Day 30 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous –
31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Thirty – Gilgal – Circle

“…the king of the people of Gilgal, one.” Joshua 12:23 NKJV

Gilgal – means circle. Stemming from the Hebrew root word, galgal, which means a wheel, or a cartwheel used in the process of threshing or crushing grain, and a tool used to draw water from a well.

Lord, You are a God of seasons and times. In Your perfect order, the road turns back around to circle the story of where the people began.

As Joshua completed his appointed circle of time, he reminded the people as they came to the end of their journey with him, to “hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.” Joshua 23:8 NKJV

Joshua was circling back around to remind them of the faithfulness of God. “And you know in all your heartsnot one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. Joshua 23:14 NKJV

In the place of their ending, the victory for the future would rely on their circling back around to remember the faithfulness and the Promises of God.  

“All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” Joshua 23:14 NKJV

I don’t know what season you are personally walking through, but as Joshua encouraged the people to remember, may we too be encouraged to circle back around and remember God faithful and He keeps His promises.

“God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for Himself as a cherished, personal treasure…He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promises He made to your ancestors.”Deuteronomy 7:6-8 MSG

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2011 – Memorial displayed outside The Knesset, Israeli (Parliament) building. Designed by artist David Palombo. It memorializes the fallen soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces. This artwork visually provokes the image of the crown of thorns Jesus bore on His head.

Day 25 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-five – Taanach – Castle- Fortress

“…the king of Taanach, one.” Joshua 12:21 NKJV

Taanach – castle

Why is castle mentioned twice in Joshua’s story? Lord, is there a reason why You are bringing me back here again?

Is the second mention of castle a struggle with something generational? Maybe a fear or doubt Joshua went back to in his mind.

In all of Joshua successes, knowing there were still enemies to encounter, is it possible Joshua wrestle with a dark castle surrounding his head of hidden fears and doubts. Joshua’s father’s generation let fear and doubt in the LORD’s faithfulness keep them from reaching and entering the Promise Land. Was Joshua worried he would not have the faith to complete his journey?

For victory over the king of Taanach, Joshua’s would need to go back to where his journey began.

“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” Joshua 1:6 NKJV

The Promise remained the same. “…which I swore to their fathers.”

“Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.” Deuteronomy 34:9 NKJV

Castles of fear and doubts cast out, Joshua the son of Nun, continued his journey with a victory shout!

“…being confident of the very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV

May you be blessed by the Father’s mercy and grace to continue your own personal journey. In Jesus’s Name. Amen

God bless,

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2014

Photo captured the Mount of the Beatitudes from the Monastery of the Franciscan Mission Sister of IHM by the Sea of Galilee.

Day 18 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Eighteen – Hepher – Pit

“…the king of Hepher, one.” Joshua 12:17 NKJV

Joshua would have heard Moses say, “Be strong and of good courage” three times before he was appointed the new leader of the people.

“Then He inaugurated Joshua, the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you.” Deuteronomy 31:23 NKJV

The same words were spoken four times by the LORD, before Joshua began his assignment of going into the land and conquering Jericho.

Seven times Joshua heard these words of encouragement. Seven in Scripture speaks of completion. Did the seven-time reinforcement of the words provide Joshua with insight to his good success in defeating the king of Hepher – the pit?

The “strong” in Joshua’s “Be strong”, is the Hebrew word chazaq which means – to fasten upon, seize, to bind, to conquer, and strengthen oneself.

Perhaps on hearing these words seven times “Be strong!” from both His teacher Moses and the LORD, Joshua understood his destiny was complete. By “fastening” himself to God’s plans and binding this truth to his heart, Joshua was then enabled to “Be strong” and defeat the king of Hepher, the enemy of falling into the Pit.

Lord, I too can face the enemy of the Pit in my daily battles. Help me fasten myself to Your Word and good promises to my heart, for my destiny is complete in You. I can either fall into the pit of unbelief or take the “pit” and plant the seed of Your Faithfulness growing to be strong and prosperous!

