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Daily Reading: Joshua 20-21

Scripture Focus: And they said to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, “The Lord commanded through Moses that we be given cities to dwell in, along with their pasturelands for our livestock.” (Joshua 21.2)

Devotional Thought: You have not because you ask not. That's a principle of prayer expressed in James 4.2. The Levites weren't going to be left in that position. God had commanded that they receive cities and pastures in the midst of the tribes, and they intended to get them!

The Levites were responsible for the public worship of God. Out of their ranks came the priests and ministers at the altar. Since they gave themselves to the work of the Lord on behalf of the people, God provided them land in the midst of the people. They still had to work the fields and flocks, they still had to develop and manage the cities, but God gave these things as their possession.

So they went boldly to Joshua and reminded him of what the Lord had commanded. I notice several things about this story...

  • Nobody else went to the leader asking this. When it comes to praying for the promise of God, we are responsible for ourselves. The Bible doesn't say, "You have not because someone else didn't ask..."

  • Neither did anybody find fault with them. Instead, they received what they asked for. In another place, James says we can ask God for wisdom because God "gives generously to all without reproach" (James 1.5). God is pleased when we ask him for what he has promised.

  • The Levites didn't receive the promise until they asked for it. We need to remember this. Just because we have been promised abundant life in Christ, does not mean we will possess it. We must go boldly to the throne of God and ask for what he has promised. The promise does not nullify the need for asking; it just gives us boldness!

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the "cities and pasturelands" that you have promised me. I now ask that you give them to me, helping me to do the work that needs to be done. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 42.1-7

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God.

My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.

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