Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 9:56-57

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 9:56-57
"Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal."

This chapter was little to much after having a broken heart over the senseless murders and attacks upon the innocent going on throughout the world. Israel was living in trying times, and so do I. What is the root of the problem? It is abandoning God and worshiping evil.

"And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him."  (Helaman 12:3)

The wicked will pry upon the innocent, until they pry upon themselves. All I can do is leave justice in the hands of the Lord. I have no doubt he will revenge the innocent. His hand will protect his people if we only remember him.

Day 795

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 8:33-34

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 8:33-34
"And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.
And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:"

Israel desired Gideon to be their king. Gideon refused and said "the Lord shall rule over you".  Then for 40 years during the time of Gideon the country was in quietness. When he dies Israel goes back to whoring after other gods.

In 40 years they would have a generation that would have no living memory of what the Lord had done for them. I can tell already the cycle will begin of hard times for Israel. In a way it is for the sake of the rising generation that these lessons need to be learned. They must come to know for themselves to trust in the Lord. History does repeat itself because man does not always live in faith and trust in the Lord. I pondered on how one day this cycle will be done.

Day 794

Monday, May 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2
"And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me."

Gideon's army was 32,000 strong as it was coming up to battle against the Midianites. Then the Lord tells Gideon to reduce their numbers. For that large of an army would tempt them to say they did it of themselves. In the end there was only a tithe of 300 men remaining. In the end they succeeded. I pondered on how they succeeded by relying on the Lord. I reflected on various scripture stories of the weak being made strong. I also thought of the times I have plead to the Lord to give me strength that was not my own, in order to accomplish what was needful. Then I was strengthen to do things I was otherwise not physically able to. I have also seen help come to assist in answer to my prayer.

I reflected on a time when I was given strength that lasted over several days. When the days job was done I would make it to my car and drive home. Then complete exhaustion would hit me, and I could barely walk into the house. I was left physically drained, and in terrible pain. Yet the next day somehow I could do it all over again. The miracle of it all left me in amazement. I knew the only reason I was given the strength beyond my own was simply to assist another in greater need. I would be crippled in pain at home, but in their home I had a strength and energy that was not my own.  I knew I had experienced a miracle because I trusted the Lord to help me do what was required in order to serve him. I have come to learn that when I put my trust in the Lord, and give it my all to serve him, he will make me strong enough to finish the task.

The thought now occurs to me, maybe that's why my physically strength has been reduced. Simply so the Lord could show me what wonderful things he can do for me, when I serve him.

Day 793

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10
"And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice."

I pondered on the connection between not obeying the Lord and  fear. I would not fear other people's gods or them if I only feared the Lord. Which means to reverence the Lord and serve only him. Having fear is my first sign I am straying from what I need to do. Obeying the Lord has only brought peace. I have found over time that when I start to have fear or panic, that something is amiss in my life. Once I draw back to the Lord the fear leaves me and peace fills my heart. I can be in the middle of sore trials or during times when I should be happy, and found it matters not the circumstance. The root of fear is always the same.

Day 792

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3
"Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel."

This verse made me think of Doctrine & Covenants 25:12

"For my soul deligheth in the song of the heart; ye, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

I love to sing the hymns at church. I am trying so hard to memorize them. I remember a story told me long ago of prisoners of war that  would sit for hours trying to recall scriptures or hymns from their memory. It would bring them comfort and peace. Just last Sunday as I was singing the hymns that story came to my mind, and once again tonight. I want to never be left without access to my scriptures or my hymns. No one could ever take them from me if I have treasured them up in my heart and mind. Even if I became blind and deaf I would find comfort in hearing them in my mind and recalling all these sweet words. I know the Lord loves the hymns, they are like prayers to him. That is the music I wish to sing.

Day 791

Friday, May 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh."

I did a little research to understand how Deborah was called a prophetess. From this chapter I figured she was some type of judge, because people came to her for judgment. I then read this in the March 2014 Ensign article "Faith and Fortitude Women of the Old Testament".

We read in Judges 2:7 that “the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua.” However, the Israelites then began to forget the Lord, and the next 200 years were characterized by periods of apostasy and repentance. During this time, individuals known as judges, chosen either by the Lord or by the people, served to deliver the Israelites from their ever-present enemies.

Deborah was one of these judges, the only woman recorded in scripture to serve in this capacity. She was a prophetess, judge, and deliverer. In her role as prophetess, Deborah did not hold the priesthood or possess ecclesiastical keys but enjoyed the gift of prophecy in a more general sense (see Revelation 19:10).

