Time in the Scriptures
Pray: Thank God for guiding life throughout history.
We fast-forward forty years from yesterday’s reading (Numbers 13 & 14). The people have crossed the Jordan River and entered Canaan.
Read: Joshua 5:1-12
A few times in my life, I’ve been able to plan accurately as much as two years in advance. Some times, , I don’t seem to be able to look as much as two days in advance! God is not bound to working on our time scale.
It’s been forty years. God has “rolled away the disgrace of Egypt.” The Israelites celebrate Passover, remembering the Exodus – although Joshua and Caleb are the only two people present who can literally remember it happening. The others are relying on an old tale they heard from their parents. God’s proclamations from Numbers 14 have taken place.
In verses 11 and 12, the Israelites eat of the produce of the land of Canaan. The manna stops falling. Can you recall times and places where God promised the land to the Israelites? How long has it been since the land was first promised?
Dealing with God’s promises in Scripture can be difficult. Many of them are fulfilled within Scripture, as in this case, but on a time scale far longer than one human lifetime. Some seem to be broken. There are suggestions that they might be conditional on our behavior. It’s easy to claim promises that are made to specific people; “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…” is made to the exiles in Babylon; it’s not a blanket promise for all people! Think about how you deal with promises made in Scripture; do you assume they are always for you? Do you rely on them? Should you?
In spite of the difficulties, the testimony of Christians throughout the ages is that God’s ultimate promises – that we are loved and will be saved from our sorrows – can be trusted. May God grant you both patience and the strong assurance that you are powerfully cared for.
Pray for people who are tempted to despair.
Caring through Action
Remind someone of God’s love today.