Joshua: War and Mercy
What is life like after one’s sin is exposed and/or one surrenders to sin? All over the news the last many days has been the story of Jeffrey Epstein. The details are much too sordid to write on in this context, but we can say that this man is disgusting to say the very least. Epstein skated on serious moral charges several years ago. Epstein made millions (billions?) of dollars and, as far as we know now, never helped anyone, though with his assets he could have been a benefactor to thousands. Epstein ruined many lives. Epstein preyed on young people. Epstein was enabled by scores of people and was joined in his perversion by scores more. Statistically, he will face God inside of 15-20 years and then what? It goes without saying that there is much to learn from this twisted, immoral, indecent, foolish man.
Monday…Hebrews 9:27 is one of the most sobering verses among the more than 31,100 verses in the Bible. Take a moment to read it and be reminded that everyone will die. We all have an appointment to keep and the bravado that sin sometimes allows will then evaporate. We all will face judgment. We all will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. These are the facts. Determine now, if you have not already done so, that your life will be one of obedience…not like the Israelites who chose to disobey God and be swallowed up with fear, doubt and overt sin.
Tuesday…Do you believe that “the way of sinners is hard”? Sometimes it does not seem so, but Proverbs 13:15 says this is so. The fact is that the way sinners live seems (most of the time) to be just fine. The truth is that after one ‘falls’ into sin and allows sin to have dominion, a downward progression begins and results in hell fire unless Jesus intervenes. We see the ‘fall’ of Adam and Eve and the ‘fall’ which took place as Israel refused to obey God even after their rescue from Egypt and we see the ‘fall’ in our own lives when we drift from the truth of Christ and the Word.
Wednesday… It is said of Canaan that the land “vomited out its inhabitants”. Wow! That is graphic. See Leviticus 18 and 20, Jeremiah 9 and Ezekiel 36 for descriptions as to how evil ancient Canaan was. Joshua’s army was given a mandate and that mandate was to clean out the land so that it could be the embassy for the people of God. When Israel initially…and eventually…(Judges 1) decided NOT to do that, they suffered greatly. We Christians need to remember that we are to have no connection with evil. To do so, will bring about our ‘fall’!
Thursday…A little boy wanted to help his dad. His dad was a carpenter and was working on a beautiful desk when he was called into the house by his wife. The little boy picked up a hammer and several nails and drove those nails into the desk. When the father returned, he was taken aback by what the little boy had done. When the child was told that the nails did not go there, he said, “Daddy, we can just pull them out then.” “Yes”, replied the dad, “we can pull them out, but the holes will remain.” Before you go into sin, if you think, “I’ll just repent later”, remember that the ‘holes’ will remain. Sin simply is not worth it!
Friday…I heard a sermon once comparing sin to a mental breakdown. It was a good sermon during which the preacher made the point that if one could see what the results of sin were going to be, the sin would be abandoned. Ah, yes…that is the rub is it not? We simply cannot see the outcome of our sin. If we could… Adam and Eve could not see the results of their sin. The disobedient 10 spies in Joshua’s day could not see in advance the results of their cowardice and distrust of God. Let’s be wise and know in advance the truth of this statement: “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).
By Dale Holzbauer