INFILTRATION

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OUT OF PLACE

I didn’t see this rattlesnake coming.  I saw pebbles on the trail…until they began to move.  When pebbles move right and left in multiple rows your eyes will recognize what that is immediately.  Even if you have never seen a snake before instinct will feed your brain with “red alert” signals immediately.  I enhanced the contrast of this photo to let you see this more clearly.  When I saw this, I pulled the leash back hard on my dog.  I used this as a lesson experience for the dog.  I pointed the serpent out and repeatedly yelled, “bad! bad! bad!”  God has given us the epistles filled with instructions for the bad things that cross our path.  He pulls our leash hard and repeats his warnings for our benefit.  Remember those lessons when you are off the leash.

On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;  Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.  Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.  And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:  And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.  Nehemiah 13:1-5

This Tobiah is the same Ammonite who had married his son to the daughter of a Jewish official for political advantage.  Amman is related to modern Jordan.  Allied with Samarians they threatened the work of restoring the temple.  The high priest has befriended this serpent, and allowed him to live in the temple of God.  Even while the people were separating themselves from their foreign lovers, their leaders were mixing the enemy back into their families and relationships. 

But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:  And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.  And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff to Tobiah out of the chamber.  Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.  Nehemiah 13:6-9

So while Nehemiah their political leader was in Persia, the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem allowed Tobiah to use the house of God for a marketplace of profit.  Nehemiah is not impressed with sin, and throws Tobias’s junk out of the temple.  Then he had the place cleansed.  But that’s not all that was going downhill.

And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.  Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.  Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.  And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.  Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.  Nehemiah 13:10-14

The Levites were not receiving their portion of the offerings, and were forced to go farm for their food.  The work of the temple was then left undone.  Nehemiah straightens out the treasurers and restores the Levites to their heritage and service.  He asks God to distance him from the testimony of the backsliders of Israel.

In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.  There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.  Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?  Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.  And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. Nehemiah 13:15-19

The Sabbath is the day of rest, as in no work or commerce.  This is a basic point of the Law, so what part of “NO” don’t they understand?  So Nehemiah posts guards to stop the merchants at the gate. 

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy. Nehemiah 13:20-22

Now the vendors camped all around the city walls, and earned more rebuke.  Nehemiah threatens them with bodily harm if they stay.  He again asks God to see that he is not a party to this behavior.

In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:  And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.  And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.  Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.  Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives? Nehemiah 13:23-27

Now the people too are intermarrying with the gentiles around them.  Like the modern Yiddish, their language is becoming a mixture of languages.  Wow, Nehemiah is pulling hair and punching now!  He reminds them of the great slide that Solomon led Israel on because of his pursuit of gentile wives.

Tobiah was offended and went home to build his own little temple.  This is how the faith has been divided and conquered through the ages.  One man needs more than his share, and threatens everyone around with false teachings.  The bible goes on to equip us for church discipline in the New Testament.  Yeshus often refers back to Baalam and other Old Testament threats as examples. 

There will be godly men and women who fall into pride.  Others will come with an agenda to destroy the church, even if they don’t realize it.  Satan does well to infiltrate the church with false doctrine.  We can look to prayer, bible study , and Christian fellowship for a balanced understanding and discernment.  They represent our fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

You may find more interesting notes on other web sites as well:

http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-tobiah-temple-palace.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobiah_(Ammonite)

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DOUBLE AGENT

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Baal (ze boob)

Baal (ze boob)

DIVISIONS

When some of Israel decided to worship on a mountain in Samaria a division began.  Now these Samarians are sons of Abraham, but they are far from being friends of Israel.  Even to this day they still worship on their mountain, and are removed from the faith of our God.  One Samarian woman did meet Yeshua at a well and found life.  Sanballat is one Samarian who does not earn the trust of Israel though.

Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates). That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.  And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?  Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.  Nehemiah 6:1-4

So Sanballat has come to Nehemiah with an offer for a friendly meeting.  But Nehemiah is aware that this is not a good thing.  He claims to be too busy for a meeting, but Sanballat keeps asking for the meeting, and is turned down again.

Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;  Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.  And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.  Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.  Nehemiah 6:5-8

Now the tone changes as Sanballat brings accusations against his Jewish brethren.  He charges them with rebellion, and Nehemiah denies these charges.  He calls Sanballat a liar.  He recognizes the intent to discourage the work by threats.  It might be a good time to find a friend.

For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.  Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.  And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.  And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.  Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.  My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear. Nehemiah 6:9-14

So Shemaiah suggests that Nehemiah should hide in the temple from those who would kill him.  This is a call to surrender to fear, to abandon faith in God.  Nehemiah recognizes this as demonic attack, not of God.  This “friend”  may have been hired by Sanballat, but he and Sanballat were both in the service of Hell.  Nehemiah simply marks this invitation “return to sender”.  He calls on God to consider the sin revealed in this.  God is usually the one who reveals the threats to us in his wisdom, so he is well aware of the evil being done here already.  It will not stand.

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.  And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.  Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.  For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.  Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear. 6:15-19

It is interesting to note that the enemies of God recognize his work.  They are without hope when they realize that they have opposed the living God, the true deity.  Even so leaders of Judah were writing to Tobiah who was actually their enemy.  He got favor by his daughter’s marriage, but not with God.  Tobiah was part of the conspiracy to weaken Nehemiah by fear and threats.

A true man of God must have perception and revelation from God, not from man.  A relationship with God will keep your feet from the snares of your enemies.  Any leader who believes that all religions are good is deceived.  From the beginning a few have deviated from the truth of God to their own destruction.  Some have both deviated and turned to attack their own brethren.  Come away from these. 

From the beginning of time men have deviated from the truth.  In the end times we are warned that even the elect may be deceived, as they were in the beginning.  Our friends may come to us with an invitation to leave the way too.  We have to have a relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to discern the right way.  We can have that through prayer, bible study, and Christian fellowship.  Prayer gives us the insight of Nehemiah, the bible offers the epistles to govern the church, and Christians like Nehemiah, who are spirit filled, offer sound counsel.  Fight against the spirits by prayer; but not against the flesh.  God will remove the weeds in his time.

A prophet who predicts an event that does not come to pass is a false prophet.  They may come to change your direction, but they would cause you to become an enemy of God.  Some will try to make you fear the end times, when God intends you to be fearless in trusting him.  We must build the temple and strengthen the walls and the warriors of the kingdom.  May God consider those who preach fear and falsehood according to their works, and also the false prophets by theirs.  In the name of Yeshua I ask you to bind this on earth as you do in heaven.

MULTIPLICATION IN DIVISION

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OBEY AND TRUST

The son of Rehoboam is not willing to stray from the hope of David and Solomon.  Jeroboam faces a challenge from Israel, and he is outnumbered two to one.  He needs an ally of greater strength than their own.  Sometimes grandchildren correct the sins of their fathers.

Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.  He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.  And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valour.  2 Chronicles 13:1-3

Abijah delivers  sermon to Jeroboam of Israel, and pleads with them not to fight againxt God.  Rebellion will have its way though.

And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel;  Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?  Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord.  And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.  And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with your golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods.  Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.  But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business:  And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.  And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.  2 Chronicles 13:4-12

You shall not prosper…what part of “you lose” don’t you get?  Jeroboam has the wisdom of the world though, and executes a classic military maneuver.

But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them.  And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets.  Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.  And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand.  And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.  2 Chronicles 13:13-17

Judah had recent training in spiritual warfare; they regularly sacrificed in obedience to God.  As such they were empowered against the military wisdom of the world.  God fought for them.  Israel lost over half their army to their own rebellion.  Carnal warfare will not prevail over spiritual warfare.

Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.  And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephraim with the towns thereof.  Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.  But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.  And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.  2 Chronicles 13:18-22

Jeroboam lost thousands, and cities, and his health.  He did not prosper mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, or financially.  Abajah prospered in faith first, and in material later. 

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

FIRST BLOOD OF MY BLOOD

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First shot

REVOLTING VIGILANTI

Perhaps David was slow to act according to the law on a rape when his own son was involved.  Absalom seems willing to be a judge and jury in all the affairs of Israel.  He did a little kissing up to people to plant this idea.

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.  And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.  And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.  Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!  And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.  And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.  2 Samuel 15:1-6

Excessive kissing is the same as the sidewinder’s rattle; consider it a warning.  Absalom now goes kissing up to David with a claim to be seeking God.  That is what David would love to be hearing from Absalom of course.

And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.  For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.  And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.  2 Samuel 15:7-9

Absalom did offer sacrifices, but it doesn’t specify to what God.  Like Hitler, he is able to win the hearts of men.  But then the heart of man is evil , isn’t it?

But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.  And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.  And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.  2 Samuel 15:10-12

David has spies too, and he gets the warning he needs.  He fully understands the reality and urgency of this threat, and he acts immediately.

And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.  And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.  And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.  And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.  And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.  2 Samuel 15:13-17

When serving in the Army, I observed large unit movements.  Men had to go to the motor pool and start all the vehicles up.  From the comfort of our barracks we had to pack clothing and combat gear into trucks.  Experienced soldiers like David were probably well experienced in gathering the camp for a campaign.  But this is a time of commotion and some confusion.  A few surprises were discovered.

And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.  Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.  Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.  And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.  And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.  2 Samuel 15:18-22

David was beginning to see who his real friends were.  The priests had to be turned back with the ark.  David would trust God to let him come back to it.

And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.  And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.   And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation:  But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.  The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.  See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.  Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.  2 Samuel 15:23-29

The priests would be David’s friends in the city, but others were discovered to be disloyal. 

And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.  And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.  And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:  Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me:  But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father’s servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.  And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king’s house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.  Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok’s son, and Jonathan Abiathar’s son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.  So Hushai David’s friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.  2 Samuel 15:30-37

So the wise man Ahithophel was against David, but the wisdom of God was with him.  David was a man whose prayers were heard, so he trusted God to confuse his enemies.  At the same time David established the sons of the priests to deliver inside information about the enemy inside the city.   

THE BRANCH OF DIVISION

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Where is the "Lost Dutchman's" gold? Wikipedia says it was all a myth. But men have been dying over the centuries for this myth. We know Saul died, and for the same illusion of gain and power.

OUTER DARKNESS

Saul has reached his destiny in battle with the Philistines.  He wasn’t a thief or an adulterer, but he could not stay in faith under stress.  He turned to darkness against all warnings and his own understanding of right and wrong.

Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.  And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons.  And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.  Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.  And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.  So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.  1 Samuel 31:1-6

Saul has slain himself, no enemy or helper would do that.  He influenced his armor carrier to do the same.  The damage done here will turn Israel to run red with blood, dividing the nation.

And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.  And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.  And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.  And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.  And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul;  All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.  And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. 1 Samuel 31:7-13

The cities of Israel were destroyed, and their leader slain and disgraced.  And evil seems to travel throughout the land.  The news of battle reaches David in Ziklag.

Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;  It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.  And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.  And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.  2 Samuel 1:1-4

This man seems to think that David will be glad to hear of the death of Saul.  He tells a lie about the events of Saul’s death to impress David perhaps. 

And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?  And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.  And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.  And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.  He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.  So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.  2 Samuel 1:5-10

This man brought the crown to David, expecting a reward for killing Saul.  He is a foreigner, and has not known David well enough to know how he will respond to this news. 

Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:  And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.  And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite.  And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?  And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.  And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’s anointed.  2 Samuel 1:11-16

The Amelikite’s own words condemned him to death as having violated an anointed king of Israel.  David honors the Lord more than his own gain, and truly grieves at the loss of Saul and his sons.  He has the Amelikite killed for the crime he claimed for personal gain.

