Category Archives: Joshua

Stay clean

“But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will not longer drive out these nations before you.”  Joshua 23:12-13.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Joshua 23-24, Psalm 44, and 1 Corinthians 11.

There is a truth within these verses that I can apply to myself: I am in the world, but the world doesn’t have to be within me.

I cannot help but be in “association” with those who are not in a relationship with God.  It just must be.  Since this is a given, I must make the Godly-most of interactions.

Today’s verses remind me that those associations with the godless must not draw me into sin.  I cannot condone evil or participate in it.  I cannot “enjoy” godless things.

Today’s verse implies that God will leave me when I choose to leave Him.  That is totally frightening.  I cannot survive the way I want to survive when I am apart from Him.  I must do everything to remain short-leashed to Him.  I must have Him with me and I must be intentional about making that happen.

“Lord, I need You every second and in everything that I do.  Prick my conscience when I am loose from You.  Show me Your Way.  That’s where I want to be.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Are we letting ourselves be contaminated by the world we live in?

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I am ready and willing

“Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”  Joshua 14:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Joshua 12-14 and 1 Corinthians 7.

Caleb, what a guy!

Is there a better role model in the Old Testament?

He consistently relies on God and does what God wants him to do.  He is willing to take on anything, if God is with him.  Plus, he’s an old-timer. (I can identify with that!)

There is no question that the territory Caleb is willing to take over is well fortified but that doesn’t matter to Caleb.  If God is with him, he’s all in.

Think back to when the Israelites were told not to attack by Moses and yet did it anyhow.  On their own, a disaster resulted.

I cannot proceed with my life if God is not with me.  If I know that I have not brought Him into my planning, I am a fool of the highest order to proceed.  I risk disaster.  However, if I have prayed through my plans, then all of my options are open and He can get me to where I can best represent Him.

“Lord, may I always insist on having You with me.  I can do no good thing apart from You.  I need You every second.  I surrender today to You.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

God must be involved in our planning or we’re heading for disaster.


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Cart before the horse

“The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.”  Joshua 9:14.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Joshua 9-11 and 1 Corinthians 6.

Have I given God control of my life?

Good way to find out is to examine my decision-making process.  Do I start things and then ask God to bless me?  That’s backwards for anyone supposedly controlled by God.

Joshua and the Israelites fell into this mistake when the Gibeonites came calling.  The result for the Israelites was that they signed an agreement with folks that they were supposed to destroy.

I live in a culture that prides itself on being able to make decisions.  Make the right choice after gathering facts.  Knowing what is best.  All that independent-thinking stuff.  But the Godly must NOT do things that way.  Why?  God can see the “big picture.”  We can’t.  We see through a glass darkly.  God knows what is best. We need to inquire of Him.

I claim to belong to God and I beg for His control of my life.  How then can I make decisions without interacting with God first?  When I plow ahead on my own, I am displaying a godless independence that leaves Him out.  I can’t do that!

“Lord, forgive me for making choices without Your involvement.  I do not know what I should be doing as well as You do.  I beg You for directions.  I beg You for wisdom.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Made any decisions lately without consulting God?  It’s a bad place to be.

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God, why are things going so badly?

“Go, consecrate the people.  Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel.  You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.’” Joshua 7:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Joshua 7-8, Psalm 69, and 1 Corinthians 5.

God is talking to Joshua in today’s verse.  The Israelites have just lost a battle that they expected to win.

Joshua wonders how this was possible and why God let it happen.  Joshua realizes that other nations will now feel able to attack and wipe out the Israelites.  He’s scared!

God explains that the orders He gave to the fighters were ignored by one of them.  The result? The soldiers fought without His help…….and lost.

The lesson is: Apart from God I can keep going but the results I will get will be my own.  In the Old Testament, those functioning apart from God met disastrous consequences. Think David, as an example.

I was in 1 Peter 3 at Bible study this morning.  In that chapter is a verse that tells me that if I am not doing what God wants me to do regarding my wife, my prayers will be hindered.

