Joshua 13: 1—14:15
The Lord is urging Joshua to continue to conquer the Land. There is a danger here of them getting “enough” land to call it good and start making excuses to stop taking the Land the Lord has given them. He tells them, “Get it all! I am driving them out, I am giving it to, be sure to do just as I have commanded.” Rich Bruce, a professor of ours at bible school said, “The Israelites only ever occupied the Land that they believed God for.” Meaning, when they started following their own ideas their boarders would shrink. When they did not do just as the Lord commanded they left vibrant nations that practiced Idol worship in tact. Essentially, they were setting up their own traps. These people would lead them astray.
I’m not sure how motivating it is to tell someone “You are growing old and much land remains to be conquered.” But I will leave the motivating words to God. I also love how Caleb shows up, maybe to encourage Joshua and says, “Hey man, I’m still as strong as I was when we first saw this land, give it to me because I am about to set up shop here.
I’m slightly confused by the ending sentence of ‘And the land had rest from war,” because I feel like God just told them, “Hey, you still have Land to claim that I have given you.” It just makes me nervous for them because I feel like maybe they are just satisfied with part of the Promised Land, instead of following God and getting the whole thing? We shall see in the coming chapters. God will teach us, that we know for sure!
Luke 18: 1-17
In the story of the annoying widow, I was reminded of Moses saying he asked God so many time to relent and allow him to enter the Promised Land, God finally said, “Enough, don’t bring that up again!” This annoying praying, asking over and over is the kind of dependence that serves our prayer life well. When our first response is to beg God again like an annoying toddler, we are showing childlike faith. If He says, “Enough, don’t bring that up again,” you know you have done the most you can do!
God saves the people who ask for saving. You have to start there. Saying, “I am hopeless, helpless and need a savior,” is what causes the heavens to rejoice. “I have done this, and that, my insta looks perfect, I have nice car, I named it and claimed and have wealth, trust me you want me in heaven,” sets praises off in hell because your pride, just like Satan’s pride, is what you are claiming for salvation. I am going to tell you that if you could earn salvation, I would have done it. But God in His mercy, saw that in me and held out His hand and said, “Give me that burden Sarah, you can’t carry it but I can.” Before I could take His hand I had to get to the same point as that tax collector did. “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner!” Guess what happened? Begging for salvation did not heap more shame, guilt and pain on my shoulders. Jesus lifted it off and said, “Ok, girl, now we can get to living!”
Verse 11 jumped off the page today, probably because its spring and I have been thinking about how Jesus left the tomb after that awful Friday crucifixion. “Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiled sown from heaven.” It just made me think of how Jesus is called the Truth and He “sprung up from the earth,” and because of that the righteousness of Heaven smiles down on us who believe in Him. This psalm is a song of repentance and would have been sung when the Israelites needed God to restore and bless their obedience. The universal truth here is that righteousness definitely only comes from heaven, not from us.
Proverbs 13: 7-8
Pretending to be rich or poor is not the issue. The issue it this pretending keeps you from being spiritually rich. Rich people can buy their way out of a crisis, but sometimes that keeps them from relying on God.