I hope you’ll join us and leave your thoughts in the Comments.
Last week we talked about a large chunk of verses dealing with the wicked (who, by definition, can be any of us without Jesus.) We also introduced the idea that God has an inheritance for us–a Promised Land He wants to give us if we will take it.
This week I want to talk some more about our inheritance and being generous in the land–wherever and whatever that ‘land’ is for you.
VV. 20-21 (ESV)
“But the wicked will perish;
though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field
they will be consumed
they will go up in smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay
but the righteous give generously.”
Psalm 112:5 says,
“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.”
Being generous is a strong command from the Lord, urging us to be generous with what we have–do you have extra time? Can you stop and pray with someone at church or invite them for coffee? Can you volunteer for an hour a week at a school?
Do you have extra money? Give it away–even if it’s $10.00–to your church first or to a non profit that you know is doing good work.
Do you have a talent or a gift? Writing, painting, teaching? Organizing chaos, gardening? I don’t know–something you enjoy doing that you are good at. Is there a place where you can give that away?
When we are content in God and have all we need we can give generously and lend freely–without any expectation of return (that is always the hard part.)
Let’s talk some more about our inheritance, for here the Word says again:
v. 22 “For those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.”
The word ‘inherit’ in the Hebrew is ‘yaresh’–to occupy by driving out previous tenants and possessing in their place.”
We talked last week about the theme and message in the book of Joshua being all about taking possession of the land God had promised to the children of Israel.
Failure to Occupy:
How many times did God tell the Hebrews, “This is yours, I’ve given it to you, go in and take it….” and they failed to occupy?
There is a promise to the people, they cross over Jordan, the walls fall at Jericho, there are battles, kings are killed, the Southern cities of Judah are conquered, the Northern kings are defeated (this takes up till Chapter 11).
Chapter 13 continues and there is still land to be taken, it is divided among the tribes–Judah, Ephraim, Manasseh and so on. In Chapter 18 Joshua reminds them once again saying,
“How long will you wait before you go in to take possess of the land the Lord has given you?
How long will we wait?
Why can’t we ‘occupy’ the land that God has given us? (Makes me think of the Occupy Seattle (or New York, or Austin, or Los Angeles) a movement of people who refuse to budge when they believe in a cause.)
Father, give us your grace and strength and courage to reclaim possession of the land you’ve given us–‘territory’ in our minds where lies have lived, that we can replace them with the truth. “Land” you’ve given us in our hearts that are given over to you and nothing and no one else.
Is there any land you’re failing to occupy? Space you haven’t given over to God in your life? Is there a battle you need to fight first? Something you need to let go of?
Today marks the first day of Lent, marking the 40 fast days before Easter.
I think I’m going to give up striving….will you remind me I said that? Give up trying so hard?
The last part of this section is my favorite:
v. 23 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;”
I love the way the Amplified Bible shares this:
“The steps of a good man are directed and established
of the Lord when he delights in His way (and busies himself with every step.)”
I think it’s important to note WHEN we delight in God’s ways, he directs and establishes our steps. When we’re delighting in our own ways, we can get way off the path.
The phrase “he busies himself with every step” doesn’t speak to me so much of being busy but being attentive to where I place my feet.
Are we watching our steps as we walk on the path before us? Do we delight in His ways?
Oh, Father keep us there this week!
Next week–stumbling but not falling….see you then!