Joshua 12–13, Psalm 145, Jeremiah 6, Matthew 20

DateVersionReading Plan
@July 10, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Joshua 12–13

Joshua 13:13 (ESV) 13 Yet the people of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maacathites, but Geshur and Maacath dwell in the midst of Israel to this day.

Following from yesterday’s reflection on Joshua’s obedience to the command to devote all nations of the promised land to complete destruction, we see in this verse that not all nations were driven out. The CSB Notes illuminate the consequences not driving out the Geshurites and Maacathites by saying, “The presence of Geshur and Maacath as independent entities is attested during the time of David. He married the daughter of Geshur’s king and fathered Absalom (2 Sam. 3:3). The statement that Israel did not drive out the Canaanites becomes a sad refrain in Joshua and Judges (Josh. 16:10; Josh. 17:13; Judges 1).” The commands given by God are done so with good reason. We may not fully understand why we are to do as we are, but must trust n His goodness and that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

Psalm 145

Psalm 145:18–20 (ESV) 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 20 The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

These are incredibly clarifying verses in terms of the posture of our hearts with regard to the LORD. The LORD is gracious to come near to all who call on Him in truth. The qualifier of “in truth” denotes how our calling of Him must be from a place of sincerity, truthfully seeking His presence. It is not a general calling or one rooted in selfish motives, but one aligned with His righteousness. God also fulfills desires, hears cries, saves and preserves, but these are bestowed upon those who properly fear and love Him. To this must be added that their fulfillment is often at odds with what we expect or prefer. This is then contrasted with the wicked in v. 20, who receive not His favor but instead destruction. To every prideful soul will come the removal of His countenance and divine blessing.

Jeremiah 6

Jeremiah 6:13–14 (ESV) 13 “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

Everyone was pursuing unjust gain, from the lowliest to the highest in power. The false prophets declared peace, soothing words that in no way reflected the looming calamity. How much we can learn from this wayward people to instead be truthful in our dealings and declarations, in full submission to our Lord and firmly rooted in His Word.

Matthew 20

Matthew 20:15–16 (ESV) 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

The CSB Notes has a profitable exposition on the parable of the vineyard laborers worth quoting in full:

The workers had no right to protest their pay since their wage was the normally accepted sum and since they had agreed to work for this wage in the first place (v. 2). Just as the landowner was free to dispense his wealth as he saw fit, God is free to dispense his grace as he determines. The first workers hired represent people who consider themselves to be of greater importance to God, like the self-righteous man in 19:16–26. The last workers hired represent people like the twelve disciples, who live sacrificially but will be rewarded far more generously than they expect or deserve.