The Message of Redemption through Joshua
Yesterday’s message from Pastor Benny Phillips continues with the "Age of Heroes" series. I am thankful to God for this message of inspiration, hope, and redemption. We were reminded of God's immense power in how God uses His people to overcome many obstacles that are seemingly insurmountable. It is amazing how the gospel is connected to every story in scripture. Many of these stories help me see my need for redemption in my life - everyday.
Yesterday’s "Age of Heroes" focused on the book of Joshua and in particular, the wall of Jericho. We were reminded of Joshua 24:15 "…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." The Book of Joshua describes how Joshua (a true warrior) has the power of God within Him; after all, he was commissioned by God as the one to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Joshua 6 provides us with a story that is both inspiring and encouraging. The Israelites journey to the Promised Land begins - and their first major obstacle is the city of Jericho. We were reminded of the great challenge before Joshua and his people - the walls of
Jericho appeared to be impenetrable, but Joshua had the LORD with him. The LORD God directs Joshua and his army to walk around the city of Jericho. They were to do this every day for six days, and on the seventh day to do it seven times. Then the priests were to blow the trumpets, all the people shall shout with a great shout...and the walls would be flattened. (Joshua 6:3-5) And so it was. They then marched into the city of Jericho. Joshua was a hero who led his people into the 'rest of God' that positioned his people to see God through their faith, not in Joshua, but in God.
Meanwhile, we were reminded of how Rahab (King David's great grandmother) hid the spies (Joshua 2). She was a pagan, a woman, and a prostitute, which were all categories that put her in the lowest levels of cultural class for that historical era. She was lost - her actions were deceitful, and she was condemned. Yet she believed God; she chose to obey, and through her faith in God she was saved by grace. Through Rahab, we see that no matter where we are in life - there is no place where God cannot reach us. God can redeem us despite ourselves!
The book of Joshua communicates a story of both redemption through the Great Commission (Joshua 1:1-9) and commitment to His Word (Joshua 3:8-15, 4:3-18). The theology in the story of Jericho (Joshua 6) shows us that there is wickedness in the world, and God can destroy it as He see fits. Joshua 7:10 shows us the sin of Achan, how he was destroyed for his disobedience. God can destroy wickedness if He feels He needs to, simply because of its inherent rebellion to His glory. Our sin will be judged, but thankfully Jesus died and took the judgment of God on himself. Judgment by God calls the unrighteousness of man into view, but tied with that judgment comes His mercy, patience, and grace. Thankfully, God is merciful. God is loving. God is kind.
The good news is that the entire Bible, including both the Old and New Testament, provides us with a means of inspiration with a consistent message. The message leads us to God and what redemption is about for all of us. The Bible is not intended to be a historical novel. It is intended to show us how God brings us out of the fallen world through the death of Jesus on the cross, and through which we are saved.
No matter what challenges we face now, there is hope in His power and we can trust Him. God wants us to see our true identity in Jesus Christ through stories like Joshua. He was able to overcome the obstacles despite the apparent circumstances. Rahab, despite her vocation and lifestyle, was representative of how miraculous and powerful our God can be despite ourselves. Redemption is about our great Savior who makes a way where there is no way. He will rescue us from ourselves. Nothing is going to prevent us from enjoying His love and grace, thanks to redemption. God has specific love for each of us. God is so great that he can overcome all obstacles...there is nothing that we have done that He cannot overcome in us!!