This passage caught my eye. It reinforces the principle that God blesses through his commands.
Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the LORD your God gave you. Now that the LORD your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Joshua 22:1–5)
When we follow God’s commands, for example, to put him first, we open our lives to his presence— which is always a blessing. When we love our neighbors we make it more likely we will have good relations with our neighbors. Obedience to God is a kind of co-operating with God; we work alongside him as he works in this world for good. And that feels good, too!
Claiming their inheritance
Here’s another thing that caught my eye while reading Immerse: Kingdoms this week:
But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them. (Joshua 13:14)
This is the inheritance Moses had given when he was in the plains of Moab across the Jordan east of Jericho. But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them. (Joshua 13:32–33)
The Tribe of Levi gets no land allotment! Why? They are already provided for. They are tribe who came to Moses’ side during the regrettable Golden Calf incident. The Levites will live distributed throughout the Promised Land. The tithe of the rest of the tribes supports them. God provides for their needs.
And…God is their inheritance. Again and again the book of Joshua makes the case that God himself is enough. Enough for the Israelites. Enough for us.
The Lord of all the Earth
Here’s what caught my eye today from our Immerse: Kingdoms reading:
Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. 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. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 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.” (Joshua 3:9–13)
"The Lord of all the earth….” Who is with his people? God! And not just the god of the Israelites, the God of heaven and earth. There’s some comfort in that!
Be strong and courageous
Over the next several weeks I intend to give you excerpts from our reading in the Immerse: Kingdoms readings— things that catch my eye. Take a look and see which of them speak to you. Here’s today’s:
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “…No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. (Joshua 1:1,5–6)
What would you do if you were convinced that God was with you?
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee, chocolate chip cookies, Apple products, small video projects, and the New England Patriots.