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:  (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)  The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!  Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.  Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.  From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.  Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.  Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.  How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.  I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.  How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!  2 Samuel 1:17-27

A brother in faith who has known the communion of the living God is rare, and David has known true fellowship.  We are called to love the brethren, to know the unity that David and Jonathan found.  Those who love God in spirit and truth are the fellowship that conveys our communion with the Holy Spirit.  This was not a homosexual bond, but a bond with the living God.  This is why we are encouraged to continue in our church attendance.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

In time David wonders about his future back in Israel.  Should he stay with the Philistines or return home?  He does what he always does, asking God for direction.

And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.  So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite.  And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.  And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.  2 Samuel 2:1-4

How many knew that Samuel had anointed David to be king over Israel?  David honored those who buried Saul, but not all of them honored Daivd.

And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.  And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing.  Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.  But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;  And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.  Ishbosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.  2 Samuel 2:5-10

Now the house of Israel is divided, with only Judah following David as their king.  This division will continue through most of Israel’s coming years.  It will be Saul’s legacy that Israel is divided and at war for part of this time.  The trouble began quickly. 

And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.  And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.  And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.  And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.  Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.  And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon.  2 Samuel 2:11-16

This meeting was not directed by David, but the blood of this fight would turn to war.

And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.  And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.  And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.  Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am.  And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.  And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?  Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.  2 Samuel 2:17-23

Be careful what you try to challenge.  The bad blood here will consume Israel for a long time to come.  Nightfall will cool the passion of battle for now though.

Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.  And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.  Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?  And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.  So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither  fought they any more.  And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.  And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel.  But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner’s men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.  And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day. 2 Samuel 2:24-32

Division in the church comes from our own will.  David went to Hebron because he sought God, and God told him to go to Hebron.  He was anointed to be king by the prophet Samuel.  Joab is not recorded as having sought God before declaring the son of Saul to be the new king.  Like it or not, God shows favoritism.  He chose one of the sons of Isaac to lead.  He chose Joseph over his brothers.  He chose David over his brothers.  Would it kill us to seek God before we produce our own opinion of how the world should run?  The church will continue to divide, but only one branch will live. 

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  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;  Isaiah 11:1-2

A NEW JUDGE

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FROM SUFFERING TO STRENGTH 

Has Jephthah found any peace after his sacrifice?  Giving Israel victory after being rejected by his own brothers, he also had to give his daughter to the Lord.  Now he is again rejected by a fellow tribe of Israel. 

And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.  And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands.  And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? Judges 12: 1-3

If Ephraim had joined the battle when asked, they could have participated in the victory.  Why should they be upset when he went on to defend himself without their help?  Do we still find some neighbors unable to be reasonable?  You will experience persecution to some degree if your serve God.

Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites. Judges12:4

They are accused of being less than the men of Ephraim, but the men of Gilead proved themselves in battle.  We have these carnal battles from the Old Testament as examples for our own spiritual warfare.  It is a sad thing when the church is divided against itself by the accuser of the brethren.

And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;  Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.  Judges12:5-6

When one decides to serve that accuser who is Satan, he is marked.  Having a place to sit in the church will not protect us from the judgment of God.  The Gileadites are unable to cover their identity with lies.  Jephthah will claim a permanent place for his final rest from the land of Gilead.

And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.  And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.  And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.  Judges12:7-10

The Judges managed the business of Israel for many generations, even hundreds of years. 

And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.  And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.  And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel.  And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.  And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.  Judges12:11-15 

The Judges served for a few years, and leadership was passed to another.  A time is coming when Israel will not be satisfied to be led by God’s judges.  They will look to the nations around them for their pattern of leadership.  But for now, another judge will continue the leadership of Israel.

