Wednesday, May 30, 2018

EmmDev 2018-05-30 [Faith among grasshopper hearts] Stay on track

Stay on track

The Hebrew word used for God's Word implies a road or a pathway. When we face big challenges and have big shoes to fill, our strength and courage is greatest when we are on the right path. As God gives Joshua his marching orders, He refers him to a safe pathway - God's Law.

But what was "the Law"?
Joshua didn't have a full Bible. He only had the laws given to the people on Mount Sinai and in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. His "Bible" didn't have Psalms, prophets, or New Testament.

So how does a bunch of ceremonial and moral laws give courage, strength and success in a dangerous mission?
These laws reveal the character and nature God and provide the ethics of a just and caring society. A quick glance at the Ten Commandments reveals this:

  1. No other Gods - this is obvious - when we take our eyes off the one true God we will sink in the brokenness of the world.
  2. No idols/graven images - The minute we try to draw God or make a statue of Him, we begin to limit Him and shape Him according to our own desires.
  3. Don't misuse God's name: when we use God's name for our purposes instead of in worship we shipwreck ourselves.
  4. Remember the Sabbath: Take time to slow down and remember that everything comes from God.
  5. Honour your parents: It is easy to discard the elderly and when we do this society crumbles.
  6. Don't murder: Life isn't cheap
  7. Don't commit adultery: Marriage is a stabilising force for society
  8. Don't steal: Taking without earning creates a downward spiral that devalues work and human dignity.
  9. Don't lie: Truth holds society together
  10. Don't covet: Unbridled ambition and greed destabilises society

Joshua is called to create a Godly, just and caring society. This society needs to be under-girded by values and principles. These values are the worship of God, the valuing of life and property and the reining in of the vices of greed and ambition.

Joshua isn't being asked to have a daily QT reading a psalm or proverb each day. He is being asked to build a society on values and principles that reveal God and create a just society.

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."      (Joshua1:6-9)

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