The Ways Of The Lord
Joshua 4 to Joshua 6
I had been reading the book of Joshua. Just a backgrounder to those who are not familiar with the biblical history, Joshua was appointed as the leader after Moses died. He accompanied Moses part of the way when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments and was one of the 12 spies of Moses who reported things to him, regarding the land of Canaan, when Moses was still surveying the land and the situation before conquering it. When Moses died, Joshua continued the mission of leading the Jews to the Promised Land until the Jews finally set foot in it.
The mission of obtaining the Promised Land was not instant and an overnight thing. As we all know, even Moses, whom God revealed this plan to, did not live to set foot in the land promised to him. It took them 40 years in the desert after their liberation from Egyptian slavery, impossible missions of passing through heavily fortified lands along the way, a series of strange instructions by God and miracles, before the Jews finally claimed this land.. The Lord tested the Jews and they constantly failed in their faith, even replacing God with a golden calf idol. God, however, kept His promise to Moses. His Word became truth. Once the Lord decides on something and offers it to us, He doesn’t back down on His Word.
We can see from here that the Lord indeed blesses us but in ways we cannot understand. Why does He write in crooked lines? We are not in the position to analyze this, except know that He is all-good, all-knowing, and He only desires what’s best for all of us. If we trust in His goodness, then we should believe in the goodness behind everything that happens to us, whatever our situation is. He allows things to happen for good reasons.
Were Joshua and the Jews special, for them to be feared of by kings of big nations fortified with thick walls? No. It was the witness of God’s power that made them and the Ark Of The Covenant invincible and feared of. The news of miracles left and right starting from the parting of the red sea, to the sun and moon to standing still at Gibeon, upon Joshua’s request to God, so that he could finish the battle in daylight. The Jews were actually nobody. They were nomads, people who were displaced in the desert for 40 years, ate nothing but manna in the desert. Yet the Lord was with them. Every battle they fought, they won.
Before every victory was won, the Lord left instructions for them. They were all aimed at keeping themselves holy and clean, rather than being prepared for any war. This reminds us that God favors those who keep themselves clean, morally, and spiritually, and His blessings are in abundance, if we do so.
In the New Testament, when Jesus healed the lepers and other sick people, He would say, “Go, your sins are forgiven.” It is our wrong lifestyle, wrong values in life, and wrong eating habits that make us sick. Sins make us spiritually and morally weak, and weak as a whole.God gave the Jews special instructions and the Jews listened. They were told to circle around the walls of Jericho several times and play the trumpet as a victory for the Lord, and they were welcomed by their enemies willingly. These instructions from God were for the Jews to remind them of who is behind their every victory. They were lessons of humility.
Likewise in our life, we neAed to remind ourselves that the Lord is behind our every success, and not our efforts. I have seen people more hardworking that anyone, but they seem to be hard up still, maybe because they don’t possess the right attitude, love towards others, they are proud, and their world evolves on themselves and their own needs.
We need to recognize God as our Creator, our Father, our Salvation (made available through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice), and know His goodness and the extent of His power over everything. The Lord is greater than any trial or suffering in life. He has the power to triumph even death. If we do believe in this, and we stay in His grace, we can be assured that the Lord will always be on our side, and we will be blessed.
We should not focus on the blessings nor the things that we want to happen, but instead, focus on the One who provides us with such, and the possibility His answers to our prayers be answered in entirely different and unfamiliar ways to us. It’s all about humility, admission of our dependence on Him, and our total submission to Him. It all about our relationship with Him. Things happen in God’s time, not our time. God’s time may take a long time, but if we patiently take one step at a time and stay true to Him, we will eventually get there.