Joshua 11:15 Joshua Obeyed Moses’ commands

Joshua 11:15 (KJV)
As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.

 

That Joshua was the man of God for his hour was indisputable.

  • The Lord has appointed him to replace Moses
  • The Lord had parted Jordan River under Joshua as a sign of his authority
  • The Lord had spoken to Joshua even as he had to Moses
  • The Lord had given Israel great victories under Joshua

 

Joshua could have reasoned that he had never experienced the many rebellions and murmurings against his leadership Moses did and neither had he been rebuked and not allowed to enter the Promised Land as had. He could have manipulated this thinking into reasons not to have obeyed the commands of Moses. Joshua was of a different character than that. Moses was not there to supervise him and Joshua was a powerful leader in his own right. Still he honored the structure of authority.

  • God commanded Moses
  • Moses commanded Joshua
  • Joshua obeyed Moses

Would to God we had more of this sort of character among those proclaiming themselves to be men of God. So many today believe that

  • their college degree
  • their ordination paper or
  • their title as pastor

frees them to run away from the leaders God placed before them. Moses was gone. But Joshua obeyed Moses still.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 11:15 Joshua Obeyed Moses’ commands

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1 Peter 2:6 Clearing Up Confusion

1 Peter 2:6 (KJV)
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

 

This world can be a confusing place. Relationships can be confusing:

  • Livelihoods can be confusing
  • Politics can be confusing
  • Moral positions can be confusing
  • Finding purpose and meaning can be confusing
  • Questions of eternal consequence can be confusing

 

The Bible here tells us how to clear out the confusion. It is in believing on Christ. But be careful. To many this is a spiritual technicality. They believe that they believe in Christ and therefore have honored this text and yet they still find their lives are confused. The passage says “believe on Him.” That is:

  • to put faith in him
  • to trust him
  • to lean on him

There is a chasm that stands between saying, “I believe in Jesus” and truly trusting Jesus.

  • When I trust him I believe him concerning relationship issues such as my place in marriage or in raising children
  • When I trust him I believe his message about moral issues regardless of what others say and do
  • When I trust him I believe him in issues of calling and purpose for life
  • When I trust him I know that no man cometh unto the father except by him

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

1 Peter 2:3 Clearing Up Confusion

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Joshua 9:4 No Deals Cut With God

Joshua 9:4 (KJV)

They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

 

Rahab the harlot establishes that, had any of the Canaanites repented, they could have been spared. Unfortunately, that is not what most of them did.

  • Some walled themselves away inside their fortresses (but God tore them down)
  • Some banded together as one against Israel
  • Some feared God’s judgment but chose to fight instead of repent

 

 

Gibeon chose to work wilily, to use trickery and deceit. Their plot appeared to work on the surface. They did get a treaty of peace, but in doing so they incurred the wrath of the world around them and, what is worse, no real relationship with the people of God.

 

Churches today are filled with Gibeonite type people. These are the ones attempting to cut a deal with God. They pretend to be something they are not hoping that, if they can convince the Christians, they can convince God to spare them. Their strategy will not work. All they really succeed in doing is

  • To alienate themselves from the world
  • To frustrate their relationship with Christians
  • To bind themselves as prisoners from saving faith and
  • To ultimately end up eternal lost in hell

All of this (except the wrath of the world) could have been avoided if only they had sincerely repented and asked for salvation.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 9:4 Repentance

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James 5:10 The Prophets’ Suffering

James 5:10 (KJV)

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

 

The Bible points us to the prophets and lifts them as an example, not for preachers alone, but for all believers.

Our example of Christian living is not:

  • David’s influence
  • Solomon’s glory
  • Abraham’s wealth

as our example. We are told to take for our example the prophets’ suffering.

 

Not every Christian is called to suffer affliction but every Christian should follow the example of these sufferers.

 

Patience is a virtue all Christians do best to have and practice.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 5:10 The Prophets’ Suffering

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Joshua 7:5 No Acceptable Loss

Joshua 7:5
And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

 

The first attempt by Israel to take Ai involved two to three thousand men and resulted not only in their defeat but the loss of thirty-six lives. That’s approximately 1-2% and would probably be considered an acceptable loss in most operations of combat.

 

It was obviously not acceptable to Joshua. It was not acceptable to those families most closely affected. These thirty-six had:

  • parents
  • uncles
  • brothers and
  • sisters

They very probably had

  • wives and
  • children

They were not only soldiers but

  • citizens of Israel
  • members of their tribe in Israel and
  • relatives of their family in that tribe

 

With their loss came the loss of hopes, futures and industry. Their wives would need comfort. Their children would need instruction. They would not be there to claim their portion of the Promised Land. They would not be there to help increase their tribes opportunities in the Land.

 

They are lost.

 

All because one man chose disobedience, selfishness and covetousness.

