Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Introduction to the Book of Joshua

Henri Rossier, a nineteenth century writer, begins his Meditations on the Book of Joshua with an arresting comparison:

The Book of Joshua gives us, in type, the subject of the Epistle to the Ephesians. The journey across the desert had come to an end, and the children of Israel had now to cross the Jordan led by a new guide, and to take possession of the land of promise, driving out the enemies who dwelt there. It is the same for us. The heavenly places are our Canaan, into which we enter by the power of the Spirit of God, who unites us to an ascended Christ. Joshua with an arresting comparison:, and seats us together in Him in the glory, so that thus we enjoy anticipatively this glory which He has acquired for Himself, into which He will introduce us, and which we shall share, ere long, with Him.

Alan Redpath, in his book Victorious Christian Living: Studies in the Book of Joshua. “I would suggest,” he begins, “that the clue to the interpretation of this Old Testament book is found in the epistle to the Ephesians…” He goes on, “I believe that we shall understand the real significance of the book of Joshua only if we recognize that what it is in the Old Testament the epistle to the Ephesians is in the New. This suggestion, of course, has to be substantiated from the Word of God itself.”

Overview up to this point in Scripture

In Genesis, Israel was born as a nation in the call and promises of God to Abraham (Election of the nation).

In Exodus, the nation was delivered out of bondage in Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and was given God’s Holy Law (Redemption of the nation).

In Leviticus, the nation was taught how to worship in view of God’s holiness (Sanctification of the nation).

In Numbers, they were tested and numbered as a nation (Direction and Wandering of the nation).

In Deuteronomy, the law was reviewed and reiterated and closed with the assurance that Israel would possess the land (Instruction of the nation).

In Joshua, the nation crossed over Jordan and took possession of the land (Possession by the nation). If Moses is the symbol of deliverance, then Joshua is the symbol of victory. Joshua teaches us that faith “is the victory that overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4).

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Give God Your Brokenness

You long to heal the inner man
Where we are bruised and scarred
The memories of the hurts we have
Still linger from the past

We need to give the past to you
So you can begin to mend
The brokenness within our souls,
To bring wholeness once again

Lord, you see the deepest part
Where others cannot see
And only you can feel the pain
That's there inside of me

Lord, you saw what I went through,
You held each tear I cried
You wanted then to show yourself,
To pour your love inside

I couldn't see you reaching out;
I didn't know you were there
I felt so very much alone;
I didn't know you cared

But now, as I look back, I see
You cared about my life
When I was in my darkest times,
You were there by my side

So help me now to reach to you,
To know you so much more,
To really know the depth of your love,
To know you as my Lord. 
By M.S.Lowndes

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Bible - It's 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

Deuteronomy
And thou shalt remember all the way which Jehovah thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2

Deuteronomy means "repetition of the law." It is mainly an address by Moses to Israel, in which he faithfully reviews their history, bringing everything out in the light of God's own glory. He shows in that history not only God's approval of their acts of obedience and His disapproval of faithlessness and disobedience, but also the marvellous grace, patience, and wisdom of God in the ways of His government. So they are to remember that God has led them, and all the way in which He has led them. Far from exalting them in the world, He has humbled them, and put them to the proof as to whether or not they would be obedient. He had allowed them to hunger, and fed them with manna, that they might realize their dependence upon Him and upon the truth and sufficiency of His Word.
The book also confirms and emphasizes the responsibility of Israel to diligently do the will of God in view of giving account to Him. In this way it puts us in mind of the judgment seat of Christ; and being a book of great detail, it reminds us that the details of our lives are far more important than we might like to think, for these will receive close attention when we stand before the Lord in that day.

Joshua
Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread have I given to you, as I said unto Moses. Joshua 1:3

Joshua means "Jehovah Savior," the same name asJesus in the Greek language. This is a book of militant conquest and victory. Israel is seen calmly dependent upon God, not rushing eagerly to battle, but with quiet deliberation taking each step as led by the Word of God. They enter the Promised Land by the divine stepping of the river Jordan, a type of the death and resurrection of Christ as linked with His people. Each enemy in turn must give way to God's power among His armies. Though there were painful setbakcs for Israel because of their lack of faith, yet the general theme is that of taking possession of the land God had given them, and this by disposessing their enemies.