Thank You Father for Your Presence ever near.

Encouraging me in my weakness,

Casting out all fear.

Strengthening me as you teach me by Your hand.

For by the Power of Your Word

I am more than able to conquer the land..

“Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. The also brough some of the pomegranates and figs.” Numbers 13:23 NKJV

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Poem by denisebalog©2020

Photo captured of a fig tree in Israel by denisebalog©2014.

Day 13 – The Joshua Journals

Day Thirteen – Libnah – Whiteness

“…the king of Libnah one.” Joshua 12:15 NKJV

Libnah means – whiteness, a desert place

“Now the children of Israel moved on…” Numbers 21:10

Legend has it when God brought Moses to the top of Mt. Nebo, located in the Southern desert, he was able to see all the way to the white cap top of Mount Herman in the north.  

I wondered as Joshua traveled through the desert, when he looked to the north, did he catch a glimmer of the white snow on top of Mount Herman encouraging him to continue his journey forward?

Last night stepping into my closet, the laundry basket overflowed again with the day’s laundry, I questioned myself how does one family use all these clothes? As I sorted between the darks and lights, I was thinking on the word “whiteness” for today. Asking the Lord, “whiteness”, what does that mean to me? Why did Joshua need to have victory over whiteness?”

I heard the soft voice say, “Why not whiteness, you spend your whole day sorting through darkness and the light.”

Like Joshua, I too have to decide daily, do I believe in, trust in, and look to the Truth, the purity, the whiteness of God’s Word and promises, or are my eyes clouded by what I see in my daily world preventing me from moving forward, walking by sight and not faith.

Lord, thank You for Your understanding of the battle word of whiteness. May I forever remember Jesus is the True Light who guides my way. May I never forget the price He paid, for “He was clothed with the robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Rev. 19:13 NKJV

Your Word empowers me to be victorious over the king of Libnah by remembering I am “…clothed in fine linen, white and clean…” because He paid for it with His Love. Revelations 19:14 NKJV

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possessbecause He loves you.” Deuteronomy 7:1-7 NKJV

Mount Herman is located on Israel’s farthest northern border. Jesus and his disciples would have walked from Caesarea Philippi here for what many believe is the location of the Mount of Transfiguration. I love how Scriptures gives us this little detail of the walking distance, “Now after six days Jesus…led them up on a high mountain…His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:12 NKJV

Mount Herman fascinates and stirs my heart. While sailing the Jesus Boat on the Sea of Galilee, a sparkle of sunlight caught my eye causing me to look up. There in the distance, I could see what appeared to be snow. Peering through the haze over the water, my eyes could make out what looked like a snow top mountain. Yes, it was Mount Herman, and each time we have returned its majestic whiteness never disappoints this pilgrim’s eye and heart. I can’t help thinking, Joshua and King David might have felt the same way too.

Thank you, fellow sojourners.. May you find safety and good health as we travel together following Jesus who loved us from the beginning.

Denise

From the Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo captured of Mount Herman denisebalog©2018

Day 12 – The Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twelve – Arad – To Sequester Itself, Fugitive, Wild Ass

“…the king of Arad one.” Joshua 12:14 NKJV

Is there a lesson I can learn from the king of Arad’s name?

As a young man traveling by Moses side, Joshua would have encountered the king of Arad as the Israelites made their way through their enemy’s territories.

“The king of Arad…who dwelt in the South, heard that Israel was coming on the road to Atharim. Thenhe fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners. Numbers 21:1 NKJV

Arad means to sequester itself, fugitive and wild ass.

Wondering how often in my day I act like a fugitive or wild ass allowing myself to be sequestered and taken prisoner by the king of Arad.

“Do not be like the horse or like the mule,

Which have no understand,

Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle…” Psalm 31:8 NKJV

Joshua and the people, on the road to Atharim, which means offense, asked the LORD to defeat their enemy.  Asking for His power, and not relying on theirs, they were enabled to “utterly destroy” the king of Arad and have good success!

