Can We Really Be Sure  that the Bible Is God’s Word

if It Was Written by Men?


                  Did you know according to a 2019 Pew Research survey, that the majority of Americans – 65% [down, however, from 77% a decade ago) – identify themselves as “Christians,”  but only half that number even know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount?   Did you know that most Americans think the Ten Commandments are valid rules for living, but many have a rough time recalling exactly what those rules are?    Would you be surprised to learn that only 3 in 10 teenagers know the Biblical reason for celebrating Easter?    I was. 

            ……It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?   But the truth is that the truths of God’s Word are neglected today by more and more people both outside and inside the church.  Many aren’t really all that interested.   They don’t see the Bible as being relevant to their day-to-day lives, and an increasing percentage aren’t really concerned either about the hereafter….about their spiritual and eternal welfare.  

            What’s even more disturbing is that a large percentage (2/3) of Christian clergy in America believe that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, and isn’t reliable in matters of faith, history and geography.   69% of clergy believe that social justice and social political action should be the church’s priority today, rather than evangelism, preaching the Gospel of salvation in Christ, and teaching Biblical morality.   (Is it any wonder, then, that 51% of these clergy support abortion;   65% support same-sex marriage or civil unions; and 54% reject Biblical creationism?)

            So, what about the average person who calls him-/herself a “Christian?”   Do you really want to know?   ……  It’s quite disappointing too.   45% attend public worship services once a month or more (only 18.7% attend nearly every week).   54% of self-acknowledged Christians attend church services a few times a year or less.    It gets worse.    Only 19% of those who attend church regularly read their Bibles every day.   25% read the Scriptures a few times a week.   14% read God’s Word once a week, and 22% once a month.  And 18% NEVER read their Bibles at all!

             Do we need to look any further to explain why today so many people in pews and in pulpits have such little understanding of and regard for God’s Word?   If you don’t care about worshiping God regularly, you aren’t going to want to listen to Him speak to you through His Word daily, and vice versa.    

            One can only wonder, given the increasing secularization and liberalization of our society, how much worse poll numbers like these will be when the next survey is taken in a few years…..

            The relentless efforts of the Devil to lead souls into hell, the evil influences of this wicked world, and the natural hostility to God of our sinful human natures notwithstanding, there is a very simple explanation for why our society and even “the visible church” have become so spiritually ignorant and indifferent.   The answer:   The vast majority of people – including those who have been exposed to it – don’t care about the Bible.    And, since “faith comes through hearing the message” (Romans 10:17), a person’s not hearing (believing) the message of the Gospel is like a person not breathing oxygen…..It isn’t long before death (spiritual, or physical) occurs.

            And so, as we continue our summer sermon and worship service series on “Questions God’s People (and Others) Ask,” we come to our question of the day:       Is the Bible really the Word of God?   As we’ve already noted, many people today don’t believe it is God’s Word, but something far less than divine, and so not necessarily worthy of their attention and devotion.   Could they be correct?   Could we be wrong?

Critics of the Bible’s authority and authenticity suggest that since human writers were involved in its

preparation,  there is no way that the Bible ought to be regarded by any honest person as “the very Word of God.”    Many of these self-declared “experts” would have us believe that the Bible is merely a collection of myths, legends, and speculations on the part of ancient people regarding what they thought God might say.      Still others suggest that the Bible is a good book, but that it’s just one more man-authored piece of sacred literature among many sacred books, and so it is not the repository of divine revelation and the source of absolute truth.   Still others maintain that the Bible is “God’s inspired Word” but only in the sense that each individual who reads the Bible will find God speaking to him/her in different places but in equally “inspiring” ways.     So…..are they right?    Can you and I trust the Bible?   Is it reliable?   Is it really God’s Word to us?    To all of those questions we will answer with an absolute, unequivocal “YES!”

            In contrast to the “diminished” and “demeaning” view of the Bible that too many today have, we believe, teach and confess that the Bible is and always will be the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.    True, men served as the human authors, but – as Scripture confirms – we believe that God miraculously superintended the writing of the Bible across nearly 15 centuries and through the varied skills and styles of over 40 writers, such that each and every word of all 66 of the Bible’s component books actually is the Word of God….all truth… errors or contradictions of any kind……totally reliable for moral and spiritual guidance……and worthy of the respect, reading, and daily reliance of everyone.   And most important, we believe that the central message of Scripture — among all its many truths about the God’s dealing with mankind and about how we can live more enjoyable, Godly lives – is NOT social justice, but that the Lord, for the sake of His Son our Savior, truly loves sinful mankind;   and that He has forgiven us through the righteousness, suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ for us;  and that He offers us eternal life in heaven with Him through faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior to all who believe Hia truth.   This we believe, because this is what God’s Word teaches.

            In this morning’s Old Testament Lesson the LORD has inspired Moses to encourage Israel and us to faithfully and thoroughly teach His Word to our children, passing on that precious inspired and inspiring Gospel inheritance from one generation to the next.  

