Recent Posts
A good theologian once drew me a diagram of the progress of Christian doctrine and [more]
We began this series by making the claim that Pentecostalism has quietly (or not so [more]
Pentecostal worship places great emphasis on intensity. By intensity, they mean a strongly felt experience [more]
A polarized debate goes on between different stripes of Christians over the place of experience [more]
I am very pleased to announce that I have accepted a position with G3 Ministries  [more]

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 11: Preparing to Enter the Promised Land

This entry is part 11 of 52 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

Read more posts by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.

Download the Bible Narratives Reading Plan

Week 11: Preparing to Enter the Promised Land

Weekly memory verse:

Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Weekly hymn:

“How Firm a Foundation” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

What rule has God given to direct you how you may glorify and enjoy him?
The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct me how I many glorify God and enjoy Him.

Day 51: Balaam and the Donkey

Reading: Numbers 22:1–23:12


Verse 3. Moab. The Moabites were descendants of Lot. Balak, the king, did not know that God had forbidden Israel from destroying Moab (Deut 2:9).

Verse 4. Midian. The Midianites were descendants of Abraham by Keturah (Gen 25:1–4).

Verse 5. River. This is the Euphrates River.


The humorous account reveals the fact that nothing can stand in the way of God’s plan to bless his people, not false religions, not the enemies of God, and not even nature. God will work all things toward his purpose, and therefore God’s people never need fear; we can always trust the God will keep his promises toward us.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Balak want Balaam to curse Israel?
  2. Why do you think God chose to speak to Balaam?
  3. Why do you think God used a donkey to speak truth to Balaam?

Day 52: The Wicked and the Righteous

Reading: Psalm 14–15


Psalm 14, Verse 1. Fool. This designation refers not to intellectual capability but to moral failure.

Verse 3. None. Paul quotes this passage in Romans 3:10–12 as proof of the universal depravity of humankind.

Verse 7. Zion. This is the place where God’s presence dwelt.

Psalm 15, Verse 1. Who. Psalm 15 contrasts with Psalm 14 by focusing on the righteous person rather than the wicked fool.

Verse 1. Tent. Like with “Zion,” this “tent” or “tabernacle” represents the place of God’s presence and blessing.


The difference between the wicked fool and the righteous person is ultimately a difference of belief—the fool rejects God, while the righteous pursues fellowship with God. But this fundamental difference also results in different ways of life—the fool is corrupt, while the righteous lives blamelessly. Beliefs always result in certain ways of life.

Discussion Questions

  1. What results from the fact that no one seeks after God on their own?
  2. What is required for some people to seek after God?
  3. What is the result of seeking fellowship with God?

Day 53: The Death of Moses

Reading: Deuteronomy 34; Psalm 16


Deut 34, Verse 4. You shall not go. God did not allow Moses to experience the promised land himself because of his unfaithfulness at Meribah (see Num 20:12).

Verse 6. Buried. Apparently God himself buried Moses.

Verse 9. Joshua. God had specifically designated Joshua to be Moses’s heir (see Num 27:12-23).

Verse 10. A prophet like Moses. No prophet was greater than Moses until John the Baptist (Matt 11:11). The next time Moses appears is on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:13, Mark 9:4, Luke 9:10–31).

Psalm 16, Verse 10. This is a confident expression made by David but later applied to David’s descendant, the Messiah by Pater (Acts 2:25–28) and Paul (Acts 13:35).


What God had promised through Moses—obedience brings blessing, but disobedience brings punishment—is fulfilled in Moses himself. Because of his unfaithfulness to God, God did not allow Moses to enter the promised land. Nevertheless, Moses was the greatest prophet who ever lived until John the Baptist. After John, the Prophet of whom Moses himself wrote appeared, Jesus the Messiah, the Redeemer who was not abandoned in the grave but rose again.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think God was too harsh to punish Moses for striking the rock instead of speaking to it?
  2. In what ways was Joshua formally set apart as the new ruler of Israel?
  3. What does it mean that in God’s presence “there is fullness of joy”?

Day 54: Rahab and the Spies

Reading: Joshua 1:1–3:6


Chapter 1, Verse 4. Land. The borders of the land extend all the way to the Euphrades River in the far east, down to the Nile River in Egypt, and Lebanon in the north.

Verse 8. Book of the Law. This refers to Scripture.

Verse 12. Manasseh. In Genesis 48, God gave Joseph a double blessing by giving his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, each their own tribe. Since the tribe of Levi wasn’t given a portion of the land, due to their priestly function, this gave land to twelve tribes.

Chapter 2, Verse 11. He is God. This was a clear expression of Rahab’s faith in the true God (see. Heb 11:31: James 2:25).


God promised that he would give Israel the Promised Land, and he is finally beginning to fulfill that promise. The promise has never completely been fulfilled, however; Israel has never possessed all of the land. But God will indeed keep the promise he made to them; one day, they will possess the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River and from the Nile to Lebanon.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Joshua’s admonition to meditate on God’s Word so important?
  2. What did Rahab’s actions reveal about her?
  3. What aspects of the Rabah story reveal God’s control over the situation?

Day 55: Crossing the Jordan River

Reading: Joshua 3:7–5:12


Chapter 3, Verse 10. Drive out. God always has the right to judge sinners, and so his command to completely destroy all of the inhabitants of the promised land is just. What is amazing is why God allows sinners to go unpunished for as long as he does.


God continued to establish Joshua as Israel’s new leader by performing the same kind of miracle that had established Moses—crossing a river on dry land. This marks the beginning of the invasion of the promised land.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why isn’t God’s command to kill all of the inhabitants of the promised land unfair?
  2. Why are memorials, such as Israel’s twelve stones by the river, important for passing on the history of what God has done for his people?
  3. What did the ceasing of manna signify to the people?
Series NavigationPreviousNext

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.