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First Reading: Joshua Chapter 11 and 12

Joshua 11

11:1 The Northern Conquest

And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor heard these things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, 2 and to the kings who were from the north, in the mountains, in the plain south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west, 3 to the Canaanites in the east and in the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite in the mountains, and the Hivite below Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. 5 And when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
6 But the LORD said to Joshua,"Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire." 7 So Joshua and all the people of war with him came against them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and they attacked them. 8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who defeated them and chased them to Greater Sidon, to the Brook Misrephoth, and to the Valley of Mizpah eastward; they attacked them until they left none of them remaining. 9 So Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.
10 Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. 11 And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was none left breathing. Then he burned Hazor with fire.
12 So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded. 13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only, which Joshua burned. 14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the children of Israel took as booty for themselves; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they left none breathing. 15 As the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.

16 Summary of Joshua's Conquests

Thus Joshua took all this land: the mountain country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, and the Jordan plain — the mountains of Israel and its lowlands, 17 from Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, even as far as Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings, and struck them down and killed them. 18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. All the others they took in battle. 20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
21 And at that time Joshua came and cut off the Anakim from the mountains: from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. 22 None of the Anakim were left in the land of the children of Israel; they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod.
23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.

Joshua 12

12:1 The Kings Conquered by Moses
(cf. Num 21:21-35)

These are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the eastern Jordan plain: 2 One king was Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon and ruled half of Gilead, from Aroer, which is on the bank of the River Arnon, from the middle of that river, even as far as the River Jabbok, which is the border of the Ammonites, 3 and the eastern Jordan plain from the Sea of Chinneroth as far as the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea), the road to Beth Jeshimoth, and southward below the slopes of Pisgah. 4 The other king was Og king of Bashan and his territory, who was of the remnant of the giants, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, 5 and reigned over Mount Hermon, over Salcah, over all Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and over half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
6 These Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel had conquered; and Moses the servant of the LORD had given it as a possession to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
7 The Kings Conquered by Joshua

And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel conquered on this side of the Jordan, on the west, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon as far as Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, which Joshua gave to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, 8 in the mountain country, in the lowlands, in the Jordan plain, in the slopes, in the wilderness, and in the South — the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: 9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; 10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; 11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; 12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; 13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; 14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; 15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; 16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; 17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; 18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; 19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; 20 the king of Shimron Meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; 21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; 22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one; 23 the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of the people of Gilgal, one; 24 the king of Tirzah, one — all the kings, thirty-one.

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 42 and 43

Psalms 42

42:1 Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses

To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
As the deer pants for the water brooks,So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night,While they continually say to me,"Where is your God?"
4 When I remember these things,I pour out my soul within me.For I used to go with the multitude;I went with them to the house of God,With the voice of joy and praise,With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me?Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me;Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,And from the heights of Hermon,From the Hill Mizar. 7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,And in the night His song shall be with me — A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock,"Why have You forgotten me?Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" 10 As with a breaking of my bones,My enemies reproach me,While they say to me all day long,"Where is your God?"
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me?Hope in God;For I shall yet praise Him,The help of my countenance and my God.

Psalms 43

43:1 Prayer to God in Time of Trouble

Vindicate me, O God,And plead my cause against an ungodly nation;Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! 2 For You are the God of my strength;Why do You cast me off?Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!Let them lead me;Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God,To God my exceeding joy;And on the harp I will praise You,O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me?Hope in God;For I shall yet praise Him,The help of my countenance and my God.

Psalms 44

44:1 Redemption Remembered in Present Dishonor

To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
We have heard with our ears, O God,Our fathers have told us,The deeds You did in their days,In days of old: 2 You drove out the nations with Your hand,But them You planted;You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. 3 For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,Nor did their own arm save them;But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance,Because You favored them.
4 You are my King, O God; Command victories for Jacob. 5 Through You we will push down our enemies;Through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us. 6 For I will not trust in my bow,Nor shall my sword save me. 7 But You have saved us from our enemies,And have put to shame those who hated us. 8 In God we boast all day long,And praise Your name forever.Selah
9 But You have cast us off and put us to shame,And You do not go out with our armies. 10 You make us turn back from the enemy,And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves. 11 You have given us up like sheep intended for food,And have scattered us among the nations. 12 You sell Your people for next to nothing,And are not enriched by selling them.
13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,A scorn and a derision to those all around us. 14 You make us a byword among the nations,A shaking of the head among the peoples. 15 My dishonor is continually before me,And the shame of my face has covered me, 16 Because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles,Because of the enemy and the avenger.
17 All this has come upon us;But we have not forgotten You,Nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant. 18 Our heart has not turned back,Nor have our steps departed from Your way; 19 But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals,And covered us with the shadow of death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god, 21 Would not God search this out?For He knows the secrets of the heart. 22 Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long;We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord?Arise! Do not cast us off forever. 24 Why do You hide Your face,And forget our affliction and our oppression? 25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;Our body clings to the ground. 26 Arise for our help,And redeem us for Your mercies' sake.

Bible Background



Part 1 of 2

I Corinthians is the first of two letters written by Paul the Apostle to the new Christian church in the Greek city of Corinth. He deals with a series of problems, sins and false teachings that were present in the newly formed church. Most members were from a promiscuous pagan background and were exhorted to put away their previous ways. There also were problems with those who tried to blend the teachings of Christ with the Levitical law.

The 13th chapter if I Corinthians is perhaps the most well known chapter of the New Testament. It is a treatise on love. "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (verse 13)


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