 Because of you the LORD became angry with me also and said, "You shall not enter it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea. "

  3. Explore

    Confidence in God’s love
    God is referred to as ‘The Lord our God’ almost 50 times in Deuteronomy, and as ‘The Lord your God’ over 250 times! As Israel began the journey their God had sent them on, they went through a dreadful wilderness. Verses 19 to 21 suggest they needed three things for the task ahead: a hunger for the goodness of the land, a confidence in God’s love for them, and for fear not to control them.

    Doubting God’s love
    So, they sent spies into the land who reported that indeed, God had brought them to a very good land (vs 22–25). Sadly, the people rebelled. They doubted God’s love, even though he would go before them as a warrior, and even though he had already gone before them and carried them like a father carries his son (v 31). They trusted what the fear-filled folks could ‘see’ in their future, rather than trusting the God who can shape the future.

    Enter the land
    As a result, only Caleb, who followed the Lord wholeheartedly, as well as Joshua and the younger generation, were allowed to enter the land.

    Peter Mead
  4. Respond

    It is natural to fear, but God calls us to trust in him, rather than the bad things we can ‘see’ on the horizon. Pray for a Caleb-like spirit, that you will ‘follow the Lord wholeheartedly’ as you head into the future.

  5. Deeper Bible study

    A good start is important, but it cannot guarantee a successful ending. Today’s passage recalls the Israelites’ journey from Horeb. Although God had seen them safely through ‘all that vast and dreadful wilderness’ (v 19), the journey ended in disaster, with the people forced to turn back into the wilderness (v 40). What went wrong?

    They had set out in obedience (v 19), hearts fixed firmly on their objective – the land God had given them – and prepared to ‘take possession’ of it (v 21). A scouting mission wasn’t unusual (see Josh 2:1; 7:2) and need not be interpreted as a lack of faith. The policy decision to take possession had already been made; this was merely about strategising how best to do it. Moses had commanded, ‘Be bold, and bring some of the fruit of the land’ (Num 13:20, NRSV); not only did the spies do this, but in addition they gladly affirmed, ‘It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us’ (v 25). So how does the story turn sour, with the people becoming disobedient and rebellious (v 26)?

    Numbers 13 and 14 detail how what began as a fact-finding mission turned into a fear-inducing, faith-eroding misadventure. The spies – apart from Caleb and Joshua – made two mistakes. First, they became fixated on the enormity of the obstacles: fearsome giants and fortified cities (v 28). Second, they failed to trust the Lord, whose power had fought for them (v 30), whose love had carried them (v 31) and whose presence had guided them (v 33) all through those wilderness years. Fear is contagious. The rest of the people were swiftly infected by these fears (v 28). Although God had said, through Moses, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ (v 21), the people of God failed to view facts through the lens of faith.

    Faith and fear are both contagious. In what ways are you a fear-carrier? In what ways will you inspire faith in those around you?

    Tanya Ferdinandusz
  6. Bible Background: Meet Caleb

    Faithful spy

    Caleb son of Jephunneh was one of the 12 spies sent by Moses to scout out the land of Canaan. The majority were dominated by fear of the giants and heavily defended fortresses in the land and said entry was impossible; only he and Joshua recommended an immediate attack.

    The people would not listen to Joshua and Caleb, however. God was angry with the people, and gave a judgement that because of their unbelief the whole generation would perish in the wilderness, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb (v 30).

    Courageous old man

    As a man of 85 Caleb requested Joshua to assign to him the hill country of Hebron, despite the presence there of giants, the Anakim (Joshua 14:6,7,10). Moses had promised him an inheritance in the land because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.

    He succeeded in overcoming the giants, and offered his daughter Aksah to whoever would take the nearby town of Debir, a task successfully completed by Othniel (Joshua 15:16,17), his nephew, who became the first of Israel’s Judges (Judges 3:9–11).

    Not an Israelite?

    Caleb is described as a Kennizite (Numbers 32:12; Joshua 14:6,14), a people related to Kenaz, grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:11,15). However, according to 1 Chronicles 4:1,15, Caleb’s ancestry is traced back to Judah.

    Debir (formerly called Kiriath-sepher, Judges 1:11–13) was in Judah but also situated close to the territory of the Kennizites. Perhaps the Kennizites became politically incorporated into Israel.

    Andrew Clark
  7. Bible in a year

    Read the Bible in a year.

    2 Chronicles 18–20

    Ephesians 3
  8. Podcast

    Listen to today's podcast on the WordLive website or subscribe to get them automatically delivered to you each day. To download upcoming episodes, visit our Soundcloud.

 

 

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