OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years

2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).

Some other housecleaning:

A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.

B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.

C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.

D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.

As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.

[Mar 26]--The Failure of Joshua’s Generation

Judges 2:6-19

When I was growing up, the book of Judges was one of my favorites to read. Of course, I loved comic books as a kid and so the characters there were like God’s “superheroes.” At the very least it was a lot more exciting than the letters of Paul! As I got a little more mature, I started to read the Bible more thoroughly and saw just how DEPRESSING this book really was. Sure, the judges (actually, the term “leaders” might be better) performed great miracles and accomplished incredible feats, but they shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.

Read today’s passage, and you basically have a summary of the book of Judges. The book of Joshua is one of the most positive in the whole Old Testament. The Israelites completely overwhelmed the Canaanites, and none of their enemies could stand up against them. The only explicit disobedience in the book is Achan’s sin in chapter seven. Later on in the book, the tribes who decided to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan set up what looked like a forbidden altar in their midst. The other nine and a half tribes immediately prepared for war, and they were perfectly willing to invade and slaughter their own brothers if it was necessary to root out even a hint of idolatry. Fortunately, the eastern tribes quickly defused the situation by explaining that the pseudo-altar was just a memorial, not a real place to worship. This was how seriously Joshua’s generation took obedience. There are also a few hints here and there that they didn’t put 100% effort into rooting out the Canaanites like they should have, but all in all, this was a generation that tried (relatively) hard to serve and obey the Lord.

Their kids, however, turned out not so well. Right after Joshua’s generation passed from the scene, things went downhill fast. They quickly turned away from following the Lord, and efforts to root out the Canaanites fell by the wayside. As the Lord predicted, they turned away from him and started worshiping the gods of their neighbors. And just like God warned, he punished them. He handed them over to their enemies to persecute, rob, and murder them, and eventually they would “groan” about their oppression, and the Lord heard them. He sent a deliverer, and would often perform miracles through him/her. The people returned to the God of Israel (or at least pretended to), but once the leader died, they even dropped the pretense. This pattern went on for hundreds of years, throughout the book of Judges, and it actually was a downward spiral. The people kept on getting worse and worse, and the situation kept on deteriorating.

But where did all this start? Read verses 10-11 again, and ask yourself this: “Why didn’t the next generation know about the Lord? Didn’t God command parents to talk about him and his ways with their children?” For all the virtues of Joshua’s generation, and there were many, this was a horribly glaring failure, and it affected the nation for centuries to come.

Father, every child that I spend time with is an opportunity to share your goodness. Even if just for a moment, let them see your light reflected in me.

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