Friday, November 11, 2005



Joshua is chosen to carry out God’s promise by leading the Israelites across the Jordan into the Promised Land. (Joshua 3)
“Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord, thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” ~Joshua 1:9

Three days of fasting and prayer was the preparation for the next leap of faith…or literal step. The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant are being asked to believe…and trust …and obey. For the simple hearted believers who choose a more natural faith of love and kindness, believing that’s all God really wants…this command to step into a gushing, deep, flood stage river might sound obscure, even ludicrous! What does this have to do with loving your neighbor? I can hear the committee meeting now: “This isn’t practical…we could lose our priests and how can we take such a risk with our holy relic, the ark? This can’t be what God wants! Let’s adjourn and discuss this further next time.”

The only meeting was for the purpose of relaying God’s message to the people. Joshua spoke, they listened. There was no waiting for a good opportunity. The river raged when the priests stepped in in total reliance on their amazing God. The river did a repeat of the Red Sea. Here was another impossible situation relieved by the power of God. Here was a vivid reminder for the few who had experienced the escape from Egypt. Here was a picture for those too young so that they could more than imagine it.

This time, obedience was required prior to the miracle. Sometimes love isn’t enough. You know how kids are…"I love you Mom, love you Dad”…as they walk out the door in defiance of your wishes. I don’t doubt they love us in their own teen way…but it hurts because there is little willingness to sacrifice, trust their parents’ wisdom, let go of their own will when it collides with authority.

God’s authority had spoken and the priests were strong and of good courage because they surely trusted God. After all, it was God’s Ark too! Wouldn’t He take care? To carry His Law is to have Him provide a way to the other side, rest assured! Have you been in the Word today? I know some of you have and are more disciplined than me. Just thought I’d ask!

Moses delivered the people out of bondage (from sin) with the Law of the Covenant from God. Although the Law revealed their inability to overcome sin, it should not be negated that it provided a map for freedom and peace. Joshua, picturing Christ the Messiah, was the one able to deliver God’s Chosen into their Paradise. The Law would prove inadequate without a Mighty Deliverer. Time did tell.

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