Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, December 14th: Joshua 10-12, Luke 16 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Joshua 10-12, Luke 16

In Joshua we read again how we are much better off fighting a battle when we are fighting the Lord's battle.

Before God led Joshua and the Israelites to the routing of 31 kings and all their land, He promised victory to Joshua -  The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”.

God also provided reassurance to the Israelites that He was on there side by hurling "large hailstones down on them from the sky" which killed more Amorites than the Israelites armies swords did.

One thing that stood out to me here is that God wants us to act out of obedience and faith.  Victory would not have been automatic without the Israelites trusting in God and obeying the Lord.  The defeat of Jericho that we read earlier, for example, did not happen by human might but by depending on the Lord's power and obeying His commands.  Conversely, when Achan disobeyed the Lord, the Israelite army fell to Ai in defeat.  It is no wonder then, that God urged Joshua and the Israelite people to be strong and courageous, not to be afraid, but to trust in the Lord and to obey His commands.

Joshua did not know how the victory was going to come, all he knew was that he was about to engage in a battle that he knew he could not win on his own.

God proved to Joshua and to the Israelite people that holding fast to the words of the Lord kept God in their corner.  Just like the old hymn says:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way!  While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.  Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!  

On a different note, I also found it interesting that in verse 12 the sun stood still over Gibeon, and the moon stood still over the Valley of Aijalon.  So did the hail fall out from nothing, or did a cloud quickly appear over the battle area?  Either way, quite a miracle!

Later in chapter 11 verse 20, we read "20 For it was theLord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

  1. It is worth noting that when God works His plan, he not only prepares our hearts, but He also prepares the hearts of others.  So why wouldn't we trust in Him?  

In our NT reading, three points came to my mind.  The first is that wealth should be used to assist others.  Secondly, you cannot be trusted with eternal things if you don't properly take care of your worldly things.  Lastly, you cannot be loyal to both God and physical assets simultaneously.  

The Jewish leaders lacked compassion and loyalty but loved money, so there is no doubt He was addressing them.  However, these three points apply to us too.

In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, we read about two people who had lived and have now died.  Lazarus goes to heaven and the rich man to hell.  The parable is clear that we do not have the opportunity to change our minds or even warn others who are left behind once our time on earth expires.    

This reminded me of the importance of living my life for God, and that people need to hear about God so that they can join us in Heaven.  If we don't tell them about God, who will?



TammyIsBlessed said...

I wonder if there is any scientific ramifications about the sun standing still for that long.

One thing that struck me was how tired Joshua must have been after seven long years of battle after battle. It must have felt never ending at times - and yet, Joshua kept on in obedience to God's command. An excellent example of perseverance.

Pamela said...

The lyrics of a song came to my head as I read the list of kings that the Israelites over powered

"Kings may rise and fall..."

In the Truth in the Tinsel advent devotional that I did with my students, the second piece is a crown because Jesus was going to establish a kingdom that would never end. This was hard to understand because kings gained and lost their kingdoms so easily. How would someone establish a kingdom that would never end? However, that was exactly what jesus came do to.