Monday, April 15, 2013

Marching through Joshua

Maybe meandering through Joshua would be a more adapt description. I took 3 1/2 weeks to get through this book, and it's pretty action-packed. My reading has been really off with the trip to Alabama-Pennsylvania-Florida and back again, plus with Gary gone, it's harder to find enough quiet moments all at one time to read, think, and processes my reading. However, I finished up the book of Joshua this weekend. There are lots of good lessons from it - like when the Lord tells you don't do something, don't do it (story of Achan in Joshua 7), or that we overcome through the Lord not our own strength (fall of Jericho in Joshua 6), and that we ought to prayerfully consider any major decision, even things that seem innocent enough (Deception by the Canaanites in Joshua 9), but my favorite part of the whole book is found in Joshua 23:14.

There is alot of really good stuff in the last couple of chapters, but the last part of Joshua 23:14 reads, "...ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." Isn't it beautiful to know that when the Lord says something he doesn't forget, he doesn't fail, he doesn't change his mind. All things that he promises comes to pass, and not one thing fails. Every promise in the bible, every word holds true. When he promises no end of seasons, when he promises blessings for obedience, when he says "It is finished." His word stands eternal (Psalm 119:89 & 160). He is "a God of truth without iniquity" (Deu. 32:4). He changes not (Psalms 15:4). Isn't it great to know that in Him there is security? I mean as well meaning as family and friends are, as tight as you can write a contract, as honorable as anyone can be, promises get broken, but not by God. Though we break our end of the "bargin" time and time again God is faithful (Deu. 7:9).

Because He has done such great things for us, both now and eternally, it is but a little thing, to live God honoring lives, obeying His commandments. We have nothing to give the Lord of Heaven and Earth, nothing we can do is enough, but we can follow him. (Romans 12:1) Joshua tells the people this several times (Joshua 22:5, 23:8, 23:11). He reminds them to serve the Lord always, just as they do now, and to put aside anything and everything that would come between them and the Lord. In the verses that basically everyone knows from the book of Joshua he says, "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Jos. 24:14-15). The Israelites echo that they will four times, "we will serve the Lord; for he is our God." Isn't it amazing that He is our God, not some far off God of another people that we don't have access to, but He is ours and we are His. Why wouldn't we want to offer the only things we have, ourselves? Which are truly His, for we are "bought with a price." (I Cor. 6:19-20) It reminds me of my favorite Third Day song.

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