In the book of Joshua, God provides a story of the successful life of integrity, as the Hebrews entered the Promised Land. It would do us good as Christian lawyers to learn some of the same valuable lessons about having a successful life in the law. As we come to the end of 2015, we have been covering six lessons from Joshua.
Lesson #5 – Providence
One of the most striking passages in all of Joshua comes near the end of the book, as the Lord, speaking through Joshua, recaps the fact and the lessons of the conquest. In verses 2 through 13 of Joshua 24, the personal pronoun for God is used approximately nineteen times to indicate God’s action on behalf of his people:
Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors . . . lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham . . . and led him . . . and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac . . . . Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst; and afterwards I brought you out. . . . . 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 handed them over to you, and you took possession of the their land, and I destroyed them before you. . . . . When you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Ebusites; and I handed them over to you. I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not labored and towns that you had not built, and you live in them; you eat the fruit of the vineyard and oliveyards that you did not plant.
There is no doubt who the actor is and who the recipients are. God did it all. It was his plan, beginning with the call of Abraham all the way through the conquest. The centerpiece of the passage, I think, is the second half of verse 8: “they fought with you, and I handed them over to you, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you.” God brought his people to where they were to be, won the victory that he placed in their lap, and then finished the work by destroying the enemy. In between, however, is one of the few active verbs for Israel in the entire chapter: “you took possession.”
God calls us by placing us where we need to be. Did you choose your parents? Your children? Your country? No. But you are called by God to honor that father and mother, to raise those particular children, and to submit to this governing authority. How do you know? You know you are called because you have been placed in those positions by God’s providence. Your job is to take possession of what God has accomplished by obeying him in everything he has given you.
Are you being thankful and obedient to the Lord in all areas of your life? If not, it may be time to take an inventory of what God has given to you and where you need to turn to Him.
Lord, Remind me daily that you have placed me here, at my job, in my family, in this country, at this time. Help me to obey you every step of the way in every area of my life. You are my conqueror Lord – help me to remember it every morning. Amen.
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(Adapted from Redeeming Law by Michael Schutt)