Monday, March 31, 2008

Cover to cover


We entered the Promised Land with Joshua this week and finished up today with his death. There were several things that stood out to me over the last few days. Oddly enough, I am reading John Ortberg's If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat, and he has some interesting thoughts about the Jordan miracle found in Joshua 3.


Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.


The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.


Ortberg says, "The people will experience God's power--but they will have to take the first step. This not only involves a mental acknowledgement of God's power, but requires them to take a step of action based on the assumption that God is trustworthy as well. They had to get their feet wet first. "


What a powerful statement. Do I trust God, Author of the Universe, enough to take the first step toward whatever work He has for me?

And do you wonder why the entire land didn't just surrender at that moment? The Israelite's God stopped the Jordan River from flowing! At a time when the river was overflowing!


So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. Joshua 9:14-15


This spoke to me because so much of the time, I take the time to think through my actions and what the ramifications might be, but I do not take the time to ask the Lord what He thinks about it. In the Israelites case, not inquiring of the Lord caused them to not be able to do what God had asked. To remove all the current inhabitants of the Promised Land. What do I miss when I don't inquire of God? Or worse, what situations do I create when I go my own way?


As always, if you want an insightful recap of the previous weeks readings, check this out. Or this. Bev is continuing to recover from her illness so I am not sure if she will be posting this week or not. I know she would appreciate the prayers though.

2 comments:

annie's eyes said...

I am listening to "By His Wounds" as I comment this morning. As I listen, it occurs to me that even as we read Joshua and his battles, that each one was the Lord's battle. Our own battle is Jesus's. I guess you and I are going to have to get our feet wet. Even if it means spilling salad dressing on a suit. That next page (127) held a quote in Ortberg that haunts me: "When we wimp out by refusing to take the next step or saying the hard word--you will die a little." Let's get our toes wet and watch Him part the Jordan on our behalf! I love this journey of cover to cover with you, Karen. Annette

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