Category Archives: The Promised Land

A Stone as a Witness

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit for us to be witnesses, in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (see Acts 1:8). That is perfectly clear, but can a stone be a witness? Let’s see:

Joshua gathered the people for his farewell. He reminded them of the wonders God had done during the long pilgrimage from Egypt. Most of them did not know how the first stage of the journey; they were the new generation born in the desert.

After reminding the people of the things that God had done, Joshua recorded them in the book of the Law of God. Then he did something very interesting; he lifted a huge stone and placed it under a tree that was next to the sanctuary of the Lord. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us” (Joshua 24:27).

A stone as a witness? A witness of what they had promised.

  • Only the Lord will we serve.
  • Only the Lord will we obey.

Let their proclamation resound like an echo: “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him!”

Here are some biblical references about using a stone for something special:

  • Jacob used a stone as a “pillow” and then he set it up as a pillar, proclaiming that it would be God’s house (Genesis 28:10-22).
  • Jacob and Laban. Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar when he and his uncle made a covenant (Genesis 31:45-53).
  • God gave Moses commandments on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12).
  • Joshua wrote on stones all the words of the Law (Deuteronomy 27:1-7; Joshua 8:30-32).
  • Joshua set up a stone as a witness (Joshua 24:21-27).
  • Samuel named a stone Ebenezer: “Thus far has the Lord helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
  • Elijah took twelve stones and built an altar to the Lord (1 Kings 18:30-32).

Jesus is the cornerstone: the stone that the builders rejected has become the capstone (Psalm 118:22; Mark 12:10; Ephesians 2:18-22; Romans 9:30-33; 1 Peter 2:1-6).

I encourage you to trust in the Lord, whatever happens in your life. Joshua was Moses’ servant and then was put in charge. His difficult mission was the conquest of Canaan. At the end of his days, when he said his farewell to the people, he proclaimed what I hope each one of us can say a heartfelt amen to:

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15

This concludes the story of the long journey of the people of Israel to the Promised Land. I hope you have enjoyed it.

God bless each parent and teacher. Hugs and greetings to the children. I love you all!

Welcome to read the story of Joshua’s farewell, #8 in The Promised Land.

 

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The Warrior Young at Heart

Today’s story is about one of my favorite Bible heroes. As far back as I remember, I’ve admired this warrior, who at age 85 felt as young as when he was 40. That’s the kind of vigor I want to have. How about you?

Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Job, Isaiah… Among these people, that God calls “my servant,” is this brave warrior, Caleb. In a previous story we saw that he returned from exploring the Promised Land with a positive report of faith and trust in God. But his fellow spies, except Joshua, discouraged the people, so much that Israel was punished for their unbelief and had to wander forty years in the desert, as shepherds.

Read Numbers 13 & 14; Deuteronomy 1:19-40; Joshua 14:6-15.

Throughout his years of wandering in the desert, Caleb did not forget the mountain he had seen in Canaan. Moses promised him that when entering Canaan he could conquer it.

This servant of God is an example of persevering, of not losing the vision or the “dream” from our early years. No need to age the soul!

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Let’s be encouraged to be faithful and courageous servants, “with another spirit,” as it says about Caleb. Our beloved Savior makes us “more than conquerors.”

See Romans 8:37-39; Isaiah 40:29-31; Psalm 103:1-5.

Welcome to read the story #7, Caleb Conquers Horeb in: Conquering the Promised Land.

Grandpa Eleazar telling the children about his hero

Next week we will have the final story in the series about the escape from Egypt and the conquest of the Promised Land.

Be bountifully blessed!

Joshua’s Reading of the Law

Imagine that you are with the Israelites on Mount Ebal. Joshua has built an altar of very special stones. On the stones he has written the Law of God. The priests have offered sacrifices. Now everyone is ready for long sessions of listening to the reading of the Law.

Read Joshua 8:30-35. There was not word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to all the assembly… Did you notice that the children were also there?

For today’s story I imagined Elizabeth, as I would have been as a child. So she wouldn’t get bored while listening to the reading of the Law, she drew pictures in the sand.

