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Morning Bible Reading - Joshua 1

  1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Mosesí minister, saying,  2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, [even] to the children of Israel.  3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.  4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.  5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.  10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,  11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.  12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,  13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.  14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;  15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORDís servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.  16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.  17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.  18 Whosoever [he be] that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline The Lord appoints Joshua to succeed Moses. (1-4) God promises to assist Joshua. (5-9) Preparation to pass over Jordan. (10-15) The people promise to obey Joshua. (16-18)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-4 Joshua had attended upon Moses. He who was called to honour, had been long used to business. Our Lord Jesus took upon him the form of a servant. Joshua was trained up under command. Those are fittest to rule, who have learned to obey. The removal of useful men should quicken survivors to be the more diligent in doing good. Arise, go over Jordan. At this place and at this time the banks were overflowed. Joshua had no bridge or boats, and yet he must believe that God, having ordered the people over, would open a way.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   5-9 Joshua is to make the law of God his rule. He is charged to meditate therein day and night, that he might understand it. Whatever affairs of this world we have to mind, we must not neglect the one thing needful. All his orders to the people, and his judgments, must be according to the law of God. Joshua must himself be under command; no man|s dignity or dominion sets him above the law of God. He is to encourage himself with the promise and presence of God. Let not the sense of thine own infirmities dishearten thee; God is all-sufficient. I have commanded, called, and commissioned thee to do it, and will be sure to bear thee out in it. When we are in the way of duty, we have reason to be strong and very bold. Our Lord Jesus, as Joshua here, was borne up under his sufferings by a regard to the will of God, and the commandment from his Father.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-15 Joshua says to the people, Ye shall pass over Jordan, and shall possess the land; because God had said so to him. We honour the truth of God, when we stagger not at the promise of God. The two tribes and a half were to go over Jordan with their brethren. When God, by his providence, has given us rest, we ought to consider what service we may do to our brethren.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   16-18 The people of Israel engage to obey Joshua; All that thou commandest us to do we will readily do, without murmuring or disputing, and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go. The best we can ask of God for our magistrates, is, that they may have the presence of God; that will make them blessings to us, so that in seeking this for them, we consult our own interest. May we be enabled to enlist under the banner of the Captain of our salvation, to be obedient to his commands, and to fight the good fight of faith, with all that trust in and love his name, against all who oppose his authority; for whoever refuses to obey him must be destroyed.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 1:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 1:3-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 1:4-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 1:10-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 1:12-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Joshua 2

  1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlotís house, named Rahab, and lodged there.  2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.  3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.  4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they [were]:  5 And it came to pass [about the time] of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.  6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.  7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.  8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;  9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.  10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.  11 And as soon as we had heard [these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.  12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my fatherís house, and give me a true token:  13 And [that] ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.  14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.  15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house [was] upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.  16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.  17 And the men said unto her, We [will be] blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.  18 Behold, [when] we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy fatherís household, home unto thee.  19 And it shall be, [that] whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood [shall be] upon his head, and we [will be] guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood [shall be] on our head, if [any] hand be upon him.  20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.  21 And she said, According unto your words, so [be] it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.  22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought [them] throughout all the way, but found [them] not.  23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all [things] that befell them:  24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline Rahab receives and hides two Israelites. (1-7) Rahab and the spies. (8-21) The return of the spies. (22-24)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-7 Faith in God|s promises ought not to do away, but to encourage our diligence in the use of proper means. The providence of God directed the spies to the house of Rahab. God knew where there was one that would be true to them, though they did not. Rahab appears to have been an innkeeper; and if she had formerly been one of bad life, which is doubtful, she had left her evil courses. That which seems to us most accidental, is often overruled by the Divine providence to serve great ends. It was by faith that Rahab received those with peace, against whom her king and country had war. We are sure this was a good work; it is so spoken of by the apostle, Jas 2:25; and she did it by faith, such a faith as set her above the fear of man. Those only are true believers, who find in their hearts to venture for God; they take his people for their people, and cast in their lot among them. The spies were led by the special providence of God, and Rahab entertained them out of regard to Israel and Israel|s God, and not for lucre or for any evil purpose. Though excuses may be offered for the guilt of Rahab|s falsehood, it seems best to admit nothing which tends to explain it away. Her views of the Divine law must have been very dim: a falsehood like this, told by those who enjoy the light of revelation, whatever the motive, would deserve heavy censure.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   8-21 Rahab had heard of the miracles the Lord wrought for Israel. She believed that his promises would certainly be fulfilled, and his threatenings take effect; and that there was no way of escape but by submitting to him, and joining with his people. The conduct of Rahab proved that she had the real principle of Divine faith. Observe the promises the spies made to her. The goodness of God is often expressed by his kindness and truth, Ps 117:2; in both these we must be followers of him. Those who will be conscientious in keeping promises, are cautious in making them. The spies make needful conditions. The scarlet cord, like the blood upon the doorpost at the passover, recalls to remembrance the sinner|s security under the atoning blood of Christ; and that we are to flee thereto for refuge from the wrath of a justly offended God. The same cord Rahab used for the saving of these Israelites, was to be used for her own safety. What we serve and honour God with, we may expect he will bless, and make useful to us.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   22-24 The report the spies brought was encouraging. All the people of the country faint because of Israel; they have neither wisdom to yield, nor courage to fight. Those terrors of conscience, and that sense of Divine wrath, which dismay the ungodly, but bring not to repentance, are fearful forebodings of approaching destruction. But grace yet abounds to the chief of sinners. Let them, without delay, flee to Christ, and all shall be well.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 2:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 2:8-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 2:11-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Joshua 3

