So he came back and told his father and mother, "I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." Then his father and his mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she looks good to me." Judges 14:2, 3
Oh, Samson! She’s pleasant to the eye. She’s not one of God’s people. Bad choice.
It’s better to love what God loves.
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.
This reminded me of Eve making a very bad decision by what her eyes saw.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6
Oh, Eve! A delight to the eyes. Bad choice. Love what God loves.
And then I thought…
Oh, Nancy! Don’t live by what you see.
That’s a bad choice. Love what God loves.
For we walk by faith, not by sight…
Yesterday Craig and I saw beautiful things. We’re in the Bahamas, after all! What struck both Craig and me about our day was not the physical beauty. It was that God placed us with different people who were searching for truth! At lunch we sat near a couple who heard we were here to talk about the Bible and starting asking sincere questions. It was wonderful! I’m praying for them today. Later, we were in the dive shop and a man had questions. Both of these conversations were long and full of interest. We left overwhelmed with the beauty of what our eyes couldn’t see. The living God is at work in lives!
Today I want to see the unseen. To live for the eternal. How about you? And now I’m wondering what adventures lie around the corner!
Do not love the world or the things in the world.
"And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers,
Rest is an important concept throughout the book of Joshua. It means much more than the big war is over. Now they could enjoy their inheritance given by God! Ahhhhh! Rest!
I noticed something here this morning. The “rest” was for their brothers. Some of the tribes didn’t want to live in the land. They were allowed to live outside the land if they’d go to war with their brothers first. Now they could go home to their inheritance.
In some way they were going to miss out on rest. When we seek our own way, sometimes God allows us to have it, but gives us leanness of soul. No rest.
It happened earlier in their lives.
And he gave them their request;
That is terrible!
I don’t want my own way.
I want rest. Spiritual rest.
I love a good rest, don't you?
Rest beneath His smile.
How? Confess and forsake sin right now. Obey!
I’ll be singing this all day!
Jesus, I am resting, resting,
Not one word of all the good promises
that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed;
all came to pass.
Love these thoughts!
Not one word failed.
All came to pass.
I love that God doesn’t lie!
God is not man,
that he should lie,
or a son of man,
that he should change his mind.
Has he said,
and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken,
and will he not fulfill it?
I love that God keeps His word!
He who calls you is faithful;
he will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hold on to the promises! God doesn't lie or make stuff up.
He is faithful!
Wonderful refuge! Wonderful hope!
Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
So Joshua said to the people of Israel,
It was time to enjoy the inheritance God gave them, but some of the people were happy to wander around like they had done for years and not enjoy what God had given them. A few words come to mind.
Stupid… really stupid.
The text doesn’t explain why they hadn’t taken their possession.
They just didn’t. Joshua rebuked them.
How long before you and I enjoy what God has for us? How long? We need to stop putting it off. Stop being satisfied where we have wandered for years. This will take spiritual discipline. It takes labor, work, effort. We have to get up and get to work for God. When we do there is enjoyment ahead. Why settle for the passing pleasures of sin?
This reminded me of the prophet Elijah calling the people of Israel to task later by saying,
"How long will you go limping between two different opinions?
How long? If the Lord is God, follow Him!
Therefore, my beloved brothers,
But they did not drive out the Canaanites… Joshua 16:10
Today I saw two reasons a person might not enjoy the life God has given them as illustrated by the children of Israel. Each tribe was given an inheritance but there was responsibility involved. Where they failed to obey, there was lack of enjoyment, even trouble.
The first reason we don’t enjoy life in Christ is sin in our life that isn’t driven out. Through chapter 10 in Joshua there is complete obedience. They left no survivor as God told them to do. But the continued theme of the chapters I’m in now is incomplete obedience that resulted in trouble in their lives.
How can I enjoy the inheritance God has given me? When I see sin in my life, I must drive it out! Those old Canaanites have to be killed. God help me to deal with sin as it arises and put it to death!
The second reason is laziness, or complaining, or pride… wait, is that three reasons? In chapter 17 the people of Joseph complain that their inheritance isn’t big enough. Joshua tells them to go get to work clearing the land. It’s big enough; they need to occupy it. What would that mean? Stop complaining. Stop being lazy. Stop thinking you are better than you are and get to work.
