The benefit of obedience
This is another instance where the Scripture ties
to obedience to Him and His word (Jos. 1:7-8; cf. Deut. 28:1-2). Obedience
is the basis for Joshua’s success and prosperity (Jos.1:7-8).
Obedience that is required of him is total obedience to all of God’s
word (Jos. 1:7). The success that will accompany his obedience is complete
success (Jos. 1:7). To enable him obey the word, Joshua must know it
thoroughly by reciting it and storing it in his mind and heart and
going over and bringing it out regularly and living it out in his life
always. This is what it means to meditate on the word and not let it
depart from his mouth (Jos. 1:8). As far as God’s success and
prosperity are concerned, the rule is the same for us as it was for
Joshua (Jos. 1:7-8; cf. Deut. 28:1-2; Ps. 1:1-3). God’s blessings
are meant for the obedient, not the disobedient (Jos. 1:7-8; cf. Deut.
28:1-2). The disobedient are entitled to His curses, not His blessings
(Deut. 28:15-68; Ps. 1:4-6). This is God’s everlasting decree,
consistent with His being (see Ps. 11:7; Ps. 145:17-21). Therefore,
anyone who desires God’s blessings and prosperity must commit
himself to obey Him wholeheartedly. His blessings and prosperity
are tied to obeying Him and His word (Jos. 1:7-8; cf. Deut. 28:1-2).
order to obey His word, we must know it thoroughly. No one can obey
that which he does not know. To know the word thoroughly we must
learn it regularly and take it to heart permanently (see Rom. 10:9-10).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to obey you and
your word wholeheartedly always.
2. Father, please take away everything that prevents me from obeying
always in all things.
God’s right to judge
The passage indicates that it is the Lord who has
promised to judge the nation of Damascus (Amos 1:3-5). Since He
is Lord, He has the ultimate
right to judge
all nations, including Damascus. He alone has this responsibility because
He alone is God. No one else rivals or equals Him in this responsibility
cf. Ps. 50:6). He alone is the judge of all the earth. Like Damascus, every
nation is subject to Him. As He judged her, so will He Judge all
nations and men (Rom.
14:10-12; Acts 17:31). No one can escape His judgment. The only way to escape
His judgment is to turn from sin to Him (Lk.13:1-5; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 3:19-20).
Anyone who turns from his sin to Him will certainly find mercy (Prov. 28:13).
It is a dreadful thing to come under God’s judgment (cf. Heb. 10:31).
Unless we repent and turn to Him, the Lord who is love now will become judge
us (Rom. 14:10-12).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please save me from your judgment.
2. Father, please enable me to be ready for your judgment.
3. Father, please take away everything that hinders me from being ready
for your judgment.
Our enemies are melting away in fear
Before Joshua attacked Jericho as part of his campaigns
to take the Promised Land, he sent spies to look over the land (Jos.
spies had the opportunity
to hear how the people of Jericho felt about the Israelites, as told to them
by a citizen of Jericho (Jos. 2:8-11). According to their informant, the report
of the miracles and victories the Lord gave the Israelites made everyone in
Jericho to melt away in fear (Jos. 2:9-10; cf. Jos. 2:24). Furthermore,
as a result of
this report, every one’s heart sank, and everyone’s courage failed
(Jos. 2:11). This is what the Lord did for the Israelites against Jericho, before
the city even fell. He did the same thing for them against Amorite and Canaanite
kings (Jos. 5:1). He can do the same and even more for us today. All our enemies
are at His mercy. Since we are God’s, the battles they wage against us
are actually waged against God (see 1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15; cf. Acts 9:4-5).
We must not fret or take God’s laws into our own hands because of them
(Rom. 12:17-21). Our weapons cannot even give us victory over them (1 Sam.
17:47; Ps. 44:4-7). It is enough that God has promised to be with us and to
battles (Jos. 1:5; Matt. 28:20). We must allow God to deal with our alleged
enemies as it pleases Him and as He sees fit (Rom. 12:17-21).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please deal with my enemies as
it pleases you and as you see fit.