My life must be clean before God.  He will bless me if I do.  That doesn’t always mean that I will win the Super Bowl but it does mean that no matter what happens He is with me.  That is the greatest comfort there can be!

How often have I been like Peter in the courtyard, behaving in a way that says that God is not Someone I am connected to?  Too often.

Getting God’s blessing is simple: Interact with Him 24/7 to learn what He wants me to do and then do what He wants with my whole heart.

“Lord, some things are so obvious.  I want You to bless me.  I want to do what You want.  Both of those are within my reach if I will totally surrender to You.  I do that now.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Got anything hidden under your tent?  Achon did.

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God is awesome!

“’He did this so that all the people of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that they might always fear the Lord your God.’ Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.” Joshua 4:24 & Joshua 5:1.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Joshua 3-6 and 1 Corinthians 4.

Stories like this one are important.  Why?  Because they reveal our awesome God in action.

How easy to lose sight of what we have in Him.  A problem comes along, and we try to take it on apart from Him.  We forget His capabilities.

In today’s story, God dries up a river and allows 40,000 soldiers to cross it.

Note the reaction of the temporary residents of The Promised Land: They were scared stiff!

There are commands in the Old Testament that are not reconfirmed in the New Testament.  Those commands no longer apply.

BUT there are Old Testament stories of God in action that must be kept in mind these days when trouble is ahead.  Why? That OT God has lost none of His power.  There is nothing He can’t correct or accommodate.  He has our back!

“Lord, You are a great God.  There is none like You!  Thanks for the stories of You in action.  Thank You that You are still that God Who is always above the fray, in charge ‘til the end.  I trust You, Lord.  I love You, Lord.  Help me to rightly represent You the rest of this day.  Guide me, I beg.”

There is no “river” that God can’t get you across if He chooses to.


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Where does our strength come from?

“I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you – also the two Amorite kings.  You did not do it with your own sword and bow.”  Joshua 24:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Joshua 23-24, Psalm 44, and 1 Corinthians 11.

This is God talking in today’s verse.

God doesn’t want the Israelites to get the impression that their victories in the Promised Land were of their own doing.  God made it happen.  He filled in the details that accomplished the action.

How dare we ever credit ourselves for anything.  God gives us the means to do things.

We know with certainty when our actions are done in opposition to His wishes.

I must be willing to be used by Him.  To be His instrument.  Under that arrangement my actions will please Him.

The Israelites had seen some remarkable things.  Sadly they, like us, fell into the habit of crediting themselves for the good and blaming God for the not so good.

If I understand how things work best: God is in charge and I must live accordingly, then the outcome is settled.

God wanted the Israelites to know that they had two choices; do it His way or their way.  Their history, and our history, should have made clear the consequences of either action.

We know the consequence of directly resisting God.  We will indeed gain separation from Him and earn where that takes us.

“Lord, Your Way is the best way.  Forgive me for choosing other paths.  For ignoring You.  For resisting You.  I love You.  I want to please You in everything I do.  Prick my conscience when I am off-course.  It is never where I want to be.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, I beg.”

We are weaklings without God.

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God is consistent

“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Joshua 21:45.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Joshua 21-22, Psalm 47, and I Corinthians 10.

That’s a pretty good record, don’t you think!

That is the God I must trust in.  The one with the perfect performance.

He is almighty.  He does not run into obstacles that change what He promised to do.

President Donald Trump has run into obstacles and apparently won’t be able to repeal Obamacare.  God doesn’t have such a problem.

What He says, goes.

Living as a believer means that I must do what I say I will do, assuming it is what God wants.  My words must be true.  I must be reliable.

One myth about God is that if I do what He wants then I will be better off than those who disrespect God.  It doesn’t work that way.  It rains on the just and the unjust.  If I do what God wants then He will bless me IN HIS WAY.  It may not be what I expect.  It might be more than I could ask or expect.  God is remarkable.

Because I belong to Him, I can expect that He will prune away that which displeases Him.  It is good for me to have that happen.

