Scripture Nugget 1.31.2017
Scripture Read – Joshua 21-24
Nugget Joshua 23:5-6, 9-11, 14-16
“The LORD your God will push them back before you, and drive them out of your sight; and you shall possess their land, as the LORD your God promised you. Therefore be very steadfast to observe and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right or to the left, …. For the LORD has driven out before you great and strong nations; and as for you, no one has been able to withstand you to this day. One of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, as he promised you. Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. …. And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed. But just as all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the bad things, until he has destroyed you from this good land that the LORD your God has given you. If you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which he enjoined on you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land that he has given to you.”
Devotional thought: God Over-the-Horizon Promises require me/us to respond with Over-the-Horizon Faith. Here at the end of Joshua’s life, the Israelites have accomplished much in regards to occupying the Promised Land. The work isn’t totally finished; God’s work with humanity never is. But God’s promises stand and will be carried out. Our response is critical. Just as Israel’s devotion or lack thereof determines whether or not they realize the Lord’s promise, we must choose to love God first, our response is critical. “We love because God first loved us.” God gives us a genuine choice – the freedom to say “no” is what makes our choice to say “yes” so powerful. But if/when we choose “no”, even temporarily there is a consequence – God’s promise to punish. As we see in Lot (yesterday’s devotion) a propensity to stop short, we also see in the two and half tribes that stayed on the other side of the Jordan – they stopped short. Joshua exhorts the people to go all the way, or they will “perish quickly from the good land that he has given to you.” O God, that I not stop short of that which you are calling me to!