Miracle and Missionary
Father God, it is truly in You I live, and move, and have my being. Use me today, I pray.
Read Joshua 4:10-24
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.
“God had an only son and he was a missionary and a physician. I am a poor imitation of him…. In this service I hope to live: in it I wish to die” (Dr. David Livingstone, 1813-1873).
The echoes of the Exodus from Egypt reverberate through today’s passage. Joshua’s authority is further enhanced through the comparison with Moses. The miraculous nature of the crossing, the readiness of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh to play their part in the battles to come, and the sudden return of the Jordan to a raging torrent all highlight Joshua’s role. God’s presence is with him, so that “all the peoples of the earth might know” (24).
Mission is “our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation” (Chris Wright, The Mission of God). Joshua’s role in the crossing of the Jordan is given a universal and missionary application. The God of Joshua frees his people, opens up the land of promise and has the forces of nature under control. All Israel has to do is to witness faithfully to his saving power. They do so, not just by moving from Egypt to Canaan, but through spiritual regeneration and living as the people of God.
How do we know today that the “hand of the Lord is powerful” (24)? What does it mean to have a right “fear [of] the Lord”? The answer is in our response to what God has done for us. God redeemed Israel from the slavery of Egypt through the crossing of the Red Sea, and now the Jordan, to bring them into a liberated state, socially, politically and spiritually. Today, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the same aspects of redemption apply. Our lives are to be lived in his mighty power, and in gratitude and obedience to him. Only then will the nations see that the God of Israel still loves all his creation.
How would you define your mission or purpose in life? What aspects of Joshua’s character, role and activities would you wish to emulate? How will you achieve this?
Lord, You have called me to share the Good News of Your love with others. Today, sensitize me to opportunities to faith sharing.
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