I follow God because He knows best.  My task will always be to be chasing His Will so that I can please Him.

“Lord, Your consistency is remarkable.  You truly know best.  Forgive me for chasing other gods for comfort.  My ultimate comfort is in You.  I love You, Lord.”

God can be trusted to keep His promises.

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Don’t be intimidated by the enemy

“….though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out.”  Joshua 17:18.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Joshua 15-17, and 1 Corinthians 8.

Fear of the enemy affects us all at times.

Why does this happen?  Our measuring system becomes faulty.  We enlarge the enemy and minimize God.

Joshua trusted God.  When God told him that He would go with the Israelites as they took over the Promised Land, Joshua believed Him.  Joshua has seen God in action (crossing the Jordan River, capturing Jericho) and was convinced that with God on their side there would be no defeats.

The Tribe of Joseph wasn’t as convinced.  To them the enemy was “strong” and they had the latest equipment (chariots fitted with iron).  “Things might not be easy,” they collectively thought.

Joshua would have none of that.  He told them that they could defeat their enemy.  Joshua probably added why.

I hear about Isis claiming to have done the violence at the House of Parliament yesterday and I fear.  Why?  Because, in my head, I oversize them and shouldn’t.

God is more powerful than Isis.  God is in charge.

My trust in Him must be strong enough to lessen my fear of the enemies of our times.  “I will fear no evil for thou art with me.”

“Lord, forgive me for minimizing Your influence on earth.  You are indeed in charge.  You are almighty.  No enemy can stand against You.  May I live in that Light this day.  I love You, Father.”

What enemy is intimidating you these days?


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How getting it wrong gets started

“The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.  Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.”  Joshua 9:14-15.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Joshua 9-11, and 1 Corinthians 6.

Leave God out and by doing so let confusion and trouble in.

That’s what happened with the Israelites.  They fell for the trickery of the Gibeonites and then had to live with the consequences.

A quick look at the verse 14 tells you where the Israelites went wrong: “but did not inquire of the Lord.”

Why do you suppose that the Israelites didn’t inquire of the Lord?  I am guessing that, like us, they assumed that they had the senses to figure this one out.  “I won’t bother God with this obvious one.”  Silly Israelites and silly us as well!

There must be no juncture where I make a choice apart from Him.

I must have God in primary place in my life even before I get to a decision-making situation.

Therein is the struggle.  Too many times God is not in primary place.  I’ve gotten detached and have gotten into directing my own life.  That action is always regrettable.

As my life grows in God I will know that I am more dependent on Him than before.  I will realize the folly of independent actions.  I will know a history of blessings and unfortunate consequences all wrapped around choices made with or without Him.

“Lord, how obvious some of this is.  Apart from You I can make a mess of things.  It happened in the Old Testament and it happens to me.  Detaching from You is folly.  Forgive me for doing it.  I know better.  You must be guiding me.  Take over my life right not.  I love You, Father.”

Things fall apart when you mess up (with God) at the start!


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God sends in a play

“Set an ambush behind the city.” Joshua 8:2.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Joshua 7-8, Psalm 69, and 1 Corinthians 5.

The Israelites had just fought the folks in Ai and had lost badly.

How could that have happened?  One of the Israelites had not followed instructions in the previous battle.  God didn’t miss what had happened and punished accordingly.

Now God sends the Israelites back against Ai because the command-violator has been punished.  God was now back with the Israelites.

And what a difference it made!  God tells Joshua how to defeat Ai and naturally it works perfectly.  God knows what He’s doing in everything.

I must be wide open to God’s leading.  So often I get “ahead” of God.  I act and then ask Him to bless the action.  What could I possibly be thinking!

There is NO time when I should be acting independent of God.  My life must continually involve my seeking His Will.  A wonderful place to set the tone is when I wake up.  From Psalms: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I put my trust in you.  Show me the way to go, for to you I entrust my life.  Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.”

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for independent activities.  They are wastes of time.  I love You, Lord.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

God knows what we should be doing and not doing.  Will we live the way He wants us to live?

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