Grace From the Start: Day 16 {Dec. 11th}

They approached this same promised land 40 years before yet did not enter.  The generation before this one thought it was on their own merit that they would enter.  Because they believed it was on their own ability they became fearful and did not want to go ahead.

Instead of entering the promised land God forced them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.  In those 40 years of wandering they say God’s glory, provision, and goodness over and over again.

God’s people are now in the promised land.  They have arrived.  God has given them this land.  {Insert happy dance}

“And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites, it was not by your sword or by your bow.  I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you have not built, and you dwell in them.  You eat the fruit of the vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.”  

{Joshua 24:12-13}

The Israelite’s are given a land on which they have not labored.  God’s people now have cities they have not built.  They will eat from of vineyards that they did not plant.  These people, God’s people, will reap benefits that they did nothing to earn.  Does that sound familiar?

The work of Christ gives us the promise of heaven.  The work of Christ gives us fruit that we did not plant, preserve, or sustain.  Christ has given us everything not because of our work but because of His.

So…now things should be just right for the Israelite’s right?  We know from our own lives that we still live in a sin filled world and we still battle the sin and the ick from ourselves and others around us.  

They have seen all that God has done for them and they will follow them…right??

Joshua gives them a warning before he dies that they should do what is right so they will…right??

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” 

{Joshua 24:14-15}

We have seen all that God has done so out of a grateful heart we always follow him…right?

UMM…I wish that was the case but it is not.  Just as in the garden, just as in the wilderness, just as our lives today we can not do all that God desires for us.  He knew that and he knows that.  This is why he said he would do it for us.

The book of Judges is a cycle of God’s people doing evil, God raising up an enemy, the people crying out, and God raising up a Judge.  They quickly go back to step one of this hamster wheel…so quick it is like they do not miss a beat.  The end of the book of Judges concisely says what this era of history looked like.   Sadly this also sounds like my life.

“In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  

{Judges 21:25}

Left on our own we will never get off the hamster wheel of sin.  God knew that from the beginning.  That is why he set this plan for redemption in place. We get to open the Old Testament and watch it unfold.  

The book of Ruth gives us a picture of a desperate woman left without a husband to care for her.  The book of Ruth also gives us the remedy for the sin problem in the book of Judges. The only hope for the desperate woman was a redeemer.  The only hope for all people is a redeemer.  I can not wait to look at this with you tomorrow.

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