Joshua 6, Psalms 135–136, Isaiah 66, Matthew 14

DateVersionReading Plan
@July 4, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Joshua 6

Joshua 6:15–16 (ESV) 15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city.

The LORD had given Jericho into the hands of the Israelites and commanded Moses that the people were to march around the city seven days with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns. For each of the first six days, they were only to march around the city once per day without shouting or make their voice be heard, but on the seventh day they were to march around city seven times. At the seventh time on the seventh day, the priests blew their trumpets as was commanded and Joshua told the people to shout because the LORD had given the city. The number seven is commonly understood in the Bible to represent perfection, harkening all the way back to the days of creation. The CSB Notes also points out how the seventh day “signaled the conclusion of the Feast of Unleavened Bread”. With its being used so heavily in this chapter, there is a clear indication that God is present and performing a work of divine orchestration.

Psalms 135–136

Psalm 136:26 (ESV) 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

The psalmist ends this corporate praise psalm with the call to give thanks to the God of heaven whose steadfast love endures forever. As the psalmist recounts Israel’s history and entry into the promised land, second half of Ps. 136:1 is repeated in every verse of the psalm. Repeating God’s enduring, steadfast love at every point throughout their journey emphasizes God’s unwavering love and faithfulness. It is a wonderful psalm to recite aloud and acknowledge how the Lord’s favor for His children stands in every good and difficult season. He is ever with you, unshakably committed to the promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Isaiah 66

Isaiah 66:22–24 (ESV) 22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. 23 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD. 24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

In the final verses of the Book of Isaiah, a profound contrast is presented between the faithful offspring of Israel and those who have rebelled against God. In this Day to come, all flesh shall come to worship the LORD. God’s elect will look upon the dead bodies of the reprobate who refused salvation in Christ. It is a graphic image meant to elicit repentance and mortification of sin. May this serve for the wayward an unsettling of the heart to earnestly seek forgiveness in Christ and for the saints a renewed wonder and praise of our Lord and Savior.

Matthew 14

Matthew 14:22-23a (ESV) 22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.

As He was dismissing the multitude, Jesus immediately ordered the disciples to get into the boat and go back to the other side of the lake. Then, when Jesus finished His dismissal of the multitude, He went up the mountain to pray. This separated dispersal of Jesus and His disciples from the crowd is curious, but Thomas Constable helpfully posits a possible explanation:

There appear to have been several reasons for His unusual action. First, this miracle appears to have refueled the enthusiasm of some in the crowd to draft Jesus and to force Him to lead the nation (cf. John 6:15). Perhaps Jesus wanted to spare His disciples from this attractive temptation. Second, Jesus wanted to get away to pray (v. Matt. 14:23). Third, He wanted to prepare to get some rest (Mark 6:31-32). Fourth, He had an important lesson to teach them.