Bible Devotions

Supreme Authority

Read Joshua 5

There is much going on in chapter 5 of Joshua.  God goes before the children of Israel and causes their enemies to melt with fear.  The children of Israel recommit themselves to the Lord through outward expression of circumcision.  God’s provision continues through the fruit of the land He had given them, so the heavenly manna stops.  Joshua gets a visit from the Commander of the Lord’s army.

When the Lord appeared to Joshua as the Commander of the Lord’s army, He told Joshua to take off his sandal for this is holy ground.  This seems similar to what Moses experienced at the burning bush.  Where the Lord is, it is holy.

God appeared as Commander of the Lord’s army at the time when the children of Israel were getting ready to take Jericho.  Joshua sees a man with a drawn sword.  He asks are you for us or against us?  The Lord says no and doesn’t answer Joshua’s question.  Instead He says He is the Commander of the Lord’s army.  Immediately, Joshua knew his place, in subjection to the Commanding Officer.  He knew the authority this Commander had.  He humbled himself and waited for direction.  He recognized the Commander as the Lord, fell to the ground in worship, and offered himself as a servant.

When the Lord visits you know it is Him.  Where the Lord is it is holy ground.

Have you come to the place of recognizing the Lord Almighty’s authority in your life?  Are there any areas of your life that are off limits for the Lord?  Are you willing to submit yourself to the supreme authority and Lord?  The Word says “Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Lord you reign on heaven, on earth and in our hearts.  You have supreme authority over us and in us.  Help us come to the place of humble submission to you.  We are your servants.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Read Joshua 4

The Lord tells Joshua to appoint twelve men, one from every tribe to gather stones from the Jordan.  The stones were to be set up as a memorial for the children of Israel so they may remember what God did for them.  The stones were also a teaching aid so parents could explain to their children what God did for them.

Webster’s dictionary defines memorial as something keeping a remembrance alive.  All through the Bible we are encouraged to remember, to consider, to meditate, to think about all the Lord has done for us.  In a sense, the Bible itself is a memorial record of a past age.  It documents God’s relationship with His people.  It describes the people’s decision to maintain relationship with God or not.  In the 66 books we are given a detailed memoir of God.  The fact the Bible have survived thousands of years without changing its content is a testimony of its supreme importance.  God wants us to remember Him.

In Joshua 4 the people were to explain how they crossed the Jordan to their children.  This way the children would see God’s glory through the miracle He made happen at the Jordan.  The parents had to be available, to hear the question, and be able to answer it.

The next time you notice your Bible on the coffee table, think of the Jordan memorial stones.  If someone asked you what is so special about the Bible, how would your respond?  God wants us prepared to answer anyone who may ask.  How familiar are you with the contents of the Bible?  Could you recite one truth that changed your life?

For me that truth is Romans 5:8 But God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  This truth opened my eyes and changed the course of my life.  After receiving the truth of God’s love for me I accepted Christ’s sacrifice for me.  From that moment I became a child of God, adopted into His family.  I found forgiveness, love, acceptance and belonging in God.

Lord thank you for all you have done for us. Thank you for the many memorials you’ve given us.  Thank you for your power, your love and self-control to enable us to remember all you have done for us.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Servant of God

Read Deuteronomy 34

Moses was a friend of God.  We see in Scripture he had a face-to-face relationship with God.  No one has ever had a relationship like that since Moses. We might think there was something special about Moses that he deserved that kind of closeness with God.  Maybe he was “holier than thou”, we might think.

The truth is Moses was not special or different from any of us.  In fact, he was a murderer.  He acted in fear and self-protection on more than one occasion.  Sometimes Moses added to what God told him to do. Yet, God chose to use him anyway.

Moses had to live with the consequences of his flaws.  One time Moses was so angry at the people complaining about no water.  God told Moses to strike the rock so He would cause water to flow from it.  In his anger, Moses hit the rock more than once, making it look like he was the one providing the water instead of God.  This stole glory away from God.  God had to deal with Moses, so Moses was not allowed to go into the Promised Land for his sin against God.

But God is gracious.  He lets Moses see the Promised Land before he dies.  Even in Moses flawed state, God used him mightily.  God does this with us too.

Lord thank you for your kindness to use us even in our flawed state.  Thank you, sweet Jesus, who purifies us from all unrighteousness.  In your precious name we pray, Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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That They May Know

Read Joshua 3

God wants His people to know He is real.  He orchestrates the most elaborate ways to demonstrate to us He exists.  Joshua 3 contains another example.

The Lord is preparing Joshua for what God is going to do.  He says “By this you shall know I am with you as I was with Moses.” What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Moses?  You might think of the parting of the Rea Sea.  Here Joshua is with the children of Israel and the Jordan river blocks their way into the Promised Land.  God prepares Joshua and Joshua prepares the people.

As the priests, the Levites and the representatives from each tribe step into the Jordan river, carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the water stacks up in a heap! The children of Israel walk across the Jordan on dry ground.

Only God could make that happen!  So again God shows His might through the physical miracle that they shall know it was Him.

God still does things to let us know He’s with us.  For me, I’ve experienced times of extraordinary peace in the middle of chaos.  Other times a particular verse resonates strongly during my quiet time.  Then throughout the day I come across that same verse either by hearing, seeing or reading about it in an email.  To me, this is one way He’s letting me know – yes – that was ME speaking to you.  Answered prayer is another way He confirms His existence.  I’m not saying every prayer is answered.  However, many of them are.  When I notice it has been answered it amazes me God cares so much for me!

So what ways does God let you know He’s real?

Lord thank you for wanting us to know.  Thank you for your unique way of letting each of us know you are real.  Lead us this day in your truth.  In Jesus’ name we come. Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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