Rejoice that God Carries Us!
Scripture reading for February 16th: Numbers 34-36, Deuteronomy 1-2
Key Scriptures: Deuteronomy 1:29-32 “Then I (Moses) said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until your reached this place. In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God.”
In Deuteronomy, Moses is recounting the history of the Israelites deliverance from Egypt and God’s dealings with them in their unbelief. God had been patient with them, even though most rebelled. This had cost those 20 years old or more to die in the desert, except for Caleb and Joshua. God had led them through the desert experience and carried them to the door of their inheritance!
Rejoice in the victory of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ, our ‘Joshua’, carries us into our ‘rest’ and promised inheritance! “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Sunday rest and reflection!
March 9th, 2014
Greetings in the wonderful Name of Jesus–our Joshua! I hope you have enjoyed the study of Joshua as much as I have! Joshua was a man of faith and a strong leader. He tried to listen to God’s instructions and God honored him with victory and possession of the Promised Land. He and Caleb obtained their inheritance through faith and patient endurance. They never cast away their confidence and received their reward!
Let’s gather today with others on the journey of faith to worship our Father and His only Son, Jesus Christ! He has demonstrated His love for us and longs to meet with us. Come expecting the Presence of our Lord!
In His Love, Pastor John
Give me that mountain!
Scripture reading for March 6: Joshua 13-17
Some people are positive and exude confidence! God commanded Joshua and the nation of Israel to be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:8) When we choose to believe God’s Word and act on it, our lives change from sight-driven to faith-driven. Caleb’s destiny changed from “dying in the desert” to “possessing the promised land”! In our reading today, we listen in on Caleb as he prepares to receive his portion of inheritance in the promised land.
Caleb and Joshua are the only two left out of 603,550 Israelite males that left Mt. Sinai for the promised land. (Numbers 1:46) They were two of the twelve spies and the only ones to bring back a good report! God rewarded them by sparing their lives and allowing them to have what they proclaimed in faith! (Numbers 14:24) Caleb’s inheritance included the fortress at Hebron where the Anakites lived. (Joshua 14:15) They were large people and renowned fighters. This made no difference to Caleb! He was still confident in God’s ability to give him the land! (Joshua 14:12) Joshua blessed Caleb and sent him off to his inheritance!
Caleb is one of my favorite people in the Bible. He exudes confidence! He maintains an attitude of faith, even in his older years. At 85 we find him strong and vigorous and ready for battle! He isn’t in retirement or sitting out life in a rocking chair. He understands what belongs to him, and is ready to take it and possess it! He is praising God and making the good confession! That’s my kind of man!
What obstacle do you face today? What excuses have you been making for not attacking it? Learn from Caleb how to walk by faith and confess God’s ability to help you! “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, 85 years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day! You yourself heard that the Anakites were there and that their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said!” (Joshua 14:10-12)
Sunday Rest and Reflection–Patience
As I read this book of Joshua and think about what he faced in his lifetime, I am reminded of my need for patience. Patience takes strength and courage. When you know what the Lord has said and nobody around you is listening or walking in faith it is hard to have patience. When all around you grumble and complain and see only the problems, it’s hard to be positive and not loose your temper.
Joshua had to wait 40 years to enter his inheritance. He saw it as one of the spies and understood from God’s Word that He it belonged to them. He knew that God would help them with the walled cities and the giants. He had a good attitude and a good confession. He tore his clothes and pleaded with the people when they rebelled at Kadesh. (Numbers 14:5-9) He faithfully served Moses for the 40 years of wandering. He was a good second man to Moses. You never see him trying to usurp authority or grab anything for himself. He walked with those who were destined to die in the wilderness and kept his focus. He was so faithful that he was chosen by God to lead Israel after Moses’s departure. The Bible tells us that the first requirement of a steward is that they be found faithful! (1st Corinthians 4:2) Joshua was faithful through the hard times and patient to wait until God’s time came for him to enter and possess his inheritance.
As you take time to rest and pray today, thank God for his faithfulness in sending His son Jesus Christ! He is our Joshua. He keeps a good attitude even when we whine and complain. He walks with us faithfully. He kept God’s Word perfectly and is the only one who can take us into the “promised land’! He took the lowest place of a servant and God exhalted Him to the hightest place of authority. His patience with us is amazing! What courage and strength it took for Him to save us! Are you letting patience have it’s perfect work in your life today? Have a great day of rest and refreshing! Remember to gather with others of faith and worship the Lord! God bless you! Pastor John
The Sun Stood Still!
