Today’s Bible Reading

July 5

Old Testament I
Joshua 22
Joshua 22 recounts the return of the two and a half tribes of Israel – Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh – to their allotted lands on the east side of the Jordan River. These tribes had previously requested permission from Moses to settle in this region, and Moses granted their request on the condition that they assist the other tribes in conquering Canaan.

After the conquest was complete, Joshua commends the two and a half tribes for their faithfulness and their willingness to fulfill their obligations to their fellow Israelites. He also blesses them and urges them to continue to follow the commandments of the Lord.

As the tribes prepare to depart for their homes, they build an altar on the banks of the Jordan River. The other tribes of Israel become alarmed at the sight of this altar and believe that the two and a half tribes are committing apostasy by building their own altar.

In response to this concern, the leaders of the other tribes send a delegation to investigate the matter. The delegation confronts the two and a half tribes, accusing them of turning away from the Lord and rebelling against him. However, the two and a half tribes explain that they built the altar not as a place of sacrifice, but as a reminder of their shared heritage with the other tribes of Israel.

Upon hearing this explanation, the other tribes are satisfied, and they praise God for the unity and loyalty that exists among all the tribes of Israel. The chapter concludes with a summary of the events that have taken place and a reminder of the importance of obeying the commandments of the Lord.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 15, 16
Isaiah 15 and 16 are two closely related chapters in the book of Isaiah, both of which describe the judgment of God upon the nations of Moab and Edom.

Isaiah 15 begins with a prophecy against Moab, a neighboring nation of Israel. The chapter describes the devastation that will come upon Moab as a result of their rebellion against God. The chapter portrays Moab as a place of mourning and sorrow, with its people crying out to God for mercy. The chapter concludes with a call to the neighboring nations to weep and mourn with Moab over their destruction.

Isaiah 16 continues the prophecy against Moab, but also includes a word of comfort and hope for the Moabites. The chapter begins with a call to the Moabites to send tribute to the king of Judah as a sign of their submission to God. The chapter then turns to a description of the judgment that will come upon Moab, with its cities and strongholds being destroyed. However, the chapter also includes a promise that a ruler will come from the line of David to reign in righteousness over Judah and extend his protection to the Moabites who seek refuge with him.

In summary, Isaiah 15 and 16 prophesy the judgment of God upon the nations of Moab and Edom, but also offer a message of hope and salvation for those who turn to God in repentance and seek his protection. The chapters emphasize the importance of submitting to God and his chosen ruler, as well as the consequences of rebellion against him.

New Testament
2 Thessalonians 1
2 Thessalonians 1 is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica, a city in ancient Greece. In this chapter, Paul begins by offering thanksgiving to God for the faith and perseverance of the Thessalonians despite their persecution and afflictions. He then goes on to encourage them by reminding them of the future judgment of God, when he will repay those who afflict them with affliction and grant rest to those who are afflicted.

Paul also reminds the Thessalonians of the return of Jesus Christ, and he encourages them to be prepared for his coming. He prays that God will strengthen them and enable them to live lives worthy of their calling, and he offers a final word of encouragement and blessing to the church.

Overall, 2 Thessalonians 1 encourages believers to remain faithful and persevere in the face of persecution and affliction, while also reminding them of the future judgment of God and the hope of Christ's return.