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October 23 | Joshua 24:1-26


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Stories that Never Get Old

by Elaine Pierce


Do you remember reading the same stories, over and over, to your children when they were little? Perhaps you are reading "Goodnight Moon" several times each night if you are the parent of a little one. Children love repetition, don't they? Mom and Dad may have each page memorized, but beware the mistake of trying to skip a page - your little one will sternly tell you that you didn't read it right!


In this last chapter of the book of Joshua, Joshua gathers all of the people together, and he recounts their history (see Joshua 24:2-13). The constant refrain is that God led the people out of Egypt. God parted the Red Sea. God gave the people victory in battle. God gave them 'a land on which they did not toil and cities they did not build, and vineyards and olive groves that they did not plant.' I imagine that most of them knew this history. But they needed to be reminded, didn't they, that the only reason they had success was because God gave it to them.


Then Joshua challenges them to reaffirm their commitment to serving God, and God alone. He knows their hearts. He knows that they will not live up to their end of the covenant. And yet the people eagerly reply, oh, but we will!


We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God. (v. 18).


[Spoiler alert: Go ahead and read the book of Judges, and you will discover that, alas, just like us, the Israelites quickly broke their promises of faith and obedience and descended into idolatry.]


We're never going to live up to our promises, but we have a God who will never forsake us, no matter how often we fail. When you are discouraged, take some time to review how God has been faithful in the past. Remind yourself of his goodness and his love. Seek out a Christian friend to pray with you and see God's face You may need to hear the stories of his grace and forgiveness many times - they will never grow old.


PRAYER PRACTICE

Lord, you never fail me. Thank you for your word, and help me to remember the stories of grace and redemption, and to draw strength and hope from them. Send the Holy Spirit to guide me, and to draw me near to you. Amen.







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