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Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.

Thy Strong Word from KFUO Radio KFUO Radio

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Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.

    Joshua 8: Penitent Destruction of Ai Sends God's Merciful Message

    Joshua 8: Penitent Destruction of Ai Sends God's Merciful Message

    Rev. Chris Matthis, pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Castle Rock, Colorado, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Joshua 8.

    This time in chapter 8, Yahweh of Armies speaks the battle plan. Although the total destruction of Ai and Bethel seems ruthless, the plan shows signs of God’s mercy as He takes their sin and weakness into account. He protects His people from a hostile alliance and defends His holy name for the sake of the world.

    The whole of Israel’s army is involved in the fighting, and the entire people participates in the covenant renewal between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal. The whole people must repent of their sin as a society, just as we must today. Behind the atrocities of others’ sins lie our own daily sins, but there is forgiveness in our Lord Jesus Christ who renews His covenant with us in His supper.

    Joshua 7: Collective Crime & Punishment, Jesus Forgives Achon

    Joshua 7: Collective Crime & Punishment, Jesus Forgives Achon

    Rev. Ingo Dutzmann, LCEF Ambassador in Boston, Massachusetts, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Joshua 7.

    After six chapters of obedience to Yahweh, chapter seven begins, “But the people of Israel broke faith.” When his troops lose a battle they should have easily won, Joshua knows that there is a problem between them and God. In faith, he turns to God for the solution, acting as a priestly intercessor like Moses.

    When they discover that a man named Achon has lied and stolen from God, he and his family are punished. God is always ready to forgive the penitent, but the punishments of the left-hand kingdom must still be meted out for the sake of order. Instead of punishing one family on behalf of the people, our Lord Jesus had Himself punished on behalf of all humanity, ransoming our lives as God’s precious firstborn and only Son.

    Joshua 6: Jericho’s Walls Tumble for the Church’s Sabbath Rest

    Joshua 6: Jericho’s Walls Tumble for the Church’s Sabbath Rest

    Rev. Mark Jasa, pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Pasadena, California, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Joshua 6.

    “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls come a-tumbling down.” This folk song speaks to the popularity of this story from chapter 6. Although everyone remembers the horns blasting, the people shouting, and—yes—the walls tumbling down, the story isn’t really about terrorizing Jericho.

    This chapter continues Joshua’s encounter with Yahweh, who appeared in the form of a warrior. Yahweh reveals Himself through His Word, and His instructions to encircle the city seven times on the seventh day point back to creation. The God of all creation, not just a small region, is creating a nation for Himself by giving them Sabbath rest in the land of promise. Our Lord Jesus saves His church as He saved Rahab and all who would repent.

    Joshua 5: Urgent Circumcision & Passover, the Two Joshuas Meet

    Joshua 5: Urgent Circumcision & Passover, the Two Joshuas Meet

    Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Joshua 5.

    The situation was urgent. Israel had crossed into the land inhabited by the Amorites and Canaanites. But the problem wasn’t Israel’s enemies in Joshua chapter 5; the problem was the threat of sin and disobedience.

    God has them make flint knives and circumcise the new generation immediately. They celebrate the Passover even though they’re in the middle of nowhere. These things Passdidn’t make sense from a worldly perspective, but from a spiritual perspective, the only thing keeping them in the land was faith in God. Joshua then meets the true Joshua, the Lord Jesus in the form of a warrior. Our success only depends on Jesus Christ; may we prioritize the things of faith with urgency over all the rest.

    Psalm 33: We Hope in Yahweh Above All Names

    Psalm 33: We Hope in Yahweh Above All Names

    Rev. David Boisclair, pastor of Faith and Bethesda Lutheran Churches in North St. Louis County, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 33.

    Psalm 33 has no title in Hebrew, no superscription saying who wrote it or what kind of psalm it is. While this a little uncommon by itself, it really stands out because Psalm 33 occurs in the middle of several “of David” psalms. And not only does Psalm 33 lack names like “David,” but it lacks names like “Israel,” “Judah,” “Moses”… In fact, there are no names in the psalm at all—except for one. That’s the point.

    The psalm points back to God both as the one who created the whole world and also as the one who chose Israel from among the nations of the world. We feel a tension being balanced throughout: God is the God of Israel, but He is also the God of the whole world. Many people recall verse 12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” What does it mean to be a God-fearing nation? What is the place of Israel? Who are we? What is our name? Jesus Christ fulfills this psalm because He is the true Israel, chosen from before the creation of the world.

    Joshua 4: Jesus Calls the Twelve & Builds a Memorial in the Jordan

    Joshua 4: Jesus Calls the Twelve & Builds a Memorial in the Jordan

    Rev. Warren Woerth, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Arnold, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Joshua 4.

    Chapter 4 concludes the crossing of the Jordan River. Everything fits together still in the same theme of continuity: before the priests leave the river, Joshua calls the twelve representatives back into the Jordan to pick up twelve stones as a memorial, that their children would know what happened there that day.

    And it turns out that Joshua, before he had crossed, actually had set up a twelve-stone memorial in the middle of the river as well, right on the spot where the priests had stood. God had shown up in a holy way, and as Joshua honors God, God gives honor to Joshua: the Reubenites fulfill their vow and trust Joshua’s leadership. Our Lord Jesus has given us a saving memorial in His holy sacraments, and He has laid down the twelve apostles as memorial foundations for His church.

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