Open My Eyes, Lord
Loving Lord, I’m grateful that You’re my father and I’m Your child. May I never take that for granted.
Read Joshua 8:30-35
 Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel,  as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses-an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.  There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses.  All the Israelites, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.  Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law-the blessings and the curses-just as it is written in the Book of the Law.  There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did Joshua and the people do after their victory?
The people had grown up with the Law. Many could recite whole passages of the Torah. Families passed down the words of God through their generations. It might appear to the casual observer that God’s Word was vital to Israelite life. But, over time, the people had become over-familiar with the text and the Law. They could recite it mechanically, talk about it theoretically, pass it on religiously, but failed to practice it in daily life. It was so familiar that it was taken for granted. So Joshua reminded the people of the importance of practicing the Law as well as knowing it: he built a new altar and led the people in making offerings; he carved God’s Word into stones, reminding the people that this was God’s Law. He gathered the assembly around the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Law. Then, he read it aloud all the way through leaving nothing out. Women, children and foreigners were included in the crowd. So Joshua demonstrated through the concrete examples of the altar, the offerings, the stone tablets, and the inclusive crowd that God’s Law is alive, real, for all people and should not be taken for granted.
How is God’s Word alive and real in your life? What could or should you do to make it more so?
Ask God to give you a deep love for his Word and a desire to make it real in your life.
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