            Today’s Epistle Lesson finds Paul discussing the sad spiritual condition of many Jews (Israelites) of his day.  Instead of a true, Gospel-directed faith in what Christ had done for them, they were foolishly building their hopes for eternity upon  the Law and their own (hopelessly inadequate) good works.   They had the truths of God’s Word and the promises of the Messiah in their Scriptures (our Old Testament), but they had foolishly compromised those truths and promises away, missing the Savior in the Scriptures, and instead fashioned for themselves a man-made religion that could only lead them into eternal damnation instead of everlasting life.   True faith comes, says Paul, not through religious rituals and observing church regulations, but only from hearing and believing the Gospel of forgiveness and salvation through Christ Jesus.   But someone had to bring the message of the Gospel to the Jews then (which Paul did) and to the many misbelievers and unbelievers now and into the future (which is our present obligation, as it will be our children’s and succeeding generation’s privilege into the future….. provided we continue to faithfully hold to the truths of God’s Word and teach them to our children and others today).  

            In our Gospel Lesson we’ll hear the familiar account of Mary and Martha when Jesus was a guest in their home.  In here we find a wonderful example in Mary of the Christian’s eagerness to hear and study and grow in the Word of our Lord.  May we all have that eagerness Mary had to sit at the Savior’s feet!  

            Our Children’s Lesson will focus on the importance of relying totally on the “good milk” of God’s Word to grow our faith, and not to build our faith and eternal; future on the “rotten, spoiled, false milk”  of worldly wisdom and the many false teachings that look attractive, but are poisonous to our souls.

            And finally through today’s Sermon, we will ask and answer the question: Can We Really Be Sure that the Bible Is God’s Word if It Was Written by Men?”  on the basis of II Timothy 3:14-17, II Peter 1:20-21, and Hebrews 4:12.    As we consider the internal evidence, the historical evidence, and the evidence of God’s Word working faith in our hearts, we will conclude that the Bible is absolutely reliable in everything it says, because it is indeed entirely the true Word of God.



For those preparing to receive the Lord’s Supper


  1. Do You believe that you are a sinner?

Yes, I believe that I am a sinner.


  1. How do you know this?

                        I know this from the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.


  1. Are you sorry for your sins?

                        Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.


  1. What have you deserved from God because of your sins?

I deserve His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation.


  1. Do you hope to be saved?

Yes, such is my hope.


  1. In whom, then, do you trust?

I trust in my dear Lord Jesus Christ.


  1. Who is Jesus Christ?

                        Jesus Christ is the Son of God, true God and man.


  1. How many Gods are there?

There is only one God; but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


  1. What has Christ done for you that you trust in him?

                        He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.


10        Did the Father also die for you?

He did not; for the Father is God only, the Holy Spirit likewise.  But the Son is true God and true man.  He died for me and shed His blood for me.


11        How do you know this?

                        I know this from the holy Gospel and from the words of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.


12        Which are those words?

The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, gave it to His disciples and said, “Take eat.  This is My body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.”  In the same way, after supper He took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you.  This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”


13        Do you  believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament?

                        Yes, I believe it.


14        What moves you to believe this?

                        I am moved to believe this by the words of Christ, “Take, and eat.  This is My body….Drink from it, all of you.  This cup is the new covenant in My blood.”


15        What does Christ want you to do when you eat His body and drink his blood in the Lord’s Supper?

Christ wants me to remember and proclaim His death and the pouring out of His blood as He taught me:  “Do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”


16        Why does Christ want you to remember and proclaim His death?

                        He wants me to do this so that: (1) I learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for my sins, but only Christ, who is true God and man could and did do that; (2) I learn to look with terror upon my sins and regard them as great indeed; (3) I find joy and comfort in Christ alone and believe that I have salvation through faith in Him.


17        What moved Him to die and make a complete payment for your sins?

                        He was moved to do this by the great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as the Scriptures teach (John 14:31; Romans 5:8; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2).


18        Finally, why do you desire to receive Holy Communion?

                        I desire to do this so that I learn to believe that Christ out of great love died for my sins and that I also learn of Him to love God and my neighbor.


19        What admonishes and moves you to receive Holy Communion frequently?

The command and the promise of Christ my Lord admonishes and moves me.  Also, the burden of sin which lies heavy upon me causes me to feel a hunger and thirst for Holy Communion.


20        But what can a person do if he is not aware of the burden of sin and does not feel hunger and thirst for Holy Communion?

                        To such a person no better advice can be given than that, in the first place, he put his hand into his bosom and feel whether he still has flesh and blood, and that he by all means believes what the Scriptures say about this (Galatians 5:17,19-21; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 7:18).   Secondly, that he look around to see whether he is still in the world and keep in mind that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say (John 15:18-25; Matthew 24:9-13; Acts 14:22).  Thirdly, he will certainly have the devil also about him, who with his lying and murdering, day and night, will let him have no peace, as the Scriptures picture him (John 8:44; I Peter 5 8; Eph 6:10-12; 2 Tim 2:26). 


21        What can you do if you are sick and are unable to come to Holy Communion?

                        Then I can send for my pastor to pray with me and to give me Holy Communion privately.


22        When is the proper time to do this?

The time to do this is not only when death is at hand, but earlier before all physical and mental power is gone.


23        Why would you want to do this?

                        I would want to do this to receive the assurance through Holy Communion that my sins are forgiven and that salvation is mine.


