Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 29, 2015

Who is this “LORD, the God of Israel”?

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 13 which covers in great detail how much of the Promised Land (Canaan) remained to be conquered and possessed and how this land would be divided among the tribes of Israel.  Here is a link to Joshua Chapter 13 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+13&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse which will be the focus of this devotion.

“But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance;  the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as He had promised to them.”  Joshua 13:33.

——————-

Who is this “LORD, the God of Israel”?

First of all, we want to remember the immediate context.  What was this “Lord, the God of Israel” saying to us about Himself when He commanded and worked to systematically destroy almost all of the people of Canaan that we have seen in at least the last 8 chapters of the book of Joshua?

This “Lord, the God of Israel” is not a god of common grace.  God does not love everyone.  Instead, God only has a special love for Israel who symbolized His elect.

Yes, God would later include Gentiles within His elect.  But, neither all Jews nor all Gentiles are part of His elect.

This special love of God for His elect is like the special love that a husband has only for his wife.  Like a husband who does not love everyone but only loves his wife, God only loves His elect.  But, also like a husband who will do everything for his wife, God does everything for His elect.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.”  Ephesians 5:25-28.

Christ did not die for everyone.  Christ only died for God’s elect.  If Christ died for everyone (purchased with His blood), then everyone would be saved.  Christ died only for all the elect, and all of the elect are completely saved.  This is “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

For the elect, God did everything needed for their salvation.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

“What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  Romans 8:31-32.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28.


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