Observations: In Joshua Chapter 9, the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites whom they were supposed to drive from the land. They were deceived because they did not seek God’s Word on the matter of making a covenant with them. There is a strong message for us in that chapter. In chapter 10, while fighting those who opposed the Gibeonite covenant, Joshua prayed a bold prayer asking God to make the sun stand still. That is amazing to me, and it is my understanding that science has proven this really happened in history. There is a lesson there for us about boldly requesting our needs from the Lord. Chapter 11 is a lesson that teaches us that if we allow God to fight our battles, we will come through Victorious. 1 Corinthians 6 gives instructions on living. First, we should not be suing our brothers and sisters in Christ, but settling our arguments our of court. Second, to flee sexual immorality.
Scripture: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Application: Some people ask why sexual sin is so often mentioned in the Bible. I think there are a few reasons. Sexual sin is what took the Israelites away from God. Sexual Immorality was part of pagan worship. Primarily though, I think it is the fact that sexual sin is sin that takes advantage of our whole body, inside and out. Our body is to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. How can we knowingly deface that temple? It is as if we were spraying it with graffiti.
Prayer: Lord, God, I pray that you will lead us from temptation. Lord, lead us away from magazines, internet sites, television shows or people that temp us to use our bodies in unholy ways. Lord, give us the strength and power to set aside our bodies as holy unto you.
Next Reading: Joshua 12-14; 1 Corinthians 7
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