Did I say that Deuteronomy 30 was one of my favorite chapters in the Bible? So is the early part of Joshua. It is filled with the most vivid stories of God's love for us.
The story of Rahab should give every living being hope. God can redeem the vilest of sinners and graft them into the story of redemption for all of the world. Rahab a prostitute and of one of the tribes that Israel is to drive out of the promised land gains favor with Israel by offering protection to the two spies that Joshua sends to spy out Jericho. Her story is one of redemption, salvation and sanctification; a perfect example of what God can do with us as well. Rahab, a sinner and an outsider, trusts and is rewarded by being granted asylum and then becomes adopted into the very lineage of Jesus Christ. The scarlet cord used to mark her domicile and to mark it as a place to be saved should remind you of the scarlet mark placed on the doorposts of the Israelite that marked them as places that the angel of death would passover as it claimed the first born of Egypt. The scarlet cord should remind you of the blood of Jesus which marks us as a people to be saved from the wages of sin.
The ark leads the procession into the river Jordan. As it leads the procession of Israelites, the waters pile up and all can crossover in safety. Jesus is our Ark. he leads us to safety. All who follow him are saved from the flood.
Israel is instructed to bring 12 stones out of the bottom of the Jordan river and to pile them on the Jericho side as a lasted memorial to the mighty work that God did in stopping the flow of the Jordan and allowing all of Israel to cross over on dry land. Perhaps the miracle was not as great as the parting of the Red Sea, but it is a sign to the people that God goes before them and leads them in the battle against the perversity that is throughout Canaan. "What do these stones mean?" The story of God's mighty deeds are to be told throughout the generations. What stories do you tell your children and your children's children about the mighty acts of God in your life. Certainly we should tell these great bible stories, but their is more.....surely God has been apparent to you in your life. Where have you seen him at work? Tell these stories as a lasting memorial to God's continuing presence and let the world know that our God still leads us into his preferred future.
In Chapter 5, Joshua is confronted by the Commander of the Army of God. Who was that? Was it an Gabriel? We do not know, but we know it was holy ground, perhaps as holy as that which Moses had experienced at the burning Bush. Interesting the Angel's response to Joshua's question, "are you for us or against us?" The angel replied, "neither". It was the wrong question. The question should always be, "who's side are we on?" Only those who are on the side of God will be more than conquerors.
I'm telling you....this is great stuff. Thanks for reading with me and encouraging me in this great biblical journey. I will be in Columbia this week doing church work for the Missouri Conference. I can be reached by cell or e-mail. Jennifer will be in the office. I hope you have a great and God filled week.