RBT – March

RBT Reading Plan for Joshua and The Song of Songs March 2021

Our brother Robert Monckton provided this helpful reading plan and introduction to this montsh books.

Date Passage Content
Mon Mar 1st Josh 1 Following Moses’ death God commissions Joshua to lead Israel. He then  prepares for the invasion of Canaan
Tues Mar 2nd Josh 2 Joshua sends two spies to Jericho. Rahab hides the spies to prevent their capture.
Wed Mar 3rd Josh3 The Lord parts the waters of the Jordan to enable the Israelites to enter the land.
Thurs Mar 4th Josh 4:1-5:1 God commands 12 stones from the middle of the river be set up as a memorial.
Fri Mar 5th Josh 5:2-12 Following entry into the land the new generation are circumcised and the Passover is celebrated.
Sat Mar 6th Josh 5:13-6:7 The Commander of the Lord’s army (The Lord Himself?) instructs Joshua concerning the destruction of Jericho.
Sun Mar 7th Josh 6:8-27 Jericho destroyed but Rahab and family are saved alive.
Mon Mar 8th Josh 7 Israel defeated at Ai due to Achan’s sin.
Tues Mar 9th Josh 8:1-29 Joshua, following the Lord’s directions captures Ai.
Wed Mar 10th Josh 8:30 -35 Joshua builds an altar, sacrifices are offered and the Covenant renewed.
Thurs Mar 11th Josh 9 The Gibeonites successfully deceive the Israelites in order to be spared.
Fri Mar 12th Josh 10:1-28 The Lord fights for Israel and makes their victory certain.
These sections not included in daily reading scheme. Josh 10:2-11:23

Josh 12

Josh 13:1-7

Josh 13:8-33

The campaigns in south and north Canaan

List of conquered Canaanite kings

List of land still to be conquered

The inheritance east of the Jordan

Sat Mar 13th Josh 14 Joshua shares out the conquered land by lot as commanded by God through Moses. Caleb claims the land promised to him more than 40 years before by Moses
These sections not included in daily reading scheme. Josh 15:1-19:51 More details  of Joshua’s allocation of land  to the various tribes
Sun Mar 14th Josh 20 Provision of Cities of Refuge where those who had killed without intent might flee for safety
Mon Mar 15th Josh 21 Provision of places for the Levites to live scattered among the other tribes
Tues Mar 16th Josh 22:1-9 The eastern tribes return home to the land given to them across the Jordan.
Wed Mar 17th Josh 22:10-34 The eastern tribes build an altar of witness
Thurs Mar 18th Josh 23 Joshua’s charge to Israel’s leaders
Fri Mar 19th Josh 24:1-13 The Covenant renewed at Shechem
Sat Mar 20th Josh 24:14-33 “Choose this day whom you will serve”

The Song of Songs

Sun Mar 21st Eph 5:22-33 Paul compares the relationship of husbands and wives to that of Christ and His church
Mon Mar 22nd Song 1 For your love is better than wine
Tues Mar 23rd Song 2 Like a lily among thorns is my darling
Wed Mar 24th Song 3:1-5 I will search for the one my heart loves (a dream?)
Thurs Mar 25th Song 3:6-11 Who is this coming up from the desert?
Fri Mar 26th Song 4:1-5:1 Your lips drip nectar my bride
Sat Mar 27th Song 5:2-18 I sought him but found him not (a dream?)
Sun Mar 28th Song 6:1-13a My beloved has gone down to his garden
Mon Mar 29th Song 6:13b-7:13 I am my beloved‘s and his desire is for me
Tues Mar 30th Song 8 Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?
Wed Mar 31st Rev 19:6-10 John’s vision of “The marriage feast of the Lamb”.

Introduction to the Book of Joshua

The book of Joshua gives an account of the conquest and subsequent settling of Eastern Canaan by the Israelites led by Joshua following Moses’ death. They were finally established in the “promised land”.

Exact details of the allocation of land to each tribe are given. Although not written by Joshua the book evidently preserves accurate records made at the time.

