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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

2018.09.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 1:10-18

Questions for Littles: Whom did Joshua command in v10? How long would be until they crossed the Jordan (v11)? What were they going to possess? Who was giving it to them? What did Joshua say to the two and a half tribes who had already received their inheritance east of the Jordan (v13,ff)? What had the Lord given them, in addition to land (v13b)? Who were to remain behind (v14)? But what were their men to do? What was the Lord giving to their brethren (v15)? When that was complete, what were the men of the two and a half tribes to return to their own land to do? How did the men of the two and a half tribes answer Joshua (v16)? Whom did they claim that they had heeded in all things (v17)? Whom did they pray would be with Joshua? What did they say they would do to anyone who disobeyed the commander in chief (v18)? What familiar “command” did they give to Joshua at the end of v18?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, preparations begin for crossing the Jordan. It is a good reminder of how obedience to the Lord works in the Christian life.

Israel as a whole, and the two-and-half tribes in particular, were not to obey because the promised land was a reward for obedience. They were not even to obey because their actions were what would get them the land. They were to obey because Yahweh was their God, and they were to obey because Yahweh was giving them the land as a gift, and whatever part He gave them was a necessary privilege in the process of His giving them everything that He had promised.

This is an excellent corrective to much of our wrong thinking in the Christian life. We don’t obey because we are trying to earn things from God. He loves to reward us, and He adds this to help us. But our obedience is first a function of loving relationship. Yahweh is our God. Yahweh in the flesh, Yeshua, Jesus Christ, is our Redeemer King. And we love to obey Him for that reason.

Just as the Lord would do much that was miraculous in the battles for the promised land, our entire Christian life depends upon the Holy Spirit’s continuous working of miracles in us. And yet, the Lord has also appointed to us particular duties in the process. We obey not because it depends upon us, but because He has given us the privilege of having this part!!
What obedience do you have trouble with? How might this perspective help?
Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH1B “How Blest the Man”

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