Saturday, September 8, 2007

Joshua 1.1-9. The First Principle

“What do you have that you did not receive?” (1Cor 4.7). Those words could be written right over Joshua 1.1-9.

Look at verse 2— God speaks about “the land that I am giving to them”; and in verse 3 he says—“I have given it to you”; and then look at verse 6, where he says—I “swore to your ancestors” to give this land to them. The land is a gift. God is keeping his promises by giving the land to Israel. It’s not something they will earn or merit or accomplish. It is God’s gift.

Furthermore, look at the promises related to this gift of the land—verse 5: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” Note how the passage ends—verse 9: “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Success in conquering the land will occur not because Israel is great, but because they have a great God present with them in the conquest. It is God who will go before them. It is God who will accompany them. It is God who will fight for them. It is God who will win the victory for them and through them. The whole thing is God’s gift.

This is the first principle of our life with God. Whatever we are, whatever we have, whatever we accomplish, it is a gift. It is all a gift. There is nothing that is not a gift. The answer to the question, “What do you have that you did not receive?” is, “Nothing.” We have received it all. In the final analysis, no matter how active we may have been in the process, it’s God’s gift.

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