Mission accomplished. Joshua finished his assignment by bringing the Israelites into the Promised Land and dividing their inheritance. All of their boundaries had been established, and there had been peace within their borders for a time.
One more time Joshua reminds his people of the history they share with God, and he reminds them that only the true God is to be served, then he “goes in the way of all the earth.”(23:14)
The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh are an interesting bunch. They helped fight for the territories, and they built an altar to remind their children that they are part of God’s inheritance, but they chose land across the Jordan – away from the others. Land that was really not part of the Promised Land.
Their attitude reminds me of some Christians today. They want to be considered Christians, but they really don’t want to enter all the way into God’s best. Hanging around the periphery seems good enough for them.
There’s a warning here, however. These tribes were to be the first ones to go into captivity. They will eventually be easy pickings for the Assyrian army.
I want to be right in the middle of what God is doing, don’t you?
Right now there are some tremendous revivals going on around the world – and even in our country. There are some Christians who know nothing about it – and there are some who are right there, praying and ministering with their whole hearts.
Lord, let me be a part of it! I want to be right where You are moving – and I want You to move where I am!
In John the Baptist we are seeing the fulfillment of prophecy. First the prophecy of Isaiah, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness…”(Luke 3:4-6; Isaiah 40:3-5). But also the prophecy of Zacharias, John’s father. (Luke 1:77)
John is calling people to repentance. He spares no words as he deals with the church leaders, calling them a “brood of vipers.”(7)
When pride prevails, it’s hard for people to see that they need a Savior. The Savior has come and is about to be revealed, but these people need to know that they need Him. Only the contrite of heart are able to receive from God.
We see the trinity when Jesus is baptized. The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove, and God’s voice came out of Heaven, “Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am pleased.”(21-22).
Thus begins the ministry of Jesus. The Holy Spirit having descended, He is ready to finish His mission on earth.
As Christians, this same Holy Spirit is with us today – leading us, guiding us, and empowering us to fulfill our missions. As we are sensitive to His bidding, we will be able to accomplish our purpose.
I say, “Yes, Holy Spirit. I want You to lead me.”