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.  And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.  Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:  For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.  Judges 13:1-5

This child is predestinated to be a Nazarite, he was selected, not a volunteer.   We may remember that a person may separate themselves as Nazarites.  It was usually a choice, and added to the already rigorous requirements of the Law.  We now know the Law as our condemnation, as no one could keep it fully.  Imagine making one’s life even more difficult by asking to be a Nazarite.  Samson was predestinated to drafted.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD. Numbers 6:2

This earlier reading established the vow as a service of dedication to God.  This made the concept familiar to this woman when it was prophesied for her son.

Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:  But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.  Judges 13: 6-7 

Her husband sought God to confirm this message, to try the spirits.  God did answer, but only to his wife again.   

Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.  And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.  And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.  Judges 13: 8-10

This time Manoah followed his wife back to where this angel was waiting.  The message was confirmed to Manoah then.

And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.  And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?  And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.  She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.  Judges 13:11-14

Manoah wants to more about this man, and gets little satisfaction at first.  He would get his answer though.

And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.  And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.  And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?  And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?  So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.  Judges 13: 15-19

The wonderous deed revealed who this angel was.  He flew upt to heaven with the flames of the fire.  He expressed fear of death, but his wife assured him that the accepted offering was proof of their peace.

For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.  But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.  And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.  But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.  And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.  And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.  Judges 13: 20-25

The Lord began to manifest his promises early in Samson’s life.  We will see if Samson will keep his oath to God as well.

MOVING IN

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BOUNDARIES DEFINED 

After the battles of occupation, Israel is in the land, but not entirely organized yet.

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.  And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.  And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?  Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.  And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.  Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.  But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.  Joshua 18:1-7

Joshua directs the seven tribes to occupy their inheritance.  The land needs to be occupied, cultivated, and defended.  The tribes are all part of a community of security for their neighboring tribes.  He sends men to survey the land.

And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.  And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.  And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.  Joshua 18:8-10

The survey is recorded and the land is divided seven ways.  Benjamin will fill a gap between Judah and the children of Joseph.

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.  And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven.  And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.  And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter.  And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjathjearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah:  And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel,  And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim,  And descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben,  And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah:  And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast.  And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families.  Joshua 18:11-20

The cities of Benjamin are listed here.

Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,  And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,  And Avim, and Pharah, and Ophrah,   And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages:  Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth,  And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,  And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah,  And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.  Joshua 18:21-28

The tribe of Simeon was placed within the oversized area of Judah.

And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.  And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, and Sheba, and Moladah,  And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem,  And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,  And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah,  And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:  Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:  And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.  Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them. Joshua 19:1-9

More borders are defined for Zebulon.

And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:  And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;  And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,  And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;  And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel:  And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.  This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.   Joshua 19:10-16 

Issachar gets the fourth lot.

And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.  And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,  And Haphraim, and Shihon, and Anaharath,  And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,  And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez;  And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.  This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.  Joshua 19:17-23

Lot five goes to Asher.  I have moved once or twice a year for a long time as a contract employee.  I wonder a bit why anyone would be slow about claiming a permanent home.  They got around to it in their time though.

And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.  And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,  And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath;  And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,  And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:  Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.  This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.  Joshua 19:24-31

Napthali gets the sixth lot in our new subdivision. 

The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.  And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan:  And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.  And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,  And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor,  And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.  This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.  Joshua 19:32-39

Dan seems to have a taste for trouble, so they annexed a little extra space.

And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.  And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh,  And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,  And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,  And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,  And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon,  And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.  And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.  This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.  Joshua 19:40-48

Joshua chose a city for his retirement home, and built himself a place to live there.

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 Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.  These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.  Joshua 19:49-51 

I have moved to Arizona to help my dad, seek employment, and perhaps to retire before long.  I have wandered the wilderness in contract employment long enough.  I want to choose a place to live, and not run to put out fires for the captains of industry.  Yet I have unfinished projects, even as Israel has unconquered territories.  God sees areas I need to grow in, and my homework is not done here yet.  He can show us our promise, and encourage us to press on as we grow into his purpose for us.