There are different learning styles. Surely you have noticed that some kids cannot be still without doing something with their hands. That’s my style. I learn better when I’m doodling, most of the time palm trees. I wonder how many palm trees I’ve drawn in my lifetime? The reason I draw palm trees is because they remind me of the vision in which Jesus called me to minister to children. I have written my testimony in Spanish, now I realize I need to do it also in English. It will come!

Here is a short version:  A Vision Come True

See all my testimony stories here:

https://mx1414.wordpress.com/testimony-stories/

So, there were all the people listening to the reading of the Law. Later, when they wanted to read the Law, they had to climb to Mount Ebal and read what was written on the stones.

God had given Joshua commands regarding the Law, so that he would prosper, and everything would go well for him. There are three things I have emphasized for the children, things that are very important for everyone.

  • Think about the Book of the Law
  • Talk about the Book of the Law
  • Obey the Book of the Law

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

What children and adults could not do at that time, is something we sometimes take for granted. We have the Bible and we can read it whenever we want! But even today there are those who don’t have access to it, because it has not been translated into their language or because they live someplace where the Word of God is forbidden. In some places they must copy the Bible by hand to be able to have it.

The Bible, the Word of God, is a great treasure. Let’s take advantage of today’s story to focus on the great privilege of having the Bible.

Welcome to read Story #6 in The Promised Land: An Altar on a Mountain

I’m sorry I had to make such a long pause in finishing these stories. Now we have two more to go. The next one will be about Caleb, and then a story of Joshua’s farewell.

Blessings!

 

 

Victory in Jericho

Blessings to you and yours!

If you live in a country that celebrates Thanksgiving, I hope you had a good celebration. There is so much to thank God for. His blessings and mercies are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness!

Date of the Passover celebration

Today’s story highlights the victory in Jericho. Joshua and the brave warriors conquered the city because they followed God’s instructions to the letter. Rahab was saved together with her family because she followed the instructions of the spies.

In the story we mention the Passover celebration. An interesting fact has to do with the date of the celebration. After crossing the Jordan, and before conquering Jericho, the people of God celebrated the Passover. Forty years before, on the first month of the year and the 14th day, they celebrated their first Passover. It was a hasty celebration before leaving Egypt.

After forty years of wandering in the desert the people of Israel arrived in the Promised Land. They celebrated the Passover in the first month and the 14th day. How interesting with God’s timing! The dates coincided perfectly!

Then the manna ceased. Read about it in Joshua 5:10-12.

The command not to kill

Let’s talk about a matter that may arise when studying the book of Joshua. Today’s story and some of the following are about conquering Canaan. It’s a bit conflictive, because while God gave the Israelites (and us) the command not to kill, they had to conquer entire cities and destroy everyone. I can only speculate about the reason, because only God knows why at that point in time they had to kill and destroy.

The only way for them to receive their land, which had been promised to Abraham and his offspring, was for them to conquer it. I think the main reason they had to destroy the inhabitants was for it to be a land that worshiped God. It was important that the people not get into the pagan practices of worshiping false gods. The Canaanites were very idolatrous. What do you think? Questions may arise from the children and you need to be prepared to answer them.

The Ten Commandments still rule. Jesus gave us a new commandment, that we should love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34,35). The two great commandments are that we should love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).

The events of the Old Testament do not justify breaking God’s laws. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Joshua to carry out the conquest. The Lord encouraged him several times to be strong and courageous and told him not to fear.

Joshua’s ” job” of conquering the land began with the successful conquest of Jericho. Read about it in Joshua 6. That’s the story for today.

Eleazar and Eliab

I have placed Eleazar and Eliab amid the march around Jericho, to show the beauty of different generations doing the work of God together. To those who are grandparents, I encourage you to spend as much time as possible with your grandchildren. Your love and presence is the best legacy you can leave them. I imagine some little boy at the time of the conquest, who with pride and joy marched around Jericho holding hands with his grandfather. I know what I’m talking about, because I’m a grandmother. Nothing brings me more pleasure than to do something together with a grandchild.