Pre-Service Prayer   In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank You my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, for keeping me through the night from all harm and danger.  Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You.  Into Your hands I commit my body and soul and all things.  Let your holy angel be with me, that the Devil may have no power over me.   Amen.


Scripture quotations in this worship flyer, unless otherwise noted,  are taken from the EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION of the Bible.  Copyright 2019

 by the Warburg Project.   All rights reserved


Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service Music                                                                                                                                              


Let Us Praise The Lord


            The Greeting, Service Introduction, and Invitation to Worship


after which, at the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for


            The Invocation


                       Pastor              We begin this service in the name of the Father

                                    Congregation  Who gave us our lives through His almighty power.


                                                P:                     And of the Son

                                                C:                     Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.

                                                P:                     And of the Holy Spirit

                                                C:                     Who gave us eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.

                                    P:                     Amen.



The Psalm for Today                                                                                                       Psalm 119:9-16


                        P:         How can a young man keep his path pure?

            C:         By guarding it with Your Word.

            P:         With all my heart I seek You;   do not let me stray from Your commands.

C:         I have hidden Your sayings in my heart  +   so that I may not sin against You.

            P:         Blessed are You, O LORD;

C:         Teach me Your statutes.


            P:         With my lips I tell about all the judgments that come from Your mouth.

C:         I rejoice in the way that is taught by Your testimonies   +   as much as I delight in all riches.

P:         I will meditate on Your precepts                   

C:         and I will consider Your paths.

                        P:         In Your statues I delight;

                        C:         I will not forget Your Words.


after which the Congregation will be seated for


            The Opening Hymn                                                                                   “I Love To Tell The Story”


I love to tell the story    Of unseen things above,

Of Jesus and His glory,   Of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story    Because I know it’s true;

It satisfies my longing    As nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story   ‘Twill be my theme in glory

To tell the old, old story    Of Jesus and His love.


I love to tell the story    For those who know it best

Seem hungering and thirsting    To hear it like the rest.

And when in scenes of glory   I sing the new, new song,

‘Twill be the old, old story   That I have loved so long.

I love to tell the story   ‘Twill be my theme in glory

To tell the old, old story    Of Jesus and His love.


After which the Congregation will rise


We Confess our Sins to the Lord


            Pastor –                                    “We have come together to worship the Triune God.”

            Congregation            “He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”


            P: –       “Jesus said, ‘Wherever two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.”

            C:      “The LORD Almighty is with us.  The God of Jacob is our Refuge.”


            P: –       “But who may come into His presence?   And who may call on Him for help?”

            C:      “He whose walk is blameless   +   and who does what is righteous.”


            P: –       “Who speaks the truth from his heart,  and who has no slander on his tongue.”

            C:      “Who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man.”


            P: –       “Who keeps His oath even when it hurts.”

            C:      “Who honors those who fear the Lord.”


 Pastor              Brothers and sisters in Christ:    the Word of God urges us to confess to our Lord all our sins of thought, word, and action.   This is something that ought to be daily part of our spiritual lives, and should come forth from every heart that is humble and penitent. But we should especially do this when we meet together in His house to thank God for all that He has done for us, to praise Him, and to hear His life-giving Word.    Therefore, come with me now, to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, and let us confess our sins together.


Congregation O God our Father,   +   since You have set forth the way of life for us in Your Beloved Son,   +   we confess with shame   +   our slowness to learn of Him,  +   our failure to always follow

 Him,   +   our reluctance at times to bear the cross for Him.   +    Forgive us the poverty of our worship,   +   our frequent neglect of fellowship   +   and of the Means of Grace,   +   our hesitating and inconsistent witness for Christ,   +  our evasion of our responsibilities in Your service,   +  our imperfect stewardship of Your gifts.   +   Forgive us also,   +   that so little of Your love has reached others through us,  +   that we have often been thoughtless in our judgments,   +   hasty in our condemnation,   +   grudging in forgiving others the way You have forgiven us,   +   and unwilling to serve our neighbors as we ought.   +    Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love;  +  according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.   +   Wash away all my iniquity  +   and cleanse me from my sin.   +    Create in me a pure heart,  O God,   +   and renew a steadfast spirit within me.   +   Do not cast me from Your presence   +   or take Your Holy Spirit from me.   +   Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,   +   and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.



            The Song of Penitence                                                                                                  “Create in Me”

sung to the melody of  “Abide With Me”


Create in me, O God, a spotless heart.

Renew in me a spirit that is right.

And from Your presence, never make me part.

Nor take Your Holy Spirit from my sight.


Restore to me, salvation’s joy, O Lord.

Give me a willing spirit, keep me true.

Then I will teach transgressors in Your Word,

And many sinners will turn back to You.    Amen.



We Receive and Celebrate God’s Absolution


           Pastor        Having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty God, now be strengthened in your faith, mindful that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should come to repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, in the place of, and according to the command and authority of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   Amen.


           Now, in the peace of God’s forgiveness, let us together praise our gracious and glorious Lord!


           Our Response To God’s Forgiveness

                        ALL sing:                                                                                            “The Gloria in Excelsis”

                                                                                           to the tune of “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less”


All glory be to God on high, we praise we bless, we glorify

And worship You Who gives earth peace, Whose love and favor never cease.

