Tag Archives: Joshua

God’s Call is Irresistible 

Whatever begins as an unexpected call or starts in a small way tends to have potentials for becoming great especially when handled with seriousness of purpose. What has an end must surely have had a beginning, great or small. If at first there is a feeling of inadequacy, it is not unusual to first appear like that, but a Christian should know or is expected to have learnt the biblical history of characters like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Peter, and even Saul, who after conversion became Paul the Apostle. Moses and Jeremiah openly tried to adduce reason why they were not qualified to be a Prophet of God.
When the sin of the then world was too much for God to condone, He called on Noah to build an ark in which those qualified to be spared were to be kept when there was to be a deluge to wipe out the exceedingly sinful people. He obeyed by following the dictate of God concerning the measurement as well as the type of wood to use. No one has ever built an ark like that; so Noah was only daintily following instructions from God without any template to adopt.The people confronted him with discouraging attitude but he remained undaunted. At the end, he was saved along with the specified people, plants and animals as well as birds, while others perished in the deluge.
Abraham did start life as Abram before God asked him to leave his fatherland and go to a place he would show him. It was more or less a wild goose chase. God knew before hand what stuff Abram was made of. He obeyed and set out with his father Terar, Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot. Based on his character and love of God along the line, his name was changed to Abraham – Father of many nations. Tripartite covenant began from him and God fulfilled it all. God prospered him immensely.
Moses was born in Egypt many centuries after the death of Joseph, a Jewish Prime Minister of Egypt. It was at a time when the patriarchal blessing per the covenant was at its lowest manifestation because the Jews seemed to have forgotten their God and had embraced the god of their host in Egypt. Although, they were suffering an exploitative slavery, they were just producing healthy children unlike the Egyptians. This fear-driven envy made Pharaoh to order the killing of all male children born by the Hebrews. God orchestrated saving the life of Moses and even got him to be very well preserved in the palace with Pharaoh watching him grow as Prince of Egypt. His first forty years was in the palace, the next forty years he was a fugitive in the land of Midian. At the end of the second segment he had God’s call to be a deliverer of the Hebrews. He found excuses to avoid being killed for homicide committed in Egypt and basically he was a stammerer. God provided Aaron and Miriam to assist him. He accepted the challenge with humility and was able to demonstrate the power of God over Pharaoh and the kingdom of Egypt through the ten plagues. This represented the third segment of his life. God granted him the enablement to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and to the Red Sea. He led the stiff-necked People of God across the Red Sea with so much trouble from the people he was leading. He could not resign and the people could not fire him because it was a divine assignment from God. There were times when he was on the verge of being stoned, at another time, he prayed God to kill him for the sin of idolatry committed while on Mt Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments- The Decalogue or God’s Constitution – meant to enable the children of Israel to live right before God. God showed him the land that was flowing with milk and honey but did not allow him to get there and he was 120 years old when he was no more.Exodus 2: 23-25 and 3: 1-22.(KJV).
Looking at the circumstances surrounding the birth of Samuel, there was no doubt that his call to serve God was surely irresistible. 1Samuel 3: 1-21 (KJV). At the time of Samuel’s full ministry, one has to recall that Prophet Eli had died as well as his two sons Hophni and Phinehas for their uncontrolled bad behavior in the house of worship. Prophet Samuel was instructed to go and anoint David as King designate since God had rejected Saul and had already been serving in King Saul’s army of Israel. The first spectacular victory was the encounter with the Philistines’ war-lord Goliath. David had so many challenges to face with Saul who tried to get rid of him out of jealousy and the obvious reason of David’s being a preferable successor to King Saul in preference to Prince Jonathan, whose friendship with David was greater than that of twin brothers. David had a humble beginning but his penchant for loving and always depending on God as well as tending his father’s sheep even at the risk of his own life became the obvious human reason why God found him a better alternative to King Saul when he violated the divine rule on division of labor between the king and Prophet Samuel. The Omniscient God what destiny each individual carries and so HE did not have any problem choosing who to do His job whether easy, difficult, dangerous or peaceful.
David road to rulership was with much difficulties, trials and triumphs, but all said he was a perfect fit for the job. King David was declared very dear to God. He was a human being like me or you but was head and shoulder higher in the virtues of obedience, contrite heart ready to admit guilt without rationalizing over his sin even unto God. He, as a ruler in his era, was remarkable and really inimitable. He fought battles and won all just because he made God the winner of battles he fought as he was always making God the fighter of battle that he ever led. David was able to bring all the 12 tribes of Israel together with headquarters in Jerusalem, the city of David and God promised him that the throne of David shall never lack who to occupy it. He never defied or rejected God like Kings Jeroboam and Jehu of Northern kingdom based in Samaria and did not usurp the Saul’s kingship like Hazael did to King Ben Hadad of Syria. 2King 8: 1-15 (KJV) The reign of King David became a reference point in the history of rulership in Israel. So also Jeremiah received divine call, Jeremiah 1: 4-10 (KJV). He like Moses, tried to justify why God need not call him to do a task as onerous as being a Prophet over the Israelites. He claimed, “I cannot speak because I am a child”. God in a trance touched his lips signifying putting His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. He throughout his life did the work of God with passion, weeping as he has spiritually known the impending period in exile.
Paul was another example of those God called into his vineyard. He was efficient and very effective in taking orders from the Priests and Chief Priest to go and hound the emerging disciples of Jesus after Peter has assumed the leadership of the apostles. Lord Jesus had to virtually “arrest” Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus with the intension to bring any disciple bound to Jerusalem for punishment. Acts 9: 3-6 The passage reads thus;

