The moral of the story is this; we all need friends.  I will go a bit further and say we all need as many friends as we can possibly have……

I wrote a blog entitled “Church” awhile back and in said blog I expressed my, for the lack of a better word, frustration with my reading of the 13th chapter in the book of Joshua.  I believe I used the word “tedious”.  My friend Paul Kraemer kindly expressed the thought that possibly my perspective may be, and I paraphrase, “a bit shallow”.  I invite you to read Paul’s words below and I ask that you appreciate two ideas: First, friends are those who will listen and then speak truth into our lives.  Secondly, we generally model what has been modeled to us and the indication is that we ought to model friendship as Paul has modeled friendship towards me.  I am grateful as my friend took the time to listen and then took the time to encourage me.

~scott

 

April 2013

Kraemer[M]y friend and I were reading through Gods Word and came across Joshua 13. He said he was bored and disinterested with the long and tedious description of the land, borders and inheritance of the tribes of Israel in the chapter. He didn’t believe there was any relevancy; no connection to JESUS. In other words, “Why would God include a chapter of territories and description of boundaries…What is so important?  How do these words relate to my walk with Christ?”

Did he have a point? I thought maybe from his perspective but

God has taught me to examine His Word through a different lens….a fresh perspective. Searching His Word and all that’s described from His heart, His heavenly perspective has contributed in the man of God I am trying to be today.

My perspective is influenced by the world and sin. My worldly perspective is scared, selfish, distorted, angry, discontent, lazy, jealous, rebellious, short, abrasive….you get it. You live here.

To understand the Word through Gods eyes of love, compassion, forgiveness, grace and mercy I must practice; asking Him to show me “What it says, what it means and how it applies to me.”

We read the chapter together (you too?) and my thoughts concentrate of the concepts of inheritance and priesthood through Gods love and faithfulness.

The word inheritance is repeated numerous times in this short chapter. It was a promise that God made to the Israelites. Remember the Mosaic Covenant; God would give the Israelites the “land of milk and honey.”  The chapter further describes areas, boundaries and territories precisely.  The words include mountains, oceans and land given to each family or tribe of Israel.

How good is our God who in detail and order fulfills His promise? We read and experience His faithfulness from thousands of years ago. In Joshua 13 Gods shows His love and faithfulness to deliver all He had promised the previous generation. He is “the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

In two areas of the chapter the Levites are reminded “The Lord is their inheritance….” and are without an inheritance of territory or land. The Levites were set apart to “carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to serve Him and to bless in His name.”  God is to provide for all their needs.

This connects to my biblical understanding of a priest. The first time the word priest is used is in Genesis 16 when Melchizedek the king of Salem is described as “a priest of the Most High God.” Then we learn that Moses and the sons of Israel is “a kingdom of priests” to God in Exodus.  Also Aaron is anointed by God to “minister as a priest throughout their generations.” In the New Testament Hebrews describes Jesus as the High Priest who makes the perfect sacrifice of Himself on our behalf “once and for all.” While in 1 Peter and Revelations believers are “priest” part of a chosen “royal priesthood ” to God forever.

I could go on…but it does seem God has more in the reading of Joshua 13 than my friend initially thought concerning the boarders.

The reading encourages me and hopefully you of God’s love, acceptance, approval, compassion, favor, goodness and mercy…..sounds like His GRACE.  His unmerited favor given to His people because of whom He is. I am a type of Levite, His inheritance, a priest of royal linage and I can count on His provision forever. He is faithful.

Through Gods eyes and heavenly perspective I know He loves me. I’m important and special in His eyes…I have a purpose with each new day.