About a week ago while I was nursing, I was wide awake (rare occassion) & decided to start reading the book of Joshua. Turns out it only takes one night's feeds to read through!😂
But anyway... Most of us (including me) only think about the walls of Jericho when we think about the book of Joshua. And maybe a few think about Rahab, the harlot who's life and family's lives were saved because she hid the spies when they went to check out Jericho beforehand. But the Father's heart was so evident through the entire book yet again - just like in every other book of the Bible!
The book of Joshua is about the time after the Israelites were led out of Egypt & sojourned in the desert. After they sojourned the desert, Moses was advanced in age and knew that he would not enter the Promised Land.
(Moses did not enter the Promised Land as a result of his disobedience. YHVH told him to speak to the rock, so that water can come forth. But Moses decided to strike the rock with his rod. His disobedience kept him out of the Promised Land.)
Thus Moses appointed Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land. The book of Joshua was written about that period - how Israel entered the Promised Land and took over the cities for themselves.
What struck me was how Abba continued to provide for them and gave them favour! Joshua led the Israelites as YHVH commanded him to. They took city by city as per YHVH's instructions. And because they obeyed His instructions, He gave them victory.
“And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.”
Joshua 21:43 KJV
The same thing is true today for us. If we follow YHVH's instructions (aka the FULL Bible & not only the parts that are beneficial for us) - He will give favour to us. That's a Godly principle & it will never change.
Disobedience = Curse; Obedience = Blessing. Period.
“And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”
Joshua 21:44-25 KJV
When we stay within the boundaries which YHVH gave us in His Word, YHVH will fight for us. He will give us breakthrough, rest and victory.
He fulfilled His promise to Israel. Because that's Who He is! He never changes and He never contradicts His instructions. Look at all the good things Moses did for His Kingdom. Yet, Moses was disobedient to YHVH's instructions and he carried the consequences of his disobedience. YHVH didn't change His principles because Moses was a good man and did many good works for Him. Despite all that Moses did and what Moses's heart intentions were - he was disobedient and he reaped what he sowed.
From Genesis straight through to Revelations; the one theme remains: disobedience = curse & obedience = blessing.
“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Joshua 22:5 KJV
Why don't we hear more of this in church? Why do we as self-proclaiming Christians continue to disregard the Word of God?
“Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on ALL the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.”
Joshua 22:20 KJV
The sin (yes, disobedience is sin) you commit does not only affect you. But it also affect the generations to come. Iniquity is unrepented sins (disobedience) - that either you have commited or that was commited by the generations before you. I'm not here to argue about bloodline sin. The Word of YHVH says it exists & has legal ground - thus our human opinions does not really matter. And if our opinions go against what is written in the Word - then we are once again disobedient / committing sin. Which will result in curses & we won't be able to ask YHVH "why Lord?"
“And ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the Lord your God is He that hath fought for you.”
And the Lord your God, He shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the Lord your God hath promised unto you.”
Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;”
Joshua 23:3 & 5-6 KJV
It's not being legalistic. It's not nullifying God's unmerited grace. It's simply following His Word like He instructed us to do!
“One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.
Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you;
Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.”
Joshua 23:10-13 KJV
Can you see the consistency throughout? Our actions & choices always have an effect. Disobedience = Curse: Obedience = Blessing.
I'll just let the Scripture do the talking:
“When ye have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which He hath given unto you.”
Joshua 23:16 KJV
“And when they cried unto the Lord, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.”
Joshua 24:7-8 KJV
“And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:13-15 KJV
If you find this harsh or convicting. It's not my opinion. Ultimately it's what the Word of YHVH says and we have to chose whether we'll serve Him or not. Serving Him means following His instructions. Period.
When we choose to obey His Word we will reap the benefits. And the harvest will be greater that our wildest dreams.
I'm gonna leave you with a quote that I saw the other day... Once you've outgrown (repented I'd say) rebellion, you realise obedience feels a lot like freedom.
The choice is yours, remember that.