Today’s reading: Josh 4:1–6:27, 2 Cor 9:6–15, Ps 48:1–14
Today’s theme: Remember God’s faithfulness
Today’s overarching theme is that we should have a testimony alive in our hearts everyday by remembering God’s gracious gift of love to us, expressed in the greatest gift, Jesus Christ. In light of God’s goodness we too should be gracious and generous. Our lives in this way should stand as a testimony to the outside world and as an encouraging reminder of God’s greatness and faithfulness to our fellow believers.
Validation from God
On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. Joshua 4:14 (ESV)
God uses this amazing miracle of the parting and crossing of the Jordan, to validate Joshua before the people. This was also one of the purposes of the miracles performed by Jesus. See John 14:11
The power of God’s testimony
so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:24 (ESV)
The memorial that God asked the children of Israel to build with stones taken from the crossing of the Jordan, would serve as a reminder of God’s great deliverance to the children of Israel and would stand as a testimony of God’s great power to the rest of the world. Today our own lives should stand as a testimony and a reminder of God’s great power to us and those around us. See 1 Peter 2:4 and 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
When we think back to God’s great work in delivering us, when we consider His great power, we should fear Him. This does not mean being horrified or scared, but to consider God with respect and reverence. We should never lose our awe when we think of God, only God is truly awesome. See Hebrews 12:28
The reproach has been rolled away
And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. Joshua 5:9 (ESV)
God has done it, He has brought the children of Israel across the Jordan river and their feet are now in the promised land. This along with the circumcision of this new generation, breaks the reproach of the faithless generation that would have caused Egypt and the surrounding nations to mock the Israelites in their failed mission.
Our Gilgal today is the resurrection of Jesus, where the stone was rolled away and the reproach of those who say our God was defeated, is silenced. See Luke 24:2-6
Jesus, The Commander of Heaven’s Armies
And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” Joshua 5:14 (ESV)
This is no ordinary Angel as an angel would not receive worship from a man, this commander of the army of the Lord is one of the many times that we see the pre-incarnate Jesus appear in the Old Testament. In other places in the Old Testament, this being is referred to as the Angel of the Lord. This is further proof of the Trinity in the Old Testament.
Whether this was an appearance of Christ before His incarnation or as some suggest, just a high ranking angel, it is clear that this points to Jesus who is the commander of heaven’s armies in the final war. See Matthew 28:18 and Revelation 17:14. 19:11-21
The walls fall down
So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. Joshua 6:20 (ESV)
This was not a natural phenomenon posing as a miracle, this was a miracle granted to the children of Israel because they obeyed God’s command. The command to shout at the city may have seemed strange to the natural mind, but God used this act of faith to miraculously make the walls fall down flat.
When we shout praises to God, we too can have faith that the walls standing before us will fall down. Archaeology in this region proves the bible’s account to be true.
2 Corinthians 9:6–15
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6–7 (ESV)
The prosperity gospel is wrong, we do not give to get as this is motivated by greed. We should give bountifully and God will cause us to reap for the purpose of giving even more (see verse 10). We are called to generous giving, so avoid being stingy with what you have. God loves a cheerful giver, we should give with joy and not because we think we should, but because we have chosen to.
Enriched to be generous
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11 (ESV)
We are blessed so that we can bless others. We need to guard against selfishness and the western trap of never knowing when we have enough. The more the Lord enriches our lives, the more we should be generous with our money, time and energy for God’s glory.
Jesus, the greatest gift
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)
This gift that cannot be truly expressed in words, is Jesus and the amazing grace God has granted us in Jesus. It is in light of this greatest of gifts, that we should joyfully show God’s grace to others and live lives marked by generosity.
Remember God’s faithfulness
We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. Psalm 48:9 (ESV)
As we worship God today, let us consider His faithfulness and love, shown most clearly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on 2 Corinthians 9