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April 16

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Reading for Today:

Joshua 21:1–22:34
Psalm 46:7-11
Proverbs 14:12-13
Luke 13:1-22


Joshua 21:43–45 So the LORD gave to Israel all the land. This sums up God’s fulfillment of His covenant promise to give Abraham’s people the land (Gen. 12:7; Josh. 1:2, 5–9). God also kept His Word in giving the people rest (Deut. 12:9, 10). In a valid sense, the Canaanites were in check, under military conquest as God had pledged (Josh. 1:5), not posing an immediate threat. Not every enemy had been driven out, however, leaving some to stir up trouble later. But God’s people failed to exercise their responsibility and possess their land to the full degree in various areas.

Psalm 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us. The precious personal presence (see “God with us” in Is. 7:14; 8:8, 10) of the Divine Warrior (see “LORD of hosts” or “armies,” e.g., Pss. 24:10; 48:8; 59:5) secures the safety of His people.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God. This twin command to not panic and to recognize His sovereignty is probably directed to both His nation for comfort and all other nations for warning.

Luke 13:11 had a spirit of infirmity. This suggests that her physical ailment, which left her unable to stand erect, was caused by an evil spirit. However, Christ did not have to confront and drive out a demon, but simply declared her loosed (v. 12), so her case appears somewhat different from other cases of demonic possession He often encountered.

Luke 13:12 He called her to Him. The healing was unsolicited; He took the initiative (see 7:12–14). Furthermore, no special faith was required on her part or anyone else’s. Jesus sometimes called for faith, but not always (see 8:48; Mark 5:34).

DAY 16: Are catastrophes a sign of God’s judgment?

Upon hearing about an incident where Galileans were sought out and killed in the temple by Roman authorities while in the process of offering a sacrifice, perhaps because they were seditious zealots, Jesus asked His listeners, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners…because they suffered such things?” (Luke 13:2). It was the belief of many that disaster and sudden death always signified divine displeasure over particular sins (see Job 4:7). Those who suffered in uncommon ways were therefore assumed to be guilty of some more severe immorality (see John 9:2).

Jesus did not deny the connection between catastrophe and human evil, for all such afflictions ultimately stem from the curse of humanity’s fallenness (Gen. 3:17–19). Furthermore, specific calamities may indeed be the fruit of certain iniquities (Prov. 24:16). But Christ challenged the people’s notion that they were morally superior to those who suffered in such catastrophes. He called all to repent (v. 3), for all were in danger of sudden destruction. No one is guaranteed time to prepare for death, so now is the time for repentance for all (see 2 Cor. 6:2).

Jesus also mentions another disaster in Siloam, where evidently one of the towers guarding an aqueduct collapsed, perhaps while under construction, killing some people (v. 4). Again, the question in the minds of people was regarding the connection between calamity and iniquity (“worse sinners”). Jesus responded by saying that such a calamity was not God’s way to single out an especially evil group for death, but a means of warning to all sinners.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,