Deborah and the Israelite captain Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites and then sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord (see Judges 4–5). Deborah’s courage and faith inspired the Israelites so that they enjoyed a 40-year period of peace."

So it appears that during a period of apostasy the people chose Deborah for their judge. She obviously was a righteous woman. She prophesized that a women, later identified as Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, would be the one to kill Sisera. I pondered on how during periods of apostasy it may not mean everyone has apostatized. With her being selected it reminded me of how in the Book of Mormon I have examples of righteous, faithful men chosen to lead the people. Even thought the people were in apostasy they selected Mormon to be a chief captain at the tender age of 16.

I knew there was a scripture in the Book of Mormon that mentioned that they chose their chief captains because they were righteous men. I couldn't find it, but I did find this in Jarom 1:7

"And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance."

I find it rather interesting that during periods of apostasy people will still strive to have righteous people be their leaders. Doesn't mean it always happen, but people still look for them. In this case the people selected Deborah. I'm sure they could see in her great wisdom to judge them, even if they didn't recognize where the source of that wisdom came from.

Day 790

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 3:1, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 3:1, 4
"Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canann;
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses."

Why were not all the nations driven out of the land Israel was to inherit? It was so the Lord could prove them. To see if they could leave alone these other nations and not worship their gods. What did the children of Israel do? They let their children marry into the other nations, then they served their gods. Soon they forgot the Lord and war broke out again.

This all made me think of the quote "Be in the world but not of the world", which is shortened from Jesus great Intercessory Prayer in John 17:11, 14-15.

"And now I am no more in the word, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil."

That's just part. I sat and read the whole Intercessory prayer and wept. What beautiful promises if I do not become part of the world. Oh, to have such depths of humility as the Savior prayed to the Father. All that he did to bless me. How small a price it is for me to stay out of the world, and how great the benefits. I do like the side I am on. The only pain I have is seeing those that were once not part of the world join it.

Day 789

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 2:12, 17, 19

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 2:12, 17, 19
"And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger."
And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord, but they did not so.
And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."

I have seen all of this happening right now before my eyes. I see people wanting easy wealth and supposed happiness, all they have to do is think positive and by the "law of attraction" it will come to them. They have come to accept the "other gods" around them. The scriptures and prophets have never taught such things. In time they "cease not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way", and forget the Lord.  Seeking their own will and not God's will in their life. These "other gods" teach to become full of pride, and for them to become a god unto themselves.

"And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;"  (Judges 2:20)

I would not want the Lord's anger hot against me, but I know if I begin to worship "other gods" this is exactly what will happen. It grieves my heart to see the elect being deceived. How careful I need to be to not follow. The bible contains the Lord's warnings and he continues to warn through living prophets today. If he has not taught a doctrine or law through his prophets then it is not of him. It is very simple, the Lord does not twist his scriptures and reveal truths through those that do not worship him. The gospel is pure and there is harmony and consistency in all the Lord teaches. The Lord is very clear about what his laws are, and that knowledge brings peace to my heart. How grateful I am for the scriptures and living prophets to help guide my way.

Day 788

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 1:1-2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 1:1-2
"Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand."

In the chapter not all the cities are taken, The Canaanites remain in parts of the land. I wondered why?  What I think I am seeing is that when Judah went with a tribe to fight those in the land, they were successful. When the tribe went on their own they were not. What I pondered on is that even if I am told of the Lord to do something, if I don't do it in the manner he has said then it will come to naught. I must rely on the Lord for everything. Man's understanding is foolishness.

Day 787

Monday, May 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 24:15

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 24:15
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

I pondered on how every day I do not choose to serve the Lord is one step closer into Satan's grasp. I cannot straddle the fence. I am either with him or against him. The conscience decision needs to be to choose the Lord and serve him all the days of my life.

Day 786

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 23:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 23:6
"Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;"

I pondered on if I felt courageous for keeping the commandments. I simply don't. When I was younger and there was peer pressure it was harder, and probably took more courage to do what was right. I reflected on a time when it took all my courage to stand up for my beliefs, but I learned after doing what was needed it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I gained a lot from that experience which I have shared with others to give them strength. Today I don't feel it takes courage at all to do what is right. I guess because I really don't care what others think about me. Their opinions are only that, their opinions and they have no baring on me. Just like what they do has no baring on me. There must be a physical and spiritually maturity that has taken place. I am grateful for both happening at the same time.