“I will instruct you

 And teach you

In the way you should go…”

Psalm 31:8 NKJV

“Thank You Father, You Word reminds me to look to You,

Encouraging me each day as You guide me through.

Teaching me how to be victorious in this very hour,

For I desire to be sequester in Your Presence and power

Lifting up all my cares and weakness to You,

 For You are my Strength and the battle belongs to You!”

Thank you, fellow pilgrims, for traveling with me these past twelve days. I pray you have been blessed and I invite you continue the journey as Joshua leads the way.

Denise

Photo captured is in Southern Israel. This region would also be known as The Negev where David and his men would have fled to hide from his enemy King Saul. The city Arad Moses and the people traveled through, was located further south and west of Negev flourishing in the third millennium. 

PS: To our western mindsets, when the Bible speaks of “the wilderness” we often think of trees and dense forest. This desert picture is what is known as “the wilderness” in Israel. A dry, arid place with little to no water.

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Poem by denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2014 

Day 11 – The Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Eleven – Hormah – A Devoting – a place laid to waste

“…the king of Hormah one.” Joshua 12:14 NKJV

Hormah – a devoting place laid to waste.

“But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop.” Numbers 14:44 NKJV

When the people heard the LORD was angry for their rejecting Joshua and Caleb’s words of the good land set before them, they determined to “go up” on their own. Moses warned them not to go because God was not among them or their plans. Not heeding the words, they decided to go it alone and found their plans laid to waste.

“They soon forgot His works;

They did not wait for His counsel.”

Psalm 106:13 NKJV

Joshua’s good success in conquering the king of Hormah, the wasted place, is found in his remembering the lesson he had learned through past experiences. He remembered what happened to the people 40 years ago when they looked to their own strength and timing.  

Heeding the good plans of the LORD, Joshua waited on the LORD’s timing and not his own plans to achieve victory in the place once laid to waste.

“Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

On You I wait all the day.”

Psalm 25:5 NKJV

Photo captured in Upper Galilee, the northern limits of Jesus’ travels. Banias or as we see it through New Testament eyes, Caesarea Philippi. Banias was dedicated to Pan, a Greek god the god of nature, pastures, flocks, and shepherds.

Jesus would ask His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” here in this place laid to waste. As fisherman from the fertile shores of Galilee, one can only imagine their questioning why Jesus would lead them so far from home to “pagan place of devotion” a “wasted place”.

If only they knew the Mount of Transfiguration was only a few days away!

Joshua would have journeyed here to the northern part of the land of Israel. He and his men would have seen this place. In antiquity, a spring in the large cave was one of the principal sources of water to the Jordan flowing into the Sea of Galilee.

Thank you for joining me as we travel the truths of Hormah – a place laid to waste. I’m delighted to have you on this road as we ponder and look to His Saving Grace.

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo captured by denisebalog©2014

Day 9 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

“…the king of Debir, one.” Joshua 12:13 NKJV

Waking to the steady stream of thoughts. Random reflections and possible imageries carry my emotions to the edge of rim. Debir, the king who desires to hold me captive for the day, draws my heart closer to his hopeless recess pit.

Can the answer for success over the pit recesses be found in Joshua’s story?

Scriptures shares when Joshua and the eleven returned from scouting out the new territory, only Joshua and Caleb saw the good land, encouraging the people to go up. The other ten men gave “Israel a bad report.”

Discouraging the people with their words, the spies saw themselves “like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:33

Joshua and Caleb, grieved, “tore their clothes” (a sign of great despair) “and they spoke…”

“The land we passed throughis an exceedingly good land.” Numbers 14:7 NKJV

Joshua spoke of the good land. He didn’t see himself as a “grasshopper” but as God’s chosen people!

Defeat the king of the recess pit! Speak forth the goodness and promises of God, and surely, we will have victory over the enemy of our dark recesses!

