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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that Joshua is established as the new Moses who will lead the people of Israel across the river Jordan into the Promised Land. The first words that the Lord tells Joshua is “be strong and of good courage.” That is to mean the people of Israel should not be frightened or dismayed for God will be there with them.

The Lord commands the Israelites to take stones from the Jordan and make a pile for an altar. Whenever God’s people see this altar of stones, they will remember what he did for them.

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

Joshua 1

1 When Moses, servant of Yahweh, was dead, Yahweh spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ adjutant. He said,

2 ‘Moses my servant is dead; go now and cross this Jordan, you and this whole people, into the country which I am giving to them (the Israelites).

3 Every place you tread with the soles of your feet I shall give you, as I declared to Moses that I would.

4 From the desert and the Lebanon, to the Great River, the Euphrates (the entire country of the Hittites), and as far as the Great Sea to westward, is to be your territory.

5 As long as you live, no one will be able to resist you; I shall be with you as I was with Moses; I shall not fail you or desert you.

6 ‘Be strong and stand firm, for you are the man to give this people possession of the land which I swore to their ancestors that I would give them.

7 Only be strong and stand very firm and be careful to keep the whole Law which my servant Moses laid down for you. Do not swerve from this either to right or to left, and then you will succeed wherever you go.

8 Have the book of this Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may carefully keep everything that is written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, then you will have success.

9 Have I not told you: Be strong and stand firm? Be fearless and undaunted, for go where you may, Yahweh your God is with you.’

10 Joshua then gave the people’s officials this instruction:

11 ‘Go through the camp and give the people this order, “Make provisions ready, for in three days’ time you will cross this Jordan and go on to take possession of the land which Yahweh your God is giving you as your own.” ‘

12 Joshua then said to the Reubenites and Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,

13 ‘Remember the order given you by Moses, servant of Yahweh: Yahweh your God, in bringing you to rest, has given you the land where we are.

14 Your wives, your little ones and your cattle must stay in the country given you by Moses beyond the Jordan. But all you fighting men must cross in battle formation at the head of your brothers and help them,

15 until Yahweh grants rest to your brothers and you alike, when they too have taken possession of the land which Yahweh your God is giving to them. Then you may go back and take possession of the land which belongs to you and which Moses, servant of Yahweh, has given you on the eastern side of the Jordan.’

16 They answered Joshua, ‘We will do whatever you order us, and wherever you send us we will go.

17 We obeyed Moses in everything, and now we will obey you. Only may Yahweh your God be with you as he was with Moses!

18 If anyone rebels against your orders or will not listen to your commands, let him be put to death. Only be strong and stand firm.’

Joshua 2

1 From Shittim, Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men to reconnoitre. He said, ‘Go and explore the country and Jericho.’ They left; they went into the house of a prostitute called Rahab, to spend the night there.

2 The king of Jericho was told, ‘Some men have come here tonight from the Israelites, to reconnoitre the country.’

3 The king of Jericho then sent a message to Rahab, ‘Send out the men who came to you and are lodging in your house, for they have come to reconnoitre the whole country.’

4 But the woman took the two men and hid them. ‘It is true,’ she said, ‘the men did come to me, but I did not know where they came from.

5 When the city gate was about to be closed at nightfall, the men went out and I cannot say where they have gone. Follow them quickly and you will overtake them.’

6 She had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under some stalks of flax which she had laid out there.

7 The men hurried in pursuit of them towards the Jordan, as far as the fords, and the gate was shut once the pursuers had gone through.

8 The two men had not yet settled down for the night when Rahab came up to them on the roof.

9 She said to them, ‘I know that Yahweh has given you this country, that we are afraid of you and that everyone living in this country has been seized with terror at your approach;

10 for we have heard how Yahweh dried up the Sea of Reeds before you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two Amorite kings across the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under the curse of destruction.

11 When we heard this, our hearts failed us, and now no one has any courage left to resist you, since Yahweh your God is God both in heaven above and on earth beneath.

12 So, swear to me now by Yahweh, since I have been kind to you,

13 that you in your turn will be kind to my father’s family; and give me a sure sign of this: that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters and all who belong to them, and will preserve us from death.’

14 The men replied, ‘We pledge you our lives, provided that you say nothing about our mission. When Yahweh has given us the country, we shall treat you kindly and faithfully.’

15 She then let them down from the window on a rope, as her house was against the city wall and she actually lived in the wall.

16 ‘Make for the hills,’ she said, ‘or you may run into your pursuers. Hide there for three days, until your pursuers have come back, and then go on your way.’

17 The men said, ‘This is how we shall fulfil the oath which you have made us swear:

18 when we invade the country, you must tie this scarlet cord to the window from which you let us down, and collect your father, mother, brothers and entire family inside your house.

19 If anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head and we shall not be to blame; but the blood of all staying inside the house with you will be on our heads if a hand is laid on any of them.

20 But if you divulge our mission in the meanwhile, we shall be free of the oath which you have made us swear.’

21 She replied, ‘Let it be as you say.’ She let them go, and they left. She then tied the scarlet cord to the window.

22 They left and made for the hills. They stayed there for three days, until their pursuers had gone home, having scoured the countryside without finding them.

