Missing the Mark

Have you ever tried to take on a big task all by yourself. In almost every case it is easier to tackle big things with help than it is to go it alone. The same thing applies to our relationship with God. When we try and go it alone in life, we are setting ourselves up for a much harder road than is necessary. But we don’t always believe that’s really the case. Fortunately, there are several great examples from which we can learn this important truth. One of those is the book of Judges…all of it. Starting today and for the next few weeks, we are going to walk through this intriguing and sometimes disturbing little book as we see over and over again that life is better when we walk it with God. Thanks for joining me as we go.

Missing the Mark

How many of you remember where you were on January 28, 1986? Like or comment if you do. I’ll confess that I was four and I really don’t remember much of anything prior to my 5th birthday, but I’ll bet some of you who are not all that much older than I am do. I’ll bet you remember very clearly. And just to prove my point, what happened on that date? Post your response in the comments. Some of you knew immediately. Just before noon local time, a space shuttle called the Challenger was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. While that’s always exciting, this launch was special because it was the first of the now-infamous Teacher-in-Space program. Christa McAuliffe, a history and English teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, had been selected from more than 11,000 applicants to the program in 1985 and here, just a few months later, she was making her debut. But the excitement quickly turned to shock and then horror as 73 seconds into the flight the Challenger exploded, killing McAuliffe and the six other crew members on board with her.

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Morning Musing: Joshua 1:8

“This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Standing on the precipice of a new adventure is always a complicated emotional affair. On the one hand, there is the requisite nervousness. The unknown stretching out before us is always at least a little bit scary. What if we fail? What if we succeed? Both can be equally frightening. On the other hand, there is excitement. The possibilities before us are rich and we are excited to explore them. Having a little parting advice is always helpful in such situations. What kind of advice is the most helpful? 

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Digging in Deeper: Joshua 23:6-8

“Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, but you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

A major purpose of the Law of Moses was to give the people of Israel a national identity that set them apart from all the other nations around them.  Over and over again we see that the Lord wanted them to be different from everybody else.  All the other nations, in spite of their own uniquenesses, were functionally the same: They were pagan.  Israel, on the other hand, was to be a people of the Lord. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Joshua 10:40

“So Joshua struck the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings.  He left none remaining, but devoted to destruction all that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel commanded.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

I’ve said it before and let me say it again here: If we don’t get the character of God right, we won’t be able to make sense out of the Scriptures.  This is important all the time, but it is especially important in the narrative of Joshua where we find this verse, which, along with the other verses similar to it in this chapter and the next, gives people more trouble than just about any other portion of the Old Testament. Read the rest…