LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
Joshua 13:14, 33 – Sacrificial Living.
Everybody was getting their pieces of the action and their share of the national cake. It could have looked like some sort of “name it and claim it” season and everyone was doing it. But it was to be different for the family of priests. Not because they were not militant enough but because God said it would be different for these people.
As my wife shared with me recently, “our lives are run by what is written, not by what is happening”. Even if what is happening is good, such as was the case at this point in the history of Israel, it doesn’t mean it is meant for everyone.
Does this mean that God doesn’t want His people to get the good stuff? Certainly not! He gives everything that’s needed for life and godliness. In verse 14, he gave them what they needed for life and in verse 33, he gave them what they needed for godliness. God is faithful.
In view of the preceding thoughts, I find it interesting that the Levites still joined the rest of Israel to conquer the land. They weren’t to inherit any particular portion as a tribe so they had nothing at stake, so to speak, and no direct benefit from putting their lives in danger on the battle field. Yet, there is no record that the Levites laid down their arms and watched the rest of the tribes go to war.
Many of us in similar situation might have done differently; we are mostly reluctant to endanger ourselves purely for the benefit of someone else. We either kick down the entire project or disengage from it and watch passively.
The last time you felt you were due for a promotion and someone else got picked, how did you respond to the job thereafter, especially when instructions came from that person who took your spot? Did you share your ideas as readily as you used to or did you just “leave them to do their thing”?
That time, in the choir, when you had prepared to lead the song and you got passed by, did you put in your best effort in singing from the background with the rest of the team or did you sulk throughout the rehearsals and all the way to the service?
How about when you were asked to contribute financially to get someone on the team a birthday gift whereas no one remembered yours the last time?
So you see, it takes a priestly attitude to stand for someone with no benefit for yourself. Since you and I have been called to be priests, I think we have no other choice of life style and mind set. Think about our elder brother, the first born of the family, Jesus the Christ, in whose image and likeness we have been designed and to whose image we are predestined to be conformed.
We have no other calling than to sacrifice.
The way up is down.
Philippians 2: 1-11, John 15:13.