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February 29, 2024 - Joshua 22-24

“Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said to them, ‘You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you and have obeyed my voice in all that I have commanded you.  You have not forsaken your brothers . . . Therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan’” (22:1-4).  Remember that these families had requested their land on the east side of the Jordan River.  Moses agreed to grant the request but only if they stayed and helped their brothers defeat their enemies and gain their land.  Then, they would be free of their commitment and could occupy their lands.   These tribes made a promise, and they kept it.

 

The eastern tribes further proved their faithfulness in the building of an altar of witness, not an altar of sacrifice or worship, but simply a reminder to all generations that, though east of the Jordan, they were part of Israel.  What a faithful and trustworthy bunch!  If only all of Israel was so as they committed, under Joshua, to keep the covenant of the Lord.  Joshua couild say, “Not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you” (23:14).  Furthermore, the people committed, “The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey’” (24:24).  Oh, if only that had been true (the book of Judges is next)!  But God remained true to his word!

 

Oh, for a strong, a lasting faith

To credit what the Almighty saith!

To embrace the message of his Son!

And call the joys of heaven our own!

 

Then, should the earth’s old pillars shake.

And all the wheels of nature break,

Our steady souls should fear no more

Than solid rocks when billows roar.   -- Isaac Watts (1830)

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