I was scrolling through the other day, and this picture of Scripture popped up. Oh, I love the book of Joshua. If you haven’t read it lately, I suggest you do so! Any who, I was looking at the verse that was highlighted, Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Man, that’s some good stuff! A strong battle cry, “Rak Chazak Amats”, be strong and of good courage! I have seen this verse on coffee mugs, posters, and t-shirts. I actually have a shirt of my own that says it in the Hebrew. When I read it, I am filled with power and the knowledge that I am not alone in all of this craziness!
After all these thoughts, I drew my attention back to the picture. I started thinking, “What about the part that is not highlighted?” Here are the verses before this most quoted verse 9,
“7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve success.”
Am I living according to the Creator’s instructions? Is my life set apart to Him? Do my actions and beliefs line up with my Savior, the perfect example of righteousness? If my answer is NO, then why do I feel like I am entitled to receive blessings from Yah? I am not I tell you! I can’t expect to receive all the “highlighted” promises without acknowledging I have a responsibility to follow the parts that are black and white.
Listen friends, I’m not just blowing smoke over here, this is the reality of how Yahweh operates. Go back and read Numbers 14 and see what happens when people take it upon themselves to assume that the Father was with them when He wasn’t after they disobeyed His command. Yah does not fight battles for the disobedient! Go read Judges! When the people were following His Way, they had rest and blessings, but when the people did not, they were overtaken by their enemies and made to be their slaves. Please go and read the prophets, please please read your whole Bible! See how the Father continually gives us over to our own hearts desires, and when those desires don’t line up to His Truth and profane His name, we are left to pay the consequences. For real guys, do you think it would be false for me to assume that the Father is not supporting me when I am wilfully going against His Truth?! I think not! The Father is loving and kind and would not, as a loving father, reinforce bad behavior or assist me in sin.
I’m not trying to be all legalistic over here, but really, what is legalistic about having a desire to please the One who created you? What is legalistic about trying to walk in the perfect instructions of the Father who gave them for our own good, to teach us how to live in this corrupt world and bring glory to His name? Really the whole Bible is about how to walk in a way that keeps us safe from sin and shines a light to the nations. Deuteronomy 4:5-8 says, 5“See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. 6“So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? 8“Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” The nations will come to know the Father because we look different than the world! We don’t blend in! Our God has something better to offer than the shackles they are bound with! We are to be set apart.
Let me ask you this too, is it legalistic to try to walk as Jesus (Yeshua) walked? Doesn’t 1 John 2:3-6 say, “3By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” I should walk as He walked, shouldn’t I? Doesn’t Scripture say He was without sin, obedient unto the Father? (Go read 1 Peter2:2, 2 Corintians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, Luke 1:35, 1John 3:5, Matthew 27:24, John19:4, John 8:29, Isaiah 53:9, 1Peter 1:18-19 and their surrounding scriptures.) If Yeshua was not obedient to the Father, He would not have been the Messiah and would have been promoting lawlessness! Jesus was perfect in every way, and it is through His blood we are cleansed and grafted in as sons and daughters of the Holy and Righteous Father. The fruit of that cleansing and redemption should grow into a beautiful obedience to the Word. Doesn’t 1 Peter 1:16 say, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”? This is direct reference to Leviticus 11:44-46, Leviticus 19:2, Leviticus 20:7, Isaiah 35:8. (Please take time to read these verses and all the surrounding scriptures.) We have been redeemed from our sinful old selves and are free to walk in His beautiful narrow path!
Listen guys, I’m not tooting a horn saying that I am getting it all right all the time. He shows me where I stumble, so I can repent and turn from the error of my way, and come running back to His loving arms. It’s in His arms I can proclaim the promises “highlighted”! HalleluYah!
I hope this didn’t get too wordy, I guess I had a whole lot on my heart today. I pray that the Father blesses you all, and that we stand firm in His truth so we can be strong and courageous in this dark world. I love you all!