April 19, 2015

Our God Reigns

Joshua 1:1–3:17, 2 Corinthians 9:1–5, Psalm 47:1–9

Moses died and Joshua was thrust into leadership. He would take the Israelites across the Jordan into the Promised Land. He must have been fearful, for God said this, then told him several times not to fear . . .

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

Joshua, like Moses did forty years prior, sent in spies to check things out. He send only two men, and when they arrived at Jericho, they went to the house of Rahab and she hid them on the roof. Then she told them something remarkable that God had done . . .  

“Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, ‘I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.’” (Joshua 2:8–11)

The people of Jericho heard about the Israelites and the promise of God and fear melted their hearts. God took from them any fight they may have had because they realized that He was God Almighty. When Rahab told them this amazing thing, the spies did this . . .

“Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua, ‘Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.’” (Joshua 2:23–24)

Forty years prior, the spies Moses sent in said that the land was amazing, but the people were too many, too large, too frightening. They refused. So God led them in circles until that generation died. Then, He ramped up their reputations so that these two spies were ready to tackle their opponents and take the land God promised them.

I’m praying for people but this passage shows me that they need to hear about the great deeds of the Lord God so that their hearts will melt! I need to talk more!

The NT reading isn’t about melting hearts, but about making sure of my boasting. Paul said to the church at Corinth, “But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident.” (2 Corinthians 9:3–4)

If I talk the work of God in the lives of His people, I also need to be an encouragement and a support to those people. They need to live up to the claims that I make, not let me down because I’ve let them down.

The psalm for today just made me feel glad for God, glad for the power He has, glad that He gives so much to His people, even as we are so undeserving. Sunday is a day to sing praises, so these are words that do just that . . .

“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!” (Psalm 47:1–9)

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