Day 785

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 22:25-27

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 22:25-27
"For the Lord hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the Lord: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the Lord.
Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice:
But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord."

The tribe of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh inherited land on the opposite side of the Jordan. This meant they were also farther away from the tabernacle in order to worship.  To remember the Lord they built an altar. At first the other children of Israel thought they had left the Lord, and were not worshiping God. Probably afraid they had gone to worship false idols. After they inquired as to its meaning they were pleased.

What this made me sit and ponder on is how I don't always know why a person does what they do. You cannot assume the worst when you don't understand. It is best to seek understanding first directly from them. Then counsel can be given if needed, or understanding will come. This story is a great example of that.

Day 784

Friday, May 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 21:43-45

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 21:43-45
"And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
And the Lord gave the rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.
There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass."

This just made me cry for Israel. How long had they wandered and now they came to rest. All that God had said had come to pass. I reflected on how when one trial is over, there is a moment of peace. Then the next lesson of life comes, and the cycle begins. Through it all the one constant is, the Lord will be with me, if I am with him.

Day 783

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 20:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 20:2-3
"Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out of you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood."

I pondered on the whole city of refuge for the slayer that kills by accident. Giving protection from the avenger of blood. I pictured what it must have been like to accidentally cause someone's death. I've know people that experienced a child running out in front of their car and killing them. The turmoil and guilt they felt over such a thing. They were definitely innocent. Yet in the law of Moses taking a life would mean your life. Someone in the family of the deceased had the right to avenge their blood. I thought about how they also would stone a person back then for picking up sticks on the sabbath day. What is the difference in this case about taking the person's life?

I think the difference is their innocence. The protection was given to a person that was innocent, so their life would not be shed. If the law of Moses was to point to the ultimate sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ, then the only innocent life to be shed was his. Not only would he protect the innocent, he would protect the avenger from shedding the innocent blood too. I reflected on how just and merciful that was.

Day 782

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 19:49-50

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 19:49-50
"When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
According to the word of the Lord they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein."

As I was reading this chapter full of places and names I know nothing about, these thoughts kept running through my mind. "I know nothing about these places. They mean nothing to me. How is this important to me?"  Then I saw that it wasn't, it was important to them. Just like the place I call home is important to me. Even the prophet Joshua needed a place to call home, and he was given such a place. I searched the scriptures for any more mention of Joshua's inheritance Timnath-serah. I found only one reference in Joshua 24:30. This was the place he was buried, his final resting place.

Day 781

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 18:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 18:1
"And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them."

One of the definitions of subdued is "to bring (land) under cultivation". It made me sit and ponder on how I have seen land around the temples flourish and bloom, and populations build up when they are there. There was hardly anything here in American Fork when our temple was first built. Since then the area has grown. I sat and pondered on how Israel probably experienced the same thing when their tabernacle that served as a temple found a resting place.

Day 780

Monday, May 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 17:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 17:14-15
"And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto?
And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee."

This made me smile. I could not help but think of "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.."
(Luke 12:38 and Doctrine & Covenants 82:3)

Day 779

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 16:9

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 16:9
"And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages."

I like the imagery of Ephraim and Manasseh both sons of Joseph inheritances coming together. I think it is a foreshadow of what was to come for them. Ephraim becomes so large it is spilling over the walls of another tribe, even his brothers.

Day 778

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 15:18-19

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 15:18-19
"And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs."

The scripture of giving good gifts came to my mind while reading this. I ended up looking up several verses on "good gifts".

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11)

"And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ." (Moroni 10:18)

"Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;" (Doctrine & Covenants 46:8)

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

Just like a parent knows how to give good gifts to his children, the gifts my Heavenly Father gives are even greater. He does want to bless me. It is for me to remember why they were given.

I pondered on how I have all that is needful in my life. I wondered if I was afraid of having more than is needful? The greatest challenge is to not loose sight of why the blessings would come.

Day 777

Friday, May 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 14:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 14:10
"And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, that I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said."

These are the words of Caleb the faithful spy of Numbers 13-14. Who along with Joshua were the only ones to give a good report of the land they are now possessing. The Lord promised that all the children of Israel of that generation would wander and die and not possess the land, except them for their faithfulness. Now 45 years later Caleb comes to claim his blessing. He is 85 years old and as strong as he was at the age of 40 when this event happened. The Lord has preserved him for this day. He is still to drive out those in his promised land, but he is faithful and the Lord has made him strong enough to do so.