To parents, grandparents and teachers, may the lessons in the book of Joshua bless you and the children in your life.

Welcome to read the story. Promised Land # 4. Conquering a City.

Healthy environment, cheerful heart

Who doesn’t want to live in a healthy environment? More important is to have a clean and healthy heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” Jesus said (Matthew 5:8). That is a cheerful heart!

Back in July I received a greeting from one of God’s tiny messengers, who posed himself on my Bible. I love sitting outside reading my Bible, something I can only do in the summer. I was thinking about my daughter who has been with God for 16 years; I miss the conversations and the times of prayer we had. Then came the little messenger—a frog! Of all the creatures God would send me for comfort I would never have imagined a frog.

I posted a photo on Facebook and a friend sent me a greeting saying that frogs and bees reveal that the environment is healthy. Thank God, that I have a healthy environment.

I’m glad it was just a single frog and not a plague, as the Egyptians had when Pharaoh didn’t let the people of God go to worship the Lord in the desert. That plague was probably not of tiny frogs. Just imagine having frogs all over, even while cooking in the kitchen (see Exodus 8:1-11).

Today’s story is about the people of Israel crossing the Jordan River. Read Joshua 2 through 4.

Joshua admonished the people to consecrate themselves, because God was going to do wonders. They bathed and washed their clothes, to show on the outside what they wanted God to do on the inside.

God calls us to be a holy people. Just like it is wonderful for the body to live in a healthy environment, there is nothing so beautiful for the soul as living in holiness.

1 Peter 1:15

But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. (ESV)

Instead, be holy in all that you do, just as God who called you is holy. (GNT)

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. (NIV)

Dear Friend, I wish you a healthy environment and a happy heart. Whatever your circumstances, the Lord Jesus can fill you with joy.

A happy grandfather sharing the miracles of the long journey.

Welcome to read the story of the miraculous crossing of the Jordan.

THE PROMISED LAND #3: Crossing to the Promised Land

TELL ME YOUR STORY

I would love to hear from you. It would be so interesting to know who is reading the stories. Please send me a short note. That would make my heart very happy.

Blessings!

God Our Eternal Refuge

“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms,” reads the ESV Bible. I have chosen the CEV translation for the Bible verse. It really makes it very understandable. It’s so comforting to think of the Lord carrying us in his arms.

God is our eternal dwelling place, our refuge. He has not promised us a rose covered path; but we do have the assurance that he is with us even if we go through fire and deep waters.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

Today’s verse is part of Moses’ final blessing to the people before his death. It’s interesting to observe that he was strong and vigorous until God took him home.

“Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated” (Deuteronomy 34:7).

In our imaginary story, the main characters —Eleazar and Rachel— get married and start a family. In the following stories, which will be about the conquest of the Promised Land, their grandchildren —Eliab and Elizabeth— will be the ones entering into Canaan.

I have incorporated into the story things that show God’s care for his people. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell (see Deuteronomy 8:4; 29:5). God gave his people manna, which I’m sure contained all the nutrients they needed.

Another detail that has caught my attention, and makes me think that if implemented in our day might avoid many problems, and surely there would be fewer divorces. Here it is:

When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken. Deuteronomy 24:5

A year to make the love of his life happy! Our God thinks about every detail. How wonderful that he is our eternal refuge! I believe it’s interesting for children to know these details.

Some verses that speak about the Lord as our refuge: Psalm 3:3; 27:5; 28:7; 32:7; 34:7; 91:1,11,12; 119:114; Genesis 15:1; 2 Kings 6:17

Fun activity: on YouTube you can find easy instructions to make a tent. It would be fun for the children to make a tent, as Eleazar made one for him and his bride. Here are two links. The first one is super easy to make.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tVOQST7Pig

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT70lX6lhlg

Follow the 8 stories about entering the Promised Land.

Welcome to read story #1 today: Moses’ Final Blessing

Eleazar’s parents and Rachel’s father discussing wedding plans.

Moses viewing the Promised Land.

Read Deuteronomy 32-34, that has Moses’ final blessing to the people of Israel.

May the Lord bless you abundantly!