“On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the Lord sad to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have give you the land to possess. Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one. Whatever falls to them by lot will be theirs. Distribute it according to your ancestral tribes. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’” (Numbers 50:56)
God’s history of deliverance calls His people to cooperate with Him and with one another to achieve His purposes. God showed Israel clearly His plan for their life in the Promised Land. He spelled out the consequences of failure to cooperate in His plan. History is not a present course people have to follow. History is a conversation between God and His people as He seeks to lead us to achieve His perfect purposes.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, clearly You expressed your will for the people and they were to cooperate fully with You, without exception. You had a plan for us and it was now the Israelites who were to fulfill the plan that involved clearing the land promised of unbelievers, of those who worshiped other gods or idols, so that this land would become a holy land, who serves the one true God and no one else. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“I would rather attempt something great for God and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed.”
“Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.” (Psalm 143:5-6)
Israel was called upon to occupy that portion of the land available to them while trusting God to assist them in possessing the remainder of he land held by their enemies. Joshua, because of old age, would not complete the mission. The land that remained had three sections; the land of the Philistines, the Phoenician coast, and the norther mountain country of Lebanon. David and Solomon helped to conquer the Philistines and to control Phoenicia. Solomon controlled Lebanon. Though completion has not taken place, all things will be completed by the time Jesus returns, or shortly after He returns.
“When Ester’s word were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who know but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’ Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, father together all of he Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this , is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And If I perish, I perish.’” (Esther 4:12-16)
Humans face decisions to be available for God’s use or not. God leads people to places in life where they can be useful in His purposes. He forces no one to be so used. He can always accomplish His saving purposes through someone else. As the Author of Hope, God used Esther’s work as queen to bring hope and deliverance for His people. Her story became the basis for the Book of Esther in which God is not explicitly mentioned. God’s revelation at times involves working through His people in the secular world to achieve His purpose without the explicit religious language being involved. Revelation includes the placing of people in critical positions at the exact time to be part of the revelation moment.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. ” (Acts 4:27-28)
God’s plan for saving a people for Himself included Christ’s death. Herod, Pilate and many other people conspired to cause Christ’s physical death. Their historical actions were not forced upon them. They acted in freedom and had to bear responsibility for their sinful acts. God works out His plans in time and history without robbing humans of freedom to act.