Joshua 14–15, Psalms 146–147, Jeremiah 7, Matthew 21

DateVersionReading Plan
@July 11, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Joshua 14–15

Joshua 15:16–19 (ESV) 16 And Caleb said, “Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife.” 17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 18 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

Caleb offered his daughter, Achsah, as a wife to whoever captured Kiriath-sepher. Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, captured it and was given Achsah. Achsah urged Othniel to ask Caleb for a field and then asked Caleb directly for springs of water. There are a couple of interesting details here. First, Othniel may have been the same Othniel who was the first judge of Israel (Judges 3:9-11). As the CSB Notes states, “This anticipates David’s capture of Jerusalem, where he also started out from Hebron and also offered a reward to the person who succeeded in defeating the enemy (2Sm 5:6–15).” Second, Achsah asked for a blessing and springs of water to go along with the field. As the CSB Notes continues, this requests “was to increase her dowry and receive a full inheritance that included the necessary water sources for land to be usable in the Judean desert.”

Psalms 146–147

Psalm 146:5–6 (ESV) 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;

Blessing comes to those who realize that their help and hope are in the God of Jacob. There is nothing else from which such things come. By His unsurpassed majesty, He created the heaven and earth and all that is in them. He is from everlasting to everlasting, keeping His faith forever. The Hebrew word for faith used here is אֱמֶת and is translated to “firmness”, “faithfulness”, “truth” and “trustworthiness”. Antithetical to our fickle nature, the Lord is steadfast and unwavering, true and unchanging and all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.

Jeremiah 7

Jeremiah 7:23–24 (ESV) 23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

God did not desire empty rituals from the people but that they would obey His voice and walk in a way in which He commanded. They had veered from their Godward trajectory, going backward rather than forward, walking in false counsel and stubbornness of their evil hearts. From this we draw that God delights in our obedience but it must be as He commands; from a heart crushed by the revelation of sin, transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and brought to new life by the Spirit in obedience of faith.

Matthew 21

Matthew 21:12–13 (ESV) 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Something I had never caught before today’s reading was that Matthew records how Jesus “drove out all who sold and bought in the temple” (emphasis mine). Mark 11:15 is similar, saying that “he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple” and in John it says, “he drove them all out of the temple” (”all” seemingly referring to the sellers, moneychangers and animals). However, in Luke 19:45 it says that Jesus “drove out those who sold” with no specific mention of the buyers.