For February 6, 2022
Scholars suggest that it was sometime around 2000 BC, when the Lord appeared to Abram (and later to Sarai) to disclose His redemptive plan for the universe,
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-4 (NLT)
God told Abram to leave all that was familiar to inhabit a land where his descendants would occupy later. Through One Descendant in particular, the entire world would benefit greatly. God would fulfill this promise through His Son, Jesus Christ, who would become our Savior and Redeemer to give us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal, abundant life as we place our faith in Him.
Abraham’s descendants—as numerous as the sand at the seashore—would occupy this “Promised Land.” But Abram, who was 75 years old and Sarai, who was 65 years old, had no children at the time. Twenty-five years would pass before Isaac, and their names were changed to Abraham and Sarah. Abraham obeyed God and was rewarded handsomely.
About six-hundred years later, God chose one of Abraham’s descendants, Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim (Numbers 13:8), to lead the God’s Chosen People across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Thirty days passed since the death of Moses. Now it was Joshua’s responsibility to lead Abraham’s descendants, who went to down to Egypt as 70 persons, and now swelled to a mass exceeding 2 million people.
Joshua 1:1-9 (NKJV) tells how God called Joshua to greater service,
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 3 tells how Joshua instructed the priests to stand in the Jordan River with the Ark of the Covenant. When their feet touched the waters, it stood in one heap so that the people could cross over (much like Moses and the parting of the Red Sea). That day, the Lord magnified Joshua in the eyes of the entire assembly. Ultimately they would conquer and occupy the Promised Land under the leadership of this submitted and committed leader.
Joshua chose to follow and remain faithful to the Lord, and he received his family allotment within the Promised Land as a result. Before his death, Joshua encouraged the Children of Israel and reaffirmed his commitment to the Lord,
Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 (NKJV)
We all can choose whom we will serve. Won’t you choose to serve the Lord today?
What a Wonderful Savior!