Scripture reading for March 5th: Joshua 9-12
Sometimes the days aren’t long enough to get done everything that we would like to. Joshua had just such a day when he responded to the call to help the Gibeonites. Joshua prayed to the Lord and asked God to cause the sun to stand still while the nation of Israel attacked it’s enemies. God listened and a great miracle helped bring victory!
The Gibeonites had earlier deceived the Israelites in order to save their own lives. Joshua made a covenant with them and then found out that they had lied to him. (Joshua 9:22-23) As a result, this Canaanite tribe became servants to Joshua and Israel. A lack of prayer and discernment caused this problem. A short time later, five Amorite kings had formed an alliance and were attacking Gibeon. God spoke to Joshua and told him to go and attack and He would give him the victory. (Joshua 10:7-8) Joshua and his troops marched all night long and the fight was on. God helped the Israelites out with a heavy downpour of hailstones, killing more of the enemy than did the Israelites! The fight was going well, but daylight would soon be gone. Joshua prayed to the Lord. God listened to this man and the sun literally stood still in the sky for nearly a day! (Joshua 10:12-14)
This miracle is very interesting because of what must have happened to bring it about. For the sun to stand still in the sky, the earth had to quit rotating! This would be very difficult because the earth is rotating at 24,000 miles per hour! The moon would stand still too! It is orbiting the earth! Only God could make this happen! The hail storm that killed the enemy but did not affect the Israelites is also a miracle! (Joshua 10:11)
At the end of this story, Joshua brings the five kings out of the cave and has his men put their feet on the kings’ necks. (Joshua 10:24-25) He again instructs them to be strong and courageous! They get a visual picture of victory and what God wants us to do to our enemy Satan! (Romans 16:20) God alone gets the glory for these victories!
What do we learn from this ancient record of Joshua’s exploits? With God, nothing is impossible! (Luke 1:37) If we ask Him in faith for what we need, He is able to deliver even the most difficult and impossible requests. Joshua was responding to God’s directions in his battle. He chose the all-night march as a surprise factor. The journey would have been over 20 miles at night with a 3000 foot gain in altitude! He felt he needed more time to subdue this enemy and simply asked! Do you have a request that sounds too difficult for the Lord today? Ask Him!
A successor, prophetic song, blessing, check out!
Scripture reading for March 2: Deuteronomy 31-34
I have often told the Lord that I would like to leave this world like Moses, strong and vigorous to the last! I am a person who likes action and wants to be busy doing what God has for me. When my time comes to leave earth, I want to take one last look, and be gone! I want to have a successor who will carry on the work. I want to fight one last battle, give one last prophetic word, bless my church and family, and check out! That’s how Moses, the man of God ends his time on earth!
In Deuteronomy 31, we have the transfer of power and anointing from Moses to Joshua. Joshua had been faithful as a helper to Moses. He was by his side continuously. He went up on the mountain with Moses, at least part way. He was in charge of the Tent of Meeting. He was one of the twelve spies and had a “good report” as a man of faith in God’s Word. Joshua was picked by the Lord to succeed Moses. (Deuteronomy 31:14) Joshua was commissioned by the Lord to lead the people and promised God’s presence. (Deuteronomy 31:23)
In Deuteronomy 32, we have a song Moses composed at God’s direction that would be a witness against the people. God revealed to Moses that the people would rebel and suffer God’s punishment. This song commends the greatness of God, as the Rock of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:3-4) It spells out again the curses that will come from their disobedience to the covenant. (Deuteronomy 32:20-26) The song promises compassion and healing on those who return to the Lord and those who remain faithful. Deuteronomy 32:36-43) Music has a way of getting into hearts. God’s Word sung by the people would stick with them. We still have it written down for us today!
Deuteronomy 33 records the prophetic blessings on Israel and the tribes by Moses right before he left them. These blessing tell of God’s love for His people. (Deuteronomy 33:3-5) He ruled over them with love and wanted their blessing and provision. The blessings in this chapter are filled with imagery from the recent wanderings. One again stands out to me today that I regularly claim. “Most blessed of sons is Asher: let him bathe his feet in oil. The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.” (Deuteronomy 33:24-25) May that be true of you and me!
Moses ends his journey by climbing Mt. Nebo in Moab and getting a bird’s eye view of the promised land. God took him through a panoramic tour, and then took him home. God buried him! (Deuteronomy 34:1-7) He was strong and vigorous and full of life to the last and he ever lives in God’s presence! In Scripture, he is last seen here on earth talking to Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration! (Matthew 17:1-3) What a man of God! I can’t wait to meet him someday!