Week­end Bi­ble Re­flec­tions With Jon

Calhoun Times - - RELIGION -

the priests shall blow the trum­pets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trum­pet, then all the peo­ple shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat…” ~Joshua 6:2-5

To all of you mil­i­tary his­to­ri­ans read­ing this, do any of you think the mil­i­tary strat­egy to breach the for­ti­fied walls of this city which is out­lined in the pas­sage above would have met the ap­proval of Dwight Eisen­hower, U.S. Grant or Robert E. Lee? I can’t eas­ily imag­ine Ge­orge S. Pat­ton, faced with the Ger­man counterattack at the Bat­tle of the Bulge, say­ing to his troops, “Wait un­til they get close, men, and then blow your trum­pets and shout at them! That will bring us the vic­tory!”

It is easy for us, with the ben­e­fit of know­ing from the bi­b­li­cal record that God mirac­u­lously brought Is­rael vic­tory, to not ap­pre­ci­ate the faith it must have taken for Is­rael to agree to fol­low God’s plan to breach the walls of Jeri­cho (He­brews 11:30). If we had been in their shoes, I’m pretty sure all of us would have thought that walk­ing around a city, play­ing in­stru­ments, and then shout­ing at the wall would prob­a­bly ac­com­plish noth­ing but mak­ing our­selves a great tar­get for the archers of Jeri­cho. Hu­man na­ture be­ing what it has al­ways been through­out his­tory, it is rea­son­able to con­clude that the Is­raelites likely had these same fears.

Yet they per­se­vered and de­cided to obey God, and God kept His prom­ise to them (Joshua 6:20). That’s the thing about the prom­ises of God. When He makes them, they are as good as done (Num­bers 23:19). There’s a rea­son God spoke to Joshua about giv­ing the city to him as if it had al­ready hap­pened (Joshua 6:2). God can­not lie (Ti­tus 1:2), which means His Word is al­ways good. He had promised Is­rael that if they would trust Him and do what He told them to do, even though it seemed like a very silly and ir­ra­tional course of ac­tion, they would take the city… and that’s ex­actly what hap­pened.

He has made a prom­ise to us also, and that prom­ise is eter­nal life (Ro­mans 6:23; 1 John 2:25). He gave us His Son to be the only way to this eter­nal life (John 14:6; 1 John 4:9-10; 5:11-13, 20), and His Son died while we were still His en­e­mies so that this rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with God re­sult­ing in eter­nal life could hap­pen (Ro­mans 5:6-10). Yet just like His prom­ise to give Jeri­cho into Is­rael’s hands, this prom­ise of eter­nal life also comes with con­di­tions. Like Is­rael, we must trust Him enough to obey His com­mands to re­ceive the prom­ise.

What must we do to re­ceive the prom­ise of eter­nal life? We must be­lieve in the gospel – the good news – of Je­sus Christ (John 3:16), the good news that He came to earth, lived a sin­less life, died for our sins on the cross, was buried and then came back to life through the power of God three days later (1 Corinthi­ans 15:1-4). Je­sus promised con­cern­ing this gospel, “Who­ever be­lieves and is bap­tized shall be saved, but who­ever does not be­lieve shall be con­demned (Mark 16:1516). The Bi­ble prom­ises that Je­sus will save all who are bap­tized into His body which is His church (1 Corinthi­ans 12:13; Eph­e­sians 5:23; Ro­mans 6:1-5; Gala­tians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21). His apos­tle Peter preached this same good news to Jews in Jerusalem and told them to re­pent and be bap­tized for the for­give­ness of their sins, which they did (Acts 2:141).

What about you? God has promised you eter­nal life, but that prom­ise re­quires some­thing of you. Do you trust Him? If so, prove it by your obe­di­ence. Be­lieve in Je­sus, re­pent of your sins, and be bap­tized… and re­ceive the prom­ise of sal­va­tion.

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