The book compares with Ephesians in the New Testament, for the land of Canaan speaks of "heavenly places," the present blessed sphere into which believers are brought "in Christ Jesus." Our blessings are in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3); our position is there (ch. 2:6); and our conflict is there also (ch. 6:12). And in order for us to take proper possession of our possessions, we must have on "the whole armor of God," by which to resist and defeat the hosts of Satan, who would hinder our enjoying what is rightly ours. Therefore, the Word of God is to be our meditation "day and night" (Josh. 1:8). And Joshua is a type of "Christ in you," that is, in all His saints, leading them in victory over all the enemy's power. By faith let our feet tread in that good land, and make it experimentally our own.

Judges
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25

Judges is a sad contrast to Joshua. It deals with the time in which a succession of judges followed Joshua as governors of Israel in their land. But its main theme is that of Israel's failure to take possession of all their land. Instead, through indifference or weakness (or both), they did not drive out the enemies of God, so that those enemies often and again brought Israel into subjection to them. Again and again, through disobedience to God, they were overcome by enemies*, yet on every such occasion God in wonderful mercy raised up a deliverer for them.

This reminds us of those books in the New Testament, such as Galatians and I Corinthians, written because of the need of serious reproof and correction. Though we may in some degree be enjoying the pure truth of the living Word of God, our inheritance ‑ that great land of the heavenly places with its innumerable blessings ‑ remains very largely unpossessed by the saints of God. Lack of faith, lack of spiritual energy, lack of genuine love for Christ, has left us too indifferent to the precious fulness of the possessions that are properly ours.

The last verse of the book of Judges, quoted, above, emphasizes Israel's unthankful independence in those days, each man doing right in his own eyes. A spirit of insubjection to proper authority will leave any of us just as barren of spiritual prosperity.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Bible - Its 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

Exodus
And Jehovah said, I have seen assuredly the affliction of my people who are in Egypt ... And I am come down to deliver them. Exodus 3:7,8

Exodus means "Going out." Deliverance is its great theme. Here we find Israel grown to a great nation, but under bondage to the Egyptians as slaves. After much trouble and anguish, and after God's sending many dreadful plagues upon Egypt, Israel is liberated. First in chapter 12, the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of the houses was typical of our redemption from the guilt of our sins by the blood of Christ. Secondly, the parting of the Red Sea and Israel's safely crossing before the Egyptians were trapped and drowned is a type of our redemption by the power of God from the bondage of sin and of the world, a redemption accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ.

A second section of the book, beginning with chapter 19, deals with the giving of the law and the building of the tabernacle, together with the institution of a special priesthood in Israel. While today believers are in no sense under law, yet the giving of the law symbolizes God's authority being established among a redeemed people. The high priest is a type of Christ, linked with the family of priests, who typify all saints today the Church of God, believer priests who worship God by the Spirit, rather than by carnal forms. But the tabernacle service illustrates beautifully also the grace by which God cares continually for His people, delighting to have them near Himself on the basis of the sacrifice of Christ.

Leviticus
This is what Jehovah spoke, saying, I will be hallowed in them that come near me, and before all the people I will be glorified. 
Leviticus 10:3

Leviticus is named for Levi, whose name means "joined." It is a book that deals with God's holy principles in joining His people to Himself as worshippers. Therefore we are first faced with the offerings necessary for approaching God: the burnt offering, meat offering, peace offering, sin offering, trespass offering all pictures of the one offering of Christ in its various aspects. The priesthood too is prominent. Aaron is a type of Christ, the Great High Priest; his sons are a type of all believers of this present church age who are called "a holy priesthood," and "a kingly priesthood" (I Pet. 2:5, 9).