All this made me think about my patriarchal blessing and the promises given me 41 years ago. Almost as long as Caleb's promised blessing. I had the desire to search for what promises I have not claimed. I felt like Caleb I could now approach the Lord and ask for them. It gave me much to ponder on. I looked at things with new eyes. I found so many wonderful promises.  I marvel at how the words of my blessing fit me at age of 15, and yet still at 55. I could see all my blessings in various stages of fruition.

My patriarchal blessing is very long, it's 2 1/2 typed legal pages in length. It has become very fragile with all the handling over the years. I transcribed it many years ago into my RootsMagic program, and later carried it on my cell phone using the app. That is where I have been reading it from.  I felt impressed to compare my transcription to the original and found  I missed transcribing three whole paragraphs. I counted 10 blessings in those paragraphs alone. It just made me cry. By missing these blessings I was not claiming all the Lord had blessed me with. That is the message I was to receive reading the scriptures today.

Day 776

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 13:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 13:1
"Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the Lord said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed."

Joshua becomes old and stricken in years and yet his call as a prophet is not done. There was still much for him to do. It made me sit and ponder on our prophet Thomas S. Monson now in his advancing years. God does not call a prophet home to his rest until he has completed what he needed to do. I pray every day that President Monson will have the strength needed to carry out his work. I am sure it has to be hard on a prophet when they have become old and frail. It is the prayers of the saints that help sustain them. I am sure Israel was praying for Joshua at this time too.

Day 775

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 12:6-7

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 12:6-7
"Them did Moses the servant of the Lord and the children of Israel smite: and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions;"

In this chapter it speaks of 31 different kings that Israel conquers. What struck me in these verses is that Moses and Joshua never made themselves kings in their place. The land that was conquered was divided up as an inheritance to the children of Israel. If they were men of war and wanted to conquer other lands this is not what they would have done. I pondered on how the children of Israel's King was their God, and not a man.

Day 774

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 11:15, 20, 23

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 11:15, 20, 23
"As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.
For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them as the Lord commanded Moses.
So Joshua took the whole land, according to all the Lord said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war."

What I pondered on was the difference between Moses and Joshua as prophets. In the bible dictionary it says under Joshua, "He is the highest type of the devout warrior."  They both had separate roles to play. Just like I see with prophets today.

Joshua continued the work the Lord had commanded of Moses. I pondered on how Moses was taken before these great battles would take place. That wasn't his mission, it was Joshua's. The Lord calls his prophets for a specific time and purpose. Though their roles may be different the commandments of the Lord did not change. One prophet of God will support another prophet of God. Things are just added upon.

Day 773

Monday, May 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 10:12-13

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 10:12-13
"Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."

In order to have time to finish the battle with his enemies Joshua asks the Lord to make the sun stand still, and stay the moon. It made me think of how the Lord is hastening his work and shortening the days for the sake of his very elect.

"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."  (Matthew 24:22)

With not as many real hours in the day now, I have struggled to finish all that needs to be done. I have wished at times I could make the sun stand still. For now, I realize I must choose my priorities and do the most important things first. I have felt the Lord is testing me to see if I can judge what really matters. All I am capable of doing in a day is putting Him first. As the other areas of my past life fade away I can see I am the better for it. As time presses in to accomplish what is needful I will stop and evaluate did I put him first? Have I worked on my family history? Have I gone visiting teaching? If I add those in my busy schedule the minutes will stretch longer as it is needed. I have witnessed miracle happen when time seems to stand still. I have also seen time jump. I know as Joshua I'm not in control of this the Lord is.  He is doing what is needful to protect me.

The other thing I noted in this verse was the mention of the book of Jasher. I followed the footnotes and found three sections to follow:

Scriptures, Lost
Scriptures to Come Forth
Bible Dictionary -  Lost Books

There are references to at least 15 lost books mentioned in the bible alone. That is more than what the Book of Mormon mentions as lost books. There were other writings too that were mentioned so I'm really not sure of the total count we know that are lost. It made me wonder, what is lost that we don't even know about right now?  I sat and pondered on this for a while.

I would love to read the book of Jasher and all these lost books. I would also love to read the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon and the rest of John's prophesies in Revelations that were sealed too.

