Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 10, 2015

Children of Promise

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 23.

“1 Now it came about after many days, when the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua was old, advanced in years, 2 that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and their heads and their judges and their officers, and said to them, “I am old, advanced in years.  3 And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has been fighting for you . 4 See, I have apportioned to you these nations which remain as an inheritance for your tribes, with all the nations which I have cut off, from the Jordan even to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun.  5 The Lord your God, He will thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you; and you will possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you.  6 Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, 7 so that you will not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them.  8 But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day . 9 For the Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you;  and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day.  10 One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you. 11 So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.  12 For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, 13 know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

14 “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed;  all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.  15 It shall come about that just as all the good words which the Lord your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.  16 When you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you.”  Joshua Chapter 23.

——————-

Indeed, Israel knew in all their hearts and all their souls that God was Almighty God and their Faithful Father and that God had fulfilled all of His promises and had abundantly blessed them.

There was no reason why they should rebel against such an Almighty God.  They had seen what He had done to their enemies.

There was no reason why they should rebel against such a Faithful Father.  They had seen that He had fulfilled all of His promises and had abundantly blessed them.

There was no reason why they should disobey the Law.  They knew how holy, righteous, and all around good the Law was.  They also had been warned many times as to the severe consequences of disobedience.

And yet, Israel did indeed transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded them, and did go and serve other gods and bow down to them, and the anger of the Lord did burn against you, and they did perish quickly from off the good land which He had given them, except for a remnant.

Today, we know the same things.  And yet, we too disobey, even knowing in addition, what happened to Israel.

But, there is hope!

“7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says,

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”

13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”  Hebrews 8:7-13.

This hope is provided solely by God. 

“Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, helps us understand why Israel then and why we today are so disobedient despite all the above-stated reasons to be obedient.

We need this hope solely provided by God.

Our only chance for salvation is “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

We need a God Who does everything for our salvation from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Our hope is not that we just try harder to obey the Law.  

“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse;  for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”  Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.”  However, the Law is not of faith;  on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  Galatians 3:10-14.

Our hope is that we die to the Law and be joined to Christ and serve “in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:4-6.

Our hope is that we are children of promise.  “And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.”  Galatians 4:28.  “That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”  Romans 9:8.  “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”  Acts 2:39.  “For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise;  but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.”  Galatians 3:18.


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