  1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.  2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;  3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.  4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed [this] way heretofore.  5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.  6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.  7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee.  8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.  9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.  10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God [is] among you, and [that] he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.  11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.  12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.  13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, [that] the waters of Jordan shall be cut off [from] the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.  14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;  15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)  16 That the waters which came down from above stood [and] rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that [is] beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, [even] the salt sea, failed, [and] were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.  17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline The Israelites come to Jordan. (1-6) The Lord encourages joshua--Joshua encourages the people. (7-13) The Israelites pass through Jordan on dry land. (14-17)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-6 The Israelites came to Jordan in faith, having been told that they should pass it. In the way of duty, let us proceed as far as we can, and depend on the Lord. Joshua led them. Particular notice is taken of his early rising, as afterwards upon other occasions, which shows how little he sought his own ease. Those who would bring great things to pass, must rise early. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty. All in public stations should always attend to the duty of their place. The people were to follow the ark. Thus must we walk after the rule of the word, and the direction of the Spirit, in everything; so shall peace be upon us as upon the Israel of God; but we must follow our ministers only as they follow Christ. All their way through the wilderness was an untrodden path, but most so this through Jordan. While we are here, we must expect and prepare to pass ways that we have not passed before; but in the path of duty we may proceed with boldness and cheerfulness. Whether we are called to suffer poverty, pain, labour, persecution, reproach, or death, we are following the Author and Finisher of our faith; nor can we set our feet in any dangerous or difficult spot, through our whole journey, but faith will there see the prints of the Redeemer|s feet, who trod that very path to glory above, and bids us follow him, that where he is, we may be also. They were to sanctify themselves. Would we experience the effects of God|s love and power, we must put away sin, and be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   7-13 The waters of Jordan shall be cut off. This must be done in such a way as never was done, but in the dividing of the Red sea. That miracle is here repeated; God has the same power to finish the salvation of his people, as to begin it; the WORD of the Lord was as truly with Joshua as with Moses. God|s appearances for his people ought to encourage faith and hope. God|s work is perfect, he will keep his people. Jordan|s flood cannot keep out Israel, Canaan|s force cannot turn them out again.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   14-17 Jordan overflowed all its banks. This magnified the power of God, and his kindness to Israel. Although those who oppose the salvation of God|s people have all advantages, yet God can and will conquer. This passage over Jordan, as an entrance to Canaan, after their long, weary wanderings in the wilderness, shadowed out the believer|s passage through death to heaven, after he has finished his wanderings in this sinful world. Jesus, typified by the ark, hath gone before, and he crossed the river when it most flooded the country around. Let us treasure up experiences of His faithful and tender care, that they may help our faith and hope in the last conflict.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 3:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Joshua 3:4-999 


Evening Bible Reading - Luke 1

  57 Now Elisabethís full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.  58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.  59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.  60 And his mother answered and said, Not [so]; but he shall be called John.  61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.  62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.  63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.  64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue [loosed], and he spake, and praised God.  65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.  66 And all they that heard [them] laid [them] up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.  67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,  68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,  69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;  70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:  71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;  72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;  73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,  74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.  76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;  77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,  78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   57-66 In these verses we have an account of the birth of John the Baptist, and the great joy among all the relations of the family. He shall be called Johanan, or "Gracious," because he shall bring in the gospel of Christ, wherein God|s grace shines most bright. Zacharias recovered his speech. Unbelief closed his mouth, and believing opened it again: he believers, therefore he speaks. When God opens our lips, our mouths must show forth his praise; and better be without speech, than not use it in praising God. It is said, The hand of the Lord was working with John. God has ways of working on children in their infancy, which we cannot account for. We should observe the dealings of God, and wait the event.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   67-80 Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is reviving; it brings light to those that sit in the shadow of death, as condemned prisoners in the dungeon. It is directing; it is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last, Ro 3:17. John gave proofs of strong faith, vigorous and holy affections, and of being above the fear and love of the world. Thus he ripened for usefulness; but he lived a retired life, till he came forward openly as the forerunner of the Messiah. Let us follow peace with all men, as well as seek peace with God and our own consciences. And if it be the will of God that we live unknown to the world, still let us diligently seek to grow strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Luke 1:57-80