2. Father, please do not let my enemies triumph over me.
The benefit of consecration
Consecration is an act of being set apart as holy
unto God (see Lev.11:44-45; Lev.20:7). While the Israelites camped
beside the Jordan, during their journey
to the promised land, Joshua commanded them to consecrate themselves in view
of or in preparation for the Lord’s miracle (Jos.3:5). This was an appropriate
preparation. There was no better preparation for God’s mighty visitation
than this (Jos.3:5). Joshua did not make any mistake. Consecration and miracle
are intertwined (see Jos.7:10-13. The former is the basis or condition for the
latter (see Jos.7:10-13). Miracles do not thrive where there is no consecration
(see Jos.7:10-13). In fact, lack of consecration hinders God’s miracles
(see Jos.7:10-13). Therefore, anyone who desires God’s mighty miracles
must be fully consecrated to Him (see Num.12:6-8; see also Jos.7:10-13). Anyone
who holds back his or her consecration holds back God’s miracles in
his or her life (see Num.12:6-8; see also Jos.7:10-13).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please consecrate me fully unto
2. Father, please take away whatever hinders me from being fully
consecrated unto you.
From the cross to the crown
We learn four important lessons from this passage.
First the crucifixion of Jesus was the deliberate act of God (Acts
2:36; Matt. 26:53-54). It was neither an
accident nor punishment for an offence or a crime. The Father deliberately
gave Him up for our salvation (Rom. 8:32; Rom. 4:25). Second, His crucifixion
not end in His humiliation, but in His triumph and exaltation (Acts 2:36; cf.
Is. 53:1-12; Phil. 2:5-11). Our Saviour is not only the crucified one, but
the Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Third, it is the same Jesus who was
is Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). There is no difference or distinction between
Jesus the crucified and Jesus who rose from the dead (Acts 2:36). The Jesus
before Easter is the same one after it. The Jesus of history is the
same one as the
Christ of faith (Acts 2:36). Fourth, God often chooses to act in this manner.
For Him , the way up may be down. It is by the cross that Jesus received the
crown. It is by giving up His only begotten Son that God worked salvation for
mankind (Jn.3:16). It is by giving up all for His sake that we also receive
our own crown(Matt.10:37-39;Lk.9:23-25).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to give up everything
for your sake.
2. Father, please enable me to persevere unto the end, even if it
doing so unto death.
God exalts His servants
While camping at Jordan, during their journey
to the Promised Land, with the Jordan standing in their way,
to exalt Joshua
in the eyes of the
Israelites (Jos.3:7). According to God, this is so that the Israelites will
know that He is with him as He was with Moses (Jos.3:7). God’s promised exaltation
of Joshua was to serve as proof of his divine commissioning (Deut.31:14, 23).
Joshua needed this exaltation, especially in the face of the obstacle posed to
their journey by the Jordan. God’s promise to him is therefore most
timely. God fulfilled His promise to Joshua to the letter (Jos.4:14). Like
we also need God to exalt us, especially when we are in great need or facing
challenges. It is the nature of God to exalt His servants by performing miracles
for or through them (see Deut.34:10-12; Jn.11:41-44; Acts 3:1-8). Let us
trust Him to exalt us as He did Joshua (Jos.4:14). The responsibility and
and Glory are His (Lk.1:37).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please exalt me as you exalted
2. Father, please enable me to trust you for my exaltation and upliftment.
The source of the psalmist’s security
According to this passage, the psalmist looks up to
the Lord for safety and protection from the wicked (Ps. 12:7). He does
not look up to any other, except Him. It
is true that the Lord alone can guarantee safety and protection (Ps.127:1).
His own safety and protection never fails (see Ps.121:3-4). Other sources
and protection do fail, but His own never does (Ps.127:1). Like the psalmist,
anyone who desires safety and protection must seek them from the Lord alone.
It is indeed useless to seek for safety and protection elsewhere (cf.Ps.127:2).
It is only the Lord and no other, who can give and guarantee safety and protection
(see Ps.127:1). For the Lord, this is an everlasting duty (see Ps.12:7; Ps.121:8).
His safety and protection are available for His children forevermore (Ps.12:7;
PRAYER: 1. Father, please let your safety and protection
be my portion.
2. Father, please enable me to trust you alone for my safety and