Over the past 3 months I have been reading through the books of the law and Joshua. I've discovered some things this time through.
When God gives a promise, it will be fulfilled, but it won't be a smooth journey. We'll have to fight battles along the way. God's people faced resistance quite often, but when their hearts were trusting the Lord, they always overcame. I think sometimes, we as followers of Jesus think life should be set on cruise control because if "Jesus takes the wheel" we won't have any problems. Of course there is an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. (John 10:10) As I've followed Jesus, throughout my life, it's definitely been a struggle. He told us we would suffer, have trials and tribulations, but His promise to us is He overcame the world (John 16:33).
One of our greatest battles we will fight is our own will and doubt. Any time they got off track in disobedience, they lost. Whether it was fighting an enemy or it was in their own doubt of trusting God to lead them.
I also realized that some of the "do not's" they were given wasn't to deprive them. It was to clean up their way of thinking and being. I mean when one of the laws is not to have sex with an animal, means they were doing some crazy stuff in Egypt. Think about it, the Egyptian gods were half man, half animal. Maybe the thought was they could become or give birth to a god that would give them power. Hmmmmm.
I find today, we are living in a world much like ancient Egypt. There are all kinds of things going on that even many Believers have adopted. I'll be the first to raise my hand. I often look to the world for comfort and answers to my problems. Jesus is who I need to look to. When the children of Israel found themselves complaining against Moses, they were bitten by snakes and died. But God told Moses to form a bronze snake on his staff and have the people look at it so they could live and be saved. This symbolizes to me when Jesus hung on the cross so that I could be saved and live!
I close with these portions from the book of Joshua. As we continue to live in this new world, it's a good reminder to learn from old history.
"'But if you turn away from him and cling to the customs of the survivors of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry with them, 13 then know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive them out of your land. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap to you, a whip for your backs and thorny brambles in your eyes, and you will vanish from this good land the Lord your God has given you. 14 'Soon I will die, going the way of everything on earth. Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!'" -Joshua 23:12-14 NLT
"'So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.'" _Joshua 24:14-15 NLT
Choose to trust God's promises. Fight to protect them, just as you would fight to protect something precious to you. It will be worth every conquered battle! AMEN!