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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that the sons of Reuben and Gad say that the land on the east of Jordan is good for cattle. Since they have cattle, they want to stay there where things are comfortable and not take the land God has for them. Moses tells them if they don’t fight, then the other tribes will not want to fight. They made a deal that every man of fighting age must go into the Promised Land and join the battle with the other tribes to take it. Their wives, children, cattle, and possessions can stay.

God has a plan for us. We are in midst of a battle and we must be willing to fight or the people around us will not be willing to fight.

In Deuteronomy, Moses and Joshua receive word from the Lord to “be strong and of good courage.” God says this because he will be in their battle. He will fight for them and he knows that they will not remain faithful to him. We turn away from God in the good times and sometimes when we suffer. God has promised that he will fight for us even though he knows we will fail and be faithless. We always need to ask God to help us and come back to him.

How has God stayed by your side in times of sadness and excitement?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Numbers 32

1 Now, the Reubenites and Gadites owned very large herds of cattle. Having seen that the territories of Jazer and Gilead formed an ideal region for raising stock,

2 the Gadites and Reubenites went to Moses, the priest Eleazar and the leaders of the community, and said to them,

3 ‘The territory of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon,

4 which Yahweh has conquered before the advancing community of Israel, is ideal land for raising stock, and your servants are cattle breeders.

5 So’, they said, ‘if you approve, give your servants this land for us to own; do not make us cross the Jordan.’

6 Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, ‘Do you intend your brothers to go into battle while you stay here?

7 Why are you discouraging the Israelites from crossing to the country which Yahweh has given them?

8 Your fathers behaved in the same way when I sent them from Kadesh-Barnea to see the country,

9 for, having gone as far as the Valley of Eshcol and seen the country, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the country which Yahweh had given them.

10 Hence Yahweh’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath,

11 “No man of twenty years and over, who left Egypt, shall set eyes on the country which I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob . . . , for they have not followed me absolutely,

12 except for Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua son of Nun: these indeed have followed Yahweh absolutely.”

13 Yahweh’s anger being aroused by Israel, he made them wander in the desert for forty years, until the generation that offended Yahwehhad all disappeared.

14 And now you rise up in your father’s place, offshoot of sinful stock, to increase Yahweh’s burning anger with Israel even more!

15 If you turn away from him, he will prolong the time spent in the desert, and you will bring about this entire people’s ruin.’

16 They came to Moses and said, ‘We should like to build sheepfolds here for our flocks and towns for our little ones.

17 We ourselves will take up arms and lead the Israelites until we have brought them to the place appointed for them, while our little ones stay in the fortified towns to be safe from the local inhabitants.

18 We will not return to our homes until every one of the Israelites has taken possession of his heritage.

19 For we shall have no heritage with them on the other bank of the Jordan or beyond, since our heritage has fallen to us here, east of the Jordan.’

20 Moses said to them, ‘If you do as you have said, if you are prepared to fight before Yahweh,

21 and if all those of you who bear arms cross the Jordan before Yahweh, until he has driven all his enemies out before him,

22 then, once the country has become subject to Yahweh, you may go back, and will have discharged your obligation to Yahweh and Israel, and Yahweh will consider this territory yours.

23 But if you do not, you will sin against Yahweh, and be sure your sin will find you out.

24 Build towns, then, for your little ones and folds for your flocks; but do what you have promised.’

25 The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, ‘Your servants will do as my lord directs.

26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks and all our livestock will stay in the towns of Gilead,

27 but your servants, each armed for war, will cross in Yahweh’s name and fight, as my lord says.’

28 So Moses gave orders about them to the priest Eleazar, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of families in the Israelite tribes.

29 Moses said to them, ‘If the Gadites and Reubenites, all those under arms, cross the Jordan with you to fight in Yahweh’s name, then, once the country has become subject to you, you will give them the territory of Gilead as theirs.

30 But if they will not cross with you under arms, they will receive their domains in Canaan with the rest of you.’

31 To this, the Gadites and Reubenites replied, ‘What Yahweh has said to your servants, we shall do.

32 Under arms, we shall cross in Yahweh’s name into Canaan, so that ownership of our heritage on this side of the Jordan will be ours.’

33 Moses then gave them — the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph — the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the country and the towns within its territory, and the country’s frontier-towns.

