Monday, November 22, 2010

We Will Not Keep Silent

"No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you." Joshua 1:5

The task before Joshua was daunting - enter a land that had been inhabited for hundreds of years by idol-worshipping pagans and empty it - either drive them out or kill them, but get rid of them all. At first glance, this call seems unreasonable. Why couldn't they just slip in over the border, set up a few cities and cohabit for a while, until they meld back into their land?

But the call deserves a second glance. Here's the truth of the matter:
  • This land was theirs - God had given it to Abraham and since God is the Creator of all things, it was His to give - it was their inheritance and their future
  • They had left their land as a large family and were returning as a nation - they needed more space than a few cities could manage
  • For the past forty years, this people had watched their elders and parents die off, they had watched God provide, they had lived as slaves and then nomads, and the anticipation of receiving their land and establishing their homes again was at the verge of becoming reality
  • To allow pagans to stay in the land would be to allow the enemies of God to dwell among them - a cancer that would spread, a leprosy that would kill if not completely separated and destroyed
So Joshua stood at the edge of the land and God spoke those words. Could God have possibly said anything more comforting? What more would Joshua ever need?

I understand that today we are aliens in this land and that our home is with the Lord. But I think that we misuse this concept and rather live by the idiom, "When in Rome, do as the Romans."

Here's my issue: we are aliens because we have been chosen out of the world to be the people of God. Men love darkness rather than light, so because they hated Jesus, they are going to hate us as well. We live like strangers in this world because we are not of the world. But ultimately, this world will return into the hands of the Righteous One, and He shall reign forever and ever.

So, instead of deciding to step over the border and set up cities within this world, I believe we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Not that we are to drive out or kill in the literal sense, but we are to conquer - we are not called to meld into our society and cohabit - we are to be imitators of Christ, knowing that the same promises given to Joshua are ours to claim.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19

Sounds to me like we have the same call, from the same God, with the same promise attached.

1 comment:

  1. Yes we have the assurance from God, just like we have been studying in John 17:15-17 "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you will protect them from the evil one. They are not of this world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is the truth".