Observations: In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul warns the ‘Church’ concerning sexual immorality and idolatry. I think it is important to recognize here that we are told to ‘judge’ those who say they are Christians, but not to be judgmental on those who do not claim to be Christians. If they are not Christians, they don’t know what the Word tells them, but if they have come to accept Christ, we should be gently directing them away from sinful behaviors.
In Joshua, we have the story of Ai. The Israelites went boldly against this place and were hastily defeated because there was sin in their midst. Once they removed the sin, they won the battle. When I read such stories, I can’t help but wonder about this Covid-19 pandemic. Is God allowing it to spread because we are not repenting of our sins, or because we are not gently judging those who say they are Christians, but don’t act like it. Many ‘churches’ are accepting of things that God feels are detestable. I heard of one church in New York that was going to allow their building to be used for a hospital until they found out Franklin Graham’s organization Samaritan’s Purse would be involved. One governor has boldly come out and said the slowing of the spread was not because of God. Many people are praying for a stop to this virus, but is it possible, the sin of the churches is causing this plague to go longer than it should? I am not saying that our sinfulness has caused this virus. The cause is yet to be agreed upon, but is there a humbling and repentance that has to take place? It is just a thought I battle in my mind and heart.
Scripture: “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.” (Psalm 69:1-3)
Application: This is a song on lament, and right now it seems to me the world could use some lament. Many of us are saddened by loss. Many of us wonder where the next sickness will spring up, or who will be next to die. Many question where God is in all of this. I picture Jesus right there in the hospitals, and nursing homes, and the homes where people are suffering. I believe Jesus is wanting to offer comfort and he is weeping right with us. It is important that we go to the end of that Psalm. “When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” (Psalm 69:32-34) Let’s not fail to praise the Lord through this trial. He is here. Let us not fail to honor him.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you for your everlasting love. We praise you for your presence in our lives. Today, we humble ourselves before you and offer you our praise! You are mighty! You are our conqueror! You are glorious! You are omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. You are worthy of all our praise, and of all honor. Open our eyes Lord. Open our hearts. Reveal in us any wrong doing which we must repent of. Show us the path to healing. Do not forsake us, Lord, but let your glory be revealed all over this world! Amen.
Next Reading: Joshua 9-11; 1 Corinthians 6
Observations: 1 Corinthians 4 is a hard read for me. Paul starts out as though his position as an apostle is being challenged. He warns the people not to be the apostles’ judges. Then he seems to challenge them on their pride and boasting. He admits that he is scolding them. They need to be more like Paul, humble and not arrogant. In the end he asks them if they would rather be fought, or loved.
In the book of Joshua, we read about the Israelites finally crossing the Jordan into the promised land. They crossed on dry ground, just as they had when leaving Egypt, but this time, instead of Moses’ staff parting the waters, the ark of the covenant was used. A memorial of 12 stones was set up as a reminder of what the Lord had done for them. The men who had been born during the desert wanderings were then circumcised, and they were allowed to eat their first Passover in Canaan. From that day on, the manna stopped and they ate of the produce of the land. Joshua then met up with the Commander of the Lord’s Army. Just as Moses had been told to remove his sandals, so was Joshua told he was standing on Holy Ground. I’ve often wondered about this passage. Some believe this commander was an angel, but because of this action, I believe this would have been God – possibly Jesus, since Jesus will lead the final battle? He will be the commander then, so it makes sense to me that he has always been the commander. We know that he existed before his human incarnation. Also, Joshua was not scolded for worshipping this Commander as people always were when they attempted to worship angels. Another thing that comes in my mind here is that the manna had stopped, and Jesus is the bread of life. Is it possible that Jesus was to be with them from that point forward? Later, of course, we will learn that they didn’t follow the commander’s lead… In chapter 6, we have the battle for Jericho. I have always thought this was fascinating. They were a vast army. I can just imagine how every day as they marched around the city, the grout between the stones got weaker and weaker from the constant pounding of their feet. I can just imagine the fear of the people inside the city grow day by day, but the only one to be saved was Rahab, a prostitute, who is then used in Jesus’ genealogy.
Scripture: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
Application: I think we forget about the power of God. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” Are we truly letting God’s power reign in our lives? Do we have the knowledge of who he is, and who he has called us to be? If we don’t, there is no better time to be delving into Scripture to see what He has for us.
Prayer: Lord, help us not to fret away this quiet time we have been given. Guide us to use this time wisely. Show us what to read or watch or listen to that will direct our paths so that we might live more godly lives through your power. Amen.
Next Reading: Joshua 708; Psalm 69; 1 Corinthians 5