“This book, especially the early chapters, is full of most valuable teaching. The land of Canaan is to be regarded, not as a type of heaven, but rather as symbolizing God’s promised blessing in Christ. The entry of the Israelites into the land thus becomes for us a picture of the life of victory over our spiritual enemies, and of the Christian’s appropriation, through the fight of faith, of all God’s blessings. Viewed in this light the story of Rahab and the spies, the crossing of the Jordan into the promised land, the circumstances at Gilgal, the vision of the captain of the Lord’s Host, the fall of the walls of Jericho, the consequences of Achan’s sin, the destruction of the Canaanites – all these incidents have a meaning which goes far beyond the historical facts, telling us of the conditions under which God’s greatest spiritual blessings are gained or forfeited.”      IVP study guide – Search the Scriptures                                                                                    

Outline of contents

1)     Josh 1:1-9 Joshua’s commission
2)    Josh 1:10-5:12 Entry into Canaan a)      Mobilization (1:10-18)

b)      The mission of the spies (2:1-24)

c)      Preparation for the holy war (3:1-13)

d)      Crossing the Jordan (3:14-4:18)

e)      Encampment at Gilgal (4:19-5:12)

3)   Josh 5:13-12:24 The conquest of Canaan a)      The fall of Jericho (5:13-6:27)

b)      The capture of Ai after initial defeat due to Achan’s sin (7:1-8:35)

c)      The campaign in the south (9:1-10:43)

d)      The campaign in the north (11:1-23)

e)      List of conquered Canaanite Kings !12:1-24)

4)    Josh 13:1-22:34 The division of the land a)      Allocations to the tribes (13:1-19:51)

b)      Appointment of cities of refuge and cities for the Levites (20:1-21:45)

c)      Returning home of eastern tribes and their setting up of an altar of witness (22:1-34)

     5)   Josh 23:1-24:33 Joshua’s last days a)      Joshua’s first address (23:1-16)

b)      His second address and the renewal of the covenant (24:1-13)

c)      Joshua’s death and burial.(24:14-33)

Introduction to the Song of Songs

Some think it strange that this beautiful Middle Eastern love poem has a place in the Christian  (and Jewish) scriptures. No one reading it can deny the nature of this rich and untrammelled description of human love. Here the perspective is not from a scholarly observer but from the hearts of the enraptured lovers. It is in the Hebrew idiom the best of songs, the supreme song – the song of songs, just as Jesus is King of Kings and the inner temple is the holy of holies.

Many Christians see the poem as simply extolling human love, showing that physical beauty and married love are gifts to be enjoyed as part of God’s wonderful creation. We learn here ‘they say’ how to conduct our marriages with faithful and true commitment. Study of the poem will also cure of the faults of shallow love.

However, although all this is true, I believe far richer spiritual truth can be found in Solomon’s song. Paul in Ephesians 5:22-33 shows how the relationship of a husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. Christians throughout the ages have seen the love of the bride and groom in the Song as being a picture (or type) of the mutual love between Christ and His church. The Lord Jesus teaches in Luke 24(v27, and v44-48) that He is to be found in all the scriptures. Stuart Olyott points out that if we rule out the spiritualising of the poem Jesus is not spoken of in the book, which means He was wrong about all the scriptures speaking of Him!

There are two ways of seeing the Lord Jesus depicted in the Song  a) the allegorical and     b) the typical.

  1. The allegorical sees the poem as entirely figurative, it having no foundation in historical fact. (It is like “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan – the most famous of religious allegories.) The events recorded never took place but are simply pictures of something else. Everything recorded including each plant and herb has spiritual meaning. Many absurd and ridiculous interpretations have been produced and this has done much to discredit a “spiritual “ approach to the book.
  2. The typical approach sees the characters and events of the Song as suggestive of spiritual truths, without there being an exact equivalence as in an allegory. The songs should be treated firstly as simple and yet sublime songs of human love. Understood in that way they may be then lifted up to set forth the joys of the mutual love of Christ and His Church.

Two helpful books are :

  • Jesus Lover of My Soul – Julian Hardyman IVP ( Currently going the rounds of Christian reading group)
  • A Life Worth Living and a Lord Worth Loving – Stuart Olyott