Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Joshua 10 (Monday 1/30)
Do you ever feel like life is a battle and you’re trying to fight it alone? Recently, it occurred to me that I had been living in a constant state of fear and anxiety for months, but I had just “sucked it up” until it produced physical problems and pain.
A few weeks later, I read Joshua 10, and two things stood out to me. First, God told Joshua not to fear (v.8). Not a suggestion, a command. Wait a minute, does that mean that to hold onto fear is disobedience…sin? Yep. Deciding to fear, to worry, to withhold trust from God when He has commanded otherwise is sin. Okay, mind blown. I’m so used to holding onto my thoughts and feelings like they belong to me, but clearly, God demands control of those, too.
The second thing that stood out to me was that God didn’t just tell Joshua to trust Him, He fought for Israel (v.14, 42). He actually defeated Israel’s enemies Himself, by raining down hail and making the sun stand still for a day.
This is super comforting to me because it proves that God doesn’t tell me to surrender my struggles and then not do anything about them: He follows through. If God conquered five armies at once, and He commands even the elements, He can certainly solve my problems.
So how about my heart and mind? My anxiety hasn’t completely gone away, but now I view it differently. I know I don’t have to hide it from God or give into it – in fact, God tells me not to: He says, “Trust Me, I’ve got this.”
For Reflection: What “battles” are you trying to fight alone? If you knew that God was fighting for you, would you trust Him?
Read Joshua 12 (Tuesday 1/31)
This passage makes me feel a whole jumble of emotions: triumph, vindication, incredulity, disgust, anger, sadness, fear, humility, awe, and praise. My first thought is, “Yeah! Get ‘em!!” like when the bad guys get caught and the good guys win in a cop show or movie. It feels great when justice is served.
But then I realize that the warriors of Israel defeated, destroyed, 33 kings and their people. War is horrible, and thinking about it makes me sick and angry; How could God command the destruction of even one city?
Then I remember that those cities did not know, love, trust, or obey God; they were not His friends, but His enemies. God does not take rebellion lightly, and He always serves justice (in Exodus, we saw that God prevented almost an entire generation of Israel from entering the Promised Land because they rebelled by mistrusting Him).
Suddenly I’m sad that justice has two sides, and I fear for those whom God does not count as His friends. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of The Living God.
Then I am humbled when I remember that I rebel, I mistrust, and I disobey God on a daily basis: I deserve to be destroyed as His enemy. Yet The Almighty God who always serves justice calls me His friend because Jesus paid my rebel’s debt. The God who conquers kings and nations fights for me because He destroyed His own Son in my place. Oh, what a God; what a Savior!
For Reflection: Do you see God as Holy and Just? Do you ever praise Jesus for paying the price for your sin?
Reflections Written by Sarah Rico