“Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates,.. and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out.
“‘”Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. The Lord… put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land…
“‘”I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you… I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.” Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.'” Joshua 24:1-8a,12-14a
The rosy round sun beckons through the open window, drawing me out from cozy to greet the brisk morning. Days are longer here in the north woods- it is still hours before others will rise. The fiery pink orb casts its long reflection on the lined liquid fabric of the lake, reminding me my lines have fallen in pleasant places. (Psalm 16:5-6)
Before his death, Joshua reminded the Israelites of God’s line of faithfulness through the generations to them. He traced His initial promise when calling Abraham to make him a great nation and give them a land, to His fulfillment where all the tribes gathered in the promised Canaan. Surely they had taken possession of their delightful inheritance, with hope for the eternal one God kept for His own. (Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 11:8-13)
How has God’s providential hand shaped and enriched our lives? Do I take moments in the early, and pause in my frenetic days long enough, to see, savor, and thank Him for His faithfulness through my setting out and settling in, my battles, victories, and fruitfulness?
Will I respond in kind to Almighty God’s faithfulness to me? No matter the spots and knots through the years, God’s good purpose prevails for His children, His life in us still beats. His eye is on us, His arms underneath, His hold secure. How faithful are we in return to fear and serve and follow Him? (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 139:5-10; Proverbs 19:21; John 10:28-29)
Faithful God of generations, may I faithfully be and influence for You a people for Your name, praise and glory. (Jeremiah 13:11)