March 30, 2021
It takes almost no energy for us to forget what God has done. There is enough pride in our hearts and distraction in our world to pull us away quickly from understanding God’s activity in our history and His directives for our lives.
Joshua and his people had conquered Jericho as they entered the land of Canaan. But one man had stolen from Jericho’s plunder things that belonged to God. The Lord lifted His protecting hand from Israel, and they found themselves humiliated before a small army in Ai.
When the “sin in the camp” was realized and dealt with, the Israelites returned to Ai, and God gave them a complete, resounding victory. And then we read this account:
Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal … He wrote there on the stones a copy of the Law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel … Then afterward he read all the words of the Law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded, which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them. (Joshua 8:30,32,34-35)
It became apparent to Joshua that the people needed a reminder. They need to hear, once again, the Word of God about what they were to do. Moses led all those who had been added since the last reading (the children and “the strangers who were living among them”) to understand God’s instructions so they would not be forgotten.
An altar was raised, a fresh copy of the Law was recorded, and a fresh reading of the Scripture was applied. Joshua didn’t want Ai to happen again. He learned a valuable lesson that day. We must take the time to keep God and His Word at the forefront of our thinking.
Have you forgotten? Do you remember daily what God requires from you? The conditions of God? The ways of God? The reminder that we must live by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”? The daily reading of the Word is our great antidote to the forgetfulness that leads to wandering from Him. We must never forget what God has said. And we must keep rehearsing His truth and keep focused on Him until we meet Him face-to-face.
Lord, thank You for giving us all we need to remember You. Help us to keep your Word in front of us. May we memorize Your instructions. We ask Your Spirit to constantly bring them to mind when we are tempted to move contrary to Your Word. As leaders, help us remind those we are called to shepherd. Thank You for being so particular with us, Lord, and help us keep our minds stayed on You.
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