O Lord, our King on heaven’s throne, Our Father, THE Almighty One!


O Lord, the Sole-Begotten One, Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son,

O Lamb of God, You take away the sin of all, now hear us pray.

You rule at God’s right hand this day.   Have mercy on us, Lord, we pray.


You only are the Holy One, O’er all things You are Lord alone.

Lord Jesus Christ, we glorify and worship You, Our Lord most high,

Who with the Spirit, e’er shall be, One in the Father’s majesty.   Amen.



     The Prayer for the Morning 


Almighty God,    +   grant to Your Church Your Holy Spirit,   +  and the wisdom which comes down from above.   +   Let nothing hinder Your Word   +   from being freely proclaimed    +   to the joy and edifying  of Christ’s holy people,   +  so that we may serve You in steadfast faith    +   and confess Your name as long as we live.   +       We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ,  +  Your Son, our Savior,   +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, for ever and ever.   +   Amen


After which the Congregation may be seated


Feed Us, Lord


            The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                        I Peter 2:1,2


Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.


Do You Like Milk?   Do You Need Milk?



The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 20-25


Now this is the body of commands, and these are the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord your God

commanded me to teach you, so you may carry them out in the land to which you are crossing over to receive as a possession, 2 so that you may fear the Lord your God by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding to you, as well as to your children and grandchildren, all the days of your life, and so that your days may be long.

3 Listen, O Israel, and be conscientious about doing those things, so it may go well for you and so you may

increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is one! 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words that I am commanding you today are to be on your heart. 7 Teach them diligently to your children, and speak about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as a sign on your wrists, and they will serve as symbols on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.


          .20 When your son asks you in the future, “What are these testimonies and statutes and ordinances that

the Lord our God has commanded for you?” 21 then you are to say to your son, “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand. 22 Right before our eyes the Lord gave great, devastating signs and wonders in Egypt against Pharaoh and against his whole household. 23 Then he brought us out of there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised to our fathers with an oath.”

           24 Then the Lord commanded us to carry out all of these statutes, to fear the Lord our

 God for our own lasting good, to keep us alive, even as we are today. 25 Righteousness will be ours when we are conscientious about carrying out this entire set of commands in the presence of the Lord our God as he commanded us.



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                      Romans 10:1-17


Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 Indeed, I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but it is not consistent with knowledge. 3 Since they were ignorant of the righteousness from God and sought to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness from God. 4 For to everyone who believes, Christ is the end of the law, resulting in righteousness.

           5 Indeed, Moses writes this about the righteousness that comes by the law: “The one who does these things

will live by them.”  6 But the righteousness that comes by faith speaks like this: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”  (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’”  (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,”  that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming. 9 Certainly, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and it is with the mouth that a person confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

           12 So there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives

     generously to all who call on him. 13 Yes, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 So then, how can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one

about whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news of peace,  who preach the gospel of good things!”

16 But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who believed our message?”    17 So then, faith comes

     from hearing the message, and the message comes through the word of Christ.


after which the Congregation will rise out of respect for  the words of our Savior for


            The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                         Luke 10:38-42


38 As they went on their way, Jesus came into a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at the Lord’s feet and was listening to his word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her serving. She came over and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.”

41 The Lord answered and told her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but

     one thing is needed. In fact, Mary has chosen that better part, which will not be taken away from her.”



     The Nicene Creed


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,  and of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God,  Light of Light.  Very God of Very God.  Begotten, not made.  Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made;  Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven   And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary   And was made man;  And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried;  And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures;  And ascended into heaven,  And sitteth on the right hand of the Father;   And he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead;  Whose Kingdom shall have no end.   And I believe in the Holy Ghost,  The Lord and Giver of Life,  Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,  Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,  Who spake by the Prophets.  And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,  And I look for the resurrection of the dead,  And the life of the world to come.  Amen.



The Hymn of the Day                                                                               “O Word of God Incarnate”


1 O Word of God incarnate,   O Wisdom from on high,

O Truth unchanged, unchanging,   O Light of our dark sky:

We praise You for the radiance   That from the hallowed page,

A lantern to our footsteps,   Shines on from age to age.


2 The Church from You, dear Master,   Received the gift divine;

And still that light is lifted   O’er all the earth to shine.

It is the chart and compass   That, all life’s voyage through,

Mid mists and rocks and quicksands   Still guides, O Christ, to You.


3 O make Your Church, dear Savior,   A lamp of burnished gold

To bear before the nations   Your true light as of old!

O teach Your wand’ring pilgrims   By this their path to trace

Till, clouds and darkness ended,   They see You face to face!    Amen.


after which the Congregation will rise for


     The Pre-Sermon Salutation


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord!   May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  Amen.



            The Sermon Text                                                                                     based on II Timothy 3:14-17


14 As for you, continue in the things you have learned and about which you have become convinced. You know from whom you learned them 15 and that from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, well equipped for every good work.


                                                                                                                            and based on II Peter 1:20-21

No prophecy of Scripture comes about from someone’s own interpretation. 21 In fact, no

prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit.


