ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 59

Lessons from the Book of Joshua

​Joshua 24: … the seed of Terah …

Since it was God speaking and He mentioned Terah, Abraham’s father, it confirms to me that God had dealings with Terah much like He had with his son. 

Genesis 11:31-32  And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt [settled] there.  And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. 

I’ve had course to study the maps and it was clear that a journey towards Canaan beginning from Ur could very well pass through Haran. 

Genesis 15:7  And He said unto [Abraham], I [am] the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 

God said He brought Abraham out from Ur but it was from Haran, Abraham must have started. It would mean that the initial directive to move to a place unknown was given to Terah who came upon Haran and decided to settle there. However, God who always works all things to His plan was actually calling Abraham through his father but Abraham didn’t hear God until after his father died and left him in charge.

Terah settled for less than what he potentially had access to. Who knows, maybe we could have been referring to Terah as the father of faith, the temporary holding place for the souls of dead saints before the cross of Christ would have been called the Bossom of Terah rather than the Bossom of Abraham and we would have been called the seed of Terah.

Anyway, it’s quite clear that God will accomplish what He set out to do. He invites us to partner with Him but should we drop the ball, His plan will not be stopped, He’ll simply call another to take our place.

1Kings 19:14-19  And Elijah said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, [even] I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  And the LORD said unto him … yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.  So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who [was] plowing [with] twelve yoke [of oxen] before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. 

1Samuel 13:13-14  And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him [to be] captain over his people, because thou hast not kept [that] which the LORD commanded thee. 

1Samuel 15:26-29  And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.  And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.  And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, [that is] better than thou. 

1Sa 15:29  And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent. 

My prayer, for myself and for you, is that God will not have a reason to replace us in His glorious eternal plan. 

Do not settle; I know I won’t.

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ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 58

Lessons from the Book of Joshua

Joshua 23:15-16 … The good land

Many years back, when I was posted to a region I’d never been and that most people in my life would avoid like a plague, I prayed and God said to me, “Anywhere you go with the promises I have made to you becomes your promised land”. Folks are fighting Israel for their land thinking it’s the land that makes them great but it’s the other way round; it’s the blessed people working the ground that make the land great. Baalam said, “I cannot curse those whom God has blessed” and David said of such blessed people, “Anything he lays his hands upon shall prosper”.

This was the story of Joseph in Egypt; he never let go of the promises of his God and he didn’t let go of the God of his promises and, therefore, he prospered in everything and in every place. “The passionate longing of all of creation is the manifestation of the Sons of God”. The earth, the land, the world is waiting for those who know what to do to make it blossom to step up and step in. It is those of us who walk in the consciousness of the promises that God has made concerning us in the scriptures that have access to the wisdom of God to bring out the best of anything.

Perhaps, the reason I am struggling is not because where I am is not good but because I am not good. It’s not because the land is not good for me but because I am not good for the land; I have not been good to the land; I have not be fair to the land; I have failed to help the land achieve its fullest productivity.  He said “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land but if you rebel, you shall be destroyed. These are the options, God has said so”. If you think and operate like this, you would realize quite quickly that God is everywhere and you can prosper everywhere but far beyond that, everywhere can be made to prosper once you get involved … once you get the divine aspect of your life involved.

The prosperity of your family is in your hands, the profitability of your place of employment is in your hands, the prosperity of your locality and your nation is completely up to you now. 

“Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”.

The blessing is literally everywhere you go. Numbers 23:8, Isaiah 1:9-10, Psalm 23:6

PS: I am still living in that much avoided region, God told me to stay and, till date, I have no reason to regret it. I am eating the good of the land. When He decides it’s time to move, I will follow Him.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 57

Lessons from the Book of Joshua

Joshua 23:14b-16 … Mr. Nice God

How do I put this? The good God promised and He fulfilled. He promised good and also promised bad things. If you follow what He told you, you get the good stuff but if you don’t, you not only miss the good He promised but you get bad stuff He said were the consequences of not following what he told you. Joshua didn’t mince words when he told Israel this, there was too much at stake.

Sometimes, I see and hear people trying to defend God’s stand on things and trying to make him seem less rigid, more permissive, less offensive and more politically correct. But I think it’s a mistake that would lead us into a trap of our own words somewhere down the line. God does not have a stand, He is. God is never right or wrong, He simply is. We are the ones who must choose whether to stand with Him and live or stand against Him and be ultimately destroyed. We are the ones who either agree with Him and thus be right or contradict Him and become wrong. 

Unfortunately, once this authoritative, unflinching position of God is presented, we immediately think of Him as being callously judgmental, uncaring and mean; that’s our training in fear kicking in. Although, God said of Himself by Himself that He loves judgment and will punish evil, the bible never says “God is punishment or judgment” or any of those dark things we fear, rather the bible says categorically that “God is love” and says also “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear.” We forget that as unflinching as He is in judgment, so He is in love.

Jeremiah 9:24  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. 

1John 4:16-18  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

God is good, yes, but God is not a nice guy. He’s not doing good stuff just so we can like Him. He’s not afraid for His reputation. He simply will not deny himself. He’s faithful … period. He is faithful to do you good and fulfill His promises of good to you if you stand with him and walk with Him but, should you choose to be against Him, be prepared for the consequences … although I much doubt that we can ever imagine the severity of the consequences just as we can’t comprehend the dimensions of His love.

