Reading the Old Testament through the eyes of Jesus has made so much more of it come to life. Here are the moments of #Impact from this week.
Joshua 12 shares with us a list of the Kings Joshua defeated, 31 in all. Chapter 13 speaks of Joshua aging in years and the land yet to be conquered and reminds us of the land given to the 2 1/2 tribes east of the Jordan.
Twice in this passage the reader, including a young Jesus, is reminded the Levites were not given any land as inheritance.
In 13:14 we are told that the Levites inheritance was the honor of making sacrifices to the Lord was their inheritance.
In 13:33 it says the Levites were not given any land because, "The Lord God of Israel is what they inherited, as he promised them."
The priest serving the people were not given anything in the kingdom of man to call their own because they had been gifted a much higher honor. They had been given the inheritance of being the ones who would make pleasing sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. But even more, they were given God himself as their inheritance. They carried the treasured Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. They served the Holy and Mighty God and were ever before him. What an inheritance.
And Jesus, as he grew into the understanding of his role as our great high priest, he joyfully abandoned any inheritance in this kingdom, opting instead to redeem a more worthy inheritance. He was given the gift of making the pleasing sacrifice that would once and for all be the sweet smelling aroma in the nostrils of God.
But no joy could match the one he found as he grasped the reality that God himself, his Daddy, the one who his soul thirsted for, would be his inheritance as he fulfilled his role as our Great High Priest!
That is why he did not call Angels to rescue him! That is why he did not accept Satan's offer of all the kingdoms in the world. His eyes were set on a much more glorious inheritance, God himself and all those who would be redeemed to his Father and become his very bride as he offered himself up as a sacrifice for us all!
What a Savior! What amazing Impact! May we also run this race with our eyes on the most treasured inheritance, the prize set before us!
Joshua 14 finds Caleb approaching Joshua and reminding him of Moses' promise regarding the land he would inherit. He first declares that the Lord has kept his promise (14:10) and brought him into the promise land. Now he is ready, even at the age 85, to go take the hill country that was promised to him (14:12). Then he says this:
"You (Joshua) yourself heard that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as He said."
Caleb was confident that he would secure the victory because the Lord had made him a promise and the Lord was going to be with him in battle.
Jesus soaked in these words and allowed them to take deep root in him. He came into the middle of a raging war where the enemy had fortified his positions, entrenching deep into the heart and minds of people. The Enemy had secured a place which would be difficult to overcome, the minds of the people. Yet Jesus came forth out of the Wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit and immediately went to battle to take what had been promised him!
I so appreciate the the fact that this morning I also read Acts 10:38 which says, "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, BECAUSE GOD WAS WITH HIM."
Jesus learned from Caleb's story that he could go boldly into the fight because his Father had made him a promise and that promise was that he would win because God was with him!
What Impact these stories had on Jesus. And how they should also transform our lives, as God has told us through Jesus' name, Immanuel, meaning "God with us!"
I missed journaling yesterday, . But I know Father has days in which He allows us to rest. So I am thankful.
I am also glad because today and yesterday really go together in my mind. Joshua 15-19 are about the allotment of the land to the people, each tribe. Two and 1/2 tribes had their land on the east of the Jordan, and now the promised land has been conquered and it is time for the others to receive their inheritance.
As Joshua was allowing them, I noticed the boundaries were very specific. There were. I grey areas as they surveyed the land and each tribe had specific borders which belonged to them. Chapter 18
But, the troubling thing was that a reoccurrence of a phrase showed up, "they could not (did not) dislodge . . ."
In 15:63 Judah did not dislodge the Jebusites. Ephraim did not dislodge the Cannanites in Gezer. 16:10 The Mannassites were not able to remove all the Canaanites from their region 17:12.
What is troubling about this is that in Exodus 23, God had specifically told them NOT to make treaties with any of the people and they were not to allow them to live in the land (Exodus 23:32-33). Yet we have already seen a treaty with the Gibeonites and now others not completely removed from the land. God had a reason for this not to be true, "they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you."
God knew it would be trouble, and we know through history, His words were true.
So Jesus, as he reads this story, he sees the danger of not fully ridding the land of the ones dwelling there. He sees the snares and traps that would entangle his people. He sees the disaster of not completely finishing the work God gave to his people. All because they were either too lazy to inquire of the Lord, or lacked the trust that He who started the work would finish it, and therefore they stopped short of complete obedience.
And the impact was so deep in Jesus that it still remains today. He not only completed the task given to him "It is Finished!" But even now we see that "he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for (all) his enemies to be made his footstool. (Hebrews 10:12-13) Which is a direct reference to Joshua 10:22-26
Jesus even now waits and watches as His Father goes forth and completely removes ALL his enemies and foreign gods from the land that has been promised. He is not willing to take what he has now and allow any evil to remain! He willingly waits, and he is fully obeying, and when he comes again, ALL enemies, all snares, all sin, all gods, will have been removed and nothing will ever again come between Him and his bride!
Joshua 20 is a declaration of the Cities of Refuge west of the Jordan. It rehearses the purpose of these cities. It is a place where one can run when they have unintentionally murdered someone so the avenger of blood cannot take his revenge.
The one fleeing is to present his case at the gates, and once permitted cannot be touched until everything has been investigated and if found to have not murdered on purpose, that person could stay in the City of Refuge safely, but he had to remain there till the high priest died. As long as the one with blood on his hands was in the City of Refuge, he was safe.
Jesus soaked in these stories and listened to them. As his purpose and reason for life came into clear view, he realized that he was going to become a City of Refuge for all those who entered the gates through him!
David and the Psalmist claimed God as their Refuge many times. They pled there case before Him and He was their defender, just like those who lived in the City of Refuge would protect and defend the accused murderer from the avenger of blood.
Today, I stand with the blood of Jesus on my hands. I nailed him to the cross! Yet Jesus still offers me to run to him, to find refuge in him! The case I present on my behalf is empty and void of any merit. I am guilty. However, Jesus, who is my Great High Priest, also stands as my advocate before the Great Avenger of blood, Jesus' Father. On my behalf Jesus pleads my innocence, not because I am, but because He is! His argument is heard, and accepted by God. I have been ushered in to my City of Refuge, Jesus Christ, and there I get to dwell forever because our High Priest is Risen, never to die again! I am forever safe from the avenger of blood in Jesus, my Refuge, my Strong Tower!
What a Savior!
Joshua 23:14 "You know with all your heart and soul that not one of the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed."
This is one of those verses that impacted Jesus that needs no explanation! Jesus lived in the truth of Gods promises and we have been given access to do the same.
Jesus was faithful to obey, God was faithful to fulfill!
Joshua 24 wraps up his story. Joshua calls the leaders together, and they go over again the story of how they were slaves in Egypt, brought out by the mighty hand of God. Wondered the wilderness. Then God drove out the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan, saying in 24:12, "You did not do it with your own sword and bow."
Then verse 14 and 15, Joshua gives them options by saying "If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose today who you will serve . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
I see in this passage, as young men in the class of school with Jesus, come to this passage. They learn this by heart, but then they too are presented with the choice of "who will you serve?" The Romans had a plethora of gods to choose from, and if God seemed undesirable, they had plenty to choose from. And this is a moment in the life of Jesus when he makes a choice that would have eternal impact.
He is intrigued by the fact he and Joshua share a name, and share a story. And here, Jesus decides to stand with Joshua and make lasagna the choice which brought you and I to this day we celebrate our entrance into eternal life, the day death was declared powerless, because Jesus choose to say, "As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord!"
I pray your Easter has been blessed as we have celebrated our Risen Savior!