"Why Have You Given Me Only One Lot?" (3/27)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Joshua 16-18.

As the territory in Canaan was being divided among the tribes, those who descended from Joseph complained that their allotment was insufficient for their people.

Then the sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, ‘Why have you given me only one lot and one portion for an inheritance, since I am a numerous people whom the Lord has thus far blessed?’ Joshua said to them, ‘If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.’

The sons of Joseph said, ‘The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the valley land have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth-shean and its towns and those who are in the valley of Jezreel.’ Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, ‘You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong’” (Joshua 17:14-18).

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I Have Given Them a Possession (3/11)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Deuteronomy 1-2.

The Israelites were God’s chosen people and would be given the promised land of Canaan. Yet this did not give them license to take anything they wanted and destroy any nation they chose to destroy. God gave some specific prohibitions on lands they were not to take and nations they were not to destroy.

You will pass through the territory of your brothers the sons of Esau who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful; do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, even as little as a footstep because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession” (Deuteronomy 2:4-5).

Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession” (Deuteronomy 2:9).

When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession” (Deuteronomy 2:19).

The children of Israel were given a possession by God. But the sons of Esau and Lot were as well. The Israelites were not even to take food and water from these nations without paying for it (Deuteronomy 2:6).
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“Give Me Neither Poverty Nor Riches”

Homeless

If we were able to make two requests that would help to improve our lives here on the earth, what would those requests be? Agur, the wise man to whom Proverbs 30 is attributed, told us what his two requests were:

Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

The second request – the desire for “neither poverty nor riches” – is what we will focus on in this article.
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Be Filled With The Spirit

In the letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul commanded, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Many believe that a Christian being filled with the Spirit is wholly dependent upon some direct action by God. This is puzzling, considering that Paul phrases this as a command. A commandment implies a responsibility to obey. Therefore, we are responsible for being “filled with the Spirit.” So how are we to do this?

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How to Handle a Recession

Recession

Many people in the United States are anxious about the country’s economy. This is understandable with all of the job losses, home foreclosures, and falling value of investments. These things do not just face this country, but many places in the world are also facing economic turmoil.

The book of Revelation warned of the fall of the Roman empire that was to come. Naturally, when the empire fell, the global economy suffered. Under Roman rule “the merchants of the earth [had] become rich” (Revelation 18:3). When Rome fell, the merchants would “weep and mourn over her, because no one [would buy] their cargoes anymore” (Revelation 18:11). “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning” (Revelation 18:19). But the Christians in that day were to have a different perspective: “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her” (Revelation 18:20). While the merchants were mourning, Christians were rejoicing.

We should understand that the collapse of the American economy is not exactly parallel with the fall of Rome. Rome was punished by God for sin (Revelation 18:4-8). The United States suffers because of irresponsibility and other factors. But like the Christians in the early church, our perspective about these things should naturally be different from that of the people of the world. So let us look and see what principles we find in the Bible to help us handle our current economic hardships.
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Campaign Promises

During this time of political campaigns in our country, particularly since this is a Presidential election year, the citizens listen to the promises of the candidates as they decide how to vote. Many people look for the candidate who promises to do the most for them – education, health care, money, etc.

Often, there is no regard for where the money comes from to pay for these benefits. People just want their “free” health care, education, and tax rebates in excess of the tax they paid. They want these things even if it means that the government takes the money from others who earned it.

This type of greed and selfishness is to be expected of those in the world. But it has no place in the life of a Christian. Notice the words of Paul:
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Money Matters

Money in Pocket

Money is a matter of priority to many people in our society. As the economy is a concern in many places around the country, there is a tendency to worry about financial matters. As Christians, we must take heed to what God has instructed with regard to money. The Bible actually has quite a bit to say about the subject. We will consider some of God’s instruction that relates to our finances in this article.
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