Please head over to Amy's blog Mom's Toolbox to read updates from others who are doing the 90 day challenge. Kimberly from Raising Olives is guest posting at Mom's Toolbox today and shares how doing the challenge together as a family is working for them.
I have to say I loved Deuteronomy, had trouble paying too close attention in Joshua, and was just happy to get through Judges. I have noticed several things, though that I've never spent much time contemplating until now.
1. This business of building an altar to the Lord without using stone tools. This caught my eye for the first time in Exodus 20:24-26. My husband, as a pastor, spends a lot of time thinking about worship. I thought it a bit strange that God told them not to use a tool on the stones. Was this because they would end up making an idol again or carving something into the stone they shouldn't? Was it for structural purposes, so that it wouldn't last? Was it simply to guard against pride in building an altar to the Lord? Whatever the reason, the Lord repeats these instructions in Deut 27:4-6 and again in Joshua 8:31. Of course, this is prior to Solomon's building the Temple. I wondered again if it was perhaps that God didn't want any permanent structure built until He gave specific instructions as to how to do that. What do you think?
2. I've also been noticing the number 40 coming up a lot. We saw it in the flood, 40 days and 40 nights. Then Moses spends 40 days on the mountain with the Lord. Then because the Israelites made the golden calf while Moses was up on Mr. Sinai, they were condemned to spend 40 years in the desert. I saw 40 years crop up 3 or 4 times in Judges, too, as periods of rebellion and/or peace. Twenty and 80 years were mentioned a couple of times, too. I remember also that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert where He was tempted by Jesus. I'll be on the lookout as I read for all the other times 40 is used. I have no idea what this means, but it interests me. I always had a thing for the number 4. Don't ask.
3. I have often wondered why Jesus came from the line of Judah. Why wasn't He descended from Joseph that first deliverer of Israel? Judah wasn't such a great guy, after all. Anyway, I've been noticing the importance of Judah from early on. In Numbers 1 we see Judah is the largest tribe. In Judges 1 we see Judah goes first into battle to fight the Canaanites. In Deuteronomy 1 we see lots drawn for every tribe for their inheritance, except Judah who receives the land promised to Caleb and his descendants as a reward. I think Caleb is the first great man of the tribe of Judah. He shows complete faith in God and obedience to the Lord while those around him, except for Joshua, fear men more than God. I also noticed Judah was first to fight against Benjamin in Judges 20:18. Why are they always first? Is it because they are the biggest tribe? Or is it because of their special place in history? I have no idea, I just noticed it.