- Pastoral Staff
JOSHUA: God's Side
The book of Joshua begins with the death of Moses and the Lord commissioning Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. Dueteronomy 24:9 describes Joshua this way, “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.”
The book of Joshua continues with God admonishing Joshua to be “strong and very courageous” and giving Joshua the assurance that God would be with Joshua just as God had been with Moses. Also in the book of Joshua we are told how God worked miracles to help the Israelites defeat their enemies. The most famous of the miracles was God knocking down the walls of Jericho after the Israelites marched around the city for seven days. In another battle, God caused the enemy army to flee and God rained large hailstones from the sky and more enemy soldiers were killed by the hailstones than by the swords of the Israelite army.
When Israel was safely in the promised land, Joshua recounted for them the many miracles God has performed to prove His faithfulness to His people going back as far as God’s promises to Abraham. Joshua then pressed the people of Israel to make a choice. In Joshua 24:14-15 Joshua said, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
We face the same challenge today. We must choose this day whom we will serve. Whether the gods of this world, the prizes of our culture such as possessions, or popularity, or power, or fashion or people. We must choose whether we will join with those who seem to be bent on creating division and chaos in our communities or if we will join in the Spirit of Christ to work toward unity and peace. We must choose whether we will choose a particular political party or whether we will choose to side with God.
During the Civil War a man approached President Lincoln and said in part, “we trust . . . God is on our side and will give us the victory.” To which Mr. Lincoln replied, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side. My greatest concern is to be on God’s side for God is always right.”
In these days of political unrest and medical pandemics we must seek to find God’s leadership and direction and choose to follow it. To find that leadership and direction we will need to get away from the hype of the media and find our private prayer closets, search the scriptures and wait for the tender whispers of the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s direction to us. As individuals, as communities, as nations it is important for us to find the direction God is leading and with Joshua proclaim, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
-Pastor Ken Douglass