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Showing posts from April 20, 2014

Tests

We often wonder why certain events happen in our life. We can consider them mistakes or missteps or circumstances outside our control but the following gives us pause to look at them in a different way. After Joshua led the people of Israel through seven years of war in the Promised Land all was good for a time; the land was at rest. But when Joshua and the other elders that had been a part of the war died, the people of Israel fell away from obeying God. They began to worship the idols of the nations and intermarry with their people. So God allowed their enemies to strengthen and conquer them. Here is what the writer of Judges says, "These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience)….They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord's commands, which he had given thei…

Call

What is the basis of God's responses to His children? In Psalm 91 we find three reasons that God responds to you and I. First, the Lord says, I respond "because he loves me." (Psalm 91:14a) The word "loves" used in this translation may better be translated "clings." God responds to those who cling to Him. His love is ever present but we see here that there is a response of dependence that is evident in the child. It is a desire to be near Him; to be in the presence of Him. It is not God's love for them but the child's evidence of love for God in the action of clinging. Second, He responds because the child "acknowledges my name." (Psalm 91:114b) The word "acknowledges" is the word "knows." The child honors, reverences, and deepens his relationship with His Heavenly Father. He has intimate experience with God and knows what God can do and trusts in that name. Finally, He responds because "he will call upon me…

Leaders

There is no such thing as "leading from behind," which is a statement of our current president. Joshua was a great example of one who knew how to lead. He spent forty years as an assistant to Moses in the wilderness. It was stated of him that even after Moses talked with God and then left, Joshua remained behind in the presence of God. It was a no-brainer when Moses died that Joshua would become the leader. Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. He conquered Jericho and divided the land into north and south by cutting it in half. Then he led the army for seven years in campaigns to the south and then to the north to capture all the land. At the end of his life, soon to die at 110 years old, he confronted Israel and confirmed the challenge before him and the people. He said, "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness….But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:14-15) This led the peop…