Various other laws also appear in this book. Defilement would disqualify one from approaching God until such time as the defilement was cleansed away by God's appointed means. The eating of unclean meats was forbidden; this symbolizes the refusal of that which is morally unclean. And leprosy, typical of the corruption of sin at work in an individual, would render him unfit for drawing near to God. So would other ceremonial uncleanness, but only because they are typical of moral uncleanness or spiritual uncleanness. We no longer observe the type, but the reality which the type is intended to impress upon us.

Chapter 23 lists the seven feasts of Jehovah to be kept by Israel, not for their own pleasure, but in the worship of God. All of these point to the greatness of God's own work in His dispensational dealings. The great theme of Leviticus is that of drawing near to God in holy worship.

Numbers
According to the commandment of Jehovah they were numbered by Moses, every one for his service, and for his burden, and numbered by him, as Jehovah had commanded Moses. Numbers 4:49

This book gives the numbering and ordering of Israel on their march through the wilderness. God gave directions for their service and warfare as they were on their way to the land of Canaan. All were given their own particular place by God, whether each of the twelve tribes, whence were chosen the soldiers; or whether Kohathites, Gershonites, or Merarites, the families of the tribe of Levi, who were appointed to serve the priests in caring for the tabernacle and its service. In these details we see a picture of God's great wisdom and care in ordering all the affairs of the lives of' His saints for their history in the world, a world which in experience we find to be a wilderness.

Their history is one of almost forty years of general weakness, failure, complaining, and disobedience. It has been too sadly repeated in the Church today. Yet God's unfailing care and faithfulness shines beautifully above their failure. This is prominent in the history of Balaam (ch. 22 - 24), in which is seen God's defending of His people against every effort of the enemy to put them down.

Joshua and Caleb (ch. 14:6-9) are refreshing examples of unswerving devotedness, however, in contrast to the general disobedience; and they remind us strongly that we need not be failures. A true sense of God's numbering and ordering, and placing us where He sees fit, in whatever service pleases Him, will give us steadfast endurance, whatever others may do.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Bible - Its 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

Foreword

These brief outlines of the 66 Books of the Bible first appeared on the pages of the "Lord Is Near" - a daily Scriptural meditation calendar - which is available through many Christian Bookstores or from the publishers of this book (Believers Bookshelf).

Leslie Grant has, in his usual concise and straightforward style, set forth the highlights of each book of the Bible. Individuals, Bible students and teachers alike, will find these outlines to be very helpful in gaining an overall view of the Scriptures It is our prayer that the Holy Spirit will use these outlines to stimulate all who read them to a fuller and deeper study of God's Holy word.

Genesis
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.'
Genesis 1:1

Genesis means "beginning." It deals with creation and life, giving the seeds of all that is later developed throughout the entire Bible. Genesis beautifully depicts the simplicity of early life upon earth; but the beginning of sin and corruption is also seen there together with God's abhorrence and judgment of evil. Genesis symbolizes the life giving work of God begun in a soul new birth with promise of fruit to come.

The book specially revolves around the lives of seven outstanding patriarchs:

1. In Adam are seen lessons of life and death. He is the figure of Christ, for he was the head of a race; but a contrast to Christ, for death claimed him, whereas Christ is a Living Head.

2. Enoch teaches us of walk and translation. He walked with God, and "by faith was translated," a type of saints to be raptured at the coming of the Lord.

3. Noah illustrates work and salvation. His work was a work of faith, and his salvation was into a new world, a type of those believers saved through the Tribulation for the millennial earth.

4. Abraham tells us of faith and separation. His altar speaks of the first, his tent of the second. By God's call he became a pilgrim.

5. Isaac shows the principles of submission and continuance, for in general his was an obedient, consistent life.

6. Jacob illustrates discipline and anticipation. God's dealings are seen in his life in securing Jacob's subjection and leading him on to worship as death approached.