34 The Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,

35 Atroth-Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,

36 Beth-Nimrah and Beth-Haran as fortified towns with folds for the flocks.

37 The Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,

38 Nebo and Baal-Meon (the names of which were altered), and Sibmah, giving new names to the towns which they rebuilt.

39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead. They conquered it and drove out the Amorites who were there.

40 Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he settled there.

41 Jair son of Manasseh went and seized their encampments, renaming them the Encampments of Jair.

42 Nobah went and seized Kenat with its dependent townships, and called it Nobah after himself.

Deuteronomy 31

1 Moses went and spoke to all Israel as follows,

2 ‘Today, I am one hundred and twenty years old, and can no longer act as leader. Yahweh has told me, “You shall not cross this Jordan.”

3 Yahweh your God himself will lead you across, he himself will destroy and dispossess these nations confronting you; Joshua too willlead you across, as Yahweh has said.

4 Yahweh will treat them as he has treated Sihon and Og the Amorite kings and their country — he destroyed them.

5 Yahweh will put them at your mercy, and you will deal with them exactly as prescribed by the commandments which I have laid down for you.

6 Be strong, stand firm, have no fear, do not be afraid of them, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.’

7 Moses then summoned Joshua and, in the presence of all Israel, said to him, ‘Be strong, stand firm; you will be the one to go with this people into the country which Yahweh has sworn to their ancestors that he would give them; you are to be the one who puts them into possession of it.

8 Yahweh himself will lead you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or desert you. Have no fear, do not be alarmed.’

9 Moses committed this Law to writing and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, and to all the elders of Israel.

10 And Moses gave them this command, ‘At the end of every seven years, at the time fixed for the year of remission, at the feast of Shelters,

11 when all Israel assembles in the presence of Yahweh your God in the place chosen by him, you must proclaim this Law in the hearing of all Israel.

12 Call the people together, men, women, children, and the foreigner residing with you, so that, hearing it, they may learn to fear Yahwehyour God and keep and observe all the words of this Law.

13 Their children, who as yet do not know it, will hear it and learn to fear Yahweh your God, all the time you live in the country which you are crossing the Jordan to possess.’

14 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘And now the time is near when you must die. Summon Joshua and take your places at the Tent of Meeting, so that I can give him his orders.’ Moses and Joshua went and took their places at the Tent of Meeting,

15 and Yahweh showed himself at the Tent in a pillar of cloud; the pillar of cloud stood at the door of the Tent.

16 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘You will soon be sleeping with your ancestors, and this people is about to play the harlot by following the gods of the foreigners of the country, among whom they are going to live. They will desert me and break my covenant, which I have made with them.

17 That very day, my anger will blaze against them; I shall desert them and hide my face from them. A host of disasters and misfortunes will overtake them to devour them, and when that day comes they will say, “If such disasters overtake me, surely Yahweh my God cannot be with me?”

18 Yes indeed, I shall hide my face that day, on account of all the evil which they will have done by turning to other gods.

19 ‘Now write down this song for you to use; teach it to the Israelites, put it into their mouths, for it to be a witness on my behalf against the Israelites:

20 against Israel, whom I am bringing into the country which I swore to his ancestors that I would give him, a country flowing with milk and honey: against Israel, who will eat to his heart’s content and grow fat, and will then turn to other gods and serve them, despising me and breaking my covenant. 

21 When a host of disasters and misfortunes overtakes him, this song, like a witness, will give evidence against him, since his descendants will not have forgotten it. Yes, even today, before I have brought him to the country which I have promised him on oath, I know what plans he has in mind.’

22 So, that day, Moses wrote out this song and taught it to the Israelites.

23 To Joshua son of Nun, Yahweh gave this order, ‘Be strong and stand firm, for you are to be the one to bring the Israelites into the country which I have promised them on oath, and I myself shall be with you.’

24 When Moses had completely finished writing the words of this Law in a book,

25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of Yahweh’s covenant:

26 ‘Take the book of this Law and put it beside the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God. Let it lie there as evidence against you.

27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If today, while I am still alive and with you, you rebel against Yahweh, how much more will you rebel against him after my death!

28 ‘Gather all your tribal elders and scribes round me, so that I may be sure that they hear these words, as I call heaven and earth to witness against them.

29 For I know that after my death you are certain to grow corrupt; you will leave the way which I have marked out for you; in the final days disaster will befall you for having done what is evil in Yahweh’s eyes, for having provoked his anger by your behaviour.’

30 In the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel, Moses then recited the words of this song to the end:

Psalm 117

1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all peoples,

2 for his faithful love is strong and his constancy never-ending.

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