Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 7 August 2022:
Joshua 6:2-5 – “And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus, shall you do for six days…. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and 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, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
God tears down the walls, but we must be obediently persistent, refusing to give up, in order to share in the victory. Imagine the perspective of the Israelites at Jericho: They march around the city on day one with no apparent results; they march around the city on day two; again, no apparent results, and this continues for days. Imagine if, after the sixth time marching around the city on the seventh day, they just quit in hopelessness. They wouldn’t have experienced God’s miraculous victory in their lives. It takes faith to keep marching in obedience when results aren’t evident, but without faith, it is impossible to please God. Maybe you have been praying for years for a lost friend or family member – keep praying. You don’t know what God might do on the sixth march on the seventh day.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) Finally, we must not lose perspective that we are fighting a spiritual battle, and spiritual victories often look like physical or temporal losses. We must die to live, be weak to be strong, and ready to lose to win –
- 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 — But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 — But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
- 1 Corinthians 15:57 — but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 2:14 — But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
- Romans 8:18 — For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Psalm 89:1 — “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.”
We were created to glorify God on earth. We were not created simply for heaven, and eternal life is not something we experience only after we die. Eternal life is something we experience now, on earth – “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (see John 17:3 and read Jesus’ prayer for us). We were specifically made as both physical and spiritual entities so we could translate God’s spiritual qualities and truths into the physical world for His glory. Don’t let sin distract you from your earthly calling of glorifying God and enjoying Him right now while you patiently await His triumphant return.
- Matthew 6:10 — Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
- Isaiah 65:17 — “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
- Isaiah 66:22 — “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.
- 2 Peter 3:13 — But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
- Revelation 3:12 — The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
- Revelation 21:1 — Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
- Revelation 21:2 — And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
God’s plan brings the physical and spiritual into harmony. In fact, upon Christ’s return, His final restoration will include a new heaven and new earth, where everyone will see God as King over all, both a physical realm and a spiritual realm. While we wait for the final fulfillment of redemption and Christ’s triumphant return, we are to live out and proclaim the truth of our redemption on earth while on a mission of reconciliation. We have been given the wonderful calling to proclaim Christ and to display His love “that the world may believe!” We are Ambassadors for Christ, “God making his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).”
“With my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” Remember, God’s plan is for generations. We don’t know when Jesus will return in His glory to restore all things — “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32) We are called to remain vigilant and ready, but also to prepare future generations. “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50) Proclaim the truth to the next generation.
- Psalm 78:4-7 — We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
- Deuteronomy 6:5-9 — You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
- Psalm 71:18 — So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Sing Jesus’ praises today to all generations. Live boldly and victoriously, rejoicing in all circumstances, not rejoicing because of the circumstances but because of the grace of God! The more you appreciate the love and faithfulness of Jesus, the more you will be compelled to sing out His praises uncontrollably, regardless the situation. If singing the praises of Jesus is not your natural reaction, pray for a deeper revelation of Him. In the meantime, sing anyway and see if that doesn’t help increase your joy and enthusiasm to share Him with others.
Proverbs 7:1-3 – My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
God’s commands are intended for your very best, though the sinful heart views them and needlessly restricting. Throughout the Bible, you will see God passionately warn people to obey His word for their benefit; and throughout the Bible, you will see people reject God’s impassioned plea with devastating results. This pattern continues today.
God’s word, empowered by the Holy Spirit, changes what you care about (heart), what you think about or gaze upon (eyes), and what you choose to do (fingers). There are three levels of motivation: fear (the lowest form of motivation), duty (works), and love (the greatest form of motivation). At first, we might obey God because we are scared not to obey; then we might obey God because we know we should; but as we grow, we begin to obey God because we truly desire to, because of our love. Despite how you might feel, obey, and grow. Note that theses verses introduce a warning against adultery. There are many books out there on how to affair-proof your marriage. What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 7: 6, 7 – For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense.”
The Holy Spirit will use God’s word to give you a perception in life others don’t have. As you read God’s word and walk in God’s word, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the truth of God’s word in the circumstances and activities that are occurring around you every day. You will begin to see and understand what God is doing in the lives of others around you, and you will have opportunities to help others understand the truth too. When you read God’s word in the morning, God will continue to teach it to you all day long if you keep your eyes and ears open.
You can see the truth of God’s word at work in the lives of others and learn. Wisdom understands without need of personal experience.
God wants you to learn from the mistakes of others. As the Founding Fathers said, God’s truth is “self-evident.” It is not hard to see the consequences of rebellion against the Lordship of Jesus if you have eyes to see.
Look and see God’s truth being revealed all around you in the lives of others.
Proverbs 7:10 — And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
How you dress reveals much about your character. Your clothing is a public display that always makes a statement, whether intentional or not. In everything you do, do it for God’s glory, including getting dressed to meet the world as God’s messenger.
Proverbs 7:11 – She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home….
The wicked are loud and lawless, true?
Proverbs 7:18 – She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home.
The wicked pursue pleasure in disobedience to God. They deceive themselves into thinking there are no consequences.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 7 August 22: Today, “sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with [your] mouth… make known [His] faithfulness to all generations.”
- Luke 12:43 — Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.