 

Some would accuse Achan’s punishment of being harsh. Why death? Why his family? Why his goods with him? Because this one man’s actions, and his family’s decision to help him in the act, stole all these and more:

  • from the thirty-six
  • from their families and
  • from the promises of God

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 7:5 Consequences of sin

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Joshua 5:13-14 No Fight In Them

Joshua 5:13-14
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

 

That this was in fact, the work of God and not the exercise of Israel against the Canaanites is obvious by at least three things that are recorded early on in this book:

Verse one says of the Canaanites that, because of the children of Israel, their hearts melted and they had no spirit in them.

There was no will in them to fight the Jews. There was no fight in them at all.

Verses two through eight says that the children of Israel circumcised every male among them not before, but after they entered into the Promised Land.

They would have been easy prey for the Canaanites had they had the spirit to attack them. This reminds me of the vicious dealings of Jacob’s children, the forefathers of these Jews, when they tricked the people of Shechem into circumcising and then killed them all while they were too incapacitated to fight. God exposed Israel to the same danger, but did not allow the Canaanites to exploit their opportunity.

Chapter six verses eight through nine says that, when Israel marched around the walls of Jericho, they announced their coming with priests blowing trumpets.

Not only did they expose themselves to the dangers of enemy soldiers on the wall and they did not attack, they let the enemy know they were there.

 

God was orchestrating the events between Israel and the Canaanites so that there was no real grudge the Jews had against the Canaanites, nor were the Canaanites particularly opposed to the Jews. Each side knew that this was the work of God in their midst.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 5:13-14 No Fight In Them

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James 2:8-11 KJV Guilty of a “Lesser Commandment”

James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

 

We tend to associate James 2:10 with the verses following it regarding two of the Ten Commandments; against adultery and murder.  It is key, I believe, to associate it also with the verses preceding it regarding what might by many be considered a lesser commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 

This “lesser commandment” though not found among the ten, is part of those laws of the Old Testament[1] and was especially singled out by Christ as second only to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine…[2]

 

Two things come to mind:

  • The importance of loving and respecting all persons
  • The serious mistake of attempting to earn righteousness through these laws

If a man is trying to earn his righteousness through keeping the law and just one time prefers one man above another he has committed a sin as heinous as adultery or murder.

 

God offers a better righteousness through faith in Christ. His righteousness liberates us to then practice good works for the sake of the work and not as a futile effort to please God in the flesh.

[1] Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

[2] Matthew 22:37

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 2:8-11 Offend in one point

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James 1:26 Useless Faith

James 1:26
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

 

There is a difference between our salvation and our religion.

 

Salvation is the securement of our soul into a heavenly position

It is the result of the reconciliation of our sins with a holy God through faith in the sufficient work of Christ on the Cross.

 

Religion is the resulting practice of our faith

It is the useful exercise of our spiritual position for the sake of others.

James here makes it perfectly clear that our religion can be vain:

  • empty
  • useless
  • of no real good

 

His application here has to do with the tongue.[1] When we do not bridle our tongues and bring it into submission so that our speech is “alway with grace, seasoned with salt” we do harm to some, we fail to encourage and help others and we make the practice of our faith (though not our salvation) useless.

[1] I do not think it to be the only way we might make our religion vain, but it is certainly a common way.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 1:26

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Joshua 4:2-3 Just for Today

Joshua 4:2-3
Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

 

The twelve men drew these stones out of Jordan and Joshua built the memorial alter from them long before they had won the Promised Land. They hadn’t even spent the night there yet. God had them do this as a memorial of the day because; any day later than this would be too late.

  • They would never be in the same place they were this day again.
  • They would never see the Jordan River stand on a heap again.
  • They would never spend their first night in the Promised Land again
  • They would never again look into the Promised Land with the same faith and expectation they did this day again

They needed a record of the day as the day unfolded. They probably could have, at a later date, figured out a way to get twelve stones from the river, but never would they have opportunity to remove them from the dry riverbed again. To look back and recreate the day would never be the same as to mark the day itself.

 

It is for this reason I believe that we ought to journal, mark and record our lives day by day. I do not know that today marks a change in the rest of my life but neither do I know it doesn’t. Every day is a treasured gift from God and ought to be viewed that way.

 

Pull out some stones just from today and build an altar here.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 4:2-3 The Value of Daily Journaling

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Hebrews 10:14 Perfected For Ever

Hebrews 10:14
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

The point of the verse is the phrase “by one offering“. The apostle wants us to see the effectiveness of the offering of Christ. In doing so he makes a secondary claim that is of immense blessing to those who are saved; we have been “perfected for ever“.

 

What God has done and is continuing to do in me as a Christian, and in every Christian everywhere, is a forever thing. It never ends. It isn’t revoked at some moment of sin in my life. No contract is broken if I am unable to keep my end of the deal. At the moment of my salvation God made me perfect in Christ Jesus. That is justification. For the rest of my life of earth God continues to work in my heart and soul for victory over sin and perfection in Christlikeness. That is sanctification.

 

God’s covenant with the believer is a for ever one.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 10:14 God’s Covenant is For Ever

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