This week, in our family’s daily Bible reading, we completed Joshua. Though I had a few days of reading more ahead of time then a day of catching up due to Dietrich’s surgery, I’m keeping up with the reading in 2015. Joshua is a book of battles and distribution of lands, of defeated kings and cities, of warning and encouragement. Like Deuteronomy (or any other book of the Bible), there are lessons we can apply in our daily lives. Here are just a few that inspire me.
- Be strong and courageous when doing the will of God. When you are following His commands, you have no reason to fear. Joshua admonishes the Israelites over and over throughout the book to be strong and courageous, a message still applicable to the figurative battles we face today.
- Stand up and fight for your brothers (and sisters). Part of the Israelites had already been given their inheritance. The fighting men from those tribes were required to help their brothers in battle until each of them found rest in an inheritance of their own (Joshua 1:15). Our fight today may be as simple as speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, providing for a need when we are able, standing up for what is right, and maybe – on occasion – really fighting for our family in some way.
- God is willing to save even the worst of sinners. Rahab was a prostitute, yet she and her family were the only people in all of Jericho saved from destruction because she chose to help the Israelites (Joshua 2, 6:25). Rahab became a convert to the Israelite faith and is in the lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5).
- God’s way is the best way. Even when God’s commands don’t seem to make sense, He wants what is best for us. His timing is always perfect. When we force our will into His, we often get in the way of the big picture. Fortunately, God still works all things out for good (Romans 8:28). (*These promises remain true even if we do not see the fulfillment until heaven*).
- Consult God about big decisions. The Israelites made a treaty without consulting God (Joshua 9). This seems to set the course for the rest of their battles. Overall, they failed to drive out 100% of the enemy as God commanded them to do.
- Nothing is impossible for God. Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still during a battle and it happened! The Bible says of the event, “There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!”
The choice remains ours. God does not force His will on us. We are not robots made to follow Him without freedom of thought.