One of my 2021 goals is to read the entire Bible. I’ve done the chronological one year Bible for several years now, in a couple of different translations. The Genesis to Revelation plan bogs me down in Chronicles. In an effort to find a new way, of course, I went to google. I was intrigued by a Genres weekly Bible Reading Chart from IntothyWord.org. That’s how I found myself reading Joshua and Judges, studying the history of the Israelites last week.
I started thinkin’ of how the America of today mirrors this history. Repeatedly, we can note two of the same trends:
1..They did not inquire of the Lord
2. Israel sinned in the sight of the Lord.
As you read these chapters, verse after verse repeats these two sentences. Every battle lost happened when the leaders made a plan without consulting God. When Israel and it’s leaders sought “the Lord’s counsel” they were successful. Clearly asking for God’s opinion on the battle was paramount for His favor.
These chapters record that Israel would win the battle and be at peace until ” the people of Israel did again what was evil.” Back to war, over and over again. It’s easy to judge these people. They had Moses’ testimony, they had Joshua’s leadership, they had the promise of victory. They had seen miracle after miracle in their wilderness. There was no doubt they knew how to live in prosperity but “they did again what was evil.” I wonder what was wrong with them that they couldn’t get it together. Then, I watch the nightly news.
During the last election, both sides of the aisle claimed to be “Christian”. Many politicians claimed to be “born again”. The church became divided due to the arrogance of both sides. During a battle in Joshua 5:13-14, Joshua encountered the angel of the Lord. “Are you one of us or one of our enemies?” he asked. Hear the answer and imagine God speaking it today, “Neither one! I am here as the commander of the Lord’s army.” God is neither for the donkey or the elephant. He is here for himself.
The Pulpit Commentary suggests that when God arrives for “neither’, it is because the battle is so intense, only God himself could save now. The battle for Jericho was going to be intense. God appeared to Joshua as a man of war. He had never appeared to anyone in that capacity before.
The battle for America is intense. Only God can save us now. As never before, the people of God are “pressed on every side by troubles, perplexed, hunted down, and knocked down.” (2 Cor. 4:8-9 NLT) The battle is intense, but ” we are not crushed, we are not driven to despair, never abandoned by God, we are not destroyed.” What’s next? We don’t know,
Thinkin’ about inquiring of the Lord.