7. Joseph: suffering and exaltation is the theme of his life. a precious example for faith in all ages.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Ten)

Building Block of Intimacy
In Genesis, back in the beginning we read that Adam and Eve were both naked, the man and his wife and were not ashamed (Gen. 2:25). We also read there in Genesis before Adam’s disobedience and sin enter the world that God commanded them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 1:28). Intimacy and mutual physical fulfillment have always been part of the husband and wife relationship.

Hebrews 13:4 informs us that “marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” meaning that within the protective bonds of marriage sex can be enriching and glorifying to God. The husband and wife are to find sexual fulfillment in each other. We have to remember that marriage and everything that comes with it was God’s idea, He was the designer of it. This world has corrupted the intimacy of it, but God has multiple purposes for intimacy within the boundaries of marriage, let’s look at a few of them:

Intimacy within marriage is first of all for procreation. Sex within marriage is the process God gave us to multiply a godly heritage. But He also designed intimacy in a marriage to be protective. This special intimacy is to be reserved for the husband and wife with each other. Paul writes “Because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). When a husband and wife maintain intimacy they are helping to protect each other from a sexually obsessed society. They are protecting their own faithfulness.

Scripture also teaches us that intimacy within marriage is also for the pleasure of the husband and wife. Scriptures like Song of Songs 4:10-12, 5:15-19 and Proverbs 5:18-19 clearly show us that intimacy within marriage is not evil or sinful. It was designed by God to bring pleasure and enjoyment in the relationship between husband and wife.

In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 Paul teach that a man and woman come together in marriage, each can expect sexual intimacy from the other. Paul also teaches there that if one partner decides to abstain, it is first to be agreed upon with the other and then only for a brief time. It is important to note that the Bible teaches that mankind is made up spirit, soul and body. Scripture always presents it in this order! In a marriage there ought to be care and time given to all three of these areas between the husband and wife; His spirit to her spirit, this is caring for one another’s spiritual needs. Soul to soul, this is caring for one another’s emotional needs and body to body, this caring for one another’s physical needs. This helps build and maintain a strong marriage! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

Building a Strong Marriage (Part Nine)

Building Block of Spiritual Fellowship

The Christian marriage can be seen as a triangle! In one corner is the husband and in the opposite corner is the wife, but sitting at the point above both is the Lord! This is illustrated for us in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” 

The last part of these verses speak of a threefold cord is not quickly broken. This describes the strength of a marriage that is built around the Lord! The husband and wife are not only intertwined together, but they are both together wrap around the Lord and He is at the center of their marriage! This is that triangle mentioned early, both husband and wife growing closer to the Lord who is at the top of the triangle but as each one gets closer to the Lord they actually get closer to one another! This is spiritual fellowship in the marriage!

In Ephesian 5:25-28 we read that just as Christ sacrificed Himself for the church the husband is to love his wife. We also read that as Christ is presently sanctifying the church by the washing water by the Word, the husband is to love his wife the same way, setting her apart from all others! He can also set her apart by spending time in the Word of God with her, seeing to her spiritual grow! Then we see in verse 27 that one day Lord will present the church to Himself holy and without spot! There is such security in this wonderful truth! In the same way the wife should feel spiritual, emotionally and physically secure because of the fellowship with her husband!

Peter refers to fellowship in prayers in the marriage as fellow heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). As the husband understands his wife, giving her honor and seeing her as a joint heir of the grace of life, he will be able to pray with power. If he does not, Peter says, his prayers will be hindered. 

The grace of life here may not only refer to eternal life, but in the context may also refer to the true intimate friendship that belongs only to those who are possessors of God’s most blessed gift in this life, marriage. This is the only time in all of Scripture this expression is used “fellow heirs of the grace of life” and it is use in relation to a husband and wife enjoying fellowship together! Peter seems to be assuming that husbands and wives enjoy the sweet privilege of prayer together as heirs of the grace of life! Husbands and wives are not simply two people living in the same house, but fellow heirs of the grace of life! Enjoy that and develop it more as you prayer and read together drawing closer to the Lord together!

Tim Hadley Sr.