This week, we see that God has established a people for himself, yet we also see the constant struggle that lasts throughout the Old Testament: His people continue to do evil, even after he keeps raising up people to deliver them. As frustrating as that is to read, we would still be stuck in that cycle if it wasn't was the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Exodus 32-34. Israel rebelled even after God’s deliverance, yet God showed mercy. Chapter 33 is one of the greatest chapters to learn about the presence and glory of God. Moses states that the presence of God is the distinguishing factor in their lives. It’s no different for us. Though Moses experiences the glory of God, we can experience even greater glory through the New Covenant.

Joshua 1. Moses has died and Joshua is leading Israel. God told him it’s time to take the Land that he promised. Notice how many times they’re told to be strong and courageous. How could they do that? Because the Lord was with them. His promise to never leave or forsake continued with Joshua, and continues for us today.

Joshua 3-4. Joshua leads Israel in crossing the Jordan. The Lord had a specific and powerful way to cross—his presence must lead the way. It’s the same for us. God wants us to value his presence—not going ahead of him, but also not lagging too far behind. Following Jesus means going when he goes and stopping when he stops.

Joshua 5:13-6:27. Joshua’s angelic encounter shows him how to take Jericho. God’s plan didn’t make sense in the natural, but through his presence and their obedience they conquered the city that God gave them. Notice this theme throughout the Bible: God’s way doesn’t seem to make sense, yet it is always the best way. Jesus requires obedience, not understanding.

Judges 2:6-3:6. Joshua dies and the next generation forsakes the Lord. The Lord raised up judges to help them, but when they died they were even more corrupt. So they forfeited the Lord’s protection and victory. Although our spiritual leaders help us, we can’t live vicariously through them. We have to develop our own relationship with Jesus and be wholeheartedly devoted to him.

Judges 4-5. While the Israelites did evil, God raised up Deborah, a prophet and leader of Israel. The Lord gave victory through her, and her response was to recount what God did and worship him. When the Lord gives you victory (big or small), recount what he has done and worship him.

Judges 6-7. Israel continued to do evil, so they were oppressed by others. When they cried out, God called Gideon to rescue them. God wanted to make sure Israel didn’t boast so he shrunk the army from 82,000 to 300 and gave them victory. When we’re on God’s side, there’s no such thing as odds. Jesus is victorious, period.

Pray these prayers every day with us as we read the bible:

  • I ask for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know you better
  • Let your word cleanse my mind, removing or correcting any wrong ideas I have about you
  • Fill me with the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus and become more like him
  • I ask for greater measure, awareness and responsiveness of your presence in my life
  • Cause my heart to burn for you as you open the scriptures to me
  • Revive my heart, revive my family, revive my church, revive my city, revive us!
Download reading plan and prayers (PDF)

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