Friday, August 06, 2010

Have started studying Joshua. Four times in the first chapter the words "be strong and courageous" are used. Note two of these times....

1:7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.

The beginning thought and the end thought of this section are "be strong and courageous". Sandwiched right in the middle is the counsel to be obedient; radically obedient. Be careful to obey ALL the law; do not turn; do not let the law depart from your mouth, do everything written in it.

Remember that 37 years before this command was given, the Israelites had failed to enter the land because of lack of courage. They had wandered for 37 years in the desert until all the men over 20 years old died. God did not want a repeat. They did not want a repeat. They needed courage to be obedient; to move into the land and take it; to be the purveyor of God's justice in a totally evil culture. They needed the strength and the courage to obey; to faithfully obey.

Be strong and courageous: VERY hard to do when the siren song of sin is calling you to move away from God. Radical, 100% of the time, doing everything that God desires obedience is tough. It takes strength of character, it takes sustained courage of conviction - it is just plain hard.

What is God saying to me? What is he asking of me? Do I have the strength to radically obey regardless of the circumstances? Do I have the courage to stand in the face of evil and obey? Do I have the depth of faith to totally obey? Am I strong enough to walk in faith when my emotions tell me to walk another way? Good questions......... Something to pray for and to prepare for - I know that the day that I need to be strong and courageous is coming.

PS Note what the result of radical obedience it: then you will be prosperous and successful. Quite a promise.

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