Week 3: God Uses Unlikely People


You made it to week three! If you are still on schedule, then you’ve completed one of the hardest weeks in the 90-Day challenge.

If you’ve fallen behind, don’t give up. Reset your schedule and keep going! Maybe you can even plan a date with just you and your Bible to catch up over the weekend.

Last week you read about how God’s people were left wandering in the wilderness. The week ended with Moses giving his final instructions to the Israelites on how to live faithfully in the Promised Land.

This week you will leave the books of the Law behind and see how God begins to fulfill His promises.

At this point in the 90-Day plan the clear benefit of reading through Scripture at a high speed becomes clear. Only a few days ago you read how God promised Abraham his descendents would inherit the land of Canaan. For Israel the fulfillment of this promise took hundreds of years, but for you – it’s only been two weeks!


Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth & 1 Samuel: Themes

End of Deuteronomy Moses blesses and exhorts God’s people before passing the reigns of leadership to Joshua. After Moses dies, Joshua faces the tough task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land where they are sure to encounter hostility.

Joshua God uses Joshua to lead His people and give them what He has promised. The first half focuses on God’s fulfillment of His promise by delivering the land of Canaan into the hands of the Israelites.

Along the way we learn the danger of being presumptuous that things will always go our way. We see that looking to the Lord for guidance matters more than anything else.

The second half is devoted to dividing the land among the tribes. God tells Israel that He intends them to become a land of justice and worship, but sadly this does not last long.

Judges The people of Israel are on a downward spiral of chaos and apostasy, so God raises up “judges” in the land to lead the people out of their depravity.

Constantly, the author tells us that this was an era when people “did what was right in their own eyes.” Their behavior turns into a vicious circle of sin, punishment, repentance, peace, and regress. In fact, it can be summed up in this passage:

The Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. (Judges 2:16-17)

Have you ever felt like we live in a similar era today? Secularism is on the rise, and the values of a Christian worldview are increasingly regarded as irrelevant.

Like Israel in the time of the judges, the whole earth is waiting for the true King to finally deliver creation once and for all.

Ruth She lived during the time of the Judges. Most of Israel had turned away from God, except for the small group of people in this story. We follow Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, who are both widows. They are destitute and powerless to change their situation. They need a savior.

Have you ever felt like that?

As you read this and see Boaz step into the roll of “Kinsman Redeemer,” think about how Jesus did this very thing for us by becoming the redeemer who brings the fullness of life to our emptiness.

1 Samuel This book brings a nice change of pace. We read stories of hope, many of which clearly foreshadow the coming of Christ.

Saul is appointed the first king of Israel, and he seemed the perfect candidate for the job. But things go badly – fast. David is then anointed as the next king of Israel, but before he can don his crown, he will have to live on the run from Saul who is trying to kill him.

You’ll read many of the stories you’ve grown up learning in Sunday school, but instead of drawing out the same moral lesson, try to focus on the character of God. If you do that, you’ll learn more about who God is, what He does, and what life is like with Him and without Him.


 Encouraging Comments from a B90 Reader

As I was finishing chapter 8, I tried to picture Joshua reading ALL of Moses’ words (our Genesis through Deuteronomy) to the WHOLE assembly — ALL the men, women…EVEN the children. Imagine the patience of the listeners. Yet, they had just witnessed God’s power and justice and mercy, so they were hungry to hear His voice. I, too, have witnessed God’s power and justice and mercy in my own life. He saved me! May I be hungry to hear His voice…and attentive…and patient.

Nancy


B90Insights B90 Insight of the Week

One of the most interesting things to discover in Scripture is how God uses unlikely characters to bring about His will. This time, it’s Rahab. Not only was she a Canaanite (the very people Israel was fighting), but she was also a prostitute.

When two Israelite spies are sent to check out Jericho, she hides them and helps them escape. She confesses her faith to the Lord as the true God and King over the land that she was living in.

Much later, we find Rahab to be a great-grandparent of David, and therefore an ancestor of Jesus. Her story is a beautiful picture of how we are not saved by works, but by faith in the living God.

 

 

 

 


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