reflections from a year-long study about “People of the Promised Land – Part I” with Bible Study Fellowship …
In a world of uncertainty and unfaithfulness, Almighty GOD was faithful. He chose a people for Himself. And He made a covenant with them – it was a sure thing! Not one of His promises failed. All game to pass! (Joshua 21:45)
Parts of this study caused us to wrestle. To squirm uncomfortably as we saw key players act in ways that disappointed our expectations. From Joshua stepping in because Moses had stumbled, unable to enter the promised land because He failed to honor GOD before the people in a moment of frustration, to Eli, to Saul, to David and then Solomon. The LORD chose them and placed them. He was faithful to them, and yet they faltered.
Scripture doesn’t pretty it up. The LORD doesn’t hide those missteps. They grieved His heart more than ours. But He tells it like it is because He wants us to know that NONE of us are capable of a pure story. He wants us to realize we need Him and to reach for only Him to meet us in the pain and destruction that sin has brought. To humble our hearts and lift our hands to Him, open to receive what He has longed to give us all along. His redeeming love and power that sets us on a new path and refocuses our efforts on His plan, His way.
There were some sweet spots along our journey with GOD’s people. The not-so-key players, whose humble, servant hearts and statements of courageous faith in the LORD and His perfect plan had resounding impact – not just in their small circle of interaction, but for generations after them. Rahab, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail … Jonathan.
How precious that a lot of them were women. The LORD did not call them to be military leaders or priests or prophets or kings. But their words and actions were clear. The one true GOD had made Himself real to them. They poured out their hearts to Him and risked so much to align themselves with His plans for His people. And He used them to touch hearts, to change the course of history, to draw others to honor GOD by their example.
Maybe the faithful few understood with clearer vision the sure thing promised to them. By the only One whose words of promise are always true and unchanging. They could risk it all on Him because He never fails!
We will fail.
Sin brings pain and destruction into our lives too. But the one true GOD still reveals Himself to us today! He makes Himself real to us and pursues our hearts. We have the same opportunity to respond to Him. To reach for Him with humble hearts and lifted hands. Open to receive what He has longed to give us all along. – His new covenant sealed with the blood of JESUS. Chosen people of GOD. Held and beloved with promises that never fail. Our very own sure thing that is ours today.
. . .
Will I treasure His gifts and align myself with His perfect plan? Will I take whatever steps are necessary to stay close to Him, to keep my heart in tune with His, so I am less likely to be distracted, drawn away and deceived into believing the lie that anything else can satisfy?
Will I have compassion for faltering moments – in others and in myself? Will I understand that none of us is capable apart from Christ? Will I quickly recognize my own detours and desire to find my way back? Will His correction cause my heart to bow in praise, to receive His mercy with a grateful heart, to seek His face to guide me back into His ways?
Will I honor His faithfulness by simply choosing to be faithful – to Him and to whatever role He calls me to, especially as a not-so-key player? Will I trust that in His narrative there can be ripples of impact I couldn’t imagine? Opportunities to draw hearts to Him and change the course of history in unseen but powerful ways – priceless opportunities that I don’t want to miss?
I join with those who believe He is precious. He calls me Chosen. He offers me His faithful promises. They will never fail. It is the only sure thing. It is mine. Because JESUS died for me.
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Read more here…
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I & II Samuel
Know therefore, that the LORD your GOD is GOD, the faithful GOD who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9
Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13
The LORD is faithful, who will establish you and guard you. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness! Lamentations 3:22-23