"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."
(Revelation 10:4, 11)

As I sat and thought on this, I saw the irony of the hastening of time I reflected on earlier. I would have to ask God to make the sun stand still so I could read all the lost books and sealed portions when they are made available. I struggle now to read what I do have, and then that's not even taking into consideration having studied, pondered and understood it. I have so much to still do with what I have already been given, it really should be enough. Funny that just tonight in family scriptures my husband commented that tomorrow we will finish the last chapter in Acts. We remarked on how quickly you get through the scriptures even with doing only one chapter a day. Slow and steady does help accomplish the goal. It's just if I got new scriptures I would want to feast on it all right then.

Day 772

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 9:14

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 9:14
"And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord."

Not surprisingly the fame of Israel's God reaches the areas around them. Some of the kings come together in order to fight Joshua and Israel. The inhabitants of Gibeon decided to be "wilily" (craftily, with cunning) and pretend to be ambassadors from a far off country. They come with old shoes, clothes, empty wine bottles and moldy dry bread. All to appear to have come from a far distance. They ask Israel to enter into a covenant or treaty with them to let them live.

Joshua makes peace with them, and all the princes of the congregation swear to let them live. Then they find out that they were deceived. They made an oath with the neighbors they would have destroyed from the land. Now they couldn't go back on their oath and all the people murmur against the princes. Then it is decided to make them bondmen, hewer of wood and drawers of water.

I pondered on how Israel was deceived. What went wrong?  It was when they didn't stop to take counsel of the Lord. They should not have relied upon their own understanding. In prayer the Lord would have told them if something was amiss. What a great lesson.

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
(Alma 37:37)

"For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him"
(Doctrine & Covenants 3:4)

Day 771

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 8:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 8:2
"And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it."

When Israel took Jericho they were not to take of the spoils. Every man and women, young and old, the ox, sheep and ass, all were to be killed. The silver, gold, vessels of brass and iron were to be consecrated to the Lord for his treasury. Achan of the tribe of Judah did what was accursed and kept some gold and silver to himself. This was why Israel was defeated and fled the first time they went up to Ai. Now that Achan and his household were destroyed Israel was told to go up to Ai again.

I found it interesting that this time they are to keep the cattle. They are also told how to ambush them. Interesting that the act of men fleeing before Ai before was used to defeat them this time. So the earlier failure wasn't really a failure. I thought about how many men's lives were saved with these two separate events of taking Ai. I pondered on how I have seen my defeats turn into great blessings in the end.

I felt impressed to read this verse.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for it they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
(Ether 12:27)

Then I went back and replaced the word weak(ness) to failure(s). It was very enlightening to see how it applied to what Israel just went through. I have also experienced this in my life. There are no failures if I use them to be taught of the Lord.

Day 770

Friday, May 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 7:7

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 7:7
"And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore has thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!"

Israel is beaten by the people of Ai. Then Joshua rent his clothes, fell with his face to the earth before the ark of the covenant, with dust upon his head, and cries this verse.

I pondered on this, I cannot tell exactly which way Joshua is speaking. It sounds like he's saying "God, why did you do this to us?"

The Lord does answer and tells him it is because Israel had sinned by transgressing his covenant against taking any of the accursed things in Jericho.  So what got me to thinking were the words "Why did God do this to us?"  Should I not say "What have I done to offend thee?"  I have learned the problem is never God, it's me. God's ways are always just, I just might not understand them at the moment. He will teach me if I humble myself before him.

Day 769

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 6:5, 27

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 6:5, 27
"And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country."

The Lord instructions them on how to take the city of Jericho. The men or war are to silently march around the city once six days in a row. They are to march with the ark of the covenant and seven priests are to blow seven trumpets of rams' horn continually as they do so. Then on the seventh day, they proceed to march seven times around the city. Then on the seventh time around Joshua tells the people to shout; for the lord hath given you the city. When the people shouted with a great shout and the trumpets blew, the wall of the city of Jericho fell down flat. Then men went in and took the city.

I sat and pondered on so many things. Putting myself in the shoes of all the different characters. I wondered if I would believe that it was possible for the city walls to fall down like that simply from marching, trumpets blaring and people shouting. I sure hope I would. I guess I can't know that unless I am faced with something so incredible. So far, all I have had to have faith in is small things for me. I guess faith starts with small things first.

Then I thought about the people in the city. Would I tremble and quake to know the children of Israel were outside the city walls? How would I feel to see this curious event happen six days in a row? I know from Rahab's earlier words the people were already afraid of the God of Israel. Man, I would just want to leave the city. I know Israel's God could do anything. I found it interesting I could feel more assurance of the power of Israel's God as one being conquered, than thinking as a children of Israel. I have no idea what that means.

