God’s presence, our weapon
By: Ysrael De la Cruz
We have been talking about the presence of God for three weeks now. The presence of God was what set his people apart from others (Ex.33:16). It was what showed that God was pleased with his people. God would go with his people when they would play by his rule. God’s presence would hold his people accountable when they do not follow God’s guidelines. Last week I mentioned that God’s presence made Joseph prosper in Egypt;
God being with us does not exempt us from temptations and hardships; however, but he would go with us during those trials. When God is with us, even the nasty and ugly situations in our lives, he turns into blessings just as the story of Joseph and his brothers.
One more thing I would like to say about God’s presence. It is our greatest weapon.
After the death of Moses, God appointed Joshua to bring his people into the land of the promise. Joshua will lead the nation to inherit the land and settle in it.
-God instructed Joshua what to do and he marked out the territory he was giving to Israel (v.4-5)
–God promised Joshua that no one would be able to stand against Joshua all the days of his life. This is because the LORD will be with him, the same way he was with Moses (v.5) I will not leave you or forsake you.
-Be strong and courageous for you shall cause this people to inherit the land. (v.6)
God promised to always be with him.
Joshua needed to be strong and courageous (fearless) (v.7)
-Not to depart from the book of the law. Joshua needed to heed God’s instructions. Meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; so that you will be successful.
Joshua’s success as a leader depended upon his obedience to God’s instruction.
God gave Joshua a manual to succeed; everything he needed for a prosperous and successful life was there. He just needed to follow what it says. This is the reason God told him not to abandon the book of the law, but to meditate on it day and night. This would give Joshua knowledge of God and what he expected of him and his people.
The Lord told Joshua to be strong and courageous (v.9) do not be afraid or discouraged because I am with you.
God’s going with us should cause us to live fearless in the world. He told Joshua, do not be afraid because I am with you. His presence is our greatest weapon in this world.
Joshua was about to face great challenges before taking possession of the land. He would be fighting against great enemies. But the LORD told him be strong and courageous, do not be afraid because I am with you.
God gave Joshua success in everything he did, but something strange happened in chapter seven.
In chapter six Israel conquered Jericho without shooting one arrow. The Lord gave them victory. In chapter seven they were about to fight against people of Ai and Joshua sent spies to the land. *(see map) The spies told him not to send the whole army, just about two or three thousand men to go attack Ai. So about three thousand men went to fight, but they could not overpower Ai and Israel fled; Israel suffered casualties that day.
This did not make sense to Joshua; The LORD had promised that no one would be able to come against him. That he would be with him. But why did the nation of Israel lose to Ai
Read Joshua 7:6-9
The LORD revealed to Joshua the reason they lost that battle. (v.10-13)
-Some of the people of Israel had stolen and lied about the devoted things. (the plunder, the offerings that would be designated for God; these people took it for themselves.
They broke God’s covenant (v.10), they could not stand against their enemies. The people who stole and hid the treasure now became liable to destruction themselves. Instead of God’s blessing, they would get God’s curse or wrath. (v.11-12)
God promises to go with you, but you must follow his rules. You must be faithful to his covenant or you could find yourselves fighting against him.
God told Joshua that it was because the sin in Israel that they lost that battle. God told Joshua to consecrate the people. The ones guilty needed to confess in order to God’s presence to be favorable to them once again.
God told Joshua he will not go with him unless you destroy the things designated for destruction from among you. (v.12)
God’s going with us is our greatest weapon; but when we invite God in our midst, we must follow his instructions otherwise, we may not experience success or his favor, but rather his wrath and anger; just like the family of Achan who stole and lied and thought God would not hold them accountable.
God promises to be with us and fight our battles. But we must be sure we are following his instructions, that we are playing by his rules otherwise we will not enjoy his favor.
God is going with you, but you must be strong and courageous; you must be fearless in this world because his presence is our greatest weapon.