Friday, June 8, 2018

EmmDev 2018-06-08 [Faith among grasshopper hearts] God vindicates Joshua


God vindicates Joshua

God vindicated Joshua.
So often leaders have to prove themselves, but, as they go into the Promised Land, Joshua doesn't have to prove himself. God establishes him as the leader.

Our passage for today tells the story...
It's an interesting passage, it reads as though the narrator has ADHD! It's an excited and exciting narrative that jumps around between events and speakers and indicates the significance and momentousness of the events...

It starts on the previous day with Joshua telling the people to prepare themselves. Then it jumps to the next day with Joshua giving the priests instructions to go ahead of the people with the Ark of the Covenant. Then God gives Joshua the promise that He will exalt him, and then, in the same breath, He instructs the priests to stand in the river, but he doesn't say what will happen. Then Joshua is speaking to the Israelites giving them a William-Wallace-speech about how God will defeat the Canaanites, Hittites and all-the-other-ites before them. Then Joshua sends representatives of all the tribes to follow the priests and the ark and only then explains that the waters of the Jordan will be cut off so that they stand up in a heap.

If one reads on, there is a fairly orderly narrative of how it all happens...

But I love the chaotic excitement of the preparation. One gets a sense of the newness, the breathlessness and the importance of the events that are coming.

What God did for Moses and the Israelites by opening the Red Sea, He now does for Joshua by opening the Jordan River. It is a significant transition.

Sometimes we are involved in exciting endeavours that come to significant moments and important transitions. Whether we are leaders or supporters, we should allow ourselves to be excited about these moments.

Last Sunday I participated in the one year celebration of our Pretoria North Congregation. It is a unique congregation, and after a year of services, it moved from 2 services per month to 3. A significant moment that we celebrated with joy, pomp & ceremony, photographs and (of course) food!

It's vital that we get excited about these moments...

Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."
Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them.
And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.' "
Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD--the Lord of all the earth--set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap."      (Joshua2:5-13)

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