Thursday, April 18, 2013

Without the Lord

Joshua 24:7,8,10,11- ...He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, brought the sea upon them, and covered them...I gave them into your hand...and I destroyed them from before you...So I delivered you out of his hand...I delivered them into your hand.

Joshua was old and about to end his life and leadership role with Israel. They had crossed over the Jordan to secure the land God had promised them. Joshua, like Moses, was reminding the of all God had done for them. What HE did for them. Joshua was also telling them that when they disobeyed God and began to worship other gods instead the LORD's anger would burn against them and they would perish from this land He had given them (Joshua 23). He was prophesying their future.

But for now they were right in God's eyes. He had protected them as they crossed over the Jordan and caused them to win battle after battle to secure their land by giving the enemy into their hands. Perhaps they were good battlers, perhaps not. It was only by God's hand that they won.

When we come to Christ, it is the same way. It is nothing that we do to secure His salvation. We can't be good enough or work hard enough. We come when we have come to the end of some battle in our lives and we allow the Lord to step in. That thing that has kept us from giving our hearts to God was given into His hand. And He has delivered us.

God has spiritually given us: a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. (Joshua 24:13) This is our spiritual promised land. We did not labor or build or plant. All we had to do was receive what the Lord offered.

And what does the Lord ask in return? Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! (Joshua 24:14) Serve the Lord!

For many this seems old fashioned, for those days, not today. It is not what today's society would believe to be necessary. Days are getting short and it's time to take the Lord seriously. It's time to listen to His words that are timeless. It's time to put two and two together and realize there will be a day when we will have nowhere else to turn but God.

I was watching some of the Boston bombing news. I began to weep for the people in general. For those lost and questioning why these senseless things occur and who would even want to do this. I pray that God intervenes in some miraculous way in the lives of many, if not all, the people injured and their families, and those who viewed the events of the morning. I pray that once again people will begin to look up and not just to man. God can cause good to come out of evil. He can cause people to turn to Him. As long as we turn our backs on God, however, our enemy will strike.

We've had it all too good over the past several decades. Our belief that nothing can happen to us has been damaged. It has changed our attitudes. We keep upping the determination to be stronger and more secure. Reliance on self or government has replaced reliance on God. When they disobeyed God and began to worship other gods instead the LORD's anger would burn against them. Could that be happening? Don't laugh. Our reliance on all the good things we've had can be erased in a moment's notice. Even lives. But if we have stored up the things of heaven we can be content with little more than just enough. If we seek Him first all other things...all other necessary things...will be given to us. But most important is what He provides through His Son Jesus: eternal life. What more could a person want?

Joshua prophesied what would transpire for Israel. It has happened to us too in our attempt to eliminate God and serve the gods of our own choosing.

Joshua 24:15 - And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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