Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday, December 18th: Joshua 22-24, Luke 18:24-43 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 22-24; Luke 18:24-43

Joshua 22:5 Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
This verse is a great reminder that our obedience to God should be based on our love for Him.  We don't obey in order for Him to love us - He already does.  We don't obey in order to save ourselves - we can't.  We love Him because He first loved us, and we prove that love for Him genuine when we obey His commands.

The incident between the tribes east of the Jordan and the rest of Israel is a great reminder that we should not assume the worst of people, and that we should want to hear their side of the story before simply attacking them.  We cannot know people's motives or what's in their heart.  It's like I say to my kids (and remind myself!), if someone says something and there are two different ways you can interpret it, where one is hurtful and the other is not, assume that they didn't mean it to be hurtful!  More often than not, we take things personally or the wrong way, when they were never intended to be hurtful.  We would avoid a lot of conflict and tension in relationships if we remembered to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume the best of them instead of the worst.

Joshua 23 4 Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. 5 The Lord your God will push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you.
My study Bible makes this point....
Some of the land that Joshua had assigned to the various tribes remained unconquered. Israel's gradual occupation of the land had an ecological reason (see Exodus 23:29-30), a military reason (see Judges 1:19), and a theological reason (see Judges 2:20-3:4). Israel's ensuing unfaithfulness delayed the settlement process by several centuries; instead of driving out the remaining Canaanites, Israel absorbed them, bringing God's people even greater temptations to unfaithfulness. Joshua knew this to be a real danger (Joshua 23:15-16). We need to root out sinful influences in our life rather than allow them to become sinful practices. 

Joshua also reminds the people that just as all of God's promises of blessings had come true, God would also be faithful to His promise of judgment.  So often people want God to simply act as their genie - granting them wishes, protecting them from harm, and ignoring Him in His bottle whenever they don't need Him; and then getting mad at Him for everything bad that happens.  It doesn't work that way.  We are called to be faithful and trust God no matter our circumstances.

Joshua 24:15 choose this day whom you will serve.... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

We need to choose.  We need to choose to love and obey God over all others and over all earthly temptations and distractions.

As our NT passage reminds us, our security is not found in earthly treasures or wealth, but in God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Nehemiah 1-3; Luke 19:1-27


Conrad said...

The incident of the tribes in the east of the Jordan and the rest of Israel is something I can learn from. We can only see what our eyes see, but God knows our intentions and our hearts (or others). It s easier to judge than to find the truth, but like we read, it is better to question than starting a rumour or assuming something.

Pamela said...

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

We do have a choice to make. Daily.