Joshua/Judges Week 13

From Joshua and Judges to Jesus and the Kingdom of God: Matthew 1:18–25; Matthew 21:1–17; Hebrews 13:1–25

What would you say is the most relevant and easy-to-read book of the Bible? Psalms? Proverbs? The Gospel of Matthew? James? Philippians? Romans? It is no wonder that some of the most popular Biblical quotes come from these books! Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 12

Israel With Two Black Eyes: Judges 17:1–21:25

While this book of the Bible is called Judges, and spends most of its chapters focused on the incomprehensible moral decline of these supposed leaders of the people, the last five chapters look at, more broadly, the depravity and lawlessness (in particular the “Torah-lessness”) of the whole nation. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 11

Samson, the Anti-Judge: Judges 13:1–16:31

There used to be a time, in America, when a child was told, You could grow up to be anything you want to be — you could be the President of the United States. I don’t think that happens very much anymore. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 10

Gideon — The “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Judge: Judges 6:1–12:15

So far in the book of Judges, the pattern or cycle has been clearly established: Israel did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD; God punished his people for their rebellion with the oppression of a foreign enemy; Israel cried out in fear, pain, and desperation; God raised up a “judge” to deliver his people from the invaders; and Israel experienced “rest” for a period of time. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 9

Deborah — Judge, Prophet, and “Mother in Israel”: Judges 3:7–5:31

Last week, I made mention of a “cycle” in the book of Judges where Israel sins (idolatry, unfaithfulness to God, civil rivalry, etc.), God gives them over into the hands of their enemies in the land, they subsequently cry out for help, and God “raises up” a judge to act as a savior and deliverer for them.
Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 8

“After Joshua Died” — An Introduction to Judges: Judges 1:1-3:6

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable about two brothers in the same situation (Matthew 21:28–30) — the father tells them both to “go and work in the vineyard today.” Only one does the right thing; while he originally tells his father “no,” he later changes his mind and does as he was told. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 7

Location, Location, Location!: Joshua 13:1-24:33

About seven chapters of the latter part of the book of Joshua detail the distribution of the land of Canaan to the tribes of Israel. You will not hear many riveting sermons on these chapters or read gripping theological books based on them. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 6

Rahab I Loved, Achan I Hated: Joshua 7:1–12:24

When I became a graduate student in northern England, my wife and I moved into an apartment building owned by the university that was dedicated especially to international families. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 5

And the Walls Came a Tumblin’ Down: Joshua 5:1–6:27

The sixth chapter of the book of Joshua may be the most well known chapter of the Bible among Americans in general. When I was in choir in high school, we sang Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, the rich and sonorous black spiritual. Martin Luther King Jr. hailed this song as his favorite and drew inspiration in his social struggles from the biblical message. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 4

“Your Going Out And Your Coming In”: Joshua 3:1–4:24

Psalm 121 is one of the shortest psalms in the Psalter — a mere eight verses — yet it succinctly relates how Israel is meant to view its covenantal God… Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 3

Israel and the “Rahab”-ilitation of Faith: Joshua 2:1–24; 6:22–23

My covenant. My people. My promise. My land. Thematically, these words echo throughout the whole book of Joshua — Israel’s claiming of the land offered to them by their covenantal God, YHWH. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 2

From Moses to Joshua: Joshua 1:1–18

My family owns the classic Indiana Jones trilogy on DVD and my favorite film in the series is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), where the dashing archaeologist and adventurer pursues the legendary Holy Grail along with his father, Henry Jones Sr. — another scholar who has spent his life obsessed with finding this sacred relic. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 1

Introduction to Joshua: Eden Lost, Canaan Found

Mark Twain once wrote, facetiously, that a “classic” could be defined as a book that people praise but don’t actually read. I’m afraid, then, the Bible has become a “classic”! No doubt the Bible can be intimidating — my study Bible is more than 2,000 pages of text with very tiny font. Full reading »