Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 11, 2015

“He also rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.”

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 24.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+24&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“16 The people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods;  17 for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed.  18 The Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land.  We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”

19 Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God;  He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.”  Joshua 24:16-20.

——————–

Psalm Chapter 78 contains a vivid and detailed history of Israel, and how Israel, despite God’s miracles and wonderful works for Israel, time after time forgot God and rebelled against Him.

But because the chapter is too long, I can only quote herein the following verses from this chapter.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+78&version=NASB

“31 The anger of God rose against them
And killed some of their stoutest ones,
And subdued the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this they still sinned
And did not believe in His wonderful works.
33 So He brought their days to an end in futility
And their years in sudden terror.”  Psalm 78:31-33.

But, there is hope!

“65 Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
Like a warrior overcome by wine.
66 He drove His adversaries backward;
He put on them an everlasting reproach.
67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has founded forever.
70 He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands.”  Psalm 78:65-72.

Notice that this hope is not that Israel came to their senses or tried harder.

Rather, we read:  “Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, Like a warrior overcome by wine.”  Psalm 78:65.

And, we read:  “He also rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.”  Psalm 78:67-68.  And, later we read:  “He also chose David His servant” in Psalm 78:70.

This focus on the Lord and His choices should remind of “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Because of man’s “Total Depravity” (the “T” of “TULIP”), and there is no condition that man can supply that could motivate God to save us (because we are dead in sin and hostile to God), the only hope that we have is in God’s  “Unconditional Election”, or simply put, that despite our continual rebellion, God will save His chosen ones.


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