Monday, March 30, 2015

The King's Banquet

During this week around 2,000 years ago in Palestine, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and began teaching quite openly about the kingdom of God or heaven.  More particularly, Jesus taught on who and how to enter the kingdom of heaven, and his teaching encouraged the poor and downcast and unnerved the religious leaders.  One of his public speeches included a parable about a king giving a wedding feast for his servant.  In Matthew 22:1-14, his audience included both followers and opponents, as well as a general crowd made up of curious Jews.  In the parable the kingdom of heaven is compared to a feast that is ready to be attended and enjoyed.  However, the guests not only rejected the invitation summons, they beat and killed the king's messengers.  Thus, the king sent the messengers to all the commoners that could be found to fill his hall with guests. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Becoming an Israelite Secret Agent

Read: Joshua 2
Background: When the Israelites first prepared to enter the land of Canaan, promised to them by the LORD God, Moses sent 12 spies into the land to map it out, determine the best routes for invasion, and bring back some of the fruit of the land to encourage the people (Num 13).  The men chosen to spy out the land were leaders, men of courage and cunning, some of the best in Israel, including Caleb from Judah and Joshua from Ephraim.  After forty successful days of spying out the land, the expedition of secret agents returned. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Be Strong and Courageous

When the Israelites were about to say goodbye to Moses before he died, and about to have a second opportunity to enter the promised land of Canaan, God and Moses spoke to them and particularly to Joshua to tell him to face the difficult road ahead with strength and courage.