Saturday, January 16, 2010
A Desert Vision
In my readings this morning I went through Joshua 4 and 5, and afterwards I sat and quietly reflected over all that had commenced within these chapters.
God Initiated - The Lord performed a miracle reminiscent of the one He'd done by way of Moses and the Red Sea. This time he held back the flood stage waters of the Jordan River for the Israelites to pass through to long awaited Promised Land.
God Directed, Mankind Responded -
1)God had Joshua appoint men to come down to the riverbed, to the very spot where the priests were upholding the ark of the Covenant and pick up a rock. Then Joshua compiled these as memorial stones to serve as a reminder of what the Lord had done this day by fulfilling His promise.
2)The men were all told to be circumcised as a testament to their walk forward into God's promise as His people. Their father's circumcisions did not count for them. This had to be individually and personally entered into.
3)The people then took time to celebrate the Passover and God's deliverance. For these Israelites it was a time to remember how the Lord had brought their people out of Egypt as well as what He was bringing them into. This went beyond who He was to them in their personal walk with Him, to WHO He IS.
All this interaction is so deeply relational. After all of the wandering in the desert, now the people were coming into their place of long-awaited rest, right? But it strikes me how the time of rest was, in some ways, the desert. And now God takes a moment after their secluded season with Him to remember with them, to remind, to fear rightly, to dedicate, to celebrate, to pray and give thanks and love.
Now note: "The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan."
They were being honored with the responsibility and privilege of living among the World again. In times of desert testing, may I recognize the manna the Lord provides in the dryness. And may I appreciate the opportunity it is to walk in singular relationship with the Lord, before I am again called to walk back out into the world as His own.