                                                                                                                                    and based Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, even being able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.


 Can We Really Be Sure that the Bible Is God’s Word

if It Was Written by Men?



     The Post-Sermon Blessing


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, now encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.



We Respond To God’s Word through our Offering and Prayers


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today during today’s worship

service those in attendance may leave their offerings in the offering plates

by the exit door at the close of our service today.

For those watching today’s service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:  

1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address

(415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website (

and use the giving option there.


At the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for

The Offering Prayer


Dear Savior, You have taught us:  “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Teach us to realize more and more that happiness in life does not depend on the number of things we can call our own.  Rather, Jesus, help us to find joy in the uses that we as stewards make of the money and all of the other resources that  You have placed in our hands.  Amen.


After which the Congregation rises for prayer


     Special Prayers for the Day

Included in our prayers this morning is

A Prayer of Intercession on behalf of Bronson Bullock (great-grandson of

Carol Ann Heinemann).  Bronson had heart surgery earlier this week

at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital.

also,  A Prayer of Intercession on behalf of Bill Krizsan

as he continues to undergo treatment for bladder cancer;

and   A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of the family of Marilyn Mansch (Murry’s mother).

Marilyn went home to heaven this past Thursday after a short illness.

And A Special Prayer for Becca Johannes and Kelvin Johannes, as they leave home in Northwest Arkansas to resume their college educations in Minnesota this week.



The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father Who art in heaven    +    Hallowed be Thy name.    +    Thy Kingdom come.  +    Thy will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven.   +    Give us this day our daily bread.  +   And forgive us our trespasses     +    as we forgive those who trespass against us.     +   And lead us not into temptation,  +     but deliver us from evil.    +    For Thine is the kingdom  +    And the power     +    and the glory +   forever and ever.   Amen.



We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


P:  The Lord be with you.


C: (sung) And also with you



P:  Lift up your hearts.


C: (sung)   We lift them up to the Lord



P:   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God


C: (sung)   It is right to give Him thanks and praise.



P:  Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!   In love He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.   He sends His Holy Spirit to testify that we are His children, to strengthen us when we are weak, and to enable us to grow in our faith in the one, true God.   Now have come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ.  To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and thanks and honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen


After which the Congregation may be seated.


The Exhortation Regarding the Lord’s Supper                                                                                               


The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements



                                                                                 (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                           our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)



     We ask that only “Confirmed, Communicant” members of this congregation, or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations come to receive the Lord’s Supper at this time.       We believe, according to Scripture, that only those who are “one,” that is, in complete doctrinal agreement, united in a common public confession of faith, are to commune together at the same altar (see I Corinthians 10:17 and I Corinthians 1:10).

     To be “in communion” means to share and to hold in common.   By eating and drinking at our Lord’s Table, we are not only sharing in, with, and under the bread and wine, Jesus’ very body and blood…we are also publicly declaring that we hold in common a specific confession of faith.  In other words, as a result of having comprehensively studied the Scriptures together all of our communicants have agreed to accept and proclaim the same Biblical doctrines and practices.

     Through membership in a particular church body (for us, that church body is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), each person makes a public statement that he/she is in full agreement with the teachings and practices of that body.  Because not every church body or Lutheran Synod teaches and practices the same things, we in the WELS want to be honest in our recognition of the doctrinal differences that, here on earth, separate us from other church bodies.   Please bear in mind that we are not, in any way, judging the legitimacy of your Christian faith.  Still, we ask that  if you have not (upon study of the Word with us) declared yourself to be in full doctrinal agreement with us, you would respectfully not join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.  

     It is our prayer that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage anyone among us today who is not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of his/her church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word. 

     And if you are guest among us today, we want you to know that it is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the Biblical doctrines our congregation confesses, in order that you might one day join with us at the Lord’s altar in this public expression of full unity of doctrine and practice.  Until then, please know that we are most grateful for your participation as a fellow Christian in this worship service, and that we appreciate your understanding and respect of our Communion practice.



The First Distribution Hymn                                                    Draw Near And Take The Body of the Lord”


1 Draw near and take the body of the Lord,

 And drink the holy blood for you outpoured;

Offered was He for greatest and for least,

Himself the Victim and Himself the Priest.


2 He Who His saints in this world rules and shields,

To all believers life eternal yields;

With heav’nly bread makes them that hunger whole,

Gives living waters to the thirsting soul.


3 Come forward then with faithful hearts sincere,

And take the pledges of salvation here.

Before Your altar, Lord, Your servants bow,

In this Your feast  of love Be with us now.



The Second Distribution Hymn                                                                                 Your Table I Approach


1 Your table I approach;   Dear Savior, hear my prayer.

Let not an unrepentant heart  Prove hurtful to me there.


2 Lord, I confess my sins   And mourn their wretched bands;

A contrite heart is sure to find  Forgiveness at Your hands.


3 Your body and Your blood,   Once slain and shed for me,

Are taken at Your table, Lord,  In blest reality.


4 Search not how this takes place,   This wondrous mystery;

God can accomplish vastly more  Than what we think could be.


5 O grant, most blessed Lord,   That earth and hell combined

May not about this sacrament   Raise doubt within my mind.


