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Bible Pathways - Mar. 21, 2008


March 21

Joshua 22

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The 2-1/2 tribes build an altar — did God guide them (Chapter 22)? Joshua and Caleb wholly follow the Lord, and at the end of his life, Joshua pleads with God's people to live holy lives, apart from the world. Failure to live in holiness will have serious consequences.

There was just one national altar of sacrifice, one location where God would meet with the people, and one tabernacle 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 (22:9-10) on the east side of the River Jordan just outside the promised land.

Two and a half tribes chose to live outside the promised land away from the blessings of God's presence since material gain was their first concern. When they made their decision, they had no intent to worship 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 without seeking Divine direction. Without Christ at the center 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. 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 (Romans 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 God's Word (Joshua 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 Word of God (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 they 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 (Colossians 1:9-10).

Thought for Today:

Wherever Christian unity is broken, Satan fills the gap. God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33).

Christ Revealed:

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

Word Studies:

22:10 to see to =b> for all to see (compare 22:27); 22:29 meat =b> cereal (grain); 23:1waxed old =b> grew old; 23:8 cleave =b> remain faithful.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Emma B. Thomas • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Paul Hodes (NH) and Rep. James Matheson (UT) • Country: Guyana (705,000) on the northeastern coast of South America • Major languages: English and Amerindian dialects • The government is becoming increasingly Marxist, radical, and atheistic • 36% Hindu; 28% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 9% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for the Lord to give you the right words to share Christ with others (Matthew 10:18-20).

Optional Reading: John 12

Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:16

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