Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019.01.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 13:1-6

Questions for Littles: What was Joshua’s condition in v1? What does the Lord tell him about himself? What does the Lord tell him about the land? What two people’s land still needed to be conquered (v2)? Where was the Geshurite land (3a)? To whom did the five regions/cities in 3b belong? What other lands needed finished clearing (v4-6a)? According to God, who would drive them (out)? What part does He assign to Joshua? 
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we’re coming to a transition point already. Basically, the conquest is over except for the paperwork and the closing remarks. And we’re halfway through the book.

That’s because Joshua isn’t really a book about military battles won.

It’s a book about power displayed. It began with “Moses, My servant, is dead.” It has proceeded to “You are old, advanced in years.” But at the beginning, it was still, “I will be with you.” And even here, it is still, “I will drive them out from before the children of Israel.” Seasons of church history, along with entire lives of believers, come and go. God’s power is forever.

It’s a book about promises kept. It began with a promise to Joshua that the Lord would be with him. Fast forward to a conquered and almost-completely possessed land, and now Joshua is old, advanced in years. And the Lord has been with him. The. Whole. Time. Not only that, but this land is an inheritance. 2.5 tribes got theirs on the other side of the Jordan. 9.5 remain on this side.

And certainly not because of any faithfulness on their part. Since Leah and Rachel got into their little maidservant-assisted arms race, the story of these 12 has pretty much been, “Really Lord? These are the fathers of the church? These are 12 of the 24 pillars of the congregation in glory?” It’s all grace. God’s gracious keeping of God’s gracious promises, because God is faithful. The entire theme of the book is found in 21:45 and again in 23:14—“Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”

And it’s a book about progress in redemption. Here are the people from whom Christ would come. His father David would eventually subdue the Philistines in a way that none of the judges ever could. Here is the land where Christ would live and die and rise again for us. And the land from which the good news of Christ crucified and risen would go out into all the world.

That’s ultimately what every book in the Bible is about: the praise of God’s glorious grace to sinners, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. And whether this is the day that you come to believe in Christ, or just one of many days in which you live and love and serve obediently through faith in Him, that’s what this day of your life is about too. The praise of God’s glorious grace to sinners, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be faithful. Be obedient. But remember that it’s not by your faithfulness, but by the power and promises of God!
In what circumstances of your life right now (hint: just name whatever your circumstances are!) is God demonstrating His power and His faithfulness to His promises? 
Suggested songs: ARP90B “Teach Us to Count Our Days” or TPH90A “Lord, You Have Been Our Dwelling Place”

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