The Israelites were ready to receive the promised things of God. The anticipation while being so close was probably unbearable. But amidst this hope was a sense of dread. How would they be able to have this land when it was inhabited already by people who had no intention of leaving? Could they, skilled at wandering in the desert, mount a successful battle against established peoples and warriors?
God knows the heart of man and He gave what the Israelites needed. He gave them a familiar picture of His past faithfulness, assurance of his presence moving forward, and an anointed leader to guide them.
Rahab revealed to the spies in 2:10 that everyone had heard about the power of God displayed on behalf of the Israelites in their deliverance from the Egyptians by the Red Sea crossing. It made all who heard it tremble. So this crossing of the Jordan was a vivid reminder to the Israelites and all who would hear about it, “The same God who began a work of deliverance and hope for His people will bring it about to completion.” And this was only possible because God made it clear that his presence was with them. The people are told to consecrate themselves as this was a divine act that they were about to encounter. The ark of the Lord went before them, at a distance where it would be in full view of all as it entered the river. His abiding presence was there, a comfort to all Israel and a warning to all opponents.
God gave the gift of an anointed leader to His people. Another purpose of the crossing is stated in 3:7,
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.’ (Joshua 3:7)
God did not leave Israel scattered and bewildered after Moses. He rose up a man to lead and guide Israel in the way they should go. He showed that this man was not acting on his own accord but rather directed by God. The gift of leadership was given so that the people would not stray from God.
We are often eager to move when God calls but fear can overcome us easily. Ask these questions: How has God showed faithful in similar past situations? What makes you confident that God is there going before you? Have you sought the guiding wisdom of anointed leaders that God has provided for you?
Assistant Pastor Evan Webster
Psalm 126 remembers God’s past deliverance and pleads for God’s present restoration. We are broken people living in a broken world but through the finished work of Jesus we have been restored. In him we are alive!
The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. (Psalm 126:3 ESV)
Yet we await the final consummation when the FULL healing WILL come and unending JOY WILL be ours! We look back and see God’s past deliverance. We look forward and see the reward that awaits us!
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! (Psalm 126:5 ESV)
We are to work in tears and with joy faithfully sowing, believing that our labours are not in vain (see James 5:7, 1 Corinthians 15:58). We will experience the joy of the harvest!
Psalm 127 reminds us that in our sowing for harvest we need the Lord. As we seek to build our family, we are responsible but ultimately we are dependent upon the Lord. He is the Architect and Builder of our homes and we must rely on him and rest in his faithfulness.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1 ESV)
We must work diligently but no amount of effort will produce lasting fruit unless God’s blessing is upon us. Jesus said,
…for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 ESV)
We seek God’s blessings upon our homes, our marriages, our children and their children.
Let us remember that the life that loves the Lord, fears him and lives according to his Word is a blessed life. God’s Word promises the outpouring of his favour when we walk in obedience to him. To that end we seek first His kingdom and righteousness. To that end we pray diligently for our children. Through our various stages in life may the Lord help us to be good stewards of his wonderful gifts!
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! (Psalm 128:1 ESV)
Associate Pastor Jody Cross
This chapter in Isaiah seems to be divided into two sections. The first is the war cry of Christ as He returns for the second and final time to destroy His enemies. As we can see, He needs no aid or help. He is the all-powerful God and He will break down the obstinate and rebellious. I think that it is good to realize that Isaiah is prophesying about events that are future to us. Therefore, it is important to remember that we need to test our own faith to make sure that we are truly saved, people. Our sermon last Sunday was about this very thing. You can listen to that sermon here .
The second part of the passage is a prayer recounting God’s faithfulness to Israel. God fathered them, protected them, blessed them, and yet they rebelled. God had asked His people to be obedient and when they had experienced God’s blessing they became comfortable and forgot Him.
but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. (Hosea 13:6)
Let us be careful not to look down our noses at the apparent stubbornness of Israel, this passage is equally true of us. We are also a forgetful people. We can be wooed by the shiny things of this world and grow too comfortable. The good news is that God doesn’t easily forget His promises.
Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit, (Isaiah 63:11)
We enjoy the blessing of the Holy Spirit living in us. As true followers of Christ, we have new hearts that are capable of doing what God wants of us. Let us be those people who don’t forget God, who continue to love Him and all of His ways, and who continually grow to be more like our Lord Jesus.
For His glory and our good!Associate Pastor Jon Welch
False teachings of the day were forced on the people by the Pharisees, calling them to follow specific rules and regulations. Even John the Baptist sent a letter from his prison cell to his disciples asking if Jesus was the Christ or if they should be looking for another. Many churches today have also left the authority of the Bible and set up their own ways and ultimately their own Jesus.
However, Jesus’ ministry revealed who he was, as He healed the blind man and made the lame walk. Lepers were cleansed, the deaf heard, the dead were raised and the poor were given the gospel. This had been foretold by the prophets years before. (Isaiah 29:17-19; 35:6; 61:3; Micah 4:6-7)
Often, the church in our generation has been full of rules and regulations that are not in the Bible and they have hindered many who would have believed. Even today, people look for signs and wonders rather than acceptance by faith. It is sad when one boasts of having a gift or seeks after a gift when they should be worshipping the Giver. The second section (verses 20-24) gives warnings to those who do not repent.
The final section (verses 25-30) can be placed under the titles of Come, Take and Learn. Jesus calls us but doesn’t make us. He gives us the invitation to follow him. Taking his yoke places us in a position to submit to Christ’s leadership and to serve him willingly. Jesus wants us to learn from him, and as we walk with him the yoke is easy because he walks with us and so often carries us. We need to hear him.
Isaiah 30:21 comes to mind:
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21, ESV)
May we strive to adore, hear and serve Him, knowing what He has done for us.
Associate Pastor Bill Fyvie
Our heavenly Father, you are the same yesterday, today and forever! As you have done in the past, so you can do today. Lord remind us of your power and mercy. O Lord arise and let your enemies be scattered! Strengthen our weak knees, lift up our heads and loosen our tongues that we might engage our friends and neighbours in pursuit of the Great Commission. Make us urgent and give us favour for the hour is closer than when we first believed. Guide us in the way of truth and make us faithful, O God, we ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastor Paul CarterN.B. RMM Roundup assumes the Bible reading guide also known as “The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan”. You can find a single page version of the 1 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_classic_single_letter.pdf and a version of the 2 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_carson_a4.pdf