6 Oh, may I never fail   To thank You day and night

For Your true body and true blood,  O God, my peace and light.



The Closing Prayer


Almighty God, to Whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hid, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the power of Your Holy Spirit, that we may love You more completely, praise You more joyously, and serve You more faithfully.  These requests we make in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, both now and forever.  Amen. 



The Benediction


P:  Brothers and sisters, go in peace.   Live in harmony with one another.   Serve the Lord in gladness.

           The LORD bless you and keep you

           The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

            The LORD look upon you with favor, and grant you His peace.    Amen.


The Closing Hymn                                                                                 “God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage


God’s Word is our great heritage   And shall be ours forever;

To spread its light from age to age   Shall be our chief endeavor.

Through life it guides our way,   In death it is our stay.

Lord, grant, while worlds endure,   We keep its teachings pure

Throughout all generations.     Amen




Last Week at Grace Lutheran Church          Worship Attendance: 56

Sunday Bible Class:   20          Tuesday Bible Class: 18

Budgetary  Offerings: $4132     School Fund: $50    Capital  Imv: $60   Benevolence: $20


This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today              Morning Worship,  at 9:30 a.m. with the Lord’s Supper

                  “30 minute Bible Class,” begins 5 minutes after close of today’s service

     Tuesday          Morning Bible Class, 10:30 to 11:30 (in church and over the phone)

     Sunday           Morning Worship  9:30 a.m.         Bible Class, after worship (30 minutes)


This Week’s Birthdays and Anniversary     Aug 20 – Richard & Cathy Brown;   

Aug 21 – Kay Giardino;    Aug 23 – Todd Schwartz;    Aug 23 – Samuel Strackbein;   

Aug 25 – Zak Ferguson;   Aug 25 – -Mary Pudas


Serving Us Next Sunday                                                Elders:   John Johnson, Steve Stone, Tim Pfortmiller

Ushers:   Tim Huebner, Tom Otto, Kent Mayer

Altar Guild: Marilyn Outlaw, Harriet Johnson



Lesson Two:   Joshua and Caleb

Faithfully Standing Apart from a Crowd Cowered By Fear


Scripture References:           Numbers 13:1-15,  26-4:35                            Joshua 1:1-9, 16-18               

                                                            Joshua 13:6-14                                               Joshua 15:13-19                    

                                                            Joshua 24:11-31                                             Judges 2:6-15


Numbers 13:1-14:35


Imagine that you are one of the Israelites on the verge of entering the Promised Land.    After 40 long years of wandering in the desert, what would you be feeling?


What type of men did Moses send out as spies?     Why did he send spies into the land of Canaan?


Notice the comment in verse 16.


What “orders” did Moses give them?


What did the find as they moved throughout the land?


How would you describe Caleb’s spirit, particularly in contrast to the observations and attitudes of the other spies (except for Joshua)?


What report do you think the people had expected to receive?  (For help, consider the opening verses of chapter 4)


They were within reach of the Promised Land, and yet the Israelites chose to stop short of their goal.      In your opinion, was there any “legitimacy” to their fears of the Canaanites?


What “fears” in life  have you had to face, or what fear are you dealing with right now? 


What did Joshua and Caleb urge the nation to do?    And how were they treated for their advice?


When have you had stand apart from the crowd in connection with your faith in God?   What response did you receive?


Notice how Moses suddenly is compelled to plead for the preservation of the Israelite people who, just moments before had attacked him personally and viciously.   Why would the LORD tell Moses that He was ready to wipe out the Israelites and instead build a new nation around him and his descendants?


Do you recall where verse 18 is routinely quoted by/among us?


Did you ever suffer any serious consequences because of rebellious behavior on your part?


Why did God strike the ten spies dead, but not the rest of the nation which – with a handful of notable exceptions – seemed just as guilty (or perhaps even worse), than those ten spies?

Joshua 1:1-9, 16-18


What has just happened in Israel?


Do you recall the first time you realized that you were entirely “on your own?”    How did you feel?   – or – Have you ever had to fill somebody’s “big” shoes?   Compare your feelings and responses under that setting to Joshua’s conduct of faith in God in these verses.


What promises does the LORD give to Joshua?    


Why should the LORD’s assurance to Joshua be meaningful also to us?


What are some of the promises the LORD has given to you?



Joshua 14:6-14


Notice Caleb’s age.    Actions reveal character.   What do Caleb’s actions at this juncture in his life tell us about the character of this servant of the Lord?



Joshua 15:13-19Judges 2:6-15


Why did Caleb receive special treatment, through Joshua, from the Lord?


Does the Lord reward people for faithfulness?


What do you think of the way Caleb found a husband for his daughter?


What did Othniel later become (see Judges 3:7-11)?


Why is our memory, at least in most cases, so short-lived?     What had Israel forgotten?


What happens to Israel because it failed to heed the LORD’s command?



Joshua 24:11-31


How was God involved in the conquest of Canaan?     How is God involved in the victories and achievements of your life?


Why do you think Joshua makes the appeal that he does in verse 14?     Now look at verse 15.  What could possibly make serving the Lord undesirable?  


What does verse 19 tell us about ourselves?    What does it tell us about others?


