Joshua 1:9 “The Lord, your God, is with you everywhere you go.”
God never requires of you more than His grace can provide.
If anyone thinks the Bible is dull, boring, and uninteresting, I believe it is because they have not read it thoughtfully. With just a bit of effort and exercise of common sense and imagination, it throbs with life. Of course, it will remain uninteresting unless some effort is made to understand what is said. . . much less will it interest a person who has no intention of applying the truth to their lives and who doesn’t prayerfully seek guidance from the Author.
That must be true of every discipline. If someone just looks at words, and never considers meanings or possible implications or applications, it is understandable that they’d claim: “It doesn’t make sense to me. It is so dull and boring!” Such superficial dismissal of any great document reveals more about the “reader” than it does about the work.
For my part, each serious effort I invest in really contemplating Scripture yields some invaluable insight. And that is without my coming to the site with a set of conclusions already formed and simply seeking confirmation for what I already think I know! When I read, trying to be open and honest, I find some of the stories to be absolutely hilarious. I don’t ever intend to be irreverent, but some of those whom we hold in high, holy esteem really “blew it” on occasions. Then there are times when, like us, they face humiliating defeat and haunting memories of failure, or grief, or guilt that gnaws at their conscience, or loneliness. In examining Scripture, I do not see everything through stained glass. I see men and women of flesh and bone, angry, hurting, lost, searching, frightened, lonely, estranged from God, from each other, and even from themselves! They felt all the things you and I feel. And shining through all the clouds created by sin, there is the magnificent grace of God! Standing sovereign above all the chaos and confusion, the Lord God omnipotent reigns!
In the last post, we considered a Command which God gave to Joshua. It had some clear, specific instructions, each of which seemed to be unobtainable, unachievable if Joshua had been left to his own devices. I wish I could recall the details of a story I once heard about a minister who was speaking with a high-ranking military officer about the “Great Commission.” “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. . .” The minister was lamenting the enormous size of what seemed to be an impossible, unreachable, unachievable objective. After listening briefly, the officer said: “Sir, what are your orders?”
I’ve always been a “stickler” for giving credit where it was due and trying to be accurate and authentic in using such illustrations. Whether this story can be verified by Snopes, I can’t say for certain. It does, however, illustrate my point. Orders issued from Supreme Command, especially when they’re that clear, are not given to be discussed or debated. They are given to be obeyed.
Joshua isn’t given a lot of information. I’m not certain if he even knew what the outcome of the battle of Jericho would be before he undertook the assignment. That wasn’t his responsibility. His responsibility was spelled out clearly: “Be Strong, and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.” That was it!! Without putting it into words, it is as if God says: “The outcome isn’t your responsibility. I’m perfectly capable of handling that. What I expect from you is faithful obedience.”
Now, an interesting thought occurred to me: The demands of the command are out of our reach. We may huff and puff, flex our muscles, and strut and preen and pretend . . . but the truth is no rational person could look at such circumstances and the human resources and not feel it’s time to abandon ship. Run for cover!
Which brings me to consider something I discovered upon closer examination. Against what appears to be a hopeless backdrop, here’s a PROMISE: “THE LORD, YOUR GOD, IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO!
Clear as a bell. Perhaps that was God’s way of showing Joshua exactly “HOW” he could face an impossible circumstance. . . as well as the reason why he should. I’ve heard people say that God never commands you do anything without making provision that will enable to carry out the assignment.
Does this make sense to you? Do you understand what I’m trying to say?
There are so many instances in Scripture where we’re told that God is with us. Christ said “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you…Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” And when David wrote what we now know as the twenty third psalm, he declared he wouldn’t be afraid. . . even though he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. . . (Because) you are with me.”
I struggle at times for words. The limitations of my vocabulary simply won’t permit me to state this profound, simple, incredibly beautiful realization as convincingly as it deserves to be stated. At the risk of sounding redundant, that truth is said so often, in so many places, in so many ways, to so many people that it is certainly one of the most distinguishing characteristics of our Father who is in Heaven. He promised. He, who does not and can not lie, has promised to be with us always! It is a promise God has made to those who serve Him and seek to obey and follow Him.
That reminded me of another statement in Scripture: “Be content with such things as you have. . . for He has said: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” This doesn’t seem to be a time to try to be clever, but I can’t help thinking: “It is not important what you have in the way of challenges, or disappointments, or possessions. What matters most is who has you! If He really is with you, you can go out courageously and face what you have to face. You aren’t alone. If He really is with you, then it does not matter who’s against you! If He really is with you, you can stop running and hiding from Him. You can “Come Home” spiritually. You can face anyone or anything you must, and do it with hope and confidence if you really grasp that promise: “THE LORD, YOUR GOD, IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO!”
The demands at times may be more than you can meet, humanly speaking. Your problems may be insoluble, humanly speaking. The pain (of loss, or betrayal, or failure) may weigh so heavily upon you at time it seems unbearable. Identify the fear you face. The enemy which seems to have a stranglehold upon you. You may be absolutely correct in recognizing they’re too much for you. But not for Him! Every setback can set the stage for a comeback!
At the risk of sounding redundant, that simple, profound truth is said so often, in so many places, in so many ways, to so many people that it is certainly one of the most distinguishing characteristics of our Father who is in Heaven. It is said in Scripture so often, in fact, that God must have really wanted you to know that. Not theoretically. Not as something experienced by a Biblical character long ago and far away, or someone in secular history or fiction at a remote distance in space and time. This is YOUR truth, as much as it has been the strong foundation on which others stood. He promised. He, who does not and cannot lie, has promised to be with us always, everywhere!
Amen. Class dismissed.
God’s servant, your brother, friend, and fellow student