Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Caleb; How His Devotion to God Should be our Own

Caleb was one of the twelve that were sent out on an errand by Moses, and he now reflected upon it with comfort, and mentioned it, not in pride, but as that which, being the consideration of the grant, was necessary to be inserted in the plea, That he made his report as it was in his heart, that is, he spoke as he thought when he spoke so honourably of the land of Canaan, so confidently of the power of God to put them in possession of it, and so contemptibly of the opposition that the Canaanites, even the Anakim themselves, could make against them, as we find he did, Numbers 13:30 and Numbers 14:7-9 . He did not do it merely to please Moses, or to keep the people quiet, much less from a spirit of contradiction to his fellows, but from a full conviction of the truth of what he said and a firm belief of the divine promise. That herein he wholly followed the Lord his God, that is, he kept close to his duty, and sincerely aimed at the glory of God in it. He conformed himself to the divine will with an eye to the divine favour. He had obtained this testimony from God himself (Numbers 14:24 ), and therefore it was not vain-glory in him to speak of it, any more than it is for those who have God’s Spirit witnessing with their spirits that they are the children of God humbly and thankfully to tell others for their encouragement what God has done for their souls. Note, Those that follow God fully when they are young shall have both the credit and comfort of it when they are old, and the reward of it for ever in the heavenly Canaan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Afternoon/Evening Reflection


There is, meekness towards our brethren towards "all men." Titus 3:2. Meekness is especially conversant about the affection of anger: not wholly to extirpate and eradicate from the soul the holy indignation of which the Scriptures speak, for that were to quench a coal which sometimes there is occasion for, even at God's altar, and to blunt the edge even of the spiritual weapons with which we are to carry on our spiritual warfare; but its office is to direct and govern this affection, that we may be angry and not sin. Ephesians 4:26. Meekness, in the school of the philosophers, is a virtue consisting in a mean between the extremes of rash excessive anger on the one hand, and a defect of anger on the other; a mean which Aristotle confesses it very hard exactly to gain. Meekness, in the school of Christ, is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22, 23. It is a grace wrought by the Holy Ghost both as a sanctifier and as a comforter in the hearts of all true believers, teaching and enabling them at all times to keep their passions under the conduct and government of religion and right reason. I observe that it is wrought in the hearts of all true believers, because, though there are some whose natural temper is unhappily sour and harsh, yet wheresoever there is true grace, there is a disposition to strive against, and strength in some measure to conquer such a disposition. And though in this, as in other graces, an absolute sinless perfection cannot be expected in this present state, yet we are to labor after it, and press towards it. More particularly, the work and office of meekness is to enable us prudently to govern our own anger when at any time we are provoked, and patiently to bear the anger of others, that it may not be a provocation to us. The former is its office especially in superiors, the latter in inferiors, and both in equals.

The Book of Joshua Chapter 13:14
Geneva Bible Translation

14 Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance, but the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel are his inheritance, as he said unto him.

Namely, in the land beyond Jordan, where yet a considerable part of the Levites were to have their settled abode. This is mentioned as the reason both why Moses gave all that land to the Reubenites and Gadites and Manassites; and why Joshua should divide the land only into nine parts and an half, as was said, in verse 7 , because Levi was otherwise provided for.Made by fire - Which are here put for all the sacrifices and oblations, including first - fruits and tithes, that were assigned to the Levites; and this passage is repeated, to prevent those calumnies and injuries which God foresaw the Levites were likely to meet with, from the malice, envy and covetousness of their 
Notes by John Wesley 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Book of Joshua Chapter 12:1-6
Geneva Bible Translation

1 And these are the Kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon, unto mount Hermon, and all the plain Eastward. 2 Sihon king of the Amorites, that dwelt in Heshbon, having dominion from Aroer, which is beside the river of Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead unto the river of Jabbok, in the border of the children of Ammon. 3 And from the plain unto the sea of Chinneroth Eastward, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea Eastward, the way to Beth Jeshimoth, and from the South under the springs of Pisgah. 4 They conquered also the coast of Og king of Bashan of the remnant of the giants, which dwelt at Ashtaroth, and at Edrei, 5 And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites, and the Maachathites, and half Gilead: even the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. 
6 Moses the servant of the Lord, and the children of Israel smote them: Moses also the servant of the Lord gave their land for a possession unto the Reubenites, and unto the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh.