Finally, why would Joshua make the “threats” that he does to Israel?    Would you call this final “sermon” of Joshua’s:   1) one dripping with the Gospel?    2) even handed;    or   3) loaded with law?

What distinguishes the last days of Joshua’s life?


NUMBERS 13:1-14:35


The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Send men to scout the land of Canaan, which I myself am giving to the Israelites. You are to send one man from each ancestral tribe, each one a tribal chief among the people of Israel.”


3 Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the Lord’s command. All of these men were heads of the Israelites. 4 These were their names:   From the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur.   5 From the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori.  6 From the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh.   7 From the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph.

8 From the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun.   9 From the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu.   10 From the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi.   11 From the tribe of Joseph, that is, from the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi.  12 From the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli.   13 From the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael.   14 From the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi.  15 From the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.    16 These were the names of the men whom Moses sent to scout the land. Moses renamed Hoshea son of Nun “Joshua.”


17 Moses sent them to scout the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up this way through the Negev and go up into the hill country.  18 See what the land is like. See if the people who live in the land are strong or weak. See if they are few or many. 19 See if the land that they live in is good or bad. See what kind of cities they live in. See if the cities are camps or fortified places. 20 See what the land is like. See if the land is fertile or poor. See if there are trees in the land or not. Be courageous and bring back some of the fruit of the land.” This happened at the season of the first ripe grapes.


21 So they went up and scouted the land from the Wilderness of Zin to Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 The scouts came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there they cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes. They carried it on a pole between two men, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 They named that place the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the Israelites had cut down from there. 25 At the end of forty days, they returned from scouting the land.


26 They came back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire community of the Israelites at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran. They brought back a report to them and to the entire community. They showed them some of the fruit of the land. 27 They reported to him and said, “We went to the land where you sent us. It really does flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit. 28 However, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites are living in the hill country. The Canaanites are living by the sea and along the Jordan.”


30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should go up now and take possession of it, because we can certainly conquer it!”


31 But the men who had gone up with Caleb said, “We are not able to go up against the people, because they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they spread a negative report to the Israelites about the land that they had scouted. They said, “The land that we explored and scouted is a land that eats up its inhabitants. All the people we saw in the land were huge. 33 We saw there the Nephilim[e] (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). In our own eyes we seemed like grasshoppers. We seemed like grasshoppers in their eyes too.”


14 The entire community raised a loud cry. The people wept that night. 2 All of the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The entire community said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! If only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our children will be taken as captives! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let’s put someone in charge and return to Egypt.”   5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown before the entire assembly of the Israelite community.


6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of those who had scouted the land, tore their clothes. 7 They spoke to the entire Israelite community, “The land that we explored and scouted is a very good land. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 9 Only do not revolt against the Lord. Do not fear the people of the land, for we will eat them up. Their protection is taken away from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”    10 Still the entire community threatened to stone them to death. The Glory of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites over the Tent of Meeting. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with a plague and disown them. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are.”


13 Moses said to the Lord, “The Egyptians will hear it, since by your own power you brought these people up from the midst of the Egyptians. 14 They will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have heard that you, the Lord, are in the midst of this people. You, the Lord, are seen face-to-face. Your cloud stands over them. You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you killed these people, leaving no one, then the nations which have heard about your fame will say, 16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring these people into the land which he swore to them, he has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17 Now please let the power of the Lord be great, just as you have said, 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in mercy, forgiving guilt and rebellion. He certainly does not leave the guilty unpunished, following up on the guilt of the fathers with the children unto the third and the fourth generation.’ 19 According to your great mercy, please pardon the guilt of these people, just as you have forgiven these people from Egypt until now.”


20 The Lord said, “I have pardoned them just as you have said. 21 But as surely as I live, and as surely as the entire earth is filled with the glory of the Lord, 22 not one of the men who has seen my glory and my signs, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and who has tested me these ten times and has not listened to my voice— 23 I promise that none of them will see the land which I swore to their fathers. None of those who treated me with contempt will see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb had a different spirit and has followed me completely, I will bring him into the land to which he traveled. His descendants will possess it. 25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys and lowlands, tomorrow you are to turn back and set out into the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea.”


26 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the Israelites’ constant grumblings against me. 28 Tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you just as I have heard you say. 29 In this wilderness your corpses will fall. All of you who were registered in the census, every one of you twenty years old and up who have grumbled against me, 30 I swear that none of you will go into the land where I promised to settle you, except for Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 But your children, whom you said would become plunder, I will bring in, and they will experience the land which you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your children will be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years. They will have to endure your prostitution until your corpses perish in the wilderness. 34 You will bear the consequences of your guilt for forty years, based on the number of days that you scouted the land, forty days, one year for every day. You will experience my opposition.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken. I swear that I will do this to this entire wicked community, who are gathered together against me. In this wilderness they will perish. There they will die.”


36 The men whom Moses had sent to scout the land, who returned and made the entire community grumble against him by giving a negative report about the land— 37 those men who brought the wicked, negative report about the land—died by the plague before the Lord. 38 Of those men who had gone to scout the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh remained alive.