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul why are you prosecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘who are you Lord?’ Then the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are prosecuting’. ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads’. So he, trembling and astonished, said Lord, what do you want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Mandate received, Paul used his hitherto energy for destroying the Apostles to encourage and even charted a new course of evangelizing the heathens or the worshippers of idol. Paul the apostle, did so much to take the gospel to the Gentiles more than any of the apostles in spite of his personal ill-health and risk to his life including shipwreck. In it, the prisoner became the ship’s Captain. He gave them the massage of hope that no life would be lost.    

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A Matter of National Pride

There is time for everything, so says the bible. There is time to come together for the preservation of the group and time for dissolving it based on the prevailing circumstances II Samuel 5: 1-5. The reign of King David brought together all the twelve tribes of Israel; while the reign of King Rehoboam caused the Northern Israel with 10 tribes to opt out of the Union to become separate autonomous kingdom with capital in Samaria I King 12:1-16. The Northern kingdom under King Jeroboam went to replicate the God of Israel as known by the Patriarchs with “The Golden Calves” which are mere man-made gods, rather than maintaining theocratic relations with Jerusalem I King 12: 21-24

Between Kings Rehoboam and Jeroboam, can it ever be said that their concept of national pride was in consonance with peaceful co-existence? Definitely not. They both negated the good governance that helped King David to earn the unification of all the twelve tribes of Israel and sustain as well as bequeathed the united kingdom to KIng Solomon. One can easily identify in the two leaders the interplay of pride, intoxicating power or “absolute power that corrupts absolutely”; listening to bad advisors in the case of King Rehoboam and vendetta as it was with King Jeroboam. They forgot the lessons from their historical antecedent. They never remembered and were neither advised nor reminded to recall the harrowing experiences of Jacob and Joseph followed by the 430 years in servitude plus the great deliverance from bondage. A forty-day journey turned into forty-year God-guided journey coupled with the wasting away of erring generation. For the sake of Jewish corporate existence, Joshua sent home the eastern tribes of the Reubenites, Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh after their patriotic fighting along with other tribes to establish them on Canaan land. They had the apportionment of land “on this side of Jordan” but refused to relent effort until all tribes were settled down Joshua 22: 1-6. To me, fighting for the common good signifies national pride.

Europe had seen centuries of wars and had adjusted the people’s psyche to a level that they never considered war as the first option, especially at intra-national level. Kudos to the Scottish people for choosing to seek their desired opting out of the union by ballot box and not by the barrel of gun. The options in the present age include diplomacy, negotiated settlement possibly after civil disorder, but short of fratricidal war. Nowadays, it often involves trading in and out certain conditions to avert ravaging wars and consequent colossal loss. Civil disorder could bring economic loss but would never be comparable to fighting in the present age that now could involve use of weapons of mass destruction. This was why the world rose against Syria when she used chemical weapon against her kith and kin that rose in rebellion against the State. Russia , the strong ally of Syria joined the world to condemn the use of such weapon and advocated diplomatic solution to the problem.