Joshua, or whoever else is the historian before he comes to sum up the new conquests Israel had made, in these verses receives their former conquests in Moses’s time, under whom they became masters of the great and potent kingdoms of Sihon and Og. Note, Fresh mercies must not drown the remembrance of former mercies, nor must the glory of the present instruments of good to the church be suffered to eclipse and diminish the just honour of those who have gone before them, and who were the blessings and ornaments of their day. Joshua’s services and achievements are confessedly great, but let not those under Moses be overlooked and forgotten, since God was the same who wrought both.
Notes - Matthew Henry’s Complete Bible Commentary

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Afternoon/Evening Reflection

When the methods of Providence are dark and intricate, and we are quite at a loss what God is about to do with us—his way is in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known, clouds and darkness are round about him—a meek and quiet spirit acquiesces in an assurance that all things shall work together for good to us, if we love God, though we cannot apprehend how or which way. It teaches us to follow God with an implicit faith, as Abraham did when he went out, not knowing whither he went, but knowing very well whom he followed. It quiets us with this, that though what he doeth we know not now, yet we shall know hereafter. John 13:7.  When poor Job was brought to that dismal plunge, that he could no way trace the footsteps of divine Providence, but was almost lost in the labyrinth, Job 23:8-9, how quietly does he sit down with this thought: "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Afternoon/Evening Reflection

It is the silent submission of the soul to the providence of God, for that also is the will of God concerning us. When the events of Providence are grievous and afflictive, displeasing to sense and crossing our secular interests, meekness not only quiets us under them, but reconciles us to them; and enables us not only to bear, but to receive evil as well as good at the hand of the Lord; which is the excellent frame that Job argues himself into: it is to kiss the rod, and even to accept of the punishment of our iniquity, taking all in good part that God does; not daring to strive with our Maker, no nor desiring to prescribe to him, but being dumb, and not opening the mouth, because God does it. How meek was Aaron under the severe dispensation which took away his sons with a particular mark of divine wrath. He "held his peace." God was sanctified, and therefore Aaron was satisfied, and had not a word to say against it. Unlike to this was the temper, or rather the distemper of David, who was not like a man after God's own heart when he was displeased because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah, as if God must have asked David leave thus to assert the honor of his ark. When God's anger is kindled, our must be stifled; such is the law of meekness, that whatsoever pleases God must not displease us. David was in a better frame when he penned the 56thPsalm, the title of which, some think, bespeaks the calmness and submissiveness of his spirit when the Philistines took him in Gath. It is entitled, The silent dove afar off. It was his calamity that he was afar off, but he was then as a silent dove—mourning perhaps, Isaiah 38:14—but not murmuring, not struggling, not resisting, when seized by the birds of prey; and the psalm he penned in this frame was Michtam, a golden psalm. The language of this meekness is that of Eli, "It is the Lord;" and that of David to the same purport, "Here am I; let him do to me as seemeth good unto him." Not only, He can do what he will, subscribing to his power, for who can stay his hand? or, He may do what he will, subscribing to his sovereignty, for he gives not account of any of his matters; or, He will do what he will, subscribing to his unchangeableness, for he is of one mind, and who can turn him? but, Let him do what he will, subscribing to his wisdom and goodness, as Hezekiah, "Good is the word of the Lord, which thou hast spoken." Let him do what he will, for he will do what is best; and therefore if God should refer the matter to me, says the meek and quiet soul, being well assured that he knows what is good for me better than I do for myself, I would refer it to him again: "He shall choose our inheritance for us."

The Book of Joshua Chapter 10:12-14
Geneva Bible Translation Ed. 1599

12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord, in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stay thou in Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Aijalon. 13 And the Sun abode, and the moon stood still, until the people avenged themselves upon their enemies: (is not this written in the book of Jasher?) so the Sun abode in the midst of the heaven, and hasted not to go down for a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it, nor after it, that the Lord heard the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.