23 The two men then came down again from the hills, crossed over and, going to Joshua son of Nun, told him everything that had happened to them.

24 To Joshua they said, ‘Yahweh has put the whole country at our mercy, and its inhabitants are all panic-stricken at our approach.’

Joshua 3

1 Early in the morning, Joshua struck camp and set out from Shittim with all the Israelites. They went as far as the Jordan and there they camped before they crossed.

2 Three days later, the officials went through the camp

3 and gave the people these instructions, ‘When you see the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God being carried by the levitical priests, you will leave your position and follow it,so that you may know which way to take, since you have never gone this way before. Between you and the ark, however, keep a distance of about two thousand cubits: do not go near it.’

4 Between you and the ark, however, keep a distance of about two thousand cubits: do not go near it.’

5 Joshua said to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves, since tomorrow Yahweh will work wonders among you.’

6 Joshua then said to the priests, ‘Take up the ark of the covenant and cross at the head of the people.’ They took up the ark of the covenant and moved to the head of the people.

7 Yahweh said to Joshua, ‘This very day, I shall begin to make you great in the eyes of all Israel so that they will know that, as I was with Moses, so I shall be with you.

8 Now, give this order to the priests carrying the ark of the covenant, “When you have reached the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you must halt in the Jordan itself.” ‘

9 To the Israelites, Joshua then said, ‘Come closer and hear the words of Yahweh your God.’

10 Joshua said, ‘By this, you are to know that the living God is with you and without a doubt will expel the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites before you.

11 Look, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth is about to move into the Jordan at your head.

12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from each tribe.

13 As soon as the priests carrying the ark of Yahweh, Lord of the whole earth, have set the soles of their feet in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off; the upper waters flowing down will stop as a single mass.’

14 Accordingly, when the people left their tents to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people.

15 As soon as the bearers of the ark reached the Jordan and the feet of the priests carrying the ark touched the waters — the Jordan is in spate throughout the harvest season-

16 the upper waters stood still and formed a single mass over a great distance, at Adam, the town near Zarethan, while those flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely separated. The people crossed opposite Jericho.

17 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh stood firm on dry ground in mid-Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until the whole nation had completed its crossing of the Jordan.

Joshua 4

1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, Yahweh spoke to Joshua and said,

2 ‘Choose twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and give them this order,

3 “Here, from mid-Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet were standing, take twelve stones; carry them with you and set them down in the camp where you pass the night.” ‘

4 Joshua called the twelve men whom he had selected from the Israelites, one man from each tribe,

5 and Joshua said to them, ‘Go on ahead of the ark of Yahweh your God into mid-Jordan, and each of you take one stone on his shoulder, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel,

6 to make this a sign among you; and when, in the future, your children ask you, “What do these stones mean for you?”

7 you will then tell them, “The waters of the Jordan separated before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the river separated. These stones are an everlasting reminder of this to the Israelites.”

8 The Israelites did as Joshua ordered; they took twelve stones from mid-Jordan corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel, as Yahweh had told Joshua; they carried them over to the camp and set them down there.

9 Joshua then erected twelve stones in mid-Jordan, on the spot where the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are still there today.

10 The priests carrying the ark stood still in mid-Jordan, until everything had been done that Yahweh had ordered Joshua to tell the people (in accordance with everything that Moses had ordered Joshua); and the people hurried across.

11 When the people had finished crossing, the ark of Yahweh then crossed, with the priests, to the head of the people.

12 The sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed in battle formation at the head of the Israelites, as Moses had told them.

13 Some forty thousand warriors in arms, they crossed in Yahweh’s presence, ready for battle, towards the plain of Jericho.

14 That day, Yahweh made Joshua great in the eyes of all Israel, who respected him as they had respected Moses, as long as he lived.

15 Yahweh said to Joshua,

16 ‘Order the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.’

17 And Joshua gave the order to the priests, ‘Come up, out of the Jordan!’

18 Now, when the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came up out of mid-Jordan, no sooner had the soles of the priests’ feet touched solid ground, than the waters of the Jordan returned to their bed and ran on, in spate as before.

19 It was the tenth day of the first month when the people came up from the Jordan and made their camp at Gilgal, on the eastern border of Jericho.

20 As regards those twelve stones, which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set them up at Gilgal.

21 He then said to the Israelites, ‘When, in the future, your children ask their fathers, “What are these stones?”

22 you will explain to your children, “Israel crossed this Jordan dry-shod.

23 For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan in front of you until you had crossed, just as Yahweh your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which he dried up before us until we had crossed it;

24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know how mighty the hand of Yahweh is, and always stand in awe of Yahweh your God.” ‘

Psalm 123

1 [Song of Ascents] I lift up my eyes to you who are enthroned in heaven.

2 Just as the eyes of slaves are on their masters’ hand, or the eyes of a slave-girl on the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are on Yahwehour God, for him to take pity on us.

3 Have pity on us, Yahweh, have pity, for we have had our full share of scorn,

4 more than our share of jeers from the complacent. (Scorn is for the proud.)

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