Romans 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 

2Corinthians 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 

If you ever get the chance to speak with people, tell them the truth; there is too much at stake to be pursuing niceness and political correctness. You don’t have to be mean and unfriendly to tell even the bitter truth. Just say it as it is, prophesy as you have been commanded, step back and watch God work. 

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 56

Lessons from the book of Joshua

​Joshua 23:14a – All Aboard!

 … the way of all the earth …

This scripture could have easily read “the end of all the earth” but instead it says “the way”. Death has never been the end, it is merely the beginning of another phase in our journey of life. It’s like taking a bus or train to a major terminus so you can board another going on a much longer journey. Joshua knew this. As inevitable as death is to all of us, it is not the end of our existence.

Since this is so, it is not enough to have lived long and well, it is also important to leave well … to leave something behind that is worthy of emulation, commendation  and our intended destination. Since we know that we are going to meet someone who will assess and reward us for our time well spent here and a job well done, then we must live by the standards and syllabus of where and to whom we are going and not of where we are leaving behind.

2Corinthians 5:9-10 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. 
2Peter 3:11-14  [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 

What will be in the history books concerning me? What will I be remembered for? Once I am gone, people would choose to make of my life what they would and interpret my actions one way or another but I can make that choice for myself today, while I still have the chance to influence my legacy by my own hands. 

Proverbs 10:7  The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. 

The journey to eternity begins now; my next step matters.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 55

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:12-13 … these that remain…

I heard someone say, “Do not complain about what you allow”.

Marriage binds two people into a covenant of oneness; God will not violate that and chase them away for you.

The evil you let stand will eventually come back to bite you.

The blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow to it. God’s word cannot be broken. Whatever sorrow we have in the midst of our blessing is because we were snared and trapped and now scourges and thorns are being used to inflict blows on us. The bad thing about this scenario is we often choose and spring these traps by our choices and actions.

This reminds me of another scripture:

Galatians 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

When divine direction tells us to do something but we choose not to due to political correctness, we have simply laid our bed and we must lie on it as is … unless of course we repent.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC …PT 54

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:10 … one man, one God …

 

The estimated three million strong nation of Israel left Egypt and headed to the land of Canaan on foot. At some point in their trek, they were transformed from an escaping horde into a conquering army. It was in Deuteronomy 2:24 that God placed the occupation of the promised land in the hand of the people and He told them in a nut shell that they would occupy the land as they drive out the current occupants and “succeed” them in the land just as the children of Esau and of Lot had to do in order to occupy their various lands (Deuteronomy 2: 17-23).

I think it has always been God’s way with His people to let them take responsibility for their lives, with Him partnering with them, to make their lives as successful as can be rather than running their lives for them while they stood idly by and waited for the returns of God’s labour. Even if all you have to do is show up to see what God would do on your behalf, God will demand that from you. There is always what to do. I think this is the reason this verse is the way it is

Joshua 23:10  One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

It always takes a partnership between a man’s God and God’s man to bring to bear the kingdom of God on the earth.

 

2 Chronicles 20:14-26

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 52

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:7,9 … gods of play.

 

Joshua 23:7, 9  That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them … For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.

Joshua was pointing out to his people that the gods of the nations around them were not worth worshipping because of the obvious fact that Jehovah, the God of Israel, was able to overcome them and drive out their people who even seemed to be great [Hebrew for old, mighty] nations. One would think such a show of superiority in power was enough to permanently fix the heart of the nation of Israel to Jehovah God forever but ooooh no! Again and again the heart of Israel wandered after other gods following Joshua’s passing.

I think the major problem was Israel wanting to be like other nations around them (1 Samuel 8:5) and not really that they wanted to worship the mightiest God there was. They probably were enticed by the way their neighbours “worshipped” their gods cos it appealed to their sinful, carnal and selfish desires.

Exodus 32:6… and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The word translated here as “play” [Hebrew: A primitive root; to laugh outright (in merriment or scorn); by implication to sport: – laugh, mock, play, make sport. (Strong’s H6711)]  is also translated as “laugh” when Abraham, as well as Sarah, laughed in unbelief as recorded in Genesis 17:17, and 18:12; the same word is found in Genesis 26:8 when Jacob was “sporting” with his wife and the host king saw it as inappropriate unless they were married; the same word is found in Judges 16:25 when Samson was making “sport” for the Philistines.

So, I think whatever the Israelites were doing in their play around the golden calf, there was nothing reverential or worshipful about it and it was typical of the sort of play that the nations around them engaged in in the name of worship to their various gods.

Anyway, Joshua thought it wise to remind them to keep following the Almighty God, Jehovah, and not the other gods around them in spite of the obvious superiority because he knew that though the display of power was enough to make a believer out of someone, it was not enough to make a worshipper out of someone because worshipping involves a connection of hearts that goes beyond what God can do to who He actually is, loving Him for who we know Him to be and committing to following Him as long as we live with all our hearts and souls and might.

Joshua was not alone in this effort to remind us of the obvious.

2Pe 1:12-15  Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

2Peter 3:1-4  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?

Phillipians 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Stating the obvious may not always be complimentary but I’d say it is important. Considering how today’s world is doing all it can to expunge God from its consciousness, in spite of all the obvious signs and wonders in creation and in individual lives which testify of Him, and to replace him with anything that allows them to play as they wish, I’d say it is pretty important to repeat some things that are already obvious.