Wow! Needed rebukes. It’s good to check a complaining spirit. It is the result of thinking I deserve more than God gives me… which is a pride. God, help me to not complain, but rather be thankful for what you have given me.
Now let’s get to work and enjoy our inheritance!
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
I’m reading about the inheritance of land given in Joshua 14, 15. Each one is receiving an inheritance from the Lord. God didn’t overlook one family. It is a gift and received as such. It is assigned by God. It is specific and detailed. Fantastic!
It made me think of my inheritance. I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places! It’s a gift. It’s specific and detailed. Read Ephesians. David and Asaph’s words come to mind.
The LORD is my chosen portion
My flesh and my heart may fail,
The Lord is my assigned portion.
Hallelujah! I am in the process of exploring everything about my assigned inheritance, the Lord. What I find is everything I want!
Friends all around me are trying to find
Joshua 10 describes the longest day of battles ever in history. God made the sun stand still until Israel accomplished victories! Now that was a long day. It’s such a mixture of God accomplishing the victory and Israel fighting and fighting and fighting! I thought about how exhausted they had to be! I was exhausted just reading it. God said they would win. God worked miracles on their behalf so they would win. The victory was the Lord’s, but they had a part in it.
And the LORD confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword. Joshua 10:9, 10
I like what Matthew Henry says:
But why needed Joshua to put himself and his men so much to the stretch? Had not God promised him that without fail He would deliver the enemies into his hand? It is true He had; but God's promises are intended, not to slacken and supersede, but to quicken and encourage our endeavors.
I love that last line. “God's promises are intended, not to slacken and supersede, but to quicken and encourage our endeavors.” That encourages me today to not slacken, but quicken my endeavors for Him. He will win. I need to fight today. And that reminded me of a song.
Am I a soldier of the cross,
So the men of Israel took some of their provisions,
I can think of a few times in my life I had a really good idea. It seemed so obvious and good that I didn’t have to ask for wisdom from the Lord. It was obvious and good. What a mistake!
Today the warning is, ask counsel of the Lord!
Don’t rely on your own understanding!
What seems obvious and good may be the easy way and bad.
Thanks, Lord. I needed that. That’s why I read my Bible every day!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
Israel took only the cattle and the spoil of that city as plunder for themselves,
Sometimes a verse jumps out at me in reading. This did today. Remember Achan of the previous chapter? He took spoil in a battle that God said not to take the spoil. He died. This very next battle God tells Israel to take the spoil. If only Achan had waited. He could have had the spoil and had his life too.
Patience is the word for the day. We live in an instant gratification world. I want it and I want it NOW. Wouldn’t it be better to wait for God to give it to you and give it in His timing?
If you are waiting on God today, don’t give up! Keep waiting!
I would have despaired
Today I thought about the seriousness of sin. And a hard heart.
Joshua 7 opens with the word “BUT”. The Israelites just had a huge victory. Huge!
BUT one man sinned.
What’s the big deal? When they went to conquer the next city, there was only defeat. Why?
One man’s sin affected the whole camp of Israel.
Sin affects way more than you. Yes, it does affect you! It also affects your family, your neighbors, your country.
Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth upon their loss and blamed God for their defeat.
So the LORD said to Joshua,
God told Israel the process to discover the sinner. Through the long process Achan never says anything. He had to know he’d be discovered. Why didn’t he confess and plead for mercy? Maybe God would have had some kind of mercy. But no. Silence until he was discovered.
Sin hardens people. What a hard heart!
Of course he confessed, he was caught. But there was no remorse, or repentance.
He saw, he coveted, he took, he hid, he died.
Sin has to be dealt with. It’s no joke to God.
This is a very sobering account. Today I need to take sin seriously. If God says “no” to my attitude or my behavior I need to agree with God and repent. That is, turn away from my sin. I need a soft heart. A heart that responds quickly. A heart that mourns over sin. My sin.
I need to encourage others to do the same.
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Jesus died because of my sin and for my sin. God has mercy on me. Hallelujah.
I can live another day for his glory. I can repent.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!