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Bible Pathway - Mar. 21, 2011

Read Joshua 22:1


Two and a half tribes build an altar near the Jordan River (Josh. 22:10-12); civil war averted; Joshua's final proclamation to the Israelites to live holy lives and not to compromise with the Canaanites.

There was just one national altar of sacrifice, one location where God would meet with the people, and one Tabernacle, and that was at Shiloh. The children of Reuben . . . Gad and . . . Manasseh . . . departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh. . . . And . . . built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see (Josh 22:9-10).

It was built by the two and a half tribes who chose to live outside the promised land. Material gain was their first concern. When they made their decisions, they had no intention of worshiping the false gods of the Canaanites.

The trend among some Christians today is to create a union with the world not based on spiritual oneness and not seeking Divine direction. Without Christ being first in our consideration in all decisions of our lives, there can be no real unity with the people of God. True unity is not outward, but inward; it is neither achieved nor preserved by external memorials like this altar next to the Jordan. The believer needs to discern that his unity with all who belong to Christ is a spiritual unity wrought by the Holy Spirit Himself. So we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom. 12:5).

Joshua's farewell message warned Israel seven times of the adulterous nations which were still left in Canaan. He knew the snare they would be to Israel and therefore gave them three safeguards. There must be absolute adherence to the Word of God (Josh. 23:6), a distinct separation from the Canaanite nations (23:7), and a cleaving to the Lord with fervent love and full obedience to the His Word (23:8-11). These three indispensable principles are just as needed today as they were in Joshua's day. His Commandments are not grievous (burdensome) (I John 5:3) and those who keep them discover an abundance of heavenly treasures which this world can neither give nor take away.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10).

Thought for Today:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name . . . that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9,11).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Peace Offering (Josh. 22:27). Our Lord offered Himself to God as our means of peace with the Father. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).

Word Studies:

22:9 were possessed had acquired; 22:10 to see to for all to see; 22:19 unclean unfit, defiled; 22:20 accursed belonged to the Lord — all Israel became accursed if anyone took something for himself (6:17-19); 22:23 require it call us to account; 22:25 fearing having reverential heartfelt submission to and respect for; 23:1 waxed drew; 23:4 cut off destroyed; 23:7 swear take a vow; 23:9 stand before withstand; 23:12 go in unto associate with; 23:13 shall be snares . . . unto you shall catch you unawares; scourges in whip lashes on; 24:2 flood River; 24:20 strange foreign; 24:23 incline field; 24:33 pertained belonged.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Government Officials: Rep. Paul Hodes (NH) and Rep. James Matheson (UT) • Country: Austria (8.1 million) in central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 78% Catholic; 6% Protestant; 3% Other Christian; 2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 1.9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal His will and fill you with His Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18).

Optional Reading: John 12:1

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:8

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