Today’s Bible Reading

July 2

Old Testament I
Joshua 16, 17
Joshua 16 and 17 describe the division of the land among the tribes of Israel. In chapter 16, the tribe of Joseph (specifically the descendants of his son Ephraim) receives their portion of the land, which extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and includes the cities of Bethel and Gezer. However, the tribe of Ephraim does not completely drive out the Canaanites who lived in their allotted territory, allowing them to remain as servants.

In chapter 17, the tribe of Manasseh, which also descended from Joseph, is allotted land on both sides of the Jordan River, including the cities of Gilead and Bashan. However, the descendants of Manasseh complain to Joshua that their portion of land is insufficient, and Joshua encourages them to clear the forests and expand their territory. The daughters of Zelophehad, who had previously appealed to Moses for their inheritance, are also given land in the tribe of Manasseh.

Overall, these chapters emphasize the importance of obeying God's commands to drive out the inhabitants of the land, and the need for diligent effort in order to fully possess and cultivate the blessings that God has given to his people.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 11, 12
Isaiah 11 and 12 provide a prophetic vision of the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of Israel. In Isaiah 11, the prophet describes the qualities of the coming ruler, who is referred to as the "shoot from the stump of Jesse." This ruler will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and will possess wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. He will judge with righteousness and bring peace to the earth. The chapter also describes the restoration of creation, where the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat.

In Isaiah 12, the prophet rejoices in the salvation that God will bring to his people. He proclaims that God is his strength and his song, and that he has become his salvation. The people are called to give thanks to the Lord and to proclaim his greatness among the nations. The chapter ends with a declaration of the goodness of God and his faithfulness to his people.

Overall, these two chapters provide a picture of the coming Messiah, who will bring salvation, peace, and restoration to the world. The message is one of hope and encouragement, as it assures the people of Israel that God has not forgotten them and will fulfill his promises to them.

New Testament
1 Thessalonians 2:17 - 3:13
 In 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13, the apostle Paul expresses his deep affection for the Thessalonian church and his desire to be with them again. He explains that he has been hindered from visiting them again in person, but has sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage them in their faith. Paul describes how he has been praying for them and hopes that they will continue to grow in their love for one another and for God.

Paul reminds the Thessalonians of the challenges they will face as followers of Christ, but encourages them to stand firm in their faith and to persevere through trials. He expresses his joy and gratitude upon hearing of their faith and steadfastness in the face of persecution.

In 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Paul prays for the Thessalonians, asking God to increase their love for one another and for all people. He expresses his own love for them and his longing to be with them again. Paul ends the passage by emphasizing the importance of living in a way that pleases God, and that they may be blameless and holy before God at the coming of Christ.