Thank You Father, You keep my feet sure,

Encouraging my heart and ready for more.

Speak to me of Your good plans of life,

Remove my fears with Your promises of Light.

Speak Your Peace into our storms,

For we are saved by Your love and Your mighty strong arm!

In Jesus Name, Amen

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

“He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock…He has put a new song in my mouth – Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:2-3 NKJV

“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”  Ephesians 5:19 NKJV

Thank you for joining the journey.

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo captured by the way of the valley of the shadow of death on the road to Jerusalem. Elijah, who had slayed 400 false prophets, fled here in fear of Jezebel. David would have also passed this way as he led his sheep to graze in green pastures.  denisebalog©2011

Day 4 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous –
31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Four – Hebron – Alliance

“…the king of Hebron, one.” Joshua 12:10 NKJV

Lord, I’m excited to hear what You will say today. Lead me in Your “perfect” work for my feet are prone to stray. Keep my pencil steady; an open ear to hear. For as Joshua fought his battles, Your protection and guidance were clear.

Joshua learned the five warring kings who fought against him were gathered together and hiding in a cave.

Joshua, calling his men together, “brought out those kings” from their hiding place. Instructing his men of war to “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings…and they drew near…” then Joshua said to them,

“…for thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against who you fight.” Joshua 10:23-25 NKJV

The LORD gave Joshua great victory over the enemies he faced. I wondered if Joshua’s success at Hebron was in his remembering what he heard in God’s words when he began the journey.

 “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Joshua 1:3 

I believe Joshua aligned himself with the Word of God at Hebron. Relying on the faithfulness of God’s Word to achieve victory over the enemies he faced and defeated!

Thank You Lord, Your truths and promise don’t change with time or season. May I have a Joshua mind set aligning myself to Your faithful Word, today and forevermore.

“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forevermore.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJV

Thank you for joining me as I set my heart to share Joshua’s battles and victories. I’m humbled to know you are taking the time to read and learn with me. Together, may we find strength and encouragement in this day, and the days ahead. Aligning ourselves as Joshua, meditating and remembering, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Joshua 1:5 NKJV

Denise xoxo

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photos captured climbing a hillside in the Dead Sea area in Israel 2011 © denisebalog

Hanukkah – Day One – Shine the Light!

Today begins the lighting of the first of nine candles celebrating Hanukkah.

Thinking on how this applies to my life as a Christian it occured to me the miracle of the light that shines in me because of the Holy Spirit (the oil) I can partake of Hanukkah in the spiritual by sharing the Light.

A word of encouragement to a co-worker who has lost hope in their situation. A prayer with a friend fighting a battle of sickness. A kind word of caring to a neighbor who is experiencing their first Christmas after the loss of a spouse or a child.

Surely in prayer and asking, the Father will light a new candle every day and cause His light to shine in darkness.

Celebrating and lighting the first candle of Hanukkah – Day One.

“Let your light so shine…and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NKJV

Yet Unseen

There’s a significant difference between the place of in the middle and of caught in between.

One is the season of hope and waiting and the other of seeking the answer to the question yet unseen.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV

But the just shall live by his faith,” Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV

Creativity’s Fan

“Reach from heaven; extend Your Creative Hand.

Shake me from complacency to pick up the pen and fan!”

Poem by denisebalog 2019

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6&7 NIV

Fruit in the Time of Testing

“…feed on His faithfulness…”

My garden as been such a reflection of my life this year.

Just when I want to give up, I step outside and see fruit on the vine that was barren and long past yielding any hope for the future.

Oh my soul, wait. Yes, wait on the Lord for He will surely bring His promises and word to pass.

May this be an encouragement to all who, like me, are waiting on the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord…dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness…Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:3-6 NKJV

I find it encouraging to see there are 40 verses in Psalm 37. Forty (40) is the number for “testing” in Scripture.

He is their strength in the time of trouble, and the LORD shall help them…and save them because they trust in Him.” Psalm 37:40 NKJV