Joshua: A fork in the Road

Brian Clark

Joshua: A fork in the Road

We read of tragic falls all too often. This year several people have lost their lives in the Grand Canyon because they tried to take a ‘selfie’ near the edge, fell, and died as a result. In my ministry I have had two funerals for men who fell off of ladders while trying to clean the gutters on their houses. Now and then someone will fall down a flight of stairs or simply trip and fall—and suffer terrible consequences including death. When Christians speak of ‘the Fall’, what do they mean and how bad was it? And, is there anything to learn from ‘the Fall’?

Monday…When I was a kid in Christian camp during the Summer (this was back before the earth cooled), we learned a song about the 12 spies from the book of Joshua. One of the lines was, ‘ten were bad and two were good’. Note that in this scenario six times as many were bad as were good. Could we make this point: usually, especially in today’s world, the majority will be wrong when it comes to ethical decisions and/or decisions to do what God has specifically stated. Let that soak in and teach it to your kids and grandkids. The majority can not always be trusted and, in fact, are usually wrong when it comes to the big things in life, namely what God has said. See Luke 9:62.

Tuesday…Rebellion has consequences. Always. We are reminded in the Scriptures that rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23). Witchcraft?! Yep. How? How is it possible that rebellion (against God) is like witchcraft? The answer is really fairly simple: witchcraft worships another ‘god’ and so does rebellion…rebellion substitutes self for God and so another ‘god’ is worshipped. If I were asked to characterize the American attitude in a single word (impossible, I know…but worth a try), I would say, “anti-authority.” Especially when it comes to the authority of God, most people simply will not obey and instead do as they please. That attitude is precisely what cost Adam and Eve the paradise they had. That attitude is precisely what cost Israel the land they were to inherit and that attitude is precisely what will cost far too many people the ‘rest’ they could have had with God.

Wednesday…A few years back, the license plates in Indiana had this slogan on them: “Wander Indiana.” Do you remember that? I think the intentions were good, but after severe criticism from the populace, the slogan was removed since it seemed to imply a rather dull-witted population with no sense of direction. Did you ever think of sin like that? A wandering? In my ministry, I have counseled hundreds of people and I have absolutely seen that sin causes a wandering in that there is no direction and no hope. Jesus Christ gives purpose, meaning…and direction…to life! Matthew 11:28,29.

Thursday…Tom Cruise starred in a very good sci-fi movie from a few years back entitled, “The Minority Report.” I really liked that title because of the obvious tie-in with what Christ said about His followers being in the minority. I preached a sermon with that title, “The Minority Report” and in it I ‘reported’ from the Christian minority’s viewpoint on the worldview that Christ taught us. The 10 spies were wrong to say that Israel could not rely on God to take the Promised Land. The 2 spies were correct…and they were in the decided minority. Christians will do to remember that they/we will live our entire lives in the minority at work, at school, in the military, etc.

Friday…I am so grateful for GPS technology! Like you, I have had to depend on my phone with its GPS app many times to bail me out of an unexpected jam. When the voice comes on an gives me direction, I breathe a sigh of relief. When I turn to Scripture and/or turn to the life of Christ, I likewise am so very grateful to get good directions. Psalms 119:115.

by Dale Holzbauer