A Voice in the
Wilderness

site navigation

free newsletter


                           *** PORTIONS ***


Re: God is With You (Joshua 1:8-9)

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be 
afraid, nor be dismayed, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you 
go." (vs9)

There are many verses here and there, throughout the Scriptures, that 
people memorize. There are many 'famous' verses like Jn3:16, Acts16:31, 
Rev3:20, Ps23, 1Cor13, Is53:5-6, etc. And on some people's lists, 
Josh1:9 is included. Yes, folks, this is one of those 'famous' verses.

Now, in contrast to last week's Portion where "God Hides Himself", this 
one promises that "God is WITH you -WHEREVER- you go".

Many people teach a doctrine of "unconditional graeeesss". God accepts 
us "just as we are". Many pray to God words similar to: Lord Jesus, walk 
beside me in my life. There is also that wonderful little poem/writing 
(I think it's called), "Footprints in the Sand"; while being a nice 
writing, has "Jesus and you" walking side-by-side...and suddenly the 
footprints become only 'one set', and the person wonders why Jesus 
'left' them, and the comeback from 'Jesus' that, actually, 'Jesus' had 
picked them up and carried them. Now, while there is a lot of truth to 
that, that God does bear us up "with wings as eagles" (Is40:31); so many 
who believe this doctrine of "unconditional graeeess" believe that 
whatever our way is, "all we need is Jesus". Jesus has become a sort of 
'magic potion'. Speak that name, after all, "in the NAME OF JESUS" is 
all sorts of "power". Just -speak- that name, and you will have power. 
After all, isn't that what this verse says? God promises to "be with" us 
"wherever" we go...?

OUR PART... All we need, is to have "courage". We need to be STRONG. We 
need to be BRAVE. NAME and CLAIM the POWER of the 
NAME-of-JEEEEZZZUSSS!!! Hallelujah!! After all, Jesus promised, "ask 
anything in My name". Right? So, people worship, in order to get 
"filled", and "pumped up"... get their "batteries charged". After all, 
that's what this verse just said...? Right?  Or, did it...?

Please notice the reference for this study. So far I have only quoted 
the 'famous' verse. Vs9. But I did not yet quote vs8. I wonder... do you 
suppose...? Vs8 might shed a little light, and make a 'difference' to 
this popular so-called 'theology' that is proclaimed today? Here it 
is...

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall 
meditate on it day and night, that you may take heed to do according to 
all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, 
and then you shall have good success." (vs8)

Oooooh! "Unconditional" did you say God's graeeesss is?  Last week we 
noticed what many do: they 1) read their Bibles, and 2) pray. Thus far 
their 'formula' is correct. Notice that God does not say to be filled 
with all the writings of the "great men" and "church fathers" and to 
follow Church "tradition". He says, the Book-of-the-Law. When God said 
this to Joshua, all there was at that time was the Pentateuch, the 5 
books of Moses. That was their Scripture. Everything else we have for 
our Scriptures came later in time. The Pentateuch/Torah was 'fresh' in 
their minds and hearts. God had 'just' given it over those preceding 40 
years. And -their- experiences of those 40 years comprised 4 of those 
books.

So, if we have God's Word "hidden" in our hearts (Ps119:11), that's all 
we need. Right? "..take heed to -DO- according to -ALL- that is 
written.." Whaaat?! Don't we "agree on the essentials" and 
"agree-to-disagree" on the "non-essentials"? So... What, pray-tell, is 
"non-essential" in God's Word?  Jesus spoke of every "jot" and "tittle" 
of the Law being fulfilled. (Mt5:18) That's like every period, comma, 
apostrophe. So, again... -which- parts are "non-essential"?

It is not enough just to know the Bible, and even memorize it, if we do 
not also -DO- what it says... -ALL- it says. "But be doers of the Word, 
and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (Jacob1:22)

And notice God's promise for those who are obedient. To be prosperous 
and have good success. Recently we have asked rhetorically if adversity 
seems to have control, if it seems that satan has free rein. We asked 
those things in the context of 1) having sin in one's life,  and 2) of 
being ecumenically tolerant and dialoguing with proclaimers of false 
doctrines. 

Well, even more basic to the question is our "obedience". If we are 
"doing" the Words of God's Law, it should be obvious that we will not be 
sinning. One cannot be obeying and sinning simultaneously. And also, if 
we are in the Scriptures and meditating on them, our souls/spirits will 
not be able to tolerate false doctrine.

Thus, do we seek God's blessing in our lives? Then, OBEY His Word. Do we 
want freedom from Satan? DO His Commandments. Do we want answers as to 
how to deal with all the different denominations and religions? MEDITATE 
on His Word.

And then? Then He promises to "be with" us. Our "strength" by which we 
are strong and have courage will then not be our own. We will have "more 
understanding than our teachers" because God's "Testimonies are my 
meditation". (Ps119:99)

God's Word: Read it, and Do it!

Amen!