Joshua 7, Psalms 137–138, Jeremiah 1, Matthew 15

DateVersionReading Plan
@July 5, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Joshua 7

Joshua 7:8–11 (ESV) 8 O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?” 10 The LORD said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.

Achan had taken some of the devoted things and the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel. Men were sent to Ai but thirty six were killed, a defeat clearly attributed to the sin of Achan. Joshua tore his clothes and fell on his face, asking God why He had brought the people over the Jordan at all and what He would do for His great name. Joshua expresses genuine concern for the preservation and honor of God’s name in similar fashion to Moses when the people were acting wickedly during their journey in the wilderness (Num. 14:15). God’s response to Joshua is intense, telling him to “Get up!” and that Israel had transgressed the covenant He made with them. In this, we see both the direct impact of sin on the outcome of a particular situation as well as God’s righteous anger against such sin. Granted, not every peril or trial is a result of sin, but this instance demonstrates the need to be diligent in proceeding with obedience and faithfulness to the commands we have been given by God’s Word.

Psalms 137–138

Psalm 137:4–6 (ESV) 4 How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! 6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!

The CSB Notes provides some context, that “The Israelites could not engage in worship since the land of Babylon was unclean and Israel had no temple.” As followers of Christ, we are not to succumb or integrate with the world in such a way that we forget the kingdom to which we truly belong. Our loyalty should be anchored to our Lord and manifestly evident that we are but sojourners and exiles in this foreign land. We are to be as servants, gracious in our dealings, representing Christ as His ambassadors, sharing the gospel and of the eternal blessing of salvation of Him as we dwell in temporal visitation.

Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah 1:4–7 (ESV) 4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

The LORD divinely appointed Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations, but Jeremiah undermined his nomination, giving excuse that he was of poor speech and only a youth. The LORD rebuked Jeremiah’s perceived ineptitude, telling him that he was to go to all whom He has sent and speak as He has commanded. This brings to mind Moses’ similar answer to God in Exod. 4:10b, claiming to be “slow of speech and of tongue”. It is not from a place of humility but of pride and distrust to respond to God in this way. Our sin leads us to selfish inwardness, antisocial tendencies and, ultimately, disobedience. Repentance is the turning away from self and surrendering fully to God’s Lordship and direction.

Matthew 15

Matthew 15:39 (ESV) 39 And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

This is similar to the account in Matthew 14 of the feeding of the five thousand in which Jesus sent away the crowds and went to a different region. It is interesting that, in both cases, Jesus personally dismissed the people prior to moving on. He did not delegate this task to anyone else but instead took it upon Himself. It is a small detail, but speaks to His being a humble servant as well as the Lord of all creation.