Joshua 9 Part 1–Don’t Worry God, We Got This?!?

Why did the leaders of Israel make a treaty with the Gibeonites? Every other major decision that happened was preceded by Joshua entering the tent of meeting and consulting the Lord.  God led them through forty years of travel and finally into Israel. Now as they had begun the campaign to clear the land, all the kings decided to unite and go to war–all but the king of Gibeon.  These descendants of Ham (Noah’s son) created a very thoughtful deception and came to the people of God and asked for a treaty.  

It was at this point, where we expect to read, “Then Joshua sought the Lord and …” Sadly, that did not happen that day.  Israel was winning and Joshua was leading by faith.  So, when these travelers from a distant land came to make a treaty, Joshua and his elders felt like they could handle this small task. They did not want to bother God with such a small thing…

In truth, no matter how much we try, as God’s chosen, all of us figure we should help God out from time to time. We seek Him and follow, and He protects, provides, and prepares us for the daily journey.  Then, on any given day, we are faced with an opportunity to make a small decision or take matters into our own hands. Like Joshua, we are either too busy or too distracted to stop and seek the Lord. Then we blunder ahead and make a choice that has very long-term implications.

These people were never wiped out; and remnants of their place can still be found in Ethiopia. They were always servants, but they were never destroyed. They remained attendants to the tabernacle and the temple–Ironic.  God remained true to His people’s covenant–even though it was one He had no part of negotiating.  Jesus said it best, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and, all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

God Bless You


However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[a] with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”

“We are your servants,” they said to Joshua.

But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

The Inevitable Nature of God’s Handiwork–Genesis 43 Part 1

They would not mind telling you–The brothers were not looking forward to going back to Egypt.  Sure, they had to go and retrieve Simeon–but, that Governor guy was mean and Israel was pretty clear about his letting Benjamin make the trip.  Still, hunger was setting in.  Wives and kids were affected–so despite the desire to avoid the conflict, The brothers knew they had to go back.  It is interesting, however, that Judah was the leader of the brothers–he personally pledged his life for the family and for Benjamin.  His heart, his response was a picture of what was to come for the lineage and the legacy.
 
It was inevitable that Joseph’s brothers would return to face him and it was inevitable that Judah the patriarch of the lineage of our Lord would be the family member willing to sacrifice his life for the lives of his brothers.  God does not wing it! He knew from the beginning of time that this day would come and this journey would happen.  He also knew that its outcome would change the course of the people of Israel and the world.  There would be no plan B.  Plan A was perfect down to the foreshadowing it exposed.
 
He is as careful in planning in our lives.  So much that we face seems random and meaningless–but, then as we continue to trust and follow him; his glorious plan is revealed, and our lives and legacies are exposed to the glorious power of God.  It is neither easy nor fun–but, it is amazing and can truly change the world–if we allow it.  It may not change today or tomorrow–but our lives, in God’s hands, will inevitably impact the lives and the world we know.
 
God Bless You
 Now the famine was still severe in the land. So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”But Judah said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”

Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”

They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’ We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10 As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.”

Real Faith Testing–Genesis 22 part1

Most of us will find a way to accept the cards we are dealt. Illness, financial reversal, problems in relationships all are sources of anxiety and pain, but with time can be endured. BUT, when you start messing with our kids–that is a different story!

God told Abraham to take his son and kill him as a sacrifice. What’s more, Abraham got up the next day and set out to do what God said…HOLD the phone. Abraham trusted God not only with his life and his stuff–But with the son God promised him for nearly a century!

That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness. We have to be willing to trust God with our lives, our stuff and yes…our kids. He will do what he has planned. We must pray for them, love them, be a Godly example, BUT, ultimately release them into his care. Uuuugh that is the hard part–that is real faith.

God bless you

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

Revelations 1 Part 2–Yes Sir!

What would you say if you were told by God himself to write a message to send to the Communities of believers that were to typify the Church for ages to come…Yes Sir!  Prophetical books do not make the best devotions, but the reality is they do show that God does have a plan and will execute it.

The critical thing for John and for us is to listen and to respond.  John suffered much persecution but remained faithful–now God would use him to prepare us for the end of days.  We can never know how God will use us.  We simply need to be available and listening.  Beyond that, we can rest assured, that God will provide all we need.

Help me, Lord to be available and attentive to your lead.

God Bless You

 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kin gdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.