The men of Kiryat Jearim (City of the Forests) came and took up the ark of the LORD and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill where it stayed for 20 years. We could actually look out our window and see this site where the ark had been. Now there is a monastery and church built on top of it, called the Lady of the Ark. Oddly a large statue of Mary standing on the ark is visible from a distance. There is a spring nearby amongst the houses, which would’ve made it a good place to live with a water source. And yes, the hill country of Jerusalem can get snow once or twice a year, and it’s fun! 😊
“Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, “If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:3) (Applies to modern day relics too!) So, the Philistines were subdued. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. (7:15) However, like Eli, Samuel’s sons did not walk in his ways and perverted justice causing the people to ask for a king like the other nations. After warnings the people still insisted on a king to judge them and God allowed them as they’d rejected Him as their king.
Later on, there was a messianic king rejected in Jerusalem. Luke 24 ends with Jesus being raised from the dead. And interestingly, that same day two apostles were traveling to a village called Emmaus, which is 7 miles from Jerusalem. Many believe this to be the site of Kiryat Jearim where the ark resided, as it’s 7 miles from Jerusalem!
As they walked along the way, he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27) Wouldn’t that have been a good listen of what Jesus explained?!
Later on, he was “carried up into heaven. They worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.” (24:51,52)
Do we recognize and honor God and Jesus as kings in our lives?
Do we accept and turn to them for authority in our lives or reject them and turn to others?
Before I knew the significance of what God did through his people of old, that everything done points to his Messiah, Jesus the Christ, Joshua was my favorite Old Testament “character.”
It was Joshua who was met by the captain of the Yahweh’s army. It was Joshua who led the children of Israel into the promised land. It was Joshua who fought the battle of Jericho, blowing trumpets and shouting as the walls came tumbling down. It was Joshua the Lord helped using hailstones to defeat his enemies, and it was Joshua, a man, whom God listened to, to make time stand still.
And yet, Joshua cannot compare to our Lord Jesus and what God has done and will do through him.
We mustn’t be foolish. We must know and understand what the prophets said about Jesus to fully understand how significant he is to us. Praise be to God through him that we can gain that wisdom through the help of the holy spirit that was poured out by him because he earned that right. Now everything made new is through him.
Jesus himself taught these things about himself after his resurrection to the men on the road to Emmaus. Beginning with Moses, he explained to them the things concerning himself in all the scriptures.
I’m going to begin explaining some things I’ve learned about him and God’s plan of salvation, beginning in Joshua.
As Joshua, the son of Nun, conquers the land promised by God, he is met with a people who are not the children of Israel, but fear Yahweh and believe that he will do for Israel what he has said, by destroying all the inhabitants of the land to give it to God’s chosen people.
These people were the Gibeonites. They deceived the leaders of the children of Israel into making a covenant with them to save their lives. The terms of the covenant granted them life as slaves in exchange for not being destroyed.
It was a mistake to not seek the counsel of Yahweh prior to entering this covenant, but we see that God continues to work with his people through their failures. They continue to break the terms of their own covenant with God time and time again, but God is forgiving and merciful, just like he is with us after we entered the New Covenant with him through his son Jesus.
Watch the parallels of this story with end time prophesy. It’s quite remarkable.
The people of Gibeon, now servants to the children of Israel, called on the name of their leader Joshua (same name as Jesus) to be saved when they came under attack by the current King of Jerusalem, Adoni-Zedek (meaning Lord of justice or Lord of righteousness; yet he was not really THE lord of justice -that is reserved for the true Lord of Righteousness, our Messiah Jesus) and the other 5 Kings of the Amorites.
God saves Joshua’s servants (Gibeonites) through Joshua (Jesus). . In a similar manner, he will save the gentiles, us, who were not God’s people, but are His after we become the servants of his Son Jesus. He confuses the enemy as Joshua pursues them and He sends hailstones to give Joshua (Jesus) the victory.
To the five Kings who went up against him, he kept them in caves covered by a large stone, sealing them in until the time is right for his people to put their enemies under their foot (literally).
On the day Joshua (Jesus) defeats the Amorites, he, a man, asks God to make time stand still, and God listens. There was never a day like it before or since the time of the writing of Joshua, a day when the LORD (Yahweh) listened to a human being. Surely the LORD (Yahweh) was fighting for Israel!
One greater than Joshua, and all those God answered in the past, is now seated at the right hand of God! Because of this, we can come to the throne room of God in his son Jesus’s name and have confidence that he will hear us, humans, too.
We are privy to know and understand the gospel as recorded in our bibles in the New Testament, which is something Jesus’s own disciples, who walked with him on earth, didn’t have.
Let us do our part in understanding the scriptures (the Old Testament) and the words of our Lord Jesus (the gospel; the Much of the New Testament) through the spirit, to hear the words he spoke, that all things which are written about him in the Law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled (Luke 24:44).