JOSHUA 1:1-9; 16-18

This is what happened after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord.   The Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, the attendant of Moses, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. So prepare to cross the Jordan River that lies in front of you. You and all this people, prepare to go into the land that I am about to give to the people of Israel. 3 I have given you every place where the sole of your foot has stepped, just as I promised Moses. 4 From the Wilderness and from Lebanon to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—as far as the Mediterranean Sea, where the sun sets, this will be your territory. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not abandon you, and I will not forsake you.


6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will divide this land among these people, this land which I swore to their fathers that I would give to this people. 7 Just be strong and very courageous. Be careful to act according to the entire Law which my servant Moses commanded for you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may succeed wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law must never depart from your mouth, and you are to meditate on it day and night, so that you will act faithfully according to everything written in it, because then you will prosper in everything you do, and you will succeed. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified and do not be overwhelmed, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


…….16 Then they answered Joshua, “Everything that you have commanded us we will do. We will go to any place you send us. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, we will likewise obey you. May the Lord your God be with you, just as he was with Moses.



JOSHUA 14:6-14

6 When the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal, Caleb son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, said this to him:  You know what the Lord spoke to Moses, the man of God, concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh Barnea to scout the land, and I brought back to him my heartfelt advice. 8 When my brother Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt, I nevertheless fully followed the Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore an oath to me on that day. He said, “Most certainly the land on which your foot has walked shall be an inheritance for you and for your children forever, because you fully followed the Lord my God.”


10 So now as you see, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, for these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this promise to Moses when Israel was traveling in the wilderness. So now, here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as on the day that Moses sent me out. My strength for going out and for coming back from battle is the same now as it was then.   12 So now, give me this place in the hill country that the Lord promised that day. Even though you heard on that day that the Anakites are there, as well as large fortified cities, perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out, just as the Lord said.


13 So Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Therefore Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, as an inheritance to this day, because he fully followed after the Lord, the God of Israel.



JOSHUA 15:13-19

13 To Caleb son of Jephunneh, Joshua gave a portion among the people of Judah, in keeping with the word of the Lord to Joshua, namely, the city of Kiriath Arba (Arba was the father of Anak). Kiriath Arba is now called Hebron. 14 Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kiriath Sepher.    16 Caleb said, “If anyone attacks Kiriath Sepher and captures it, I will give my daughter Aksah to him as his wife.” 17 Othniel son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured Kiriath Sepher, and Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him as his wife.


18 When she came to Othniel, she pressured him to ask her father for some pastureland.  As she dismounted from the donkey, Caleb said to her, “What do you want?”   19 She said, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me land in the dry Negev, you should also give me springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.



JUDGES 2:6-15


6 When Joshua dismissed the people, each of the descendants of Israel went to his own inheritance to take possession of the land. 7 The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, those who had seen all the great deeds that the Lord had done for Israel.   8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten years. 9 They buried him within the borders of his inheritance, in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Ga’ash.


10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them, who did not know the Lord or the deeds that he had done for Israel. 11 The people of Israel committed evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals, 12 and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them. They bowed down to them, and they angered the Lord. 13 They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtartes.


14 So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of raiders, who plundered them. He sold them into the hand of their enemies around them, and they were not able to stand up in the face of their enemies. 15 Whenever the men of Israel went out, the hand of the Lord was against them to bring disaster on them, just as the Lord had said to them and just as the Lord had sworn to them. So they were greatly distressed.



JOSHUA 24:11-31

11 Then you crossed over the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho and the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites fought against you, but I gave them into your hand. 12 I sent the hornet before you, and it drove them out before you, as it drove out the two kings of the Amorites.   It was not by your sword and not by your bow!   13 So I have given you a land for which you did not labor. I gave you cities that you did not build, but you have been living in them. I gave you vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant, but you are eating from them.


14 Joshua said, “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly and faithfully. Remove the gods that your fathers served in the region across the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if you see no benefit in serving the Lord, then choose for yourselves today whomever you will serve—whether the gods that your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household—we will serve the Lord!”


16 The people responded by saying, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord in order to serve other gods! 17 For the Lord our God, he is the one who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, where we were slaves. He is the one who performed these great signs right before our eyes and protected us on the whole journey that we made and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 The Lord drove out of our presence all the peoples and the Amorites who were living in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God!”


19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord, because he is a holy God. He is a jealous God.[e] He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and you serve foreign gods, then he will turn and cause disaster for you, and he will put an end to you after he has done good for you.”   21 But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will most certainly serve the Lord!”   22 So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves in order to serve him.”   The people said, “We are witnesses!”   23 Joshua said, “Now, therefore, remove the foreign gods that are among you, and turn your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel.”   24 The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God, and we will listen to his voice.”


25 That day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and he affirmed for them a statute and ordinance there at Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was at the holy place of the Lord.   27 Joshua said to all the people, “See, this stone will be a witness among us and against us, because it has heard all the words that the Lord spoke with us. So it will be a witness among you and against you, so that you do not act deceptively against your God.”   28 Then Joshua dismissed the people, each one to his own inheritance.


29 After these events Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten years. 30 They buried him in the territory of his inheritance, in Timnath Serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Ga’ash.

31 Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and who had experienced every deed that the Lord had done for Israel.