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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018.12.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 10:29-43

Questions for Littles: Where did Joshua and Israel go in v29? What did they do there? Who delivered it and its king into the hand of Israel (v30)? Where did they go in v31? What did they do there? Who delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel (v32)? Who came and met them at Lachish (v33)? What did Joshua do to them? Where did Joshua and all Israel go in v34? What did they do there? To what does v35 compare their success? Where did they go in v36? To what does v37 compare their success? Where did Joshua and all Israel go in v38? What did they do there? To what does v39 compare their success? What land(s) had Joshua conquered at this point (v40)? How many of those that breathe did he leave alive? According to whose command did Joshua do this? What were their boundaries (v41)? Who fought for Israel (v42)? To where did they return (v43)?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, Joshua and Israel conquer the southern portion of the promised land, and utterly destroy all that breathes. This is often offensive to unbelievers, but this should not surprise us. Unbelievers are in cosmic treason against the Creator and King of the universe.

We deserve to be on the business end of Joshua’s sword—and we deserve worse still! If we think what happened to Libna, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, and Debir is rough; then, wait until what happens to every unbeliever at the judgment!! At Christ’s great white throne, there will be no “he was a decent person” or “they’re moving on to a better place.”

From the believer’s standpoint, what we see is God having made promises and given commands. Joshua and all Israel exert great effort, measurable in sweat and blood. But, ultimately, they are doing so at Yahweh’s command (v40) and upon Yahweh’s strength (v30, 32, 42).

While our battle isn’t against unbelievers so much as against sin and unbelief, we have an otherwise similar charge and similar strength. But it seems like often we do not have a similar success!

In 2 Corinthians 2:12-13, the apostle describes having a door opened for ministry in Troas, but being compelled by a continuing anxiety of spirit to go to Macedonia and look for Titus. It’s not the kind of stuff that gets written up in the “Journal of Ministry Success”—except when you see it through the eyes of v14, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

This is probably a direct allusion to the conquest. The Lord is always accomplishing what He intends in His church, in our lives, in the world. Our job is to obey His commands to us and rest upon His strength alone, as we seek to be “the fragrance of Christ.” Yes, many are perishing, but what a privilege we have to serve in the age in which Christ is leading us on a conquering tour also of redeeming an innumerable multitude of sinners!
Unto whom, in your home and out of it, are you an aroma of Christ on a regular basis?
Suggested songs: ARP72B “Nomads Will Bow” or TPH421 “Christ Shall Have Dominion”

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