Let us pray to the God of Jesus that we would not be foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken, rather, let our hearts burn within us. “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).
Praise be to God that the servants of his son Jesus (Gentiles) can be forgiven because God listens to a man (our Jesus), and accepts us through him.
We were a people who were not God’s people, but were grafted in through God’s son, a man whom he chose to save us through, as the mediator of a better covenant, with better promises.
I cannot wait for God to listen to the man Jesus of Nazareth again, our better Joshua, our Messiah, to make time stand still for us in the Kingdom of God.
What parallels do you see between Joshua in chapters 9 and 10 and Jesus regarding end time prophesy?
Why is it important to know all that is spoken about Jesus Messiah in scripture?
How do you feel knowing that God listens to you, a human, when you come to him in his Son’s name?
It was frustrating writing about the way Jesus was tortured and killed, but I get to end the year by writing about the number one very best day in human history. No other day could have been more exciting, felt so good, and impacted so many people, including you and me.
Sorry, but I need to start off by dissing a bit on those who loved and supported Jesus throughout his ministry. Were they not paying attention to what he said? He told them he was going to die and be raised in three days. Did nobody remember that fairly critical piece of information? I could understand them being a bit skeptical and not totally believing that he was going to come back to life until they saw it with their own eyes, but it seems like the ladies that were going to visit the tomb should have been going there to see if it really happened on the third day. Instead, they were convinced that he was still dead; moreover, they were perplexed when they didn’t find his body there. Suddenly, two dazzlingly dressed dudes appeared to them and reminded them about the three-day thing. They did remember at that point they had been told he was coming back to life, so they went back and reported what they had seen to the eleven apostles and others.
Certainly, the apostles, of all people, would remember what was going to happen. They had seen many amazing miracles with their own eyes, so of course, they would have enough faith to believe it could have happened, but no; they thought the story was nonsense and didn’t believe the women. Peter does get some credit, though, because he bounced up, ran to the tomb, and marveled at what had happened. He believed Jesus was alive before he actually saw him with his own eyes.
Strangely enough, their sad state of mind made the day that much sweeter for them when they finally saw it was true that he was alive. They had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but when he was killed, their hope of him saving the day vanished. They incorrectly thought he was there to redeem Israel during that time. They assumed he would get rid of the Roman government and save the world then – not later. They were truly heartbroken and depressed when they saw Jesus die.
Think about someone you loved dearly that died. Perhaps, you saw them laying in the casket and then buried. A few days have passed, and you are still raw with emotions, experiencing the sting of death. Then picture the doorbell rings, you answer the door, and that person is standing there with a big smile on their face. Whoa!! How doubly incredibly happy you would be! I think that’s how people felt when they saw Jesus alive again. It had to be the best day ever!
You may think it was a bit cruel for me to have you dwell on one of your loved ones that has died. I am sure you are still missing them. It still hurts. However, the fact that Jesus was resurrected on that day a couple thousand years ago can be a promise about the future of your loved one. If they accepted salvation in their lifetime, they too will come back to life and greet you with a big smile if you also are saved. What an amazing day that will be – like the amazing day Jesus came back to life. Jesus was the first to come back to life forevermore, but you or any of your loved ones that die before his return can be next up.
Time to ponder:
Do you agree that the resurrection of Jesus was the best day ever? Can you think of a better day?
Most of Jesus’ closest followers soaked up every word he spoke and were convinced he was the Messiah, but their faith faded fast when something seemed to go very wrong. Is your faith strong enough to make it through the tough times?
Jesus’ resurrection can give people great hope about the future, but only if they believe. The story is absolutely meaningless to those who haven’t made the decision to follow God. Is there a loved one in your life that needs to hear about the good news?
What if social media existed at the time the events of Luke 24 took place?
Which one of the women would have been live streaming on Facebook the angels telling them that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb – that he had risen.
How many retweets would there have been of the news that Jesus had spoken to the men on the road to Emmaus?
How many people would have seen the SnapChat story of Jesus eating broiled fish with his disciples?
What hashtags would have been used with the Instagram photo of Jesus’ ascension?
If social media existed at that time, there is no doubt in my mind that the news would be viral and everyone worldwide would have heard the news in a matter of hours.
Why is it then that even with today’s modern methods of communication, there are still those who do not believe, much less know about Jesus?
I think it’s because it takes a personal encounter between someone who already has a relationship with Jesus to tell someone else about the risen Lord. Just like it took in Luke 24. The gospel is best shared when it can be associated with a personal story or testimony. Do you have your story ready to share with others?
Just like the women who went to visit the tomb or the disciples who walked 7 miles to Emmaus and then ran 7 miles back to Jerusalem (all in one day) you too have a testimony to share with others.
In the coming New Year, look for ways to share your story with someone who needs to hear that #JesusLives.