I wondered if the people of Jericho grew tired of seeing men marching around their city for six days?  Did they begin to laugh or mock at the sight? When things changed on the seventh day did they feel terror or dread? They didn't know what the plan was, they were only watching the events from inside the safety of their walls.

I pondered on Joshua, the prophet. What great shoes he had to fill after Moses. With the Lord cutting off the waters of the Jordan for the children of Israel to pass, and now the walls of Jericho falling down, I can see how the fame of Joshua would be noised around the country. I pictured what it would be like to hear this news. It made me think of the folk spiritual "The Battle of Jericho". I had to sit and listen to it. I couldn't help but think of how many generations the fame of this event has been passed down. Of course, reading the bible tells the story, but those with no faith have usually heard this song.

Day 768

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 5:13-14

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 5:13-14
"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: an Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?"

At first I misread this and thought Joshua worshiped the angel. But then when he said "What saith my lord unto his servant?" I saw that he wasn't. He knew the angel would speak the words of Christ. That is where his heart was. It made me sit and ponder on what I would do if I saw an angel. Would I worship the angel or the message I know he brought from the Lord's lips? An angel of God can only speak the words of Christ, so if an angel were to have me worship the angel then I know if wouldn't be of God.

I felt impressed to go back and look at a recorded event that happened 100 years ago this year in another faith, that actually didn't sit right with me, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong when I heard it. I read some quotes given from the apparition.

Now I understand what didn't sit right with me. The apparition was wanting people to worship them and not Christ. Anything that comes and does not testify of the divinity of Christ and worship only him, is not of him. Reading this event again and seeing it in these eyes just left me a little horrified. That was not a religious event, it had all the hallmarks of a satanic one. Satan absolutely can quote scriptures, he can tell of coming events, and he can show great signs and wonders, to make people worship him, and not Christ.

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24)

"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Revelations 16:14)

The only way back to the presence of the Father is through Jesus Christ. Anything that teaches a different path is not of the Father.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

Day 767

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 4:24

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 4:24
"That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mightly: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever."

Today I pondered on what it means to "fear the Lord".

I know I must fear the Lord, but yet at the same time Satan will motive by fear. So how do I reconcile what fear is?

The bible dictionary tells me, Fear can have two meanings:
(1) to fear God is to feel reverence and awe for Him and to obey His commandments
(2) to fear man, mortal dangers, pain, and evil is to be afraid of such things and to dread them.

I went through a scriptures looking up all the verses for "fear the Lord" and pondered on what they meant. These are some of my favorites.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:10)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)

"Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield." (Psalm 115:11)

"Bless the Lord, O house of Levi: ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord."  (Psalm 135:20)

"Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the see of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel."  (Psalm 22:23)

"Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:5)

"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil." (Proverbs 3:7)

"And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul." ("Deuteronomy 10:12)

"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." (Job 28:28)

"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Revelation 14:7)

"And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us." (Alma 36:7)

"But it is they who do not fear me; neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil - yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center." (Doctrine & Covenants 10:56)

"And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: (Isaiah 11:2-3)

From pondering these over I think before I can love the Lord I must fear him. I must come to know His power and glory. All shall fear the Lord, the righteous and the wicked. The difference is in how I come to love, trust and reverence Him. As I keep his commandments he will reveal himself to me. His power and glory that will make men tremble will instead impart to me wisdom, knowledge, protection, and grace. I will come to understand I am as the dust of the earth beneath him. He is omnipotent, yet he loves me. I won't fall to the earth for fear of him, it will be to reverence Him.

In this chapter the fear of the Lord is to understand God's power.

Day 766

Monday, May 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 3:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 3:3
"And they commanded the people saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it."

I could visualize Israel following the ark as I read this. I knew it had meaning for me. Then I saw it. The ark of the covenant was the earthly dwelling place of Jehovah. Where His spirit would reside. It was treated with great reverence. The Lord would speak from the mercy seat to guide and direct the prophet of the church. We have that still today. I must follow the ark or the prophet. If the church moves forward, so must I. If I dig my heels in and don't move in the direction they are being lead, then I have moved away from the Lord, even though I didn't go anywhere. The council of the prophet is a living thing. It is moving forward to accomplish God's work upon the earth. I remove from my place to follow the will of the Lord. It doesn't stay put to suit me. "Go after it" means I must ever be striving to do the will of the Lord.

Day 765