The United kingdom must have to identify reason(s) for Scotland’s request for separate nation to be  independent of the United Kingdom. The problem has to be solved through feasible diplomatic solution in truth and in spirit. For a tiny instance, how is the Scottish pound viewed at the malls or on the Streets of London even though it has the same value as the pound sterling. They are all accepted as negotiable instrument on equal basis.

I want to believe that Great Britain scored first place among equals in terms of honoring the course of history in shaping their future. United Kingdom is a union of nationalities that was able to hold its own for 300 years. The feat is unique and I fervently hope the union is not allowed to crumble. May God save England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, from apparent and real “Berlin Wall of Separation” threatening the United Kingdom. May “Shibboleth and Sibboleth syndrome” Judges 12: 1-6 that can cause possible break-up of UK be nipped in the bud by divine intervention. Humility, tolerance, sense of equality without superciliousness among members of the union, and altruistic love of one another need be re-awakened among the component parts. Let there be put in place internal healing of sociopolitical strained nerves, if any, and reform processes to re-solidify the basis for the age-long unity in the kingdom. There are innumerable advantages for staying together because ” united we stand, divided we fall”. The Parliament and the citizenry must rally round the monarch and ensure that the fore-going maxim concerning United Kingdom remains universally and perpetually valid. United Kingdom should not be allowed to become the next Tower of Babel.

Non-Carnal Love Series # 34

Non-canal loveObedience and love of God for who He is accentuated the hand of God in ensuring that the children of Israel under the leadership of Joshua rose literally from behind to win the war at Ai. Our sin or acting on our impulse rather than on God’s guidance is disliked by God. Such shows that one has taken Him out of ones life equation. Consider the situation of the Israelites, they depended on God to destroy the city of Jericho. Avarice and love of material things made Israel to incur the wrath of God. They felt it was going to be an easy run-over of Ai because they believed Ai was not populated enough as to be able to give them a tough time. They underrated Ai while unknown to the whole of Israel that Achan had “taken the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel”. This made God to turn aside from Israel. Joshua 7: 1-5 (NKJV)

Joshua inquired and found out the cause of the defeat. He took punitive measure against Achan and his household. God forgave them with a promise of affirmed defeat over Ai. Joshua 7: 10-26 (NKJV). God loves the penitent heart. Israel’s supremacy in battle was restored. Ai fell following Israel’s compliance with the will of God of Israel. To all believers, let it be known that the Lord God Almighty does not accept partial compliance with His divine instructions. He enjoys our total obedience and makes us conquerors in the battle of life. Joshua 8: 1-21 (NKJV). Our obedience is a demonstration of loving God which brings joy to humanity.

 

Non-Carnal Love Series # 32

God loves those who constantly seek His face and walk with Him in obedience. His love radiates anointing to such people. God judges the heart and not the face or an outward show. So it was with the Jews in the days of Moses who died on Mount Nebo. He with love prayed a prayer of inpartation on Joshua. By the same token, Joshua sent out two men to spy the land of Jericho in Joshua 2: 1-24. They resided in the house of Rahab the harlot. It is obvious that the flow of anointing passed to Rahab in fulfilment of God’s promise to settle the Israelites on Canaan land. As people knew about the spies’ presence, they sought  to kill them in the house of Rahab.

Rahab planned a strategy for their escape and got them to vow to preserve her father’s household because she knew that the God of Israel had given them the Canaan land. The escapees gave her a scarlet token to tie on the window through which she let them down to escape into the mountain. Both parties kept to the vow to honor the God of Israel. The two spies reported back to Joshua thus: “Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands” Joshua 2:2Strength3a. Rahab’s father’s household was spared when Jericho was destroyed. The Jews up to that time were devoted and obedient to the God of Israel and HE never disappointed them. To love, trust and obey will cause  the door of divine guidance to open and lead to good success for genuine seekers.