Snapshots: Day 119
The Snapshot: “this Book of the Law … meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” (Josh 1:8) He’s an army general for goodness sake! What does he want with reading the Bible? That’s what a big bunch of people have thought down through the centuries but there are whole group of other people who have sat for half an hour or so each morning with a Bible in their lap as they imbibe the sweet presence of the author of it and somehow, in some inexplicable way, the varied writings of this book, make sense or leap at you with life-giving insights, or glimpses of another world that brings life and meaning to this one, and day by day they are gently transformed. Meanwhile the others stay bored, unfulfilled and lacking. Funny old world.
Further Consideration: For Joshua, the Law that had been received forty years earlier at Sinai, was to be the foundation of his leadership. Next to being aware of the Lord, turning to Him, sharing with Him and listening to Him, this revelation, the Law, was to be the anchor that held him and kept him steady.
Yes, that intimate relationship with the Lord, that practice of contemplation, of waiting upon Him in silence perhaps, listening for the still small voice of the Spirit, that is to be the base experience of every Christian (if only it was!) but that, as a friend of mine warns me regularly, can be subjective and we have to avoid being led astray by our own thoughts and wishes, and so the check, the balance, is to be His Word that never changes. For us it is far more than just a few chapters of what became the Pentateuch, it is the whole Bible but with a special emphasis on the New Testament that testifies to the work of Christ, the implications of that work, and how it is to be worked out in our daily lives for however many years he allows us to have in this present life.
For Joshua there were the scrolls on which Moses had written the original Ten Commandments, then the laws found in Ex 21-23 but then many more that Moses had added that are found not only in Exodus (those of which are mostly about the Tabernacle and the Priesthood) but also in Leviticus and Numbers as well as all the reminders and confirmations of Deuteronomy. Oh yes, Moses had been busy! Probably they were not only the ones given on Mount Sinai (see Lev 1:1,26:46, 27:34) but were added by Moses (see Num 7:89), who spent much of his time in in the Lord’s presence (as Joshua had also done) in the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle. See how many times in Leviticus, for example, the words arise, “And the Lord said to Moses…” Oh yes, Joshua had a lot of reading to do – and so do you and I. History tells us that the Lord has gone to great trouble to give us the book. Let’s not ignore it.