Friday, July 17, 2009

Joshua: Staying Faithful to God

Continuing my reading of Joshua (begun here). I like the fact that Joshua has had the same choices in essence that we do still in our modern lives. Listen to God, do what He wants, and live ... or serve other gods and die. Some like Joshua perform spectacular feats while others of us live more anonymously, but it all boils down to that same choice made repeatedly.
... What Joshua has to say is very moving and it contains a message which is virtually the same as the one God gave him when Moses died (cf. 1:1-19)--an invitation to trust in the Lord and do everything his Law lays down. Promises and threats criss-cross in Joshua's insistence that the people must stay faithful to God if they are to retain the land he has given them. It is a very urgent exhortation--for those who heard it, and for Israelites at later times, particularly during the difficult test of the exile.

Joshua's own life was guided by that message. To start with, God gave him his instructions. Then as events unfolded Joshua could see for himself that what God said was indeed true: the Lord scattered enemies in his presence; he gave the people the promised land, and did everything he said he would. Joshua saw for himself that God gave success to those who did his bidding, and this made him keener still to be faithful to the Lord. ...

In the fullest way possible something similar happened with Jesus, whose life was a continuous striving to identify with his Father's will; from his infancy (cf. Lk 2:49) to the cross, what nourished him was doing the will of the One who sent him: "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Lk 22:42). And thus we see St. Paul placing Christ's example before all Christians: "Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, [...] humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him" (Phil 2:5-6, 8-9). That is also the route that Christ's followers should take--listening to his word and going along with the plans he has for each. Assimilating and putting this message into practice makes life meaningful. And one experiences the effectiveness of God's help, the more one bears witness of it to others.
This finishes my journey through Joshua though I'll be beginning 2nd Peter soon and will share what I find there with y'all.

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